Customer Discussions > StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty forum

Blizzard say they will refund if you reject their terms


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Initial post: Aug 4, 2010 12:40:04 PM PDT
To all the people who bought and paid for SC2 and are not happy did you read page 19 of the SC2 quick start guide.It says"If you reject the terms of this agreement call 1-800 757-7707 to request a full refund of purchase price.So if your not happy with SC2 call them and tell them you reject their terms and ask for a refund in under 30 days.i guess SC2 the game wasn't sold it was licensed which is also on page19.

Posted on Aug 4, 2010 12:46:09 PM PDT
Clark Nova says:
Good news for the disgruntled few who bought the game but cannot get an internet connection without crossing two rivers and climbing to the top of the highest mountain to beg the hermet there to let them borrow a bit of online time at the cost of thier first born son.

I also like to add that PC games have been licensed and not exactly sold for quite some time now, so this is nothing new.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2010 1:49:44 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 4, 2010 1:54:21 PM PDT
H. Le says:
Just an FYI - The phone # provided is no longer in service. Customers who wanted to get a refund will have to contact Blizzard by other methods. If Blizzard is indeed honoring this statement even after the game package is opened, then they deserve a big round of applause from me.

For those who are going to try to get a refund, please report back and share your experience with your fellow Customers.

Posted on Aug 4, 2010 3:29:57 PM PDT
B McD says:
This is interesting. It would certainly go a long way in customer relations but I highly doubt they would take the game back once it's been activated. But it takes activating the game to figure out a lot of the stuff people don't like about the license. Problem is, once activated, you can just play the game. Additionally, it would open the door for people to just play the game and return it when done.

I would love to hear from a person that actually activated the game and tried to return it. Just curious what the response would be.

Posted on Aug 4, 2010 3:47:12 PM PDT
Once you activate you agree on their terms.... However if you claim that you never activated how will they know that you are lying or not? There must be a work around to all this to those who installed an activated and agreed on terms.

A way to redeem your key from Battlenet without them knowing might fix the issue so you can return the game...

Posted on Aug 4, 2010 9:21:11 PM PDT
John Lemon says:
No one that bought it is going to return it. And if you activate it you don't get a refund and shouldn't.

Posted on Aug 5, 2010 9:07:44 AM PDT
B McD says:
That's right. Once activated they most likely won't take it back. If you know all the issues BEFORE you open the box, just return it to the retailer. Once you open the box, most likely you don't know all the issues and you install the game, create a bnet account, and activate the game. It is only AFER you do these things that people will understand the issues. So what purpose does this serve to be able to "return" the game. None actually. I suppose there could be people that buy the game, open the box, THEN read about all the issues and not install the game. For these people, this policy could help but these people would be the exception to the rule.

Posted on Aug 5, 2010 10:29:02 AM PDT
John Lemon says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2010 11:11:17 AM PDT
Shh, John. You're going to anger the pirates. Watch out for their cutlasses.

Posted on Aug 5, 2010 1:36:27 PM PDT
B McD says:
lol John. OR.....It could be us target demographic gamers. The average age of a gamer in 2010 is 40 years old. 26% of sales from 50+ year olds. We DO care about these issues. We DO have jobs. We DO have A LOT of spending power. We DO have lives. We remember when the only decision needed to buy or play a game was how good it was. Good games sold well, not so good games didn't. I didn't have to investigate all the intricacies of the DRM scheme du jour. Maybe we are just die-hard gamers that don't want to see the best part of gaming muddied by bad policy and people who care about nothing but their next fleeting gaming fix.

Have any of you actually looked into just WHERE piracy numbers come from? Or do you just take the word of these companies that they lose billions every year to piracy?

Chomp on this:
1) Exactly how do you measure piracy? How can you tell if your game is pirated and played offline in 700 million different homes? Without actually auditing these computers, there is no REAL way to get numbers. So they are manufactured based off of hypothetical numbers. Have you ever looked at a piracy study to see where the "numbers" come from? I would suggest you do before you start spouting off about piracy.
2) Even if the numbers are true, how many of those people WOULD have been paying customers in the first place? Half, a quarter? Who knows but it would be much less than the "advertised" numbers for sure. I know plenty of people who have downloaded music, movies, or games because they can. They never would have been in the market to buy in the first place. Additionally, I know people who have downloaded music and liked the one or two songs by a specific artist only to go out and buy their albums that they would NEVER have purchased otherwise.

