Did GameStop purposely try to rip us off on a return? By comparing the price paid to the amount refunded it would appear so... - SahmReviews.com

We’ve never been ones to encourage returning gifts after the holidays. We hope the givers have put a lot of thought into the present, and to us it is an insult to take it back to the store to buy something else. The only time we have ever made an exception to the rule is for something that is the incorrect size – and then we dutifully exchanged it for the same item in the right size.

Over the past 10 years or so it seems gift receipts have become much more common. My parents had always saved the original receipts in case an exchange was needed, so we can see where a version without the actual price on it would come in handy. But the experience we just had this past weekend had us shaking our heads with disbelief and a new distrust for gift receipts – at least those from GameStop.

Backing up a bit, a couple weeks ago my brother called to inquire about ideas for gifts for our girls. Due to upcoming travels, we would be having Christmas a week early at my mom’s house. I mentioned to him that my oldest was currently into anything Overwatch. Somewhere between the time I told him and the point when he got to the store, he couldn’t quite remember exactly what I said. After trying to remember, and discussing with an employee at GameStop, they figured it must have been Yo-Kai Watch, so he picked up a plastic watch from the line for $19.99 (plus tax) and wrapped it up.

We had a good laugh Saturday afternoon about the mix-up and dropped by the same store on the way home so our daughter could exchange it (this would be the first time we truly exchanged a gift for something different) with gift receipt in hand. At the counter I presented the receipt and the still-unopened Yo-Kai Watch and inquired if the stickered price was how much she would have to spend, knowing that it might have been on sale when it was purchased. (Since the gift receipt doesn’t show the actual paid price, the receiver has no way of knowing.)

The gal at the counter mentioned it had just gone on sale today (two days after the purchase date), at the current price was $15.99, without looking it up. We went about our shopping, finally deciding to ask for it on a gift card since they were completely out of Overwatch-related items, and I watched as she started to process the return.

She scanned the item, it rang up as a $19.99 return. Then she scanned the gift receipt – still $19.99. Hit a few more buttons and the price on the display magically changed to $15.99! I immediately asked, “Exactly how much did my brother pay for it when he bought it two days ago?” She then started to go on (again) about it being on sale today, to which I responded, “Yes, but the return should be for the price paid, not today’s price.”

She agreed and continued to check. Sure enough, $19.99 was the original paid price and she actually had to override the price on the return to be able to credit the correct amount! The more I think about this, the angrier I get – how many people go in to do an exchange every day in GameStop stores around the world and are short-changed because the price isn’t on the gift receipt?! To me, their system appeared to automatically process at the lower (and to their benefit) price, and the average consumer wouldn’t know the difference!

I do not know if this is common practice among other retailers, but I do know that from now on I’ll be keeping original receipts and supplying them if someone wants to do a return or exchange. It may only be a few dollars, but the whole incident felt slimy and dishonest. And once my daughter spends the balance on the gift card, I’ll be encouraging her to wisely shop elsewhere.

15 thoughts on “Do Not Trust a GameStop Gift Receipt

  1. It sounds like the girl at the counter intentionally lowered the price maybe because she had already told you $15.99. Maybe she was new and didn’t really understand the point of a gift receipt and thought she had to manually lower it to the current sale price. Who knows? It wouldn’t have benefited her in any way to do that. Or maybe she just felt like being a jerk. It was definitely not standard procedure when I worked in retail, though admittedly not at a Game Stop. Good catch.

  2. Good point for everyone to be cautious about. I know a lot of stores do not put the amount on gift receipts. Pretty sure Toys R Us and Amazon are two that I see most often. I am always overly a watchdog when purchasing or returning things…so may times I would have been cheated out of money, most likely not on purpose but still…

  3. I bet this happens all the time and people do not notice. I always pay attention when the cashier is ringing in my order. You should definitely get back what was paid.

  4. Walmart is the same way. I actually took back a pair of pants my husband bought me due to a small tear. I had the original receipt with price on it. When i got to the counter they wrung up 5.00 less then what he paid for them originally. when I asked they said they could only refund the amount they are currently being sold for and not what was on the receipt. I found this very odd so asked to speak to manager and got the same answer. They refused to refund full price. I call the head office in Arkansas to complain and they finally sent me a gift card fro remaining balance.

  5. Now that is shady! I hate it when business try and pull a fast one on their customers!
    I am not sure if we have a gamestop here or not but thanks for the heads up and a reminder to make sure to double check those receipts!

  6. Important to know! The holidays can be a challenge! It is good you are alerting customers! This shouldn’t have happened!

  7. Wow, I’m glad you’re warning people about this. I was so frustrated years ago when I had a similar situation with Target when trying to return/exchange something from our baby shower. I got so frustrated I registered at Walmart for my next shower.

  8. We had to return an item at Walmart once for which we no longer had the receipt and since the item had since gone on sale, we had to take the sale price, even though we paid full price for it. I didn’t think any store would do this though if you had an actual receipt, gift receipt or not.

  9. What’s wrong with returning a gift you won’t use for one that you would? I got unattractive clothes for my son as gifts from family, with silly and embarrassing sayings like “Chicks Dig Fat Bald Dudes” and traded them for plain clothes that I would rather put him in. I’d rather someone exchange a gift for something they’d use than not use it.

  10. It may have been an honest initial mistake by a new employee, or it may have been a companywide policy, but however an implementation of a policy like that happened, it’s always wise to be vigilant about returns and other customer service interactions to make sure you’re not being taken advantage of. The customer has to be their own advocate, because the store certainly won’t be! Thank you for this post.

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