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Bug The Almighty Buck Games

Warhammer Online Users Repeatedly Overbilled 216

TheSpoom writes "A screw-up in EA's Warhammer Online billing system has resulted in many players being charged upwards of 22 times for a one-month subscription, filling bank accounts with overdraft fees and the Warhammer forums with very angry players, who are discussing the issue quite vocally. EA has said that refunds are in progress and that '[they] anticipate that once the charges have been reversed, any fees that have been incurred should be refunded as well.' They haven't specifically promised to refund overdraft charges, only to ask customers' banks to refund them once the actual charges are refunded. They seem to be assuming banks will have no problem with this."
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Warhammer Online Users Repeatedly Overbilled

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  • by Cryacin ( 657549 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @12:00AM (#31785626)
    Never attribute to malice what can be attributed to rampant stupidity and incompetence. This is EA afterall.
  • Banks (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Andy Smith ( 55346 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @12:02AM (#31785642)

    ask customers' banks to refund them once the actual charges are refunded
    Yes because banks are so courteous to their customers [].

  • Re:Lawsuit (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 09, 2010 @12:11AM (#31785694)

    you forget the 4th one :
    4) are the damages enough to realistically sue them and spend thousands of dollars in legal fees ?

  • by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @12:19AM (#31785746) Journal

    You can dispute the charge with a debit transaction also... the process takes up to two months, but can be expedited to less than a week if the merchant cooperates right away.

    Meanwhile, the cash is held in suspense until the dispute is resolved, meaning you'll still be left with no cash and a rash of bank charges if the sum held in suspense prevented you from having sufficient funds for clearing items.

    No thanks.

    Debit cards are bad, bad juju if you give someone else the authority to initiate charges against them.

  • by RWarrior(fobw) ( 448405 ) * on Friday April 09, 2010 @12:28AM (#31785806)
    I've incurred overdraft fees based on merchant error a number of times, and every bank [] I [] have [] ever [] had [] has done everything they can to screw their customers out of as much money as possible. EA expecting banks to refund overdraft fees is like asking EA to ... I don't know ... behave like a company that cares about its customers.
  • by Nukenin ( 646365 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @12:38AM (#31785878)

    Considering one subscriber in the linked discussion thread [] got charged 13 times for his ~$77.94 6-month subscription (which wasn't even up for renewal for another five months), for a total of $1,013.22 in charges—yeah, this sort of thing will fly under everybody's radar.

    Many players probably use debit cards tied to their personal checking accounts; I'm sure they'd notice multiple charges. Even more so if they live paycheck to paycheck.

    Even though EA/Mythic are allegedly working with their payment processing vendor(s) to reverse all the extraneous charges, they're still putting the onus on the customer to check with their respective financial institutions to ensure that any fees incurred are voided or reversed. I'm sure that is going to give said customers the warm fuzzies about continuing their patronage.

    Total clusterfuck on the part of EA/Mythic. Heads should roll, and liberally.

  • Title correction (Score:5, Insightful)

    by T Murphy ( 1054674 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @12:51AM (#31785948) Journal
    Title should read "Former Warhammer Online Users Repeatedly Overbilled"
  • by Abcd1234 ( 188840 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @12:57AM (#31785986) Homepage

    My point is, we can all complain that banks are evil machines not caring about people, but we're part of the problem because we treat them like machines.

    Woah woah, wait... let me get this straight. I *choose* to patronize a bank, enriching them through my custom. Now you're telling me, that's not enough? That I essentially have to bribe them for good fucking service?

    I'm sorry, buddy, but that's pure, complete bullshit. I am their fucking client. It's their job to please *me*, not the other way around. Now, do these employees deserve to be treated with kindness, dignity, and respect? Yes, of course, just like every other human being out there. But I am not, and should not, be obligated to buy fucking flowers for the local bank branch manager just so that I get decent service. Hell, the very fact that you believe that's necessary speaks to their rank arrogance. It's utterly absurd.

  • by mirix ( 1649853 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @01:26AM (#31786094)

    Shitty API still falls under incompetence, does it not?

  • by genner ( 694963 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @01:41AM (#31786152)

    This is EA afterall.

    Oh, so you're saying it was malice? (j/k standard disclaimers apply)

    It's both. Malicious incompentence, two words that describe much of the industry.

  • Re:Banks (Score:2, Insightful)

    by makomk ( 752139 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:57AM (#31786978) Journal

    To be fair, I've never found Barclays in the UK to be too bad to me.

    Yeah, but we have actual regulation of banks here, unlike in the US.

  • Re:Lawsuit (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @05:40AM (#31787190)

    1) Did they owe the claimant a duty of care?
    Yes. By getting direct access to their bank accounts, they had to take care not to overcharge.

    The real WTF is right here. Why on Earth did you give a third party the ability to withdraw funds from your bank account? What did you think would happen?

  • Re:Banks (Score:1, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @08:53AM (#31788162) Journal

    And if the bank *doesn't* refund the overcharge fees?

    Over this past year (2009) I've noticed a lot of corporations choosing to do the *wrong* thing rather than the right thing for their customers. Like when I returned a broken DVR to Sears and they never refunded the money. What recourse does a teeny-tiny customer really have against a billion-dollar machine?

    And if you reply "sue them in court" then you're truly naive. Government has ALSO shown a tendency to act like a corporation (screw the customer).

  • by phorm ( 591458 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @12:07PM (#31790544) Journal

    If they're that good, then mention the company's NAME! Seriously, we're quick to jump on and tell about BAD companies, I would love to hear which ones are considered good in case they're available in my area.

  • by pcolaman ( 1208838 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @02:02PM (#31792352)

    More FUD. Go read the laws on the books. The US Government does not distinguish between Credit Cards and other EFT Transfers. It's all under the same law. The dispute process you are referring to is something set forth by Visa, not the Federal Government. The Federal Gov't just dictates what the financial institutions can and cannot do.

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears