The Bewildering Case Of Mass Effect 2 Collector’s Edition

I liked the first Mass Effect game. Except for a few caveats, like clunky combat and a bunch of anticlimatic and superflous side-missions and grinding objectives. Other than that, it was good. So I’d hoped to get a copy of the second game sooner or later, which was supposed to be even better if game reviews are to be believed.

So when I saw the Mass Effect 2 Collector’s Edition on the PC on sale for 129 NOK minus 20%, so 103 NOK, I figure I’ll buy it. Or rather, I go home and try doing some research and give it a think, then ask a friend to buy it for me. But then this friend calls me to say he is unable to buy it for me because he wasn’t going downtown after all, so I have to ask another friend to do it for me instead. But he isn’t able to find the game at the store at all, so I eventually go down to buy it myself the day after that again. I find it without any problems.

When I get handed the game by the cashier, I see that my copy isn’t sealed. I’m a bit annoyed, but I shuffle along, figuring I’ll give it a closer look when I get home. Which I do. Turns out I got, as I feared, one of the “demo copies”. That is, I get the cover that has been out on the shelves, and the contents have been hidden behind the counter or in their storage room somewhere, and the contents look to have been through some noticable wear and tear as well. So I’m not at all happy, as I’m very particular about having my media in mint condition. I’d also considered making it a juletide or birthday present for myself, but it’s no fun getting an item that looks used for either of those occasions.

I’m rather annoyed the cashier didn’t (a) warn me about the condition of my game, and (b) offer a considerable discount due to the condition of the game. Instead they’ve made one of their costumers rather displeased with the end result of his visit to one of their shops. So displeased that he wants to write a blog entry about it, and show horryfing pictures of the copy of the game he was given.

So I consider maybe returning it. Except, I can’t find the receipt for it anywhere. Which is very odd – and perhaps it might even qualify as being ironic – as I generally make a point of getting the receipts for anything I buy, and saving them. But this particular receipt seems to have disappeared. My guess is that it fell out of my bag or pocket in Oslo somewhere. That makes returning the game hard, maybe even impossible, considering the game isn’t sealed, looks somewhat used, and comes with a one-time online code which I could have potentially already activated.

But the same retailer is offering the game for 129 NOK through their web shop – without the 20% discount. They also have a warehouse sale, apparently trying to get rid of some of their stock. I see some CDs I like, and after a few days of deliberation, I decide to order both the CDs and another copy of the game. I figure I’ll try selling the unsealed copy, or making it a birthday or juletide gift for someone. They also have another campaign going where shipping is free if your order contains a book. So I include a cheap book as well, which costs as much as the shipping would have – about 30 NOK – to get the shipping for free.

I get a receipt by e-mail shortly thereafter. Everything looks to be in order. Then a few days later I get a message saying they’ve sent my order, but a couple of the CDs I’d ordered (two copies of We Shall All Be Healed by The Mountain Goats, a great album) were out of stock. I get a second receipt, now without the two CDs listed, but including another new item instead: they’ve listed Mass Effect 2 Collector’s Edition twice, but the extra copy is listed as only 30 NOK. So I suspect that they’ve charged me for the shipping after all, and it somehow got listed as something else due to database confusion. I’m a bit annoyed by this and plan on e-mailing them about this after I’ve received my parcel, as the shipping was supposed to be free.

When it arrives and I open it, I find it actually contains two copies of Mass Effect 2 Collector’s Edition, one in plastic and one already opened (but looking less bruised than the one I got at the shop). So seems the extra 30 NOK was actually for an extra copy of the game. I’m guessing they added it because they wanted to get rid of their stock, and because it made packing my order easier, and they wanted more of my money. So I won’t be complaining about the added 30 NOK, since that’s pretty cheap. But I now have three copies of the game, for which I’ve paid a total of 262 NOK, and two of which I want to get rid of.

Apologies in advance if you end up getting one of these from me for jul, but in my defense, it’s supposed to be a pretty good game. And hey, you get an artbook, too!

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