Yesterday GamePolitics reported on the first part of a video game retail sting conducted by reporter Joce Sterman of Baltimore's ABC-2. Readers may recall that Best Buy registered a perfect score by turning down an underage secret shopper during all three attempts to purchase M-rated game. Target? Not so good...
In part 2, GameStop came up a winner, also registering a perfect score. That's not too surprising given that the Federal Trade Commission reported earlier this year that GameStop clerks successfully carded the government agency's secret shoppers 94% of the time.
Wal-Mart and Circuit City, however, did not fare as well. From the ABC-2 report:
[The secret shopper] was also carded at the Circuit City in Towson, but employees at two of their other stores in Catonsville and Rosedale didn't even ask... The games he pocketed from those places were Prey and Vice City Stories from the notorious Grand Theft Auto series...
Our mystery shopper got plenty of action on his trips to Wal-Mart. One store in Pikesville turned him down, but two others in Towson and Port Covington were a success on the sale... This time he walked away with Timeshift and Halo 3.
Both Circuit City and Wal-Mart issued statements apologizing for their employees. Circuit City said:
We will talk with management at the stores to determine exactly what happened. When we do, we will take appropriate action... Circuit City does not carry video games and computer software which receive the "Adult Only" rating... Our store associates receive training regarding the sale of mature content when they first start to work at Circuit City and ongoing training on the subject... Store associates are instructed that failure to enforce the policy could result in consequences up to and including termination of employment.
Though we do not have the details of your report and it sounds like an isolated situation, we are working with management at these two stores who already are taking steps to ensure associates understand the importance of ID check and this policy.