Better Sex, and Why You Won't Be Having It

I just want you all know that I had planned to write an article on gaming and sex; specifically, how gamers could have better sex. Tips based on my experiences living in Amsterdam, going to a Catholic girls' school, being a gymnast, and the year where I shared a house with a gaggle of flight attendants. I'm talking serious sex tips - sex tips so hot that it's quite possible I could cause server meltdowns.

But I'm not going to do that now. And do you know to whom the blame should be attached? Do you? It's EA Games, that's who. Because they have made me quite angry, and while some women are yummy and sexy when they are enraged, I am not one of them. I'm more of a "you die, the girl dies, everybody dies" kind of woman when I'm angry.

And oooooh, I am annoyed right now. Partly because the situation is so bizarre that it almost defies rational thought. Let me give you some background. I received a copy of Sims2 as a gift about eight weeks ago. "Yay!" I thought, as ripped into the virgin cellophane and peeled the security stickers away from my newest acquisition. Since I couldn't install it right away, I decided to do something I almost never do, read the manual.

Opening it revealed that there had been an error at the printer, because 16 pages, 8 in front, and 8 in back, were missing. Having published comics and other magazines, I know how binding mistakes can happen. It's annoying, but people run presses, and neither people, nor presses, are error free mechanisms. I figured it was no big deal; there was probably a copy of it on the game disk. There wasn't. (There's a manual for a the BodyShop, but not one for the game itself.)

And thus began my quixotic quest for customer service at EA Games. Never, in my life, have I seen a more byzantine method for trying to reach a company. I started at the Sims2 official site, clicked their help link and was presented with pages of FAQ headers, but no method to actually contact anyone. (They've since added a sub-help link, which goes to a prettier front end of the EA "support" site.)

So I wander over to EA Games, click support, click tech support, realize there's no contact information at this site either, register for a "support account", and start a thread on the message board to report the problem with the manual, and asking if they could email the pdf or postscript file, or mail me another manual. Now, the next bit takes place over many, many weeks"…as the speed of EA Games customer support response time can be measured in eons.

Customer service rep A.R. eventually responds by giving me a phone number in Redwood and tells me that they'll take care of it. Ok, cool. So, I call California, and burn minutes waiting to talk to someone, trying not to listen to the synthetic pseudomusic, when I finally reach E.K. E. K. tells me that I need to go back to the message board, because his department "doesn't do defects". Only the grace of being southern stopped me from mentioning that the department was obviously full of mental defects.

I go back to the forum, where I am told that if I will send them five dollars, they will replace the manual. To which I responded, "Surely you're joking." They closed the topic as answered. At which point, it became the principle of the thing. I was going to stick this out and see how long it took for them to fix this problem.

And after a series of events, seven weeks have passed, and I've now been told that they can't do anything for me unless I'm willing to post my full name and address on the message board.

Let me restate that: EA Games will not replace a manufacturing-related faulty product unless I either A.) pay them to replace it, or B.) publish my personal information for every stalker in the world to google for the rest of my life. Now, the CS guy knows I'm not going to leave information like that on a public forum, but because I'm "refusing to comply" with the request, EA can close the issue.

Now, did I need the manual? Of course not, but that's not the point. The point is that EA Games had an opportunity to spend five minutes of support time to email me a file and gain the appreciation of a customer, or spend weeks of support time to have a customer so annoyed that she will avoid EA games like she avoids muddy puddles, dog poop, and anything Peter Molyneux ever does until he apologizes for B&W.

And you should be mad at them too. After all, it's their fault this wasn't a thousand words about sexy stewardesses.

Comments

Best lead-in ever.

If you're mad enough, take them to small claims court. Seriously. Your cost: a couple of hours of your time. Their cost: a bunch of hours of lawyer time, hassle, a new manual for you, and your filing fee assuming you win which shouldn't be hard once you show the judge the manual.

The intro is up there with some of the best Penthouse Letters ever conceived. My mind subliminally picked out the following words and phrases and selectively left out the rest on my first scan.

Better sex, catholic girls, gymnasts, flight attendants, sex tips, so hot, meltdowns, yummy, sexy, women, oooooh, virgin, game disks, peeled the.. away, going to stick this out, sexy stewardesses.

When I snapped to it and realized the rest of the article was about EA however, it left me quite, well..

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DuckiDeva you tease!

Deflowered?

EA Games is one of the worst companies I have ever dealt with. I ordered NCAA 2005 from their online store. Big mistake. Never once did I get an e-mail saying my title had shipped. Never once did someone write back to me after I had written them a number of e-mails asking where might my game be as every store in the country now had them? And what was it all for?

A shoddy game where All-American receivers could not catch a football on a slant route with no defender within 10 yards of them. Two days later it was traded in at EB Games because my wife had never seen me so frustrated with a game and could not stand it (and neither could I).

Then of course we now have the NFL exclusivity deal for that great heaping mass called Madden.

