275: Confessions of a GameStop Employee - Part Three

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I find it somewhat amusing that, in America, the customer is not allowed to barter or haggle for prices in stores, and yet employees are expected to give them whatever they want in order to keep them happy, even if doing so is against the written rules that the employee is supposedly expected to follow. It just goes to show that when the employee handbook fails, nothing teaches like experience, assuming it doesn't get one fired for doing only what one was told to do in the first place.

this crap happens at the Kmart i work at. and since every time the electronics associate has to be called up for all electronics returns to verify that the merchandise is not damaged or missing pieces, and every time me and the customer get in a match of me talking reason and them yelling. however since i have final say (unless they ask for a manager then it depends on the manager)i say the game can't be returned. then the customer says that exact line.
also for a fun example of how a managers say has bitten them in the ass and they stopped letting anyone return open games(for the most part):
customer returned a opened copy of a pc game (forgot which one i) which we later sold to another customer. apparently it didn't have a activation code in it.(who knows if they were lying or not.)
then there was the halo reach legendary edition with the codes in it, but it got returned with both codes used and the statue was dinged up.
i literally could keep this going with stories but i should stop.

CRoone:
I find it somewhat amusing that, in America, the customer is not allowed to barter or haggle for prices in stores, and yet employees are expected to give them whatever they want in order to keep them happy, even if doing so is against the written rules that the employee is supposedly expected to follow. It just goes to show that when the employee handbook fails, nothing teaches like experience, assuming it doesn't get one fired for doing only what one was told to do in the first place.

thats nothing my old store manager used to, to appease the customer give them 20 dollar gift cards if they got mad at our rules.

coldfrog:
Here's a nice "observed" story that I was reminded of reading this. I was shopping in a Gamestop when a little kid comes in, probably 12, with his brother who is even younger, asking for COD4. Naturally (well, I don't know how well most do it, but to me this was an easy choice) he refused. The kid offered his mother's ID and credit card. He told the boy he could not give him the game, he could only give it to someone who is at least 18. The kid says OK. He walks out the door to a minivan parked and idling right in front of the store. He comes back with his mom, who of course left the van there, running, and then begins to berate the employee for making her get out of the car. She tells him to just give him the game, which he says he still can't because of the rating, he can only accept payment and hand the game directly to her. She tells him that he can decide for himself if it's appropriate or not, but it takes a few more minutes of her being pissed off before she just grabs the credit card to buy the game like she's been greatly inconvenienced. It was utterly ridiculous, and of course, the worst part is that the kids were both just standing there the whole time watching this ridiculous display. I rather feel sorry for those kids, though I felt the one at least handled it rather better than his mother did. Hopefully he'll grow up smarter.

this has happened to me at Kmart and i almost got written up for it, if the electronics lead wasn't there to back up the esrbs rules i would've been for angrying the customer

JeanLuc761:

GeneticallyModifiedDucks:
It's like people are deaf... I can only imagine what working for a store like that must be like.

It's often very frustrating, but I don't think any more so than any other retail job. The general public has an almost astounding lack of respect for retail employees (or so it seems). You just find ways to cope.

agreed i pretend the angry ones are boss fights and you have to choose the right words to slay the beast.
also the weirdest complaint i got from a customer was when i didn't smile when i say thank you for shopping at kmart

Mechsoap:
i must say it was the mom's own fault, she overreacted and blamed others instead of her self.

some people never learn to listen
ps: she ''doesn't buy used games for her kids''?! wtf is wrong with people, its not like someone put hardcore porn on the disc after it was used

first thats the funniest damn thing i read all day and second
http://www.gamespot.com/xbox360/sports/madden07/news.html?sid=6163689
it can happen i suppose, but this game was new.

I work in retail so I've seen my fair share of refunds and price adjustments happen that really shouldn't just because of a customer was getting all crazy and making something small like policy seem like some kind of crime against humanity.

Actually, you CAN get a full refund for simply not liking a game, but you have to have bought it used and returned it within a week.

Wait, what?

