This is why I don’t like the big stores.

Published February 2, 2015 by Iphis of Scyros

I know I’ve said repeatedly that I don’t want my hobbies to intrude on this blog, but this took up most of my day (even though I was supposed to be writing the paper that’s due Thursday) and I’m still quite irate about it, so I really don’t have much else to say, so I’m going to be bitching about why today’s experiences reinforced my hatred of Best Buy.

I’ve hated them for years.  It started when their sales clerks (or the managers of same) decided that it was good policy to hassle customers in the most simple, self-service departments (especially DVD), and was then driven to boycott levels when they handed out flyers for “ladies’ night” which was all about “teaching” female customers how to use technology to stay in touch with their friends and also featured free make-overs and other such horse dung.  The only way to describe that flyer was “corporate misogyny” and it made me decide I would never shop there again.

Once in a while, I’ve had no other options, but usually I avoid the place like the plague.  (And that corporate misogyny thing was like five years ago or so, I should point out.  And may well have been an example of localized corporate misogyny for all I know.  I already hated the place anyway, so it hardly mattered.)

Now, fast-forward to the present.  One of the greatest graphic adventure games of all times, Grim Fandango, just got an HD overhaul and saw re-release last week on PC, PS4 and PSVita.  I don’t game on the PC anymore.  Trying to keep up with equipment requirements is too expensive, especially since I don’t have a good place to set up a desktop, and therefore have to use a laptop.  So it had to be the console version.  But I didn’t have either console.  But the quality RPGSs have been going handheld lately anyway, so I figured a Vita was eventually inevitable, so I thought “fine, this’ll be the game the makes me buy one.”  But they’re pretty pricey.  (Though slightly under half the cost of a PS4.)  So I wanted a way to cut costs.  And trading in my PSP wasn’t happening, ’cause there’s too many games for it in my collection, and of course the Vita isn’t backwards compatible.  (Well, okay, it is, technically, backwards compatible in that it can play games that were programmed for the PSP, but they have to be downloaded from the Playstation Store.  The Vita takes little cartridges or something, rather than the UMB disks that the PSP took…so anything I’ve already bought can’t be played on it.)  But after thinking about it a while, I realized that I might be able to get a big chunk taken off the cost by trading in a cell phone.

Let me explain about my cell phone.  It’s a flip phone that I’ve been using since 2008, and I have no intention of trading it in for another one any time soon.  Because I only use it for making phone calls, and then usually only in emergency situations.  I’m on a pay-as-you-go carrier, and they have a thing called a “service preserver” that lets you maintain your phone service for a year by paying $90 in one lump.  So long as you don’t use up the $90, anyway.  And I have never used up that $90 in a year.  My cash balance on that sucker was so high that I literally wasn’t going to be able to pay this year’s $90, because it would have gone over the maximum cash balance amount.  (And yet, catch-22 style, I still would have been required to pay it to keep the phone active.)  So I went to the carrier’s store, and looked at what phones I could buy with that balance.  Seeing the most expensive smart phone I could buy from them with the money I already gave them and would never be able to use, I went to GameStop’s website and checked how much I could get from them for trading that phone in.  It said I could get $100…but it listed the phones’ values by carrier, and didn’t list my carrier.  I went into the store and asked them, and they said they didn’t accept phones from my carrier.  Asking around a while, I found that the only place that did take them was Best Buy.

I didn’t like that any, but I figured $100 off the price of the Vita was worth it, so I went ahead and ordered the phone to trade in.  (I know it sounds stupid to buy a phone just to trade it in, but what else was I going to do with that cash balance?  I could never talk on the cell phone enough to use up that money; I don’t have enough to say.  And it’s not like I had any way of getting the money refunded.  Once the company has it, they’ll never give it back.)

So today was the day I set out to trade in the unused “used” cell phone to get the PSVita.  The guy at Best Buy puts the phone’s information into his computer, and…

…tells me I can get $40 for it.


For a $200 phone.

If anyone else would have taken the phone, I would have said “no deal” and taken the thing elsewhere.  But no one would have, because the carrier’s not one of the big deal carriers.

As a result, when you add in the 2 year warranty (which seems important on a handheld system) I still ended up paying more than I would have for a used one, assuming I could have found a used one.

My hatred is renewed and recharged.

Better still (or rather, even worse), after I plug in the system, sit through the bizarre “first time you turn it on” movie, and then wait and wait and wait for the system update, I go into the store and buy Grim Fandango.  Only to be told that I can’t download it, because the system’s internal memory can’t hold the game.  Now, I knew it needed memory sticks like the PSP did, but Best Buy didn’t sell them, and the box made it sound like the internal memory could hold quite a bit more than it actually can.  (Or rather, when it said that “some” of the internal memory was dedicated to the OS, it actually meant “95%” of it was.)  So I had to go to GameStop and buy a memory stick, too.

Oh, and Amazon raised the price on this doll I really wanted, too.  After the price had been dropping for days, to the point where it was almost affordable, it shot right back up to where it was last week.  This day has been suck.

Except that Suikoden II, one of the greatest games ever, has been made available in the Playstation Store.  That, at least, was something good.  But everything else has been suck.

And yes, I’m aware that it’s grammatically garbage to say that the day “has been suck.”  I don’t care about grammar just at the moment.

And I still have to write that stupid paper.


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