Amazon Refuses to Sell SimCity

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Amazon Refuses to Sell SimCity

Electronic Arts denies reports that SimCity owners pushing for refunds will be banned from Origin, but now Amazon is refusing to sell it anyway.

Update: It appears that, for the moment anyway, Amazon has put the digital version of SimCity up for sale once again.

Original story: Reports began circulating earlier today that Electronic Arts is refusing to offer refunds to owners of SimCity because despite the unmitigated debacle of the game's launch, the situation does not constitute "exceptional circumstances" and thus does not qualify. That's bad enough, but worse were reports that customers were being threatened with Origin account bans for pushing for refunds.

EA has just stated through the Origin Twitter account that those reports are false, however. "Regarding a rumor: We will not ban players for requesting refunds. Please review our returns & cancellations policy," the company wrote, providing a link to the policy that you can check out here.

Based on screens of the conversation that apparently started the rumor, the customer in question was threatened with a ban not for requesting a refund but for suggesting that he would stop payment to Origin through his bank. It's unfortunate that someone would find himself in a position where that course of action feels necessary and the right and wrong of EA's refusal to issue SimCity refunds is certainly open to debate, but it's not unreasonable of the company to cancel accounts belonging to people who refuse to pay.

The good news, sort of, is that Amazon is doing its part to spare other gamers from getting caught up in the SimCity train wreck by pulling the game from distribution. "Many customers are having issues connecting to the SimCity servers. EA is actively working to resolve these issues, but at this time we do not know when the issue will be fixed," it wrote in a warning to customers. The game is now listed as "currently unavailable," and Amazon says it doesn't know "when or if this item will be available again."

Sources: Develop, Twitter, Amazon

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Andy, you should know that truth cannot stop the internet hate machine.

Not gonna lie, I'm kinda sad to see this happen to the SimCity franchise. I'm actually a fan of 'simpler' and 'dumbed down' sequels like XCOM:Enemy Unknown and Civilization V that make it easier to get into those ridiculously complex franchises that are difficult to understand for new players. I had kinda hoped the new SimCity would do that for its franchise, but instead this happens.

Ah well, back to Civ V I guess. Glad I didn't preorder.

Smart choice of words, EA.

Maybe they won't ban users for REQUESTING a refund, but if the user blocks the payment for a defective product, they will be banned for sure.

Moral of the story: Don't buy online games, don't buy games with online DRM, don't buy games that require an online service.

I feel for those guys trying to get their money back from EA. They're quite willing to take your money, but are quite stingy about giving it back even if you have a legitimate reason.

Wow, ive heard a few rumors about this SimCity mess, heres hoping we can at least get a few chuckles out of it. *Looks at Jimquisition and CheckPoint*

Sgt. Sykes:
Smart choice of words, EA.

Maybe they won't ban users for REQUESTING a refund, but if the user blocks the payment for a defective product, they will be banned for sure.

Moral of the story: Don't buy online games, don't buy games with online DRM, don't buy games that require an online service.

Pretty much. They wont ban people for requesting a refund, but they certainly don't have to give one.

It is worth nothing that the image circulating is of a forum post by the accusing party not of a customer service chat window, the conversation could have been doctored before it was posted.

http://i.imgur.com/K3KFAI3.jpg

"[...]Anything else I can assist you with?"
"This Chat text goes viral"
"Thanks"

Poor bastard, he'd just GOT to be fired by this point in time...

Any other product would have a return policy within the first 48 hours of use, especially if the customer is unable to use the product - no matter what.

Actually, EA is being quite reasonable about giving refunds to people who ask for them in a reasonable manner. But nobody wants to hear that.

Now if only they would allow refunds in the first place.

DVS BSTrD:
Now if only they would allow refunds in the first place.

People have said on the other thread that they haven't had any problems returning the game. I believe that customer service conversation is fake or a misunderstanding.

So even Amazon, the tax-dodging moneybags that they are, don't like EA? This is becoming a soap opera. Popcorn. ACTIVATE!

Hitchmeister:
Actually, EA is being quite reasonable about giving refunds to people who ask for them in a reasonable manner. But nobody wants to hear that.

Seriously, I'm all for dishing out hate when hate is due, but when people see EA in a headline they lose their minds.

Colt47:

Sgt. Sykes:
Smart choice of words, EA.

