I wish you all a happy new year!
This posting may get a little bit longer, sorry for that, still it could be I am missing some certain situations possible.
I am not posting this to start a riot towards Steam and CA and trouble them for their game, but to show you that you have powers to enforce your rights you have (hopefully), even Steam will decline you have them in the first step you contact their support, or other users decline you have them likely basically.
First I would like to explain how this posting is related to Rome 2:
Not at least Angry Joe mentioned Rome 2 in his 2013 controversial games, we all know about Rome 2 in fact is a controversial game. Since release there have been 9 patches so far, some of them added a lot of quality to the game.
Even some people may disagree, I personally think it is a lacking game and still is below par when it comes to certain details like system performance, false advertising, still severe bugs though the patching et cetera.
Saying the game is "unplayable" is clearly a two-bladed sword and definitely not completely right for all users, anyway there are some certain things about this game that could qualify it to be called severe defective and yet no patch seems to be in sight to solve it.
During the last 3 months I've never seen so many people opening threads or doing postings on different forums (not only TWC), not to forget the Steam community, honestly asking for a refund for this game.
As you know I am from Germany, and I am quite aware this is a forum is hosted in US so most (Steam) users are liable to US (customer) laws.
I am not skilled in US law, but there seems to be huge different between those laws in both governmental areas, even more when we talk about german (customer) laws in specific.
As said, there have been many posts claiming refund for Rome 2
some examples:http://forums.totalwar.com/showthread.php/116767-Refund (closed)
and yet most of them have been answered quickly with "Steam does not refund (broken) games". This reads for me like a general rule.
This was my common answer towards them:
Aslong we are speaking about european (EU) citizens you have the right to return the game to your retailer and request a refund if the last 8 patches have not addressed your issues and you cannot solve them with the technical support.
Generally you have a time of at least 1 year or some countries 2 years to do that. I recommend not to wait longer than 6 months.
Also Steam is refunding games which are not working as intended and the support actions do not help, if the game is not meeting the advertising etc etc. They may decline that in the first place but at the end they have to act on the same law that is valid for the european customers and are in charge to refund the game.
Even though some people say Steam will not refund games generally, this is gossip. They do, but they won't make a big thing out of it or try to negate your claims in the first level support. You might need to be persistant and point out your customer laws that are beyond the ToS Steam has. Some of the ToS from Steam are currently questionated at court by a german customer organisation.
The european sites of amazon for example, will grant a refund without any trouble in a time within 6 weeks after purchase.
However they are very friendly to customers and a direct call to them helps a lot.
And yet if you read the Steam ToS they say:
3. BILLING, PAYMENT AND OTHER SUBSCRIPTIONS
IF YOU ARE AN EU SUBSCRIBER YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO WITHDRAW FROM A PURCHASE TRANSACTION FOR DIGITAL CONTENT WITHOUT CHARGE AND WITHOUT GIVING ANY REASON UNTIL DELIVERY OF SUCH CONTENT HAS STARTED OR PERFORMANCE OF THE SERVICE HAS COMMENCED. YOU DO NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO WITHDRAW FROM A TRANSACTION OR OBTAIN A REFUND ONCE DELIVERY OF THE CONTENT HAS STARTED OR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE SERVICE HAS COMMENCED, AT WHICH POINT YOUR TRANSACTION IS FINAL. YOU AGREE THAT DELIVERY OF DIGITAL CONTENT, AND THE ASSOCIATED SUBSCRIPTION, AND/OR PERFORMANCE OF THE ASSOCIATED SERVICE, COMMENCES AT THE MOMENT THE DIGITAL CONTENT IS ADDED TO YOUR ACCOUNT OR INVENTORY OR OTHERWISE MADE ACCESSIBLE TO YOU FOR DOWNLOAD OR USE.
However this section does not exclude them to forget about the "defects liability" that is valid above the ToS of Steam. As Steam being a reseller is clearly liable to this law, at least in EU countries.
Now to my story:
From today I would like to give you a practical example, Steam is not refunding hopeless bugged games, is a rumour. The main issue is, whether you are practically able to prove the game is somehow broken (unplayable, has got severe bugs that probably will not be solved or cannot be solved) and whether you are able to claim your customer rights you have (or not have this way in certain countries).
Just for example SLI support in Rome 2 may be sadly an impossible thing to claim, as they never said it will be supported, so we must be very cautious claiming things being not functional, missing while advertised etc.
I bought Sacred 2 Gold recently during a discounted sale. I already have this game in my shelf 3 times. One a collectors edition and 2 retail versions - one gold version one retail with addon - there have been reasons unimportant for this thread .
On 13th May 2012 I asked Steam Support why this game (Sacred 2 Gold) is not available in Steam, but just Sacred 1 Gold. Their answers was: Due to the different publishers they have no permission.
This year I was really happy to see Sacred 2 being obtainable on Steam and even at a big discount. But as I knew about the instability of this game (retail version) I opened a thread to ask the community, whether this game is now more stable or not. The common idea why this could be possible at all, is that the retail game does have severe problems with its own copyright mechanism. :-^
read the full story here:
After my question has been answered I decided to buy this game, perhaps in hope of a salvation this great game will be finally playable and keeping me and my gf busy for a while, as we are both big fans of it.
So I bought 2 copies on Steam and gifted one to my gf.
Very soon after the installation we tried the game out playing a coop campaign in our LAN, and guess what happened: The same old issues, even without the copyright mechanism now. This was a pity.
I browsed several forums and the Steam community to find out this game still seem not to be stable and people keep having the same old issues - I better did that before. There won't be a patch as the dev is bancrupt for long.
So in a consequence I decided to ask Steam for a refund for both games. Of course it was not an easy run and they declined to do it and forced me to contact the customer support first, which is even legible according the laws.
However, as expected I did not get an reply from Koch Media UK and took further measures to solve the issue myself. After all nothing helped and so I again contacted Steam on the same ticket, to carry out my refund request as the game is completely unplayable on both computers with same issues, which also many other report to have them too, so this could likely exclude a local problem.
They declined this request and headed me to their ToS as mentioned before, so I was in charge to give them a lesson about the correlation of laws and the fact Steam ToS are not binding above them.
Then they answered me they cannot recharge my credit card me but are willing to refund me on my Steam Wallet. Which I accepted to avoid further hassle and discussion.
So after 6 replies and 2 weeks of time (Xmas between) they accepted to refund me both games as an "exception". However I am used companies do declare this exception even they know they are liable to do it so at least I did not care about that.
As you can see I got emails and the whole process worked with their templates, so in this case we should know they have also the technical abilities, not only their liability in EU countries (Germany) to refund defective games, aslong you are able to state them your issues and prove them they will not be solveable by the developer or anyone else responsible for the support of the game.
This by the way also worked out for the fact of missing advertised translation - greetings to Spain and Italy.
Here is a prove it happened.
Likely there might be some discussion about this post and hopefully it will help some TWC members here. Feel free to share it elsewhere but if so please incl. the disclaimer.
Righ now I am curious who of you was already able to get refunded for a game or even Rome 2?
"Hope. It is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength and your greatest weakness." - The Matrix
It is up on you if you are willing to put a bit of efforts to achieve that and if you are really willing to accept sub par products when there is no hope in sight.
Clearly it could be CA will solve some of the remaining itching main issues in future, but if not you are now prepared.
All others that are happy with that state of Rome 2, I wish a happy gaming!