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It looks like Gamestop employees are trying new tactics in their everlasting “get people to buy an in-store warranty” campaign. According to a customer, a Gamestop employee claimed Microsoft was sending out kill bugs for Xbox 360 consoles to fry their motherboards, and the only way to protect against this was to buy an in-store warranty.

Check out the full customer rant below.

“I typically avoid shopping at GameStop and have been doing a good job abstaining from buying anything from them for the past two years. However, this past weekend I volunteered to help my friend purchase her very first Xbox 360 console. Naturally, we went to Frys to buy it. Unfortunately, they were out of the normal Elite model (Halo ODST/Forza) and only had the Final Fantasy bundle in stock. Well, there happened to be a GameStop in the same shopping center and we decided that, rather than driving around in circles, we would just pick up the system there.

Big mistake.

While they did have the correct console in stock (they always do), the next 20 minutes at the point of sale counter ended up being an excruciating exercise in badgering. The associate proceeded to ring up the console and go into his normal pitch on why we should buy the in-store warranty for 39.95. While this is typically par for the course at GameStop, he just would NOT let it go. I told my friend that the in-store warranty was not necessary and that she could send the console in to Microsoft if anything bad occurred in the future. The associate, in turn, told her that it was ABSOLUTELY necessary and that her console was definitely going to break in the next few months. He proceeded to explain that if she were buying a PS3 that the warranty would not be necessary. BUT with an Xbox, it was absolutely necessary. He also told her that it would cost her $60.00 + to mail the console to Microsoft and that their standard warranty probably would not cover the ‘red rings of death’ and other hardware failures. He then told me that he hated me for telling my friend not to get the warranty… while she was standing right there. He then proceeded with other car-salesman tactics to bully her into getting the warranty (he tried reverse psychology at one point: “I don’t care if you get it wah”)

But that’s when shit really got bat-shit crazy.

The associate then told her that Microsoft was in the habit of sending ‘kill bugs’ to consoles via the internet that would subsequently fry the motherboard. I laughed it off before he told me “It’s true. They did it to people who played Modern Warfare 2 early.” He said that their warranty would cover all of this and more.

A little background: I used to be an ASM at GameStop. I understand how points work and how corporate pressures associates to meet a certain percentage of their transactions (whether it’s reservations, subs, warranties, etc). It’s one of the reasons why I quit and boycott the store (among other reasons that you’ve probably read about on Reddit).

I spoke to my friend afterwards who stated that if I had not of been there, she would have caved and got the warranty because he made her feel so uncomfortable about it. I’m sure he makes a lot of add-on sales using this tactic. Regardless, there comes a time when “no” means no. And there also comes a time when you should not make shit up just to get a warranty sale.”

It’s certainly sounds like a good reason to buy a warranty, I wouldn’t want my Xbox turned into fried food. But seriously, I feel bad for the not-so-average gamer who gets suckered into this type of bad deal.

Republished with permission, from reddit user gamedreamz.

  1. I’m so glad Australia doesn’t have any Gamespots. GAME is just as bad, I guess.

    This is effed up.

    • avatar Mark

      Gamestop in Australia is called EB Games. EB are notorious for shonky deals and ripping off unsuspecting naive gamers and uninformed parents shopping for their kids.

    • avatar jim

      yeah good job mark. lets just bundle all australian eb games in together and say they are notorious for “shonky deals and ripping off unsuspecting naive gamers and uninformed parents”. you are an idiot. the eb i shop at is pretty good. the guys there help out these people you talk about, they even encourage parents to shop around for a better deal. but yeah… all of them do it. idiot.

    • avatar Mark

      Sorry to harsh your mellow Jimbo but if I have a bad experience in one store then every store bearing their badge is tainted by association. As a consumer I have every right to express my disdain to as many people as humanly possible.
      Any company that sells Wii games with an inflated sticker price of $99.99AU is only trying to rip off unsuspecting Mom and Pop customers who don’t know about price matching.
      I like to go into my local EB stores, ask them to price match BigW or Target and then tell them to get stuffed because I’d rather walk 100metres and give my money to someone who’s honest enough to price their games accurately. But hey…I’m an idiot so what do I know.

  2. That’s pretty low. I wonder how many new gamers and parents have been tricked into buying that shit for no reason bc of rants like that.

  3. I’ve become a regular at my gamestop, so they know not to try any bullshit with me, as I stop them before they can even finish the sentence. I would use another place, but that’s an extra 15 minute drive that my lazy ass just doesn’t want to make.

