EA Earning Their Reputation

Shocker to many of you, I know.

For me historically I have been an EA supporter. I remember back in the 80s if your game had the EA logo pop up during loading screens you were in for a treat – a good game

shiny!

Even publically on this blog I had  defended EA due to my own experiences with them and since most people don’t click old blog links I’ll except from one where I shared terrible customer experiences with gaming companies, and EA was actually the best!

Gold Star? You will never guess it, because they are the most evilest and terrible gaming company on the planet – EA games. I had two tickets with them this year, one for BF2142, and a second for Warhammer Online. I get the immediate auto-generated response – again, I am fine with this as at least I know my submission got through. My BF2142 issue was responded to, and solved, within 24 hours. My Warhammer Online problem was responded to the SAME DAY. So, all evil aside (I am pretty sure reading blogs and whatnot they actually hate their customers – right?) at least I know that they support their products and respond to me as a customer.

I have 47 posts tagged “EA” which makes it over 10% of the blog posts here. While I didn’t discount the experiences of others who had negative dealings with EA I had to judge them on their own merit to myself. And I did.

I still do.

I gave up on EA during a stock announcement where they simultaneously announced layoffs to improve their stock price, disrupting the lives of many of their employees while also announcing they were hiring. You know, out with the experienced above minimum wage employees and in with the kids you can exploit.

Oh, for giggles, the ending quote of Mr. Brown in the same article over at Gamasutra.com

“Because so many of our games ship in the holiday quarter, the team size adjustments tend to follow in the same timeframe. However, EA is growing and several of our studios are looking to hire talented people.”

Maybe you should move those talented, experienced people you just fired over to the new studios? Just a thought.

I stopped buying their games completely for a good while. Of course I went back to finish my Mass Effect trilogy and picked up titles here and there while not bothering to support or celebrate the company. In order for me to finish off some titles I did have to buy EA. I lasted two years. They still kept on chugging along

I still managed to challenge them on some decisions and made fun of Peter Moore because his entire blog was full of ads and spam.

There is no excuse for that level of an executive to not keep the blog clean. If you don’t want to manage it, turn off commenting. If you want it to be a place where you can connect and engage your customers, do so. If you want to start selling Gucci, Coach, and Ed Hardy knockoffs just leave it as is.

And even called them out on some well deserved accolades and company events that did kind of point out their consistency lately.

CEO resign? Check.

Voted America’s WORST Company (again!) ? Check.

Part of a class action settlement, that anyone in the USA who bought any (or all) of three titles, on any (or all) of four platforms? And you can make up to 8 claims for a total of $162.96. ?

Check.

But overall in the history of this blog there are far more positive/neutral posts on Electronic Arts than negative although that is about to skew worse. I have been battling with EA over $5. That is the short story.

The long story is this. I had an Origin account, and it is tied to the same email address I use for all my gaming. I like keeping games, online services, MMOs, etc. – all in one gmail account. Easy to login, easy to find past information. So I had an origin account that had Dragon Age Origins on it plus all the DLC. I loved DA:O. I played that and Tiger Woods golf on the account (the free to play web version game). When I stopped supporting EA, I stopped logging into my Origin account.

When Dragon Age 2 launched I tried to get back in it and there were problems with it. I tried getting support, it wasn’t helpful, and eventually since I was gnawing at the bit to play DA:2 I made a new origin account and figured I could merge the two at some point, if EA ever figured it out. Fast forward to now (years later) and Dragon Age Inquisition I really wanted my DA:O info in there. The Dragon Age Keep wouldn’t work for me on my first account (although it recognized it, and also recognized the login and that there was a saved game file there ) but it worked for the second. I held off buying DA:I until I could get it sorted. Several emails no dice with EA.

Deep breath, still with me?

I could login to Origin fine and see my historical purchases and everything, the keep just wasn’t working. I reached out through twitter, they tried a bunch of stuff, and (once again) passed me back to EA. When I logged in to get support, it said my account was locked. I assumed it was because I was accessing from a new IP address. Nope, turns out it is banned for a “payment dispute”.

Not what the dispute was, or when, or how much, but there was one. And oh, because of that, they weren’t removing the action on my account. Guess who it was from? NOREPLY@EA.COM. In order for a dispute to exist there has to be countering opinions. I don’t have one on the matter currently, because I was not informed or aware there was an issue to begin with.

Not only did they not tell me the amount, or when the issue happened, they didn’t give me the opportunity to respond. So frustrating. So more phone calls and tickets opened later I am still sitting with the account locked. Except I can login (and download games…) and looking through my purchase history there is a $5 funds missing from some ongoing order (its a 15 digit number, no game name, or title) that bounced way back in 2011 when I wasn’t even playing their games. Pay Pal bounced it (probably because it was unauthorized).I am just guessing here, it was 4 years ago. I have ALL of my emails (yay gmail) and a search had no email from EA letting me know that it bounced. I am really confused.

Apparently so are they.

All I want to know is:

  1. What the charge was for, to verify if I even made it.
  2. Pay the amount (if true) because I do pay my bills (especially when I am told about them)
  3. Talk to someone directly who can pull this information and/or share it with me (I can verify the account)
  4. Unlock the account, and have access to my old DA:O game and the saved files.
  5. Be able to exchange information in a manner that is convenient for me (email is great for both sides. NOREPLY is not.)

Customer support is to find a resolution, not frustrate and roadblock every step of the way. Every email is from “noreply” and the ticket system is still a one way street for them. The call capability is nice, if you can wait 254 minutes and when you do get a call they can’t do anything except pass a message to the other team, who will email you from NOREPLY with what they did or didn’t find.

