A recent post on the Bioware forums discusses a gamer who was unsatisfied with the ending and the general experience of Mass Effect 3, and was issued a full refund from Amazon.com, despite the game being opened. Being slightly skeptical, we decided to contact Amazon directly for the real scoop.
We first spoke with an Amazon representative on chat support, and after a very long pause, were directed to call Amazon’s customer service line.
Using the order of Mass Effect 3 we placed for one of our contest winners as a reference point, we told the Amazon rep we were completely unsatisfied with the game, and made clear that it was not Amazon’s fault; instead, we conveyed that it was the developer’s fault.
After another lengthy pause, Amazon told us they would “issue a full or partial refund if you are not satisfied with the quality of Mass Effect 3, and it is the developer’s fault.” Upon Amazon’s receipt of the game, it would then be sent to the return department for evaluation, and it must be returned within 30 days of purchase. We want to emphasize that Amazon did not promise a full refund, but they did promise, at the very least, a partial refund. And this was for the PC version of the game, and we made sure they knew it was open and had been played.
It’s also worth mentioning that Amazon indeed offered the same type of refund after the release of BioWare’s Dragon Age 2. In a related case, Apple offered dissatisfied consumers a full refund for Final Cut Pro X due to its lack of features.
This is yet another dent in what has been a shaky release for such a highly anticipated title. First there was the file leak over Xbox Live several months before the game was set for release. The ending was leaked and some believed that the resulting outrage might have caused Bioware to change the ending.
One gamer has gone as far to file a complaint with the FTC for a false advertising complaint, stating the ending of the game did not live up to promised expectations.
This only further proves what a following the Mass Effect franchise has established. The fans of this game will go to just about any length to make sure they are not only heard, but that the game reflects the choices they made as Commander Shepard in his mission to stop the Reapers.
[UPDATE] More information can be found about Amazon’s return policy here. It appears as though the return policy is not as clear cut as first advertised. If for any reason you are thinking of returning your opened copy of Mass Effect 3, or any game for that matter, please spend a minute reviewing their policy.
[Editor's Note: This post does not reflect VGW's feeling on Mass Effect 3.]