Hey Everyone! I want to introduce a new writer for LittleNeko.com,.. Mr. ChinkyD! He is a fellow geek himself, enjoying gaming, computer technology, sci-fi & conventions. Even a little costuming from time to time. 😉 I decided that more, excellent content could definitely not hurt the site and ChinkyD has great thoughts and incite on the topics we like to chat about. So without further ado, here is his first Post! Enjoy and feel free to leave your comments here on the website or on our Facebook page! Enjoy. -Little Neko
It’s the most important time of year for anyone that owns an Xbox 360, PS3, PC…and YES, EVEN A WII!
Blow the dust off the box you use to play Mario games and show off bowling to your non-gaming relatives. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword hit stores on Sunday, November 20th. To celebrate the release and the 25th anniversary of the franchise, Nintendo offered a pretty amazing pre-order limited edition that included the game, a CD of the music, and a special gold Wiimote with built-in Wii Motion Plus. Cool, right?
Nintendo special editions pre-orders always sell out, but fortunately I was able to order a copy online to be picked up at a Best Buy in Nashville. It was about an hour drive, but totally worth it (in my mind). My local Best Buy wasn’t offering this edition, but I still felt fortunate to snag a copy somewhere semi-local.
So a week later the day arrives and I fight the Bellevue area Sunday traffic on my way to the prize. Pre-Black Friday mobs have already started gathering at your soccer mom-friendly stores like Target. But finally I pulled in and walked up to the pick-up counter. First thing I notice is that there are 5 cashiers gathered around the register, conversing and not helping anyone. Resilient enough economy to hire too many people, perhaps?
Anyway, the first cashier gets my info, my credit card, and my ID and slides open the doors or their online pick-up area. It’s a friggin’ mess, basically 8 to 10 wire racks with random electronics. It looks like an episode of Hoarders if they were at the CEO of Best Buy’s house. She goes through shelves 1-5, then 6-10…not too nervous…yet. She looks confused, but then she pulls out a game! Hey, that looks like Link! Here she comes, hells yeah!
Wait. That’s a normal-sized box. Yep, it’s the regular edition. The “20 dollars cheaper non-special edition”.
Politely, I ask if that’s the special edition with the extra controller, etc. She realizes her mistake, then she makes “the walk”. I’ve worked in retail, and “the walk” is the trip the low level cashier takes to find a manager. A few minutes later she is timidly following a twenty-something guy with a goatee, and at this point I notice a slight crowd has gathered around. There are two additional cashiers and two additional customers with printed sheets of paper. I heard one of the customers saying “I ordered online a looooonnng time ago and I don’t understand how you could screw this up!”
Sure enough, they were all there for the same thing. They had pre-ordered Zelda and were there to claim their rightful prize. The manager had that half-frustrated, half-apathetic face that most people making 8 dollars an hour get sometimes. The cashier pointed me out, and then the speech came.
“Sir (always a bad sign when this starts a conversation) the way our system works, it allows you to order an item even if we don’t have it and it picked the order at the warehouse and BLAH BLAH BLAH MY MOUTH WILL RUN UNTIL YOU GET BORED…” He then heads off to some magical land, presumably returning again when hell freezes over.
Before I can say anything, the grumpy other customer jumps in with “I ORDERED THIS WAY BACK AND I WANT MY GAME NOW.” The other customer was your quiet gamer that was obviously pissed, but not wanting to rip out the manager’s throat (yet). I talked to him a moment and found out that not only did his pre-order get screwed, but that he had been going all over Nashville trying to find another copy since that morning. Wow…dedication.
The angry gamer talked to me for a few moments about how he wanted his game, but now he wanted it free with some extra money for his trouble. Good luck. Best Buy is notorious for screwing over customers and finding a way to force you out.
So about 20 minutes pass and the three defeated customers finally see the big boss (apparently he’s like the Wizard of Oz and it’s very difficult to get a conference with him). I really didn’t want to see him. I just wanted my game and to get the hell on out. But I get the same speech as before, and after they look up my order a third time, ask for my contact info…
They ask me to come back tomorrow when they will probably have the game in stock. This seems to calm the other two gamers, as they were both local. The quieter one seemed to happy just to find any way to get his special edition. The other still looked pissed, but somewhat defeated and ready to accept anyway to get his Zelda fix. Of course, I have to explain that I live an hour away and I wasn’t ready to drive 2 more hours because of their screw-up. I get the “Me so sorry” speech again and then an awkward silence takes over the Best Buy.
Then I get a look from him that says “Well, that’s all we’re going to do…what are you gonna do about it?” I’ll keep it PG, saying that I asked for my money back and requested that they give up on ever being a successful chain again.
“Wait. If you wanted this game so badly, why did I give up on it now?”
It’s because I had an ace in the hole. While BB was fumbling my pre-order and further crapping on their reputation, I was calling Gamestop stores in my hometown. Sure enough, a shop in my local mall had 3 copies! But they wouldn’t hold them and they were going fast. I made a quick call to a friend who just so happened to be heading to the mall for some early Xmas shopping. So a hero stepped in and saved the princess (OK, a little melodramatic there…) I get my money back from the fail whale known as Best Buy and make my way the hell out.
Oh, I forgot to mention that the manager gave me a $10 gift card for my trouble. Thanks jackass, that covers a little over half of my fuel costs and NONE of my time wasted costs! I think maybe we’ll just have a LittleNeko.com giveaway at some point for this card, because I really don’t want to shop there again.
Best Buy totally FUBAR’ed this pre-order and felt little obligation to make it right. As a customer, I felt like a thrown out piece of garbage. I made the choice to trust them with this purchase and they jacked up every piece of the puzzle. Obviously I’m making a point to never purchase a video game there again. Likely this will bleed over to all of my electronics purchases as well. Amazon, NewEgg, and a slew of other (better) retailers sell the products I want at a cheaper price with better customer service.
Of course they are all online, but I will actually give credit where it’s due to Gamestop. They had the special edition of the game, even after fulfilling all their pre-orders. Pretty remarkable. The next time they ask me if I want to pre-order “SUPER SECRET EDITION GEARS OF HALO FIGHTER VS. 3”, I might just try them.
But seriously people, if you love games, don’t shop at Best Buy. I’ve read so many horror stories, and yet I jumped right into the cesspool. I won’t be making that mistake again.