I, like many CAG'ers, like to save money whenever possible. I like to make sure my dollar is going as far as it can go when it comes to my gaming habits. I was with Gamefly for almost three years when I decided that I wanted to really crack down on my budget and search for a "rental alternative". I was happy with Gamefly, and in my opinion, they provided pretty good service and offered some amazing game deals to members; especially if you had the 10% bonus for being a member (for more than a year) when they have their game sales. Though I was happy with Gamefly, my thrifty side took over and I realized if I could save money, that would be more money in my pocket to use for other things. After searching, I came across the company GameMine, and they offered a one-game-at-a-time option for only $8.99 per month. After calculating what I would save almost $100 a year in my game rental budget, I decided to cancel Gamefly, sign up, and take a chance with GameMine...
I wish that i didn't.
In my opinion, and from my experience over the last ten months, my advice to those of you about to read this article is to avoid this company at all costs - regardless of how attractive their offers are. Hereafter is my experience with GameMine.
The Rental Experience
Searching the Internet, I found GameMine as a rental alternative to Gamefly. Starting at only $8.99 a month, I figured I would give them a shot because they had a relatively close shipping center (located in Florida), members were able to buy, trade, and rent through the site, and the bottom line - the cost savings. I switched over to the service Mid-June 2011. The first selection that I received was a new game that was on my list, came quickly and had no problem whatsoever. This initial transaction reinforced my decision of leaving Gamefly for the time being.
After keeping the game for some length of time, and passed the trial limitation time, I sent the disc back. This is the start, and when I should have noticed, small red flags in the service. I mailed the game back and it took eight days for the disc to be delivered, and processed back to the company. Once it was checked in, it took another seven days for them to mail the next game on my list, which was not a new title by any means, and my list was full of games. By the time I received the second game, I was at almost a three week turn around time to receive another title - from the time I dropped off the disc at the post office to the time one was mailed back to my house. I really didn't pay any mind since I was working more hours, but I was paying for a half month of service that I was not using. Rentals after this came in a better time frame, though it was still close to a week and a half to two weeks total turn around time. I did this for six titles total and didn't mind the little slower service due to the low monthly cost. However, the rental service took a dive bomb in quality in late January 2012/early February 2012.
Mailing back a title at the end of January 2012, I received an email that the next game on my list - Assassin's Creed: Revelations for the XBOX 360 was being sent. GameMine mailed out my disc, but when it was received, it was Assassin's Creed: Revelations for the PS3. This was not a huge issue in my book - mistakes happen. I contacted GameMine and informed them of the issue. Their response was only to return the "mistake" and they would correct it. They instructed me to mail the disc back and they would mail me another game immediately. I went to the Post Office that day and handed the clerk the disc and waited for it be fixed. I waited... and waited... and waited some more. I contacted GameMine to see if they received the disc back and they said they did not, and that it may be lost. I asked since it was the wrong game that was sent, could they have received my mailing back and not checked it under my account since it was the wrong system? They assured me that it wasn't a check-in error, and reported the game "lost" after a month of waiting. While waiting for this game to come back into their system, another game was not mailed, contrary to what they said. Tired of waiting for another game, I was able to find Assassin's Creed: Revelations at a local brick and mortar for a cheap price ($19.99 new) and just purchased it since I was itching to play it. What I didn't realize while waiting for my next game was that when the game is reported lost by GameMine, they automatically charged my bank account $50 for the "lost" game. I contacted the service and they informed me that it was not their responsibility to get the games back to GameMine safely, and that since they never received the title back, that the onus fell on the account holder. I confirmed that I handed it back to the clerk at the Post Office, but this did nothing to help my argument. GameMine accused me that I was trying to "rip them off" and "steal their game" and that I never mailed the game back. This floored me - that a company, that I had no previous issues with, accused me of stealing their game.
