A Letter to Gamerush

December 6, 2004

I have mentioned my troubles before with Gamerush and how Philip took care of things. The store at Babcock and Prue has decided they too want to suck. I have since decided to complain to Blockbuster/Gamerush’s Corporate office. I have sent this via their online Customer Service and I will also be mailing a hardcopy directly to their HQ. Enjoy.

[quote]Dear Gamerush Management,

I am writing this letter to you today not as the owner of a video game Web site but as a gamer and a customer of your Gamerush stores. You see, being a growing Web site, we are not always privy to free and early copies of the games we review. Sometimes we are forced to purchase them with our own money. As an avid shopper of a single EB Games in San Antonio, some of the deals and special promotions you have set up were far too good to pass up. I have since purchased quite a few games from Gamerush, most of them have been paid in full preorders.

My troubles began with the release of [i]Jak 3[/i] last month. In the video game industry, there are two key dates to be familiar with: the ship date and the release date. Your company seems to disregard both. The ship date is when the game is mailed out to retailers; the release date is when it is available in retail stores for purchase. [i]Jak 3[/i]’s release date was the 9th of November 2004, so it would be a safe assumption that the hundreds of Gamerush stores across the country would have it available on November 10th. Well, I strolled into the Gamerush store that I shop at and walked up to the counter. There were three Blockbuster employees doing various things, and only two other people in the store who had just been helped. I told the clerk that I have preordered [i]Jak 3[/i] and gave him my ID. He inputted something in the computer and then told me, “Well, the games haven’t really been finalized in the system. You should try back tomorrow.” As I gazed behind the counter at the stacks of unpacked boxes of games, I responded with, “But you guys have the games, right?” The clerk then assured me of two things: they did have the games, but I still would not be leaving with my copy of [i]Jak 3[/i]. The manager of that Gamerush is a reader of my Web site, and after detailing my adventures on the [url=http://www.snackbar-games.com/news/1136]front page[/url], he apologized profusely. I returned on November 12th to pick up my game. Again, he apologized for the problem. Problem solved.

I figured it was a one-time incident and thought nothing of it. I even did an [url=http://www.snackbar-games.com/news/1142]update [/url]on our site to let everyone know that the situation had been rectified.

While Christmas shopping on Saturday (December 4th), however, I decided to stop by a different Gamerush from which I had preordered [i]Prince of Persia 2[/i]. This particular game was released on November 30th, and since it was the 4th of December I figured the store would have had ample time to finalize the games in the system. So, I strolled in and once again explained that I have a game on order and handed the clerk my ID. After about five minutes of shuffling around behind the counter, the clerk returned to tell me they haven’t received any copies of [i]Prince of Persia: Warrior Within[/i]. Obviously, I was a little pissed off at this point. I left the store with my son and continued my shopping adventures.

I am not sure what type of business you are running, and since you guys are the “new kids on the block” I have been very lenient in my judgment so far. I realize that not all Blockbuster employees are trained to be Gamerush employees, but I suspect if this kind of apparent lack of customer service and all-around disdain for the customer are to be the norm, then you may as well close up shop because Gamerush won’t be around for long. As a consumer, I expect the employees of a store to show some sort of desire to satisfy me, and while I have seen a few employees show this (Philip at Store #48316 is a good example), the vast majority act like it is a burden to simply do their jobs. On another note, I am not sure who handles the ordering of games on a per store basis, but if I preorder something at your store and pay $40 or $50 up front then I expect that item be available the day it is released. What purpose does Gamerush serve if it takes a week or longer for preordered items to arrive at the store? I would be better off waiting until the release date and going over to Wal-Mart, EB, or the myriad of other places competing for video game sales.

Finally, this letter is being published on the front page of the video game site that I operate. Make no mistakes about it, if you cannot treat your customers properly, you won’t have to worry about it for long because they will be shopping elsewhere.

Chris “Snowcone” Rasco