GET THE APP:  CURRENTLY HOT:   Android Fire TV Fire TV Forums HTC One M8 Moto 360

Have You Been Ripped Off By GameLoft?

gameloft-logo-1

GameLoft’s pushing a noble image onto people with their 24 days of Christmas promotion going on right now, but people still have reason to completely avoid buying anything from their online storefront. If previous issues – such as their janky DRM policy or the disappearance of titles you previously purchased – didn’t already deter you, perhaps recent shenanigans will.

Our friend Taylor for Android & Me claims to have bought Brothers in Arms from GameLoft for $4.99. He believed it to be a quality title which deserved his money, and for $5, he assures us he enjoyed it. The line was crossed, though, when GameLoft was caught “double double dipping” in his bank account: they charged him for the game four separate times.

This unfortunate $20 error on GameLoft’s part has helped bring to surface a very serious issue: they’re taking more money from people than they’re being authorized to take, and they simply aren’t doing anything about it. In the comments section of Taylor’s whistle blowing article, many others have claimed the same: some only being charged twice, while others have gotten charged as many times as he did. What’s worse is that some of these folks weren’t even able to get the content that they were overcharged for.

gameloft-buyer-beware

And folks would be more than willing to give GameLoft the benefit of the doubt if they’d handled these serious allegations and issues more appropriately. One user recalls sending three emails to GameLoft over the course of a week, and none of them have been answered. Others have echoed the same. It would be unfair and a lie to say the costly error is intentional on GameLoft’s part, but to outright ignore customers who have trusted you with their credit card information is about as low as low can get.

Most folks have had to resort to calling their banks in hopes that the charges could be tagged as fraudulent and be removed. That would definitely be my first course of action after realizing GameLoft has no interest in communicating with anyone about what’s going on, because fraudulent is exactly what this sounds like.

In the event that your bank tells you they won’t remove the charges and to contact GameLoft, one user has quite the suggestion:

Ok people, to send them a message, be sure to charge back any added charges over what you agreed to pay. Just call your bank and they will do it for you. When there is no signature the process is pretty simple!

If you paid $5 for one game, but was charged for it 4 times, charge back 3. I have an online merchant account, and there are fees from $20-35 every time you get a chargeback. So when you charge back 3 incorrect charges, they get hit with $60 in fees. If everyone does that they will get the message real quick and stop being evil.

It’d definitely send the strongest message one could send at this point. A quick trip to the BBB’s website doesn’t hurt, either: there’s nothing like getting fire under GameLoft’s butts from a Bureau that keeps fortune 500 and smaller companies in check.

I’ve never purchased a game from GameLoft, so don’t take these claims and suggestions as fact from me. The only bit of experience I have with them that could corroborate their bad reputation for distributing Android games was my inability to download Dungeon Hunter HD when it was free last week. I tried everything in my power to download and play the game. Their site was such a pain to work with, but after 10 minutes of wrestling with it, I got the .APK installed. And when I tried to launch the game, I couldn’t play it.

I would personally never buy a game that isn’t in the Android market due to potential issues such as what’s been brought to the surface today, and I urge many of you to proceed with the same caution when buying games from third party outlets. Not all of them are bad – I have had no issues with paying for LauncherPro Plus – but be sure to do your research before purchasing.

The best way to gauge how a company’s purchase experience might be if you can’t find any good recollections from fellow users is to contact the developer or publisher: if they’re timely and helpful with your initial questions and concerns, then it might be OK to pull the trigger. But when you have a big time publisher who won’t lift so much as a finger to help people they wrongly (incidentally or otherwise) took extra money from, then it’d be irresponsible to not ask you to steer well clear of them.

Have any of you guys purchased content from GameLoft before? Have you experienced the issues that you’ve read here? Was there ever any time where GameLoft either didn’t deliver content you paid for or charged you too much for content and didn’t respond to your emails? We don’t know how true these claims are for ourselves as none of the Phandroid staff have bought content from GameLoft, but trusting the individual who we’ve sourced here and having a great deal of respect for his opinion, we won’t hesitate to get the word out and make sure our readers are protected as consumers.




  • mmark27

    Their distribution model is ridiculous. Just join the Android Market like everyone else. I am sure these are the same developers going out there and saying that Android is not selling well for them. All of their free trials text downloads never come to my phone. I refuse to give them any money until they are part of the Market.

  • http://www.qwiktape.com John H.

    Their customer support has resolved all of my issues but I still don’t get SMS messages from them. They need to get their act together and get on Marketplace before I buy any more games from them.

  • Wello

    That’s why you pirate their games.

  • Lewis

    I haven’t bought anything from them, and I won’t until something of theirs that I want is in the Android Market. They have some content, but not all of it.

  • Hugo B.

    Gameloft’s Android sales policy is a real joke… I gave it a try and it was a royal pain in the butt! Don’t bother writing them to complain, they won’t even respond.

    Like the previous posters said, get on the market and stop pretending you’re “special” enough that people will jump through hoops to get your games… they won’t.

