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.
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.