With flagship video game titles like Halo 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops II hitting store shelves just in time for the holiday shopping season, Better Business Bureau reminds consumers that "Computer Software Publishers & Developers" and "Game & Supplies" companies are typically among BBB’s most-inquired-about industries.
Shady companies try to capitalize on the market dominance and name recognition of prominent businesses by releasing similar games or bootlegged copies of legitimate titles; while counterfeit or look-alike websites advertise games for much cheaper than genuine outlets. Some businesses may even deceive customers into complicated and difficult-to-cancel subscription services, as highlighted in a recent settlement by the Washington State Office of the Attorney General.
BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington reminds gamers to not be "newbies" and set a game plan:
- Visit bbb.org/Find-Business-Reviews to research businesses before making purchases.
- Don't give out personal information that seems unnecessary to the transaction.
- Read the fine print carefully to avoid being locked into lengthy, expensive or unnecessary service plans.
- Pay with credit cards when possible - most cards carry zero-liability policies where account holders will not be held responsible if card numbers are lost or stolen - and retain documentation of transactions.
Read BBB’s October 2011 release Local Game Companies Top National BBB Inquiry List for more tips on smart gaming.