I'm too tired fighting them to tell the whole story right now, but yesterday I received a purchase from EA (bought at the EA online store) and the CD-Key was missing from the back of the manual (the designated location). So far I've spent about 4 hours, 3 phone calle, 2-emails and 1 fax trying to get a CD-Key. And guess what? I still don't have a CD-Key so my game CD is merely a coaster at this point.
So far I've received no reply from the fax and a different answer from each e-mail and phone call. The answers range from we can't do anything, to be sure to keep your your CD-Key in a safe place (which I have never had), to "send us the manual."
Come on folks, it just shouldn't be this difficult for a legitimate user who can document their purchase to rectify this situation! BTW, there is no direct phone line I that can find for the EA Store -- it all goes through EA support and is passed on to the store. It appears that their warranty is worthless because you can't get through to them to even get an RMA and I'm not sending anything back without documentation and authorization.
Funny, but I've done nothing wrong. I received a defective product, and now I have to jump through oh so many hoops. This experience cleary tells me there is a major problem at Electronic Arts. I see this as a deeply flawed support system and corporate culture. I venture to say that they've already spent more in support costs than they made from my $20 purchase. It is a lot to lose over $20. Of course, I've already spent more time and energy than I should have on it. If this were my customer, I would at the least have sent them a new copy of the game with a call tag to return the defective one.
Not only that, but we all know that they could simply call or e-mail me with a CD-Key. That would solve the problem. But for fear that I might be a pirate, they are cutting off their proverbial nose to spite their proverbial face. Funny but they have all the documentation of the purchase since I bought it from their store. What I'm not willing to do right now is send back my manual back to an address with no person or department designation. That was just one of their many requests, which came late today, after I had already faxed them scans of the front and back of the manual -- a project that took me close to an hour, since I'm not set up to fax.
Those who know me know I'm computer literate and Web savvy. If I'm having this trouble, I can just imagine what happens to some poor kid. Is the plan for me to give up and buy another copy if I really want it? I wonder how many people do just that. This seems to be a company in disarray and entrenched in a stance that we are all pirates to the detriment of its legitimate customers. Of course, no company can sustain that attitude towards its customers forever. I'll really think twice about any more of my money ever going to EA again.
This morning there was a CD-Key in my e-mail inbox. I'm certainly mollified, but it still took an awful lot of effort.