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Misleading advertising and a win-win solution - 3/3/2021 10:46:39 PM   
Uriah

 

Posts: 9
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Yesterday I was overjoyed to receive no less than three emails telling me that WitE2 had been released. I immediately went to the Slitherine store and ordered and paid for a game. To my disappointment I found that though registered, I could not download the game.

It took me some time to find Slitherine's explanation on this forum. While I accept the explanation that the emails issued in error, I am still not happy.

Firstly because today I received another identical email. Slitherine may have apologised for its error, but it has not fixed it.

Secondly, no matter how one looks at it, customers have been led by false or misleading advertising material to pay Slitherine for a product they had been told was available, only to find it is not available. Normally this would be satisfied by a complete refund of all monies paid as a result of the advertising.

It is worth noting that Slitherine has a strict policy that once a product has been ordered no refund will be given. That is fair enough - I have purchased goods on that basis and have no problems with such a policy. But surely the opposite should be also operate: that once payment has been made for a product that the product should be supplied?

I understand that the game is intended to be released in 3 weeks. That would imply that it is at least almost at its final form.

Why not compensate those who feel they have been misled by allowing those who have a game registered to download the game in its current form? If there are some cosmetic changes in the next few weeks those games can be updated at the formal release date.

That would not cost Slitherine much if anything at all, and would satisfy those, like myself, who feel a bit annoyed that Slitherine could allow such emails to not only be issued but continue to be issued.

How about it Slitherine? Balance to books, apologise for your error and take action to placate those who could claim they have been tricked into paying you cash early?
Post #: 1
RE: Misleading advertising and a win-win solution - 3/3/2021 11:07:46 PM   
Narisomo

 

Posts: 43
Joined: 2/25/2021
Status: offline
If some get to download and play the release version in advance, others will complain and be dissatisfied.

You should be allowed to cancel, especially since not even a game was downloaded. But how many would cancel it instead of waiting three weeks?

(in reply to Uriah)
Post #: 2
RE: Misleading advertising and a win-win solution - 3/3/2021 11:31:09 PM   
ObeseMonkey

 

Posts: 83
Joined: 6/5/2020
Status: offline
If you were eager enough that you brought it without any research into the matter (one of the top posts before pre order was 'When?' which clearly detailed it was releasing May 25th, as well as a stream saying the same, and saying pre-order was going to be a thing), then surely you can wait just 3 weeks. Thats all it is, 3 weeks today. Hardly anytime at all, and hardly false advertising, merely a mess up on what is (as far as I'm aware) the first ever pre-order Matrix have done.

Had the release been months away, thats different, and a refund should be offered. But if you brought it yesterday surely you would've brought it in 3 weeks, thus why even ask for a refund? I don't understand the issue.

As for playing early, why? Its 3 weeks! It'll take me that long to get through the manual!

< Message edited by ObeseMonkey -- 3/3/2021 11:33:41 PM >

(in reply to Narisomo)
Post #: 3
RE: Misleading advertising and a win-win solution - 3/3/2021 11:42:50 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

Posts: 36893
Joined: 3/28/2000
From: Vermont, USA
Status: online
We've actually been working hard to make up for that. Let me walk you all through what happened.

We have a relatively new Wishlist system for our store and a relatively new Preorder system for our store. Unfortunately, they combination of those two was not fully tested, hence when the product went up for pre-order, the e-mails said that it was released and it was also set live without the pre-order discount. However, the store page and order system clearly said that it was a pre-order, not a release. We've also been going through and manually refunding the difference in price for those that did not receive the discount.

quote:

Firstly because today I received another identical email. Slitherine may have apologised for its error, but it has not fixed it.


Was it fully identical to the first one? The re-send today was meant to decrease confusion as it should have had the correct information that this was a pre-order, NOT a release.

quote:

Secondly, no matter how one looks at it, customers have been led by false or misleading advertising material to pay Slitherine for a product they had been told was available, only to find it is not available. Normally this would be satisfied by a complete refund of all monies paid as a result of the advertising.


The store clearly said pre-order, not released. The e-mail was in error. With that said, if you ordered thinking you would get immediate access to the game I am happy to refund you as it was our error that led you to believe that. Please contact support@matrixgames.com and reference this post for them.

quote:

Why not compensate those who feel they have been misled by allowing those who have a game registered to download the game in its current form? If there are some cosmetic changes in the next few weeks those games can be updated at the formal release date.


Sorry, this is not an option. We're still finalizing the release candidate and we won't be releasing something that hasn't been through the final QA steps to paying customers.

Regards,

- Erik




_____________________________

Erik Rutins
CEO, Matrix Games LLC




For official support, please use our Help Desk: http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk/

Freedom is not Free.