  • tim242

    The charges aren’t “fraudulent.” Fraudulent charges are ones that come from someone stealing your card, or info. Fraud charges are no fault of the merchant, therefore they would keep the money. The bank would have to file a fraud insurance claim to recover funds. Charging more than once for the same transaction is DUPLICATE TRANSACTIONS. This is a DISPUTE CASE, NOT A FRAUD CASE. The bank would take this money back from the merchant. They will require you to contact the merchant for resolution before the dispute is resolved. If this is on your debit card, banks will credit it back immediately while they dispute it. I explained this so you know how to confront and handle it. By the way, I used to work in the disputes dept, handling disputes and fraud cases for many banks.

  • Lulu

    I won’t even download their demos unless they are in the Android’s market. Period.

  • Storm14K aka Phil

    So in other words Gameloft basically avoids the Android Market so that they can rip people off at will. I don’t understand how you criticize the market but then constantly have issues with overcharging and not delivering the product to paid customers. Either they should put their apps on the market or people should just avoid them as they appear to just want to run a scam.

  • raqball

    They took me for $5…. I have sent 3 unanswered emails. Live and learn right?

    They should be avoided like they have the plague….

  • Anon

    …and this is a perfect example of why piracy is kosher in certain circumstances. Gameloft is a pathetic company if they feel the need to double, triple, or quadruple charge their “customers” for their products. If this is their way of “making up” for what’s lost to software pirates I hope the BBB fucks them up without a strand of mercy. It’s really sad that they have to stoop this low to keep bringing in income to pay their novice developers. Android needs a REAL company of developers to release true quality games without scams involved, such as NGMOCO. Fuck gameloft. They seem to prioritize removing pirated copies of their garbage games from the internet over customer satisfaction and quality any day. Pathetic, Gameloft. Fix your fucking mistakes while you still can, Gameloft, otherwise your time may run short.

  • chimphappyhour

    I think consumer email is something most corps just aren’t ready to handle. Some do the the blanket form system but others are like a black hole, emails go in, never to escape and see the light of day again. I know I’m seeing a lot more of this and a lot more sites removing phone numbers unless they have a black hole automated phone tree.

  • Gabe

    I once started to install one of their games. When it got to the permissions section it listed a slew of permissions for a simple interactive game. I’m sorry, but I’m not granting a game near-universal privileges. It’s job is to entertain me, not spy on me.

  • Rob

    Props to Anon. I couldn’t have said it better myself!

  • Jccage

    With the new 15 minute limit, I reckon Gameloft might bring games to the market… if that’s what were stopping them before.

  • tim242

    If you were charged the fee multipale times for the same game, dispute as duplicate transaction. If you did not receive the game, but were charged, dispute as merchandise not received.

  • tim242

    multipale = multiple…damn swype : )

  • Quentyn Kennemer

    @Tim I was just saying it sounds fraudulent when GameLoft doesn’t want to help you. Hard to dispute if they won’t even communicate. And that’s what the Better Business Bureau is for.

  • Craig nelson

    Ive not only been overcharged 4 times for one game but when i got the game it wasn’t even playable. I called to complain and i had to complain to some indian woman with a barely understandable accent. they resent the apk which finally worked but i still didnt get my money back for being charged 4 times!

  • jer

    I’ve only ever gotten their freebies. That way when they don’t work I lose nothing. Their distribution and DRM is too flaky for me to spend money on. Plenty of games out there with less hassle.

  • Ryan

    I was billed three times for a recent purchase. Sent several emails to their contact form and no reply yet.

  • Matt

    guess what the best part of gameloft is?

    since they aren’t bound by android market, they don’t have to give you the full details of what they are doing, and it certainly is looking nefarious, now isn’t it?

  • Carlos

    They had a BOGO free promotion going on and I didn’t pull the trigger because it never looked like their system was going to get the whole order process right.

  • EvilH

    It is possible that Taylor from Android & Me jumped the gun. The screenshot shows the transactions as “Processing”. I often have transactions show up multiple times as “Processing” and then go away once the original transaction clears.

  • tim242

    Whether they respond or not doesn’t matter. Duplicate transaction disputes always come out in the customers’ favor. It takes less than 5 minutes to do. I think this thing is being blown out of proportion. Duplicate transactions are usually a system error, not by people trying to double dip. It happens with lots of companies.

  • tim242

    @craig nelson: Dispute it with the bank as a duplicate transaction. They will get the money back from the merchant.

  • Alvin B.

    Developers like that claim they’re operating off-market because they don’t make enough money on Google’s cut. Tough Titties. If they REALLY want to operate off-market, at least use Paypal. I’m not *happy* with paypal purchases on Android either, but at least they can’t double+ charge your Paypal.

    The ONLY internet companies I will give my credit card to are the highest top-tier companies. Google, Amazon, Newegg. Other than online billpay for internet & cell phone, that’s it. And, honestly, more than I’d like to see having hold of it. There’s no way in HELL I’m giving my credit card/bank information to a random small-time outfit.

