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Nov 15

Gamestop threatening to fire employees if they buy a PS3

As widely reported, Gamestop has oversold their preorders. They are informing unlucky customers who were down the list on preorders that they’ll have to wait.

However, an interesting side issue is staff. The article from gamespot states, “the representative said. “As this is not an ideal situation, we are asking employees to wait to purchase systems until the second shipment”

That wouldn’t appear to be the case. In many comments on that article, we find a common theme.

BionicCommando2: At my store its not “asked” that you wait you are made to wait!!! We were told that anyone buying a PS3 on the 17th will be fired and the person ringing them up will be fired also. Not to mention all employees were automatically moved to the BOTTOM of the list. So I said”What if I quit ,can I get my PS3 then?”NO!!! The DM said I was employed when I reserved it so NO.

Gamemaster1588: I work at a Gamestop in Cincinnati and we are first in our district and second in our region…and we get treated like crap….When we got preorders our employes did it under relatives names….give them the money…make them pick it up for you….But I know the feeling of being walked all over and being un-appreciated by these idiotic whelps.

csposato: asking employees my rear!!! there telling us where fire if we don’t wait.

Flip, unless there’s some sort of condition in their employment, you’d think there’d be a case to answer here.


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  1. T_R_E

    well ,they pay you, you gotta follow the rules. pretty simple. Customers first, is the most basic rule of retail. From what I understand, you were given plenty of warning that pre-orders were for customers only. L8R

  2. Pete

    That’s interesting. Do you have a reference for your information that they were told initially that they could not preorder? I haven’t seen that anywhere, but it would change the story altogether, since the employees would then probably be in breach of contract.

    My point is that sometimes employees are customers too. If they stood in line for a preorder, then they should get their console.

  3. Matt

    The shouldn’t have oversold their pre-orders. That was irresponsible. However, they shouldn’t expect their employees to have first dibs on a scarce item like that.

  4. Kevin

    i just started working there… and i would defiantly quit if i pre-ordered one… there 50 cents over minimum wage is not worth it

  5. Xvash2

    Keep in mind Gamestop pays minimum wage. Its not worth it.

  6. Scott

    See, that’s the problem, in retail it is always “the customer comes first”. But if a company keeps it’s employees happy, those same employees will, in turn, keep the customers happy.

    I am not a Gamestop employee, and I don’t see a reason why the employees should not be allowed to obtain their preordered system, as long as they are paying the same price as customers, and they weren’t given priority on the preorder list (unless that is normal company policy to give them priority). If they receive the system at a discount, then I guess it would make sense to allow regular customers the first opportunity, before allowing the employees to cash in on their benefit.

    So basically, it seems as though Gamestop would prefer their customers to shop elsewhere?

  7. Chris

    Then just get a mate to purchase one – not difficult.

  8. Pete

    The worst thing though Chris, would be if they thought they could legitimately preorder a PS3, only to find out at launch that they’re not getting it.

    I guess the validity of this situation all depends on what gamestop was telling them at the time the preorders occurred.

  9. Mobile 360

    Why would GameStop wana treat they’re employees like crap?

  10. Pete

    Because they thought that it wouldn’t get out, and that it was better to quietly hit their staff in the hope that the anger from their customers would be slightly less. Not a good move IMO.

  11. dmc

    Gamestop’s policy has historically to allow a limited number of preorders to be purchased by employees. If you look at the articles surrounding the PS3 preorder, you will see many references to this fact. However, threatening to fire an employee because the company couldn’t count is stupid, IMHO.

    Most stores knew that they only had a handful of preorder slots available well before the preorder date. There is no reason for management not to communicate this clearly to its employees and to enforce this limit that was placed upon them by their district/regional/corporate management.

