The Woeful Ballad of Gay Tony and Newegg

All I wanted was a Xbox game.  Just one Xbox game.  But they wouldn’t give it to me.  Just one Xbox game.

Black Friday was pretty lame for us this year.  We managed to score a copy of Pitch Perfect and underwear.  Jenny got a pretty rad deal on some cashmere scarves.  I understand.  The crass commercialism.  The hording to get stuff you don’t need but just want.  Pulling retail employees out of their family’s warm embrace all so you can get $25 off a toaster oven you don’t even really want.  I get it.  Truth be told, I worked at a movie theater on vacations and summer break when I was in college.  One night, I had to work on New Year’s Eve.  Midnight came and went as I stood in an empty lobby, sweeping popcorn kernels into a butler.  Did it suck?  Yeah.  But I didn’t ask people to not go to the movies.  I got a better job.  And now, I’m unemployed.  Do you see?  Life gets better.

But this, this is about poor customer service and vengeance.

I decided that I would like a copy of Grand Theft Auto IV: The Complete Edition for Xbox 360.  Yes, GTA V came out this year.  But I typically don’t buy games brand new unless they are given to me as gifts.  I don’t have the income to shell out $60 for something I will play occasionally.  I usually wait until the prices drop down under $30, and especially if there’s going to be a Game of the Year edition with all of the downloadable content pre-packaged.  I learned that shit this year with Borderlands 2.  I loved Borderlands 2.  But now, to get the full game, with all the DLC including the extra character classes, somewhere in the neighborhood of $200.  And they are still making more.  Never again.  I can wait.

Except when I can’t.

Newegg was running a Black Friday deal where they offered GTA IV: TCE for $9.99.  It was $14.99 elsewhere.  Amazon, Target, whathaveyou.  So we’re looking at a total savings of $5.  Funny enough, a lot of sites were selling GTA IV the regular edition for $20.  And the two DLC packages, The Ballad of Gay Tony and The Lost and the Damned for $15 or $20.  So it actually cost less to get everything pre-packaged.  For $9.99.  Remember this number well.

So Newegg was also running a promotion with Shoprunner where if you signed up for their service, you got a free 30 day trial.  Which meant the game would be delivered in 2 days.  I hemmed and hawwed, and by the time I talked myself into getting the game, the sale had passed and it was back up at $14.99 on Newegg.  Ah, well.  I’d wait.

Well, December 1st rolls around, and I find that Newegg has decided to offer GTA IV: TCE for $9.99 again.  So I immediately click on it.  And then, I get the Shoprunner trial.  So naturally, you’d figure, okay, well, I should get my game on December 3rd.  Because that’s how INTERNET SHOPPING WORKS.

December 4th, my father’s birthday, rolls around.  No game.  So I go online to check the tracking number.  Newegg says “It shipped!”  I check the tracking number for UPS.  It says “Ready for UPS.”  Which means that they have printed a label, but the game hasn’t even left their warehouse yet.  I am pretty pissed.

So far:  3 days,  Game costs $9.99.  Hasn’t shipped.

I contact Newegg’s customer service.  If you somehow managed to navigate through their constant attempts to get you to just fuck off, you have two avenues.  One, you can call their line.  Two, you can do an online chat.  Online chat had me at 124 in the queue, and they would get to me in approximately 57 minutes.  So I called.  I was on hold for about 36 minutes.  I left the chat up figuring, whoever gets to me first!  Well, the phone won this round.

I speak with the Newegg rep.  I say, “Why isn’t my game here?”  She says, “Oh, it’s the holidays, so there’s going to be delays.  Your game will probably ship on Tuesday.”  My response is, “What the hell?  I was promised two days.  Now, it’s taking  a week? How is that acceptable?”  She says, “The holidays.  There’s a large volume of orders.”  I say, “Shoprunner promised me two days.”  She says, “Shoprunner is a third party.”  I say, “I understand.  They didn’t even have a chance to fuck up yet.  You’ve already done their fucking up for them.  So where’s my goddamn game?”  She says, “There’s a high volume of orders.”  I say, “Show me where on your website is says that in any form.”  She says…nothing.  So I say, “I would like you to make this right.  I don’t know how you can do that.”  She says, “Well, fine, sir.  Let me put it to you, what do you want me to do?”  This is the wrong answer to give pissed off Prisco.  I say, “I think a gift card in the amount of the game would be acceptable.  Since you can’t do your job.  I should get it free.  Let’s go by the Dominos adage.  Only if my pizza came this late, I’d starve.  And haunt your fucking office, smartass.”  She puts me on hold.  After an hour on the phone, she issues me a gift card for $9.99.  And an assurance that the game is still on its way, and that it will still arrive on Tuesday of next week.  I am assuaged.

