Saturday, December 22, 2007

Column for Dec. 22, 2007

Pushing Buttons: Gamefly doesn't fly for me

When the only thing a business can get right is sending you the bill, it's a problem. has that down pat. The charges are automatic and, since they do everything via e-mail, you'd be crazy to expect something in writing.

What they don't tell you at is they can't ship the games as quickly as they promise. Shortly after getting my Gamefly account, I received my first couple of games. These weren't hot titles, mind. The mega bestsellers are hard to snag after they're released.

But I got games. Then, after I sent my last couple of games back, nothing. Weeks went by. I sent multiple e-mails, using their formulaic complaints filing system. (Another sign of trouble.)

Finally, I'd had enough. I got someone to relinquish the customer-service phone number, which isn't obviously displayed on the Gamefly Web site. And when I called between the narrow window of service, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pacific Time, it was useless. The rep wouldn't give me a free month of service, even though I'd waited a month with no games. Nor could the rep expedite my shipping. That's a little weird when you consider that, after reporting a shipping problem, I got my game two days later.

Gamefly told me to call the Post Office to report the problem. I reminded them that shipping the games was their problem, not mine. Then I was told how I could cancel my service. I've got to say, that's new. Don't worry about losing one customer (who incidentally writes a video-game column). There are enough people out there using this service to pay the bills.

So if you're considering Gamefly over a local rental store, you might want to reconsider. After all, your one little old account isn't worth Gamefly's attention. And I'm sure the folks at the local stores would love to see you.

Heed the call

"Call of Duty 4" still has my undivided attention. I picked up my headset Sunday so I could play with my brother. Over the course of the last few weeks, I've picked up a couple of things. It hasn't made me an expert. But they help.

When playing online, always keep your aim up. Head shots mow down enemies more quickly. Also, be sure to crouch and hide whenever possible. Walking out into the middle of a street is like wearing a big "shoot me" sign.

Currently, I'm a fan of the M16 with the red-dot sight. It's a semi-automatic noob weapon, but it gets the job done. You'd be amazed how many people you can drop with a couple of shots.

On my recent experimental class, I chose the customization where you can hold two primary weapons. I equipped each with a grenade launcher and it still only used up one of my "perk" slots. The result was mixed.

When you're in a map that has a lot of enclosed spaces, use shotguns. A shotgun blast turns an enclosed map into a good old-fashioned zombie shoot. I love it.

I'm not as keen on being a sniper. When you're on a sniping mission, set up mines around your position. That'll take care of anybody who's coming up the stairs to cap you.


Takean said...

Unfortunatly, they are the best at sending you out The alternative is a company thats called gamenflix...don't bother. They usually sent out a game...if they had it in stock, in about a week and a half. I always had a problem with getting a regular game, not a hot title from them, so i moved to Gamefly, however, gamefly took just as long to get a title in the mail as well, just had more availability. Just best to just rent or buy imho...unless you live in California, then Gamefly is the way to go since they are based out there. Now Nextflix is A++++++++++++ I always get a dvd within 1 business day. They have a branch located in Georgia, so they rock!

Dan Whisenhunt said...

Does Net flix do video games? (I guess I should use my wonderful researching talents and check on that, but I figure it's easier to ask you.)

extra jus said...

With email you'd be crazy NOT to expect something in writing. Sorry had to point that out. He he.

I'm not sure why you're hating on Gamefly. Alright if your story is true, you might have a legitimate complaint. But overall they're a gamer's godsend. No one says through the mail services don't have their downside, but they have their major upside. Netflix has proved that although they've never been perfect (despite what people say.) But they also have a few years on GF. But GF's getting there.

Sucks you had a bum experience but i've been a customer for over two years and have never had a problem that wasn't solved. '07's been a break out year and and I expect '08 to be even better with two more centers rumored to be opening in addition to the two they have.

Obviously though if you wait a month without a game, that's a problem. But it's so far away from what I've experienced this year, it's gotta be a glitch. And if CS treated you badly, I'd move up the ladder until I got something out of it.

I got agro on them once for sending me a scratched used game I bought (I can understand scratches but when I buy it, make sure it plays) and they replaced the game and dropped 10 GF dollars into my account.

Doubt Netflix and games. It seems to make sense, but I wonder with movies and games facing such different cost curves. How would they price the service? There's a question for your next column.

Dan Whisenhunt said...

I just can't stand lousy customer service. And Gamefly may get better, but my point is they ADVERTISE a quick turnaround and don't deliver. The least they could've done is expedite my shipping. Once they open up their new shipping center in Florida, we'll see what happens.

I don't think the cost curve on games should matter all that much. If you own the copy, and rent it multiple times at a low rate, you're still waaaaaaay ahead of the game.

Thanks for reading!