    • Exactly my thoughts.

      My Gamestop loves me. They know I work for Gamer Limit, and ask me if I’ve reviewed any games lately.

      When they do their “would you like to buy X” spiel, I just politely decline, and they say “no problem brother” – even the manager.

      Whether or not Gamestop is a good option all depends on how you work your trade-ins. When they were doing their 50% extra deal, you could trade in Mass Effect 2 for $55 – on a regular basis, you could get more from Goozex or Ebay, but sometimes Gamestop does come through.

  4. avatar Anonymous

    wow dude is stupid xbox put the kill on people who played modded 360′s and it just happens that most of them were people playing mw2 early

  5. avatar Louie92801

    I think is was a SONY fanboy she was talking to

  6. avatar warchief

    Definitely a Sony fan boy….first off he is being pressured by his region to get addon sales….which is no excuse for his dumb behavior….but I am a little on the I don’t believe this guys story is entirley true….I have worked for gamestop as an ask for 4 1/2 years and this has never happened. The employee could be an idiot but he way the story sounded was that his employee acted like he knew what he was talking about and could have been trying. To take advantage. …however he pro is 30 dollars not 40…. and it is simple complain about the guy right away…this way if his story. Is bogus which I believe it is….then he dm of he district he was apart of would shut this employee down. Gamestop is not the evil empire people make it out to be.It is a crappy company to work for but they make customer issues #1 and if you complain enough to them they will give you what you want….next time just ask for the number to the dm and complain about the Guy..also DONT BUY THE PRODUCT FROM THAT STORE…….it will hurt them more that they lost a console sale than you complaint to the employee forever.

  7. avatar BeatlesFan

    Why must people presume is either a Xbox 360 Fanboy or a PS3 Fanboy. Maybe it could just be a regular person who is trying to scam them for their money. Dont make this into one of those arguments between consoles. We all know we have much of those going on everywhere.

    • Exactly. You don’t have to be a Sony fanboy to know that a PS3 costs more to begin with. If the sales person can make them pick it up instead of the 360, they make more money.

      They’re at work, not hanging out with friends or whatnot. It’s all about money.

    • Well said. I bet you if they bought a PS3, he would have said “OH A FEW WEEKS AGO ALL PS3S BROKE DOWN IT HAPPENS A LOT”.

      A sale is a sale.

    • avatar clos

      well it sounded like to me he was either trying to make her buy the warranty with BS and trying to sell her the ps3 pitch at the same time…. i actually saw something similar to this where the dude was out right lying to the customer… a guy asking about the warranty and he said it had a 3 yr warranty and how it covered any problem within the 3 yrs…lol

      Anyways isn’t the gamestop Warranty only 1 year?.. eh i personally rather buy it at bestbuy and get there warranty if i am going to buy a warranty for a item…

  8. avatar Khan

    No gamestops here in Holland either, but the normal stores here have ridiculous prices. Games over 2 year old still for full price so I only buy from webshops.

  9. The EB Games in my region is actually pretty good. They know what their talking about and don’t push you to buy anything and generally give you good advice on crappy games n such.

  10. avatar DessyD

    Whoa thats pretty intense, Wonder do Gamestop staff work on commission ? because that there is some dodgy arse sales pitch!
    So glad my local stores are not like that in england :o

  11. avatar Anonymous

    this story is ridiculous…no gamestop employee has the time to rant and rave about a warranty on a 360 for that long of a time. they dont even track or care about warranties at gamestop. There is no metric or bonus or performance tracking that would require a regular employee to pitch a warranty that hard. Stupid customers who have no idea how retail works and there is no way that an associate would tell the customer he hated him for telling her not to get the warranty. All the people who are commenting this are stupid for believeing such a retarded story use COMMON sense.

    • avatar clos

      lol… there is times when i go sell and buy games and they question me why i am buying X game…and i have the feeling he is thinking i am stupid..even though i know what i want and no where near a stupid customer as far as gaming goes… as far as the employees go eh some of them are :P i once bought Dynasty warriors 6 empires and instead they gave me that dynasty warriors gundom game…

  12. avatar Michael Ishmael

    Sounds like your typical Sony dude who can’t handle someone buying a 360… Why are they still like that for?

  13. avatar clos

    I hate going to some of the gamestops…. but some i like going to… the 1 near me eh it is a mixed bag ..I went into a gamestop and sold heavy rain and GTA 4 for the xbox 360 and i asked i wanted to reserve MLB 2k10…fully knowing i wanted that over the show… and he asked me if i was sure like 4 times during the transaction..which gets quite annoying… and i think at one point i was at a gamestop he was trying to pitch to somebody bayonetta was best on the ps3 which of course is not true if you talking overall.

