My boyfriend recently signed up for GameFly – it’s basically the Netflix of video games. It seemed like a good idea because for a relatively low monthly fee (he pays $16 per month), he can play as many games as his heart desires. He’s a pretty fast “gamer,” (he finished Halo3 in like a day, if that means anything to you)… so in theory, this should work out well.

However, he’s been really unhappy with the service so far.

First of all, their iPhone app, which he uses to manage his queue and keep track of his account, is “horrible” (his words, not mine). There is also an online version that he can use if the app doesn’t work, but he admits he’s never used it. Why is it horrible? First of all, the app doesn’t save any of his settings (like selecting whether he wants xbox games or Playstation games). Also, games that are not yet released are mixed in with games that are available now. You can either sort by “coming soon” or “view all,” when he’d really just like to see “what’s available right now.”

The availability rankings are also confusing. The availabilities are “low,” “medium,” and “now.” We assumed this to mean that “low” means that the game is probably not going to be sent to you right now, “medium” means that you might get it sometime soon, and “now” means it’s available for shipping today. But… this isn’t exactly true. “Now” doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s actually going to be sent soon because he ordered a “now” game and he’s been waiting for over a week. When he ordered a “low” availability game, it was sent out almost immediately (after he complained about the week long wait, strangely enough). On top of that, why would an availability be “low” in the first place? – and what’s with the “medium” availability? What does that even mean? Why not just say “yes we have this” or “no we do not have this?” When he asked the customer service rep about the week-long wait and to explain the availability rankings, he didn’t get an answer to this question.

Queue management is also difficult in the iPhone app. If a game is added to the queue, it either goes to the top or the bottom. You can’t change the order of the queue; you can’t even bump the newly added game to the top of the queue… you can only remove the game entirely. He did say that maybe the website allows this capability, but he’s never used it so he doesn’t know.

He is seriously considering canceling his account as a result of these difficulties. I can’t say I blame him.  What’s the use of paying $16 a month if you have to wait a week+ for each new game and get frustrated every time you log into your account?

Has anyone else used the GameFly service and the iPhone app? What are your thoughts?

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2 Responses to Manly Review: GameFly

  1. Robert Paulsen says:

    Yeah, I agree with everything you said here about the apps and customer service, it’s horrible. Because I work for DISH Network I found out about the Blockbuster Movie Pass. It’s only $10 per month and in addition to video game rentals, they even let me stream a ton of movies to my TV. I also like the fact that if I do not feel like waiting for the mail to come around, I can just go into a Blockbuster location to trade out one disc for another. I ditched Gamefly and use Blockbuster for all my rentals and I’m much happier with the service and options.

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