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You won’t get a refund on SimCity if you bought it through Origin

Friday, 8th March 2013 00:57 GMT By Phil Owen

There have been conflicting reports this week about what you can do if you feel screwed by your inability to play the copy of SimCity you paid $60 for due to the server meltdowns. But there is one thing you should know: if you bought the game through Origin, you will not get a refund.

This saga has been a complicated one beyond the server problems themselves. First, an EA community manager said the following Tuesday morning on the forums: “If you regrettably feel that we let you down, you can of course request a refund for your order at [Origin's "contact us" page], though we’re currently still in the process of resolving this issue.” (That forum post has since been edited to remove that comment.) That does not say that you would definitely be able to get a refund, but it implies that it is possible.

But it is not. Origin policy states that there will be no refunds given for digital purchases unless there are, EA Support told Polygon, “special mitigating circumstances.” The game’s servers not working properly and preventing you, through no fault of your own, from playing does not count. You could perhaps get a refund, Polygon was told, if you only realized after purchase that your PC does not meet SimCity’s minimum system requirements.

Making viral waves today was an image of one user’s chat with customer service as he tried to get a refund. This person threatened to dispute the charge with his bank, and the rep to whom he was speaking said he would be banned from Origin if he did that. @OriginInsider later tweeted that you will not be banned for seeking a refund.

As outrage grows, Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw issued the following statement to Kotaku:

“Thousands of players across the world are playing and having a good experience – in fact, more than 700,000 cities have been built by our players in just 24 hours. But many are experiencing server instability and consequently, the rollout in North America has been challenging. It’s also now evident that players across Europe and Asia are experiencing the same frustration,” she admitted.

“Our priority now is to quickly and dramatically increase the number and stability of our servers and, with that, the number of players who can simultaneously access the game. We added servers today, and there will be several more added over the weekend. We’re working as hard as possible to make sure everyone gets to experience the amazing game we built in SimCity.”

Meanwhile, Amazon is no longer selling digital copies of SimCity, some social features of the game were disabled to try to improve performance, and several servers were taken down and patched yesterday. But issues persist. We will keep updating you on this drama as it continues to unfold.

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27 Comments

  1. ps3fanboy

    IT IS TIME TO CALL THE LAWYER! FUCKING DUMB ASSES AT EA THINK THEY CAN TAKE YOUR MONEY AND RUN…

    #1 2 years ago
  2. DSB

    As a consolation prize, if you show up at EA headquarters in California, Peter Moore, David DeMartini, Frank Gibeau and John Ricitiello will line up to piss in your mouth, in person.

    Just so you don’t feel too cheap when they do it from afar.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Erthazus

    http://www.p2p-weblog.com/wp-content/uploads/the_peter_moore_guarantee.jpg

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Sini

    what a fucking mess, this is way worse than diablo 3 launch.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. mattevansc3

    You do realise Valve do the exact same thing. Its not the refund he was being told he’d get banned for but the dispute of payment. When you dispute the payment with your card issuer they do a charge back to the account and its the chargeback that gets your account banned. Valve has locked out entire user accounts and offline access to their games for chargebacks.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. chillin

    This is so fuk!n frustrared..
    Servers olways down….

    I just wish i haven’t buy this game from origin….

    #6 2 years ago
  7. DSB

    @5 It’s not surprising, but it’s amazing that nobody sues those companies.

    In the EU, you’re allowed to go back on a purchase within 2 weeks or 4 weeks, I forget which, so it should be straight up illegal to trade with those citizens without living up to those standards.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. SlayerGT

    Lately I’m being reminded why, years ago, I was worried about the industry going “all digital”. This “always online” shit seems to be a bad design choice now a days.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. mreko3230

    This is just a problem with digital purchases. I purchased a digital item through Gamestop and it never did work. I kept telling me the code I was inputting had already been used. Never could get a refund and in fact their terms of service clearly state there is no refunds for digital purchases. XBOX Live also would not issue a refund. I was simply out $20 with no recourse.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. NightCrawler1970

    I guess those online slackers learned there lession, for now on, buy a hardcopy from store and if isn’t working just bring it back to store and get a refund…

    EA sucks in service and Origin have to train those help-desk people not mentioned the word “BANNED”…

    #10 2 years ago
  11. xxJPRACERxx

    EA is working on the problems. It’s not like you wasted $60 ($80 in my case since I’ve got the deluxe version), the game will work eventually, just wait a couple more days, you’ll live.

