This week, Aussie-Gamer broke the story about EA ripping off Australian customers with their Battlefield 3 Premium marketing.
The game publishing giant advertised the price of the Premium service as “$49.99/4000 Microsoft Points” for the Australian market. The problem is that they actually charged customers a very different price.
PlayStation 3 owners were charged a whopping AU$79.95. Xbox 360 users found that 4000 Microsoft Points actually translates to AU$66. PC owners, however, are able to buy the game at AU$49.99 as advertised.
Following consumer outrage, EA lowered the extremely high PlayStation 3 pricing to a slightly more reasonable AU$64.95 – but continued to advertise the price online at AU$49.99.
Aussie-Gamer: What specifically causes the difference in price in the Australian PlayStation/Xbox Live stores? After all, players on PC are being charged AU$49.99 in Australia.
Snezana Stojanovska: Sorry, but we won’t be answering any questions about pricing.
A-G: Why is EA still advertising the price as being AU$49.99 on their websites?
SS: The Origin team is updating this to include the Xbox and PS3 pricing. The price for the PC version is still $49.99 though.
A-G: Some users have expressed they feel cheated by having to re-purchase the “Back to Karkand” expansion again when they buy Premium. Can you please comment on this?
SS: Battlefield 3 fans that previously purchased Back to Karkand and then sign up for Battlefield 3 Premium still see an overall savings compared to buying each digital expansion pack separately. Plus, they get access to all the other great features Premium offers.
Aussie-Gamer also believes after conversations with consumer watchdog ACCC that some users who purchased the product after being mislead by EA’s advertising are entitled to a full refund if they wish. We asked EA for information regarding the process of initiating a refund and were told they will get back to us.
We will update with details as they come in.