UPDATE 1: Despite Gamers Hideout's public statement, netizens don't seem to be satisfied with the outcome, citing it to be vague and general in terms of the alleged compensation for the victim. We contacted Eddy Yap, the founder of GH again to comment on the matter, and here's his respond: "Compensation is still pending for discussion, as we've yet to meet the victim in person. We are also aware that the public prefers a more prominent closure to this unfortunate incident, but we can only do so once we physically meet the victim and apologize to him in person."
UPDATE 2: Gamers Hideout might be receiving more flak after the release of their official statement, but the victim, Holy Chit has responded with a Tweet as he thanked the retailer for clearing the air. He also asked the public to be civilized about the matter to prevent any unnecessary escalations.
One of Malaysia’s most recognizable video game retailer, Gamers Hideout has recently landed themselves in hot water after accusing a customer of committing theft at their One Utama outlet. The news eventually spread like wildfire after the whole ordeal was posted by the accused on Facebook (the page was apparently taken down, so here’s an archived link to the post), and as expected, it drew a lot of flak and mostly rage from netizens. It also didn’t help the cause as Gamers Hideout kept mum about it, but they have since released an official statement to address the issue.
According to the statement posted on their official Facebook page, they acknowledged the fiasco as a whole, but they were forced to keep quiet about it for the past two days as they were busy investigating the cause of the issue. “We remained silent throughout the weekend and on Monday (20th March 2017) not because we’re undermining the issue or the barrage of social network backlash - we were, in fact working tirelessly to rectify the situation by executing investigations on all relevant matters from the original CCTV footage, our staff, to the mysterious hacking of our customer’s Facebook account,” said the statement. “We also put up efforts to contact the customer who was wronged by the errors of our mismanagement in order to fulfill our obligation of an apology, publicly if it permits.”
In case you didn’t follow the progress of the fiasco, it blew out of proportion when there were further accusations that Gamers Hideout hacked Holy Chit (the accused’s Facebook page) to prevent further escalation of the news, and there’s also certain quarters that painted a racial tone to it. The retailer has denied all of these allegations. And to make things worse, a social media posting has also been circulated online, showing a staff reacting rather rudely to the backlash caused by the issue. The retailer was aware of it and they have taken steps to prevent such behavior in the future.
“We have always discouraged personal opinions toward our customers and that they should never comment or response on the behalf of the company. The move was very immature and our staff will be completely accountable on their own accord and answerable to the management. They have been dealt with severely as we take this very seriously.”
Most importantly, Gamers Hideout has admitted it’s an honest mistake on their part when they wrongly accused the customer of thievery, and they apologized for not handling the situation in a better manner. They’ve also contacted the said customer to work on a resolution to the whole issue. “We regret to inform that due to our wrong judgments at that point in time, we have really caused unfavorable stress to our customer. This mistake is on us as part of the higher management and we had overlooked the importance of customer relationship amid the rapid crowd during peak hours. We sincerely apologize for this error and we will commit our efforts to prevent such incidences again.”
In light of the entire fiasco, it remains to be seen how Gamers Hideout will recover from this situation, but at least they came up with a proper response, as opposed to general opinion who thought that they’ll ride out the bad publicity. We got in touch with the founder of Gamers Hideout, Eddy Yap for a short Q & A session, and this is what he has to say on how to improve their services:
There's definitely a flaw in the standard operating procedures and we need to look deeper into our service and customer relationship in a more intimate manner and also progressively improve on it.
One of the issues stemmed from the entire ordeal was the seemingly unprofessional behavior from one of the staffs responding to the social media backlash, which brought out countless of past customers' experience on how bad Gamers Hideout's service was. They are aware of it and they seek to improve their relations with customers in the future:
The higher management will be improving staffing standard procedures and enforcing a more solid standard of procedure to ensure that we are not unprofessional in managing crises involving our customers.
On Gamers Hideout point of view, they are just trying to solve the issue of thefts that have been plaguing their store, but in doing so, they have committed a mistake. With that said, they intend to take it as a lesson to prevent it happening again in the future:
Thievery has been an ongoing problem for us from the very beginning and with our desires to promote an open-concept store front, it has proven to be an even greater challenge. This issue has taught us that security can further be improved so we are exceptionally grateful for the incident to shed some light in that area of weakness in our stores.
We hope that this will be the end of it and if there’s one thing we can learn from this whole fiasco, is that communication matters. Besides that, we should never jump to conclusions before hearing both sides of the story. Either way, we believe the Malaysian gaming community will move past this as we are all gamers at heart, and we should just leave the drama to soap operas.