PLAY N TRADE Forum Gets Spammed N Slammed

The Play N Trade franchise website prominently links to its Official Play N Trade Video Game Forum.

It’s a great idea for Play N Trade to establish an open community of gamer enthusiasts to gather, trade ideas and tips, and build their relationship with Play N Trade.  It’s a great opportunity for Play N Trade to demonstrate how highly it values its gamer customers and how actively it supports and promotes its franchise stores.

Unfortunately, the only thing the Play N Trade forum communicates is that the lights may be on, but ain’t nobody home.

As of this morning, Of the Play N Trade 100 most recent forum topics:

98 of 100 most recent posts are spam.

The vast majority of the recent posts on the Play N Trade forum are spam advertisements with titles such as “cannabis growing lamps,” “probation drug tests,” “drug detox facilities,” “adulterated cannabis,” “Check out these hot euro babes in these hot sex pics and vid,” “swinger party milwaukee,” and “belly button piercing info.”

1 of the 100 most recent posts is titled “FUK PLAY N TRADE Corporate

Matt Average on Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:51 pm  how many days can i keep this active without it getting modded?

Matt Average on Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:29 am  bump

Matt Average on Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:11 pm  to the top

Matt Average on Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:08 pm  pushed off the 1st page by spam in about 8 hours

Matt Average on Sat Aug 08, 2009 8:28 am   just remove the board from the website

Matt Average on Sat Aug 08, 2009 7:57 pm  fart

pizz_excellence on Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:19 pm   LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
To all customers i apoligize for the vulgar language you see but Realize PNT corporate will never care about the customer or franchisee

Matt Average on Sun Aug 09, 2009 8:28 am !

pizz_excellence on Sun Aug 09, 2009 11:39 pm point proven!

1 of 100 most recent posts call for the resignation of CEO Larry Plotnick & demise of the company.

The only other actual post out of the most recent 100 (When Will Corporate GO OUT OF BUSINESS) not only calls for the resignation and demise of the company, but includes internal communication between corporate Franchisee Support Specialist Micah Thomas and a franchisee or franchise store manager.  Allegedly, the manager’s detailed complaints have gone unanswered.