(in reply to ObeseMonkey)
Post #: 4
RE: Misleading advertising and a win-win solution - 3/4/2021 12:06:58 AM   
Sigwolfe


Posts: 26
Joined: 11/15/2019
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

We've actually been working hard to make up for that. Let me walk you all through what happened.

We have a relatively new Wishlist system for our store and a relatively new Preorder system for our store. Unfortunately, they combination of those two was not fully tested, hence when the product went up for pre-order, the e-mails said that it was released and it was also set live without the pre-order discount. However, the store page and order system clearly said that it was a pre-order, not a release. We've also been going through and manually refunding the difference in price for those that did not receive the discount.

quote:

Firstly because today I received another identical email. Slitherine may have apologised for its error, but it has not fixed it.


Was it fully identical to the first one? The re-send today was meant to decrease confusion as it should have had the correct information that this was a pre-order, NOT a release.



It appears you guys *really* need someone to proof-read your e-mails before you send them out. Meant to decrease confusion? The full subject line of the e-mail I received at 0900 EST this morning... "Gary Grigsby's War in the East 2 has been released!", which is identical to the two sent yesterday. The first two lines of said e-mail after the greeting... "Gary Grigsby's War in the East 2 has been released!
We are sending you this email to let you know that this game has been released!!"

It does differ in the fact that it reflected to 10% discount, but nowhere in the e-mail does it indicate it is a pre-order. Quite the opposite.

Now understand I know that it is a preorder, as I have already done so, but someone at Slitherine needs to address the ongoing problems with your e-mail system. I am currently awaiting an answer from support as to why I stopped receiving detailed receipts this year when a purchase was made. This have never been in issue before in the 6+ years I have been buying from you. The only e-mail I received after the preorder literally had a large blank space after "The order is for following items:" with no other information other than my shipping address.

There is a communication problem at Slitherine.





< Message edited by Sigwolfe -- 3/4/2021 12:07:57 AM >

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 5
RE: Misleading advertising and a win-win solution - 3/4/2021 1:08:08 AM   
jacktimes2


Posts: 152
Joined: 7/11/2015
From: NY
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

We've actually been working hard to make up for that.



I can personally attest to this, and would like to chronicle my own experience.

1) I admittedly didn't take issue with the erroneous release date announcement, as I've been following this game's development so closely that I knew the date before purchasing, and bought the game before checking my email inbox. I did also notice the March 25th release date on the page where I entered my credit card info, for what it's worth.

2) The 10% preorder/early order discount. I was entirely unaware of it prior to purchasing. They wrote to me that they would refund it within 14 days. More on that later.

3) The Royal Mail vs. DPD shipping issue. I bought the physical edition because I want that tome. I foolhardily chose Royal Mail, thinking the more expensive option would get it to me more quickly. Wrong. Thanks to Erik for the clarification on the reality of that. Following his advice, I emailed Slitherine support, who changed the shipping option without me needing to cancel and reorder. They also said they'd refund me the difference, again within 14 days.

4) I was refunded both the preorder discount and shipping cost difference today, less than 24 hours after opening my first ticket with Matrix. I have 100 pages of the manual to read over the next 3 weeks, after which I can start playing the game. I'll get the hardcover manual when it gets here, reading the PDF in the meantime.

I buy a lot of games, (if you don't believe me, ask my wife). This was one of the easiest, quickest turnarounds I've ever experienced as a customer. Thanks again to everyone who helped me.

< Message edited by jacktimes2 -- 3/4/2021 1:18:46 AM >

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 6
RE: Misleading advertising and a win-win solution - 3/4/2021 2:22:44 AM   
Uriah

 

Posts: 9
Joined: 1/12/2011
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Thank you Mr Rutins for your prompt post in reply to the initial post on this thread. I accept your statement that you do not wish to release the game as is, though I am afraid I don't understand your reasoning. How would your "paying customers" be adversely affected by receiving the game early with an update to release standard on the release date? Your mention of the "release candidate" is even more confusing. You are three weeks away from release date - surely you are are at least at stable release? But anyway, whatever the label, the game must be playable at this stage.

I also accept your explanation of how the issue arose. But that is not the real problem. It is that you have not fixed the problem. As I said in my initial post, it was the arrival of an "identical" post this morning that I found annoying. You state that the follow up post was to clarify. Below is a copy of the text from the fourth email I received. I challenge you to explain how that corrects the view that the game has been released.


Hello Uriah
Gary Grigsby's War in the East 2 has been released!
We are sending you this email to let you know that this game has been released!!



