Neir Automata from premiere developer Platinum games and published by Square Enix. Brings us the most polished and accomplished game some say for nearly a decade. An open world, action RPG. An experience set after civilizations fall from a Japanese oriented perspective. Which explores the philosophical questions what it means to be human and the singularity of artificial intelligence in a mature way akin to the Witcher series. Completing the game main story to its conclusion, yields further completely new stories and game play mechanics. Fans and critics truly are singing the praises in admiration. Neir Automata released at a time, when 2 other titles were aiming high exploring also similar concepts. Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild and Horizon: Zero Dawn.
Neir Automata in my experience has been an hollow and empty one. I am sure the game is brilliant, mine is empty only because my Playstation 4 disc drive is still empty of Neir Automatas presence. UK high street videogames chain GAME has a lot to answer for.
What follows is a combo chain multiplier of examples of terrible customer service.
Store where originally ordered
Attends GAME Long Row, Nottingham. To collect title.
Oops sorry, we don’t have any.
They ring the Victoria Centre store. Yes, they have copies available.
Attends Victoria Centre store. Spots the title is now £5 cheaper at this branch, £39.99! Compared to the other GAME store at £44.99 Approaches desk, “Have come to pick up Neir Automata the other store rang a few minutes ago.” A blunt blonde female who really didn’t want to be there that day. Says short and sharp, “We don’t have any.” Before nodding to serve the next person.
After explaining the situation, she said all she can do is buy the title from GAME online pay for it now. To be delivered and will be with us “probably Monday, but give it 5-7 days.”
“It won’t be £39.99 though it’ll be at £44.99 there’s nothing I can do about that.”
Where is it?
Come Thursday 23rd March of the following week. Still no package from GAME.
Anyone work there?
So I ring up their customer service number to chase the order. After being on hold 15 or so mins. I’m browsing the GAME website on phone as you do. Advertising Neir Automata amongst many titles available to buy online. There’s a feature graphic of the main 2 characters.
There is also web chat customer service – however it consistently expires after 1 min, as no one responds.
– 20 25, 30 minutes on hold. I visit the GAME Facebook page. Message GAME on Facebook “Responds within 1 hour”
I type into a message – “Been on phone 34min on hold. Anyone work there?”
Along with a small synopsis, so whoever can see the message, can respond informatively.
– 1 hour on hold.
– 1 hour 38 minutes on hold when someone eventually answered the call.
Only to be told, they do not have any copies of Neir Automata at the distribution centre so they could not fulfill the order, so return to the store for a refund.
When I asked, how was the order taken and receipt issued that states “In stock” under its availability. if GAME have had no copies to sell. He explained he did not know. “Can only apologise”.
If I want to complain he suggested writing an email.
Which I did.
Much outlining as I have above with the additional sentence, I would expect a reply within a reasonable time of 7 days. As of have writing this now the 10th of April, have not received a reply from GAME.
Refund, I don’t think so
Back at Victoria Centre GAME on the Friday 24th ‘attempting’ to get refund. The blunt blonde girl from before, said she couldn’t give a refund for an online booked orders. “You would have to contact GAME customer service.” to cancel the order and they would issue refund.
Explained it was she, who had made the order in store. She got who I assume to be a supervisor. Very skeptical of my story, “You’ve got the receipt for an online order but you’re telling us you haven’t received it. We cannot be sure you are not just saying that to get the game and also a refund”. “If the order was made says it’s in stock, then it was.”
She then takes the receipt and calls the head office.
Eventually getting the refund.
(Note: GAME did send an email dated Tuesday 21st March. To say they not fulfill the purchase orders of Neir Automata and return to store for refund. This was not known until the end of the call. )
Considering the GAME Facebook chat messenger said “Replies within 1 hour” on 23rd March, it was not until the 30th March. Before anyone had even read the inbox.
A Chris H responded apologized about the service. Asked if I been to the store for the refund. Offered 2000 GAME credit point in compensation for inconvenience.
I did respond to this message, asking also why no one from GAME had emailed back.
Adding also to the conversation the frustration of the refund at store where it suggested we HAD received it and was after a sneaky refund also from store.
A reply from Chris H did come a further 8 days later by FB messenger. Rather default replying. “I do apologize but Neir Automata is not in stock, so we would not be able to ship any copies from our warehouse to either yourself or store. Have you paid full price for it in store? If so you can return for a refund…”
Clearly someone did not read the messages.
This leaves a very sour taste in ones mouth to this whole experience. Did GAME have ANY copies? Certainly came across that way, despite nice displays saying available instore with blue stickers on every case in store. It didn’t connect particularly well on launch took a good week to hit stride of sales. Driven from word of mouth and social media, even reviews had not mentioned it’s subsequent scenarios and enhancsd gameplay. Not until post release commentaries lifted the lid to reveal how awesome the game truly is. I have always preferred physical games something about holding the title. Digital, if the servers are offline or you are not connected chances are you do not have access to the game you’ve purchased. Supporting brick and mortar is important. GAME has had a rocky few years, but definitely have put out there to encourage people who buy games to buy from a GAME store. Supporting them is important, but when service is this terrible. Feels like a slap in the face.
Have you have difficulties with GAME? Picked up ordered titles? Did the experiences encourage you to shop elsewhere? Leave your stories below.