You never hear these things because it doesn't fit the piracy narrative. How many customer advocacy groups speak up about how great DRM is and now needed it is? None. It's always the DRM makers and those who have everything to gain drumming up sympathy for the piracy cause. I don't like pirates and if I come across anyone who does it, I give them an ear full. But I'm a realist. You will never defeat pirates. You need to compete with them. Make it so they are irrelevant. Not punish your honest paying customers.

Posted on Aug 5, 2010 1:51:55 PM PDT
Brian Shiau says:
You as a customer NEVER OWN software. You acquire a license to use the software. When you install SC2, you have to scroll through the End-User Licensing Agreement (EULA) and click that you have read and understand the terms & conditions of the EULA. Once you have done this, you have waived your right to return the license. Software is not like a washing machine, you don't own the property, you merely have a license to use the software under the terms of the EULA.

Posted on Aug 5, 2010 2:24:40 PM PDT
B McD says:
Brian, buckle up for a bit of an education. I OWN the media. It is mine. I can do with it what I wish. I can throw it. I can use it as a coaster. I can sell it. Here is what changed and I'll be specific so you can learn a few things.

No company wants you to "own" their stuff. They want to hold ALL the rights to "their stuff". Problem is a little thing called "Right of First Sale" or the "First Sale Doctrine" (This is a US thing so I don't know how it is in other countries). It was basically created to PROTECT consumers from egregious copy write holders demanding money for every sale of an item that was sold. Think of a house or a car or a book. You don't pay the builder of your house when you sell it because they "owned" it once. You don't pay the manufacturer of your car when you sell it used. You don't pay the author of your favorite book when you sell it on ebay. Why should software be any different? The answer is it shouldn't.

Soooooo, along came the digital age and with it the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copy write Act) signed under President Clinton. This law essentially protected copy write holders from people stealing their digital works. It had good intentions but has been HORRIBLY misused ever since. It essentially makes creating backup copies (which you have a right to do under US law) illegal if there is any sort of protection system used. Circumventing that protection system is the problem even though I have a RIGHT to backup my movies, audio, games, etc.

But DRM alone wasn't enough. The BIG problem now...the THING killing the industry? Aftermarket sales. So now they need to either figure out a way to prevent aftermarket sales or get a piece of the action from it. Getting a piece of the action isn't realistic but preventing aftermarket sales is. Along comes activation. With it, an entire marketing scheme designed to change the way you think about software. Kinda like you stated...."as a customer you NEVER OWN software. You acquire a license to use the software." We can all think Microsoft for this one.

I can tell you for a fact, that no matter what the EULA says, it doesn't trump US law. With Windows 95, even though the EULA said I only have the license, I COULD sell the software when I was done. I could separate it from my computer. I could install it on another computer if the one that it was installed on failed. But not anymore. They needed a legal way to circumvent US law. With the help of DMCA, DRM, and activation, they have now done it. They have also successfully trained millions of sheeple like you into believing this is the way it should be.

Software aftermarket sales should be no different than any other aftermarket sales. Imagine if you bought a car and you were the only person that could ever drive it. What if you bought a book and you were the only person that could ever read it. It doesn't make any sense at all. Why does it make sense to you when it comes to software and/or games? Why should they be treated any different?

Posted on Aug 5, 2010 2:38:48 PM PDT
John Lemon says:
If you buy a OEM windows you can not legally uninstall it off 1 computer and install it on another. You have the right to only use it on 1 computer. It is why the OEM version is so much cheaper. Got to love internet lawyers that never spent a day in law school.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2010 2:43:27 PM PDT
H. Le says:
According to the case of Softman v. Adobe, if the software is on physical media, and a Customer buy it, it is a sale - not a license - and as such, it is protected by the First Sale Doctrine - which rightfully precedes the EULA (the EULA cannot overrule the Laws of The United States). Consequently, the purposes of certain types of DRM - such as online activation - are to circumvent this ruling. In addition, this is parts of the reasons why some publishers are trying hard to eliminate the disc-based gaming and moving to online/cloud gaming.

Quote: ""The Court understands fully why licensing has many advantages for software publishers. However, this preference does not alter the Court's analysis that the substance of the transaction at issue here is a sale and not a license," [U.S. Federal Judge Pregerson writes. If you put your money down and walked away with a CD, you bought that copy, EULA or no EULA."

http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/5628

For the wannabe lawyers, here is link to the full decision:

http://www.linuxjournal.com/files/linuxjournal.com/linuxjournal/articles/056/5628/softman-v-adobe.html

Posted on Aug 5, 2010 2:46:27 PM PDT
Brian Shiau says:
LOL B McD, not sure what your post has anything to do with my post (which refers to Blizzard's return policy based on acceptance of the EULA), but apparently I have to educate you on transactions. Buckle up!