  14. avatar Steve

    AS I current employee of gamestop I can speak from experience. Yes there is a lot of pressure put on by the corporate head honchos to sell add-ons, reserves, and other profit increasing products. However not everyone is as crazy as this lunatic. Every time someone buys a console I will offer it, if they say no, I might try one-more time talking about some other benefits but if they say no again I drop it. Unfortunately there are good employees and bad employess and usually there are more bad employees

  15. avatar silly

    That is just silly. Why do people even buy into these stories??? I’m surprised it didn’t end with “forward this to at least 10 friends or your Nintendo DS will explode”.

  16. avatar eddie

    well there might be something to it because i bought an xbox 360 on nov-11-2008 and on nov-11-2009 i got the red ring of death when this happened to my xbox the first thing that came to my mind is that it got zapped because thats what it sounded like when i turned it on and by the way i didn’t use my xbox a lot sometimes i’ll not play with it for 2-3 months so it was still like new

  17. avatar eddie

    i forgot to add that the standard warranty is one year i just found it to be weird my xbox broke exactly one year after i bought it

  18. avatar Ali

    Just look them in the eyes and loudly say “No thank you”. Works every time for me.

  19. avatar Anon

    Yeah, this is pretty ludicrous. Like someone else said, GS employees get no bonus or acknowledged credit for adding a warranty to a system. Yes, these things are tracked at the store level, but you will not lose your job for forgetting to sell replacement plans or guarantees. Either the ranter is lying, or the employee at this particular GameStop is a despicable human being. I’ve never had someone at my local store push a product on me like this, and if they ask, I just say no if I’m not interested.

  20. avatar Anonymous

    SHOP AT PLAYNTRADE VIDEO GAMES

  21. avatar Gamestop Employee

    Wow..I normally dont reply to these things simply because I dont find most of the comments constructive. I do, however, feel I need to defend my store in particular (not the company). I am an ASM at one of the highest ranked stores in the company and yes there is a lot of pressure from the top to meet certain requirements but I at least do it with dignity. I will be honest half the time I dont offer the warranty because it is kind of a waste, but when I do, I explain it as a convenience. I find the fact that the person tried to sell it on an xbox and said you wouldnt need one if you were buying a ps3 funny, but thats later. The truth is its the other way around. The warranty allows customers to skip the normal warranty drudge with the manufacturer and just get a new one through us. When I purchased my xbox, gamestop had a deal where they gave a free one year warranty with the console, it was one of the reason why I bought it. I ended up using it as a customer and not an employee and it was actually quite nice. Took about five minutes and I received a brand new console instead of waiting 4 weeks for a refurb one from microsoft. This is my main selling point for the warranty when I tell customers about it. It is purely convenience. Some buy, some dont. Its their prerogative. The reason why its funny about not getting one for a PS3 is, is that microsoft are masters or the repair center. They whip it around in a few weeks, sometimes it takes longer due to your location to the nearest repair center and how busy they are. Also, most people dont know this, but you can actually call microsoft, while your console is under warranty, and extend it for an addition 1-3 years for 30$ a year. Yeah…I know. In addition to this when you send in an xbox and have it repaired, microsoft sends it back with a one year warranty from the date of the repair. Sony, however, doesnt offer any form of extended warranty, believe me I called, and they only offer a 90 day warranty on repaired consoles. They also take months to return product. I know all of this because I have actually seen it happen. My friend’s 60 gig broke and he paid $150 to have it fixed (its now up to $180) then it broke 4 months later and they wanted to charge him again, instead he bought a slim.

    Point is I know stores that are PS3 heavy and they trash the xbox and lie to customers for no reason. Just remember this is one store. Try your local gamestop, not all of them are crap. Im not out to screw my customers and have their best interest in mind. I dont care what console you buy, but I will give you all the information because I want you to make the best decision for you.

  22. avatar Mr. Balls

    The guy listened to a story this ridiculous and still bought the console there. What a tool.

  23. avatar Mike

    Should have called the police and had the moron arrested for harassment then report gamestop to the BBB for illegal buisness practices.

  24. avatar PFX7

    lol! if I was in her place I would have had just gotten a PS3 to get the employee off my back :p

  25. avatar TheGeek

    While I agree GameStop is not the best store out there, its not evil by any means. They are suffering badly from the fact that they are the only chain left that sells only videogames. Prices are going up, trade-in values are going down (they don’t even take guitars or drums anymore), and the whole company is going down the shitter in general. If they don’t improve, the Wal-Marts and Best Buy’s of the world are going to make them moot.