Please quit already Larry Plotnick !!!!!!!!!!!! Go start another failing business and screw over another unknowing group.
email i received
Subject: Please email or call me so we can talk about your complaints
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 2009 14:43:45 -0700
Hi, I’ve seen your posts on the PNT Forum complaining and making accusations against Play N Trade corporate as well as against other PNT stores, and I sincerely would like to speak to you about your complaints. Although I’ve deleted a few different posts, I hope that you have noticed that I have not deleted all posts or your profile for that matter. Please reach out to me via either email or phone – both of which are listed below, beneath my signature line.
Micah Thomas
Franchisee Support Specialist
3400 Irvine Ave. Suite #205
Newport Beach, CA 92660
*NEW NUMBER* 888.768.4263 – “Region 3”
F: 949.474.6005
My responce
From: Anonymous for personal reasons
Sent: Sun 6/21/09 4:05 AM
Yes, I would like to start off by keeping myself Anonymous, For various reasons.
First off i would like to know how long you personally have been with the company. In the time that i have been managing my pnt i have gone through 3-4 regional contacts on corporate end. Some were really good in the begining to really bad current to the point that is why bother.
Second I would like to know how many pnt’s have closed down. since opening. I know of 2 near me that have already closed in the past year and 2 more that will be closing in the next 2 month (ones i’m sure you have o idea about).
Third How does corporate expect their franchisees to turn profit if they are expected to pay royalties on all items sold. Now i understand that royalties should be paid on all used games. The new though makes no sense. We buy xbox 360 from our vendors for 290 then have to pay for shipping $15 then pay royalties on the total amount. royalties 5% so let’s do the math. 290 + 15(shipping)+ 15(royalties)= 320 – sale price of 299.99 total is negative $20.01 …. You got to be kidding me right! But lets move on to new games cost 52. shipping 3 royalty 1.8 total 3 dollar profit…. Yah!!!! have you ever done break even analyst. I have to sell 20 new titles to make up for every one that does not sell while trying to stay competitive. Impossible. Corporate makes half my profit while sustaing absolutely no risk. SEE MY COMPLAINT but i cntinue…
4. I have never had a corporate rep come into my store to see if their is anything they can be doing to lend a helping hand. at this point i would probably call security to escort them out because of the frustration of never seeing them before.
5. Pos is so screwed up with trade values it makes me sick. I constantly see where corporate wants to trade a game for 7 when it sells for 12.99. (Are you trying to put us out of business< Seriously) On average trades are 50-60% of sales price. That business model will not be able to stay afloat in these economic times where price drops occur daily. Their is no hedging future losses.
6. Other local pnt’s ( the ones going out of business give us bad reputation for numorous reasons. 1. customers call us to complain that their local store has been repairing their system for over 6 week now and is refusing to call them back. 2. Customer”I traded all my games at X location but they never get new games in or always are 3 weeks behind.” 3. The employees at x location never show the customer the respect and service. they find it necesary to play their video game instead of greeting the customer. 4. The store is disorganized and everything is scattered about making it confusing for the customers.
5. other stores refusing to inform the consumer that we are all independent and have no connection to each other. Most customers tell me that the other stores suggest that they are the onlypnt’s in the area and go to thm only.
I know you have started on site reviews which is steps in the right direction but really doesn’t mean anything. I can get all loweest scores but nothing will ever come to fruition nobody is going to make them change.
I’ve already had the pleasure of explaining to customers why they can’t use their credit from location x who deided to jus close up with no warning even though they had $300 credit. Always getting the F’ this store i’m never going to another pnt again. That is bad pr and bad news travels faster than good news. so now i have to try to overcome the bad tastes in peoples mouth’s that other stores have left.
These are not Accusations but the day to day reality that i go through. Trust me Our store is ranked top 20 every month (tha was before you stopped printing the rankings because someone sold the info to gs which is another head ache) So we make it happen the best we can but we still struggle to stay afloat. So if we are at the top struggling their is no way others are even surviving which should tell u something.
I can tell you i’m not brain washed in the whole pnt is awesome idea because it’s not the logo but the people who make it good. We are the place we are because of the way WE not corporate run our store. In all honesty pnt franchisees are not together but against each other because we all independently want and need the business to stay alive. Wether thats cutting the legs out from another franchisee. It’s bad because it creates distress in the consumer because the lack of consistancy.
Also the website is so horrible a 4th grader could do better, Trust me i have customers come in and complain to me about it.
The forums are a joke, Delete my comments they were not obscene jus very truthful. You let porn continue to flood it so kids can see and loose another family of customers becuase mismanagement on your end. Everything i said is honest and from the heart. And yes our perfered distributors refuse credit lines because we do business as PNT. Trust me i have heart to hearts with my vendors. We had our credit line cut in half because some pnt’s stop paying them even though it had nothing to do with us.
So yes Micah please inform me if shed any light on any of these issues. I will stay anonymous because i am the manager but i feel the pain of the owner and the fear of going out of business.
Suggestions cut all royalties in half
No royalties on new products.
Give us some monetary incentive to continue carrying your name because what your doing now is not working.
Stop finding these cheap vendors who offer us flea market products, we are i retail not a tent shop.
Share your discounts or kickbacks that you get from vendors so that we can turn profit. (you do i know it you may not) All i ever hear about is new stores opening do these people even know what they are getting into????
I’m looking forward to hearing your responce on these issues.
A Very concerened individual, nothing to do with my owner
sorry bad grammer it is late
——-No responce so i write
From: Anonymous for personal reasons
Sent: Thu 7/23/09 1:23 AM
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my email (Sarcasm), This just proves again how helpfull you guys really are. The vegas trip was frustrating to say the least. Great new ideas (changing the entire store floor plan like i said prior to the event) only one problem no help on the cost. Here’s my idea make a fund for everything you guys think will be cool (las vegas convention example) then use that money to hand out to the franchisee’s to help with the new store change cost. Oh wait why bother giving my input u don’t bother responding to my first email but who knows maybe you got fired as well. respond if u still want to keep communication was interested in hearing the honest failure ratio for pnt.
Still no responce he was probably fired or quit because of all the Chocolate Rain. Fraggle off Corporate.
Franchisees rise together to give them Hell!!!!!!!!

