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Subject: Games Paradise in Sydney sucks! Both B&M and online! rss

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Tomurai 2776
Australia
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Hi all - just had to share my experience with you all. Recently I went in to Games Paradise on Pitt St and asked about the Gears of War boardgame. They took my number and said they'd call me when it came in, which they did. I then proceeded to purchase the game from their online store (for $89.95 - in store it was $100) along with a few other titles.

Later that day I got a call from crazy old Jenny who owns the Pitt St store. She was strongly recommending that I come in and pay for the game as she didn't really want to hold it for me. I told her I'd never actually requested anyone to hold me a copy and that I'd actually purchased it from their online store. She sounded very unhappy (as opposed to her usual cheery self ) and asked how much I'd paid for it and then proceeded to ask me a bunch of questions about how much I'd paid for shipping etc.

A couple of days after I'd ordered, I noticed that the order status wasn't going anywhere. It just sat there "being processed". I checked Gears of War on their website and it was available. A minute later though, they'd sold out apparently. Yet shortly after it was available again now at the brand new cost of $99.95. So clearly it wasn't a case of a game being out of stock (they just wanted to raise the price). No, it turns out they're just bloody slow. I ordered on Tuesday and they didn't pack and send off my order until Monday.

So here I am, a week later, finally with the box in my lap. I open it up and guess what? No Gears of War boardgame! And no invoice either. What really worries me is that on their website, it says they shipped a copy of GoW to me. Looks like it's going to be my word against theirs.

I'm going to call them tomorrow. I'll let you all know how that goes.

One more thing - I found a much better store called Good Games on George St. Their in-store prices are cheaper than Games Paradise online and they're friendly! Finally - a store in Sydney that's made Games Paradise redundant! Although Milsims online are still cheaper.

Anyhoo - thanks for listening!
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Kon Stavrinos
Australia
Canberra
ACT
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Feel for you man.

I met the crazy old biddy last year and she spun me the usual sob story of high prices and import costs and then her son came in. He actually runs the Online web site as a separate entity (that's what he told me) anyway at least he seamed a decent bloke.

Needless to say I was an out of towner so I played the country bumpkin and then got out of there.

Moral to the story...

MILSIMS best prices in the country.
I even went to the store in Melbourne when I was holidaying there and bought a few games....and the guys are actually very friendly.
What more can you ask for.

I wish you the best in getting a good outcome from this.
If you don't well don't go back and tell all the gamers you know your story.

Keep us posted on the outcome and best of luck.
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Mike Cooper
United States
Lewisville
Texas
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tomurai2776 wrote:

So here I am, a week later, finally with the box in my lap. I open it up and guess what? No Gears of War boardgame! And no invoice either. What really worries me is that on their website, it says they shipped a copy of GoW to me. Looks like it's going to be my word against theirs.


Is there a listed weight on the shipping label? If so, you can probably use that to show that the box was empty (or at least lighter than the boardgame would have been).
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Tomurai 2776
Australia
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Brilliant idea. Yeah, it does have the weight printed on the shipping label. I'm definitely keeping the box intact. If need be I can photograph the box with all the games inside which would show that there's no way Gears of War would fit in there.
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Tomurai 2776
Australia
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Yeah, from now on the plan is definitely to buy games from Good Games, and if they don't have it, order it from Milsims.

For sure I'll let you know how it all goes when I call tomorrow.
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Andrew
Australia
Perth Airport
WA
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Whilst I respect your right to share your comments with the community here, I think you're being a little bit unreasonable and certainly prejudicial.

You asked about a game in the store, they took your number and called you when it came in. So, to my mind, by implication you did ask them to hold one for you. I don't see it as unreasonable that they anticipated what they thought you wanted, and then asked you to come in and pay for a game that is probably in short supply and certainly in demand from other customers.

I can't comment on the tone of "crazy old Jennny", although if that's an indication of your respect then I can well understand how her mood might have been a little less than "cheery". I can also understand how she might be as disappointed as any other shop owner to know she lost a sale to an online alternative.

You then make comments about the online store changing their price, but I fail to see the relevance of that. You submitted and paid for an order at a particular price, and there's no suggestion they are trying to charge you any more for an order you've already placed, so what?