I have spent more hours trying to resolve this than I have put into EA games lately, and it is extra frustrating because I have a lot of EA games for my PS4 (Need for Speed Rivals, NHL 15, DA:I) and all of them want me to connect to Origin so it is annoying.

Yes, I could use my second account (or even make a new one) but it is the principle of it all right now. I want this fixed. It has been 4 years, cmon EA.

Out of sheer curiosity I decided to check the EA stock. Since clearly they have stopped taking care of customers like me, their stock must be plummeting as well. You always read bad things about EA, so how is voting with the wallet going?

Almost the best it has been – ever. Either I am an outlier, and one of the only people having these issues with EA or we are complacent as purchasers and care nothing for Customer Service.

11 Comments

  1. Wilhelm Arcturus

    I remember the early days of EA when that logo meant what you said. I don’t go out of my way to trash EA, but they are on my list of publishers where buying something is an automatic “no” without a seriously compelling argument. In part it is because they have a habit of shipping multiplayer focused games that require their own infrastructure, which they turn off as soon as it is clear sales have bottomed out. But it is mostly because they have a guilty until proven innocent customer service policy.

    UbiSoft is in that same category. They’d rather mess with honest consumers than let one hacker play for free. Just today they were banning a bunch of keys for people who thought they were buying legitimate copies.

    I always contrast this with how Blizzard behaved back with Diablo, when somebody figured out how to generate CD keys. There were a lot of bogus keys out there for a while. I got locked out one day because the error said somebody was already playing on BNet with my key code. But I could at least still play offline and, Blizzard quickly turned off that validation so as not to piss off the people who paid.

    People willing to give you money is a limited pool, pissing on them seems like bad business.

    Reply
    1. Isey (Post author)

      I guess I was one of the lucky ones all of these years – I just didn’t have issues. I also didn’t participate in any of their multiplayer (BF:2142 was still Dice alone when it was my goto game – and I skipped the MOH series and subsequent BF games). The rest were single player, or just the single player component.

      Still, its the easiest thing to do, Customer Service. It really is. Just get to a resolution.They need to revamp their stance and/or people running the show at the CS department.

      Reply
  2. C. T. Murphy

    Electronic Arts? More like Electronic Hell. EH fits better too.

    I hate Origin. I hated the concept and I have hated the implementation. It has always seemed like a “me too” cash grab to counter Steam and flies in the face of good will. I get that they don’t want Steam to get their cut, but fuck at least spend some of that extra profit on a platform that works the MAJORITY of the time.

    I avoid Electronic Arts like the plague. Inquisition has been one of my few exceptions in recent memory. While you and Wilhelm may remember a better EA, I only recall the monolith that was buying up developers left and right, only for them to fold a year or two later.

    Ubisoft and Activision compete, but EA still represents the worst of what “BIG GAME PUBLISHER” means to me.

    Reply
    1. Isey (Post author)

      This is a very interesting observation to me because both Will and I had such positive interactions initially with EA that it has still carried through away from complete negativity. I know you are a bit younger than us Murf so rightly so you have just seen “the bad”. It’s unfair of us to give them merit for the “good old days”, I mean, the team that built those games are long gone, and it is a shadow of it’s former self.

      Reply
      1. C. T. Murphy

        I’m just bitter. They’ve wasted their purchase of OSI outside of not killing Ultima Online completely. They let the Mythic name go to ruin. They gave me the recent SimCity, which was one of the worst game experiences I have ever had. They helped spark the license war in sports games, leading to the death of NFL2K series that I enjoyed AND the death of EA’s own MVP baseball. Medal of Honor is a crap series now.

        I could go on further, but I’ll just become that much more bitter!

        Reply
        1. Isey (Post author)

          DAOC / Mythic is my second favourite game of all time, considering the community building that took part in that game. So I feel you there.

          Off topic, but really curious about Camelot Unchained.

          Reply
  3. Aywren

    That’s scary stuff there. I hope they get your account sorted soon. Sounds like you’ve been there and back again trying. 🙁

    I’m not a huge fan of EA, but I’m a Sims fan. Most of my Sims games (and obviously Sims 4) are now tied into Origin. Kinda scared what an account lock can do to all the games and expansions I have hooked in to that client.

    Reply
    1. Isey (Post author)

      Sad thing is that they have more to gain than I do by this. I am fighting to keep them as a company, and they aren’t fighting to keep me as a customer. Backward. =)

      Reply
  4. JJ Robinson

    Origins is the biggest POS. I refuse to buy games on Origin, instead I’ll happily wait another 6 months for the games to hit Steam. Good luck bud, but I would not hold my breathe on this one. Hopefully your blog post will catch someone’s eye, but it’s not like there are hundreds of blog posts out there trashing the crap support EA provides. I never cease to be amazed at the incompetence of companies when it comes to support. Making sure a customer leaves happy is just old-fashioned these days. Heaven forbid they fix your $5 issue and sell you a $40+ game….

    Reply
  5. Isey (Post author)

    Hi JJ – agree – just nuts! I want to pay them (if it is an actual purchase) and continue to support them on the not-as-good-as-steam platform (because I have to) and they won’t take my money or my support. I don’t get mad at things like this (maybe I should?) it is just so hard for me to believe that it is actually going on. The stock price is the most sad of it all though.

    Reply
  6. Pingback: Changing Gears – I HAS PC

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: