Bought games from GAME? Len Dastard needs your help

1 June 2011

Bitterwallet-Len-Dastard-featuredHola! Yes, I am Len Dastard. Yes, I am a genuine litigation executive. And yes, I do disguise myself as a retired Mexican wrestler to hide my true identity. Un caballo en su inodoro if this state of affairs brings upset to you.

A little while ago we brought you the story that GAME had been selling used stock as new without prior warning to their customers.

The story came about following avid reader Jake contacting us at Bitterwallet HQ so we could warn people of the problems that he experienced:

I just received a copy of Dead Rising 2 Zombrex edition for PS3. I ordered it as new but received an unsealed tatty copy. There is a box on the side of the case that should hold a pen, which is missing; the steel book is dented; also the discs have smudges on.

I called my local game store which stated I had three options, The first two were to bring it in for a refund, or exchange for something different as they haven’t had new copies of this game for ages. [The third option] in his exact words: “send it back and order it again but run the risk of getting another used copy”.

We have decided we should look in to the issue further, to see whether or not it is a more widespread problem. We aren’t trying to make waves here; we simply want to see whether they have learnt from their mistakes and stopped this sneaky activity. After all, it's not the first time that this has happened - last year GAME had to apologise for selling ex-display stock as new.

I think this is an important consumer issue that should be pursued. It's too easy for GAME to dismiss these incidents as isolated incidents, which is why I need your help. Have you been on the receiving end of Games wickedness? Have you received ex-display or second-hand stock when you ordered new? If so, I ask you to get in contact with us at [email protected]

We will keep you all updated on this issue as I consider whether it is one that can be pursued further.