A transaction is an agreement between a buyer and a seller. The terms of such transaction are up to the buyer and the seller.

A house is a physical asset. The sale of the house as detailed in a contract is for the transfer of the title of the property, the physical asset itself. A contract could also be to sell the use of the property (renting or leasing) but no rights to the property itself.

Software is an intangible asset--it's intellectual property. Unless the owner is seeking to divest the asset, the sale of IP, like Starcraft II, is generally a license to use the intellectual property under certain terms. In no way do you now own the code to the game (which isn't for sale) or any rights beyond those as outlined in the license you as the customer agreed to buy. When you buy a copy of Starcraft II on Amazon, you are buying a LICENSE, not the INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. Yes you could offer to buy the Starcraft II property itself, but that'd be upwards of $500 million.

"Imagine if you bought a car and you were the only person that could ever drive it. What if you bought a book and you were the only person that could ever read it. It doesn't make any sense at all. Why does it make sense to you when it comes to software and/or games? Why should they be treated any different?"

It's just a matter of the terms of the transaction. When I rent a car from Enterprise, I am the only person who is allowed to drive it. If I want to let someone else drive it, I pay an "additional driver fee." Why? Because that's what it says in the contract. Your and my use of Starcraft II is restricted by whatever the terms of the license may be. Don't like it, then don't buy it.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2010 2:48:33 PM PDT
B McD says:
@ John- it's because of the license agreement right? Not because I am physically UNABLE to sell it right? The license agreement DOES NOT TRUMP LAW.

Posted on Aug 5, 2010 2:53:59 PM PDT
B McD says:
Ok Brian. So please explain to me how I could buy Window 95 and sell it when I moved to Windows 98? The EULA were the same. The difference is there was no way to enforce it.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2010 3:00:23 PM PDT
H. Le says:
Brian Shiau,

"When I rent a car from Enterprise, I am the only person who is allowed to drive it. If I want to let someone else drive it, I pay an "additional driver fee." Why? Because that's what it says in the contract. Your and my use of Starcraft II is restricted by whatever the terms of the license may be. Don't like it, then don't buy it."

The difference here is renting vs. buying... And precisely why some DRM only let Customers 'rent' the game on a long term basis.

Posted on Aug 5, 2010 3:07:16 PM PDT
Brian Shiau says:
@B McD, if the EULA says you can resell the license, then you can. A EULA is just an agreement between the licensor and the licensee. It's a contract, like your mortgage or employment contract--it spells out the terms of agreement between you and another party, such as lender or employer in the example. Of course, most consumers don't care about the terms of the agreement to the software, all they really want is just to play the game, so the developer's lawyers set all the terms and the consumer just clicks "OK." It's a video game, so who cares. But if it's $200,000 mortgage or it's your career, you should read the contract with the assistance of your lawyer.

The EULA is just for the use of the intellectual property. It does not govern the card board packaging or the silica and dye that forms the physical medium. Yeah sure, you could sell the box and the disc, but if the EULA says you can't sell the license, then you can't sell the license (based on the agreement). Of course, you could sell it, just like you can decide not to pay your mortgage or comply w/ the confidentiality agreement in your employment contract, but then there may be consequences if the other party chooses to enforce the contract.

Posted on Aug 5, 2010 3:16:05 PM PDT
B McD says:
Brian - it's a contract like a handshake is a contract.

I understand what it is companies have been trying to train me to believe for the last 10 years and what you have been brainwashed to believe. What I want to know is how I was legally able to sell Windows 95 even though the EULA said I couldn't.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2010 3:40:50 PM PDT
Brian Shiau says:
H.Le,

You are correct. Licensing is akin to renting. In this case, when we buy a license, we are essentially renting the right to execute Blizzard's software code on our computers.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2010 3:44:10 PM PDT
Brian Shiau says:
B McD,

Violating a contract is not illegal. It is not illegal for you to not pay your mortgage. It is not illegal for you to violate a confidentiality agreement. EULAs, mortgages, and employment contracts, aren't laws, they are agreements. The licensor of the software could sue you for violating the EULA, just like people on this forum could sue Blizzard for not including LAN multiplayer, or people can sue McDonalds for making them fat. Doesn't mean they will win.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2010 3:47:46 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 5, 2010 3:51:47 PM PDT
J. D. Hanson says:
H. Le is correct. An EULA is not a contract -- if the software is sold on physical media, it is a SALE, not a LICENSE. Software vendors can write up whatever the hell of an EULA they want, they're just pretending to be in a positition of authority.