Maybe they won't ban users for REQUESTING a refund, but if the user blocks the payment for a defective product, they will be banned for sure.

Moral of the story: Don't buy online games, don't buy games with online DRM, don't buy games that require an online service.

Pretty much. They wont ban people for requesting a refund, but they certainly don't have to give one.

Well, in a number of countries outside the US they do. Consumer protection laws actually exist in the rest of the world.

Well I'm glad this is not the case and the incident was blown out of proportion, but needless to say the Sim City release has been a complete PR disaster for EA. Even a major online retailer is now coming out to pull the game from it's service because the connection issues. Though that may be a blessing of some kind, if big retailers like Amazon are willing to pull games that have connection issues like Sim City, publishers may be discouraged from using similar DRM schemes in case they run into Sim City/Diablo III issues and get their game pulled from retailers.

captcha: dog's dinner. Well said captcha.

I like the way that EA thinks that holding peoples whole Origin game library's hostage is a good move, I mean all I get from this is that if I had say 10 $60 games on Origin then had a problem with an 11th I could lose access to all of them just from cancelling payment for one even if it's defective is moronic!

I have stopped payment to Amazon before when defected products were sent untill replacement products arrived without threat of losing the ability to be an Amazon customer.

But that EA really seems to think that telling people "we will stop you using products you bought from us after the fact" is a good move really is incredible.

But on the other hand, if you'd like a copy of the original Simcity, you can buy it Like-New on Amazon- for a rediculous price, that is.

SL33TBL1ND:

Colt47:

Sgt. Sykes:
Smart choice of words, EA.

Maybe they won't ban users for REQUESTING a refund, but if the user blocks the payment for a defective product, they will be banned for sure.

Moral of the story: Don't buy online games, don't buy games with online DRM, don't buy games that require an online service.

Pretty much. They wont ban people for requesting a refund, but they certainly don't have to give one.

Well, in a number of countries outside the US they do. Consumer protection laws actually exist in the rest of the world.

Dang it, stop making me wish we had actual intelligence in our Government System.

Why'd you go and change the title instead of adding an update?

Colt47:

Sgt. Sykes:
Smart choice of words, EA.

Maybe they won't ban users for REQUESTING a refund, but if the user blocks the payment for a defective product, they will be banned for sure.

Moral of the story: Don't buy online games, don't buy games with online DRM, don't buy games that require an online service.

Pretty much. They wont ban people for requesting a refund, but they certainly don't have to give one.

Depending on the laws of different countries that actually DO have to give a refund. In Australia for example a non-working product (i.e you can't get the game to work) automatically qualified for a repair, replacement, or refund, customers choice, within 7 days... no argument at all allowed...

Andy Chalk:
but it's not unreasonable of the company to cancel accounts belonging to people who refuse to pay.

Uh yes it is, it very much is. I haven't heard of a publisher coming to your house to confiscate all your games by them because you've failed a payment on one of their games and this pretty much constitutes that.

It was bad with Steam as well, thankfully Valve listened and changed the way Account-disables work about a year back: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=471349

They no longer "ban" anyones account and deny them access to their games over failed payments or payment-disputes but disallow trading and buying of new products till it's cleared up with support.

image

It is beyond me how you can not find someone being banned from their entire games library over an issue with a single game "not unreasonable".

Especially since in the given case the customer tried to appeal to the proper channels and they proved to be undiscerning. He has a right to a refund if the product he bought isn't fit for purpose.

Dexter111:

It is beyond me how you can not find someone being banned from their entire games library over an issue with a single game "not unreasonable".

Probably people who follow the rules, and thus never have an issue with it.

Kopikatsu:

Dexter111:

It is beyond me how you can not find someone being banned from their entire games library over an issue with a single game "not unreasonable".

Probably people who follow the rules, and thus never have an issue with it.

I'm sorry but EA doesn't get to make "the rules", laws do. They can't bypass those/have to abide by them too and according to them they have to provide a refund if the product doesn't work.

It would be funny how apologetic people seem to get over the worst business-practices in regards to consumers (a group which they themselves are very likely a part of) if it wasn't so damn sad. Cognitive dissonance at its best.

Incidentally getting a refund from Amazon would likely not be much of a problem, since they are usually very accommodating and consumer-friendly in those regards.

