Fuck GameStop

Ok. I don't even know where to begin here, but here we go, let's see if I can get this out without rage-killing someone in the process. FUCK GAMESTOP. "But why, Samson, why?" They are a dirty scumbag anti-consumer organization that rightfully deserves to die in a fire. That's the short version.

The long version:

My roommate decided to pre-order Skyrim because among other things he wanted to be sure he'd have it at or near release day and he wanted the cloth map. Seems simple enough, right? He paid them the $5 reserve deposit with his debit card, which required them to enter his ID into the computer system. So far so good. He got a paper receipt even. All well and good.

Fast forward to today, where the general public finally finds out Bethesda has sold their soul to Valve. This in itself is a whole potential other thread here, but set that aside for now. I told him abouot it this afternoon when we went to get pizza. As you might guess, he's staunchly anti-Steam (and anti-digital all around) and decided that was the last straw on a game he frankly wasn't that enthusiastic about to begin with. He only pre-ordered because I've been raving about it. So we finished our pizza, after having a pretty loud and robust discussion between ourselves, other customers (who surprisingly ALSO game on PC) and even the establishment owner and his son. All older people like myself and my roommate, and all of whom are greatly saddened by the state of PC Gaming today.

We hop in the car, and continue our ragefest all the way up to the mall. The guy had decided, money back, now, no excuses. It's only $5, how bad could it be? Oh boy, here we go. We get into the store. The parking gods blessed us with prime parking less than 100 feet away. It was a sign. Or so we thought. We walk up to the counter, there are also about 15 other people crammed into this little store all looking over various things. He tells the guy at the register what he wants, a refund on a pre-order. The guy takes his ID, phone number, and debit card it was charged to and while punching it up in the system, gives this big schpeel about how Skyrim is the best game ever and why would he want a refund etc. So he told him. Steam. Plain, simple, there it is. The guy had this shocked look like "you're crazy" on his face and was trying everything he could think of to talk him out of the refund. He held his ground. Finally, the guy says he can't authorized the refund because my roommate didn't have the paper receipt. WTF?

You pulled the data up in the computer. Verified the ID. Verified the debit card number. Your system shows the $5 charge. It shows (I looked) no mention of a refund or further payments toward the purchase. The guy flat out refused to issue the refund. So me, being the prick I sometimes am, butt in. "Is your manager here?" The guy respond: "I am the manager." Double WTF. You've got 15 witnesses, all of whom are now visibly upset they have to wait for this bullshit to play out to begin with. You've got me, who was there when the purchase was made. You've got the data in the computer. The God damned manager at the helm - he has the codes!!! Yet he's with a straight face telling us both that DISTRICT MANAGEMENT has to be contacted BY EMAIL to authorize a FIVE DOLLAR REFUND. Triple WTF.

So we give up, my roommate is yelling he'll never shop there again. I yelled out the same, cause I sure as hell won't support this kind of attitude. As we're turning to leave, someone who walked in at the tail end of all this only knows we wanted a refund and people were upset about it. He starts pulling out his wallet and asks how much it was over - we tell him - he yells out "FIVE FUCKING DOLLARS?" then tries to hand my roommate a $5 bill. We tell him to keep his money since it's not up to the customers to settle a customer service disaster caused by the management. We leave, and I turned back to check, the guy who offered us the $5 set his intended purchase down and yelled again "FIVE FUCKING DOLLARS. GOD DAMN." and left. Cost them an immediate in-store sale.

My roommate is on his way back to the mall now after having found the receipt - it fell out of his wallet onto the floor in his room. He's pissed. I didn't really feel like tagging along to see the show. He'll be getting his $5 back, and I'm going to file a formal complaint over this incident via the BBB and CC: their corporate HQ on it as well. Had my roommate not found his receipt, I was advising him to call his bank and void the transaction as fraud for refusing a legal refund.

TL;DR: FUCK GAMESTOP. They deserve to die in a fire for this.

PS: I have not decided yet if I'm going to cancel my pre-order in protest of this incident. I know I should, because I despise the idea behind Steam as much as he does and this incident means I won't be shopping there anymore either. What can I say? Very much torn here since I want the game.
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

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Posted on Aug 17, 2011 8:20 pm by Samson in: | 29 comment(s) [Closed]
Ah, Gamestop. How we do not <3 thee, though I can think of several other reasons why they need to burn. Console elitist jackasses chief among them.

It's also why I do all my game shopping via Amazon now. Every time I need to cancel something or change an order, their customer service is like "Sure thing, glad to help, what else can we do?" That deserves rewarding.

Yep, you're probably right about that, but given that they were one of the last bastions of retail sale outside of Best Buy (that's close) and Fry's (which is ~20 miles away) you can understand my deep DEEP disappointment and anger in seeing this go down.

