Store: GameStop
Location: Coors Blvd., Albuquerque, NM
Employee Description: Spiked Hair with Dark Glasses, Name tag says “Store Manager”
Submitted By: Ryan

So I walked into the store the other day for the first time in a long time. I had refused to go back after becoming fed up with all the pre-order pushing that had been going around, but thought I’d give it one last go. Big mistake.

The manager, we’ll call him “Spikey Specs,” immediately asks me if I have reserved Halo 3. That’s right, no “Hello,” no “Welcome to GameStop,” just right to the schtick. I politely tell him that I’m not here for that, just that I want to pick up a copy of Stranglehold for 360. Naturally, he asks me if I reserved it. I say that I haven’t, just that I wanna buy one today. Now, keep in mind, that glass case behind him has a row of this exact game, maybe 50 copies.

He gives me a line about how he “can’t believe I didn’t reserve such a big game” and pretends to check the computer to see if he “has any extra copies available.” While “checking” he asks me again if I want to reserve Halo, because “nobody’s going to have it in stock on the big day.” I say no, a little more impatient this time and let him know that I’m just here for Stranglehold. He then tells me that they have no copies of the game available, that they’re all reserved. I point to the row behind him and tell him that at least one of those has to be available, there’s no way they only ordered enough to fill the reserves. He looks me in the eye, without even turning to see how many he’s got, and says that they are all indeed reserved.

I then say, “Fine, I’ll reserve Halo 3. Any copies of Stranglehold available now?” Without doing anything, he looks me dead in the face and says “Yep, a reserve just cancelled.”

Enraged, I tell this jerk that I’ll never shop in his store again and exit in anger, kicking over the Halo 3 standee near the front door.

This story is completely true and I beg all people in the Albuquerque area (and anywhere that poor customer service like this is encouraged) to pick a different store for all their future purchases. Hastings opens at midnight for Halo 3 and Wal-Mart never closes. Don’t fall for their crap and certainly don’t think that they care about you as a customer.

Incidentally, I ran into that same jerk at the Radio Shack inside the mall the next evening and when I walked in and spotted him, he ran from the store, embarrassingly leaving his girlfriend in the dust behind him. Hopefully she dumped that loser.

Store: GameStop
Location: Victorville, California
Employee Description: Lying D-bag
Submitted By: Joshua Searls

I went to my local GameStop and I was waiting behind this sweet old lady and her grandson. The customer in front of them left and she took up a copy of Shawdowrun for the kid. During the sale Lying D-bag says that she needs to pre-order Halo 3 or else she wouldn’t be able to find it until next March. Now I can deal with a little bit of under-handedness but that was excessive. I spoke up, “Ma’am, Halo 3 is going to be a very popular game and you will have no trouble finding it during the week it comes out.” She looks at him and says, “No, thank you,” as I get the dirtiest look I’ve ever seen. So she left and I went up to the counter and said, “I’d like my pre-ordered copy of Bioshock.”

Pre-Order Piracy

August 12, 2007

Store: EB Games
Location: Invercargill, New Zealand
Employee Description: It was a woman. Sounded fairly knowledgeable about gaming, as you will encounter.
Submitted By: beans

I was bored one day and decided to step into the local EB Games and see what was new there (which usually isn’t much, since it’s a fairly small store which services a population of about 90,000).

The clerk at the counter recognized me and said we went to primary school together many years ago. However, I have a selective memory and trying to remember names from 15 odd years ago is hard to come by. Even her name tag didn’t give me any clues.

So I decided to change the subject. I picked up a pre-order case of Pokémon Diamond and asked her how the pre-orders were going (this was June/July – the game didn’t come out here till recently). She beamed at me and said very well – they had enough to justify doing a midnight launch (I don’t know if they actually went ahead with that or not).

Putting the box down, I went over to her and we just started talking about the game – I ordered my copy online from Canada back in May and was halfway through it. She leaned over to me, looked around cautiously (we were the only two people in the building) and whispered…

“I downloaded my copy and put it on a flash cart.”

Here’s why we do this folks:

Thought everyone would like to hear the good news.

From my understanding, as of yesterday, Sunday August 5th, Gamestop/EB Games no longer ranks the stores by the number of pre-orders or subscriptions.  Rankings are now based on things like shrink, sales, and employee turnover.  Whether this means that you can look forward to less pre-order pushers is yet to be determined (our DM says to keep asking, but I say screw him), this should offer you (and us employees) some measure of reprise.

