Bug-ridden games and refunds: The United States

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by Puppy_Washer, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. Puppy_Washer
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    Member Puppy_Washer GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    To those that live in the United States and are familiar with consumer law, I am curious about what a consumer can do in this situation.

    "Customer buys a console-based video game, and after X amount of days discovers that the game is not able to be completed due to a major glitch in the game. The customer looks to forums, and discovers that the majority of players are also reporting major glitches. The company appears to not be planning a patch either."

    What can the customer do?
    I understand that United States laws can greatly vary between states, but let's go with what could be done in the majority of states.
     
  2. Nathan Drake

    Member Nathan Drake Obligations fulfilled, now I depart.

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    This would simply fall under store by store return policies. You could try to argue that the product was defective, but as far as current media is concerned, it's generally considered fine by the retailer's standard if it boots up and plays. If there was widespread complaint about it, a store may offer a special exchange policy for that item, but as far as I'm aware, that's rather rare. In the end though, you'd better hope that the store you bought the game from has a decent return policy, and that you are still within the correct time frame to return it.

    From the retailer standpoint, they aren't responsible for errors on part of the developers.
     
  3. Puppy_Washer
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    Member Puppy_Washer GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Hmm, that's interesting, but a shame for American consumers.
    So, if a game was released that booted correctly but was guaranteed to crash 10 minutes into the game, customers have no way of getting a refund if the store in question does not offer refunds?
     
  4. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    How do you think so much shit gets sold without companies getting in trouble? :P Your average "AAA" titles can have a few bugs to be fair, but bugs that make the game unwinnable and have no recovery or patch (no save fix service either) are rare... but there are some examples of utterly-broken games that have been sold without some or all of the advertised features.
    Here's a golden example...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Rigs:_Over_the_Road_Racing
    And here's a pretty recent one...
    http://gbatemp.net/threads/the-war-z-dumped-onto-steam-unfinished-falsely-advertised.339458/
    The game even got pulled from Steam once it was found out to be a scam.

    At least the UK has some consumer protection laws, but unfortunately one of the only times they came into play for videogames was when Sony removed OtherOS from the PS3 (since it was a forced feature removal, either you lost OtherOS or you lost the ability to play new games), and even then it was the retailer that needed to give partial refunds (Amazon complied), not Sony...
     
  5. Puppy_Washer
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    Member Puppy_Washer GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Hilariously enough, both of those games have the infamous Sergey Titov as producer. You would think people would learn not to purchase his games after Big Rigs, but no.

    What prompted this particular question is the new Wii U game ZombiU by Ubisoft. The game is filled with game breaking bugs, which relate particularly to poorly designed triggers. For instance:
    Warning: Spoilers inside!

    These complaints have been arriving in spades since the release of the game (check out their official forums and Gamefaqs), and Ubisoft has not confirmed that there is a patch being made, or that these issues are patchable. While I am able to get a refund as I live in Australia hooray, I was curious about the United States laws to see whether I could advise other affected players about the refund situation.
     
  6. buyme83
    This message by buyme83 has been removed from public view by FIX94, Jan 1, 2013.
    Jan 1, 2013
  7. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    Oh, yeah, if there was a refund law like this in the US for software, companies wouldn't get away with half the shit they do.

    Software in the US is pretty much "You buy it and that's it", seeing as you're just technical licensing a single copy anyways.
     
  8. Joe88

    Member Joe88 [λ]

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    speaking of which has ubisoft even bothered fixing all the bugs in ac3 yet?
    probably busy pumping out more dlc for it and making ac4
     

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