Home > Social Networking > The Road to World Conquest: EA Store grumpiness

The Road to World Conquest: EA Store grumpiness

So, last night I decided to give in and try out this new Sims Medieval game. I’d heard it was an interesting take on the classic Sims model. So, I went to Steam to purchase and download it, only to discover that it’s not available on Steam.


I love Steam. It’s so simple. So addictive. I just click a button and I’ve got a new game. No boxes. No muss or fuss. New updates? Automatic!

Still, I wanted to give the game a try. I didn’t feel like driving to Best Buy or Target. So, I went to the Electronic Arts Store website, which offered a downloadable version of the game. Excellent! Almost, but not quite, as good as the Steam option. It would at least have the benefit of rapid gratification without going out into the maelstrom that was battering Huntsville last night.

I bought the game. A few moments later, my Gmail account received a confirmation email with my order number attached, complete with instructions to click through a link and then click again on a Customer Service link to check the status of my order. How hard could it be? I clicked through both links, only to discover that they had no record of any purchases from me. I checked my bank. It didn’t show any new payments. I watched House. I watched Castle. I checked on my order again. Nothing.

Time to complain to customer service!

First, when you try to complain via mail on the website, they want you to pick a product that you’re griping about. You must pick a product or they’ll never talk to you. However, Sims Medieval isn’t even one of the options. At random, I picked one of the available Sims games in the list. I notified them that I had ordered the downloadable version, received a confirmation email, but no actual download.

I heard nothing before going to bed.

When I got up this morning, though, I had an email from EA, indicating that my order was still in process and that I wouldn’t be able to download until the process was done.

Throughout the day, I checked the EA Store site for updates. Nothing. Finally, I went back to the customer service page and started the process of getting a refund. At this rate, I figured that I might as well just stop by Target and pick up the game there.

Lo and behold, the customer service site encourages you to chat live with someone when you want a refund.

Here’s what transpired:

Garcia: Hi, my name is Garcia. How may I help you?
2312721268: Hi, there. I purchased the downloadable version of Sims Medieval last night. I’m used to dealing with services like Steam, where the download is then automatically available. For some reason, it isn’t the case here at the EA store. In the time I’ve waited, I could’ve easily gone to the Best Buy in town to get this. So, I’d like to do that – thus, need to cancel order (the order number that you don’t need to know!).
Garcia: I have looked in the records and found that the order is still in the process as we have not received the payment yet.At this point as the order is in the process we will not be able to cancel it however when the order completes we will be able to issue a full refund for the order
2312721268: Oh, for heaven’s sake. What kind of service is that?
2312721268: You can’t just delete the order since it hasn’t processed?
Garcia: I really apologize for the inconvenience caused to you.But as the order is in the process we will not be able to cancel it at this moment
2312721268: Well, go ahead and refund it once it goes through. However, I *will not* be dealing with the EA Store again, nor will I recommend my friends to use it. The site isn’t user friendly and this process is just way too clunky. Not your fault, I know, but please pass it along to those who might be able to improve it.
Garcia: I would also like to inform you that you will need to contact us to get the order refunded
2312721268: …
2312721268: Wow.
2312721268: Yeah. That’s all I can really say to that while remaining polite.
2312721268: By the time I have to deal with that, I might as well go through whatever hell awaits when I actually try to download this game.
2312721268: Which, at this point, better be the best game I’ve ever played.
2312721268: So, for now, I will drive home – past three brick and mortar places that actually have the boxes – and wait by my computer for whatever’s next.
Garcia: Is there anything else I can do for you at this moment ?
2312721268: Nope.

And that was that.

Frustrating! If EA can’t do a better job of this when it comes to selling their product in digital form, they really need to let competent services handle it for them.

  1. OddjobXL
    April 12, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    I know this won’t help but I’ve actually been playing Sims Medieval. Did a game diary for Quarter to Three. My overall take is that it’s a hypnotic little timewaster. Certainly not challenging by any gamer definition nor is it really a Sims game, to judge from the reaction of many fans on the forum, but I found myself hooked for a while.

    The entries are in reverse order for some reason.


  2. Aubrey Drescher
    April 12, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Weird. I bought the digital download through Amazon and it was a snap. Oh, and I do think the game is pretty fun, but not enough to justify all that hassle.

    • April 12, 2011 at 7:22 pm

      Well, that was obviously my big mistake: I went to EA’s site, rather than Amazon! Next time, I will go there.

  3. April 13, 2011 at 8:40 am

    This seems familiar for some reason. Oh yeah! http://mrtact.com/blog/?p=23

    Good to see that in 4 years, the EA store has made exactly ZERO improvement.

    • April 13, 2011 at 10:14 pm

      On the upside, they DID NOT try to charge me that silly extra fee you experienced. So, maybe a slight improvement, but still crappy.

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