Advice to Play N Trade: If you want to declare yourself a gamer community, you’ve got to commit the resources necessary to maintain an active forum.  If you’re not committed, you might want to take down your forum because you are making your franchisees look out of touch and apathetic.

Social Media Lesson:  Kwiqq, an webbuilder company, just posted Play N Trade as a social media success story (Retail Industry: Increase web traffic through social media (Play N Trade)). Kwiqq might want to update its case study to show what happened after their initial increase. Because Play N Trade failed to allocate needed resources to keeping up with their forum, it got overrun with Spam and negative comments.

This further fueled the unrest from their unhappy franchisees:

This is not necessarily a negative reflection on Kwiqq, as the strategy was sound. It just illustrates the point that using social media requires a committed and consistent effort or it can backfire.


17 thoughts on “PLAY N TRADE Forum Gets Spammed N Slammed


    I am not going to comment on the validity of what you said. I will leave that to others. For goodness sake, though, USE SPELL CHECK! Reading your post made my head hurt!

  • anonymous

    The misspelled words were from the person who wrote the comment on the PnT board, not the person who wrote the post.
    The stuff in the blue boxes – I assume – are direct quotes. You can’t correct spelling in a direct quote box.

    It is bad that the person who wrote it would take the time to make some good points but not take the time to have someone proofread. Being illiterate doesn’t help credibility… even for a gamer.


    To his credit look at the times of the email. 4 am ish. He, assuming it is a he, probably was just on a rant spitting anything and everything out that came to mind.

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  • As a customer of play n trade I have come to find out that the office in West Valley, Utah has absolutly no idea what they are doing and they don’t care about the customer. I had them TRY to fix my Sony 3 and after 3 months it still wasn’t done. Every time that I would call Wade (Manager) about my Sony 3 he either wouldn’t return my phone calls or tell me that it would be fixed by Friday then when friday would get here I would call and he would tell me Monday and so on. For three months this went on. The best part is PnT charged me to have it fixed (the first time) and it wasn’t fixed so he said to bring it back and it would take another week but it would be fixed, again another month later I told him I was moving and needed it fix he said that it couldn’t be done and that I just needed to pick it up. So I go to pick it up and bring it all the way to Denver just to find out that he didn’t give me MY Sony 3 back, so now I have a Sony 3 thats even more broken than mine was.To make this story even longer, when I would call the store on the days that Wade would tell me to call the employees would hang up on you. The stores in West Valley Utah and the store in Layton Utah have absolutely the worst customer services, in which I will turn them in for trying to pass off someone elses Sony 3 as mine and I want mine back. If all the stores are like this then I will make sure that I will speak my mind as much as I can everywhere I can to let everyone know what kind of practice the so called business is. I am extremely upset about the way this was handled and to pay 499.00 + tax for the system just have PnT make it even a worse experience. I will make sure that all my friends and family not to return to PnT and just go to game stop or elsewhere as long as it not with PnT. I have tried to call the corporate offices and they always tell me that someone will call me back after 5 months I am still waiting. I have called the corporate offices several times to have no one return my call. Its extremely frustrating.

  • also upset

    A little while ago, just as summer was ending, I took a some money I had been saving and went to a bunch of yard sales and bought a ton of video games and consoles (I personally tested them and they all worked). I took my haul to my local Play n Trade (under 5 minute drive from my house) and traded them in and ended up with about $600 of in-store-credit, almost tripling the amount that I had spent. Two days later the store closed and everything was put up on auction, including a 360 console I had paid them to repair a week earlier.

    I called up Corporate and ended up leaving a message asking if it was possible to transfer my credit to a different store and to get compensated for the console that had been auctioned. Someone from Corporate called me back within 4 hours and said “No problem, just email us a scan/photocopy of the receipt and your membership card and we can have the balance transferred to the store of your choice in 7 days.” I called the store (which is a 45 minute drive from my house) which I had wanted my credit sent to after 8 days and they hadn’t received any of my member information. I called Corporate back and left another message informing them of the situation and asked them to call me back. This was back in September, and I have been leaving messages at least 3 times a week every week, and still no contact.

