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General Gaming  » EA Bans Users for Asking for Refunds

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  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13678

3/07/13 5:31:13 PM#41

For EA to ban people for doing a chargeback is understandable.

What's not understandable is if they refuse to refund the money by any means other than a chargeback for a game that doesn't work.

But hey, buyer beware.  If you buy a game from EA, you don't expect it to actually work right.  Do you?

  BitterClinger

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/19/12
Posts: 209

2014 Watch List: World of Warships, ArcheAge

3/07/13 5:36:44 PM#42
Originally posted by Burntvet
Personally, I can't wait until one of these deals winds up in court: the situation where someone in the past has purchased several titles for either Steam or Origin, decides to charge back a "non-working" title, and then have that customer be denied to access titles they have already paid for. And no, EULAs are not binding until a court says they are. Personally, in such a case, I can not see the company winning, as the customer was presumably doing something allowed by law (a CC chargeback) and was within their rights to do so. I can not see how a court would agree that someone that doing a legal commercial transaction (the chargeback) could be breaching the "contract" with Steam/Origin to the point that it would justify denying that customer access to the products already previously paid for.

This is the most reasoned response to this whole mess. I too think it would be interesting to see this play out in court, but I'm not really sure the case would be good for the gaming industry (regardless of the outcome). Origin and Steam (and others) defend against this very thing by delisting games that might warrant a legitimate chargeback.

Chargebacks are for those people who buy stuff at motel room "auctions" and that sort of thing. The vendor is gone, unreachable, and otherwise unidentifiable.  I work in the credit card vertical of a business that is (at least currently) "too big to fail", and I know our support folks will attempt to work a refund through the vendor before processing a chargeback. Again, chargebacks are absolutely legal, but they are pretty much relationship ending measures when it comes to vendors.

I think you'd be surprised by the outcome of your court case. The more I think about it, the more sure I am that a judge would rule in the favor of Steam or Origin.

Top Games Played JAN 2014: World of Warplanes, Guild Wars 2, World of Tanks

  GrayGhost79

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/30/08
Posts: 4889

3/07/13 5:41:31 PM#43
Originally posted by BitterClinger
Originally posted by Burntvet
Personally, I can't wait until one of these deals winds up in court: the situation where someone in the past has purchased several titles for either Steam or Origin, decides to charge back a "non-working" title, and then have that customer be denied to access titles they have already paid for. And no, EULAs are not binding until a court says they are. Personally, in such a case, I can not see the company winning, as the customer was presumably doing something allowed by law (a CC chargeback) and was within their rights to do so. I can not see how a court would agree that someone that doing a legal commercial transaction (the chargeback) could be breaching the "contract" with Steam/Origin to the point that it would justify denying that customer access to the products already previously paid for.

This is the most reasoned response to this whole mess. I too think it would be interesting to see this play out in court, but I'm not really sure the case would be good for the gaming industry (regardless of the outcome). Origin and Steam (and others) defend against this very thing by delisting games that might warrant a legitimate chargeback.

Chargebacks are for those people who buy stuff at motel room "auctions" and that sort of thing. The vendor is gone, unreachable, and otherwise unidentifiable.  I work in the credit card vertical of a business that is (at least currently) "too big to fail", and I know our support folks will attempt to work a refund through the vendor before processing a chargeback. Again, chargebacks are absolutely legal, but they are pretty much relationship ending measures when it comes to vendors.

I think you'd be surprised by the outcome of your court case. The more I think about it, the more sure I am that a judge would rule in the favor of Steam or Origin.

Not really, the problem is that the person has legitimate claim to all other games that they have purchased. Banning an account thus removing your access to potentially hundreds of other games purchased over the years is not an appropriate response to a charge back on a single game. 