  12. Ashar

    Playstation 3 Stolen by EB Games Employee
    I was number 8 in line to pre-order one of eight Playstation 3’s, but the employees robbed me of my Playstation 3… I have witnesses to back my claims… These witnesses were inline with me, they were the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and nineth person in line. I have some of there phone numbers and the Markville EB Games has the rest of there phone numbers. You may ask why should we believe you (meaning me) about your place in line and your witnesses places in line? Well EB Games at Markville has documented that as well and they have the numbered list. There is a mystery person on the list that is a store employee that robbed me of my Playstation 3. I would not be upset if I was number 12 or number 9 in the line… BUT I was number 8 and I know that I am entitled to a Playstation 3, if it were not for the underhandedness of the employees. I am pretty sure that the employees are doing this for greed since the sale of PS3 pre-orderss on ebay.ca are selling for over $2000, a tidy profit of $1200. I assure you that I am not in it for profit or greed, I am in it because I have been a hardcore “gamer” since my child hood and want nothing more then the Play Station 3 that is rightfully mine. The full story of my plight is below…

    I had subscribed to an email alert with EB Games Canada that would tell me any and all the latest news for Play Station 3. On October 11, 06 I received an email announcing the Pre-Order for the Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii beginning on October 16, 2006 at all Canadian EB Games. So on the Sunday October 15, 2006 I mapped out a plan to go to EB Games hoping to be able to put in a Pre-Order deposit of $200 in order to secure a Play station 3 on the scheduled release date of November 17, 2006. I called 8 Toronto and Markham area EB Games to determine what would be the best course of action and to find out how many would be available to pre-order. All the stores said there would be 8. On the morning of Ocotober 16, 2006 I woke up at 3am and my younger brother and I went to the EB Games on Woodbine and Hwy 7, at 3:50am there were already about 10 people waiting outside this particular location. I quickly left this location and went to the Location at Bayview and Major Mackenzie (I arrived here by about 4:10am). At this location there was a sign in the window that said all Playstation 3 preorders had already been sold out. Confused by this sign (since the pre-order date was the October 16th when the doors opened that morning) I still did not give up. I took my younger brother home and decided to make one last effort and go to Markville Mall where I would still have a chance. The mall would be more of “luck of the draw” type situation because the mall doors open at 6am for mall walkers and if I was at the right door at the right time I might be able to be one of the 8. So I drove around the mall to see where people were standing. Some where standing by the food court entrance and then there were two separate groups standing by two sets (one set had 3 people and the other set had 4 people) of mall entrances and the EB Games store was in between. I decided to stand with the group of four. At this point the time was approximately 5am. We had one hour to wait for the mall doors to open. Once the mall doors (approximately 6am) opened our group ran inside and the other group of three that was waiting at the other door was already lined up. I didn’t care I was excited that I actually ended up number 8 in line, and that when the store would open I would have the opportunity to place my pre-order. The store opened at 8:30am (an hour and a half earlier then usual in preparation for the pre-order). The First person walked in to place his pre-order (they had locked the doors and would only let one person in at a time which makes sense). After the first person placed there pre-order he told his other friends that there were 8 Playstation 3’s to pre-order. I was even more excited as this statement pretty much guaranteed my Playstation 3. The second person went in and placed his pre-order, then the third. After the third person left the employee manning the door asked the employee taking the pre-orders how many were left. I was shocked when store employee at the register said that there are only 6 Playstation 3’s to pre-order. I was stunned. The person in front of me as well as I were immediately saddened. The fourth person placed their pre-order and then once they left we asked and they said that they had 3 left (4th person plus three remaining Playstation 3’s = a total of 7 PS3’s) Something was fishy. Then the 5th, 6th and 7th each went in one by one and placed their pre-orders. When I walked in (I was the eighth person) the girl who had the list and was taking the pre-prders said all the PS3’s are finished. I looked at the list and there were 8 names on the list (it was numbered one through eight) but there were only seven people ahead of me. So I asked her. She said no there are 8 people on the list, I was like but I am number 8 I should be getting the last one. She said no they are all pre-ordered and I asked her did you let someone order more then one? She said no. Then I said well is should get one then and she said there is nothing I can do they are all sold. I asked the guy at the door and he said there nothing we can do they are all sold. I was irritated and tired and left with no options. Dejected I went straight to work. To me it seems that the employees must have pre-ordered one from themselves even though this is strictly prohibited by EB Games. I have complained to the manager, but he was on vacation and he said he does not know what happened and he could not give me any answers either.

