Paul: Game Store, this is Paul!
Grandmother: Hello. I’m looking for a game for the Playstation. It’s Saints Row, I think the third one.
Paul: Lemme check on that for you. *tap tap tap* Wow, I’m sorry, we’re sold out of all our Saints Row games! We do get it in all the time, though, or you could get a gift card!
Grandmother: Well, it’s for our 10 year-old in Georgia. We want to get it for him in time for Christmas.
Paul: Well, obviously it’s up to you guys, but Saints Row may not be appropriate for someone that young.
Grandmother: Well, he just had a stroke, and this is the first thing he’s asked for. I think he’s played all the other ones.
Paul: Oh, goodness. That’s rough.
Grandmother: It sure is, poor thing. He got into a fight with another boy at school and got hit by a chair.
I guess I’m glad I don’t have to make the call about whether or not to give him the game.
(Paul is at the bank and notices that the customer standing very closely behind him is awfully interested in his deposit. He turns around.)
Paul: Can I help you?
Guy: I just never thought I’d see a guy in a dinosaur shirt making a big deposit.
Paul: Well, I never thought I’d hear Linkin Park being played at a bank.
Teller (looking uncomfortable): I guess it’s a brave new world for everyone!
It’s a tale of two customers. We’ll call one Short and one Tall.
Short comes in with his wife and asks about a 360 and a couple of games. The differences are explained and the friendly couple chooses a console. It’s set on the counter with a couple of games. Discs are found from the cabinet and prepared while the couple shops for accessories.
Tall comes in, wishing to sell his 360. It’s dirty and comes with a dog-chewed controller. We make an offer on the console contingent on a successful test, and Tall accepts the offer graciously. We begin testing the console.
A few minutes pass. Tall speaks up, “Hey, actually, my little brother still wants the Xbox, so I’m gonna keep it.” We help Tall package his system back up while he profusely apologizes for wasting our time. No biggie, it’s always OK to get information and make a choice that you’re comfortable with.
About 30 seconds later, Short says “Hey man, we need to get something from our car, we’ll be right back.” He pulls his wife out of the store by her arm.
At this point, my wife and I are pretty sure that we know what’s going on. After a couple minutes, I stick my head out the door and sure enough, everyone is gone. We put the discs back into the cabinet and put our (clean, warrantied) system back on the shelf.
It would have been just fine for them to work something out in the parking lot. I couldn’t have stopped them and wouldn’t want to be That Guy even if I could. I just don’t like being lied to, especially when there was absolutely no reason to be shady. Used 360s have about a 1/20 defect rate that’s built into our price calculations, so I hope for Short’s sake that it doesn’t start grinding discs next week.