 

If a case like that did go to court then the judge would side with the consumer hands down. A service like Steam or Origin would be lucky if all they had to do was reinstate the account but chances are good they would have to reimburse the consumer for every game that purchased that they no longer have access to. With a good lawyer they would have to reimburse them the amount they paid at the time and not what they are currently worth. 

  dead2soon

Novice Member

Joined: 2/02/11
Posts: 152

3/07/13 5:44:26 PM#44
As the saying goes. Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me. If people still refuse to learn to not support EA, well it's really their own fault.
  niceguy3978

Elite Member

Joined: 6/14/06
Posts: 2011

3/07/13 5:47:18 PM#45
Originally posted by Boudewijns

have they sink that low?

no wonder i banned EA games for years, now u know why

http://www.gamechup.com/ea-refuses-to-refund-user-for-simcity-threatens-account-ban/

Every company I know of that has subscriptions or cloud based content will ban your account if you do a chargeback.  That isn't a refun, it is a claim of fraud against said company.  While I do believe that companies should give refunds on their games within a period of time, I also agree with a company that would ban an account for a chargeback.

  BMBender

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/14/07
Posts: 559

3/07/13 5:53:46 PM#46
Why are morons bringing up charge back abuse?  According to the chat log posted the user received a faulty product and asked for a refund,  cr said no, user referred a public statement made by an EA rep saying that that issue could be refunded.  cr said no again.  User said log going viral.  I fail to see where charge-back even enters into it or how EA has a leg to stand on.

  nbtscan

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/06/06
Posts: 507

3/07/13 5:58:05 PM#47

EA's refund and replacement policy was updated just today.  I'm not sure what it was previously, but it now says games downloaded digitally through Origiin are not eligible for refunds, but if you buy a physical copy through the Origin store you have a 14 day warranty.

I guess the moral of the story is either boycott EA outright or get a physical copy either though them or elsewhere.

Edit:  Pulled up a cached copy of their old terms updated in July of last year:

What is your refund policy for PC digital downloads?
Unfortunately, EA does not offer refunds on any products downloaded through Origin. EA reserves the right, however, to offer refunds under exceptional circumstances at its sole discretion.

3/7/2013: 

As a general policy, EA does not offer refunds on any products downloaded through Origin.

  Burntvet

Elite Member

Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 2791

3/07/13 5:58:36 PM#48
Originally posted by BitterClinger
Originally posted by Burntvet
Personally, I can't wait until one of these deals winds up in court: the situation where someone in the past has purchased several titles for either Steam or Origin, decides to charge back a "non-working" title, and then have that customer be denied to access titles they have already paid for. And no, EULAs are not binding until a court says they are. Personally, in such a case, I can not see the company winning, as the customer was presumably doing something allowed by law (a CC chargeback) and was within their rights to do so. I can not see how a court would agree that someone that doing a legal commercial transaction (the chargeback) could be breaching the "contract" with Steam/Origin to the point that it would justify denying that customer access to the products already previously paid for.

This is the most reasoned response to this whole mess. I too think it would be interesting to see this play out in court, but I'm not really sure the case would be good for the gaming industry (regardless of the outcome). Origin and Steam (and others) defend against this very thing by delisting games that might warrant a legitimate chargeback.

Chargebacks are for those people who buy stuff at motel room "auctions" and that sort of thing. The vendor is gone, unreachable, and otherwise unidentifiable.  I work in the credit card vertical of a business that is (at least currently) "too big to fail", and I know our support folks will attempt to work a refund through the vendor before processing a chargeback. Again, chargebacks are absolutely legal, but they are pretty much relationship ending measures when it comes to vendors.

I think you'd be surprised by the outcome of your court case. The more I think about it, the more sure I am that a judge would rule in the favor of Steam or Origin.

 

Perhaps, but perhaps not. Assume that the customer has a legitimate reason for charging back a game title (say for instance, there were promised features in the description or on the box that were not in fact in the game) what then? From what EA is saying in this case, that even if the customer is justified in seeking a chargeback (according to consumer protection laws, say), they will ban the Origin acct anyway. And even if the customer "non-legitimately" sought and received a chargeback, would that give the company the legal justification for shutting off that customer's access to hundreds or even thousands of dollars of paid for merchandise? I seriously doubt the courts would agree that that level of a response was justified, and would warrant a customer being deprived of product worth that much money.
  ace5572