The gift card pops up almost immediately.  So they can’t change their minds, I quickly use it to purchase Alice: Madness Returns.  Which also comes with American McGee’s Alice.  It’s pretty much the Hot Topic of video games.  Little Emily the Stranges are squeeing into their hamburger phones.  Alice costs $19.99.   I order it December 4th.  Meanwhile, my chat session finally clicks on after 72 minutes, only to immediately be dropped and kicked off.  It would take another hour or so to get back in the chat session.

Status:  11 days, $9.99 for GTA, $9.99 gift card, $10 paid for Alice, free shipping.

Now, we get to December 11th.  Which is Wednesday of the following week.  I check the mail to see if GTA is there.  It isn’t.  However, Alice is.  So now, I go back and check the tracking number for GTA at UPS.  It is STILL in the warehouse, awaiting delivery.  I am now supernova pissed.

I call again.  After another 28 minutes, I get through to another person.  I explained what happened.  Her response is, “I understand you are upset.  We’ve already issued a gift card.”  I said, “Because it took you a week to send it.  You couldn’t even do that right. ”  She said, “Here’s what I can do.  The price of the game is back up to $14.99.  You go ahead and buy that.  Do next day shipping.  That will cost $28 total.  I will give you a credit for the $28.  You will have to pay the taxes on that.”  I say, “Why the hell would I want a credit?  I would just have to spend more money in your goddamn store.  I don’t want to be any money out of pocket.  I just want my fucking game.  Which isn’t an unreasonable demand.  Resend the game.”  She says, “The only way I can do that is to issue a claim.  The claim takes 3-5 business days to go through.  And then we make a resolution.  And then we can resend your game.”  I say, “Just do it.  At this point, you’re killing me.”  She says okay.

So.  3-5 business days puts us to Monday of the following week.  December 16th.  Sixteen days after I originally ordered the game.  Still no resolution on the claim.  Still no shipment.  So I go chat option this time.

The chat basically goes like this:  WHERE IS MY GAME?  We gave you $10.  WHERE IS MY GAME?  We gave you $10.  You have a claim.  We need the one more day to resolve this.  We said business days. I WANT BLOOD.

Their resolution is to issue me a $10 gift card.  Only instead of a gift card, they just give me a $10 credit on my Visa.  So I get $10 back.  So now, they’ve given me $10 back, they’ve given me a $10 gift card, but they still have not given me my game.

Yesterday, December 17th. They sent me the resolution.  They will REFUND me.  Which means I will not get the game.  I will instead get my $9.99 back.  It will take 3-5 business days to get my refund processed.  So after 17 days, Newegg paid me $19.99 not to sell me GTA IV: TCE.  They also gave me Alice for $10.

So.  I went on Amazon and paid $14.99.  With Prime, it’s free 2 day shipping.  The game came immediately two days later.  Even with the holidays.  Which are NOW.  So basically, Newegg sold me Alice for $5.  And then third party paid Amazon to do the fucking job they couldn’t.  I have my game.  I had to fight three times with customer service to get this shit resolved.  Could it have been way worse?  Sure.  They could have not given me squat.  But I will never be using Newegg again.  In the end, I won, because I fight like my brother — the Lord and Master of Customer Complaint Refunds.  He never raises his voice.  He never swears.  He just ruins their minds with unflagging relentless logic.  So in the end, I get to run over hookers with Datsuns, and stab caterpillars with an emo Alice Liddell.  But Newegg.  You’ve lost me forever.

Until next Black Friday when I forget.

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