Turns out you can get a refund on Star Citizen, if you go to the LA district attorney, FTC, and DCBA | PCGamesN

Turns out you can get a refund on Star Citizen, if you go to the LA district attorney, FTC, and DCBA

Mark Hamill Star Citizen

In the red corner stands Streetroller, a Star Citizen backer who wants a refund from Cloud Imperium Games. Limbering up in the blue corner waits the CIG legal team and their terms of service. Who prevails?

Well, it turns out that boxing analogy isn't all that fitting. Wrestling might be more appropriate, with its rolling cast of visitors to the ring. Those visitors include LA's district attorney, the Federal Trade Commission, and the LA Department of Consumer and Business Affairs.

Related: looking for games, not legal dramas? Try these fantastic space games you can play right now.

Streetroller, who hasn't provided his real name during his account of this exchange, first contacted CIG requesting a refund on June 14, telling them Star Citizen “remains unfulfilled and no longer constitutes the product(s) I originally purchased”. 

CIG responded by reiterating their terms of service (recently changed to make refunds harder to obtain). Specifically this passage, from that recent change: 

“For the avoidance of doubt, in consideration of [Roberts Space Industry’s] good faith efforts to develop, produce, and deliver the Game with the funds raised, you agree that any Pledge amounts applied against the Pledge Item Cost and the Game Cost shall be non-refundable regardless of whether or not RSI is able to complete and deliver the Game and/or the pledge items.”

Streetroller's move. He replied to that with the argument that he didn't agree to the latest terms of service, but instead the original ToS (accessible here via the good old Wayback Machine). The wording on that original document isn't as stonewall regarding refunds:

“You agree that any unearned portion of your Pledge shall not be refundable until and unless RSI has failed to deliver the relevant pledge items and/or the Game to you within eighteen (18) months after the estimated delivery date.”

Star Citizen's initial ETA was November 2014, and eighteen months after that would have been May of this year, 2016.

Streetroller also brought up Asylum, a lucrative Kickstarter that the state of Washington successfully filed a claim against because it contravened the Consumer Protection Act. If Asylum was accountable to the CPA, Streetroller argued, Star Citizen is too.

CIG rejected his request for a refund once again. That's where the LA district attorney came in. Streetroller also contacted the FTC and LA DCBA to file complaints against CIG. After the latter were contacted by the DA, Streetroller was refunded $900 on June 23. 

What followed was a lot more back and forth between the organizations and agents Streetroller filed complaints to and CIG, and the upshot of it all, after several more rejections, was a total refund of $2,560. Or $3000 as Streetroller states. The exact figure is unclear. 

You can read through the whole exchange here - it's fascinating. 

The DCBA also told Streetroller they urged others to come forward and file a complaint against CIG regarding refund policy. It's one to keep an eye on, with a precedent now having been set.

Thanks, PC Invasion.

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Shriven avatarmidimaker avatarMrJinxed avatarQDP2 avatarMountain_Man avatarGlen_Runciter avatar+3
Shriven Avatar
1 Year ago

Day one backer.... gave them enough for a Freelancer. Starting to worry now. I met and spoke to CRoberts at Citizen-Con. He struck me as someone MASSIVELY ambitious and a very good salesmen. But can he deliver? Cant tell.

Rampheus Avatar
1 Year ago

You struck the nail on the head "I met and spoke to CRoberts at Citizen-Con. He struck me as someone MASSIVELY ambitious and a very good salesmen."

A very good salesman indeed. My perspective on the project from where it began to where it is now is that the primary focus has always seemed to be about marketing hype to drive ever more crowd funding, Finish just enough game assets and "features" to make a snazzy marketing video, reigniting all the hype, and then rake in the piles of cash being thrown at your feet. Wash rinse repeat.

I have long since suspected that Star Citizen is nothing more than a digital goods Ponzi scheme. Whether the project intended to be that way or not from the outset remains to be seen I'm afraid.

I've really been hoping there would be a day when the FTC would take note of how much money SC was rapidly accumulating; investigate and maybe even oversee the business. Especially since this type of business model is extremely new and untested in the real marketplace. Alot of consumers and "investors" stand to get seriously burned over this. I don't feel this way because I've ever wanted to see SC fail, but rather that Federal or 3rd party oversight and intervention may be the only thing that will ever actually guarantee a finished product ever gets released.

I really would like to see Star Citizen finished one day, maybe even fulfilling half of its promised hype and features. But where others are willing to throw armloads of cash at Chris Roberts, I'd rather sit back hoping all is delivered as promised and keep my fingers crossed for good measure!

Aever Avatar
1 Year ago

Dunno about that, haven't followed the person. But the way he keeps taking people's money for years, w/o having anything resembling a finished product, looks increasingly dubious to me.

So .. for the love of God, stop this crap. Decide what you need for a release, do that, leave the "stretch goals" for later patches an release the damn thing while we're still young and able to play it.

natefunk Avatar
1 Year ago

Do any of you F Tards now how long it takes to make a AAA game. Destiny took 5 years with not nearly as many features. They are only coming up on five years now and have a buttload to show for it. Why in the world would someone invest this much time and effort just to have an unreleased game.

midimaker Avatar
1 Year ago

If people want refunds they should oblige with minimal fuss. Better for PR, better for the community etc

$65 million was the target for both games + all the stretch goals and they are fast approaching double that figure, if they can't spare a few refunds then something is seriously wrong.

QDP2 Avatar
1 Year ago

If CIG give out refunds without complaints for anyone who backed over 18 months ago, it would soon turn into a flood gate as more and more people realise they shouldn't have invested such great amounts of money into a game that still doesn't deliver. It would no longer be a question of whether the game will deliver it's original pledges, but rather if the game will ever leave the beta state and be officially released.

It's a hard spot for CIG, since they would be offering up thousands to individuals who try to refund, not really the kind of disposable cash a programming team would have this late into development.

MrJinxed Avatar
1 Year ago

Fantastic. I hope more people follow this course. I'm honestly not sure we'll ever see the game in a completed state. I'm not too worried about my 30-40 dollar purchase, but there are people who have invested thousands of dollars into this scam of a product, and it's great to see them waking up from the lucid dream.

Glen_Runciter Avatar
1 Year ago

I don't think the biggest problem here is their refund policy, but the fact that people are willing to pay hundreds of dollars for a game.

We accept this, we accept that most games are simply broken on release, we accept that DLC-s cost more than the base game...

We are letting developers get away with shit that would have been unimaginable 10 years ago.

Mountain_Man Avatar
1 Year ago

"Crowd-funding" is a scam. Always has been.