It seems EA is going out of its way to retain the “Worst Company in America” award gifted to it by The Consumerist last year. Since the launch of SimCity on Tuesday, unhappy gamers have taken to the Internet to voice their frustration at a number of issues with the new title. While consumers have had to swallow the bitter pill that is the permanent Internet connection required to play the game, others have simply been unable to play at all due to server errors with EA’s Origin service. While EA and developer Maxis have been working to correct these issues, some gamers have simply decided it is not worth their time or effort, and asked for their money back.
The answer? “No.”
One user, going by the handle CalebPeters, posted a rather frustrating text conversation with the publisher’s customer support team on EA’s forum. During the conversation, he is refused a refund, despite drawing attention to a quote from Origin’s own Community Manager, “if you regrettably feel that we let you down, you can of course request a refund for your order” (the post has since been edited). When pressed, the agent states, rather worryingly, that “if you choose to dispute it, your account will be banned.”
To summerise, if you ask EA for a refund for a game that you cannot play because of their always-online “feature” and related server issues, it is completely at the company’s discretion to give one. If you challenge that decision, your Origin account will be banned. Consumer rights seem to be a thing of the past.
This is just one example. Many have voiced similar tales of woe on EA’s forum, as well as on SimCity’s Twitter account and MetaCritic, where the game has a current user rating of 2 out of 10. We can only hope this debacle serves as a valuable lesson to game developers, and that the burden of always-online will die a quick death.
[Source: Game Chump]