Quantcast

The Camelot GameStop Chronicles Part 1: 11 Years At GameStop

Camelot GameStop

A YouTuber by the name of Camelot331 has been covering accusations of immoral and illegal activities conducted by GameStop employees and corporate staff for over a year. This is his story.

While this article was originally intended to focus on Camelot’s latest video at the time, the sheer wealth of accusations could not be ignored. We also spoke to Camelot, to further elaborate on some terms and points. This will be a five part series.

Camelot began detailing his experiences with GameStop publically in 2018 with a video titled “Man Works At GameStop 11 Years Tells All | 2007-2018 NIGHTMARE“.

He explained how he began working at a GameStop store in July 2007 (Senior Game Advisior in 2008, Assistant Store Manager in 2010, Store Manager in 2012), and his allegations that shady business practices were taking place while he was there.

Despite his Store Manager asking him to do “everything,” the 40 hour week, and his first holiday working at GameStop being “absolutely God-awful,” Camelot did have some positive experiences. Apart from some notable exceptions, he was friends with the people he worked with, midnight game releases were always enjoyable, and the environment was “really fun.

He describes how the business “ran itself” between 2007 and 2008, as it was not so strict to sell products and services. This was mainly due to how “games sold themselves,” as the market was booming at the time. Camelot describes this as the best years.

After this he moved up to Senior Game Advisor in March 2008, despite attempts by his District Manager to hold him back (claiming he was too young at the time, “which was completely illegal”).

Between 2008 to 2009, he describes how the “PowerUp Cards” (a loyalty card and membership) became popular, and this is when “strange practices started.” 

He also claims while he was a store clerk he was “right in the thick of it, doing the shady things as well,” and attributes his promotions due to the successes he gained through this. When he was later promoted to Store Manager, he claims he ran his store with none of those practices.

From around 2009 until 2018, Camelot claimed he saw numerous shady practices by staff, including:

  • Putting loyalty cards on transactions without the customer’s knowledge (especially to those who did not speak English).
  • Claiming loyalty cards and membership cards would offer a discount to a transaction when the item was already on sale.
  • “Pocketing the money” by refunding a reservation a customer did not collect, or add up to 10 additional reservations to improve their performance numbers.
  • Managers would encourage staff to scam customers, or threaten they would lose their jobs.
  • Camelot’s Store Manager attempting to prevent Camelot from getting his Assistant Store Manager position (for fear new staff would reveal his practices to upper management).
  • His District Manager (and other senior staff) ignored successes, and instead focused on minor issues. This negative reinforcement was “the beginning of the end,” with senior staff routinely threatening to fire people if they did not improve those minor issues.
  • When Federal law (starting in May 2016) began to demand that anyone making less than $47,000 a year and working over 40 hours a week would be eligible for overtime, Store Managers (who would have been viable for this) became “hourly associates” (part-time employees) instead. Store Managers then had to work overtime to make back what their pay used to be. This was in addition to annual bonuses becoming lower, or not given out at all due to false claims of poor performance. In a later video, Camelot revealed that law was rejected in Texas Federal Court in November 2016. The law had not gone into effect, yet GameStop kept the change in pay.
    • In that same video, Camelot cited this as the primary reason for what “killed” GameStop. Camelot proposes the pay rise would have cost GameStop $10 million, when they were making $450 million in the prior year, and a third of what the CEO was earning. He also claims 98% of Store Managers did not approve of GameStop’s decision. Camelot states “half the company quit” over it, and it harmed profit for three years straight.
  • Camelot briefly alluded to improper acts in the back room- including staff having oral sex, drugs being sold, and managers having sex with prostitutes. These were “not even close” to the worst stories.

The “circle of life” business plan also came into play during Camelot’s time with GameStop, and further encouraged ripping off customers.

As detailed by Camelot when speaking to him directly, it was a business model that “turned into violent ranking which I’m hearing is coming back after they eased off of it because bad PR.” It was the belief that “reserves lead to new sales. New sales leads to trades. Trades lead to preowned sales. Like a circle.” 

Kotaku reported [1, 2] the practice demanded an equal number of new games sold, pre-owned games sold, reserves, and trade-ins. Failing to do so would lead to termination.

Camelot stated that employees who did not achieve a balance within two weeks came under threat of this without first and final warnings, and in later videos his store was to “consistency exceed COL expectations” or he would lose his job. The model was reportedly changed in early 2017.

Camelot later quit, after an employee made false reports of sexual harassment to Human Resources and “so many crazy things.” Many of those accusations were what the previous Store Manager had been fired for.

He also cited that management were always seeking less tenured managers (as they could be paid less), and the Assistant Store Manager wanted a promotion. She would repeatedly tell Camelot to transfer or she would get him fired, while playing it off as a joke.

Camelot claims that the Assistant Store Manager had told an employee (who was unhappy they did not get more hours of work) what complaints to make.

Despite no one else corroborating the story, human resources then cited “strange activity” on Camelot’s time card. These included arriving at 8 a.m. (as he had been instructed to), and sitting at a desk. This was considered a break while on the clock- despite the District Manager telling everyone under them to be clocked in while they were on store premises.

The Human Resources Manager stated they were unsure if Camelot would be fired or not for sitting at his desk. Camelot felt him being fired was inevitable (due to his tenure), and so he quit. Despite quitting, he later discovered (when he attempted to apply for unemployment) that GameStop had registered he was fired for time card fraud.

Camelot states another employee who was fired for “no reason” and was falsely listed as having committed time card fraud was (at the time) in a court battle with GameStop. GameStop had offered to settle, which he rejected.

This would not be the final time Camelot spoke openly about GameStop, as other employees began to send him their stories. Join us next time for The Camelot GameStop Chronicles Part 2: Whistleblowers, Fraud, and Mistreating Staff.

, , ,
Ryan Pearson

About

Taking his first steps onto Route 1 and never stopping, Ryan has had a love of RPGs since a young age. Now he's learning to appreciate a wider pallet of genres and challenges.