  13. Pete

    Sorry to hear about your experience Ashar. I don’t think anyone would advocate that scenario.

  14. Bing Crosby

    Hey Ashar,

    Grow up.

  15. ...

    I like how you feel “entitled” to the PS3 that is “rightfully” yours. Have you ever considered that an employee who may be buying a PS3 is just as much of a gamer as you are and has every right to shop where they work? Quit whining, blame yourself for being 8th in line rather than 7th.

  16. crash

    Gamestop is one of the worst companies to work for. Wal-Mart can’t compare. Whats worse is when I worked at the distribution center in Texas, they started hiring only vietnamese people and ignoring other races, the manager that was doing the hiring said that everyone complains and that when the vietnamese people complained he couldn’t understand them and didn’t care then. Not to mention all the content that people left on their memory cards from the PSP’s, he would copy all the songs and pictures and info that people forgot to delete. He’s a very racist person and it’s only the tip of the iceberg called Gamestop. Do yourself a favor and never work there, you’ll be better off.

  17. nimrod

    Ok, it’s simple. The priority for customers is severely skewed if employees have seemingly preferential treatment on the reserve list. If employees are informed well before customers that reserves are available, and systems are sold based on order of paid reserve, then there is an inherently unfair advantage to the employee, something that is typically and strictly discouraged by retail in general and EBGameStop specifically.

    The varying districts may have differing interpretations of the directive that employees be relegated to second wave of available units shipped, should there be a significant shortage at launch. To enforce this directive, management may take creative and/or drastic steps to ensure that, as has been stated here already, “the customer comes first.” And thankfully I’ve heard of no such threats in my area.

    Although, I’m aware of no legal precedent to warrant such terminations, aside from disobeying corporate mandate. But, ultimately, the employer has all authority and rightly so to dictate the wherewithal to allocate their merchandise.

    IOW, their money may be as consumer, but their methods of acquisition can be likened to that of insider trading. Namely, who signs their paychecks? Besides, it’s courtesy to the average consumer who patronizes every store.


  18. nimrod

    and dmc is correct. Of the total number of alloted units, store policy (at least in this case) has been to allow a very limited portion for employee consumption. Store Mgrs are responsible for choosing those candidates within their staff.


  19. Dakku

    Wow…. Seriously, that is all I can say. My store that I work at was entitled to 16 PS3s. 1 of them could go to an employee. However, none of our workers wanted one, so we allowed that one extra to go to another customer.

    Thanks to a screw up by Sony, the amount of PS3s released was cut down to 1/4 of the original 400,000, cutting the amount we would be recieving to 8. GameStop and EbGames are trying to correct the situation, promising PS3s by Christmas….

  20. Skeebo

    It seems to be an all too familiar site to see companies mistreating their employees. The sad thing thing is most of the agencies that are here to cobat this problem only deal out a slight slap on the hand. I have a few friends that work for a Gamestop. They would agree that the preorder issue sucks.
    Every employee or x-employee is a potential customer and a human commercial. Screw them over then you have negative publicity not only from them, but from their families and anyone they talk to about it. Word of mouth can make or break a company. I know of several companies in my local area that run solely off of word of mouth and are extremely successful. Granted it might be just 1 local store, but screw over too many people in too many areas and a company might start to regret it. Thanks for the interesting reading..btw

  21. meterman

    he got my ps3 ,she got my ps3, I was in line in front of him,stop whining about a damn game what are you 4 years old?Also if ebgames doesn`t look after their employees any better than that i would leave.Especially if all you make is minnimum wage,go somewhere that has some fringe benefits.

  22. Chris

    A. A retail outlet has every right to decide that it’s customers come before it’s employees, especially in the case of a mistake like this. It’s a sound and extremely common business decision and perfectly reasonable (if a little irritating for employees).