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/15/08
Posts: 115

3/07/13 5:59:43 PM#49

On the Forbes message thread a gentleman had this to say, has some links w/ more info, but it sums up everything you need to know about EA:

 

A few things about EA:

- Gaming is now the largest entertainment industry, larger than both music and also movies in regards to money made
http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/its-official-games-revenues-overtake-music-at-retail
http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/games-overtake-films-in-global-entertainment-market

- Despite that, it is largely uncontrolled by both governments and laws, EA for instance can do things like forbidding people to sue them by putting it in their EULA, they also take the rights to collect personal data of their consumers and use it whatever way they want and the right to terminate any previous purchase agreement taking away any or all products out of any reason, even as stupid as “misbehaving” on their forums and they’ve done it before. Some of these things wouldn’t be possible in other industries.

- EA is also known for “ruining” certain people’s lives, from the companies they buy out just to destroy them to a large amount of staff fired (Origin, Bullfrog, Westwood, Criterion, Maxis, Pandemic and right now they’re working on Bioware), to a large part of their employees, for instance this is a good read in regards to that from a while back: http://ea-spouse.livejournal.com/274.html , 85-90+ hours of work 7 days a week crunch times over months without overtime. Sometimes they cut peoples jobs and re-hire them if they’re desperate enough just so they don’t get any bonuses or when benefits were supposed to kick in, other times just in time for their quarterly earnings figures so they look better to investors

- They are asserting market domination by literally buying and sucking dry promising studios that might rise to be competition of any creativity they might have had before they close them or they outright perform hostile takeovers of smaller companies to ruin them sometimes, they even tried a hostile takeover upon Take Two a few years ago over the Grand Theft Auto franchise, fortunately it failed: http://www.1up.com/news/initiates-hostile-takeover-take-two

Their sports games are mainly selling as they do because they managed to acquire exclusive rights to about any existing league out there, from the NFL, NBA, FIFA, UEFA to the NHL and more just so they don’t have any competition in that field.
Unlike some of the bank foreclosures or similar that are often of the “shit happens” sort of thing, these practices are considered and methodical.

- They are pioneers in the way of cutting out parts of a product to keep them behind pay walls they call “DLC”, they’re abusing peoples psychological weaknesses with micro transactions just like Zynga, they got their own social sector for that and it’s seeping over into their main products, love what Ricitiello had to say on the matter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR6-u8OIJTE

- They’re known for outsourcing their work to places like China, India, Romania etc. just so they can have cheap and convenient labor that doesn’t complain, in regards to that they’ve also been caught using viral marketing using hundreds of people in well-known forums to deflect issues and do PR for them, a guy they had just fired because his job was moved to Asia said a few things in regards to that: http://www.cinemablend.com/games/EA-Viral-Marketing-Exposed-Big-Buyout-Horizon-40885.html and they’re well known for influencing or outright paying off their respective press.

Add false advertisement, quiet support for SOPA, their constant attempt to kill used sales for their products they want people to believe they don’t actually “own”, the practice of shifting the lion share of their profits based on marketing hype to “Pre-Orders” before one is able to judge the quality of said products and the increasing sequelization of their games as well as pillaging of old franchises for quick cash grabs and spreading those practices into larger parts of the industry (both by potentially buying off further companies, who knows maybe CDProjekt, THQ in their sad state just for their IPs or whoever is next as well as encouraging other companies to mimic them) along with Activision and you might just get the bigger picture that this isn’t just about some stupid game ending or only DLC. :P

Saying that EA isn’t bad because “they only work on games”, is doing them a great disservice over their deserved accomplishment (worst company 2012), if they worked in any other industry considered “important” they’d have been regulated and sued to hell over some of these practices.

 

  Distopia

Drifter

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 15845

"what a boring life, HATING everything" -Gorilla Biscuits

3/07/13 6:01:26 PM#50
I think it all depends on the severity of the issue with the product. Is it a temporary (few hours to a day) issue, that will be addressed quickly or is it something that willl take a month(s) to resolve?

