EA Probably Won’t Refund You for SimCity
Players continue to rage about connectivity issues to servers that make SimCity unplayable, but if you’re unhappy with your experience, you shouldn’t expect a refund.
According to a tweet from EA’s official account for its Origin service, players can request refunds — but Origin doesn’t usually give them on digital downloads.
Regarding recent confusion: In general we do not offer refunds on digital download games. Please review our policy help.ea.com/article/return…
— Origin (@OriginInsider) March 7, 2013
Origin’s FAQ and terms of sale say the same thing — you can return a physical copy of a game within 14 days for any reason, but digital purchases are another matter. According to the company’s terms of sale, “Subject to the following paragraph, there are no refunds for products or services purchased on our Websites.” Some restrictions to that statement apply to European countries because of varying laws, but it seems here in the U.S., if you bought it, you’re out of luck.
This is contrary to a statement made by EA Global Community Manager Marcel Hazam, in which he stated, “If you regrettably feel that we let you down, you can of course request a refund for your order at http://help.origin.com/contact-us, though we are currently still in the process of resolving this issue.” It seems that you can request a refund, but you probably won’t be getting it.
Some anecdotal evidence provided by users chatting with Origin customer services representatives suggests EA might offer refunds under “extraordinary circumstances.” Develop posted a chat it had with a rep in order to find out what those circumstances might be, but according to its story, SimCity’s server issues don’t fall into that category.
Additional anecdotal evidence suggests that if you take matter into your own hands to get your money back, you might see your Origin account banned. One player posted what he claims is an online chat conversation with a customer service rep from Origin, in which the customer says that he will cancel the transaction for SimCity through his bank if Origin won’t provide a refund. The customer service rep responds by saying that the customer has that option, but it might result in a ban on his Origin account altogether (which allows single-player play of games but not online play). You can read more about Origin account bans here.
It’s worth noting that the Origin won’t ban you just for requesting a refund — it’s the strong-arm tactic of getting your bank to cancel the transaction that could incur such wrath. We also don’t know for sure if EA is actually enforcing that possibility.
Meanwhile, Amazon has pulled SimCity from its online store, rendering it unavailable for further purchases.
We’ve reached out to Electronic Arts for clarification on SimCity’s server issues, what’s being done about them, the refund policy and the potential for players to be banned, and will update with more information as it becomes available.