Gamefly sucks. That is all.

I contemplated putting this in the Pit but it doesn’t really rise to that level so it goes here…

I had been a GF subscriber since December of 2003 and have had ups and downs with the the company in the intervening 6 or so years. From the days when they only had a distribution center in California and have tried to work themselves into an industry mainstay, I’ve stuck with them. Through slow shipping times, low stocks, and growing pains I supported them because I liked the idea of a Netflix rental model dedicated to videogames. But they haven’t kept up with demand.

They’ve opened up 3 other shipping centers since then, but it’s still simply too difficult to actually get them to ship something. The final straw was last month…

I’d kept a 2 games at a time subscription plan for quite a while, but for a period of 6 weeks they didn’t think I needed a second game out. From the first week of December till the second week of January I went without a another second game being shipped. That’s a single complete billing period. When I emailed customer support the response I received was about two things. Number one was the holiday period, which I understand but simply isn’t acceptable. The other was the claim that I had “too many” high demand games in my queue, including Uncharted 2, Assassin’s Creed 2, Beatles Rock Band and several other recent releases, but you know what? I had 28 games in my queue ranging from PS2, XBox, and Gamecube titles to multiple versions of PS3 and 360 titles, and you can’t tell me that nothing came available over a 6 week period. I, as a long time loyal customer, was being ignored. That’s unacceptable.

When you guys get your shit together maybe I’ll come back, maybe not. Over the last 4 weeks I’ve managed to snag a total of NINE titles between used Gamestop games and eBay sales at prices ranging from new, (Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age), to absurdly low, ($13 for Resident Evil 5), and I don’t know that I’ll change this procedure.

Last year I posted in a thread half-heartedly defending GF so i felt the need to post this thread, explaining my more recent experiences. Anyone contemplating subscribing, I feel the need to warn you, customer support is a low priority and availability is a joke. Sign Up at your own risk.

Honestly, I wonder if there isn’t an inherent problem with the Netflix model for games. This is all supposition and there’s probably real analyses out on the web that show serious holes in mine with things like evidence and crap, but it’s late and I feel like pontificating.

With a movie, the DVD costs $15-20 retail (not even gonna guess at what Netflix pays) and playing time lasts ~2 hours, maybe as much as 6 if you watch the commentary and all the extras. For games, the retail price is more like $30-60, and 6 hours of play time is considered short. This means that, for a certain amount of money, Gamefly not only has fewer assets than Netflix, but they stay out with the customer for far longer. Even though Gamefly’s audience is naturally going to be smaller than Netflix’s, these two issues may be too much for Gamefly while either alone wouldn’t be as bad. And the fact that the audience is smaller also hurts Gamefly, as even higher subscription prices can’t necessarily make up for the lack of numbers.

So you’ve got expensive rental products, a long rental period (which means they need to have even more product in stock to satisfy demand), a small customer base (which means not a lot of money coming in per month), and it’s no wonder that their growth has been seriously slow and their service poor.

I faced the same problem with Gamefly. I was with them from when they were GoVoJo, up until about a year after the name change. The turn around time between games was often in excess of a month, and more often then not I found myself paying for my account without any games to show for it. I, too, kept at it because I supported the idea behind the service, but I eventually had to cancel because I just never felt like I was getting my money’s worth.

It’s vastly different for rental stores because they need to purchase rights to rent the video out. I remember back when I worked at a video rental store we’d pay usually like $80-90 for a new VHS and they’d sell on store shelves for like $20-30

Huh, I thought my thread had sunk like a stone. I wasn’t expecting replies. :stuck_out_tongue:

i completely agree and this has been an on again off again problem with GF and I eventually just got fed up with it. $25 or so out my pocket each month isn’t a big deal but I just started feeling like I was getting jerked around. I can understand the idea of “high demand” games having a waiting list, but I can’t get behind leaving paying customers without a game for weeks on end. I had games that became “available” and were completely ignored for reasons that elude me. Old games at that, PS2 games from 3 or 4 years ago. The only thing I can fathom is because they weren’t at the top of the queue they were being ignored. I have a Netflix account as well and while I occasionally have high demand new releases in my queue they never fail to send something within a day or two of receiving a return, even if it’s lower down in the list.

Bosstone’s point about the Netflix model not being workable with videogames seems like a valid point, one that I’ve considered in the past. As an armchair analyst, and someone completely unfamiliar with how their business works, it seems like they really need to order more new releases and offer used copies at a lower price point. That may not be feasible though, I really don’t know.

this might be true but it’s honestly not the point. The fact remains that they’re leaving paying customers high and dry with no service to show for the money they’re paying. I agree that $25 isn’t much money, but I’d prefer not to simply throw it away when I have nothing to show for it. I do that enough at the bar :stuck_out_tongue:

Oh I agree, completely. I’m not at all attempting to excuse their practices as they’re simply unacceptable. (Been down that road, not doing it again). Gamefly actually encourages their customers to have at least 10 games in the queue at all times, of various ages and systems, but I’ve long thought that was bull. They never make an effort to send you a game if its too new, and they rarely pay attention to anything too low in the list. The fact that I went 6 weeks without a second game on my 2 game plan broke my resolve on that front, especially when they felt the need to feed me more excuses.

But I’ve canceled my account, (did so a month ago), so it’s all academic to me at this point. And I’m still gaming away using other avenues to attain “newish” titles relatively cheaply. If the model is inherently unworkable on a business level for some reason though, I’m more interested in theories as to why that might be. Is it simply atrocious customer service or are they fighting market realities on this front?