Now EB is phone spamming me

So you’re even stupider and more immature than we first guessed?

I can understand being upset at phone spam, so Chet’s deal is cool, but really, why do you all HAVE to go to EB the day a game comes out? I can’t even get there half the time something new is available. Also, 9 times out of 10, for PC games especially, you can save $10 by simply waiting a week for Best Buy/Circuit City/Target to put it on sale.

EB is fine for shopping for games. I love to go in there and browse. I buy a bunch of stuff there both used and new when the price is right, because EB is a discount store so they knock the price down on stuff ASAP. Every day they get a new list of price changes. So it’s a great place to shop for games, but you guys are suckers for getting the pre-order lists and all that. That’s really only useful for games that get low print runs.

Well, at least you’re not bitter.

Exactly. If you already know what you want when you leave the house, go somewhere that has stacks and stacks of the latest games all shrink-wrapped and ready to check out.

Same here. Fucking unbelievable. I’ve got a good relationship with the people who work there, but if the manager won’t remove me from her phone bank immediatly when I go back next week, I’m done with them.

You know, I hate being called at home from random companies as much as the next guy, but does it really piss you off this badly when someone you gave your number to does it? I mean, really, I’m with you. I don’t want to be called all the time. But once for a deal that some people would be appreciative to know about? That doesn’t exactly sound like “spamming” to me.

Oh nos! EB is too far away and I can’t use the intranets tubes!

Hey, you know who else asks for phone numbers? Hickory Farms…yeah, the little kiosk thing at the mall. Maybe I should give them my phone number this year so they can call me up and chat about cheese logs.

It pisses me off when I didn’t want to give them my number in the first place, and when I was told it would be used only for notifying me when my pre-order arrived. My local EB tends to get shit in at random times, so it’s either give them the number, or call every couple of hours, which is way more fucking annoying.

All you people who got called deserved it! That’s what you get for consorting with EB. You should have known better. Have fun answering your calls about Saints Row and whether you want to buy the strategy guide for Just Cause and how EB is your trade-in headquarters for used games where for a limited time you can exchange any three Xbox 360 titles for $50 off your Playstation 3 this is Curtis may I help you.


I’ve never been asked to give a phone number at an EB. Is that a policy that varies by region?

Most of EBs policies vary based on one of three things:

A) How much of a corporate whore your regional manager is
B) How much of a corporate whore your district manager is
C) How much of a corporate whore your store manager is

Shit rolls downhill, as the saying goes. When I worked for EB we went from having a really, really awesome regional manager who disliked “warm calling” (as it’s called because the customers willingly give you their number) to a regional manager who was a total corporate whore with absolutely no experience in gaming but was a great number-generating retail veteran.

We went from a store with a lot of repeat business to a store with nearly none because we started calling people to “notify” them when their pre-orders were delayed (even if by a week) and oh-by-the-way would you like to pre-order something else? We were calling people day-in and day-out. If you had Madden pre-ordered we would call you to ask if you wanted NCAA Football or NFL 2kwhatever pre-ordered. We were required, under penalty of immediate termination, to greet every customer who walked into the store with a non-gaming question. We were required not to discuss gaming unless the customer themselves brought it up. Yes, I shit you not. We weren’t even allowed to ask “What brings you in here today?”

We were the closest video game store to Microsoft’s Irving (suburb of Dallas) location so we had quite a few very nice folks come to the store during their lunch break and due to our ball-breaking policies it made it impossible for them to get in and out in any proper time. Even our regular customers we had to treat like this, even though we knew everything about them that they cared to share. Most of our customers, due to our location, gave us their cell phone numbers or their work numbers so that if we got their special order/pre-order/someone traded something they wanted in we could call them and they’d just pick it up on the way home or at lunch. We were “warm calling” them at their jobs and on their cell phones. Numerous people got so irate that they would hang up on us just seeing our numbers or would stop coming in all-together.

The manager of the store was a 50+ year old woman who previously managed a San Francisco Toybox Company. She was brought to EB by her former DM at SFTC who was now a DM at EB Games. Neither of them knew anything about gaming. Neither of them cared about their customers. Both of them had a complete disregard for their jobs. My manager would sometimes forget her shifts and not open the store. She would frequently blame her faults on other managers. She would always take the goodies that vendor’s gave to the store. Any store bonuses/contest winnings from the company she kept, too.

