According to an article in British trade paper MCV, leading UK video games store GAME is to amend its current returns policy for software, which has come under increasing criticism from publishers for being too lenient.
The current policy allows a customer to return a game within ten days as long as the packaging is complete, but regardless of whether it has been opened or used. Many UK publishers have claimed that customers are abusing the system and essentially treating it as a free rental service – buying games without having any intention of keeping them beyond the initial ten days.
According to MCV, GAME will now place its own seal on game packaging, and will refuse to exchange or refund any item if the seal is broken. If the seal is intact, though, the chain will offer to refund the game within the twenty-eight day returns limit common to most other British retail stores.
GAME itself, which has 700 owned and franchised stores in Europe, and opened 23 stores in the UK and 81 in Continental European markets during the year, saw profits fall
from £20.0 million ($35.8m) to just £8.4 million ($15.0m) in the twelve months ending January 31st, 2006, so may be interested in stopping any potential revenue loss through this returns method.