A status of "being processed" most likely means exactly that. I would imagine that, like most online businesses, they set the status of items as 'In Stock' as soon as they have stock, but need to unpack, allocate and combine various orders, and ship as quickly as they can in the order in which orders are received. You placed an order for more than one item on Tuesday and they shipped four business days later, which doesn't seem unreasonable to me.

But I'm afraid the most objectionable part of this post for me is this:
tomurai2776 wrote:
Looks like it's going to be my word against theirs.
I'm going to call them tomorrow. I'll let you all know how that goes.

Without calling or making any attempt whatsoever to advise them of a problem, you've chosen to simply publicly denigrated them.

I'll tell you that over my time I have received a couple of orders incorrectly from Games Paradise, and on every single occasion they have very promptly responded and resolved the issue to my complete satisfaction. I've never had to argue my point; I simply tell them the problem and they fix it. That's exactly what I expect good customer service to be.

So, at the moment the only real issue you have is that you have not yet received a game that is shown as sent, but you haven't given them the opportunity to help you. Have you considered the possibility the box was sent separately and delayed by Aus Post?

You have a right to your opinion. But, in my opinion, before you make a post that "Games Paradise in Sydney sucks" you should have at least given them the opportunity to communicate with you and see whether or not this could have been sorted out for you.
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Shayne Gray
United States
Akron
Ohio
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I'm going to have to agree with Andrew. Until broaching the issue with the retailer it is pretty poor form to bash them before you know what is all happening.
 
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Tomurai 2776
Australia
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Yeah, some fair points. I have to admit I'm in a much better head space today than I was yesterday.

Have you actually met Jenny though? She's been mentioned a number of times in other threads here on BGG and by and large the consensus is she's quite literally crazy and off her nut - pedantically re-adjusting games only seconds after you've looked at them, following you around like a hawk, screaming at her staff in front of customers. It was only the other day my friend had just walked into the store and set his bag down to look at some games and Jenny complained, "I have to walk down these aisles you know". I mean, he hadn't even planted his bag in the middle of the aisle. He had it set up as close as possible against one of the shelves. Also, he'd only set his bag down because the last time he was in, she rudely complained that his bag would bump games off shelves.

As for your comment, "although if that's an indication of your respect then I can well understand how her mood might have been a little less than "cheery"", I can promise you I'm always polite and courteous when dealing with people either in person, via email or over the phone. This is what drives me (and others, I'm sure) mental about this woman! When a customer's politely asking a question with a smile on their face - why get snippy??

Anyway, getting back to the matter on hand - I sent them an email last night asking them to call me asap about the missing game. This morning I received an email from them saying that the game was coming as a separate package (to be mailed tomorrow), as though that was always the plan. There was no acknowledgement of a mistake on their behalf. Unfortunately for them, I know the game has been in stock since I ordered it last Tuesday. It was only marked "out of stock" over the weekend temporarily while they changed the price. My order - everything on my order - was apparently shipped on Monday. But as soon as I tell them about the missing game, they say the order is to be shipped in two parts, with the missing game shipping tomorrow (Thursday). Why can't they just admit they stuffed up and forgot to send one of the games? There's no way a game that's in stock ships 4 days after the original package. Or perhaps there is a reasonable reason for this - please let me know if you think you know why.

The long and short of it is - since the game wouldn't be shipping until tomorrow, I asked them to cancel and refund the order for the last game (I've read enough about them on here at BGG to know that they're always only too happy to cancel an order), and I purchased a copy in-store from Good Games. Opened up the box in the store, worked out what card sleeve sizes I'd need to protect all the cards and sat there happily, sleeving away, listening to all the playful banter going on between the staff and their customers whom they all knew by name.

So to Games Paradise - thanks for making the last step easy. Though you definitely need to pick up your game in many other areas of your business.
To everyone else - sorry if I offended anyone. I had a VERY bad yesterday dealing with sloppy customer service. Next time, I'll remember to breathe, think of calm blue oceans and then type gently away at the keyboard
To Good Game - thanks for your awesome customer service.
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Michael
Australia
Sydney
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Interesting read! That lady is the only reason why I never buy anything at GamesParadise (ok, their high prices don't help, either).