A very bad situation happened once that basically led to me quitting/being fired. I called up the district manager to speak to him about the situation, asking if I could get a transfer. I left a message since he didn’t answer. He called me back and we discussed it a bit. We went back and forth, talking about a transfer and all that, and he asked, “What if we can’t get you a transfer now?” and I responded, “Then I’m afraid I’m going to be forced to quit.” Immediately my manager piped in with “I HEARD YOU! I HEARD YOU SAY YOU QUIT! YOU SAID YOU QUIT! YOU DON’T WORK THERE ANYMORE!” I responded by asking him just what was going on and he’s like, “Well, she heard you.” I called bullshit on their entire little fucked up scheme and asked if they were tape-recording the conversation too. They got mad. I told them that I had not tendered my resignation and if this is the game they were going to play they’d have to fire me and that they have three days (according to Texas law) to get me my final check if they choose to do so. They said that they’d get me my check when I gave them my keys. That’s fine, I tell them, I’m going to turn in my keys that night, and they’re going to meet me at the store.

So, fast forward to that night. I’m at the store. I get a cop to come and witness me handing over the keys (and since my mom worked right by there she wanted to come too; fine by me, more evidence if they try and screw me). I have never seen a woman so livid in my life. My boss was there with her daughters (all three of them), the assistant manager and the employee who was a huge part in causing the whole situation. She was so damned angry, couldn’t believe I brought a cop in. Handed over the keys, she gave me the check, and right when the swap was done the cop just busts out with, “Can I go now?” as impatiently as could be. Perfect. Get his card and leave. File for unemployment and of course EB contested my termination; said I quit. Whatever, no biggie, don’t feel like fighting it.

I found it no big coincidence that the worst boss I’ve ever had treated their customers like absolute shit.

Sorry for the deviation. I originally just meant to talk about our calling and bad business practices but I thought management’s background came into play and says a lot about bad business practices, too. I find that EB/Gamestop/retail-in-general don’t care so much about hiring knowledgeable people so much as they care about hiring people who can churn good numbers (at any cost). 50+ year olds who’ve never played a game in their life that are out of touch with their customer base and have no social skills whatsoever who then hire either completely incompetent people or great gamers with awesome personal skills who quit because of the awful work environment. To customers it sure makes buying from the Nazis in blue uniforms look a whole lot better. To employees it sure makes becoming a Nazi in a blue uniform look a whole lot easier.

I don’t think that there is going to be any way for them to help you. Some of you seem to be under the impression that this call originated from the store, but it doesn’t work that way. That stuff happens at the corporate level and has nothing to do with individual stores.

If you’re unhappy about getting the phone call, my suggestion is to get the customer service 800 number from your local shop, and call THEM to voice your displeasure. Heck…they may be able to do something to stop the phone calls…no idea if they can, but I think there’s a better shot that they can than the local manager. Perhaps if they got enough calls, they’d stop doing it.

This “can we have your number” scam is,IIRC, a way to enter a loophole(for “previous business relationship”) in the “do not call list”…

That’s why I usually give out chet’s number.

This works well for me:

I have ALL my phones, including cells, listed here.

It’s also notable that EB is no longer EB. Gamestop runs the show now and they have very different policies and customer relationship stuff than the old EB used to have. That’s why EB always beat them at the retail level and why eventually the two companies merged. EB, until that merger, and despite being a public entity for awhile before the merger, was basically family operated out of West Chester, PA. It started as a Mall kiosk selling calculators like twenty years ago.

A lot of the meaner policies in videogame specialty retail were Gamestop ones and those are now in place at EB.

Also, as Met notes, it’s all about who’s in charge. When I worked there, we were close to corporate and the people were all great people to work with and work for. They listened to those of us at the store level, especially when they first looked into used games. But I met a lot of managers at their manager’s meeting who were from other parts of the country and those people were entirely different folks. Many of them were not close to gaming at all and it was “just a job” for them.

Whenever a clerk at checkout or whatever asks for my phone number, I tell them, “Oh, I’m flattered…but I’m married and I don’t think that would be appropriate.”

The clerk usually breaks off eye contact and there’s no further discussion about it. Those who press the issue and say “Oh no it’s for our list.” get the reply, “If I don’t want you giving me a booty call, what makes you think I want to talk to you about the latest sale?”

I just tell them it’s unlisted and it’s going to stay that way…

This is all happening in your head, right K0NY?

I just say “No” - half the clerks don’t even bother asking anymore since the customers most often refuse anyway.