    I made that mistake back in the 90s. Ended up with a $20 monthly automatic payment the bank claimed was “pre-authorized” so they couldn’t stop payment. Month after month I disputed it. Finally I closed the bank account with a $0 balance. They re-opened it and overdrafted the account. I got the bank manager to lock the account. I found out a year later they’d opened the account again and had been paying the $20 from my supposedly closed account, and now claimed I owed them nearly $1000 in overdraft, daily feels, and all sorts of stuff. Since then I am very careful who I give any bank info to.

  • Kevin

    In the screengrab above, those transactions are marked as processing and may only be authorizations at this point. Gameloft still has a chance to fix this before capturing the funds.

  • Steve Garon

    Android market or nothing.

  • rvirga

    As already mentioned in the Android & Me thread, I bought Asphalt 5 **from the Market** some time ago. Recently I had to re-download this game, having changed phone, and I discovered that since my original purchase they changed their name from “Gameloft SA” to “Gameloft”, and obtained from Google a brand new vendor ID. So now I can’t re-download the Asphalt 5 I bought from the Market (because it was from vendor “Gameloft SA”, which no longer exists), and instead I have to re-purchase it (this time from vendor “Gameloft”). So even if they start publishing in the Market, watch out, because there are still tricks they can use to charge you more than once for a game.

  • CR@ASH

    I haven’t been ripped off by them. They only charged once when I bought Asphalt 5. actually Ive had a lot of success with them. They customer service is very helpful and after Asphalt 5 HD had some problems (which they fixed) they sent me N.O.V.A. for free. I also added Dungeon Hunter to my collection for free from their advent calendar. I have nothing but good things to say about their company.

  • adam

    I’ve always thought the prices on their games were too expensive when other large companies offer high quality games for free with ads. That included with their off the market payment system is enough for me to never buy a gameloft game anytime soon.

    They do make some quality games though, I’ll give them that. They’ve done a horrible job adapting to smartphones though, specifcally android.

  • http://www.pooporchocolate.com/ teckel

    As a business owner that takes credit cards, I can inform everyone not to get all bent out of shape about this. These are temporary transactions that have not yet posted. What happens is a card is processed but sometimes a confirmation doesn’t come back that it was successful, so it’s processed again. Also, a single purchase can be seen as two transactions, one for the requested charge, and one for the actual charge. These kinds of things are automatically fixed after a few days as since there isn’t a confirmation on some of these, they expire on their own.

    Before we had online credit card statements, this was never a problem because people only saw their statement once a month. Now, with online banking, people can see these “behind the scenes” actions that have always happened, you just never saw them because only completed transactions show on a monthly statement.

    Keep in mind I’m not here to defend GameLoft. I’m no fan of their software nor their distribution model. I’m just seeing the same type of feedback I get from my own customers sometimes because they simply don’t understand how credit card processing works and how it appears to fail in many cases. Another big one that people think is fraud is those $1 charges which are used for authorization sometimes by certain credit cards. Anyway, calm the fuck down people, this is not some fraudulent action that GameLoft is attempting, it’s simply the normal way pending transactions look when there were a couple attempts to process a card and the confirmation failed.

    There’s nothing to see here, move the fuck on people! Get your panties in a wad over something else that’s real.

  • OFI

    I bought one game which after 4 days still would not let me download the required extra content. Customer services just told me to buy another game as this one wasn’t supported by my phone (despite clearly saying it was)

    Funnily enough a version acquired elsewhere just worked.

    Not interested until they are on the Market and now under the new rules this could even work horribly in their favour due to the size of the games requiring extra content to be downloaded and the 15 minute refund time.

  • Jon

    Just wanted to throw out a buyer beware. Gameloft has a very strict no refund policy. I recently had my phone stolen and before I was able to change my market password the thief purchased a bunch of market products including ones from Gameloft. I cancelled all the orders but game loft is the only company that has outright denied a refund. So, just make sure you really want a Gameloft product before you buy.

  • Eric

    I bought Asphalt 5 from them on the Market, and I like it. I still don’t know but why they don’t release the rest of their titles (which are all actually really good) on the market too.

  • slayerpsp

    For billing issues affecting 0.05% of transactions in Dec: Customers receiving extra charges will be refunded + get free game credit.from gamelofts twitter account. they are fixing the problem and giving you a free game. ive had problems re downloading games gave them a call and they would resend the game out never had any problems getting help from them on phone or email

  • touiterer

    Principle. Not principal.

  • helikopter

    I like the way how the android community works, like in this case, when rival (I know you used the word “friend” but you’re rivals from many points of view) sites and blogs are getting together against such a shitty customer treatment like Gameloft’s. Congrats!

  • Travis B

    Thank you so much for posting this article. This is exactly why I always download their games for free off of the internet instead of paying for them. The stories I hear about these guys scare the living shit out of me…

    Horrible company.
    Fix your policies, and quit fucking with people’s bank accounts, then I’ll quit pirating your games. Deal?