Ducki, your lede was almost correct. You article was about sex: EA sucks and they have adopted the Kama Sutra as a customer service guide, finding a whole new variety of ways to screw us.

In EA's defense, I ordered one copy of Battlefield 1942 from their on-line store and they sent me two for the price of one. This made my friend very happy.

Made me read on....nice writing. Bad problem.

My suggestion? (Seriously) write a Certified, Return Reciept Requested letter to the President of EA. those kinds of things are a little hard to ignore (when even a flunky gets one). Be extra-nice; explain all of the steps that you've taken (ands point out that, if YOU got a defective manual, others (tens?hundreds?thousands?) did too....and that rectifying it would be a nice gesture. Even just making it available online....

my two coppers worth....

Edited for spelling, by gosh!

What is this company you are talking about?? EA?? They are dead to me already...

And welcome to the corporate culture of "denial of service". If you have ever dealt with a phone company, health insurance, retail on something more complicated than where to mail your bill, then you better get used to this kind of "service".

I do like the writing a letter to the president suggestion; that mightt get you a refund or a coupon of some sort.

This sort of injustice can only be rectified one way:
50 pounds of SEMTEX and a trip to EA's headquarters...

Damn, I love this for two reasons; (1) the intro, regardless of the what was in the body of the article, had me hooked (well done) and (2) misery loves company. CS from Atari was much the same way. I was one of the lucky few, ok many, that received The first Neverwinter Expansion (Shadows on Underentide(?)) without a CD Key. After beating my head against their customer support system for 3 days, I opted to just return the game to Amazon and go out and buy it from EA.

Now, more recently, my copy of the RotK EE that I had preordered from Amazon never actually showed up. Apparently one of teh USPS employees in one of their processing factilities in BELL, CA (per the USPS web tracking site) is actually enjoying the DVD's that I had been looking forward too. Fortunately, Target is around the corner and was able to satiate my need for Tolkien based films (Not to post a spoiler, but Saurmon falling off the tower was just fantastic. I flinch every time.) Amazon, to their credit, responded in a couple of hours and is offering to give me a full refund for the purchase.

Great article. Please, please, please keep up the hate on EA Games. They have to improve their Customer Service. I wonder if a complaint to teh better business bureau would have any effect?

Corporate logic never ceases to astound. And not in a good way, either.

Fine writing, DD.

Or you could just take the game to Walmart, and exchange it for another one, and cost both Walmart AND EA some money with a defective RTV. See, an opportunity... not a problem!

How does EA stay in business... I mean a lot of people (including me) hate the game they produce, except for Burnout 3 but I still don't like what they've done with the game. The ads, the music, ...EA's logo it sucked! I started to hate EA ever sense they ruined NFS series by making console version a priority and releasing PC version of NFS6 crappy, buggy and half the stuff PS2 copy did. Hearing "Challenge Everything!" is like a slap on the face... and it hurts!

Down with EA!

Good stuff, DD! Although I was hoping for the article that subject lead me to believe it was going to be!

[edit] ...can't spell, write or think... maybe all above!

Yeah, DD, lousy service burns me too. Speaking of which ... you ever gonna do that sex tip article? Just askin'...

Game manuals is a blight of the entire industry. Smallish booklet in black and white print, useless content. Few publishers (Nintendo, maybe) bother to produce something you don't want to throw right away along with the shrinkwrap. Makes me think "I paid $49 and this is all I got?" all the time.

The trend is on. I heard Sierra/Valve haven't supplied any manual beyond a quickstart card with HL2 at all (don't know personally -- I bought it over Steam). For they money they charged, they wouldn't break the bank if at they at least threw in a $0.99-worth Cosmopolitan "ALL SEX" past issue.

If what i've seen of most of EA's manuals for games is an indication, you didn't miss anything. EA has a staunch company line about not explaining anything about anything in their manuals.

It's EA award winning Customer Support that drove me away from being a customer of theirs EVER again. It was their stellar customer service in regards to the game Earth & Beyond (if only it had a physical grave to dance/spit upon) that caused me to loathe them this much. I've been EA free for what 2-3 years now, there have been moments of temptation (Burnout 3), but I haven't given those dirty rat bastages a cent of money since then.

That was great, Ducki, and as Alien pointed out, the lead-in was the best ever.

nice writing. very clever.

Electronic Arts, more like Electronic Farts, am I rite ?
(slaps knee)

...

hey where are you going ?

What a ripoff. Like many big companies (computer manufacturers spring to mind here), EA has realized that customer support costs them money and isn't terribly visible to the majority of customers, making it one of the first departments on the budget chopping block. The fact that they're working hard to monopolize sections of the game industry is speeding the transition, since customers now have even less choice.

If it's any consolation, I can assure you that the Sims 2 manual isn't terribly informative.

