Today Friday March 8, 2013 a new We The People Petition on petitions.whitehouse.gov was started calling for reform in return policies for video games. The petition, which was created by Forbes.com contributor Jason Evangelo alongside an article he wrote highlighting the need for change, asks for the consumer right to return defective video games. This week's launch of "SimCity" by Electronic Arts and Maxis is a shining example why. With constantly busy servers, gamers have wasted $60 on software they can't use or return.
Institute an industry-wide return policy for video games that rely on remote servers and DRM to function properly.
Video and computer games are growing increasingly reliant on remote servers and the implementation of Digital Rights Management (DRM) to function properly.
When these measures fail, consumers are left with an unplayable experience. In these cases, the consumer should have the right to expect a full refund, whether the game was purchased in physical or digital form.
SimCity from publisher Electronic Arts is a recent example of why such a law is crucial. Even 72 hours after its release, players are unable to log in and play, rendering their $60 purchase useless. Yet they have no recourse for a refund.
Consumer protection laws vary from state to state. Please institute a universal, industry-wide refund policy for defective entertainment both digital and physical.
Consumers can typically return unopened products, however laws vary from state to state and there's no such right for digital downloads. A federal law regarding return policies would force retailers like Best Buy, GameStop, Walmart, and Target to accept open item video games or refund digital purchases should they be deemed defective.