HEY YOU! PIZZA DELIVERY BOY! I DON'T LIKE ANCHOVIES!! I WANT MY MONEY BACK AFTER I TAKE A BITE!!!

OM NOM NOM NOM!!

WHEREF MAH TFENTY DOLLURS!!! NOM NOM NOM

This almost exactly happened to me before. I answered the phone at my work place, Blockbuster, and it was 15 minutes after closing, we'll sometimes answer the phones to be nice. I answered and she said she needed to know when her game was due. I told her politely that our computers are down (they really were, I wasn't lying at all) and there was nothing I could do. She insisted that she needs to know, and again, I said that we've been closed and our computers down since 10pm, when we've been closing for years. I told her that if she called or came in the following day, we open at 10, and we'd be able to help her then, but unfortunately there is NOTHING I can do, I'm sorry.

She comes in the next day (I was working again) and my co-worker whom I closed w/ the previous evening helped her with her problem. As she left, she said the person she talked to on the phone was very rude and unhelpful (me). I was quite upset at hearing this. People will get upset if you don't do what THEY want you to do.

It's a shame, because anyone who puts the time into calling the DMs or whatever can cheat us out of money and will tell us we were wrong for doing our jobs the way we're supposed to. I understand times are hard, but if we keep bowing down to calls from people who don't want to believe what we tell them the policy is, as if we're attack them, it's crap.

I was working at a different store for inventory, and the employees there told me that a customer returned movies that day, they saw him put them in, and then when he checked out, they told them that they were late, did he want to pay the fee now and they'd check it in. He apparently got very upset, saying that they had hidden the movies and he had returned them days ago on time, and said that he was going to make sure that the store was closed and all the "drug addicts" in the store would get tested for their drugs and the store taken down. Oh, and they said he threatened to "go to netflix/redbox", but not until he'd gotten them taken down, until then he'd continue renting there.

I don't understand people, they're just fucking crazy as shit, and impossible to deal with :P

Brandchan:
Then she gives me her unsigned credit card. This is where shit gets bad.

could be worse try a giftcard then it really gets bad....

Brandchan:
I ask to see her ID, she refuses. Her friend comes in and she starts to tell her friend that I'm being nasty and rude. In fact up to this point I had very nice and cheerful with her. I tell her I still can't accept her credit card without ID. She picks up the copy of Windows and wings it at me. This she and her friend get nasty with me. I pick up the phone and she was like what are you doing? I was like calling Mall Security. Then she ask why, because she did nothing wrong! I told her not matter what I don't deserve to have something thrown at me. Mall Security came and had her kicked out of the mall. She was fuming and incensed over the whole thing. The mall cop said mostly like she was trying to commit credit card fraud and that I did the right thing, but seriously WTF?

i have had far worse to the point of them taking the game (or games) off the counter and
bolting out the Kmart only to have security get the license plate number. or my favorite, hit me with a F-ing shoebox with batteries in it (d-4 packs, 5 of them also had the shoes in it, thank god it hit me in the chest instead of my head)and repeated the for mentioned tactic only to be arrested later for assault and theft.

CheckD3:
This almost exactly happened to me before. I answered the phone at my work place, Blockbuster, and it was 15 minutes after closing, we'll sometimes answer the phones to be nice.

Which is why we stopped being nice where I work. We also don't answer before we open, which is funny because our weekend hours are shorter. When the clock hits our weekday opening time, the phone starts ringing. One day the guy stayed on the full half hour until our weekend opening time. WTF?

As it is, our manager takes most calls that come in just before closing because if we get stuck on the phone he's got to wait for us to finish before leaving, so he decided that instead of both of us being stuck and him just waiting, he might as well just be the one to stay. None of us care about losing the overtime.

CheckD3:
I don't understand people, they're just fucking crazy as shit, and impossible to deal with :P

Goodness, yes. One guy threatened to punch a clerk here for refusing to do a return on something outside of warranty. We shoulda called the cops on him. Instead, the manager got nervous and gave the guy what he wanted.

