You are hereEBGames continues its campaign against the consumer

EBGames continues its campaign against the consumer


By Blackwalt - Posted on 21 January 2020

Me in this case, and it seems to be a campaign of confusion

While talking about the Zombie Army 4: Dead War Collector's Edition I referred to some issues with EBGames. Here is the promised story.

First I admit to having some problems with EBGames and their business strategies but I also admit that I still go there regularly. Partly because I have a kid and partly because they always have what you are looking for (video game related).

So when I realized that there was a Collector's Edition of Zombie Army 4 available I grabbed RollyC and headed straight to EBGames. Well... not straight there I first confirmed that it was available at EBGames Online and checked the price, $129.99.

Off I went to the first EBGames in this story.

I went into EBGames and asked for the Zombie Army 4: Dead War Collector's Edition. "No problem," said the Associate and after banging on his computer keys for a while came up with, "Here it is for $76. How much do you want to put down?"

Well nothing, because that's not the right version.

After much discussion with the Associate about the different versions of Zombie Army 4 he came to the conclusion that the stores did not carry the version I wanted and the transaction, or lack there of, was finished. Have a nice day and good luck.

...

So off I went back home. Once again to check EBGames Online to discover that they still had stock of the Collector's Edition.

Not only did they still have stock, I could (and did) add it to my online shopping cart. At which point I discovered that I could, if I wanted to, Pick Up @ Store. So wait, I can order it online to the store I wanted? That's weird.

I decided that I would check out another EBGames store first, since I was going near Carlingwood the next day I would pop in and check with the Sales Associates that I knew better and double check with them. Which is what I did.

It started so much better as the Carlingwood Associate immediately found the $129 Collector's Edition on their system. Perfect.

Or so I thought...

"But I can't sell it to you."

"Wait, why not?"

"It's only in the online system."

"Of course it is..."

The Associate's explained that there were (sometimes) separate stock levels between what was available for stores and what was available for online. Not unreasonable.

...

So off I went back to my computer to EBGames Online to buy it from the website.

Please note that I did check other Online Retailers as I would happily have purchased it from someone else at this point. If I could have found it somewhere else.

This is were the Online Purchase got kind of interesting.

Would you like to Pick Up @ Store?

Yes, I would.

Then EBGames popped up the following Pre-Order message:

Pickup In-Store


Pre-ordering products for in-store pickup is fast and easy. First, ensure you’re logged in on ebgames.ca, and simply add eligible pre-orders to your shopping cart using the "Add to Cart" button. In your shopping cart, click on the "Pre-order online & pickup in-store" button to continue. A $5 deposit is required to ensure your product is reserved for you in-store. Please be aware that regular in-stock merchandise are not eligible for pickup in-store.



You’ll need to select an EB Games store where you’ll pickup your order. You can do this by using the map feature at the checkout and searching by city, store address, or postal code. Once your order is placed, you cannot change your selected store. You will receive an order confirmation by email and a call from the store once your product arrives. At that time, you’ll be required to pay the balance of your order at the store.




So yes. Purchasing online and picking up in-store is IDENTICAL to purchasing it in-store.

Small down payment, receive a call from the store when it's ready, go to the store on release day, pay remainder of bill in-store, take game home.

As far as I can tell, the only difference between buying it in-store and buying it online (with Pick Up @ Store option) is it does not count toward an Associate's quota. Which, face it, sounds like a very corporate choice.

With technically the same result after this convoluted purchasing campaign one might ask why it even matters.

Choice. A consumer should have a choice. In this case, it was taken from me as EBGames only gave me the option to buy online. I would have preferred to purchase in-store from an Associate and I would have preferred the choice to do so.

One note in EBGames defense: my only thought about why the choice to buy in-store was removed is the short time frame between my purchase and Zombie Army 4 release date - February 4, 2020. Which was just over two weeks away from my purchase date.

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