Monday, October 15, 2012

Survey Says: EA Screws Up Again

Tags: surveys, ea, vidoe games

Electronic Arts is arguably the most hated video game company on the planet.  Some of that hate is warranted, some of it is not.  This last weekend, EA decided to tips the scales even more toward the deserved hate end of the scale as they completely botched a survey promotion they were running.

The promotion was pretty straightfoward.  EA put up a marketing survey that granted people a $20 coupon code upon completion.  That coupon was good for games $19.99 and up, which means you could potentially nab a free game after filling out the survey.  So far so good, except that the coupon codes were universal (meaning that they could be posted online for others to use without actually completing the survey) as well as being reusable.  Soon, EA had thousands of codes being redeemed by people that had never taken the survey and codes being reused over and over again by the same people to get multiple free games.  Once EA found out, they shut down the codes.

Luckily, for those that already redeemed their codes (legitimately or not), EA has promised to still honor the orders.  Unfortunately, while EA shut down new redemptions of the coupon code, they continued to leave the marketing survey up that promised the $20 coupon code.  So basically, EA continued to take people's time and data while falsely promising them a $20 coupon code.  As you can imagine, this left a lot of people rightly pissed of.

Some of you may be thinking "So what, people spend a few minutes filling out a survey and think they are entitled to a free game.  Big deal!"  But the amount of time required to fill out a survey and the amount of compensation has no bearing on whether or not EA is basically scamming people.  Even if the survey took five seconds to complete, people are being falsely promised something for their time.  I'd imagine a fairly sizeable lawsuit will be heading EA's way in the near future. 

All EA had to do was shut down BOTH the coupon code AND the survey at the same time and everything would have been fine.  Instead, they apparently would rather ensure their legacy as the most hated video game company in the world.