GameStop.com offers a variety of games for sale punctuated by poor service and shipping.
Mar 5, 2010
|Ease of Ordering:
GameStop.com is the online extension of the large retail video game chain. You can purchase video games of many types through the website and even download a few computer games if you so choose. On the surface, the website looks innocent enough but more is revealed once you start interacting with them for purchases. Please remember, I am discussing the online store not the retail store chain which is still held in high regards by me.
During October 2009, I first heard word that the Nintendo DSi XL was going to be released and made a decision to do whatever I could to get one in my hands. Little did I realize that my dream would become an adventure into the secret world of Nintendo and GameStop customer service. I am proud of what I have learned so far and wanted to share my experiences with GameStop’s website now before you get stuck with their poor service as well.
Interfacing With And Searching For Products On GameStop.com
The overall layout and them of GameStop.com reminds me of the early 2000 children’s game sites. The webpages are loaded down with older ASP.net frames and chunky graphics that do nothing but distract your eyes from one side to the other. I just could not shake the feeling that I was too young to use this website. I wonder how parents feel when shopping online for their children?
Product Listings And New Game Selection
The product listings are on the whole informative with a picture displayed for nearly all items and a brief expanded information provided. I do not like their “We Also Recommend” frame though because it often displays the same product you currently viewing. The search box on the top left of the page does a good job of finding all products that match the word or phrase you type in. While it only searches the title of the product, the results page does offer more descriptions. Once you click on a product, the page will show whether it is available in used or new inventory which can help you save a few pennies. You will find that games released longer than a year ago tend to become available at the online store. So take note of this if you are looking for newly packaged games, you must buy them quickly after release at GameStop.com.
Pre-Owned Game Selection
To bolster my Gameboy Advance games collection, I cruise websites like GameStop.com often. A few months ago they removed the GBA from their list of pre-owned video games. Yet, if you click on Nintendo GBA from their Platforms menu, you will find they have bundled all the used titles there. I find this confusing especially since other video game websites list their new and old titles separately. Even more confusing is the fact that if you visit their retail stores, you will find a large selection of used GBA games to choose from. I think they are missing a huge sector of the used game market by not listing the games found in the retail stores for sale. Even if it is impractical to list them all, we all know they can do a much better job through a little inventory planning.
Reliability Of Product Reviews
Beneath the product listings are the customer reviews of the currently displayed product. You can write a customer review or make a brief post in the discussion forum on any item found in the website. Please note that before you can try any of this for yourself, you must become a registered member of GameStop.com.
The customer reviews are not rated by anyone else so they can vary wildly in quality. The ratings of the games are also often 10 overall with much lower individual functionality scores. My opinion is that this shows a lack of filtering of the reviews submitted and you should be cautious about making a buying decision based on these.
Ordering From GameStop.com
I have made a few purchases from GameStop.com in that past two years. I only buy their used video games though. The games take about five days to arrive, no matter what I do to speed up the process. When they do get to your house, the packaging is usually just a cushioned envelope with the cartridge inside.
Customer Service At GameStop.com
Out of fairness, I wanted to cover my interactions with customer service last. Most online companies have excellent customer representatives that do everything they can to help you. For example, BestBuy.com stands out in the pack for their online chat and instant phone call services.
At this moment in time, I want a Nintendo DSi XL so I can play Disgaea DS without having to double check all the small text. Since there is a GameStop store 1/4 mile from my home, I decided to preorder it from them so I can pick it up on release day. On February 25, 2010 a news wire on Google.com told me that the official North American release date was March 28, 2010. I waited until March 1, 2010 and still found no mention of the gaming console available for preorder on GameStop.com. Amazon.com and BestBuy.com all had the product listed already on their website but I wanted to be faithful. Also, the excitement of picking up a hot new video game console was something I always wanted to be part of. To force the issue with GameStop.com and get them to list the preorder, I sent them an email. As follows are their idiotic responses in descending chronological order, you need to know that they posted the Nintendo DSi XL for preorder on March 2, 2010 early in the morning:
from Gamestop Customer Service helpgamestop.com
to Reuben Gathright rgathrightgmail.com
date Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 3:05 PM
subject Re: When Can We Pre-Order Nintendo DSi XL? (KMM5830307I15977L0KM)
Dear Valued Customer,
Thank you for contacting GameStop.com.
As of now, we believe the official release date for the XL is 03/28/10. Unfortunately, we do not have an expected date available when pre-orders will begin taking place.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to respond to this email.
Customer Service Agent
Mon, Mar 1, 2010 at 8:14 PM Original Message Follows
Explain the attached screenshot then.
I tried searching the website but could not find the Nintendo DSi XL available for preorder.
On Mon, Mar 1, 2010 at 5:30 PM, Gamestop Customer Service helpgamestop.com wrote
Dear Valued Customer,
Thanks for writing to GameStop.com.
You may find the products(s) you are looking for at www.GameStop.com. We want you to learn how easy it is to find all of the information you are looking for on our new website. By viewing our website you will be able to search for your items by entering the product name in the search window on the home page. You can also search by platform (such as Xbox 360, PS3, etc.), price, or age rating. Also, we have added pages for Game Downloads Casual Downloads, and Games Under $20.
Many of our products offer a feature to input your zip code and our site will display information of your local stores' inventory (please contact the store for verification of inventory).
Customer Service Agent
Mon, Mar 1, 2010 at 9:01 AM Original Message Follows
When Can We Pre-Order Nintendo DSi XL?
I hope you understood that they completely ignored my first request because the Nintendo DSI XL was not on their website the day of March 1, 2010. In follow up questions they never once offered me a way to preorder even when it was on their website. Finally, as of publication of this review, I have not received a follow up email from their customer service about the fact that you can now preorder this product.
I think GameStop has a website that on the outside works but they need to realize that the people behind your website are important as well. The high, non competitive used game prices, slow order fulfillment and rude customer service are all factors that I think about when someone mentions GameStop. If your company cannot provide dependable customer service, then your customers are not going to come back. Will this review make GameStop change its ways? No. I just hope it prevents you from ordering anything with their online service in the future. Consider using Amazon.com or BestBuy.com instead for all your video game needs. They offer a new and used games marketplace with competitive pricing. Plus, their websites update with the latest preorder content much faster than GameStop.com does.
After having all these problems with just trying to make a preorder for the Nintendo DSi XL when other websites already allowed it and the resulting lack of trust for Gamestop.com customer service, I decided to make my preorder with BestBuy.com. While my experiences may seem just an unfortunate accident, I am a voracious online consumer who buys more than $5,000 worth of products online every year. I have never had problems like this before and worry about how the other, less experienced, customers at GameStop.com are being treated.
In all I give GameStop.com two thumbs down.
Here are some other online services that I use frequently to make video game purchases:
What product did you purchase or try to purchase? Nintendo DSi XL