    The law here in Canada state that if you bought something and it’s not working you can have a refund, but if the seller say is working on a fix then the buyer should wait for the fix. Of course the fix should come in a reasonable amount of time. It’s called good faith or something. It’s not like EA is intentionally causing problems.

    People are spoiled nowadays. They can’t even wait a couple of days.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. DeyDoDoughDontDeyDough

    @12

    You’re skirting the issue. Whether or not EA is legally obligated is absolutely not the point. Good faith is the point; something EA desperately needs to start showing its customers. This is a PR disaster.

    If something doesn’t work, it’s EA’s fault. They can talk about unprecedented this and difficulties that, but they could have spent the money on necessary testing and prevented this. They didn’t, and so the customer suffers and EA kicks that customer while they’re down.

    How many refunds, in total, would EA have had to dish out? A few hundred? A couple of thousand? Chump change. Instead, it lets this happen. And to think, the people who make these decisions make six-figure salaries. Unbelievable.

    It’s time for me to vote with my wallet. No matter how much I want any particular game, I will never, ever buy an EA product again.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Puggy

    I have to agree with Number 12 in that it will work soon. A few more days and the first “groups” should have a work around and you can play your purchased copy with a crack. Not totally legal maybe but hey, at least you can enjoy the media you paid money for.

    What I was always wondering on though…. why did they do the always online thing anyway? I mean it only creates loss since you need the hardware and lines… and since I did not see any micro transaction in the game, there is no additional revenue coming in for keeping player playing on “your” server.
    From a money point of view, I do not get it.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. DeyDoDoughDontDeyDough

    @14

    YOUR FIRST PARAGRAPH: Don’t worry, there will be cracked copies floating about the internet in a matter of days.

    YOUR SECOND PARAGRAPH: Why do they try to protect their property from bootleggers?

    Um.

    Mainly, though, just to be clear, you’re actually arguing that it’s okay for EA to KNOWINGLY* release a faulty product, then deny refunds because people who legitimately paid for it will be able to pick up a pirated/cracked version onto which they may add no future content and put themselves at risk of prosecution. That’s your argument?

    And I thought my cat was dim.

    *This is about minimising spend in my opinion. Bare minimal infrastructure provided in case the game is a flop. Wouldn’t want all those servers sitting about doing nothing, would we. No. Better see how popular it is, then make everyone wait a week or two while we spend money on infrastructure we should have made available in the first place. Just to be clear again: EA probably knew this would happen at a time when it still had the option to delay release. Of course, that would have pissed people off too, and since EA didn’t have their money yet, they were probably worried people might cancel their preorders.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Mineral4r7s

    I give this game a year and all servers will go offline. Its EA after all. Maybe people learned something now. (I don’t really believe that but hope dies last)

    #15 2 years ago
  16. DeyDoDoughDontDeyDough

    @16

    It’ll go offline as soon as EA stops making revenue from additional content. I think that’ll be longer than a year but it’ll happen, though perhaps EA might deactivate the DRM at that point.

    Like you say, hope dies last.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. The_Red

    @12
    No offense but do your work for EA? All of your posts in SimCity topics have been either about how SimCity is a superb game or how people are wrong here and EA has done nothing wrong. ;)

    Of course I’ve been overly negative about EA in my recent posts and by that logic, I could be working for EA’s rivals but still, how can you not be angry at them after all this?

    #17 2 years ago
  18. OwnedWhenStoned

    @12

    It’s not people who are spoiled nowadays, it’s companies that are spoiled.

    Because you have very little rights with digital purchases, and your only recourse is the same companies support (no independent third party) they can just get away with things like this. And they do.