For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson

It is a sign of a defeated man, to attack at ones character in the face of logic and reason- Me

  BitterClinger

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/19/12
Posts: 209

2014 Watch List: World of Warships, ArcheAge

3/07/13 6:02:22 PM#51
Originally posted by GrayGhost79
Originally posted by BitterClinger

This is the most reasoned response to this whole mess. I too think it would be interesting to see this play out in court, but I'm not really sure the case would be good for the gaming industry (regardless of the outcome). Origin and Steam (and others) defend against this very thing by delisting games that might warrant a legitimate chargeback.

Chargebacks are for those people who buy stuff at motel room "auctions" and that sort of thing. The vendor is gone, unreachable, and otherwise unidentifiable.  I work in the credit card vertical of a business that is (at least currently) "too big to fail", and I know our support folks will attempt to work a refund through the vendor before processing a chargeback. Again, chargebacks are absolutely legal, but they are pretty much relationship ending measures when it comes to vendors.

I think you'd be surprised by the outcome of your court case. The more I think about it, the more sure I am that a judge would rule in the favor of Steam or Origin.

Not really, the problem is that the person has legitimate claim to all other games that they have purchased. Banning an account thus removing your access to potentially hundreds of other games purchased over the years is not an appropriate response to a charge back on a single game. 

 

If a case like that did go to court then the judge would side with the consumer hands down. A service like Steam or Origin would be lucky if all they had to do was reinstate the account but chances are good they would have to reimburse the consumer for every game that purchased that they no longer have access to. With a good lawyer they would have to reimburse them the amount they paid at the time and not what they are currently worth. 

I hear what you're saying, but it sounds like wishful thinking, wanting the world to be fair, social justice and all that. All of the legal precedent thus far supports the "license to use" language. You're suggesting a judge would risk a potential black mark on his career to "side with the consumer hands down".

"The Software is licensed, not sold. Your license confers no title or ownership in the Software."

This isn't some fly-by-night game company that copied someone else's EULA.  Lawyers put that language in the agreement, and that language has already won in multiple court cases.

Top Games Played JAN 2014: World of Warplanes, Guild Wars 2, World of Tanks

  Burntvet

Elite Member

Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 2791

3/07/13 6:02:34 PM#52
Originally posted by GrayGhost79
Originally posted by BitterClinger
Originally posted by Burntvet
Personally, I can't wait until one of these deals winds up in court: the situation where someone in the past has purchased several titles for either Steam or Origin, decides to charge back a "non-working" title, and then have that customer be denied to access titles they have already paid for. And no, EULAs are not binding until a court says they are. Personally, in such a case, I can not see the company winning, as the customer was presumably doing something allowed by law (a CC chargeback) and was within their rights to do so. I can not see how a court would agree that someone that doing a legal commercial transaction (the chargeback) could be breaching the "contract" with Steam/Origin to the point that it would justify denying that customer access to the products already previously paid for.

This is the most reasoned response to this whole mess. I too think it would be interesting to see this play out in court, but I'm not really sure the case would be good for the gaming industry (regardless of the outcome). Origin and Steam (and others) defend against this very thing by delisting games that might warrant a legitimate chargeback.

Chargebacks are for those people who buy stuff at motel room "auctions" and that sort of thing. The vendor is gone, unreachable, and otherwise unidentifiable.  I work in the credit card vertical of a business that is (at least currently) "too big to fail", and I know our support folks will attempt to work a refund through the vendor before processing a chargeback. Again, chargebacks are absolutely legal, but they are pretty much relationship ending measures when it comes to vendors.

I think you'd be surprised by the outcome of your court case. The more I think about it, the more sure I am that a judge would rule in the favor of Steam or Origin.

Not really, the problem is that the person has legitimate claim to all other games that they have purchased. Banning an account thus removing your access to potentially hundreds of other games purchased over the years is not an appropriate response to a charge back on a single game. 

 

If a case like that did go to court then the judge would side with the consumer hands down. A service like Steam or Origin would be lucky if all they had to do was reinstate the account but chances are good they would have to reimburse the consumer for every game that purchased that they no longer have access to. With a good lawyer they would have to reimburse them the amount they paid at the time and not what they are currently worth. 

