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Black Friday shoppers, we are sorry

Alex Ziebart

Last week, we made an erroneous announcement about a GameStop Black Friday sale. The mistake was ours and we are sorry.

This apology is a week in the making because we took the time to examine the steps we took prior to that announcement and where we went wrong. Initially, we posted the sale as a rumor, with the intention of telling our readers to keep their eyes peeled. We heard that such a sale, $5 for World of Warcraft time cards, would be revealed in the impending GameStop ad. After the advertisement went public and did not reflect that offer, many readers asked us to confirm whether or not the rumor we heard had any accuracy. Rather than simply say no, as we should have, we contacted a local GameStop outlet and asked the manager on duty. The manager informed us that there was truth to the rumor and an as-yet-unreleased Black Friday ad would include that offer.

As we now know, that was not the case. We don't blame anyone but ourselves. It's very likely that the employee was referring to the original Black Friday advertisement, a World of Warcraft Battle Chest included in the purchase of another Blizzard title or the Battle Chest on its own for $4.99, unaware that we were discussing something else entirely, a World of Warcraft 60 day game card for $4.99. That isn't their fault, it's ours. We've all been in their position before, in a retail environment trying to make sense of a customer's question, especially during the holiday season. The rumor we heard had no basis in truth and this person didn't know what we meant with our request for that reason. We went ahead with our second post, confirming the sale, when we shouldn't have done so.

We were overeager with our confirmation. Were it any other day, it may not have had such a negative impact on our readers, but it was Black Friday. Many of you spent hours standing in the cold among enormous crowds for a deal that didn't exist based on an inaccurate report. We can't give you those hours of your life back, but we are genuinely sorry. In the future, we will be more mindful about how we handle rumors and the sources we use for confirmation or denial of them.

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