In fact, to prove this point, one gaming company did precisely that -- they wrote up a ridiculous EULA that proclaimed that users of their service would be "selling their soul" to the company by accepting the EULA. 90% of the customers that purchases their service clicked through the EULA anyway. http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-20002689-71.html

Do any of you honestly believe that EULAs are enforceable? Bottom line -- EULAs are not contracts. They don't require signatures. Unless a software vendor can prove that a consumer actually read and understood the EULA (which is almost always bound with a SIGNATURE, not a button press on "I agree"), EULAs are worthless as a legal matter. This is why in the court case H. Le linked to, he sided with the consumer, whereas if the consumer actually did engage in a real contract, the judge would have sided with the software vendor.

Posted on Aug 5, 2010 3:51:22 PM PDT
B McD says:
Here it is in a nutshell:
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/10/it-s-still-duck-court-re-affirms-first-sale-doctri

It is really neither legal nor illegal at this point because the Supreme Court hasn't ruled on whether EULA trumps law. Basically, it boils down to whether or not consumers want to spend their time and money being sued or suing big business. Generally, a normal consumer doesn't have the time or money to do it. Companies do but rather not because it does cost. So instead, they create these EULAs that take all your rights away and hope no one challenges it. It still doesn't prevent me from selling what I legally purchased even though the EULA says I can't.

Chances are that Microsoft isn't going to search me out and sue me for selling my copy of Windows 95. They just hope I don't. What has changed is the marketing of the "license". The license was a real nifty way for companies to take your rights away. They knew it would be a hard sell. So they have been slowly easing us into thinking, "that's just the way it is."

Do you remember when Norton AnitV updates were free? That's because when you bought a copy, you owned it. When the next version came out, you could sell the old and buy the new. I did this often. The person that bought my old copy was happy because they got norton at a discount. I was happy because I got the new copy and was able to defray the cost a bit. The only unhappy person was norton because they didn't get anything for my sale of their product.

So all the marketing weenies got together to figure out how to "maximize" their profits. They then started charging for virus updates via a subscription and the software needed to be activated. Basically, it did you no good to just have the software in your hand. Since then, I have not owned a single copy of Norton. I have had probably 15-20 computers since then and not one cent has gone to norton.

Windows did the same thing. Windows 95 and 98 were perfect examples. You actually got the media with your new PC purchase. That way you could reinstall if needed. You could install it on a new computer if your old one crapped out. Then the move to Windows XP and activation came along. You were no longer "licensed" to use it on any other computer other than the one you installed and activated it on. Why do you think they did this? Because they now had a way to circumvent First Sale and legally enforce their EULA. People were outraged by it but as time went on, we all just accepted it. Now we are stuck with it. We are stuck with the model and it isn't consumer friendly. It doesn't enhance the consumer experience, it hinders it. Licensing is all about restrictions and creating new streams of revenue.

Lawyers can say whatever they want in EULAs and they always favor the companies. As long as you continue to support products that have these types of EULAs, you will continue to get software that you don't own.

When you buy a game, you own it. You cannot reverse engineer it. You cannot distribute it. You cannot copy the work and release it as your own. You CAN sell it. It's not an IP issue. It's an ownership issue. I can guarantee one thing, the more people that just accept and move on, the less ownership of purchased goods you will have.

10 or 15 years ago, would you have believed that there would be software that only allowed you to install it on a single machine or that "phoned home"? The trend is becoming more and more restrictive with fewer and fewer rights. That said; just imagine where we will be in 10 more years if we don't stop this very anti-consumer practice right now.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2010 3:55:12 PM PDT
B McD says:
Brian - so you think that is good then? That companies can write whatever they want in EULAs and we should all just fall in line and accept it? OR do you think that the First Sale Doctrine is law and better for consumers? I'm all about companies making a buck but not at the expense of the law and not at the expense of stepping on the consumer.
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Total posts:  28
Initial post:  Aug 4, 2010
Latest post:  Aug 8, 2010

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