Let me preface this review by stating, the review reflects only the experience which I had on the day - the review is not reflective of the website’s opinion in general, and only of the author (myself) who had the experience first hand.
Now the reason why I felt the need to protect my website in that way.
I had a really, really bad experience. We all have, right? You walk into a store and expect the world - and you leave feeling as if nobody working there has even heard the term “customer service”, let alone practiced it.
Our little adventure with Good Games Melbourne came from 10 mostly positive reviews on Google (4.6 star rating out of 5) and the hope that they bought Trading Cards (as they sold singles). First we drove right by the store, there’s literally one tiny, tiny little sign proclaiming that this doorway is indeed the gateway to a gaming store above. Our bad, though, we were probably just petrified of Melbourne traffic having come from the country. So we walked a block back to get there and missed the doorway again. We checked google - and sure enough, it’s literally a blue door with a tiny sign above it stating that this is indeed “Good Games” Melbourne.
We enter a hallway with no signage and a set of stairs through a doorway. We hit the stairs (in absolute disrepair with some form of junk to the side/underneath them) and head up. We hear the din of gaming and are immediately feeling a little better. So, maybe it was our fault that we missed it, clearly others found it well enough.
Then we’re greeted with a few things as we enter the doorway. To the left, a messy unkempt counter (but well stocked), two teenage service individuals, and a -lot- of both under age and above age gamers to the right. However these gamers are accompanied by “Don’t be a d***”, “F*** Off!”, “F*** That!” and “That’s Bullshit” all heard intermittently throughout our time talking to the staff member. We’re gamers, we swear, we get it. But this is a store as well as a gaming area - and how could you possibly expect parents to introduce their kids to the world of gaming if this is the front you’re presenting them with? Then there was the smell. Indescribable at best, bad at worst. With that many teenage male gamers in the room - and not a single female anywhere in sight other than my partner, perhaps some form of air freshener might benefit the area?
To their credit, the retail assistant immediately made his way to us to see if he could help. It was possibly the fastest I’ve been served in a similar store. I can’t fault them for prompt service in the slightest.
We asked if they purchased trading cards. We got a very vague, neither yes nor no answer. “Sometimes, I mean… well we, yeah, some more than others”. Right, okay. I explained my situation, that I’d just found a box full of trading cards from my childhood in the nineties. I’d done my research, I knew the stack included quite a few first edition shadowless pokemon cards, I knew there was SOME value - even if not a lot. So the retail assistant goes through two decks, repeating thrice that they don’t take sports cards (I’d said at the start there’s some sports cards in the box that I had no interest in selling to this particular establishment). Then as I asked my partner to sort out the final stack so the assistant could look through and I got “Don’t bother, we wouldn’t take these.” Okay.
I asked if there was anywhere else we could try. “Well, not really that I know of, maybe Card Zone, but don’t hold me to that”. Fair enough. I asked if I could look around anyway. “Yeah”. Teenage store assistant goes back to talking to his co-worker. We don’t see him again. We spend ten to fifteen minutes clearly interested in the merchandise on the shelves - even going so far as to pick some things up and not once were we approached by the retail assistant to ask if we needed help.
We’re wondering at this point where the management is, or worse, if this is the management?
We hang round for a few more vulgarities and slander to meet our ears, listen in on some conversations as some outright bullying occurs - then decide it’s best we depart.
I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t look like their regular clientelle - I’m 6’2 and have tattoos - and my gaming sleeve wasn’t visible at the time, or because I entered with a female, or perhaps my 29 years of age worried them. Either way - it was the most unwelcome I’ve ever felt in any store. I know they didn’t expect me to own a gaming website, I know they didn’t think my word might mean much - but that’s exactly why you treat every single customer with the utmost respect. You never know who’s who when you’re serving. The man in a hoodie and jeans might own a Triple A publishing house, the man in a suit might have rented it for a wedding. Every person is a potential sale - you need to learn to capitilise on potential customers and converting them to sales.
That and basic customer service and etiquette.
Long way to go before this store is acceptable - but I truly hope they get there. They have the potential.
Writer, Gamer, Father, Tattoo and Gym Addict, I have no time to do any of it but I want to do it all- So I'll give it a damn good shot.