Reader Mail: No fun at GameStop
Today, you get the pleasure of reading a letter that a regular video game customer sent to GameStop about an annoying experience he had at the Hoboken store this past week.
One might tend to expect this kind of service at a store where mostly low-paid kids are working, but this recent experience was the last straw for this reader:
Game Over for GameStop
I’d like to take an opportunity to explain to you in detail my experience today at your Hoboken, NJ (Washington St, between 4th and 5th street) Gamestop Store location. I have been frequenting your store for over 2 years now and have bought several items there including games and accessories. I recently spent over a hundred dollars on Mario Kart Wii and 3 steering wheel accessories (obviously I am not a run of the mill gamer or a buy one game a year gamer”).
What I’m going to describe to you has happened on two separate occasions that I can recount (perhaps the details aren’t completely the same but they were certainly comparable). I never decided to take it to this level as I just simply chalked it up to one (or two) bad experiences. What I witnessed today just brought me over the edge. I walked out of your store over an hour ago and still can’t stop thinking about it.
I walked into the store to find a handful of customers browsing the shelves and 4 (FOUR) people behind the counter:
- Associate A
- Associate B
- “Supervisor” (at least it seemed that way)
- Girl (whom could not have been over 14-15 years old)
Associate A was helping a customer at the right most cashier “bank”. This store is equipped with three different cashier banks (left, center, and right). However, only the right cashier bank is actually in operation. The other two cashier banks are either filled with game boxes, magazines, or a load of other things that should be nowhere close to a register. It simply screams “Please do not come here as we actually want one single person to help you no matter how long you have to wait”. Seeing this and feeling like “well they got me”, I simply got behind the customer in-line and patiently waited. As I waited I had the distinct “pleasure” of observing this:”
See what he observed… After the jump…
(Gamestop issues, continued…)
On the back counter of the register (CLEARLY visible to any customer’s eyes) were two large Subway sandwiches .. mind you they looked delicious, but seeing that they sat 6 inches away from $40-$60 games and $250-$600 video game systems, I figured there must be a better place to put these wonderful lunches. As this ran through my head, Associate B took a nice large bite from his sandwich .. again it looked delicious but I kept thinking “isn’t there a backroom/breakroom/stockroom where he should be eating this”? I met his eyes as I gave him the “I’m pretty hungry myself” look. He looked at me and went straight back to his sandwich. No “Hello Sir”, or “Sorry about the sandwich, what can I help you with?” .. nope, just right back to his delicious lunch. Clearly, he was extremely preoccupied with his food to even care what I was doing in the store (or that I was a hard spending previous customer of 2 years). I’ve actually had the chance to be helped by Associate B during a previous visit and found him pleasant. Obviously I didn’t make the same impression on him as the current hoagie he was consuming seemed to require his undivided attention.
My next observation was with the “Supervisor”. I can only imagine that she was the supervisor, or some person of leadership, as the associates were circling around her like a flock of geese around Mother Goose. She did not see me immediately as she was digging for something underneath the counter. I was rather curious what she was doing down there as there was all kinds of commotion happening (naturally sparking up my interest). She rose up and immediately met my eyes. I thought to myself, “Yes! She noticed me .. perhaps now someone can help me”. Instead of a helping hand, she gave me the biggest look of contempt that I have ever received. You know that look that people give someone on the subway that’s either talking way too loud or listening to their iPod way too loud? Or that look you give to the two people standing on the escalator not letting you pass as your 20 minutes late to work? That look of utter and complete disgust. Oh yea .. she bathed me in that and it felt GREAT. She proceed to turn around, bark some orders at the associates, tell them a quick fact about her personal life and then she turned to the 14-15 year old girl.
From the get-go, I figured out that this girl should not be behind the counter. Although it’s unconfirmed, it seemed that this girl was the supervisors daughter. Since I was already having this fantastic experience, I figured “What the heck? Let’s listen to what Miley Cyrus has to say”. I managed to listen for about 1-2 minutes before having to turn around and stare at the wall. Miley proceed to curse roughly 4-5 times using such humble words as f**k and s**t .. now this didn’t bother me one bit. I’m a 26 year old guy that was in a frat for 3 years and have seen my shared of screwed up stuff. I’m not a stiff that can’t take “that kind of language” but it just didn’t seem like the right place (behind a counter at a Gamestop store) to drop the F bomb. Miley proceed to chat about either prom or school letting out or something as she mentioned that the “Seniors already started…” I wish I had the chance to ask what the seniors started .. perhaps they were at the Panera Bread store one block away doing the same thing she was. Or perhaps they were at the local bank dropping F bombs at customers waiting for their own money. Either way, I couldn’t listen to much more of what she was saying because my eyes instantly ran over to Associate A who was helping the gentleman in front of me.
At first the transaction seemed to be going smoothly, nothing out of the ordinary. I’ve never seen this guy before so I thought maybe he’s the smart one of the crew willing to properly help customers. He was ringing up the customer in front of me and all of a sudden asked him to “wait a second”. To my (and the other customer’s) completely disbelief, Associate A went over to Associate B (remember the one eating the awesome Subway sandwich) and took a GIANT bite out of his own sandwich! He came back to the cashier bank with a small piece of the sandwich still in his hand and began helping the customer again. As he started scanning items with his left hand, he finished his bite of sandwich in his right hand. I can see the guys eyes in front of me .. I chuckled inside at the sight of his pain. Things were progressing smoothly again .. until, Mr Star Associate A went back for another bite of sandwich! I can’t believe the customer in front of me didn’t say anything. Had that been me on a bad day I would have asked for a piece of sandwich. If Associate A provided me with said piece I would have chewed it up really nice and spit up on the counter. I would have then proceed to leave the store while running my hands through every game in the store. It’s a good thing I’m a bit more controlled (no pun intended). As the receipt printed out, Associate A grabbed it with his right hand (sandwich hand) and handed it the customer. I could see a GIANT thumb print where Associate A decided to use the oil of his sandwich to personally mark this transaction. This way if the customer in front of me ever comes back, at least we know who can refund him with minimal issues (provided that Gamestop has finger print scanners and finger prints each of their employees).
My turn came next! “Yes!” It’s a shame that my transaction was a bit less involved. I simply needed to know when Wii Fit was coming out. Associate A and B replied (both with mouths full of roast beef, tomatoes, lettuce and whatever the Subway man put on their subs) “May 21st”. They then turned around and start chomping on their food again. This would have a been a good opportunity to sell me on a pre-order .. I pretty much walked into their hands. Of course, neither of them (nor the Supervisor or Miley Cyrus) decided to even ask if I wanted a pre-order – good thing I already have one.
Bottom line, Wii Fit will be the last purchase I will be making at that Gamestop. I live roughly 2 blocks away (a 3 minute walk from my house) from that Gamestop yet the next visit will be my last. I will find another store to go to even if I have to get on the subway and make my way to Manahattan. Perhaps their customer service is better. What’s interesting is that all I had was a simple question that Associate B could have answered and I probably wouldn’t be sitting here reading this email. I know that I’m only one customer and obviously my business means virtually nothing to your corporate company, but I can say that my experience was downright shameful. Please make sure this trickles it’s way down to the manager of the Hoboken store. When he/she decides to implement some obviously needed changes, perhaps he can write back to me and beg for my business. Until that time comes, I’ll simply order games online where I don’t have a feast of food staring me in the face as I spend my hard earned cash on games and accessories.
Thanks for listening and I hope you enjoyed my email as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Best of luck.