A Daybreak investigation has revealed a number of stores selling violent computer games illegally, to underage children.
Seven out of eight stores in Bristol sold our undercover 15 year old games they shouldn't have, ones which are rated 16 and 18. Daybreak investigates...
Full responses from the stores involved are below:
“We are legally required to train all of our selling Partners (staff) on how to handle age restricted sales. It is mandatory that they undergo this training when they first join and refresher training takes place annually.
“Before the Partner completes a transaction, a prompt will appear on screen at the point a product which has an age restriction on it is scanned, reminding them to check and ensure that the customer is over the required age. Without seeing the footage it is impossible to say how far they got with this particular transaction and whether or not the Partner would have got as far as to see this prompt. However, we are deeply disappointed that this has happened and will proactively remind all Partners of the age restricted policies, particularly at the branch in question.”
"Gamescene is a responsible retailer and we take our legal obligations very seriously. Staff receive training to ensure that they understand age ratings and that they are adhered to. Our failure to meet those standards in these incidents is very disappointing.
A full investigation will be conducted, and we will take appropriate action to ensure that it does not happen again.”
“We are investigating what has happened in these two stores. GAME has worked closely in recent years with the Video Standards Council (VSC), of which we are a member, to improve standards of age related sales training within the industry. All our staff are trained to request ID for purchases on games rated 12, 16, or 18 wherever there is any doubt of a customer’s age. We take our role as a responsible retailer very seriously and refresher training on the age rating system takes place every 3 months.”
“All of our staff are trained to follow the ‘Think 21’ process for all age-classified video games sales and ask all customers who appear under 21 for proof of age. Our tills also display a prompt when a customer attempts to purchase an age-classified video game. We’re very sorry that on this occasion this process was not followed and we are currently investigating with the store. We will also be reminding all colleagues of the importance of following this process for all sales.”
"Argos is committed to ensuring that customers are sold products which are appropriate to their age. We have strict policies and processes regarding the sale of Age Restricted items and we undertake regular training with store employees. Our Age Restricted policy has been audited by our Primary
Authority, Milton Keynes Trading Standards Department who are satisfied that it represents adequate precautions and due diligence. When the Daybreak volunteer visited our Broadmead store in Bristol, the cashier involved followed the correct process for an age 18 rated product sale which resulted in the purchase being declined. This included following the till prompt, asking for identification and seeking concurrence from a member of the management team.
In the case of the age 16 rated product sale, the cashier correctly followed the initial till prompt and taking into account the customer’s height, dress and general appearance, genuinely believed that they were the appropriate age for the product and completed the sale. A judgement of this nature is highly subjective and we accept that it would have been wrong to complete the sale on this occasion. We will be addressing this through a thorough review of our processes and additional training at the store to avoid this happening in the future."