Saturday, February 26, 2011

Clever Marketing or Computer Error

I was hoping to review the latest zombies-in-outer-space console game, Dead Space 2, but the price is a little high if I'm just reviewing it. A friend sent me a month's free subscription to GameFly, a company that rents out console and hand-held games much like NetFlix does for DVDs. So I signed up for my month and put Dead Space 2 at the top of my queue.

The availability of the game has been low since it was just released and is a big hit. Also, I believe it's a longer game with an unfolding storyline as you battle Necromorphs in a massive space city called "The Sprawl." The turnaround on mailing discs is also very slow compared to NetFlix, so a subscriber needs to have good timing when mailing back other discs. We wound up playing a bunch of good and not so good Kinect games (none with zombies).

The timing never worked out for us all month, so today I went online and canceled my account. I wasn't surprised that I had to click on a "Cancel my account" link on several screens as GameFly asked me if I was really serious about canceling or if I wanted their cheapest subscription rate. The rub came when they asked me to use up my last two days of the account on this page:

Note the date when I should cancel and the date of this posting. I hope this error is some random computer-generated mistake and not a Machiavellian trick designed to get me to pay for a month! I continued cancellation and opted in to GameFly's Terms of Cancellation and then double-checked that the account was really cancelled. It was. We do have one disc at home that we have to return in seven days or else they'll charge us the purchase fee.

I think this service would be a good deal if we played games more often and if they had a better turn around time. If this were a break up, it'd be partly my fault and partly their fault. I have no regrets about breaking up, other than not getting to play Dead Space 2. I'll have to check the used game racks at my local game store to see if it's cheap or even available.

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