I remember how happy I was when I moved from my little country town to Sydney and found a gaming store. I was about to move upstairs as a sign said something about RPG products, and that lady looked at me and said in all honesty "You're not gonna steal anything, are you!".

The whole atmosphere at GamesParadise is just incredibly customer-unfriendly. I returned there a few times after the Tin Soldier closed its city store, but relaxed browsing is impossible with that lady around. After my "good morning" was replied with "What are you after?!", I have never set foot in the store again. My wife feels the same. She works in the City and went to GamesParadise on her lunch break. Well, wearing a business outfit didn't protect her from suspicious looks and unfriendly treatment.

I can recommend Good Games as well as the staff is really helpful and friendly. My favourite Sydney games store has to be Games Empire. It's run by two gamers who have a great selection, fair prices and the best customer services possible. Unfortunately, their store is located at Castle Hill which is a pain to get to.
Oh, and the Tin Soldier still has a shop at Penrith which is the best for war gamers as far as I know.
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Scott Huntington
Germany
Hamburg
Hamburg
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I had a similar experience in the store today with this insane woman. I made the mistake of going in on a Sunday. As soon as I saw her my whole body tensed up. I remember reading that she doesn't work there anymore (there are two friendly guys working there usually) but I lucked out.

When asking her when a game I was looking for would arrive, she replied coldly "well we just can't know" like she was being nagged by a child. When I told her the publisher (It's from Fantasy Flight) she snapped, "I'm aware who it's from!". Later, after a friend of mine bought another game, we continued browsing, until she found us in an aisle and said bluntly "Why are you still here?"

She's almost so comically awful that I have to laugh, but now I know she still actually crawls out of the storage room to bite her customers, that store won't be getting any money from me. You've lost yet another customer, Games Paradise.
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Stuart Finlay
Australia
Beldon
WA
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My wife and I had the Games Paradise 'experience' last year. We went in to browse and to pick up a title for my wife. During our initial browsing we had the seemingly mandatory 'What do you want?', stalking and shelf straightening wherever we stopped to look at a game box even if we didn't even touch it.

After a while we noticed an expansion for game that a friend had and whose birthday was coming up. We asked whether it increased the number of players even though we were pretty sure it did and were promptly told in no uncertain terms that it did not (it did, by 2). My wife who is generally very tactful gave her an out by suggesting that she might not know all the details about every title in store and that it wasn't a problem if she wasn't 100% sure, but she was having none of it then stating that game expansion never increase the number of players. Well that was the final nail in the coffin so we left without buying either title and won't be back in store or online.

The stalking is kind of comedic, the ignorance not really important, but the attitude is unpleasant and unacceptable.
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Boards & Bits
United States
Spokane Valley
Washington
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At some point I would just go in to see how much I could irritate her. Sounds absolutely ridiculous.

Tom
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Derek Anderson
United States
Ennis
Montana
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BoardsAndBits wrote:
At some point I would just go in to see how much I could irritate her. Sounds absolutely ridiculous.

Tom


Let's all plan a trip and each enter the store 15 mins apart from each other, browsing, setting bags down on the floor, moving around games, asking stupid questions...
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Richard L
Australia
Woy Woy
NSW
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I'm up for giving that lady a little bit of hassling.

I went in there on a weekend in the recent school holidays with my kids and found the two guys behind the counter friendly and able to cope with our movements (with backpack). The kids were like, well, kids in a games shop, grabbing stuff off shelves and bringing it to show me. I was constantly badgering the kids to take it easy with the shelves and put things back etc. We purchased a couple of 1000 piece puzzles and Discworld: Ankh-Morpork. No abnormal dramas, basically.

Then, last Monday, I was on my own and got a small, but it would appear common, dose of the "Jenny" treatment.