Angerwing:
This means I don't have to bend over backwards for customers, as all our employees are treated as people by the bosses and management.

whats that like?

mrx19869:
sorry this guy this an idiot, keeping customers happy overrides store and company policy almost all the time. Especially in a place where you can shrink wrap a product to make it like new. Or sell it at used price of 55$ cause ive seen brand new games at a used price of that..

But basically my point is... the customer is always right especially in retail. and game-stop employees are usually retarded. (my prof is in the article)

ehemm
no they are not. please tell me have you ever worked in retail?
and what prof of the employees sub average intelligence?

If you're working in retail and you don't have a long-term goal, no matter what it is, you're probably either nursing an alcohol problem or contemplating suicide. Or both.

Ugh... True this.

I've been working in a Grocery Store for 2 Years. You generally start out with an upbeat, positive attitude. In eight months, you learn to resent the job. In a year, you want to kill yourself.

I've been doing that plus a year.

I had to demand they slash back my hours because I simply couldn't cope with how soul destroying the job is. Even on good days... Anyway i'm not drinking yet, but seeing as how I hate my job, only work 3-4 hour shifts a day, and yet can still barely cope with it, I expect shame guilt and frustration will lead me to that in time.

My one light is the chance to go back to college.

...I need to start drinking.

Brandchan:

I worked two years at an EB (when it was still EB) and man the crazy crap that would happen. I remember once a woman wanted to buy a copy of Windows XP (why we ever had it to me was questionable, it was also the first release that was the office version). I had mention that this version was more for office use then home use to her but she still wanted it. I got the guts out of the back and put in the box and she was upset she was getting the box of the shelf. I told her we have and have had only one copy and this is it. Then she gives me her unsigned credit card. This is where shit gets bad. I ask to see her ID, she refuses. Her friend comes in and she starts to tell her friend that I'm being nasty and rude. In fact up to this point I had very nice and cheerful with her. I tell her I still can't accept her credit card without ID. She picks up the copy of Windows and wings it at me.

Had to take a card away from a customer once. Oh.My.God. They went totally mental. I had to calmly explain to them that the card was in fact bank property and not their property, and the bank had asked me to keep the card and destroy it. That was not a fun convo.

My manager didn't let a girl return some clothes which had clearly been worn and her boyfriend came in later and threatened to stab him. After security threw him out, he waited outside the shop for 3hrs before leaving, obviously his junkie ass needed a fix.

I've worked in retail for 11yrs and seen almost everything. Worked places were the customers were nice but the staff were shit, the customers were shit but the staff nice and everything in between. Typically I kill people with kindness but every now and again you have to tell a customer they are rude, especially if you've been nothing but nice and they give you abuse.

I couldn't deal with people like that. I would have just told them to get out the shop as they are obviously far to stupid to be able to use money or have any responsibility. I honestly think that's how stores should work. Get rid of the idiots.

All I can say is welcome to customer service. While this example with the soccer mom, might seem like a crazy tiny portion of the customer base, she actually not that rare of a event. I've worked in a few coffee shops myself, and believe it or not, this is hardly a bitchy customer. You would think that people have common sense I mean its just a game right?(or a cup of coffee in my case) I've been verbally assaulted by irate customers for simple things like waiting in line, having to pay tax on a product, or my favorite being late for work, and the list goes on(yes apparently these are all my fault).

Nothing makes you loose faith in humanity faster than working in the service industry. After a full shift working with these people I usually needed two hours at the gym just to mellow myself out, god help these people if I ever seem them on the street.

Also, can anyone explain to me why creatures that are ostensibly supposed to be adults can't clean up after themselves? I'm picking up peoples garbage all fucking day...

dream_nexus:
All I can say is welcome to customer service...
Nothing makes you loose faith in humanity faster than working in the service industry. After a full shift working with these people I usually needed two hours at the gym just to mellow myself out, god help these people if I ever seem them on the street.

I have nothing more to add, apart from that there are a few nice customers as well.

