EA Tech support is still the worst in the known universe

I have had problems I have written about in the blog about EA/Origin’s EPIC FAIL in the tech support area. My experience is that they are a comedy of errors if you try to deal with a support issue. My favorite example is when they tried to apologize for screwing something up by giving me a $20 discount code — but their own website REFUSES to accept it as valid.

Anyhow, my grandson wants a game that EA has available and my discount would pay for it completely. So, I endured another bout of tech support Hell trying to MAKE them HONOR their own discount code. First I had to crawl all over the website to try to find a phone number. I called, navigated the phone menu — and was on hold for at least half an hour listening to elevator music. While waiting on hold I decided to see if my bad experiences with EA (whose support site is here in Austin) were shared by others. Oh, boy, I am NOT alone! Note the absolutely horrible score and user comments here: http://www.customerservicescoreboard.com/Electronic+Arts

Out of a possible score of 200, they are cellar-dwellers at at 28.79, with 241 negative comments and just 17 positive ones.

When I finally got a warm body, they tried to tell me the $20 code no longer was valid at the new Origin website and they could give me a 15% off code as a replacement. I refused it, noting that their email to me stressed the $20 credit had NO EXPIRATION DATE and that a 15% off discount code saved me $3 on a pending $19.99 purchase vs. the $19.99 I would otherwise have saved.

Indeed, here is the actual email from EA from 6/22/10 that I quoted back to them:

Hello James,

Thank you for contacting Electronic Arts.

Please be informed that you do need to purchase the 800 points as there is no an option to purchase specific or concerned points.

Additionally, as a valued player, we would like to offer a small token of our appreciation in the form of a $20 off discount offer “DISCOUNT CODE DELETED” for the EA Store! This discount code does not have an expiration date, and can be redeemed for any future purchase on http://store.ea.com.

If there is anything else we can help you with please let me know.

Thank you,

(Support agent name deleted)
EA Online Support.

Anyhow, back to the current situation: I mentioned that my next steps might be forwarding this dispute onto the Texas Attorney General as a possible consumer fraud item. The tech support guy (who I stress was quite polite) couldn’t talk about anything involving legal stuff, so I decided not to put him the middle of it.

Anyhow, we left things with me asking it be escalated to Level 3 tech support and the request was granted. Who knows where it will go from here. My prior dealings with EA don’t give me much confidence, but maybe a blog post documenting my ordeal will get their attention.

I also note that a long-standing dispute with EA involving Battlefield Heroes items that we bought has apparently simply vanished from their system entirely. Maybe I will need to make another whack at recovering the items we bought while I have their attention, as that is still a sore point.

(We had a BH account with some premium items bought for it. A hacker got into the account and bought a bunch of other stuff with our debit card information. EA froze the BH account and, to their credit, worked with our bank on getting the bogus charges backed out. The problem is that we also lost the premium items we bought for the deleted account. Repeated attempts to get EA to address the matter were in vain. I can post the emails showing our attempts to get it resolved.)

Oh, if you need to reach EA tech support by phone, let me save you a lot of hunting around on their difficult to navigate website: 1-866-543-5435 from 7am-9pm CST (7 days a week)

The epic tech support fails I have suffered with EA/Origin are one reason why I stick with Steam as my strong preference for downloadable games. Steam’s tech support isn’t perfect, but the few times I have needed them they were, by comparison, a joy to deal with and they actually fixed my problems. Gabe Newell and Valve seem to understand customer service!


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2 Responses to “EA Tech support is still the worst in the known universe”

  1. jamesacooley Says:

    As an update, I have yet to hear back from EA on this issue and kind of doubt that I ever will. Again, my experience with EA tech support over a period of years is abysmal — and I am not alone. This will influence my games buying decision in the future. If a game isn’t on Steam, GOG.com, or maybe Battle.net, I am going to be leery.

  2. Update on EA tech support (or lack thereof) « Jamesacooley’s Blog Says:

    […] https://jamesacooley.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/ea-tech-support-is-still-the-worst-in-the-known-univers… […]

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