I’ve been playing Burnout Paradise on my computer (the old one and the seemingly cursed new one) since August 6th. As of last week, the game started giving me an error that I couldn’t buy any downloadable content, due to one of four possible reasons:
- I was too young.
- My account was not allowed to purchase content.
- The content was not yet released.
- I was not signed in to my account.
So far as I could tell, none of those things applied. I’m certainly above the age where I need permission to purchase anything, I was signed in and the content was not only released a year ago, I’d seen it offered for my purchase just last month. I certainly hadn’t blocked myself from purchasing anything, but I also could find no information about that in my account one way or the other.
After 3 days of email, and one 40 minute chat, here are the tasks which I’ve been asked to accomplish under EA’s direction, while telling them at every step that my ACCOUNT must be borked on their end and maybe there’s a setting in there which they could check:
- Clear the cache of my internet browser. Since they couldn’t or wouldn’t tell me which browser engine is used for the in-game store, I cleared ALL of my caches in all 3 browsers (and both the 32- and 64-bit versions of IE).
- Buy content from the Playstation store. Neat trick for a PC game.
- Delete everything from my Windows temp directory. Sure, whatever.
- Kill every process running on my machine other than Explorer and Taskmgr that weren’t owned by System. Right, let me kill 90 processes – some essential – just for fun.
- Open 50 different ports in my firewall. Sure, whatever.
- Uninstall and reinstall the game, erasing all traces from the registry as well. That took a while.
- Log in to the game. Duh?
Not only are some of those things bad ideas, some are even impossible or ludicrous. If I killed every process owned by me that wasn’t Explorer, I’d effectively kill the browser I was using to communicate in the chat, as well as destabilizing my audio, video, and other hardware that has helper software. Buying content from the Playstation store for my Windows game seems bizarre in the utmost. I did uninstall and clear all registry bits and reinstall, as that MAY have been of some use. I also cleared my caches, although the utility of that option still escapes me.
Naturally, after all this time and effort, including re-downloading a 3 gigabyte file, the game still won’t allow me to purchase any DLC. I’m not even really planning to buy anything right now, I just figured after three days of seeing an error which I hadn’t seen the previous three weeks, there must be something WRONG that might need seein’ to. This morning, they finally elevated this to second-level tech support. WTF? You would think my telling them that purchasing Playstation content for my Windows machine was ludicrous would cause them to elevate it, but no. What finally put it over the top is when, on email #10 or so, the tech dork actually said I had to log in with my email address to access the game. This is after I’d told them many times that the GAME was fine, the online-gaming portion was fine, the in-game browser was fine, it was just the in-game store which was broken, and gave an error indicating an ACCOUNT problem. Finally, after that email where I told them they were ridiculous for thinking that I’d somehow logged in with someone else’s email address (which the game won’t allow and the game doesn’t use email addresses anyway), they finally said, “Oh, let me elevate this.”
I think the takeaway from this experience is, “If you buy an EA game, hope you never have problems.”