The gaming gods must hate me

First Gamefly, now Microsoft. After a generally enjoyable experience with Gamefly–where I got my first game within three days of signing up–It took ten full days from the second I dropped my first game into the mailbox and receiving the next. As if I haven’t waited long enough, my Xbox went ahead and gave me the red ring of death the day before I received my long-awaited rental.

Blarg

Blarg

Since signing up I have spent a third of my time playing rented games and 66% of the time waiting for a game to be delivered.
From what I understand, Gamefly has partnered with the USPS to shorten delivery times. The idea is that once the USPS scans the barcode on your return it sends a message to Gamefly so they can ship out your next game while the first one is on its way home. If this were the case, I would have gotten a text message saying Gamefly shipped my next game on Thursday 12th, but instead they didn’t ship it until Monday 16th. Even then, if they shipped it on the 16th, why did it take five days to get to Omaha when the first one only took 3?

One reason could be that Gamefly waited a couple of days to see if a game higher on my queue came in before it shipped out a game that was 10th on my queue. The game I eventually received was so low on my queue I don’t know what it was ranked. This is not a problem for me, although I wish they would just turn around and send me whatever they had in stock instead of waiting. If I didn’t want to play a game it wouldn’t be on my queue, so just send me what’s available.

Part of me suspects this is a ploy to get me to upgrade to the two-games-out-at-a-time plan, the plan they are trying hardest to sell. If I had that plan I could have been playing another game while waiting for the next. Don’t feel like upgrading quite yet.
But all the same, I’m not quite ready to write Gamefly off yet. When I was thinking about signing up for it I was constantly looking for an objective writeup of their service, so here I just want to provide my experience for anyone in the same boat.

So now I find myself in the same situation I was in a month ago. Broken Xbox, so I can’t play my new game, and my wife and I cannot watch streaming Netflix. Blarg!

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6 Responses to “The gaming gods must hate me”

  1. Paul Says:

    Bummer about the ring of death. That sucks hard. I’ve been there and subsequently have a love hate relationship with Microsoft. I feel your pain.

    As for Gamefly… the issue you describe has more to do with the post office than them from what I’ve learned.

    Here’s the deal. You’re right about the setup with the USPS where they scan games and gamefly gets notified their in the mail back to them and then ships your next game out. That does in fact happen WHEN the post office actually does it! Unfortunately, not all of them do.

    The good news is that you can get around the situation by mailing your games back from a different location or experimenting with a few until it takes. Some post offices do in fact get it and will scan your games. Try sending them back from work or have your wife try sending them back from her office. Failing that, just try a different mailbox.

    Half the time the post office actually has the technology but no one knows it. There’s the post office for you. Urgency isn’t exactly part of the job description.

    Frustrating yes, but experimenting is worth it. Gamefly is awesome, particularly in this economy. Even when my account is idle for a while I still end up coming out ahead financially. It’s way more cost effective than buying which just isn’t fiscally responsible these days.

    • cornfedgamer Says:

      Thanks for the insight, and for your condolence on my injured Xbox. I had a suspicion that the post office might not scan it. They certainly wouldn’t go out of their way to do it unless Gamefly was paying them, which I doubt. I figure the most direct route would be calling the post office and asking about it. I still have a good impression of Gamefly, especially in this economy. Waiting a couple of extra days is just a minor inconvenience in a service that is a major convenience.

  2. Paul Says:

    Calling the post office is a start. I’m not sure half of them even realize they have the technology or know how to use it if they do but a little tenacity will pay off.

    I know too that Gamefly tracks these kinds of issues if you report them. I guess in an effort to identify problem areas and what not. Might be worth letting them know about it too.

  3. cornfedgamer Says:

    It’s worth it to pester them. It might all be moot now, though. My Xbox is still kaput, and I really don’t know if it is possible to fix it this time. I have my fingers crossed, but I’m also wondering how I can afford a new one if the worst should happen.

  4. Paul Says:

    Microsoft is of the devil.

  5. William Says:

    Just let me know if anything happens to it and we’ll get it up and running again, M$ really just needs to get advice and help from the professionals that make gaming system instead of just going out and trying to make there own and failing, But i do have to say I”ve grown deeply attached to M$’s little overheating bundle of gaming excitment that if they were ever to make another system (which i’m sure they will) I’d go out and buy it first day it was released as long as it was as good if not better then the 360.

    As for Gamefly I tried them out and didn’t like how slow they were with shipping out the games, well should actually be saying how slow the post office was/is at shipping the games out. If they happen to increase shipping speed to like 2 days I’d join back up but then again only time will tell.

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