  • Ben Played

    Mr. Upset:
    You may have your last name as Forever. PNT Corporate will never help you out of this as from its point of view, your loss is not its fault. This kind of things had happened before in many of the closed PNT stores. What did PNT Corporate do? NOTHING at all.
    In fact, it is not the PNT Corporate’s business or responsibility to compensate the individual customer from a closed franchise store. You have better to find the previous owner of the store and ask him/her to get you money and console back. If the owner is filed BK, you have no chance to get anything but UPSET.
    You have to swallow it by yourself.
    Ben Played

  • Stacy...

    upset…or should I say STACY. We returned your PS3 to you AND your repair money!! After Sony told us even THEY couldn’t fix your PS3, we decided to do the right thing and REFUND YOUR ENTIRE REPAIR PAYMENT!! This fact seems to have been “forgotten” when you posted your rant. Don’t take out your angst and frustration for having broken your console on US. WE gave you your money and PS3 back.

  • frustrated and upset

    Just so you know “Wade” that you did give the money back ofter 5 months and A SONY P3 but you did not give my sony P3 back. I have the original recipt and the serial numbers do not match. This sony 3 has things on it that my ORIGINAL DID NOT HAVE. So just you “WADE” could get me out of your hair gave me this one. I did get ahold of the BBB “better business bureau” for your shotty practice. I can’t return it to you and argue the fact in person for I know longer live close by you. Just for your information WADE this is not STACY however I am his wife and I am extremely angry with you and I will let everyone know what kind of person you are. How you became a manager is beyond me. Your customer service skills are horrible and you never return calls like YOU “WADE” say you will. I was nice a courteous to you and you WADE keeped blowing me off until the last moment that you couldn’t. I was there when you gave the sony back and the argument that you and Stacy got into. You can’t even show up on time when you say that you will be there. So don’t try and tell me what a great guy you try to portray to be your management skills are terrible and no wonder why Play in Trade businesses are going brankrupt I am sure that yours will follow if YOU are left in charge. Oh ya and just for your information YOU never sent the playstation 3 back to Sony you said you did but you only sent a piece of the ps3 but that is probaly a lie too. You have never been up front the whole 5 months that you had it. Atleast when I had the sony 3 it may have frooze up after a little while but ATLEAST I COULD TURN IT ON. This sony don’t even turn on. This isn’t the same console that we gave you so you gave us someone elses. What I am more angry about is that I should have just sent it to Sony3 instead of trusting you. I wont let anyone else trust YOU if I can help it.

  • played big time

    After losing $30000 in franchise money, i decided not to open, and it was the best decision of my life, there is only one PNT left in the city that i live and there were 8 at one time. The last ones’ merchandise was auctioned off. The only surviving one is alco closing after christmas. And all these PNTs were owned by different ones. This tells you the system is completely flawed

  • also upset

    Just wanted to follow through on my October 27th post…

    Talked for a long time with a very helpful guy named RJ at Corporate Office. Took a bit of time, but Corp. and the new owner of the store have signed a contract saying that the store will honor store credit that was held by the previous owner. All in all I’m satisfied that I finally have access to my store credit right before all of the holiday shopping starts, but as soon as I’ve used up the credit I’m not coming back to PnT.

  • I just talked to a PnT Franchisee to see how he was doing, and was told that stores are starting close left and right, he knows of about 7 that have closed in the last week, he plans to close after Christmas. Between the economy, Walmart/Best Buy/Gamestop offering huge discounts on New Release titles and an inept corporate leadership, hes just fed up. Im guessing that all the owners still open would love to have just lost 30k, compaired to what many of the have and will lose in the future

  • played big time

    Joe I agree, I was at the auction last Wednesday and the whole store, including, computers, fixtures, games, systems, shelves, even the refrigerator and phones sold for less than $18000. We are talking about thousands of games. It was heart breaking but people need to look in to this a litte better

  • Another PnT Victim

    Any news on the California Department of Corporations lawsuit against PnT?

  • played big time

    Last time i checked, the playntrade website had a disclaimer stating that they are not allowed to sell any franchises in the state of California. So they must have been banned.

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