Why I Hold On To GameStop: All For A Splatoon 2 Pro Controller

Over this reminiscing journey through good GameStop experiences there has been one recurring theme: above average customer service. Store employees have seemingly gone the extra mile to keep me happy. The following example happened recently and still has me in awe:

I was the first person in line at my GameStop to pre-order the Switch on that cold Friday morning after the Nintendo presentation back in January. When asked to choose between the Neon and Gray versions, I stupidly chose Gray; a decision I have regretted since five hours after I made it.

The Splatoon 2 Pro Controller has ink blots and in-game brands both etched on the translucent plastic face and printed under it.

Many months later, when the Splatoon 2 version of the Pro Controller was announced not only was I immediately attracted to all the details on the face of the controller(Splatoon in-game brands), but I also got super excited for the bright green and pink handles. I had missed out once on having colorful controllers. I was not going to miss out again! So, I went to GameStop and pre-ordered one of their three alloted Splatoon 2 Pro Controllers prior to the game’s launch. No joke there; the store was only slated to receive three of them!

Everything continued smoothly. The game launched, I picked up my download code and snazzy new Pro Controller. Then, proceeded to become a Splatoon addict, logging over a hundred and fifty hours in about a month! Everything was smooth and colorful in Inkopolis. But, around mid August, I started noticing that my Inkling (character in Splatoon) would sometimes walk instead of run. It was very sporadic so I chucked it to maybe accidentally stepping on enemy ink without noticing.

But, when it continued to happen, and more consistently, I officially got suspicious. I remembered that the Switch has an analog stick calibration screen and went hunting for it in the settings menu. A few button presses later, I confirmed it: the controller was not properly detecting when the left analog stick was fully tilted forward. And, the reason why I was only noticing on-and-off was that the issue only occurred between around eighty eight and eighty degrees (i.e. forward and just slightly to the right).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There it was, a little over a month after purchasing the controller and it seemed to be faulty. Even worse, I had purchased no insurance on it because one, I am historically good at taking care of technology, and two, it is Nintendo hardware, meant to take abuse way beyond my day to day use. Regardless, I packed the controller neatly back in its box and decided to head to GameStop to see what my options were. I also went ahead and brought my Switch so that I could bring up the calibration screen and show them the issue.

Once at the store, after the sales rep greeted me, I proceeded to explain how the left analog stick was not registering right and how I had started noticing it due to the sporadic instances during play. I was not even close to done explaining myself when the GameStop employee started talking:

“We do not have any more Splatoon 2 Pro Controllers on hand but, we can replace the faulty controller with a regular Pro Controller. But, if you want another Splatoon 2 edition, I can call our warehouse to check if they have stock and get back to you tomorrow.”

I was completely floored by this response. There I was, ready to over-explain the situation, bring out my Switch to show them and then beg for some chance for an equal replacement. And, there he was not needing any of that from me. I, of course, chose the “call the warehouse” option. So, he carefully repacked my Splatoon 2 Pro Controller for me, handed it back, wrote down my phone number and name on a sticky note, and I was on my way. I must have said “Thank you” five or six times.

The next day, I received no phone call. The day after that, I called the store to follow up. The familiar voice picked up the phone and, after I explained who I was, he quickly gave me an update. Not surprising, there were no Splatoon 2 Pro Controllers in stock on any of the warehouses. However, a few stores across the nation still had some controllers; three to be exact (that number again). So, my GameStop was requisitioning one of the THREE controllers left in the United States from another store in order to fulfill my exchange! He specified that it could take about a week and that he would call me as soon as they received the replacement. I must have said “Thank you” another five times before hanging up and was, once again, a little awestruck.

GameStop is doing all of this but why? is all I could think. I understand that accessories provide some of their higher profit margins which could justify going out of their way to ensure I have a good experience with my $80 accessory. But, to go as far as pull a highly sought after item from another store (that will now make no profit from it) to just hand it out truly boggled me.

Anyways, a little under a week and half after that follow up call, my phone ringed and it was GameStop on the caller id (I have my store saved as a contact). A new voice proceeded to tell me that my controller had arrived and he had been instructed by his manager to call me as soon as it did. It had taken longer than the estimated time but I was still surprised. I let him know I would swing by the store that afternoon to make the exchange.

Another gratuitous picture of the Splatoon 2 Pro Controller. Those sexy vibrant handles. Mhmm!

The rest is pretty much history. Regardless of whether or not this entire process was standard procedure for the store, they went above and beyond my expectations. The store could have easily just offered to exchange for the much more available standard black Pro Controller but instead displayed an amazing level of customer service. The controller theme meant a lot to me and so they went out of their way to make it happen.

This whole endeavor served to add yet another layer to my feelings regarding GameStop. In all the years being a customer, I had never seen added value in actually buying something from the store. All the benefits from my point of view were in the process leading up to the purchase and the moment of the actual purchase. Now, I have increased confidence when buying hardware from the store, especially peripherals.

Maybe I am very fickle or extremely sentimental; probably both. But, experiences like this one mean a lot to me. They linger. And GameStop just raised the bar for customer service pretty high. There is a little possibility that I was an exception to their process. But I doubt I am that special.


If you enjoyed this article, please click the Follow button bellow or like our Facebook page to receive notifications on future posts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s