We had an interesting incident Christmas morning…

Months ago (like August), Jim was shopping for a laptop and we ran across a Sony bundle which included a really nice laptop, with a full version of Microsoft Office, and a Sony Playstation 3.  A full version of Office would run about $150….and a Playstation 3 would run about $300….so we figured if we got this bundle, we’d be getting one of those for free- so let’s go for it!   Plus, PS3 game systems also act as Blue-ray players, so that’s another bonus!

Anyway, we got the bundle and put the PS3 away for safe-keeping and figured Santa could deliver it to the family on Christmas morning.  Jim decided he would enjoy playing Madden 11 (football game) with Trevor, and we picked out a Fifa 11 (soccer game) that Trevor could play by himself if he wanted. 

And just look at the game picture quality:

It’s almost like real life!

Keep in mind, the purpose of this system is to use in our Family Room (where we watch all our movies) so we can stream Netflix, and the PS3 would also be our first Blue-ray player.  This is not going to be our main gaming system.  We have the wii for that.  So we will not be buying any more games.  And remember, the kids know nothing about it.

About 2 weeks before Christmas, Trevor suddenly decides he wants to sell his Playstation 2 and upgrade to an XBox 360.  (He has a PS2 in his bedroom to use during quiet time or play with his friends.)  So he lists the PS2 on Craigslist, along with most of his games (after we figure out that many PS2 games are not necessarily compatible with PS3 game consoles), and sure enough on the first day it’s sold.  For about $40 more than we thought we could sell it for!  

He’s all gung-ho about getting an Xbox 360, so I find a deal online for him.  But then Jim and I talk it over and knowing that we have a nice game system coming for Christmas, we really don’t want Trevor to go out and buy another new nice game system, so we spill the beans.  Tell him to keep it a secret because it’s a gift for the whole family from Santa.  We tell Trevor that we will let him take the PS3 into his bedroom to play (on certain occasions), but keep in mind this is a FAMILY gift, not something for Trevor.  OK, so that’s the whole back story.

Here’s part two of the story:

Toys R Us had a sale in November where if you bought two PS3 games of $59 or higher, you would receive a $50 giftcard to spend later (not the same day).  As luck would have it, the two games we wanted to get (Madden 11 and Fifa 11) were $59.99 each.  So I went to Toys R Us and picked up the two games and got my giftcard.  I went back later in the week and used the giftcard to buy a 2nd wireless controller.  (I don’t know why today’s game systems only come with one controller- it’s ridiculous.)  Total out of pocket: $124.97.  I kept watching the ads over the next few weeks and often saw the games on sale for $34.99, but then controllers were never less than $54.99, so in all it would still be the same overall cost.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  I think Fred Meyer had a 10% off coupon for controllers- so that would be $5.00 back, but that’s not worth the gas and hassle of returning the 3 items to Toys R Us, going to a different store to get the sale games, then going to Fred Meyer for the discounted controller. 

I leave the games and controller in the shopping bags and never take them out or open them. 

Here’s the part about Santa’s elf:

On Christmas Eve, Santa leaves the new PS3 under the tree (unwrapped) with the 2nd controller and 2 games sitting on top of the box (also unwrapped).

Later that morning I connect the PS3 to the TV so Trevor can try it out and play a game.  He opens the Fifa Soccer game first…..

and inside the box…..

it’s NOT the Fifa soccer game…..

it’s a heavily scratched up green XBOX demo disc.


Somebody screwed up.

Well this might be a problem! 

Many thoughts start racing through my head.  Are they going to let me exchange it?  Was the game factory sealed when I bought it?  Or had it been opened?  Did Toys R Us put their demo disc on the wrong box and then put the box on the shelf?  But aren’t all PS games sealed?  Maybe they aren’t since they are in a locked case.  Hmmm???  What if it’s a screw up from the manufacturer?  Has this happened before?  What if they won’t let me exchange it?  Oh my gosh that’s a lot of money to be out.  Do I call the media and make a big deal out of it if they don’t let me?  After all, how does one return a gift from Santa?  That could totally ruin Santa for our family- the kids will know that I bought the game, it’s not a gift from Santa. 

Long(er) story short….

I walked into Toys R Us at 8:30 Sunday morning (day after Christmas) and went up to the return counter and said, “I have an interesting exchange for you…..when we opened this box Christmas morning….this is what was inside it (showing them).”  She calls the manager over who looks at the disc and says, “Well, either someone pulled a really good return scam on us, or the manufacturer really messed up, because we don’t take back any opened games, and all our games come factory sealed.  Let’s get you a new one and we’ll open it and make sure it’s the right game inside.”  WHEW.  Great customer service.  And I was prepared to battle.