My horrible experience purchasing SWTOR online from Origins & EA

by Meg on January 26, 2012


For the last couple of months, I’ve been trying to be the responsible MMO gamer and wait to purchase Star Wars The Old Republic MMO.  I initially had an order in for the full deluxe package (the $150 one), from Amazon.  Thinking better on it and knowing I needed to be productive until I got some major things accomplished, I cancelled that order.  SWTOR was going to stay off my computer until after my next move, but I changed my mind yesterday after I had heard enough of “Why aren’t you playing SWTOR yet??.” from friends.

Around 5:30pm local time, I Googled “download SWTOR,” and was directed to the Origins website.  I started the process, connected my EA & Origins accounts, made my purchase, and got this screen.

“Thank you for your order.  Your order is being processed and you will be notified of the result shortly.”

I waited about a minute.  No email.  I waited 5 minutes.  Still no email.  It seemed a little odd since most places will at least send you an almost immediate email confirming your purchase with an order number.  At this point I started exploring the Origin website and downloaded the PC client.

I installed it and sheepishly noticed the Sims 3 was there for download (yup, I just confessed that one).  I thought maybe reloading my games would bring up SWTOR.  No luck.  I clicked to try my first live tech help chat and was only able to enter one sentence before the program was telling me that I was not in chat session. Annoyed by this, I had EA support call me with their call back feature.

At this point, it was around 6:30 pm, an hour later, and the First EA Phone Support guy I talked to tells me that I have a fraud alert on my American Express card and that it wasn’t processing.  This caused some alarm and panic, although I realized I hadn’t gotten the standard email from Amex telling me about the fraud (which, btw, they are GREAT at!).  So, I call American Express and wade through the sea of menus and finally talk to someone.  The polite gentleman informs me he sees the charge and it is pending, but they have NO holds on my account.  I was relieved at no fraud, but very annoyed EA lied to me.

I decided to try the chat client again via the Origins desktop client.  Again, no working client and no working chat.  I tried looking at the Origins “store” part to check order history.  All I got was a gray screen.  After a reboot much later in the night, then I got an error, so almost nothing again.

What I saw most of the night - BLANK SCREEN

What I finally saw after reboot. Almost nothing.

I decided to have EA call me back again.  This time, after I explained my American Express was fine, the friendly guy told me that sometimes EA randomly flags accounts for extra screening and it can take a few more hours for processing, but “You’ll be able to play by the end of the night!”

I took his answer, let the massive 25gb SWTOR file choke my Internet, and went on to cooking dinner and enjoying my evening.

11:15pm, I realized NO email had come through and my download was done.  I went back on to the Origins client to try and refresh my games to get SWTOR to appear.  No luck.  I decided to attempt a reboot which accomplished two things.  The first being I now got a server error on the store part of the client (see above) and the second that the chat with support function was now working.

Wading through poor English, the chat tech support guy finally told me my order had been cancelled and that something had probably gone wrong in processing.  No explanation for why it was cancelled or by whom and no explanation for no email EVER about this.  The end solution was for me to repurchase the game without understanding why it happened.  You can read the transcript below.

At this point I was tweeting out about the whole incidence.  @SWTOR was still up and active and responded with a thread to their forums with similar issues.  I tried using the link to look up my purchase number.  What came up?  The Capcom Store with an out of stock cancelled order from last July to buy a friend a Mega Man 2 shirt.  Oy.

I am now dealing with a customer service agent this morning and have sent half a dozen emails back and forth.  He is being nice and most likely the technical issues are out of his hands but the remaining questions for me are as follows:

1) Why did I NEVER GET ANY EMAIL notification?

2) Why do they not give you a purchase # on the screen after you buy? (Look above)

3) Why was I given three different reasons to as to why my order would not complete?

4) Why did my order get cancelled and again, why did I not get an email about it?

5) What is EA/Origins willing to do to help smooth this out?

I will update once my email correspondence is finished.

So, I repurchased the game and actually DID get a confirmation email about 2 hours later.  The game is now ready to play.  Let’s hope that goes smoothly!

**FWIW – I am running Origins on Bootcamp with Windows 7 on my MacBookPro




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