My name is James. By day I am a freelance copywriter and editor. While the perks of this job are getting to sleep 'til 2pm and working in my underwear, I've learned far more about hemorrhoid cream and proper swimming pool chlorination than I ever care to.
I guess you could say I'm a "former" video game "journalist" (though I wouldn't call myself the J word). I am the former Editor-in-Chief of Binge Gamer and I spent time writing at other blogs. I gave it up because while I love gaming and the gaming industry, I just didn't have the constitution to run my own business.
Not at the age of 23, anyways.
Let's see... apart from that I'm prior service US Army (Military Police), a stand-up comedian, a connoisseur of soft drinks and I once wrestled a cheetah.
First thing first, give credit where credit is due -- Zero Iscariot broke this news a while back, as you can see HERE. I am not attempting to break news, rather, I'm liveblogging my search for confirmation. BUT, since my phone is currently charging (damn Cordless), I figure I'd come here and spread the love, and post the transcripts up on the grandest site on the net, Destructoid!
I've called eight different Super Wal-Marts, and will call more throughout the day. Here is the what I've learned, based on majority (this will be updated as new info is learned):
Xbox 360 Elite will roll back to $399
Xbox 360 Premium will roll back to $349
Xbox 360 Core will roll back to $249
Rollback will take effect "sometime this week", as early as Sunday.
You can keep up with developments over at Xbox 360 Rally, or wait for the hourly updates to this here blog at Destructoid!
1st Call (2:50am) - I call the local Wal-Mart in nearby Clio, MI. I get a lovely sounding manager who is only more than happy to take my questions. I tell her who I am and why I am calling, and she redirects me to Electronics. Awesome. A man in electronics asks him, and I begin asking him questions. Turns out that he isn't too talkative, actually saying to me "no comment". Most suspicious.
2nd Call (3:01am)- I call a second Wal-Mart, looking for answers. I'm greeted by a gruff sounding woman, who happens to be the store manager. I tell her who I am, and ask my questions. She goes to look, and returns to tell me that it's only the Xbox 360 Premium being rolled back in price. Or at least, that's all she can say. I then ask her when this rollback will take effect, and she tells me, quote "the next few days."
3rd Call (3:10am) - I'm told to call back when the store manager arrives at 7am -- I'll keep you posted.
4th Call (3:12am) - The nitwit at the counter confuses a PS3 for an Xbox 360. Yikes. After asking for his manager, I'm told that the Xbox 360 Premium is being rolled back to $349, while the Core is being rolled back to $299. I ask him when, and he tells me "sometime next week." He advises me to call back around 8am to check with the day manager. I shall.
5th Call (3:19am) - I accidentally called some poor old man at 3:19am. I feel terrible.
5th Call 2.0 (3:21am) - I get the number right this time, and am greeted by someone who sounds an awful lot like me. He goes back to check for me, while I listen to Mustang Sally, which is playing over the phone while I'm on hold. He returns, and tells me that the Xbox 360 is being knocked down to $399 quote "this Sunday."
6th Call (3:45am) - Met by a lovely sounding woman in Electronics who tells me that she has actually been told not to comment about the ad, but that usual Wal-Mart policy is that all rollback prices featured in newspaper/in-store ads tend to take effect "within a week".
7th Call (3:50am) - After spending nearly twenty minutes on hold and jamming to country music, I finally get the manager... who has no idea what the hell I'm talking about. Oy freaking VEY!
8th Call (4:09am) - I get ahold of the manager, who tells me that this offer isn't listed in her ads at all. The only item she has listed as rollback for this week is the Playstation 2.
4:13am PHONE DIES - I have to put the phone on the charger for a little bit, so this won't be updated for a few hours. I'm going to wait until around 7 or 8am EST, and begin calling again. Rest assured, people -- I WILL get answers!
While I was asleep, my partner in crime (and resident ladies man) PacoDG did a little research of his own, and here's what he learned:
[i]8:39am. Just got off Bomberman, jumped on the ol puter, seen this, called my nearest Wal Mart. I asked in this way “Hi, I need to know when the rollback pricing for the Xbox 360 consoles is going to take effect? The drop is about $50 or so for the Elite, Premium, and Core” .. the person who answers.. “Let me connect you to Electronics” .. I ask again, she said she will check her computer and put me on hold. She comes back “yeaahh. .. I didn’t see anything in the computer for a price change today, if that is going to happen, I don’t know about it, did you see this online?” Very amusing to me she asked if I see it online.
8:44 I called the next store on the list of closest ones to me. Turns out Wal Mart has these things called “Neighborhood Market Store (Store #4211)” where it is literally just that. I guess I am that out of the loop that they have just grocery specific stores now, interesting (okay, maybe not that interesting, but news to me!).
8:46 I ask again to the next store on my list, lady in electronics semi-rude and just goes “I don’t know” very bluntly.. so I ask if I can speak to her manager. I am put on hold for a very long 4 minutes (God bless my ability to multitask to keep me entertained while I wait). The same rude lady comes back on the phone and says “The manager says they have to get an email from the ‘home office’ before we can rollback prices” … I ask her to repeat it cause I typed it as she talked, I wanted to hear it straight.
I am going to sleep in a bit. I see a thread on CheapAssGamer going on right now about this same ad, I think they have some employees that will do some digging. If there is a way to get a hold of this “home office”.. no doubt they are the ones to contact. Good find![/i]
That is why Paco rules. Now, back to the goods!
9th Call (1:01pm) - This time I get a store manager, and after trying to get me to come down to "look for myself" (no doubt trying to sell me one), he went to look at his price list. I'm now on hold, listening to Freebird, and wanting to put a shotgun under my chin. He returns a moment later to simply tell me that he has no listing for any price drop.
10th Call (1:30pm) - I'm told by a rather rude son of a bitch in Electronics, quote, "our ad prices are always cheaper than our store prices". ...that doesn't make any kind of God damn sense!
As I wait on hold for my 11th call, I get an email reply from the Wal-Mart Customer Care Services in regard to my question regarding the advertisement:
"While we are indeed planning on rolling back prices of all Xbox 360 consoles by $50-$80, we can not as of yet give a timetable for when. But you can expect it soon."
So now we know that there WILL be a price drop (at least at Wal-Mart) sometime soon, however we still have no definitive answer as to WHEN! ...dammit all...