Most are unappreciative, over-entitled scumsucking whores that you are paid to soak up abuse from. And who can have you fired within an instant.

On a side not, I abhor this kinda of customer behavior. It feeds into the Bill O'Rielly sense of logic, where being the loudest and angriest person in the rooms makes your point correct. No it doesn't, it just makes you the loudest asshole in the room.

So I guess the smart thing to do would've been to buy it used, then if the kids like it, return it, then come back the next day and buy it new.

Typical Retail tedium.

Honestly, I can understand someone wanting a full refund on a new game they just bought an hour ago, regardless of the fact they tore off the shrinkwrap that may not even be factory. Do you think they would have even had time to play it in that time?

But at the same time, the grunts at the counter don't always have the authority to break company policy for C/S reasons.

Straying Bullet:
Costumer is always king right? No fuck you. This woman had a specific warning that she couldn't get a refund in a new game. If they cannot be reasonable, you stop being as well and kick them out of the store. It cost me a job once because I followed protocol and I don't regret it at all. People need to read and listen on the things that they are going to buy.

Rant over.

*High Fives*

More on Topic: *checks remaining faith in humanity*
Can I have it in the negative percentage?

This kind of behavior isn't even limited to retail. Any job that has you dealing with strangers is going to have its moments. I have to work parking lots at my college on football Saturdays to make sure people don't park in reserved lots without a pass, and you wouldn't believe how some people react when I tell them that they need a pass to park in the lot clearly marked "RESERVED. SPECIAL EVENT PASS NEEDED." I'm sorely tempted to let one of them park just so I can make them hump all the way across campus after their car gets towed.

It doesn't even get better in the military. A friend of mine is an MP at Fort Polk in Louisiana. One of the powers of the base commander is to totally lock down the base, meaning the President could be at the gate and the MPs have to keep him from entering until the commander lifts the lockdown. Yet I get stories of mid-level officers literally trying to drive right past guards armed with assault rifles. It rarely ends well. Unfortunately, most civilian employees don't carry automatic weapons, so they don't get that kind of catharsis.

Gamegodtre:

CRoone:
I find it somewhat amusing that, in America, the customer is not allowed to barter or haggle for prices in stores, and yet employees are expected to give them whatever they want in order to keep them happy, even if doing so is against the written rules that the employee is supposedly expected to follow. It just goes to show that when the employee handbook fails, nothing teaches like experience, assuming it doesn't get one fired for doing only what one was told to do in the first place.

thats nothing my old store manager used to, to appease the customer give them 20 dollar gift cards if they got mad at our rules.

Aye...that brings back memories. That was actually standard policy at the last place I worked. I never asked much about it at the time, but I remember having a hard time understanding how it fit into the other store rules I'd been taught about. That was a couple of years ago, though, so I've learned a bit since then.

Worked as a waiter before, not the same but you have to put up with same sort of bitchiness. You have no idea how much control it takes to not punch someone in the face.

Seriously, all you have to do to get your way in Gamestop is to threaten to call the district manager. Bam, problem solved.

Gamegodtre:

mrx19869:
sorry this guy this an idiot, keeping customers happy overrides store and company policy almost all the time. Especially in a place where you can shrink wrap a product to make it like new. Or sell it at used price of 55$ cause ive seen brand new games at a used price of that..

But basically my point is... the customer is always right especially in retail. and game-stop employees are usually retarded. (my prof is in the article)

ehemm
no they are not. please tell me have you ever worked in retail?
and what prof of the employees sub average intelligence?

yes, I have worked in retail. I was employed at a popular teen and young adult clothing shop, as well as a major electronic corp. My experience at retail is about 5 years worth. This does not include my jobs in restaurants which is also customer based and the same principal of keeping a customer happy overrides corporate policy.

My prof, that some employees at gamestop are retarded comes from overhearing a employee tell a mom that a PS3 back in 2007ish told her that she did not need to buy an HDMI cable, and that it came with the box. When I told her that the employee was wrong he got angry at me he told me that I didnt know what I was talking about.