I arrived in the shop about 11:40 am. I was dressed nicely (business casual) as I was going to lunch with my wife in the Strand at 12 and had my normal backpack (is it a manbag?). I was looking for London as it was advertised on their website for $39.95. I also had a bit of a browse (10 minutes tops) to see if anything was on special for Christmas/Birthdays etc. I checked out many things, Catan, Alhambra, London, Munchkin, puzzles etc. I didn't realise, until a couple of other people came in, that "Jenny" had moved out from behind the counter. And had gone down the Catan section I had been looking at to move all the boxes back to very front edge of the shelf! I was about to grab a copy of Settlers off the shelf (we haven't played this classic) when I got a comment that she 'needed to go to the bank soon'. I grabbed the Catan and ran away.

Not only that, when I asked why the price of London was $50 in store, she said it was $10 postage to have it sent online, so the price was the same!

I know it is petty, but I went home and ordered it online for $48.70 delivered!
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Richard Channell
Australia
Townsville
Queensland
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I really wish I had read this earlier. On 13 Feb 13, I ordered Zombicide and Suburbia. According to the web site both games where in stock. I was expecting the games to arrive about 5 days later, even though the web page said 2-5 days. 5 working days later, I contacted them and asked what the hold up was, and they informed me that there was a problem with shipping. I then accepted the answer and asked what the approximate date would be instead, they responded by saying the items would be sent the next day and should be there in 3 days. I waited another 5 days, bearing in mind I live in the remote location of Townsville, and still nothing. I contacted again and they informed me there was a problem with Suburbia for some reason and could not explain to me what it was and that Zombicide would be sent in a day and would arrive on Monday and that Suburbia would be sent separately on the Wdnesday. Anyway, I received Zombicide as expected, HOORAY!, I gave it a quick go and arranged for a family and friends game night for this weekend. Wednesday arrived and I contacted Games Paradise on Thursday. They informed me that Suburbia wasn't actually in stock and that it was an error on the web site, then they informed me it WILL arrive next week or I could get a refund.

Now, what grinds my gears is the complete lack of honesty from the start and the complete lack of communication by the company to its customers. I personally do not mind waiting for something, if they would have simply emailed me, contacted me in some fashion and explain the problem from the start, this would not have been an issue, now however, I fear this will be the last time I purchase anything from this company.
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Dave Binny
Australia
Wanniassa
Australian Capital Territory
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Yes I too wish I had read this 2 weeks ago before ordering $250 of games in their mega sale. I also wish I had looked at their facebook page and seen the many comments complaining about broken promises and endless delays regarding orders months old.

I decided today that I would call them, but before I did I clicked the "reorder" link in order history part of my account (that is presumably indicating that the world's slowest picker has been "processing" my order for 9 days straight now). That revealed to me that they didn't have Mice & Mystics in stock...although it was purported to be so when I clicked the button to order it! In the interests of full disclosure the webstore now correctly indicates that it is not in stock. However I would point out to lovers of customer service that no contact was made with me to say "sorry we made a mistake and it isn't in stock."

So I rang them up and spoke to a lady who looked up my order and said it would ship next week and I'd have it by the end of the week. I asked her why it hadn't shipped and she said that it was because they were waiting for one item to come in. So that matched up with what the system was telling me. "just refund me for that item and send the rest then please". Then there was some rambling about "thunderstone would be in soon"..and on the urging of my instincts I asked her what item wasn't in stock..."thunderstone" she tells me...not mice and mystics. So I explicitly put it to her that the order system was telling me M&M was't in stock either. What followed was partially incoherant to me so I confess I couldn't follow the whole story about how it would definitely be in Monday and shipped to me Tuesday. (and another full disclosure - I'm old enough that my hearing is slightly degraded in the higher frequencies so that, for example, I sometimes can't understand teenagers mumbling under their breath)

By this stage I had no confidence and despite really wanting the other games I decided that I wanted the games less than I wanted the angst of wondering if anything would ever arrive. That was when I said "please cancel my order and refund me". She agreed and I asked her if that would be done today, she said it would. I can happily report that it was indeed refunded today and has now safely arrived in my paypal account, though the games I wanted 9 days ago obviously now need to be sourced elsewhere.

Oddly I think I have been in this store and chatted pleasantly with the Jenny mentioned above (I'm not sure if it was her on the phone today however). So obviously experiences vary. For all the bad things written there are also some nice things being said about GP online too, I can only say that my experience was unsatisfying to a sufficient degree that I felt an obligation to share with the community.
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