Saturday, April 14, 2007

flashback: a crappy retail experience (with recommended fix)

I'm going to bore you with this story. Please, don't bother reading it.

Let's flash back to a conversation I had at a local GameStop store about an hour ago.

Me: "What can you tell me about Elite Beat Agents for the DS?"

Him: (tears himself away from chatting with his co-worker) "I can tell you that it's really, really dumb. But, it got some good reviews."

Me: "How about Cooking Mama?"

Him: "If you like cooking, I guess it could be fun."

Me: "Thanks."

(shift forward about five minutes - I had the game I came in to buy in my hand and was standing at the checkout counter)

Him: "Will that be all?"

Me: "Yes. You talked me out of the other two games I was about to buy."

Him: (Vacant Expression)

Me (internal voice): "Let me spell it out for you, kid. Not only did you not answer the questions I asked you, but you went out of your way to be rude and condescending to me. You might disagree, but it doesn't matter what you said, it's how I heard it."

Him: "That'll be $21.50."

Me (internal voice) :"I know that you're probably not terribly excited about answering my questions, and I know the games I was asking about weren't 'the new hotness'. But this is retail. Your job is to sell things. My job is to figure out reasons not to buy things. Here, let me show you how this conversation should have gone."

Him: (rings up the one game, tries to get me to pre-order "Pokemon DS Pearl", is oblivious to my internal dialog)

Me (internal voice): "I ask, 'What can you tell me about Elite Beat Agents'. You say, "I haven't played it, but it's gotten some very good reviews, and from what I've read it's a music and rhythm game. Do you like action or puzzle games?' I reply, 'I'm a fan of both'. You say, 'Then you'll probably like it. And if you don't, you can always bring it back for credit.'"

Him: (tells me to point my credit card's magnetic strip down on the credit slider)

Me (internal voice): "Then I'd have asked you, 'What can you tell me about Cooking Mama?' And you'd say, 'Now that's a really ingenious game that only Nintendo could pull off. The game is all about cooking dishes. You use the stylus to chop, sautee, stir, all kinds of things, and you score points based on how well you do it. It's doing really well, there's even a Wii version of it." And I'd have said, 'Well, I can only get one of these two, what would you recommend?' And you'd have said, 'Based on what you've told me, and what I know about Cooking Mama, I think you'd really enjoy that one the most. And again, if you don't like it, bring it back.'"

Him: (mumbles) Haveagoodday.

Me: Sure.