    I just want to give a shout out to all those independent video game stores, especially Gamesboro in Statesboro, GA. They specalize in used games, and even have a handful of arcade machines such as Tetris and Marvel VS Capcom 2. Britt the manager there is awesome and goes out of his way to make the customer happy.

    • avatar ActionGameExchange

      Thanks for remembering the little stores. I own and operate a buy sell trade model in Jasper, GA and we guarantee to beat Gamestop’s prices and trade in values. If only more consumers would be less lazy and make that extra drive than companies like these would be out of business. I don’t shop at Wal-Mart period because I find the stores to be hideous and void of anyone willing to help me at all.

      All I wish to say is that instead of getting run over by these companies, shop elsewhere where customer service is still considered more important than the dollar.

  26. avatar Gamestop Employees are Doosh's

    i find it comedy when going into a gamestop… the nerds that work there are easily frustrated when you talk to them about all the bullshit that is gamestop. I usually have a good laughs when looking for a new game…. and then I go to target or wherever else (best buy is the same as gamestop in my book) and get the game.

  27. avatar XIPro1452000IX

    @TheGeek I work at an independent store and I love it, check it out

  28. avatar Gamestop Employee

    Gamestop actually isnt going down the shitter. They are in the top Fortune 300 and have been growing. In 2008 the acquired the entire retail videogame industry of France; 150 million dollar loan from Bank of America helped. When the company decided to stop taking guitars it was due to a declining music game genre. The profit on them was so slim and the actual movement of product out the store was so limited due to a fall in interest and demand for the music games, the company decided best to stop taking them. They never took drums. Even today you can see it. Activision is decreases the guitar hero games. Gamestop just saw it coming.

    All the bullshit that is gamestop? Really? Some people are truly ignorant of business. The practices used by gamestop and every other game store are the same business practices used by every other corporation in the world you dumb shit. In fact you are doing more of dis-service to the world by shopping at places like walmart and eating at places like mcdonalds. Where do you work? I dont think you would enjoy it if I came to your place of work and poked holes through the corporate jargon you spew. Every company is unethical and guilty of something.

    • avatar clos

      So just cause they in a fancy group don’t mean crap… There are plenty of rich people who are mean dudes who at the end of their lives give to charity to make em look like good guys..( using that as an example…. of where they might look good guys but really an evil empire…) mcdonalds ..eh there is nothing wrong eating there except for the fact it isn’t healthy… Walmart on the other side i wouldn’t shop there if that was the only store near me for 2,000 miles…

  29. avatar clos

    Gamestop is crap… The employee’s are nice but eh i don’t understand how they can sell used games for 54 bucks while giving you 15 for it and what i don’t understand more is why people do it… i do it once in a while when there is incentives… i do it when like sell 7 and get an extra 40% or something to make it worth while ..but i don’t understand why people go there all the time knowing they will get ripped off…

    • I see where you’re coming from. GameStop is a disgusting place to shop. But, for the average consumer who doesn’t spend their time on Gamer Limit, or Joystiq, or Giant Bomb, it all seems like a great deal. The problem is that it’s working, and so long as their tactics are having an effect, there’s no reason for them to clean up their act.

      This is why I refuse to go to business school, despite how interested I am in the field. I don’t want to be involved in something this morally repulsive.

  30. Fortunately my GameStop knows me pretty well, and they know that I know my shit. Of course, they always pitch me the warranty or some off-the-wall pre-order, but they don’t press me once I’ve declined. I know they’re not my friends or anything, otherwise they probably would have stopped me from trading in my PSP and all of that platform’s games for a PSP Go (big mistake), but I know they won’t go out of their way to screw me.

    That’s why it’s always extremely unfortunate when I come to the realization that they probably *do* screw other people around here quite hard. My home town isn’t exactly inhabited by the most intelligent population.

  31. avatar Sayy

    I don’t see how the behavior of a single employee reflects the standards and behaviors of an entire multi-national corporation. You ran into one guy who was an utter A-hole and tried his hardest to make your friend buy a warranty, that doesn’t necessarily reflect the state of Gamestop as a whole or every employee that gets paychecks from them.

    Your argument is about as absurd as that of people who say all of medicine is uncaring because they ran into one doctor with crappy bedside manner.

