I don’t think I blogged about my experience at Futureshop a couple months ago. I had it in my head that since I had a PS2 and Guitar Hero I and II, all thanks to Stewie, I might go pick up Guitar Hero III and the guitar that comes with so I could play the other games in the collection. In the mail I received a coupon for $10 off for anything from Futureshop so I thought I’d use that as the opportunity. Now I generally avoid coupons and anything “free” because they’re not really “free” in any meaningful way – what you get instead of having to pay cash money is having to pay in time and hassle. But I figured $10 is more than the usual “99 cents off” or “buy one get one free of equal or lesser value during X hours not applicable with other specials expires in 20 minutes some restrictions apply all we need is all your personal information” bullshit so I’d give it a go.
So I toddled on down to the store on Broadway and grabbed the game with guitar and proceeded to the checkout, which in itself was a small labyrinth of confusion, since there was no real order to the queue. I was beckoned by a young white male cashier and I made a point of drawing his attention to the $10 certificate before he ran the transaction through. He looked punch-drunk at it and meandered into the back. He returned a couple minutes later seemingly having been given the go-ahead by a superior and rang through the transaction. I looked at the receipt and he had not included the $10 off. I brought this error to his attention. He promptly told me that he could not do refunds at the checkout so he printed out the transaction and told me to go to customer service, gesturing in some vague direction.
So I wait in line before I’m attended to by one of the three clerks there. The first clerk who helps me goes in the back for a while and enlists the help of another clerk, who checks out my paperwork and then himself goes into the back for a while. This phase of the operation takes about 10-15 minutes. He has trouble with the photocopy machine. He apologizes and offers some explanation that I do not understand nor care about. He gives me documents to sign. My policy on avoiding coupons has become much more firm. I ask him for a bag since it’s raining outside. He tells me I have to take my paperwork to the person who waits at the entrance and she will give me a bag.
So, at Futureshop, it will only take four employees and about a half hour of your time to be the proud owner of Guitar Hero III in a bag that’s too small to protect from the rain.
I bring this up because one of the Christmas gifts I received this year was a gift card at Futureshop. I don’t look down at the gift by any means – I cherish my Tick Season 1 DVD – but going back to the chain made me recall that experience, especially when Chris had almost exactly the same one during this more recent visit. It boggles my mind that these franchises do so well.