TOPICS:   Games


  • Jim S.
    What's a litigation executive?
  • Gunn
    Happened to me twice so far, once for Street Fighter IV Collectors edition, didnt complain as wasn't too fussed about the box. The other was from HMV though, they offered me a refund but seeing as it was so cheap anyway I just kept it.
  • Steve N.
    Though this article has been wrote in a stupid way I have actually received damaged games labelled as new from Game. When contacted they simply said it's how they're able to offer the games for such low prices. I suggested that they label the products as damaged but they never replied to that email.
  • Sawyer
    What exactly is a used copy? Are we talking about the pre-owned games (ie. those traded in and usually sold for less), or those returned to the store for whatever reason?
  • wobinb
    I used to work for game (in store), and to be honest i didn't see any evidence of this happening - at least at store level. The only thing that does happen is when the stock is running low.... Normally you pick up the empty box from the shelf, you take it to the till, where they swap it for a sealed copy. The empty goes back on the shelf. When there are no more sealed copies, the till staff will take the disk from the draw behind them and fill the empty box. Now in the case of a new release there will be a lot of these empty boxes, and sometimes head office request we send stock back. This will sometimes include the ones that were on the shop floor. The discs however will ahve been stored in the drawers and should be fine. In my experience pre-owned games were never mixed with new stock, and returns were only accepted if sealed or faulty. Sealed ones going back on sale, and unsealed/faulty back to head office. Hope that might shed some light. Robin
  • Milky
    Bearing in mind all Game stores have Cd skimmers to sort out scuffs, scratches et al the item would not therefore conform to new, as supplied from the manufacturer, just for starters. Their own "game"seal therefore does not represent a new item, which typically come sealed & packaged complete with an id strip / holographic sticker seal.. False advertising. to ASA & games head office, say PR department rather than speaking to a customer services type, possibly look up beneficial tel numbers for Game via a site such as say no to 0870 or similar to find a direct line to someone high up & make them field calls & excuses till something is changed? customer "care" call lines are merely their to take the flak! Ask for an MD's reply to the matter & get it escalated, get those you speak to's names & ask when you should receive a statement from the company & person you are addressing the issue to. Ideally though get them to call you & sort the problem out as you are busy, & it's their fault you have to come chasing with regard to duplicitous possibly illegal consumer policy / advertising.
  • AndMe
    A few yers ago I ordered a copy of Out Run for PSP when it was on sale for £1.99 or so from the Game website, with no indication that it was anything but a new copy. But when the game arrived, it was clearly a tatty pre-owned copy. I think either the 'pre-owned' sticker was still on it, or there was some other sticker on it that made it clear it was not new. Since it only cost me a couple quid, I didn't bother saying anything. But yes, I've had used stock sent to me as new by Game.
  • Alex
    Has happened a fair bit to me this too, although mostly through Gamestation, but as they're part of the same group then they can be tarred with the same brush. Bought myself a copy of Golden Sun DS back in their spring sale which arrived without a manufacturer seal, only a horrid game seal which leaves a sticky mess on your case. The remainder of the case appeared to have suffered quite a good amount of shelf wear as well. Might be also worth speaking to game about how they seal their strategy guides, that purple game sticker will peel off half of the guide cover with it if you're not careful!
  • David
    I've had the total opposite happen, a couple of times I've ordered games used and received totally new copies. Then again I only tend to order games on release where there's practically no chance of receiving a used copy, or as used.
  • grex9101
    It's happened a couple of times to me, but only with what I'd consider "back catalogue" (i.e 1+ years old) titles. They didn't even go to the effort of sealing it themselves, both games came complete with the in-store price sticker and grubby fingerprints. All the other "bumph" you get was missing apart from the manual (again, obvious fingerprints). I recall arguing in Dixons during the PS1 era about this - if you took a game case from the shelf, you'd invariably end up getting the assistant putting the game in manual in that very same case. They didn't seem to get that I didn't want something that essentially was a display item, and certainly didn't want to discount on that basis. For a game to be new, it must be factory sealed. That's all there is to it.
  • Mark C.
    I've never bought a pre-owned game as new from them, but on a couple of occasions I've asked them if there's any content I'll lose out on if I buy a pre-owned title (i.e. 'online pass' multiplayer privileges, free DLC etc), been assured that there isn't, and then later found that there was. As there seems to be no earth reason why they wouldn't say if there was, in the hope of upselling me to a new copy of the game, I can only assume that GAME staff are just largely woefully under-informed about the games they sell.
  • Liam
    I never trust getting games from the draw. Always demand a sealed copy. If not, buy it online or take your custom elsewhere.
  • Booglemaster
    @ Mark C Instore, there is no such thing as 'upselling' to new, as far as the staff are concerned, they have been told New Sale = Bad Preowned Sale = Good Seriously, we literally have to track our own performance every day on 8 areas 1. Sales total 2. Trade in value 3. Consoles Sold 4. Warranty Attachment on Consoles (Percentage) 5. Accessories (Value/Percentage) 6. Preowned (Value/Percentage) 7. Preorders/Deposits 8. Loyalty (Percentage, and cards set up) We have targets for these things, new games and new releases target? No. All that does, is get you total sales, and kills your accessory/preowned percentage, and possibly loyalty percentage dependent on if the customer has/wants a loyalty card. Whats worse than that is a brand new console...This has the potential to screw your warranty percentage, preowned percentage, accessory percentage and loyalty percentage IF the customer just wants the bare bones, which lets face it, most people do. Its brilliant working for GAME at just over minimum wage, with targets which are ridiculous, absolutely glorious.
  • Paul
    I used to work for Game Pre Gamestation era, when Electronics Boutique and Silica were our competitors. Since about 2004 (way after I left) I noticed that the way Game were running their business was more sub standard than your sunday boot fair. @Booglemaster - nice to see things havent changed with the wages though. They were absolutely pittance then, (something like £3.20 / hour) working in a Grade A store. (which now is owned by some "shoe company" and they have resorted to copying gamestation and EB ... They will all be wiped out within the next couple of years anyway - High street stores are a thing of the past... (unless your a woman)
  • Dave
    This happened to my uncle when he bought a PSP Go. Was sealed and looked brand new, hwoever when he got it home to play on he discovered someone else profile, settings, save games etc on there... Clearly a pre-owned console. I also work with a guy who worked in Game a few year ago and this was common practice. If a game was traded in that was still in good condition, it would be re-sealed and put back on the shelf to be sold as new rather than pre-owned. I'm glad to see other people are starting to see Game for the rip of merchants they are!.
  • Infinite E.
    On the subject of used games being sold as new, how can stores get away with selling non-sealed Xbox 360 games as new? I went into Tesco last night and bought Crysis 2. The box was out on the shelf, openable, but empty. The person at the Tesco Direct counter then put in the disc and the manual at point of purchase. I've always bought my games new, and they always had a seal on the side. In fact, I've bought games from Tesco before and they were in an outer sealed case which had to be opened by their equipment. The result: a prestine sealed box. Couldn't be any more "new". This whole "insert the disc and manual" thing is quite iffy considering Tesco now purchase used games and can easily clean the disc and sell them as new. Why can't they just sell the bloody thing sealed?
  • Sean
    Ugh this always used to happen to me when I bought stuff from GAME online or in-store, you'd hand cashier a tatty old case of a new release and he'd start opening up drawers to find a cd sleeve where they have badly squeezed the contents which used to reside in its original box, and now has fingerprints and creases all over. You ask for a discount because it's an open box and they just blankly stare at you and tell you it's "new", when it's clearly not. Any sellable item/product that is also being used for display/demo purposes must be displayed/demoed in a suitable protective case (ie. blister case) or else said item must be sold as ex-demo/used item and displayed with a notice of condition and optional discount at the retailers discretion.
  • andy y.

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