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EA Not Banning Consumers Wanting Refunds for SimCity

By - Source: EA Forums | B 75 comments

EA isn't banning gamers wanting refunds, but it's also not issuing refunds for digital copies. Gamers may be banned anyway simply for shooting off their mouths.

On Thursday reports began to surface that EA threatened to ban any SimCity owner who requested a refund. That was a 180-degree about-face from the company's stance on launch day, as EA said it would provide customers with refunds if they were unhappy with the service. As of Friday, that stance continues to some degree, but somewhere between now and then, a rep said differently.

The rumor about a possible ban began with this forum post, as disgruntled gamer "CalebPeters" took to the EA forums and posted a message between himself and an EA representative. The SimCity customer was offered a 15-percent off coupon with his next purchase, and help with troubleshooting issues, but no money was going to be released by the company.

The possible ban likely stems from the customer's threat to dispute the charge at the bank. The argument between the two continued on until the rep reveals that according to company policy, refunds are at the company's discretion, and won't always be offered.

"The servers are having issues, with more servers opening up as other countries release then we will show these issues resolving themselves," the rep said. "I can understand this causing frustrations and I do apologize for this. I am sorry, but I am not able to process a refund. Is there anything else that I can assist you with?"

The sad aspect about this dispute is that once a gamer is banned from Origin, they lose every purchase that uses the platform. It's essentially like getting kicked out of Steam – all those game keys and all that hard earned money is lost.

EA followed up with a statement via Twitter. The company said that players won't be banned for requesting refunds, and pointed to the company's Returns & Cancellations policy. Based on the information, EA forum user CalebPEters may have downloaded the digital version which is not refundable.

"All physical products purchased through our Origin Store come with a 14-day unconditional guarantee," the policy reads. "If you don't like it, you can return it within 14 days of its delivery for a prompt refund -- no questions asked!"

Now here's the digital version. "As a general policy, EA does not offer refunds on any products downloaded through Origin," the policy states. EA backs this up on Twitter, reporting that "in general we do not offer refunds on digital download games."

What a mess. Suddenly the Nintendo 3DS is looking a lot more friendly.

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Top Comments
  • 36 Hide
    bigdragon , March 10, 2013 6:25 AM
    Amazon is issuing refunds because they care about catering to their customers now and in the future. EA is so insanely greedy they'd rather take the shortsighted path of hoarding what they can while they still have customers. It is trivial to revoke a digital license key. EA hasn't learned a thing over the years. Their talk of improving their customer focus after being crowned Worst Company in America 2012 was clearly a bunch of BS. I expect them to win again this year quite easily.

    To anyone still buying EA games get yourself some help. You are in an abusive relationship. Break the cycle.
  • 35 Hide
    mazty , March 10, 2013 5:14 AM
    Not according to the customer trade act in the UK - in fact saying you aren't allowed a refund is illegal if I read the law correctly.
  • 32 Hide
    flamethrower205 , March 10, 2013 5:26 AM
    I smell a lawsuit
Other Comments
    Display all 75 comments.
  • 23 Hide
    audiophillia , March 10, 2013 5:06 AM
    Read them terms and conditions people. you signed away your consumers rights the second you join Origin.
  • 35 Hide
    mazty , March 10, 2013 5:14 AM
    Not according to the customer trade act in the UK - in fact saying you aren't allowed a refund is illegal if I read the law correctly.
  • 32 Hide
    flamethrower205 , March 10, 2013 5:26 AM
    I smell a lawsuit
  • 19 Hide
    unksol , March 10, 2013 5:37 AM
    How sad is it that the news is EA is NOT banning people for asking for a refund? Like we should just expect abuse from them and it's shocking they are only screwing you over instead completely banning you...
  • 26 Hide
    irish_adam , March 10, 2013 5:37 AM
    just-sayingMazty, that law also only covers physical tangible goods. Digital Downloads are not physical goods.


