Wednesday, February 23, 2005

EB Ripoff Alert

Thanks to DQ reader Geoff Engelstein for this cautionary tale:

I know you always enjoy dealing with game stores, so thought you'd appreciate this.

I was in our local EBX a few days ago, and when the cashier rings up my purchase the cashier says "Your purchase includes a 2-year replacement guarantee -- if anything happens to your CD we'll get you a replacement."

I thought that was a little odd -- but then I look down at the credit card pin-pad and see that there is -- already included in my bill -- a $3.00 charge for this 'insurance'. I told them to take it off, and they did so, but this is clearly deceptive -- they added it on to the bill before asking me, never mentioned how much it would cost, and made it seem like it was a free service.

I'm sure there are a ton of people out there who don't even look at their receipt and end up paying for something they don't want and didn't ask for. This is certainly deceptive at best, and maybe even illegal.

I'm curious if others have seen this 'insurance' program or if the clerk I dealt with just didn't present it right.

I certainly don't plan to go back there.

I went to a local Electronics Boutique today to pick up ESPN MLB2K5, and they did ask me about this "guarantee," which I declined. So Geoff's experience might be an isolated incident, but if you go EB, watch out.

Consider the economics of this totally dubious "replacement guarantee." We have to guess as to how often this gets used, but I'm willing to bet that ten percent is a ridiculously high estimate. So for every ten people who purchase this, they get thirty dollars and give out one used game that cost them about ten dollars to buy--or less. Those are some serious, serious profit margins.

Site Meter