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.

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.

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9 Comments on EA Probably Won’t Refund You for SimCity

Zahth

On March 7, 2013 at 2:49 pm

What?!

Electronic Arts released a product with some sort of major controversy involving their business practices and/or interactions with customers!?!?

I’m embarrassed to even ask this but what was the last EA published game that didn’t have a controversy surrounding it??

Evernessince

On March 7, 2013 at 2:50 pm

I don’t think it’s possible for a company to handle their customers worse than EA does. They lay all the blame on the community and lie twice in two days. One can only wonder what their employees go through on a regular work week.

Underlaw

On March 7, 2013 at 5:01 pm

EA will fall, just a matter of time. EA have more 2 years. Time is runing low

Mike

On March 7, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Good thing I held off of buying this even though I loved the past games.

ya-right

On March 7, 2013 at 8:25 pm

EA won’t go under anytime soon,they have ripped off too many people and have become mega wealthy doing so.

R.J.

On March 7, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Yet another reason why I tend to avoid buying things digitally, and why I regard EA games with high skepticism.

Rho

On March 7, 2013 at 9:15 pm

@Zahth

Crysis 3, as far as I know didn’t have any controversy. Well, apart from some silly statements from one of the CryTechs, but that doesn’t involve EA. :)

Aedelric

On March 8, 2013 at 9:32 am

Denial of a refund when they have not delivered services advertised would be a criminal act in many countries

They only said that to dissuade people asking for money back, they can not really stop it though as most countries have consumers rights, which also applies to digital downloads. I remember a court case not long ago about this kind of thing, I think it might have been Blizzard with Diablo III, they had to do a 360 with their no refund stance after they were ordered to give refunds.

SevenCell

On March 8, 2013 at 11:53 am

Dogs go woof.
Sheep go baa.
Smelectronic Farts eff their customers.