    Isnt it goods and services?
  • -9 Hide
    bllue , March 10, 2013 5:46 AM
    Seems to depend how you treat the customer service rep (who have nothing to do with whether the servers work or not). Saw screenshots of people who badmouthed and they didn't get a refund while people who were nice about it got it, especially if they called instead of using chat. That was a few days ago so idk if it's the same now.
  • 26 Hide
    edogawa , March 10, 2013 5:48 AM
    Oh EA, up to no good again I see....
  • 25 Hide
    QEFX , March 10, 2013 5:57 AM
    And I remember when EA produced good games and tried to support the community.
    It's a shame that with Y2K EA became a company you want to avoid.

  • 31 Hide
    smeezekitty , March 10, 2013 6:06 AM
    All these problems would be mitigated if you could play the bloody game in single player mode without logging on the servers.
  • 36 Hide
    bigdragon , March 10, 2013 6:25 AM
    Amazon is issuing refunds because they care about catering to their customers now and in the future. EA is so insanely greedy they'd rather take the shortsighted path of hoarding what they can while they still have customers. It is trivial to revoke a digital license key. EA hasn't learned a thing over the years. Their talk of improving their customer focus after being crowned Worst Company in America 2012 was clearly a bunch of BS. I expect them to win again this year quite easily.

    To anyone still buying EA games get yourself some help. You are in an abusive relationship. Break the cycle.
  • 21 Hide
    jupiter optimus maximus , March 10, 2013 6:26 AM
    EA, just refund the guy and other disgruntle customers. Its not like you deserve it.
  • 4 Hide
    tomfreak , March 10, 2013 6:41 AM
    rule number one for buying the games these days

    1. Never pre-order a game unless it has a working demo that is PART of the game.

    When do people actually learn. They should blame themselves for putting money on something they didnt know.
  • 29 Hide
    Benihana , March 10, 2013 6:51 AM
    Glad I stopped buying EA games years ago. But every now and then, my memory starts to fail me and I get the urge to buy an EA game. It's good to have news like this to help jog my memory. :) 
  • 21 Hide
    tmk221 , March 10, 2013 7:39 AM
    maztyNot according to the customer trade act in the UK - in fact saying you aren't allowed a refund is illegal if I read the law correctly.


    Same here in Poland, you have unconditional right to return your purchase in 7 days, and 14 days if you bought it online.

    BTW, banning all EA cd-keys just for complaining about one of their games is really f-ed up. That is one big PR fail.
  • 9 Hide
    iamtheking123 , March 10, 2013 7:49 AM
    I would have just done a chargeback and called it a day. They wouldn't ban you for doing it because they know that's begging for a lawsuit and Visa/Mastercard wouldn't take kindly to one of their merchants dishing up retaliation in response to a chargeback.
  • 8 Hide
    abbadon_34 , March 10, 2013 8:06 AM
    If they are so confident in their DRM then they shouldn't care about refunding digital downloads, since their DRM prevents their use, right? I could understand when buying physical copies, when you could install the game and return it, and still play it. But that was a long time ago...
  • 8 Hide
    joafu , March 10, 2013 8:23 AM
    iamtheking123I would have just done a chargeback and called it a day. They wouldn't ban you for doing it because they know that's begging for a lawsuit and Visa/Mastercard wouldn't take kindly to one of their merchants dishing up retaliation in response to a chargeback.


    The chargeback is what threatens the ban and why this ban dispute came up. Any disputed purchase from your credit company with your account is part of the Origin contract to make the whole account void. A chargeback means either the card was stolen or the services weren't rendered- too many failure to service and the company in question could suffer from loss of business integrity with the credit company (which EA totally should, but besides the point). If it was your only game with Origin, nothing of value is lost with a chargeback; if you have a few other games on there, you're put between a rock (losing your library) and a hard place (continuing to deal with the brilliant EA).

    EA is massively shooting themselves in the foot further by not just refunding, and I'm surprised more companies aren't decrying the loss of integrity to the industry as a whole because of this. Informed gamers know to stay away from EA, but someone like my father would swear off all gaming for being too complicated, ie loss of sales for other companies as well. I find it frustrating that so many numbers are drummed up over profit lost to pirating when an even bigger share lies with profit loss due do to horrible service.
  • 2 Hide
    The_Trutherizer , March 10, 2013 9:28 AM
    Lame...
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