Wallmart (as many other stores) has an annoying policy of not refunding games that were opened unless the game is deffective. I got choked by them several times when I tried to return a game that would simply not run on my machine. Yes, I’m an idiot for not checking the specs on the back of the box closely enough- but still. I’m an IT guy and there was a time when I could not remember if my windows box had had Nvidia GeForce MX of FX. Imagine how an average computer illiterate Joe Public must feel reading these specs. My box used to be a kick ass machine back in the day – and I used to be able to run anything that required GeForce. Only recently when pixel shading became the big thing I started having these problems :P
Besides, what if I don’t like the game? What if I don’t agree with the EULA? If the game is effective they will replace it but only for the same game! Now that’s ok if I get a scratched CD, but the EULA case still stands. I need to open the game to read the EULA, but if I open it, I cannot return it? It’s messed up!
So getting screwed several times by Wallmart and other stores, I developed a method that lets me return games relatively painlessly. Please note that I never used this to get a free game – I only return games that wont run, or that I don’t like because of their EULA, third party software they require me to install or whatnot.
The one simple rule is – lie. Claim you haven’t opened the game, and they will return it without much fuss. Just make sure the game look like it is unopened. Be careful when peeling the little round sticker/tape that seals the box. Open the game from the bottom, and do not rip the paper. Use clear glue if the sticker peels off at the edges. And lie, lie lie. 90% of the time they will just glance at those stickers, and if they are not ripped or cut they will throw the game to the return bin and give you your cash.
I’m not advocating using this method to get a free game. If you do it, do it on your own risk. I’m simply saying that as a consumer I think I should have a right to return a game if I decline to accept EULA, or that will not run on my machine (when the requirements were not clearly stated on the box). With the opened box policy this becomes impossible. Why should I waste $40+ just because Wallmart assumes that every single customer, is a “dirty pirate”?