utterly rediculous gameloft support / ms does not shine either :(

I am really at my wits end - and fuming at that, so please bear with me for a rant but I think this is still worthwhile posting as it might spare you guys an ordeal!

Towards the end of last year I bought the Gameloft title "Total Conquest" on my Lumia 920, which was plagued with a ludicrous amount of bugs: Constant crashes, network problems, not letting you connect etc. etc. In itself that’d be an entire thread, but let’s not go into that as I’d like to focus on gameloft’s service (mal)practice. Three months in - and having spent a substantial amount of cash in the process - I log in one day and find my game gone, more precisely looking at someone else’s game at a very early stage – a server bug. Looking at their forums I see I am not alone on this, as there are tons of people with the same problem – and heck their forums are boiling!

Ok, stuff like that can happen, so I contact Gameloft’s support via email. An automated response is triggered telling me they’re working on this – but nothing happens. Next one up: I contact support through the app itself, same autoresponse, same nothing. Weeks pass, I contact them on all possible service-channels again without any avail. 72 emails in total are sent on my part, all I get is hollow "We are working on this, please give us more time" responses clearly designed to drag things out forever rather than finding an answer. More than one and a half months in I start calling their support: Three times some utterly clueless person in some remote country simply hung up on me (!!), but after 72 emails, 10 phone calls and 25 forum posts I FINALLY have someone on the line who said they know about the fault in their server and he fully acknowledged it is Gamelofts fault. He then offered a full cash refund, for which I'd simply have to contact Microsoft - he even sent a list of steps I have to go through and forwards me an email stating it is their fault and that MS should refund me! Fair enough, I think, let’s do that.

So now mails start to go back and forth between Microsoft support and myself – this time with short response times and very polite people, but equally futile: So far I got four responses that Microsoft is not able or willing to compensate me - inspite of the written consent by the developer himself, which I forwarded to MS support in the process. I get back in contact with gameloft two more times (people again simply hung up on me – fantastic business practice!), talk to two different support representatives and again am assured they would gladly refund the money, but that this has to go through Microsoft's channels. At this point I am willing to believe them - after all: It is MS who bills me... Twice more I have since gotten replies from Microsoft in this case simply saying that they cannot refund me without giving me reason.

So this is where I stand: Almost two months of going through two large company’s ‘support’ channels. I'd really be hard pressed to even call it ‘support’. It is more like an intricate network of auto-resonses, fake support contacts, dead phone lines etc. invented for the sole purpose of fending people with legitimate complaints off. With regards to MS I am massively disappointed as well: How can something that takes Apple less than a week - i.e. a full cash refund for something I spent money on and did not receive - be impossible for Microsoft? Did they still not get it is support that keeps people in an ecosystem? Someone please tell me because I am unwilling to let this go - and if it is just because I genuinely have the feeling I am treated like in the mid-90ies when monopolies prevented any true form of support.

SO, if you want to spend money on an FTP title: Better do that on titles NOT developed by Gameloft (or at least NOT Total Conquest) – or play it without spending a single dime on it. This is as close to a scam I have ever gotten and despite their forums are boiling with people calling for lawsuits having lost more than I have they clearly don’t give a damn. With regards to MS the lesson to be learned seems to be that inspite of their efforts so far, support sadly does not seem to be up to par when compared to Apple, yet.