For $5, we weren't willing to make much more of an issue out of it. Had they demanded the whole $60 up front, I would have called mall security in a heartbeat and insisted on pressing charges for retail fraud.

Fortunately, it now won't come to that as my roommate is back, his refund in hand. GameStop can still die in a fire for this now, and just as I was warming up to them too.

Edited by Samson on Aug 17, 2011 9:01 pm
Anonymous [Anon] said:
Comment #3 Aug 17, 2011 9:04 pm
Wow. They couldn't refund five dollars? Crazy.

You should shop on Amazon, much less of a hassle and you don't have to put money down for a preorder. :)

*I* didn't put any money down, I only ordered mine from GameStop because it had in-store pickup. Not anymore though. I canceled that out and switched my pre-order to Amazon.com just now. Saved $25 off the bat in taxes and shipping, and given how they work, it's very possible the price will drop before release day.

I'm still highly upset about the Steamworks requirement though, Bethesda has earned massive disrespect from me for that.

Yeah... I've heard of EB Games horror stories before too. I remember the story of a guy that had preordered a game and the game never came in. It got cancelled or something. Did he get his money back? No. He got game credits instead which would force him to buy games from EB Games. And this is after waiting about 3 mths after the supposed release date before they finally decided there was going to be no game.

Yes, and that's why EB Games is no longer in business that I'm aware of. They torpedoed their own operation with terrible customer service like this.

Sounds like what that guy ran into, if it was recent, was the mess with Two Worlds 2. THAT I wouldn't have held against them because that turned out to be the publisher themselves that was spreading lies, going so far as to make up a story about how the container ship carrying all their copies to the UK sank in the Atlantic. Well, there were no news stories about it. Ships sinking is a big deal, such things get covered.

I wanted to play that game myself, but once the release date kept slipping and slipping, I eventually gave up waiting and moved on. It slipped its way right past Witcher 2. Though it did show up on Steam, where I passed over it on purpose because I don't want to deal with Valve's malware.

Funny thing, my roommate says he saw a story somewhere today that "Two Worlds 2" is being pushed back to December 2011. Uh, what? Then how is GameStop selling it now?

Anonymous [Anon] said:
Comment #7 Aug 18, 2011 12:51 am
Buy the game, then pirate it. I may do that just so I can play the game without STEAM and not have to steal it.

Certainly an option, and in all honesty one I've considered. There's no valid reason in my mind why some disinterested 3rd party should have final authority over the legitimacy of a purchase made outside their chain.

Well I stopped bothering with trying to buy games in shops years ago, since all the PC games got shoved aside to make room for console games in the shops I used to frequent. I buy only from Amazon now. I feel the same way about Games for Windows as Samson does about Steam, but I don't have any issues with Steam. In fact I love the fact that after buying Half-Life 2 years ago, the second time I installed it the disc failed a CRC check on one file so couldn't complete the install - so I just downloaded the entire game through Steam instead, no hassle or concern about trying to get the disc replaced. I don't like buying digital games however, still prefer to have a physical copy.

Dwip, "Console Eliteist" is an oxymoron.

'cus consoles are moronic, innit?


Seriosuly though, we get the same crap in the UK, Gamestation has ONE (1) bay for all PC games these days.

Yup. GameStation (formerly EB where I live, not sure when the store changed name or changed company or whatever) reduced PC games down to 1 set of shelves, to make more room for all the different types of consoles and hand-helds. Perhaps if they made less different consoles and hand-helds, the shops could be more balanced (and less time could be wasted making cross-platform games due to less platforms to cross).

LOL, great read, about all that was missing was "We jumped the counter and went all skin head on him" Lets face it, PC gaming is a dieing segment, we are treated like second rates and criminals and the actions of the companies themselves only push more people to consoles that someone has ultimate control over. Won't be long and the whole modder thing will be a part of history along with muds and the like, unless the developer is nice and says you can.

GameStop has precisely half a shelf of PC games. They as a retail point for PC gaming were already dead and buried, so their actions today were rather counterproductive.

Best Buy still has a robust selection, and strangely enough, Wal-Mart's selection often outshines Best Buy. Nobody can touch Fry's though. Fry's has 8 aisles of PC games. Their stock is so huge it's unreal. And it sells like mad there. Best Buy and Fry's both also still carry boxed copies of Morrowind and Oblivion in their original non-GOTY versions, as well as GOTY versions.

The odd man out lately has been the Fallout 3 GOTY. It vanishes from shelves and hasn't returned. Nobody at Bethesda seems to know why either.

There's still shitloads of Fallout 3 GOTY floating around in Australian game stores, though I literally went through twenty stores to find a GOTY copy of Oblivion. But then, I can't really think of any stores in Australia that I've seen with a range of PC games that compares to Fry's.

Gamestop is EB Games here (in Canada). Anyway I never shop in stores anymore. I preordered the Skyrim CE from them - we'll see what happens.

