Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Defining Poor Customer Service: Issues with EB Games/ Gamestop

Now, we've all come across bad customer service in our days. Be it at a restaurant, a store, or even in passing, we see a service agent or sales associate who just couldn't care less about their job and are more concerned about their 10 bucks an hour rather than the job itself. given the bulk of these jobs are occupied by folks 18-27 who are going through school or just earning a living, it's something that most people have come to expect.

I do not want to shoot down every person in a job like this. In many instances, dealing with the public can be a trying exercise at best. For every guy or girl who is polite and says thank you, there are a dozen dickheads who think they are entitled and in turn take it out on young staffers when not given their way. I do my best each and every time I am provided good customer service that I at the very least say "thank you". Maybe they appreciate it, maybe they don't. But in the very least they get some sort of minimal gratification for their daily duty. (I do get weird looks when I say thank you to a checkout girl or guy, but who cares. They did their job checking me through fast and were pleasant, why not?)

Anyway, I received a call from my local EB Games this past weekend. Apparently, my copy of Dragon Age 2 had been damaged in shipping and they wanted to let me know and I could come down and check it out so I could not worry about any issues that may arise from it. "Great" I said. Andrew, the assistant manager of the store thought enough of me and my patronage that he gave me a pleasant call to let me know there was an issue wanted to make sure I was aware of it so if I had a problem with it, it could be taken care of. This, people, is what good customer service is all about.

I would say in the last 2 years I spent literally thousands of dollars in that store from purchasing, and generated thousands upon thousands more from trading and taking advantage of their trade specials. I would define this as a regular customer and a good customer. I won't be so bold as to say I'm their best customer, but to my own fault I think I spend more time in that store than most of their staff. :S (scheduling thing with my wife, it just works out that way). Anyway, when I get to the store to check on the product, the manager Sarah says "I can't show you that, I'm not allowed."




First off, the major wrong thing here is that the store called ME and said I could check this out. Secondly, you can't shit a shitter. This was the biggest bullshit line ANYONE in retail has ever pulled on me. I've worked in gaming retail for 8+ years, and been a major buyer for that plus 5 more years, so I know the rules of what one can and cannot do. SERIOUSLY. Thirdly, and most importantly, referencing the previous paragraph, I was a regular, GOOD customer who had a concern and wanted it dealt with. It wasn't even asking for a favor, it was a valid concern that someone in their store had brought up to me and suddenly they cannot help me?




I stayed calm and didn't yell. No matter what the issue is, nobody deserves being yelled at. It's common courtesy. So, I took my only course of action and found a valid way of dealing with this.

"You can't show me, but... you can refund the purchase, yes?"

I said this with the straightest face possible to show I was serious. The manager was immediately on her heels and said:

"but, you have the special edition pre-ordered".

I responded "well, someone else will be able to get it then. I'll just go pick it up somewhere else. No worries." She tickered away on her computer for a second and then looked up and said "Chris, you know I love you, but I just can't do it when someone else is in the store."

Issue number two. Lying sucks. This was bigger bullshit than the first wad.

So she pulled out the game and showed me the issue and it took all of 2 minutes. Seriously people, that's all it took. The whole ordeal lasted 15 minutes.

Now, if I had been asking a favor, or for privileged information, she'd have every right to say "Chris, I'm just not allowed to do this." But this is information that someone in their own store had said "Come down and see this". I'd even have understood it if they were actually busy and couldn't do this because servicing other consumers and making money would take precedence. But, the manager and the staffer were standing behind the counter chatting about something non work related. They can get out of their own ways to serve a customer, especially a good, regular customer.

There are literally more than a dozen places in St. John's where I can purchase games. I always brought my business there for new releases, for the most part. From now one, someone else will get the business. Poor customer service with NO EXCUSE is unacceptable.



  1. Glad I stumbled upon this post man, and I couldn't agree with you more. I've avoided EB Games for years now because of poor customer service and their return policy. I purchased a game for my cousin a few years back and realized the next day that it wasn't the right one. I was not allowed to return or exchange it because I took the plastic transparent sticker off the side that seals it shut. Keep in mind, this was a brand new purchase, not used. I've since been buying my games on Amazon and the like, and haven't had any complaints about that.

  2. In the time since that was posted, the manager has been removed from her position and there has been almost a complete turnover in staff. It's far more pleasant to shop there these days, for what little I do now.