Gamefly Cancelled

july 1, 2005

I cancelled my Gamefly account last week. I had returned a game at the beginning of June and it had gotten lost in the mail. I reported it lost via their web interface a week after I sent the game back. Nothing happened for another week, so I reported it lost again through their web interface, still nothing though. After another week, I emailed them to see what happened and they never responded. I am paying for a two-games-out plan, yet in June I had only one game in my hands because their support department was not getting to their lost games report queue. That was not economic for me and it was a bit annoying. I cancelled my subscription and sent the one remaining game I had back. I followed up the cancellation with an email to their support team to let them know that I did not have the game that was lost in the mail. I also let them know that I would dispute any charges to my credit card for that game. Last night, I received an email from Gamefly stating that I had a "delinquent" game and if they "do not receive the disc(s) by 7/7/2005, [they] must assume that [I] want to keep the game(s) and [my] credit card will be charged a replacement fee equal to the full retail value of the game(s)." Huh? I had reported this thing lost four times over the period of a month and now they are saying that they are going to charge me the full price for the damned thing? I sent one more email letting them know, but I figured that the email was flying into some sort of support blackhole. I followed up this morning with a call to their support phone line, which is buried deep in their FAQ system (for those of you who need to know: 1-888-986-6400). I waited on the phone for about 10 minutes and a customer service rep named Kevin helped me get the game off my queue. The customer service rep was friendly, helpful and got it done in less than five minutes. He looked in the system and verified what I thought: The email address is a blackhole or something, since he did not see any emails from me going into that support address. Anyways, here is my assessment of Gamefly based on my stay there and this is all coming from a guy who is spoiled by Netflix:

Overall, if they had more warehouses (like Netflix) and could get a better turn around on the games, then this would be a great service -- just for comparison, if I send a movie to Netflix on Monday, I'd get a movie back on Wednesday. Yes, I know game rentals are different from movie rentals in that a game is to be played for a long period of time rather a movie which is watch in two to three hours. But, I don't play all games all the way through most of the time and like to "sample" games. I figured Gamefly would be a good way to sample different games and keep the ones I like for longer. With the long turn around time though, it would not be cost effective. Also, they need to clean up their customer service issues -- mostly technical -- so that customers, like me, do not get frustrated and cancel their subscription.

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