 

In many places, you would not even need a lawyer. The jurisdictional cash limit for most places in the US is around $5k for small claims cases, and the filings cost around $50. If I had a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars worth of games sitting on a banned Origin acct, behind a "chargeback ban" I would file in a heartbeat.
  Torgrim

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 12/15/05
Posts: 2179

3/07/13 6:05:39 PM#53

Never really understood why gamers defend EA when in fact they screw you over on a dalie basis and still some gamers jump up and scream YES SIR.

 

If it's not broken, you are not innovating.

  Burntvet

Elite Member

Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 2791

3/07/13 6:08:57 PM#54
Originally posted by BitterClinger
Originally posted by GrayGhost79
Originally posted by BitterClinger

This is the most reasoned response to this whole mess. I too think it would be interesting to see this play out in court, but I'm not really sure the case would be good for the gaming industry (regardless of the outcome). Origin and Steam (and others) defend against this very thing by delisting games that might warrant a legitimate chargeback.

Chargebacks are for those people who buy stuff at motel room "auctions" and that sort of thing. The vendor is gone, unreachable, and otherwise unidentifiable.  I work in the credit card vertical of a business that is (at least currently) "too big to fail", and I know our support folks will attempt to work a refund through the vendor before processing a chargeback. Again, chargebacks are absolutely legal, but they are pretty much relationship ending measures when it comes to vendors.

I think you'd be surprised by the outcome of your court case. The more I think about it, the more sure I am that a judge would rule in the favor of Steam or Origin.

Not really, the problem is that the person has legitimate claim to all other games that they have purchased. Banning an account thus removing your access to potentially hundreds of other games purchased over the years is not an appropriate response to a charge back on a single game. 

 

If a case like that did go to court then the judge would side with the consumer hands down. A service like Steam or Origin would be lucky if all they had to do was reinstate the account but chances are good they would have to reimburse the consumer for every game that purchased that they no longer have access to. With a good lawyer they would have to reimburse them the amount they paid at the time and not what they are currently worth. 

I hear what you're saying, but it sounds like wishful thinking, wanting the world to be fair, social justice and all that. All of the legal precedent thus far supports the "license to use" language. You're suggesting a judge would risk a potential black mark on his career to "side with the consumer hands down".

"The Software is licensed, not sold. Your license confers no title or ownership in the Software."

This isn't some fly-by-night game company that copied someone else's EULA.  Lawyers put that language in the agreement, and that language has already won in multiple court cases.

 

And EULAs have lost plenty, as well. One question that has not been answered definitively by the courts, is what is the inherent difference between the bits on a disk, and the bits downloaded from a game seller? How can it be in the first instance the item be considered a good, and have certain consumer rights attach, and in the second and for the same exact product, no consumer rights attach because it is a "service"? The few times I am aware that this specific issue was brought up, the software company involved settled. I do not think they want the courts to answer this question (and precedents are a bitch).
  Panther2103

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/09/08
Posts: 2104

3/07/13 6:10:21 PM#55
People take this stuff so damn far. If you charge back something that you purchased, knowing what you were getting but still demanding a charge back, when it's in the TOS that you can't do that you should get your account banned. What is all the hate for with Sim City, I bought it knowing it had online only gameplay, even for single player. Everyone saw news articles about it, everyone that played beta knew about it, everyone should have assumed EA was going to do it, since it seems to be commonplace with their games now. Yet people always make a big stink about it, every single time. Everyone knew Diablo 3 had no offline, yet threatened to sue blizzard every 5 minutes because of the fact that the servers went down. Now the same spat is happening with Sim City. 
  sacredfool

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/04/07
Posts: 740

3/07/13 6:11:13 PM#56
Originally posted by BitterClinger

You need to read your license agreements, both with Origin and with your cable company. Where SimCity is concerned, you have purchased a "license to use", and it is Origin's position that you will be able to exercise that license in a very short amount of time.

My advise to you is to buy physical copies.  I've already processed my return, printed my return labels, dropped my game in the UPS box this morning, and am eagerly awaiting my credit from Amazon. No EA "bans", no chargebacks, and no problems.

