I know the popular stereotype that GameStop is the root of all evil video game retailers, but as evidenced by my tale, other stores are just as capable of getting customer service wrong.
Yesterday, I was excited to make the short drive to my local Best Buy and pick up my preorder of the new version of Smash Bros. for the Wii U. I made it there about 30 minutes after they opened, at around 10:30 am EST. As I was walking towards the store, I noticed a big line of metal barricades to the right of the entrance. Did they have a midnight launch? I didn't see anything about any sort of event on their website, or in any ads. (I was working til midnight the previous night, so if they did have something, I would've been too late anyway.)
When I stepped inside, I walked toward the tiny in-store pickup corner to the right of the front door, where I got the 3DS version back in October. I had to wait several minutes behind a customer. Technically, she was in the "Customer Service" section of the desk. Behind that was the In-Store Pickup section, and at that section was a heavy-set man with glasses, busy handling phone calls and completely oblivious to any people around him. When the customer finished and walked away, I talked with the female employee at the Customer Service section and said I had a preorder for Smash. She told me they were taking preorders at the games section. I went to the games section in the back of the store, and didn't see any employees around. I looked at the new amiibos display while I was there (they all looked pretty good, especially Samus! No Wii Fit Trainer though; I don't think they had Marth either).
I walked back to the woman and asked where to go. The second time (I don't remember exactly what she said), she said something about the Home Theater section. I walked to the Home Theater section and didn't see anyone. I looked pretty much everywhere, even the Appliance section in the very back, and every section either had no employees at all, or people occupied with something else. I then went to a guy behind a desk in the TV section who was helping some customers. I showed him my receipt, and he told me to go to the pickup section. I was like, "Really??!!"
I just happened to walk by 2 employees who were talking about their Smash and Pokemon supply and preorders. I told one of them I had a preorder for Smash, and he directed me to another guy, who took me to a tiny cramped register in the middle of the store. He asked me if I had my receipt; I said yes and gave it to him. He starts typing things on the computer, and he asks another employee to grab him a copy. They ask me if I'm getting the controller bundle or the game, and I said "Just the normal game." The other guy unlocks a cage with several copies of the game, controller bundles, and I believe Wii U bundles (not with Smash but with Super Mario 3D World), and tosses it to the register person. Now, this was a pretty long toss. Probably about 4 or 5 feet at least. The guy caught it, thank goodness.
While this employee was entering things into the computer, he kept asking for my receipt, and I had to keep saying he had it (In my head, I thought, "It's right there, you moron!"). Then, he was confused about the 2 copies on the receipt from when I preordered both the 3DS and Wii U versions back in June. He kept asking me if I was getting the 3DS version. And I had to keep saying, "No, I'm just getting the Wii U version. I already have the 3DS version."
Finally, everything's all set up. I confirmed my information on file for my Rewards account, under my mom's name.
And then...a miracle occurred! He asked if I wanted to use some rewards certificates; turns out I had $15 in rewards certificates. I said "Sure." I ended up only paying around $48 for Smash. After I paid, he bagged up my game and my receipt, and told me to have a good day, "buddy."
I let it end there, but I was supposed to get a second collectible Smash coin for my preorder (I got my first coin for preordering the 3DS version, and you can see my pics of the game and coin here).
I didn't ask because after the long ordeal I endured, I just wanted to get out there and go home to play my game (I actually went next door to Toys R Us for their 3 for $30 amiibo sale, but left empty handed because they didn't have the Wii Fit Trainer or Marth). Also, I assumed that the register person would have no idea about any special coin, and think I was insane.
The odd thing about this is that my pickup of the 3DS version when it launched went so quickly and smoothly! No complications, I got my coin, and I was out in less than 5 minutes! While this was a case of bad customer service, it could've been a lot worse. At least I got my game. I saw one TAYer say that their Best Buy store sold out of all their copies, even though he preordered. So, I'll leave you with one bit of advice: if you feel like you must preorder a game, be careful. And if a store has a special offer, be sure to ask them about it, and make sure you get everything you are promised.
Or you'll be complaining about it all over the World Wide Web. And you'll be known as "That Angry Guy/Girl That Got Burned on a Preorder"! Or not!