Submitted By: A loyal reader and current employee of Gamestop/EB Games

Submitted By: Silence 7

I thought this was a little funny, but pathetic. Supposedly, this person works at GameStop and wants to help make sure we all get copies of Two Worlds for the Xbox 360, by pushing pre-orders in the GameFAQs forums.

GS manager here. If you haven’t yet, please reserve it.

I had to check alot of stores to find people copies of 3 games this week because so many people wanted Overlord, Darkness, and PokeBatRev. but didn’t put down a reserve for em (because they werent the super hyped popular games that every person reserves). Please guys, it’s all the more reason to tell us that you’re interested in a copy if it’s unpopular. It means we don’t fifty gajillion copies if it’s not hyped. I hate sending people to all over the map (like a bad RPG quest) for shweet games that you can simply just walk in and ask for. We hand you a sealed copy from a drawer behind the counter and send you on your merry way with no worries.

We ask you all the time. We don’t get paid extra for this stuff. It keeps you happy and our shelves stocked. You’re never locked in, ask for your money back,.Or if you get some dungheap who won’t, you demand their district manager’s number. (we got their cell phone numbers in our red book). All you need is an interest in a game and it justifies having your $5 down, even if your not sure, we’ll still get it and have it for you, and if you dont want? Fine, we put it on the shelf for someone else to enjoy.

Please enjoy Two Worlds. I’ll see ya online.

Pre-order Stalker

July 29, 2007

Store: GameStop, Software, Etc.
Location: Bay Shore, NY
Employee Description: Some punk teen with bad acne who thought he was big because he was a manager/man with a glass eye in his left socket
Submitted By: Andrew

I went to my local GameStop located near the South Shore Mall in Bay Shore, NY. I wanted to pick up Guitar Hero II and an adapter to play it on the PS3. I asked this fragile looking kid who was probably around 15 years old yet acted like some pro wrestler on steroids, if they had the adapter. He said that he had just sold out that morning and then proceeded to ask me if I wanted to pre-order Guitar Hero III for PS3. I said “No, Thank you” and left the store.

I then walked across the parking lot to the mall and went into Software, Etc. I was able to find the adapter and a copy of Guitar Hero II. As I was about to make my purchase, the man with the glass eye behind the counter pulled out a huge binder and asked if I would like to pre-order Guitar Hero III. I again said no thanks.

This was when things got weird for me. The kid from the other store walked into the same store I was at and went behind the counter and was talking with some of the guys. He then proceeded to push me to pre-order other games I had no interest in. I asked him if he had followed me and he said exactly “I like you and I didn’t want you to miss out on the hottest game of the year when it comes out.” I told him “No worries, but Best Buy will have GHIII when it comes out” and left the store.

What weirdos.

Reservation Tango

July 21, 2007

Store: GameStop
Location: San Bernardino, CA – Campus Crossroads
Employee Description: Tweedle Dum & Tweedle Dee
Submitted By: Silence7

I went in to to the GameStop at 2pm in the afternoon on a Sunday and the place was empty except for the two employees behind the counter and me. One employee greets me with a “how ya’ doin’ ” when I walk in and then leaves me alone to browse without interruption, which is a rare treat in this store.

Being as there are only three people in the store, and I don’t have anyone to talk to, the store is extremely quiet, which makes it very easy to hear the employees talking back and forth approximately 15 feet from me. There was some chatter about various games and that’s when my anger began.

Employee #1: Dude, you should have been here yesterday..
Employee #2: Why?
Employee #1: This guy came in and wanted to cancel 2 pre-orders and put a pre-order on another game.
Employee #2: Yeah…..
Employee #1: I asked him if he had a receipt, and he said no. So I told him he had to have a receipt to cancel a pre-order.
Employee #1 & 2: Hahah ahahaaaaaaa
Employee #2: Man, I’m gonna’ have to start using that one!
Employee #1 & 2: Hahaha hahaaaaaaa

I had pre-ordered 2 games at another EB a week earlier (voluntarily) and was told I could keep the receipt if I wanted but I didn’t need to because they had me in the computer and all I would need to pick up my games was my I.D.

Their evil laughs and *wink-wink* attitude leads me to believe that the policy of needing a receipt to cancel a pre-order is all a bunch of BS to keep people from canceling a pre-order.

If they talk this openly about their lying and cheating right in front a customer, it makes me wonder if they either don’t care, they think I’m too stupid to know WTF their talking about, or they didn’t think I could hear. Honestly I think it’s a combination of the three.

