The rules and policies of GameStop are set in stone, as long as you can’t operate a telephone.
Anyone hoping for thrilling adventure working at GameStop is in for some disappointment, unless you count the minor danger of burning yourself on the shrink-wrap machine. But anyone hoping to gain a good foundation as a mental health professional might just be in luck. In Issue 275, Scott Jones talks about GameStop worker “Ben” and the incredible frustration involved in pretending a crazy person is right, just because he or she is spending money.
One afternoon a woman in her 40s – let’s call her “Soccer Mom” – came into the store to buy Call of Duty: Modern Warfare for her brood. Not the most kid-friendly choice, of course. But Soccer Mom’s problem wasn’t whether or not the game was appropriate for her kids. Her problem was that she wasn’t sure her kids would actually like the game.
I recommended that she play it safe and buy the used version of the game, not the new version. “You can always return a used game to GameStop within seven days for any reason, even if you simply don’t like the game,” I explained … Soccer Mom, to my surprise, frowned at me and said, “I don’t buy my children used games.” Fine. I rang her up, and bagged the brand new copy of COD: Modern Warfare for her.
Not more than an hour later – I honestly could not believe my eyes – her mini-van pulled up out front. She came back into the store.
Soccer Mom: “My kids didn’t like this game at all and I’d like to return it.” She placed her copy of Modern Warfare, now without shrink wrap, down on the counter.
Me: “You want to return the game?”
Soccer Mom [visibly agitated]: “Yes, I want my money back.”
Me: “But I explained to you a little over an hour ago that once you open a new game, you can’t simply return it. I offered you a used copy of the game that you could have returned. But you refused it. I can’t give you your money back.”
Soccer Mom [loudly, so everyone in the store could hear her]: “Ugh! I spend HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS here. I’M NEVER SHOPPING HERE AGAIN.”
Soccer Mom was able to secure a full refund with just a few phone calls, despite the store’s policy of not offering refunds for not liking a game. You can read the whole story, and other tales of bone-chilling banality and irritation, in the third part of “Confessions of a GameStop Employee.”