Dexter111:

Andy Chalk:
but it's not unreasonable of the company to cancel accounts belonging to people who refuse to pay.

Uh yes it is, it very much is. I haven't heard of a publisher coming to your house to confiscate all your games by them because you've failed a payment on one of their games and this pretty much constitutes that.

It was bad with Steam as well, thankfully Valve listened and changed the way Account-disables work about a year back: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=471349

They no longer "ban" anyones account and deny them access to their games over failed payments or payment-disputes but disallow trading and buying of new products till it's cleared up with support.

image

It is beyond me how you can not find someone being banned from their entire games library over an issue with a single game "not unreasonable".

Especially since in the given case the customer tried to appeal to the proper channels and they proved to be undiscerning. He has a right to a refund if the product he bought isn't fit for purpose.

Origin has been such a cockup, I've got like two games on it one is spore I got for free due to them trying to get me to buy stuff on origin and the other is battlefield 2142 I bought back when origin was EA download manager. The sever is still trash it's just been reskinned and I loathe it.

Sgt. Sykes:
Smart choice of words, EA.

Maybe they won't ban users for REQUESTING a refund, but if the user blocks the payment for a defective product, they will be banned for sure.

Moral of the story: Don't buy online games, don't buy games with online DRM, don't buy games that require an online service.

I'd probably add don't buy EA but that list covers every single EA game being put out anyway.

Sgt. Sykes:
Smart choice of words, EA.

Maybe they won't ban users for REQUESTING a refund, but if the user blocks the payment for a defective product, they will be banned for sure.

Moral of the story: Don't buy online games, don't buy games with online DRM, don't buy games that require an online service.

At the very least, don't rush in to buy them.

Nice to see Amazon stepping up here.

Wow, this really is turning into a good old fashioned train wreck!

Crumpets anybody?

Kopikatsu:

Dexter111:

It is beyond me how you can not find someone being banned from their entire games library over an issue with a single game "not unreasonable".

Probably people who follow the rules, and thus never have an issue with it.

Seems to me people who follow the rules should also be able to use the product they just paid for.

Kopikatsu:

Dexter111:

It is beyond me how you can not find someone being banned from their entire games library over an issue with a single game "not unreasonable".

Probably people who follow the rules, and thus never have an issue with it.

The rules like not blocking payment for a defective product? The rule that states that you lose any right to a refund the second you play a game unless decided upon otherwise by the company?

Yes I can see how people who obey the rules don't have an issue with that because they are blind sheep. The man threatened with an account ban was also a rule follower. He bought his game, was unable to play it, is still unable to play it and wanted a refund for this non-functioning mess of a game. Got denied and threatened.

Yes follow the rules. The next time you buy a broken appliance from a retail store don't go back and demand a refund, because if you do that the retail store can come into your home and take all electrical appliances with them.

It sounds kind of ridiculous when you apply the same business practices to other items, doesn't it?

Kopikatsu:

Dexter111:

It is beyond me how you can not find someone being banned from their entire games library over an issue with a single game "not unreasonable".

Probably people who follow the rules, and thus never have an issue with it.

Just going to point out as a guy who follows the rules and has never had an issue with this I still find this policy to be horrible and unreasonable.

Falterfire:
Not gonna lie, I'm kinda sad to see this happen to the SimCity franchise. I'm actually a fan of 'simpler' and 'dumbed down' sequels like XCOM:Enemy Unknown and Civilization V that make it easier to get into those ridiculously complex franchises that are difficult to understand for new players. I had kinda hoped the new SimCity would do that for its franchise, but instead this happens.

Ah well, back to Civ V I guess. Glad I didn't preorder.

I don't think those games are even dumbed down so much as they include a tutorial and an intuitive interface. I've gotten so spoiled that the 90s PC turn based strategy games are completely inaccessible to me now. I really hope the Space Hulk game is good.

I might have had the occasional trouble with Amazon customer service, but by and large they always come through in the end, so I'm sure they got tired of having to deal with irate customers and realized that the source of the problem wasn't the customers, it was the product.

The fact that a company of EA's size and experience would continue to release such sub par product (Sim City being only the most recent example) is a clear indication that they've got next to no corporate leadership and a real breakdown in their internal organization. I just hope they don't have to trash any more franchises before they shape up.

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