This EB is close to home and very convenient, but I have vowed to drive the extra distance to another that always treats me right if I need an immediate fix, and order games online if I can wait for delivery. At least stores online can’t lie to you right in your face.

I’ve been actively gaming since my parents bought us kids a home Pong machine before the Atari 2600 came out, and have owned almost every system since then (PS3 and NeoGeo excluded) and have seen a lot of crap, but in the last few years it just seems to be getting worse and worse as all the small game stores are being put out of business by the big chain stores.

You guys are doing a great service by exposing the BS that goes on in these places.

Bold-Faced BS

July 3, 2007

Store: EB Games
Location: Meadows Mall, Las Vegas NV
Employee Description: Store manager, lanky African-American with a buzz cut, looks like he’d be more at home at Sports Authority than Electronics Boutique. We’ll call him Lying Manager.
Submitted By: JChaos

A little background before I start. I’d been a loyal customer of this particular Electronics Boutique’s former manager, the most awesome gamer you’d ever know, for a good three years. I’d followed him through three stores as the company moved him around as needed. Unfortunately, when the merger between EB and GameStop went through, it was pretty easy to see that he was not a favored manager in the company in spite of having awesome numbers. I’d routinely do my part to keep him employed, often pre-ordering up to a game a week from him. Sadly, this was not destined to last. As we’d predicted, he was terminated from employment. Also not surprisingly, the district manager of Las Vegas was quick to replace him with someone who was less of a gamer, and more of a businessman. Remember, children, it’s all about the numbers.

Now, this story took place several months ago. When the wonderful manager was fired, I had no reason to continue patronizing the company any longer. I also had several pre-orders that I no longer cared to follow through on, and would really rather have my money back for. So, into the store I went. Lying Manager was on the register, so I’d figured that this would be fast and easy.

How mistaken I was.

Lying Manager: Welcome to Electronics Boutique, are you looking for anything today?

Me: Hate to say it chief, but I’m here to cancel some pre-orders.

Lying Manager: Oh, sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, though, we just got a memo yesterday saying that we are no longer able to cancel pre-orders.

HELLO! Talk about being blindsided by a blatant lie. I was speechless for just a moment, which he seemed to take as an invitation to continue whatever schpiel he was on. Big mistake, as the effort kicked me out of my shocked state.

Lying Manager: So, can I help you find something else today?

Me: Actually, yes. You can show me that memo.

Lying Manager got a very, very uncomfortable look on his face.

Lying Manager: Oh, sorry, no can do. We can’t show those to customers.

A semi-believable lie, if Awesome manager hadn’t routinely showed me memos before so I knew exactly what was being pushed and what good deals were coming.

Me: I’m sure. Something tells me that you can’t keep my money without giving me a product either. Why don’t you call the district manager for me? I’d love to ask about this myself.

And this was the awesome part. Right in front of me, he looks like he’s got the most brilliant idea in the world. He picks up the phone, and doesn’t even dial any numbers. Yes, right in front of me.

Lying Manager: Hey (District Manager), this is Lying Manager. I’ve got a customer here who wants to cancel his pre-orders, and I told him that we don’t do that any more.

All the while he’s looking at me intently, as if I’ll believe this farce.

Me: That’s very nice, but I didn’t ask you to check with him to see if it’s okay. I want to talk to (District Manager) myself.

This makes him look as though he’s going to drop the phone on the spot. He seems to deflate, but to his credit he attempts to keep up this act to at least save face from being caught in a lie. He keeps talking into the phone, and holds up his hand to me to keep me from reaching for the phone, or something.

Lying Manager: Just this once, huh? All right, I’ll let him know. Good news, the DM’s going to let me make an exception for you!

Me: Imagine that…

He’s quick to hand me my twenty bucks for four canceled pre-orders, which I was just thrilled to take from him at this point, when he has the audacity to speak up once more.

Lying Manager: So, can we do anything else for you today? Pokemon’s coming out in a few months, would you like to pre-order it?

Suffice it to say, I left without another word. At the rate the company was plummeting, I didn’t even bother to call corporate to complain. I doubt anything would have been done anyway, this guy was hand picked by the District Manager after all. The company seems willing to do anything so long as the money stays in their stores’ pockets. It’s a sad state of affairs when I’m starting to look at Best Buy and Walmart as a better option to get me my games.

