I love Batman. I always have. I think it's mostly because he's a super hero without super powers. Thus he has to rely on skill, cunning, training, and determination to get by. Oh yeah, and gadgets that are only affordable for a billionaire. Good thing he's loaded. ;-)
As such, one of my all-time favorite video games is Batman: Arkham Asylum. It came out a few years ago and was widely hailed as one of the best super hero video games ever. I resisted buying it for some time (not wanting to be disappointed), but eventually gave in and had a blast playing it. So much so that I KNEW I was going to buy the sequel.
You may have heard that the sequel is now out. Batman: Arkham City came out a week or so ago, but I wanted one of the "extras" that came with pre-buying the game. After looking over all the options, I decided that the "play as Robin" was the one I liked best. This meant I needed to pre-buy the game at Best Buy since they were the only ones that had the Robin feature.
I first stopped by my grocery store and purchased a Best Buy gift card so I could get 6% in cash back rewards on my purchase. Then I went to the store, ordered the pre-buy, and put down a $5 deposit. A few days later (after the release date) I went into the store to pick it up at Best Buy's "store pick-up" counter.
The young lady that waited on me asked for my receipt and I presented it. Then she asked to see my driver's license. I assumed that she wanted to verify that I was the person that had purchased the pre-buy (though my receipt would seem like good enough verification), so I showed it to her. She then started entering my driver's license number into her register. The conversation then went like this:
Me: "What are you doing?"
Her: No response.
Me: "Are you putting my driver's license number into your system?"
Me (tone starts to become agitated): "I don't want you to do that. Why are you doing that?"
Her: "It's a federal law."
Me (now really agitated and a bit louder, said in a sarcastic manner): "A federal law? Really? It's a federal law that you need to record my driver's license number to buy a video game?"
Her (backing off the "federal" part): "It's a law."
Me (still agitated and sarcastic, though less loud): "A law? It's a law that you need to record my driver's license number to buy a video game?"
Her (getting to the truth): "It's Best Buy policy."
At this point I asked her why, she said that's the way they handled all their pre-buys, and that was it. I wasn't really interested in getting the details and the damage was already done -- they had my driver's license number in what I'm guessing is a less-than-secure system. Ugh. (FYI, they may say it's secure, but is anything really secure completely? And can their sales people access the info? And you're telling me there's no other way to track/verify/etc. pre-buys?)
Here's the deal: I don't like my Social Security number, driver's license number, or any other sensitive, personal information in some company's "system" -- especially when there seems to be no valid reason for it. And if I had known about this in advance at least I would have been able to make the choice whether or not it was worth it. But they simply sprang it on me, took the info, and that was that. Terrible customer service and a bad policy IMO.
So for those of you who may be thinking of pre-buying something some day at Best Buy, you now know that they'll demand your driver's license number at pick-up. You can make the decision for yourself whether or not you're up for this. As for me, I give Best Buy a big thumbs down for both the fact that they even require this information as well as for how they handle it (keeping it secret and then demanding it when you come for pick-up.)
Then again maybe it's no big deal and I'm just an old fuddy-duddy. What's your take on the situation?