    B. If you have a legitimate grievence against your employer, there are formal ways to resolve the problem. If you’re boss is a big meanie and a poopie head, you’re on your own. Start hunting for a new job where they treat you right, get it, then quit the old one.

    C. If someone was upset about this and they transfered their anger to the customers, it would be very telling about their maturity level. That’s just unprofessional and if that person was working for me I’d fire them on the spot.

    D. Life is not always fair and only the deluded would think otherwise. This should be a very, very early lesson for all human beings, but for some reason many people just don’t get it. Sometimes it’s because of nature and sometimes it’s because your boss is a jerk, but it’s not fair and no one should pretend life has to be warm and fuzzy.

    E. It’s a _video game console_. You’re not going to go hungry and you’re not going to lose your home. You’re not going to sustain any mental or physical injury. This is surely “spilt milk” if I’ve ever seen it.

    All I’m saying is that it’s not worth getting all that upset about. It sucks and it might even be a little unfair, but it’s not a big deal. If that is the biggest problem you faced that day, appreciate it. If your employer is a wanker (my old one certainly was), fix it or move on.

  23. Burnt Toast

    Employees WERE allowed to make reserves on the PS3 and the Wii… they were a separate number of slots available to employees from the total pool.

    For example, if a store was allowing 16 reservations for the PS3, like three of them were slotted for employees. That left 13 for customers.

    Nothing in the original e-mail that was sent to the store through POS stated that they would be at the bottom of the list (they changed that for the Wii) or they would be a second-class citizen when it came to their pre-order.

    So for Corporate to change the rules at the last minute because they took whatever launch estimate that Sony originally gave them as the gospel truth (which was really stupid, because everyone for the last two months has been pointing to the reality that the PS3 launch is going to be even worse then the 360 launch) is wrong. To threaten employees with firings for purchasing their reserves, that were originally told to them that they are allowed to do so, is wrong.

  24. Mike

    The problem here is that employees of Gamestop do not get up early and wait in line like everyone else to get on the list. I was 5th in line for my preorder and when the doors opened, there were 4 names already on the list, so I became 9th on the list when I was the 5th person in line. The fellow two behind me in line was wearing a Gamestop Shirt and was very open about the fact that we worked at another store and could not get on their list because of policy. However, when we went in, he asked the worker where he was on the list and he was #2 out of 4 names that were filled out before the store opened on preorder day!

    It seems to me that Gamestop is aware of the widespread violation of their own policy and just want to keep their internal problem from prohibiting the initial release to benefit someone other than their own employees.

  25. PS3Crybaby

    Yeah, because heaven forbid EB Games and Gamestop actually do what theyre supposed to, which is offer products to consumers, not take care of their employees first.

    Honestly, these 3, and any other employee who cries about not getting their system prior to a customer WHO HAS ALREADY PAID FOR A PREORDER THAT CHANCES ARE WILL NOT BE FULFILLED ANYWAY should just quit and find another minimum wage gig.

  26. Diesel

    I work at a very high volume store in the Cincinnati region and have no heard of this at all. Though, our upper management is junk, we are treated “okay” by our actual managers I would say. The real people to blame for bad customer service… are the customers. You all fail to realize we are people too, we get paid very little (I have been there for over a year and still make minimum), but the moment we try to enforce the policies we are trained to follow YOU all instantly make it personal. I have been belittled, torn down, and insulted so many times while working for this place that it has honestly caused me to lose a lot of faith in people as a whole. You bought a game and didn’t like it… and even though we told you you can’t return new product and suggested getting a used one so that you COULD return it you didn’t… and now you are sitting here yelling at me because you made a mistake and I am following the guidelines I am given to keep my job. It is sad… and will continue to get worse and worse as it gets closer to Christmas.

  27. graphic design careers

    I really don’t accept this particular article. However, I had researched with Bing and I’ve found out that you’re right and I seemed to be thinking in the improper way. Carry on creating top quality articles like this.

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