Fine Print

July 29, 2007

Store: Game
Location: Epsom, UK
Employee Description: Bearded Idiot (B.I.), Friendly Manager (F.M.)
Submitted by: Blaggers

I was about ten or eleven when EyeToy Play came out for the first time in the UK, and I was super excited (I realize now it was just a gimmick, but I digress). I used to buy the magazine Games Master, and in one issue, they had a coupon for £5 (about $10) off any game . Awesome, I thought… being so young, I had very little money to buy games with.

So, my best friend, my mum and I went to Game in Epsom after she picked us up from some summer activities camp. She gave me £40 (£35 of which was actually mine, with the other £5 for me to bring back to her as change) and went to do some food shopping, and my friend and I went to the Game that was in the same shopping center. So, I went up to the counter with the game and camera package, and handed over the money and the coupon to BI, who was the only guy behind the counter. He read the coupon carefully and said:

“This isn’t valid.”

“What?” I was confused, as the coupon was well within the start and end dates of validity.

“Yeah, this coupon is for a game, and Eye Toy isn’t a game, it’s a peripheral.”

“But it has a game with it.”

“It has a game with it, but that doesn’t make it a game, does it? But you’ve got enough money there, you can still get it.”

“Not all of it’s mine to spend.”

So, we went and met up with my mum, and she asked why we didn’t have the game. Up until this point, I hadn’t bothered to read any of the fine print on the coupon, but she took it from me, read it and told me it applied to games or peripherals. So, we went back to the shop to try again, only this time my mum came, as we all felt that B.I. had tried to shaft me just because I was a little kid. When we got back, B.I. was restocking a shelf, and F.M. was behind the counter.

My mum explained to him what had happened, and while he didn’t look totally happy we were using a discount coupon, he was very polite and agreed that B.I.’s actions had been unfair and unacceptable. So, we paid for the game with the discount, and as we left the shop, we heard B.I. shouting to F.M.:

“I don’t care if it’s a game and peripheral package, the coupon said ‘Any game or peripheral!'”

Store: GameStation (the UK’s second largest game chain)
Location: London, UK
Employee Description: Typical greasy teen
Submitted by: Daemonoid

I popped in to GameStation to buy a birthday present for my sister (I think it was ratchet & clank). Anyway, i got to the counter, the place was dead, I was the only customer in the store but the guy still took his time coming over to serve me. As he took the game from me I noticed the case was cracked so I asked if he had another one (I didn’t want to give a present that looks second hand). He got me to look on the shelf for another copy of the game – moving from behind the counter was clearly too much effort for him. Obviously, it was the last copy so I grabbed another dvd box and said I’d switch the labels over… “oh no, you can’t do that the next customer doesn’t want a cracked box.”

I tried explaining that they’ve got something like 2000 game boxes and they could just keep changing them if need be or I could swap it with some crap that won’t ever get sold. I also found out that I was the first customer of the day to actually want to buy something (it’d been open at least 2 hours). I gave up trying to give him a lesson in basic economics and just walked out and ordered online instead – cheaper & free delivery to my sisters.