    I have been buying from Gamestop for the last 5-6 years and I’ve never ran into a situation like that. In fact, every Gamestop I’ve shopped at has resulted in a pleasant and wholly painless experience. I get asked if I want to preorder stuff all the time, but that’s nothing out of the ordinary.

    Maybe you should consider being more assertive, it seems as if though you were using a passive voice throughout most of the time you were talking to the salesperson. This is pretty simple, look at them, tell them you are NOT interested and you’d rather they stop mentioning it or you’ll take your business elsewhere. Giving your friend counterpoints on the warranty while he’s trying his best to get a sale makes you look like a weak fool.

    Also, he was probably flirting with her and wanted to make you look like an idiot, in which he succeeded by making you get into an argument with him. You couldn’t stand up for yourself or him long enough to say NO and mean it.

  32. avatar Dirk

    Considering that such a policy is very illegal in the United States it is unlikely a corporate directive. If you are wondering why it is illegal AND not just unethical consider that they are misrepresenting (defaming) a third party (Microsoft) and selling service based on fraud. I also have been buying from Gamestop and/or EB Games for years, and have never come across those few individuals who try something like this.

  33. avatar SameGame

    I had the same experience in a Game store in Australia when buying a PS3. The guy was insistent as he claimed he had been given 7 replacements since purchase due to breakdowns. The whole tactic was to try to make me feel stupid for not getting it. When I refused I got the “don’t bother calling us if anything goes wrong”. Fair enough, I’ve not bothered going back in the store either.

  34. avatar Oz

    Gamestop is garbage. Their sleazy tactics include opening games a couple weeks early, playing them then repackaging them. A close buddy of mine worked there 7 years and told me all about the crap they pull. Ever wonder why your so called “new” games come in sleeves and they just pop them into the game box like nothing with a new price tag? Ask them and they’ll give the most bizarre excuses. “my box opener cut through the game box” get real.

  35. avatar Redshirt

    I actually am an Entertainment Salesman for Best Buy Canada, and my job is pretty much doing this all day. Now, the beginning of this article seemed like a typical offended customer’s rant after being proposed a simple warranty, something that I usually blame on a biased view of warranties or corporations in general. After all, people have the tendency to see us salesmen as obsessive and ever lasting money-cravers who only want to sell you something to make a buck, when we in fact only inform or remind the customers of what they might need as well as the potential risks associated with buying a console (especially with the XBOX360 systems). But the one thing I would never approve of or do is outright lying to a customer, especially one who lacks knowledge in this particular field and believes in your experience and sense of professionalism.

  36. avatar Bizmal

    She should have bought it. I owned 6 Xboxs, trash console.

  37. avatar Iverymad

    Hey guyz. I was told by an employee of a store I’m butthurt about that my game wuz gonna brake! So he started acting totally un-realistic and stuff bro! And i got scam. y dont u buhleave me? i mean its tru cuz me and a handful of frend will say so

  38. avatar lolinternet

    ironic how its sony fanboys who think this story is pretentious or die hard gamestop fans.

    when Madden comes out, you’ll have nothing pushed in your face harder..

    also my best friend used to work at gamestop, and yes you got raises dependant on your sales, managers would acknowledge it and based o nyour performance raise your paycheck by x amount. His got raised by .18 cents because he’s a lazy bum, but the point stands.

    also there are stores that joint with game repair companys for warrantys. Think of Best buy and Geeksquad. Ignorance is terrible, sony fanboys. go get a life and play your 3 or 4 games on an overhyped console

    Love Xbox.

  39. avatar Anonymous

    Call this an isolated incident. I manage a Gamestop, and I would have beat my employee with a rubber hose if he tried lying in his pitch. I instruct my crew to never offer our warrenties on -new- systems, only on -pre-owned- systems.

    This just sounds like poor management. I apologise for the experience your friend recieved and ask you to please understand that not all of our stores are like that.

  40. avatar TeddyTheGamerBear

    Damn thats insane!!! If I was the guy helping the friend buy the Xbox 360 and he pressured us that much I would have probably kick the shit out of this kid! If that is really the way it went down I hope GS workers don’t start to use this tactic cause I will end up freaking out and beating a GS employee with the product I was buying from them. I tend to go to Best Buy just because I have always found the GS workers to be a bit annoying, and besides they open up products to display them and then when down to the last few they’ll re-package them and act like they were never opened!!!! Man I hate that store.

  41. avatar mark

    i busted my ass for gamestop for a year and a half and made way less then i would have if i worked fast food-FACT

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