A while ago I talked about how you should support your local high street games retailer and, in particular, Game. However, after a recent experience I’m taking that back.

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Back in June, the game Fallout 4 was announced. Many people were excited and, although it’s not my kind of game, my teenage daughter was particularly so. When a Game exclusive was available – a limited edition version of the game with your own Pip Boy – then she snapped it up. It cost £100 so was going to take some saving (she’s at college and has no other job at the moment), which meant some sacrifice. They just needed a £20 deposit, and this was done online. The idea was that they’d then use the same payment method, closer to the time, to take the final £80. Made sense. The deposit also gave you access to some other related material in the meantime.

On November 8th, two days before the games’ release, Game attempted to take payment so they could despatch the product. Except it all went wrong and, as yet, Game are not giving details of what did happen – needless to say a LOT of those who pre-ordered were told their payment had failed and so the order had been cancelled. A LOT of people. My daughter used PayPal and the money was sat in the account but, none-the-less, she was one of those affected.

For over two weeks she’s sat watching her friends play and enjoy Fallout 4 whilst she has nothing. She contacted Game and was given a special email address to use so they could address the order. Except she’s getting no response. So, yesterday, I decided to take action on her behalf – I have access to her Game account so thought I’d try to get something out of Game.

First I tried to ring but after half an hour of not getting through, I gave up. I tried their online chat and although it took 25 minutes before I could speak to anyone, at least I could park their chat window to one side and get on with other things whilst I waited. However, the chat with Game was frustrating, with responses from them often taking 5 or more minutes (I suspect they are dealing with multiple customers at the same time, which isn’t a good idea really). The chat started at 4:10pm and ended, only when I hung up on (more on that later), at 4:53. Here’s how it went (this is from the transcript emailed to me afterwards, I’ve compressed some lines to reduce things down a little, as well as omitting anything that didn’t add to the conversation. I’ve also removed the name of the person I spoke to.)…

4:10:18 PM. I said: Fallout 4 . For those who never got their pre-ordered special edition, what’s happening?

4:10:41 PM. Game said: Okay please bare with me while i check this for you.

4:14:50 PM. Game said: I apologise, I am just looking at this for you, could you give me an order number please.

4:15:55 PM. I said: [omitted]

4:16:05 PM. Game said: I apologise about the wait, please bare with me as i am looking into this for you.

At this point I wait, and wait, occasionally reminder them that I’m still here, but getting nowhere until…

4:31:18 PM. Game said: Unfortunately all that is shown on our systems is the deposit you had put down and not the purchase of the game itself

Yes, that’s right, there is only an order for the deposit because you didn’t generate the final order because the payment wasn’t accepted. I explained this.

4:34:05 PM. Game said: As far as i can see there is no copy of the game and therefore I can give you a refund.

Not surprisingly, I turned down the offer. I don’t want a refund, I want the product to be delivered, as they promised. I had to then explain to Game how their own deposit system was meant to work. They then went quiet for 6 minutes, at which point I had a go at them for not giving me the correct level of attention and of not knowing about the issue. Basically, I’d had enough.

4:42:40 PM. Game said: I can transfer you to someone that has more insight in this issue if you wish.

4:43:05 PM. I said: I want someone to ring me

4:43:16 PM. Game said: Okay please bare with me one moment.

4:44:29 PM. Game said: I really do apologise about this issue, however I can only transfer you to someone at the moment who will be able to call you or have someone call you regarding this matter.

4:49:16 PM. I said: Yes please

Great, we’re getting somewhere – a direct talk to someone might help me to get to the bottom of this and get it sorted. Unfortunately, it all went quiet for a number of minutes and I needed to leave (I was at work at the time). I tried to get their attention to tell them this but there was no response. I left a message to say I had to go, I’d previously given them my number so asked for them to call me. They never did.

Meantime, I made use of social media to also try to get to the bottom of this. They don’t allow posts to their Facebook page, so I commented on their Black Friday post instead. I didn’t hold many punches and was quite annoyed when I posted it. Their response – I needed to contact Customer Services. Brilliant.

Next up Twitter – a simple, and calm, tweet to them to ask them what’s happening.

What irritated me is that they continued to respond to other people whilst ignoring my question. Later that evening my daughter replies back to them – still nothing. It wasn’t until the next day when I prompted them again that they did…

Yes, that’s right, we need to wait for them to ring us. Even though, 16 days after the game was released, they’ve not done so. 16 days during which my daughter has watched as her friends play the game. 16 games they’ve had the deposit for the product that they’ve not delivered.

But she’s not alone – their Facebook page is full of people getting no satisfaction, and certainly not a phone call, from Game about this. Now, I understand that they need to resolve this and some patience is needed, but over 2 weeks later is ridiculous. She’s been let down badly – she’s out-of-pocket and with nothing to show from it. Shameful.

Needless to say I’ll be taking my custom elsewhere in future.