Thanks gang. An update...their automated system sent me a "wouldja like to take a survey" email about their service. One of those things that just make you roll your eyes and ask "Why are you even pretending that you care?"

I have a really evil idea, but I'm not sure if it's illegal. See, I make soap, which means I have an extraordinary amount of essential oils and fragrances, etc. Periodically, I'll purchase a fragrance that just isn't right...and sometimes, I'll try something new and upon opening it discover that not only is it vile, it's very high on the "wow, that's nasty" scale.

I have such a fragrance on hand. It is horrid. Really, one of the worst things I've smelled...and I lived in a commune that had goats. And it's a fragrance that lingers too...I made one batch of soap with it and even after throwing it away, opening all the windows in the dead of winter, baking bread and cakes, and spraying the house with strong essential oils...you could still smell this stuff a week later. Bleh. Just horrible.

So, I'm thinking about making a batch of product with this scent, and sending it as a "present" to the customer service department, and the executive team. With a thank you letter telling them that I hope they enjoy the soap as much as I've enjoyed dealing with their company. It would make the entire redwood office redolent of this bad, bad, fragrance oil. Closed environments, doncha know...the windows don't open in most modern office buildings.

It's just that the smell is so vile, I'm not sure that it's legal.

Ducki, that's awesome. I love that idea on so many levels. Like that one Seinfeld episode where they couldn't get the BO out of the car and had to eventually sell it.

Do you smell an office relocation in the future?

That sounds like a very, very offensive odour. Perfect for EA!

I've never heard of it being illegal, just say that you had your nose plugged and you "didn't know" it smelled. haha, hahahaha, mwa ha ha ha ha ha ha

ok, seriously now

EA seems to be pissing me off just by what they are doing. I would like to take this time to point out, as with any other time, that nintendo is the only company I have dealt with that doesn't do this stuff. Even the famed blizzard has severe tech support issues if you just need a couple of questions answered (believe me... you'd think they could put a tester program out like they did with Warcraft 3, and give me something so I can try accessing the server, just to check to make sure I can run it BEFORE i spend 50 bucks to buy a game that I'd never be able to sell back to anyone). If you an find my post about nintendo a while back, I had great luck with them, they even called me. If you are looking for a new set of people to believe in (and you don't already) nintendo is where it is at.

Closed environments, doncha know...the windows don't open in most modern office buildings.

"But what if we want to have the windows open?"
"You won't want to have the windows open with new Breathe-o-Smart."

I couldn't resist... here's hoping somebody recognizes that.

duckideva wrote:

Thanks gang. An update...their automated system sent me a "wouldja like to take a survey" email about their service. One of those things that just make you roll your eyes and ask "Why are you even pretending that you care?"

I have a really evil idea, but I'm not sure if it's illegal. See, I make soap, which means I have an extraordinary amount of essential oils and fragrances, etc. Periodically, I'll purchase a fragrance that just isn't right...and sometimes, I'll try something new and upon opening it discover that not only is it vile, it's very high on the "wow, that's nasty" scale.

I have such a fragrance on hand. It is horrid. Really, one of the worst things I've smelled...and I lived in a commune that had goats. And it's a fragrance that lingers too...I made one batch of soap with it and even after throwing it away, opening all the windows in the dead of winter, baking bread and cakes, and spraying the house with strong essential oils...you could still smell this stuff a week later. Bleh. Just horrible.

So, I'm thinking about making a batch of product with this scent, and sending it as a "present" to the customer service department, and the executive team. With a thank you letter telling them that I hope they enjoy the soap as much as I've enjoyed dealing with their company. It would make the entire redwood office redolent of this bad, bad, fragrance oil. Closed environments, doncha know...the windows don't open in most modern office buildings.

It's just that the smell is so vile, I'm not sure that it's legal.

By god, if you do, you'll have to post and let us know the deed was done.

Abulational necromancy?
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I have to place 100% of the blame on you for actually purchasing Sims 2 and attempting to play it. What did you expect? Gaming nirvana? It's Sims! It's EA! The Sims series is responsible for luring millions of people who have no business gaming into the world of video games. It's like getting angry at the Internet when you use AOL as your ISP and never travel outside the confines of it's content.

And we all know in regards to sex, it's about quantity, not quality. There's a conspiracy by women and the sexual devices industry to befuddle mens' way of thinking. The truth is, there's no "too quick" or "took too long". When a man blows, that's exactly how long it was supposed to take. Practice in anything always results in "better" results and every gamer with a woman in his life knows all he has to do to get more sex is put the controller down.

Great article ducki and I agree...best opening line ever!

It rises from the dead! Good lord!

duckideva wrote:

It rises from the dead! Good lord!

Have you had enough time to cool off and write the article originally intended?

duckideva wrote:

It rises from the dead! Good lord!

So how are the newer Peter Molyneux games working out for you..... You know he apologised for B&W, right?

Also, if i send you $5 will you send me a .pdf of all those sex tips?