While trying to reach a resolution regarding the $50 charge, and accusation of the stolen game, I was still paying for the service, awaiting my next rental. In the time that the game was claimed that the wrong title was received at the end of January, a follow-up rental was never sent. The next title on my list was never sent. I emailed the customer service reps and inquired why another title on my list hasn't been mailed yet, and they informed me that "the games that I wanted were not available". I understand that this is the case with many online rental services, but I had three titles on my list that were slated as "available now". This status sat like this until March 20, 2012 when I decided that I was cancelling my service on my next available billing cycle in April.
Realistically, I went two months paying for service at $8.99/month only to have a $50 charge initiated because a game was "lost", and not to have a single game shipped in that time. In two months time, my "cheaper" rental alternative cost $69.35 after tax after rental and penalty fees, and received no service or product to show for it.
The Trade-In/Personal Experience
During the time that my rental loss was waiting to be process, I traded some games into GameMine since they had great trade-in values. I mailed my trades at the same time I was returning the incorrectly mailed game. They had a deal if you traded in three games, you received a bonus 25% in your trade-in value. This was a nice offer, and the value they were giving was substantially higher than I could fetch at Best Buy, Gamestop, Amazon, or eBay - even after any promotion. I submitted my trades. Once the trades were received, they sent me an email stating I was not eligible for the 25% bonus, though was never given a reason. This is to their discretion, and I understand this, but this is something that should have been explained why the bonus was not received. There was nothing that sent or stated on their site the exact details of the offer. I was fine with this, since the trade-in values were so high, I was able to pre-order Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City for my brother as a birthday gift, and still have money left over. They claim that the game would ship within 24-hours of ordering or after the game's launch.
I pre-ordered Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City two weeks before the release date of the title official launch for my brother's birthday to use up my remaining trade-in credits. When the day came that the game was released, there was no notification of shipment. I waited since maybe they don't release the day of, and the website said "ships within 24-hours". I waited a week before contacting the offices to see why a pre-ordered game had not been shipped yet. They emailed me back stating that they were waiting for their shipment to come in from the distributor, and that it should be shipping soon. I waited believing this would only be a couple of days. Two weeks passed since title's launch, and there was no shipping confirmation that the title was sent. I emailed the company again asking would it be easier to change the game I wanted since a pre-ordered game was now two-weeks late, and they said that it should be shipping any day. A day later, the game shipped. The game was sent media mail (they advertise first-class mail) and took an additional 7 days to be received. Mind you, this is going on while I am disputing my rental frustration, and a pre-ordered title took 3 weeks (shipping included) to get to my house after launch date. They claimed they didn't have the game ready from the distributor, but what is the point of pre-ordering a game if it will not received 3 weeks after its launch. Unfortunately, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City came after my brother's birthday, and I was not able to give him the game he wanted as his present.
The trade-in values may be attractive, and the prices reasonable, but it is not worth the time and headache of having an order arrive 3 weeks after it was launched. That is just plain unacceptable
The Overall Experience
I understand this is a lengthy post, however after searching the forums, and internet, regarding GameMine and reviews of this company - there really wasn't anything that had a detailed experience with this organization, just some Better Business Bureau negative ratings (D-). My experience since the start of the year has been atrocious, and the level of service, and respect, has been unacceptable. I understand that there may be users that may not have an issue with this company, but if I can help a fellow CAG'er, or anyone searching the web, save their time, hassle, and money by avoiding this company - then my hassle was worth it.
GameMine's rental rates may be attractive, especially when compared to Gamefly, but you get what you pay for. When comparing the same service to Gamefly over the 10-month period, after all the rental rates and lost fees were charged, it was only $25.43 cheaper. Mind you, that does not compensate the two months without a game rental during that time.
I cancelled my account today, and I am going back to Gamefly; where I should have just kept my business all along. The last three months have been nothing but a headache when dealing with GameMine, and it is in my opinion that you should avoid this company. In the long run, the "cheaper" service ended costing me much more; in lost money, stress, and the thing I can't get back - time.
0 out of 5 stars
Edited by omendt, 23 April 2012 - 12:49 AM.