Two weeks ago I saw a great deal on the new Batman video game at BestBuy. I thought, oh well, what the hell I will give it a shot, I am a big Batman fan and it is supposed to be pretty cool. Regular price was $69.99 and the special pre-order price was $38.
So I ordered and waited patiently for it to ship. Well the release date came and went and there was no shipping notification. Strange. So I checked the status; Out Of Stock. That seemed strange. Isn’t that a little counter productive for a pre-order? So in response I sent an email expressing my dismay to the BestBuy.ca customer support.
The response was this:
Dear Mr. Brown:
The manufacturer allots us a certain quantity of the product for pre-order based on their estimation of how many will sell.
With the popularity of this product their estimates fell far short of the demand. We are filling the orders in sequence, oldest orders first, while we wait on a new shipment of inventory from the manufacturer. We have not been given a definite ETA as to when we can expect this though.
We will be filling the orders as quickly as possible and appreciate your patience in this matter.
Agent ID 20985
Best Buy Canada
Again that seemed odd as it seems to defeat the purpose of the pre-order. So I dug a little deeper. Here is what I found on the BestBuy.ca pre-order portal:
That is exactly what the policy is:
Lining up for games is COOL. Not. When you pre-order online you’re guaranteed a copy without the early morning drive. If you pre-order, you’re getting your game; we don’t oversell our pre-orders.
After I discovered this I called to inquire, after a lengthy conversation explaining to the customer service representative that they had violated their policy, I was told by the agent: “I don’t know what to say”. I suggested that perhaps I should speak to a manager. I explained myself again to the manager, who said that the problem was due to a computer glitch that allowed for extra copies to be sold. He said that I actually got lucky since it should have been shut down and I never should have received that price. As compensation for violating the policy they gave me 5% off the order and free shipping.
I am still not sure if that seems like reasonable compensation, as well I don’t know if I will ever pre-order anything from BestBuy.ca again.