A 2nd incident happened when I went to buy a used copy of Dragon Age Origins. I asked to see the copy of the disc, and to my amazement the disc had two huge and deep scratches in the disc. I told him I didn't want that one and to check to see if he had another. He told me that this game had been tested and that it loads. I told him that it may as well as load up but can you tell me that I will be able to play through the entire game without it crapping out one me. He shrugged his shoulders and said iduno but what does it matter I was buying a used game anyway. Needless to say I did not buy the game, and walked out of the store.

These two occurrences happened at separate stores in different parts of the state of Florida.

I would also like to add that a couple of times a gamestop employee has criticized me on the game that I was purchasing and said "ohh thats a stupid game". After a lengthly discussion it was revealed that he just couldn't get a certain level..

So there is my prof, maybe not all gamestop employees are restarted but my experience tell me that they are. Maybe you are a good one, but alas I have not meet you.

SenseOfTumour:
I could join the posting of idiot customer stories, but I think I'll save some times and just post a link to the motherlode of dumb customer stories.

Just feel some solace in knowing so many of us also know the customer is:

www.notalwaysright.com

You sir, have given me a whole month of reading material. Bravo.

On this series, I can't wait for part 4. This is too hilarious.

These kinds of stories are not just limited to retail. I worked a lot at Pizza Hut, and people are just as bad there.

Those of us who have served in the trenches of jobs dealing with the general public, I give you the best website ever:

http://www.notalwaysright.com

I showed it to a friend who (having not worked with the general public) was certain these were mostly fake. He was astounded when I said they were, by and large, true stories.

I have too many stories like this. Gamestop was a great job because I had great coworkers. Without them, that job would've sucked.

Formica Archonis:

CheckD3:
This almost exactly happened to me before. I answered the phone at my work place, Blockbuster, and it was 15 minutes after closing, we'll sometimes answer the phones to be nice.

Which is why we stopped being nice where I work. We also don't answer before we open, which is funny because our weekend hours are shorter. When the clock hits our weekday opening time, the phone starts ringing. One day the guy stayed on the full half hour until our weekend opening time. WTF?

As it is, our manager takes most calls that come in just before closing because if we get stuck on the phone he's got to wait for us to finish before leaving, so he decided that instead of both of us being stuck and him just waiting, he might as well just be the one to stay. None of us care about losing the overtime.

I haven't answered the phones afterward unless I start with Hello or we're closed...but that's only if people don't stop calling over and over...but since then I've stopped being so nice over the phone w/ closing answers

Gamegodtre:

Mechsoap:
i must say it was the mom's own fault, she overreacted and blamed others instead of her self.

some people never learn to listen
ps: she ''doesn't buy used games for her kids''?! wtf is wrong with people, its not like someone put hardcore porn on the disc after it was used

first thats the funniest damn thing i read all day and second
http://www.gamespot.com/xbox360/sports/madden07/news.html?sid=6163689
it can happen i suppose, but this game was new.

Now that made my post seem ironic.
And the on disc thing? funniest thing i have readt today XD

I work as a mid-level manager for a large corporation that ships packages. I understand your last comment about getting thrown under the bus only too well. In our world, that is, the world that I work in and spend the majority of my time, the customer is not only always right, the customer is beyond any kind of reproach. God help the manager at my level that draws flak from a customer. In our world we at least have the benefit of not having to necessarily deal with customers face-to-face very often. What you are describing in this article is a "symptom" of the corporate world. Gamestop must have a similar managerial culture to mine. Most big companies subscribe to similar kinds of "plausible deniability" in situations like the one you were describing with "soccer mom". In other words, to be successful in most corporate positions you have to become comfortable with the fact that you WILL be thrown under the bus. To be successful in a lot of corporate positions how smart you are and how hard you work takes a back seat to whether or not you can "play ball" the way the company wants you to. Everyone, go to college. Get educated some way. If not college, then some other form of higher education. If not school, learn a good trade or go to art school or something. The corporate world really, truly, sucks major balls.

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