Trying to get a refund on a video game...or, My policy differs from yours
I just read a post by Matt Moran that reminded me of a minor success I had over the weekend.
On Friday I bought a new game for my Xbox 360: Blazing Angels.
It's a lousy WWII flying game (that could have been easily improved dramatically). I played it for an hour or two before I stumbled across a bug. I couldn't finish this mission because after sinking 2 of the 3 ships I was ordered to sink, the game threw me into a biplane that circled the city while my wingmen pleaded with me to save the fleet. There was nothing I could do. This stupid plane kept flying circles.
I tried several times to finish the mission different ways, but always the same result.
I jumped on the internet and found that many, many people had the same defect. This is not the kind of bug that happens from a scratch on the disk, it was a bad build that (apparently) got released in some quantity.
The next day, I took the game back to the game store and asked for a refund or a trade for a different game.
The clerk smiled and explained that they could exchange it for another copy of the game, but not a refund or different game, it was against their policy.
I said I didn't want another copy because I had no confidence that I wouldn't have the same problem. He smiled and said I wouldn't have that gaurantee with a different title.
I explained to him that it wasn't a scratch, it was a defective version of the game (IMHO). I then went on a brief tirade explaining manufacturing processes and how items are packaged and shipped and the odds that their lot of this game would have been hand picked from different production runs as opposed to grabbing the next hundred copies of the same run and putting them in a box for the store.
The clerk seemed a little confused so I asked for the manager. Several minutes later, the manager came out and explained the policy to me.
I informed him I was not trying to illegally copy games and that I have a long (several years) track record buying games from them and had never returned a game before this. He smiled and restated the policy. He said they could take it in as a trade in. For half of what I paid for it the day before.
He said since the game had been opened, he had no options. He could only issue a refund for unopened games.
I finally said fine, and they reached up on the shelf and gave me a sealed copy of that stupid game.
I went to check on my son who was trying to decide which Nintendo DS game he would get in the future.
I then walked back up to the counter where the manger was smiling and whispering with the unhelpful clerk.
I got their attention and showed them what was in my hands.
"Hi, I have my receipt and an unopened game. I would like a refund."
They stopped smiling.
The manager tried to explain the policy again, but I cut him off.
"Yeah, that's a good policy. However it no longer applies to me. I have my receipt and an unopened game. I would like a refund."
He said that was unfair, because they had just handed me that unopened game.
I explained to him that my policy was not to make exceptions for the dumb way they enforce their policies. With a line of people behind me I again asked for a refund.
He pulled that trick of trying to call his district manager for guidance so perhaps she could inform me of a new policy, but he couldn't reach her.
When I refused to leave the line until I got my refund, he finally gave in and said he would do it, but that he would be written up and held accountable.
I thought it was unfair that any company would be held accountable for the products they sold. But I took my money anyway.
My wife had waited in the car and was glad she had.
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