Gary Grigsby's War in the East 2
Special Sale! Offers ends 03 Mar 14:05 GMT
-10% off
$ 79.99
$ 71.99
Specific pricing and discounts may be subject to change. Please check the Slitherine store page for details.
You're receiving this email because the item(s) above are on your Slitherine Wishlist
If you prefer not to receive wishlist notification mails in the future, you can modify your email preferences or unsubscribe from wishlist notifications


Somewhere in your organisation there is a breakdown. You are consistently advertising as ready for sale goods you still have under development. That you apologise is good, but it is normal in business to make some sort of gesture to show that the apology is not just words. I know that were I to inform all my customers/clients that their orders were ready, only to have to admit that they were not, it would create an obligation on me to make some sort of reparation. That would be increased were I to do it again the next day.

If, for some reason that is not clear, you feel that the relatively painless option of allowing those who have already paid for the game to have access to the latest version is not viable, then perhaps you could release the entire manual to those who have registered the game. I am trying to find a way for you to show the apology is genuine without incurring costs. As I said before, an apology without an accompanying gesture is just words.

(in reply to jacktimes2)
Post #: 7
RE: Misleading advertising and a win-win solution - 3/4/2021 4:21:13 AM   
SigUp

 

Posts: 1062
Joined: 11/29/2012
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Considering that the product page clearly states "Pre-Order" and it is again clearly saying "Pre-Order" once you've put the product into the shopping cart, aren't you acting somewhat unfair and unreasonable by only making demands but not admitting any sort of responsibility on your part, in that you did not pay full attention when ordering?

(in reply to Uriah)
Post #: 8
RE: Misleading advertising and a win-win solution - 3/4/2021 5:27:56 AM   
ErickRepie

 

Posts: 32
Joined: 11/6/2019
From: Indonesia
Status: offline
I think the sign Pre-Orders is quite large and visible too ...

(in reply to SigUp)
Post #: 9
RE: Misleading advertising and a win-win solution - 3/4/2021 8:29:24 AM   
Searry

 

Posts: 811
Joined: 1/24/2014
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Wasn't this guy offered a refund despite the usual policy. Really weird.

(in reply to ErickRepie)
Post #: 10
RE: Misleading advertising and a win-win solution - 3/4/2021 8:53:20 AM   
Sardaukar


Posts: 9569
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Status: offline
My heart bleeds.

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(in reply to Searry)
Post #: 11
RE: Misleading advertising and a win-win solution - 3/4/2021 9:02:40 AM   
Hanny


Posts: 426
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This is actually rather important, misleading or false advertising can incur severe penalty’s, advertising standard agency’s look this kind of thing all the time, and you don’t want them looking at you.

_____________________________

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

(in reply to Sardaukar)
Post #: 12
RE: Misleading advertising and a win-win solution - 3/4/2021 10:50:35 AM   
ObeseMonkey

 

Posts: 83
Joined: 6/5/2020
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It is not false advertising, nor could it be considered such as it very clearly says on the store pay ‘Pre-Order’ highlighted. It also says this prior to finalising purchase, and in the Matrix store news feed thing.

Some responsibility has to be on the customer, and in this case I think it’s clear the customer did not properly read ALL the info before buying. He’s been offered a refund and yet seems to of ignored this gesture.

Ultimately though, I don’t see the issue since the game is so close to release! Why is it people are so impatient nowadays...

(in reply to Hanny)
Post #: 13
RE: Misleading advertising and a win-win solution - 3/4/2021 11:04:14 AM   
RFalvo69


Posts: 1343
Joined: 7/11/2013
From: Lamezia Terme (Italy)
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: ObeseMonkey

It is not false advertising, nor could it be considered such as it very clearly says on the store pay ‘Pre-Order’ highlighted. It also says this prior to finalising purchase, and in the Matrix store news feed thing.

Some responsibility has to be on the customer, and in this case I think it’s clear the customer did not properly read ALL the info before buying. He’s been offered a refund and yet seems to of ignored this gesture.

Ultimately though, I don’t see the issue since the game is so close to release! Why is it people are so impatient nowadays...

Maybe because an unusually big part of them have an unusual amount of free time these days...

_____________________________

"Yes darling, I served in the Navy for eight years. I was a cook..."
"Oh dad... so you were a God-damned cook?"

(My 10 years old daughter after watching "The Hunt for Red October")

(in reply to ObeseMonkey)
Post #: 14
RE: Misleading advertising and a win-win solution - 3/4/2021 1:40:51 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

Posts: 36893
Joined: 3/28/2000
From: Vermont, USA
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: Sigwolfe
It appears you guys *really* need someone to proof-read your e-mails before you send them out. Meant to decrease confusion? The full subject line of the e-mail I received at 0900 EST this morning... "Gary Grigsby's War in the East 2 has been released!", which is identical to the two sent yesterday. The first two lines of said e-mail after the greeting... "Gary Grigsby's War in the East 2 has been released!
We are sending you this email to let you know that this game has been released!!"