    It’s not being spoiled to expect something to work when you buy it.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. RocknRolla

    lols :D I waited with the game :D and this happeens :D

    #19 2 years ago
  20. shogoz

    how the fuck are you supposed to get a refund on a digital copy anyway? of course you fucking can’t. this articles dumb. The only way you can get a refund is if someone from the company physically comes over and ensures it’s deleted from your system or some shit haha. some of you guys seem to be blaming the company saying they’re screwing you but it’s your own country’s fault for not coming up with better national laws. In my country companies/businesses aren’t able to sell things while saying you can’t get a refund. this ensures we get quality products and makes it so other foreign companies/businesses conform to our laws if they want to sell us things. “no refund” signs are illegal by national law and a business gets in serious shit if they are displayed in my country. The law never stoops in favour of businesses rather than consumers if they want to sell shit in my country. A foreign computer business opened up and were claiming in their terms and conditions that they can’t be held liable if they fuck up your computer (amongst other things) while they are servicing it and all of their outlets were fined 1/4 million dollars in total. Your blame shouldn’t be targeting companies but your asshole government that lets businesses like them sell shit to you and can screw you over easily. If you want to order or buy a digital copy from a place based overseas you should be doing it at your own risk after ALWAYS reading the terms and conditions. this is why i’m never going to buy digital copies of games. I don’t buy DLC i just download it for my jtagged xbox or modded ps3 fuck it

    #20 2 years ago
  21. lama

    the game serial number is tied to your origin account, a refund can be executed simply by deleting the game serial from your origin account.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. PenTaFH

    Basically meaning that, once again, EA is breaking laws and not caring one f*ck about it.

    Here in the Netherlands we have a law that if you buy a product over the phone, internet or through mail order, you have two weeks to be able to return the product and get your money back NO QUESTIONS ASKED. Of course, this only applies if the product can be returned in its original state, but given that this is about a digital product that should not be a problem, especially since a large percentage of data is handled not by the client but by EA themselves.

    I had a similar problem last year when I wanted to undo my purchase of a shortcut kit for BF3. I haven’t used Origin since then, not planning to either.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. Samoan Spider

    @23 Sorry to nit pick, and I’m not defending EA, but they aren’t breaking the law. The issue here is that the law in many countries just isn’t up to scratch. In the UK our Consumer Bill of Rights is in a consultation phase and it includes changes to the way digital content is dealt with afaik. Governments get in a panic as things take hold. The patent system in the US is under a major rework because many have taken the piss with it. There are several countries drawing up laws on liability in regards to robots because suddenly we’re at that stage where self driving cars can hit someone. Now with digital products, its the same story. What do you do if you aren’t satisfied? What if you have a legitimate complaint and want a refund? Currently its tough luck unless you get a company that values customer service.
    Anyway, I’m done. On topic, I haven’t played this yet, but I have so much to catch up on, I’ll just play it when the dust settles.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Asgaro

    @1 EA didn’t take your money. You gave them your money. Every SimCity purchaser is in fault for supporting these DRMed games. Stop pre-ordering games!

    #24 2 years ago
  25. Hellhound30x

    @#2 DSB that comment is priceless! ha! ha! ha!

    #25 2 years ago
  26. PenTaFH

    @24
    Here, they are. The law in question isn’t a draft, it’s not in the works, it’s not in any kind of consultation phase, it’s real and it is in effect. Nearly all webshops also abide by it, because they will face serious consequences if they don’t.
    EA is just pointing at its EULA, saying ‘you downloaded this, we won’t refund.’ In the same EULA, however, they unequivocally and undeniably state that if their EULA conflicts with (local) legislature, the EULA loses and EA has to and will abide by the law.

    So they’re not even only breaking the law, they’re not even following their own rules. Which in turn, and this is where I know this discussion could get messy but I’ll do it anyway, gives me a huge incentive to start pirating their games. If *they* cannot even follow their own rules, why in the depths of Hades should I?

    #26 2 years ago
  27. Samoan Spider

    @27 I’m sorry to say, Distance selling regulations and the Sales of Goods act here in the UK don’t cover or reference downloaded material like this where it is not clear whether it is classified as goods or a service in law yet. So its a conundrum.

    Edit: My point about the customer service bit is crucial here though. If they give 2 shits, they should demonstrate it to those that really want out. Piracy is never the answer, but EA has made so bloody impossible lately to respect them that I find it very difficult to disagree with you.

    2nd Edit: A whitepaper on the subject from a couple of years ago with some interesting points – http://tinyurl.com/cgv2zwo

    #27 2 years ago

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