Just pointing out.... an agreement between a player and a company does not mean other laws do not apply. If they provide you with a faulty product then no matter what the agreement is it can be overruled. A game should be playable, if it's not, then they have no right to charge you for it. If it's simply a bad game or you don't like it - thats another story.


Originally posted by nethaniah

Seriously Farmville? Yeah I think it's great. In a World where half our population is dying of hunger the more fortunate half is spending their time harvesting food that doesn't exist.


  Toxia

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/25/09
Posts: 1322

3/07/13 6:14:00 PM#57
Originally posted by BitterClinger
Yes, if you have a pile of games in Origin (or Steam for that matter) and you violate their terms by having your bank reverse charges for a product you purchased, then yeah, you lose access to ALL your games in that service.

Does origin do that? Steam doesnt. Wife bought me skyrim as a gift, the day previous i bought skyrim off steam. Didn't want to make her feel bad, so i asked for refund for steam. They denied since no real reason why they should. I chargedback, and all my other games still function fine on steam, get updates and am able to play multiplayer. Hell i've even bought other games since then.

The Deep Web is sca-ry.

  GrayGhost79

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/30/08
Posts: 4889

3/07/13 6:15:45 PM#58
Originally posted by Panther2103
People take this stuff so damn far. If you charge back something that you purchased, knowing what you were getting but still demanding a charge back, when it's in the TOS that you can't do that you should get your account banned. What is all the hate for with Sim City, I bought it knowing it had online only gameplay, even for single player. Everyone saw news articles about it, everyone that played beta knew about it, everyone should have assumed EA was going to do it, since it seems to be commonplace with their games now. Yet people always make a big stink about it, every single time. Everyone knew Diablo 3 had no offline, yet threatened to sue blizzard every 5 minutes because of the fact that the servers went down. Now the same spat is happening with Sim City. 

If you are going to join in on the discussion read first...

 

EA offered a refund if you were unhappy.

Customer asked for the refund that had been offered by EA.

CSR Rep denied customer refund while acknowledging the press release from EA offering the refund. 

Customer threatens charge back since they have been denied the offered refund.

CSR Rep threatens to ban entire Origin account. 

 

Hopefully you now know what all the fuss is about. 

 

[mod edit]

  Burntvet

Elite Member

Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 2791

3/07/13 6:18:50 PM#59
Originally posted by sacredfool
Originally posted by BitterClinger

You need to read your license agreements, both with Origin and with your cable company. Where SimCity is concerned, you have purchased a "license to use", and it is Origin's position that you will be able to exercise that license in a very short amount of time.

My advise to you is to buy physical copies.  I've already processed my return, printed my return labels, dropped my game in the UPS box this morning, and am eagerly awaiting my credit from Amazon. No EA "bans", no chargebacks, and no problems.

Just pointing out.... an agreement between a player and a company does not mean other laws do not apply. If they provide you with a faulty product then no matter what the agreement is it can be overruled. A game should be playable, if it's not, then they have no right to charge you for it. If it's simply a bad game or you don't like it - thats another story.

 

Bingo. And what people don't understand is that if a EULA violates consumer protection laws, then the EULA is a "bad contract" and not binding. The only reasons people think EULAs hold up so well, is that they are rarely challenged (most people are not going to sue over a $50-60 video game) and most of the time when they do go to court, they are settled before a verdict is reached.
  Maephisto

Novice Member

Joined: 2/15/12
Posts: 653

3/07/13 6:20:31 PM#60

There was this 30+ page thread earlier, commited to talking about EA's wrong doings.  I wonder how many of those people continue to buy EA games and bitch, simultaneously.  The vocal gaming community even went onto the consumerist and voted EA the worst company, OVER BANK OF AMERICA.

Despite all the commotion over Sim City and past games (ME3), people will still buy the next EA game.  Even after the harsh DRM and bullshit DLC becomes commonplace.  Then feel completely cool about coming on here and complaining about them.

Protest with your dollars, not your mouth.

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