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SMH: Electronic Arts is probably one of the more favorite whipping posts of the gaming community at large. It has been criticized for everything from its greedy microtransactional business model prevalent in most of its games to its overly grindy progression systems that feed that model.
Over the weekend, EA has once again earned the ire of gamers by not honoring its advertised "Great Game Guarantee" at the Origin store. According to its own webpage, any EA games (and some third-party) purchased on Origin are eligible for a refund as long as they meet a few simple conditions.
"If you don't love it, just return it!"
"You may return EA full game downloads (PC or Mac) and participating third-party titles purchased on Origin for a full refund. Refund requests can be made within 24 hours after you first launch the game, within fourteen days from your date of purchase, or within fourteen days from the game's release date if you pre-ordered, whichever comes first."
It seems to be a reasonably straightforward policy. However, for one Reddit user, it is an ongoing three-day ordeal now.
Redditor Papamje purchased Star Wars: Battlefront from the Origin store on January 2. After installing and launching the game, he was disappointed to find there was nobody else playing on the server essentially rendering the multiplayer game unplayable.
Papamje opened a refund request ticket well within the 24-hour time limit but was told the purchase could not be refunded. The first customer service rep he spoke with told him that it had been more than 24 hours since he launched the game. When he pointed out that the ticket was created before the time limit was up, the rep told him that the policy means 24 hours from purchase.
Even after quoting what the policy explicitly states on the website, the Redditor was still stonewalled.
"Within 24 hours after you first launch the game," Papamje said in the customer service chat. "This is black on white on your website."
"I can understand however we are not able to refund the game," the EA representative replied.
The user had several other similar conversations with at least five different reps. None were able to grant his refund. They also contradicted each other about whether they could reference the time at which the game was first started. Some said they could, and others said it was impossible to know when he launched it.
When he asked to be put in touch with a supervisor, he was at first denied and had his ticket "forcefully" closed. When he finally was connected to a supervisor, it appeared to be the same rep just signed into a "supervisor" chat account.
"I finally got hold of a 'supervisor,' whom I suspect to not only be an ordinary employee but also the same person I talked to whom I asked to hand the conversation to a supervisor in the first place," said Papamje.
He is now into day three of his battle to get his refund. He reportedly was contacted by someone at EA who will "take personal ownership on the case," whatever that means.
The game only cost him €15, which he doesn't even care about. At this point, it has been boiled down to a matter of principle for the angry Redditor.
"Yes I want my money back, but I feel like that's no longer the point why I'm doing this," he said. "EA has been mistreating and neglecting their most important product: the players. If I let this slide and give up, they will do it again and again because they can get away with it."
So far his post has received around 8,700 upvotes and hundreds of supportive comments.