It EB games in Australia too, and probably where I'll be buying my release day copy of skyrim, for lack of a better option locally.

Mohammed [Anon] said:
Comment #17 Aug 19, 2011 2:57 am
I quite like Steam, but as a (former) record collector, I do understand the sentiment of people who prefer to own a nice physical object.

Why not order your box and disc on Amazon if you don't have a physical store nearby that you want to use?

I do have physical stores nearby. I will be shopping at one less now obviously. Not that GameStop had enough there to entice me to become a regular anyway. I don't like Best Buy's attitude on software returns, Wal-Mart and Fry's won't be carrying the collector's edition. Mail order was the only option remaining. Suits me fine, no tax, no shipping, the deal is impossible to beat.

Edited by Samson on Aug 19, 2011 4:08 am
It EB games in Australia too, and probably where I'll be buying my release day copy of skyrim, for lack of a better option locally.

Probably better off going to a Harvey Norman, they seem to have a greater range of everything in most of their stores. Or at least the ones here in Brizvagus do.

@Mohammad-They're mad that you "have" to have steam, regardless of whether you buy the physical game. Might as well suck it up, pretty soon all games will require something simular. I'm actually surprized they don't have it for movies and music, too. You know, you pick up the CD at Wal-Mart, and you "have" to have ITunes. :)

While as I said before I don't have an issue with Steam itself, I do think it rather pointless to make any game require it. After all, thousands of games previously released have managed to work without Steam (including Oblivion), it's not as if without Steam games cannot be made to run on computers.

Mohammed [Anon] said:
Comment #22 Aug 23, 2011 12:54 am
While as I said before I don't have an issue with Steam itself, I do think it rather pointless to make any game require it

It's a form of DRM. All big game publishers use DRM. Some go as far as installing a root kit on your PC, such as SecuROM. As DRM comes, I find Steam relatively unobtrusive. I don't need to find the disk and pop it in the drive, there is no limit to the number of installs. Games published on Steam by Valve only seem to require you to authenticate online once per install, though some 3rd party games require you to be online every time you start the game. This isn't a problem if you have broadband, but it can be annoying when you're on dial-up. I like having my games library on 'the cloud'. If I take my laptop somewhere, I don't need to take a stack of disks.

SecuROM is not a rootkit. It isn't hiding out doing nefarious destructive things to your drive, nor is it phoning home or any of the FUD people spread about it. Steamworks however is phoning home, and will actively deny you access to your game if you refuse to let it. In my book, that qualifies it as malware. Antivirus companies would ordinarily agree, but they've all been bought off.

It certainly isn't this mythical one-time activation system that you can tell to go offline after that and never hear from it again. That much I know already is a lie. I don't get why people sing the praises of a hideous, intrusive, and malicious program like Steam but vilify Origin, Battle.net, GFWL, and Ubisoft for doing EXACTLY THE SAME THING.

As Samson said, SecuROM does not install a rootkit, it merely installs something to the operating level of the OS which software crackers tend to use to bypass software security (DRM) - plenty of other legit programs do the same. And don't forget that Morrowind and Oblivion both came with zero DRM, and have not suffered sales from piracy.

Now I've never heard of Origin (there was a great game company called Origin who created the Ultima series of games, but they got bought out and no longer exist - or at least they no longer exist as they did before they were bought out, which is the same thing to me), I've never had to install Battle.net (haven't played a game by Blizzard since Warcraft 3), and I have no clue what UbiSoft might be installing with games (rarely play UbiSoft games, none have ever installed extra software). GFWL I hate because it is pointless and annoying. I had to install it to play GTA4, and to play the game I had to register and log into two separate Microsoft systems just for the game to play (one was an XBox account I think, don't really remember now - a later patch made this one redundant on the PC). The game could not be played without GFWL running, yet there was no sign of any benefit to it (still had to use the DVD to install, still downloaded patches separately to install) - plus it kept flashing annoying things on-screen when I was playing the game. So I have good reason to dislike GFWL, while I have yet to find a reason to dislike Steam.

Not quite. Morrowind came with SafeDisc, and Oblivion uses SecuROM. Neither one is particularly heinous though and only ask to see the disc.

Origin is EA's new Steam-like service. Like how they took a once proud developer's name and turned it into total shit? That's because EA loves to shit on companies they buy. They bought out Origin shortly after Ultima 8.

Apparently GTA 4 is one of the exceptionally heinous examples people toss around. Like Spore and SecuROM, assuming that all such uses of either are the standard fare. You may not realize it, but the Steam client must run while you play, so it has no functional difference to GFWL in that regard. Also, Steam has in-game ads. I've seen them. Even when the preference is turned off. I despise that sort of thing. People can stuff their ads up their asses, I don't want to see them. Ever.

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