Fuck You GameStop

May 12, 2009


I’m not sure if you’re the right person to be reading this, but I trust you will send it along to the appropriate team member. This was the only e-mail address I was able to drum up on your website at 11:44PM.

I’ve been buying video games since I was a wee little lad of 7 or 8 years old. I remember buying games from Electronics Boutique frequently (my beloved favorite) and occasionally having to woefully head over to Babbages (not my favorite). Since GameStop bought Electronics Boutique in 2005, I have noticed a significant drop off in customer service, store quality, and game selection. Not only have your stores become completely cluttered with used titles and worthless duplicates of the latest movie games (most recently it’s Wolverine), but your staff members have become unhelpful and negligent. My most recent episode in your DC area stores was the icing on the cake for me.

About a month ago I went into GameStop in Pentagon City, VA and attempted to trade in my old GameCube at the store in the Pentagon City Mall. It was a Sunday afternoon, and the mall was going to close in the next 10-15 minutes. I waited my turn in line and when I reached the front I informed the clerk I was there to trade in my GameCube. I was quickly shunned away and told that a trade in would take too long and that they were about to close. The clerk then informed me that if I came back tomorrow, it would be no problem to switch it out. It was obviously bullshit, but I thought what the hell. It’s no big deal. They’re closing, and I’m sure they have a lot to take care of tonight. So I did what I was told and returned on Monday evening. Wait my turn. Get to the front.

Me: “Hi, I’m here to trade in my GameCube and some games fr…”

GameStop Employee: “OH NO NO NO! We don’t accept GameCubes”.

Now, you can imagine my surprise when in a mere 24 hours this location decided it was no longer taking GameCubes. This was a different clerk, and he claimed that an e-mail had been sent out telling certain locations to stop accepting old GameCubes. The Pentagon City store wasn’t taking them anymore, but the Ballston Commons Mall store still was. Ok. Alright. Fine. Take my games, and I’ll make it out to Ballston Commons when I get a hot second.

Fast forward to this past Sunday. I head out to Ballston Commons with both my old GameCube and my old PS2. I even called ahead of time to make sure this store REALLY took them. They did. Great. I get to the store, and I’m waiting in line (your stores always have slow, long lines because your employees are incompetent) and one of your clerks decides he’s credit only. I’m not sure how you guys work your registers so this could actually be legitimate. Either way, I tell him I’m trading in and he says “Ehhhh…anyone paying with a credit card?”

Are trade-ins that bad? You guys advertise them everywhere, so you must like them, right? Why do your employees hate them so much? Is it because they have to actually work? I digress.

I finally get up to the young girl running the other register. She was great. She took my old systems and tallied them up in approximately 3 minutes (I think your Pentagon City clerks need to be re-trained on how to accept trade-ins…seems simple enough). I had $42 in credit. Awesome. I wanted to snag Street Fighter IV. Bring Ryu back into my home. No new copies. Fine. How about an old one. I didn’t really want the old one, but she sold me on it. Whew. I’m out of the woods. I did it. Systems traded in, and a new game for $13 because of my store credit. Nice. I didn’t get to play it on Sunday night, but I knew I would have a chance on this fine Monday evening.

I pop the game into my XBox 360, start it up, and what’d you know…A DISC READ ERROR!!!!! That’s right. The used game doesn’t even look like it was checked before it was placed back in another customer’s hands. You have got to be kidding me.

What’s the point of this e-mail you ask? Well, I feel that with all the trouble I went through, I at least deserve an explanation for all of this and a new copy of Street Fighter IV sent to my house. I will gladly mail back the used copy, but I would rather not have to go into one of your stores again for a while. Is this possible?

The thing that really gets me is that I have never written a complaint letter to any company in my young life (I’m only 24). I know what it’s like to deal with customers and how difficult it can be to please everyone. I feel your pain. I get it. But believe me when I tell you, if I’m annoyed with your company, then there must be an entire small planet’s worth of people enraged with you. And most of them are nerds which means they’re probably smart. Be afraid. Be very afraid. I don’t understand why it’s so difficult to get good service for video games from your stores. It’s a huge industry with a large base of loyal fanatics, and yet the one specialty retailer we have seems to be our opposition. This isn’t the first time I’ve had issues with your retail outfits; it’s just the first time I decided to write to you.

So congratulations GameStop, you’ve pissed me off so much that I decided to write you a letter instead of going to sleep. And I also decided to post it on my poorly read blog. Maybe throwing a link to it in my Twitter account will get me noticed.

There is of course, one other teensy, weensy problem that I was hoping you could help me with. Unfortunately (for me..not for you) I misplaced my receipt. Go ahead. Laugh it up. I can’t believe I did it either. However, I believe I’m in your ordering system. My info is listed below. Please let me know as soon as possible what steps I should take to sort this matter out.

Thanks for nothing…at this point at least.

Your aggravated and soon to be possible video game retail entrepreneur,

Anthony Marinos  



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