EB's Return Policy Down the Drain


Reports from EB managers across North America indicate that Electronic Boutique will no longer be accepting returns on games beginning on March 1st. They will allow you to return defective items for a copy of the same game but that's about it. Something like this screams reactionary after their poor stock performance but it looks like the only real reason to shop at EB is slipping away.Living in Canada, EB is the only show in town if you want the safety net of returning a crappy/buggy game for something else. With that gone I can see no reason to pay higher prices there when I can get a game cheaper somewhere else and closer to where I live.

The only comfort to be had (according to the manager I talked to) is that some will still accept returns on a discretionary basis. Meaning if they don't like you, they have the store policy on hand saying returns are not allowed. If they do however, individual managers may still accept returns on games once in a while.

I ask again, have you hugged an EB employee lately?

- Certis


Forget it.  Their adhereance to keeping their games at the MSRP turned me off of them and on to GoGamer a long time ago...now if only GoGamer would stop charging me sales tax.

The other reason is to actually have some selection in the games you buy. While Futureshop/Zellers/etc usually have better prices, they seem to stock only the bigger titles in satisfactory quantities.

I doubt they'd carry something like Cubivore, Stretch Panic or Ikaruga. I've yet to see .hack or Suikoden 3 in a Futureshop...

The local EB stopped accepting returns a while ago around here because smartasses kept abusing it like it was a Blockbuster or something. Higher prices? Not around here. Well maybe Walmart is cheaper but I never shop there, and then again, I'd rather pay the extra 2$ for a shop specialized in games. There are no reasons you shouldn't rent a console game before you buy it anyway.

Well that just sucks. Frankly that policy is the only thing that has been causing me to give them my business, and at some inconvenience to myself. This madness must end, we must stand up as angry consumers and demand that this abuse of us stop. As customers we have the right to return something that does not work on our systems or that just does not meet our expectations. This idea that we are now stuck with a lousy purchase is completely unacceptable, this should not be a buyer beware market, and some of the games that have come out even recently should be under the lemon laws. Frankly I am starting to think I'm going to have personally sue somebody over this though that ball appears to be rolling even now with a bit of odd spin http://news.com.com/2100-1001-983988.html.

On the Go-Gamer note, I would give them more business but their shipping charges are ridiculously high IMO, and more often then not make the game cost as much or more then a local discount house, with the added annoyance of having to wait.

You are dead to me EB, you hear me? ...dead.


Seriously, I have not given them much business after I have seen how often they try and sell you used games as new.  I mean if you are going to do that, try a decent shrink wrap process.  No real loss.

I don't know, my EB always clearly labels games as pre-owned if that is indeed the case. The price difference also tips you off if nothing else.

Thankfully, I have a great relationship with the guys at my EB so if a game is truely crap I think they will still take a return. It's also nice to be able to take old games in for credit to pay for newer ones. That's really the only reason I would continue to shop there at this point.

I have a good relationship with the EB guys as well until recently.  A bunch of them have quit working there and the new generation has turned me off on them. 

I was buying an Xbox game and it was clearly marked as a new game price and then when I open it....I see that it had been a display case.  I question the guy and he says "we do that a lot, the game is new though"  I say hmm, let me see...."um, this game has scratches all over it."  The guy was like "umm, how did that happen"  DUH, jagoff !!!

Overall, I'd be pretty surprised to see any industry maintain regular and hassle-free returns over the next decade or two. The age of customer service is coming to an increasingly unceremonious close.

- Elysium

The manager at my local EB loves me, knows be my name and will often solicit my feedback on the latest titles. If you ever return a game for whatever reason, the policy is that you can return it for another product, however the new product is a final sale (in Canada though).

It's too bad that they are changing the policy, as over the years, I have returned only about 5 or 6 games. I suppose though I can see where they are coming from, but it will mean far less impulse purchases from me.