It does differ in the fact that it reflected to 10% discount, but nowhere in the e-mail does it indicate it is a pre-order. Quite the opposite.

Now understand I know that it is a preorder, as I have already done so, but someone at Slitherine needs to address the ongoing problems with your e-mail system. I am currently awaiting an answer from support as to why I stopped receiving detailed receipts this year when a purchase was made. This have never been in issue before in the 6+ years I have been buying from you. The only e-mail I received after the preorder literally had a large blank space after "The order is for following items:" with no other information other than my shipping address.

There is a communication problem at Slitherine.


Well, I agree, clearly something is not working as intended in our mailing system and it's also clear that somehow our internal communications are not resulting in the intended actions.

I understood how one incorrect e-mail went out initially, but we're investigating this morning to find out the cause for all of this and make sure it stops and won't happen again.

It would be very helpful if you could forward to me at erikr@matrixgames.com all the WITE2-related e-mails you've received for the past few days so that I can see exactly what they said and the date/time they were sent and to which e-mail address they went. Thank you in advance and apologies for the confusion this has caused.

Regards,

- Erik


_____________________________

Erik Rutins
CEO, Matrix Games LLC




For official support, please use our Help Desk: http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk/

Freedom is not Free.

(in reply to Sigwolfe)
Post #: 15
RE: Misleading advertising and a win-win solution - 3/4/2021 1:41:32 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

Posts: 36893
Joined: 3/28/2000
From: Vermont, USA
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: jacktimes2
I buy a lot of games, (if you don't believe me, ask my wife). This was one of the easiest, quickest turnarounds I've ever experienced as a customer. Thanks again to everyone who helped me.


Thank you very much for that, we're doing our best to try to ensure a great customer experience even in cases where something like this happens (which is fortunately not the norm!).


_____________________________

Erik Rutins
CEO, Matrix Games LLC




For official support, please use our Help Desk: http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk/

Freedom is not Free.

(in reply to jacktimes2)
Post #: 16
RE: Misleading advertising and a win-win solution - 3/4/2021 1:47:40 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

Posts: 36893
Joined: 3/28/2000
From: Vermont, USA
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: Uriah
Thank you Mr Rutins for your prompt post in reply to the initial post on this thread. I accept your statement that you do not wish to release the game as is, though I am afraid I don't understand your reasoning. How would your "paying customers" be adversely affected by receiving the game early with an update to release standard on the release date? Your mention of the "release candidate" is even more confusing. You are three weeks away from release date - surely you are are at least at stable release? But anyway, whatever the label, the game must be playable at this stage.


I didn't say the game wasn't playable, but I'm not willing to fix confusion that was caused by insufficient QA by shortcutting another extremely important QA process. An early release without final QA due to an e-mail announcement glitch would only risk causing more issues.

quote:

I also accept your explanation of how the issue arose. But that is not the real problem. It is that you have not fixed the problem. As I said in my initial post, it was the arrival of an "identical" post this morning that I found annoying. You state that the follow up post was to clarify. Below is a copy of the text from the fourth email I received. I challenge you to explain how that corrects the view that the game has been released.


I agree, it clearly doesn't correct the original problem, although it was intended to. We're investigating right now to find out how that happened and whether this is an automation issue, a miscommunication issue or some kind of manual human error.

It would be very helpful if you could forward to me at erikr@matrixgames.com all the WITE2-related e-mails you've received for the past few days so that I can see exactly what they said and the date/time they were sent and to which e-mail address they went. Thank you in advance and apologies for the confusion this has caused.

quote:

Somewhere in your organisation there is a breakdown. You are consistently advertising as ready for sale goods you still have under development. That you apologise is good, but it is normal in business to make some sort of gesture to show that the apology is not just words. I know that were I to inform all my customers/clients that their orders were ready, only to have to admit that they were not, it would create an obligation on me to make some sort of reparation. That would be increased were I to do it again the next day.


To be clear, only these e-mails are in error. Everything on the site and store is correct and has never said "released" but always "pre-order". In terms of making a gesture, we are happy to offer you a full refund as I said earlier along with my apology. There will not be an early release as explained above, that would be far from a painless or risk-free process.

We are continuing to post preview sections of the manual, with another going live later today.

Regards,

- Erik




_____________________________

Erik Rutins
CEO, Matrix Games LLC




For official support, please use our Help Desk: http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk/

Freedom is not Free.

(in reply to Uriah)
Post #: 17
RE: Misleading advertising and a win-win solution - 3/4/2021 1:56:22 PM   
bruce205


Posts: 45
Joined: 5/9/2004
From: Ohio
Status: offline
I wish to echo Jacktimes2 post as I just did what he suggested and my shipping was changed and refunded the difference very promptly!!
Thanks Matrix/Slitherine !!

Bruce

(in reply to Uriah)
Post #: 18
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