Pre-Paid Reminder

July 1, 2007

Store: GameStop
Location: Round Rock, TX
Employee Description: Apathetic goon with bumbling sidekick
Name: Howard

Highly anticipating the release of Odin Sphere, I went against my best judgment and pre-ordered at GameStop. A friend went along and pre-ordered his copy too at the same store. Another friend at another location did the same thing. We all paid for our orders in full to “guarantee” a copy.

Fast forward a couple of months. We all get the off-pitch machine recording reminding us that the game is released and will be in stores that day.

So after work, we each head off to our respective GameStops to retrieve our game. My friend and I enter the store, which is basically empty. A customer is already standing in line with her indecisive child. Apparently now is also a good time to train a new employee as we stand behind the customer. The child says “Yeah, I want that one.” Not a pre-order I see. The clerk hands her a sealed copy of Odin Sphere. ‘Sealed’ is the magic word for this story. She completes her transaction and I’m next. The senior clerk instructs the trainee to open up the other register to assist my friend. Both of us simultaneously request to pick up our Odin Spheres. Only one clerk reaches behind the counter. Out comes a ‘gutted’ disc of the game. Apparently, they only had one.

“So you didn’t set aside my pre-ordered copy that I paid in full?” Awkward silence.

The questioning continues.

Me: “Why is that copy gutted?”

Goon: “Well, it’s store policy to leave the last copy on the shelf and the contents behind the counter.”

Me: “How many copies did you receive?”

Goon: “Well, our store had 4 pre-orders and this other store had 2 pre-orders. They didn’t get their shipment so they came over and I gave my buddy two of our copies.”

Me: “…”

Goon: “Dude, I’m really sorry.”

Me: “Why would you gut the last copy to showcase to customers when you don’t have enough for pre-orders?”

Goon: “… it’s store policy to leave the last…”

Me: “Well, I don’t want the opened copy.”

I look over at my friend, who’s fuming at this point. He doesn’t want it either. The trainee just stands there. Apparently she’s ‘like, whatever’.

Goon: “It’s still new. I just gutted it this morning.”

We ask for a refund and the trainee fumbles through that. The employee apologizes again for his deliberate blunder. Who would have thought that people who have paid for a product in full might actually want to pick it up? What a concept! While waiting for the refund, my phone rings. Even before glancing down, I’m guessing it’s the other friend. It is.

“Did you guys get one? My store opened mine since it was the last. Why would they open up any games to showcase when all of the copies are already spoken for? Luckily, another nearby store actually had a sealed copy. I managed to get one. How about you guys?”

A pre-order at GameStop is just paying them to call you for a reminder when the game comes out.


June 26, 2007

Store: GameStop
Location: Woodbury, Minnesota
Employee Description: Overweight Slacker and his Manager
Submitted by: The Almost Penguin

I walk into this GameStop on a mission for Phoenix Wright (the original). Someone told me it was in the bargain bin, and I needed to buy it for a friend’s birthday. So I walk in and begin looking through the bin. The guy behind the counter asks me what I’m searching for and I respond “Phoenix Wright, do you know if you have any copies of it”.

He tells me that the computer says they have one more. At that point, the manager begins to help me look for it. The manager finds the game behind the counter, in it’s trade in case, and continues to search for it’s case: aka the case that says “new”.

Finally he finds the case and gives it to his cashier lackey. The cashier takes this opportunity to inform me that the third one is coming out, and asks me if I’d like to pre-order. I respond no, I’m only buying the first game, wouldn’t I logically want the second game next, not the third? He waits a moment, and I bring up the price discrepancy. The bargain bin says 9.99, and he’s telling me 21.99. The manager replies with “9.99 and up”. Ok fine. I point out they’re selling me a used copy of the game for the new price. The manager replies that it is not used, only held back there for safe keeping.

At this point I’m tempted to walk out without the game because the cartridge has marks on it, from a marker, making it used. But I bite my tongue, cause my friend wants the game, and it is 10 bucks cheaper. The cashier then speaks up “I really don’t know why you’re not pre-ordering the third one”. I interrupt him with “Listen. I’m not pre-ordering from you. I know you have no interest in me, instead only in getting the pre-order because you are paid on commission.”

The cashier “That’s a common misconception, if I don’t sell pre-orders I lose my job.”

Followed by the awkward shouts of the manager behind him “YEAH BUT IT’S FUN! Isn’t it fun! Fun work environment! Fun Fun Fun!!!”

The cashier doesn’t say anything else to me, and I leave with my game.