Although I really like shopping at EB, and really appreciate the outstanding customer care that I bave been receiving over the years, I have stopped buying there a us much, as the prices are really starting to climb, and are no longer really competative with some other stores in the area. In addtion their trade-in program is starting to become a little unfair. To buy fairly new "previously enjoyed" game is usually on 5 or 6 dollars that a brand new retail copy, even when the game has been on the market for many months.

A while back I brough in a game to trade in, and they gave be 18 dollars for it , and when I came back the next week they had my used copy on sale for over 50 dollars. The margins used to be much better.

Welcome to the rest of the world, kids

It boggles my mind when I hear stories about people returning games to EB because "THe game sucked". Wow.

I could see how they can take a return if the game does not install, has a missing cdkey or something... but just because you did not like it? wow.

I'm with Mex.  When was the last time you came out of a movie theater, went up to the manager, said, "I didn't like that movie, gimme my money back?" and they didn't laugh at you?

Someone actually tried that when I worked at a theater in highschool.

Circuit City still has an "accept all returns" policy.  And after the big hooplah-shakeup a week and a half ago, none of the sales people work on commission anymore, so they don't give a rat's ass whether or not you actually buy something when you go in there.  (=

I didn't invent the policy, I simply lived by it.  *looks over shoulder, sees no kid*

I get your point, but I'd sure as hell demand a refund if the film broke regularly, stopped playing altogether, skipped every few frames, or simply didn't play on the projector at all.  I've also never payed $50 for a movie.  Like I say, I get your point, but I hesitate to support the analogy.

- Elysium

Ok this analogy is so flawed I don't even want to try to dissect it... God, what the hell is the matter with you, if you I BUY something and it's BROKEN for whatever reason you have the right to return it for a refund (reasonable time blah blah blah, yes). You don't get to sell me an answering machine and say oops your bad luck, and you know what if I want to return that answering machine because I decide I don't like the color in my kitchen guess what, I can. Software is a packaged product, it is also entrainment but you are not just purchasing some conceptual idea of ownership (despite what some EUL's might have you believe). It is an item, it has properties, if those properties do not work then you are not required, by CA consumer protection laws, obligated to keep it and it's a simple matter of time before even more lawsuits are brought to drive the greedy publishers and sleazy money grubbing retailer's back into line with legal pitch forks and torches. If you are not with us your are against us and I hope you you get burned at the stake :). Jeez guess I'm a bit tired of being victimized as a consumer with tis kind of BS.

One more thing before I shut up about this, Circuit City had a totally sleazy 15% restocking fee on all Computer merchandise (printer paper even, unopened printer paper for that mater), same policy comp, best-buy and some others have even today. Guess what? They quietly changed that policy and launched this where so warm and friendly and your all short memory dumb consumer add campaign. You know why they changed that policy? Pressure and threat of suit by several state attorney generals and a lot of sable rattling from consumer groups. It's just a matter of time before this ridiculous situation with software comes to the attention of main stream media and then it's all going to explode in the publishers faces.

Only if we stand idle and let as consumer.


Oh well, now I basically have no reason what so ever to go into an EB except for used PC games. Other than that, I'll be buying all my games on eBay from now on. Bastards...

I don't think it's really all THAT bad. Our EB (South Bay, CA) has always been kinda hard-nosed on returns, and who can blame then REALLY, with all the piracy that's all over the place. I buy games there almost every month for the last 10 years or so when it used to be Software etc. The guy there knows me and trusts me and knows I'm a "legit" gamer. So whenever I've come in and brought back crummy games or buggy games, he doesn't even bat an eye. He even asks for my take on the games so he can tell other customers.

So, I guess, my limited and HO, regarding this is ... if'n you wanna still shop at a place like EB then just foster a relationship that will garner trust over time. So they don't think ye'r just copying/ripping the game and then going in to get ye'r money back. The only problem I really see is that yep .. their pricing does suck, and I can't buy online cuz I have one of those apartment mailboxes and we keep losing stuff that comes in package :/