So I am finally off the PS3 purchase roller coaster. It was a wild ride, taking me from GameStop to Amazon to GameStop to Circuit City. During this time, I became disappointed with Amazon, but pissed at GameStop. I will no longer be giving them my business.
Now, I am not without blame here. I’ll leave it to you to decide who is more at fault.
As I mentioned in the previous article, I pre-ordered a PS3 MGS4 bundle from GameStop, whose forced headset purchase left a bad taste in my mouth.
The day before it’s supposed to ship, I get an email stating that since the shipping and billing addresses don’t match, so I have to add the shipping address as an alternate on my credit card. I do so immediately and quickly receive an email letting me know that the purchase has been reauthorized. I’m told I’ll be contacted if they need any more info.
The next day, I constantly check to see if it’s shipped. I’d ordered it next day air to get it Friday, not Monday. The status keeps saying “Verifying…”. Finally at 5pm I call them to find out what’s wrong.
Apparently, GameStop gets a lot of fraud. Like a crazy, insane amount, which has led to the policy that shipping and billing addresses must match for products over a certain dollar amount. So after my purchase was reauthorized, it was immediately unauthorized by another person, but nobody bothered to contact me!
I inform the rep that I never saw this policy listed during the purchase process. Furthermore, why didn’t they simply prevent the purchase in the first place? It would have been trivial to add that business rule to their website. I’m simply told that the policy is posted right there, by the price. “So you’re saying I’m being punished for not reading the fine print?” “Sir, it’s right by the price.” I was so pissed off at her “the customer is always wrong” attitude that I canceled the order right there.
Then I started to doubt myself. She was relentless that it was all my fault (regardless of the other mistakes they made). I was in a hurry, maybe I overlooked the obvious. So I went back and here is what I saw:
Ah, there it is, clear as mud! So it isn’t fine print, it’s merely the last bullet in a bunch of boilerplate written in small grey text1. Wait. What’s the definition of fine print?
I think there are several morals to this story:
- When you start to treat all your customers like they’re criminals, it’s time to reevaluate your business.
- Amazon still rules. Many customers got their bundles delivered a day before the street date!
- Don’t forget about midnight sales. I keep thinking I gotta get up at the crack of dawn to get on line, but nowadays even Best Buy has midnight sales. Very nice when you typically go to bed at 2am.
- GameStop sucks donkey balls. Yes, I am a child.
- Even the CSS class is called “prodsmallgrey”. So the web designers knew they were to deemphasize this. [↩]