UPDATE: Gameloft has identified a billing error and issued an apology to their customers.
PREVIOUS: This past weekend I purchased three games from Gameloft’s online store and to my surprise it was the first time I was able to install each game to my phone on the first try and each transaction went through without a problem. Or so I thought.
Today I got a fraud alert email from my bank because they detected irregular debit card activity. When I logged into my account to check my recent purchases, I found that Gameloft had charged me four separate times for Brothers in Arms 2. It’s one of the best game’s I’ve played on my Android phone, but I’m not quite sure it is worth the $20 that I was charged.
If this was my first negative experience with Gameloft it might be forgivable, but I have experienced problems with their online store every single time I have attempted a purchase.
It turns out I’m not the only one to experience the multiple billing issue. Another reader shared a similar story in the comments of my last Gameloft article.
MikeyDroid writes about his recent Gameloft experience, “The real issue… they triple charged my card buying the game which forced a hold / fraudulent charges on my debit card. After three emails, I haven’t received a single response in about a week. Gameloft has zero credibility with me and I’d expect a company as large as them to be able to handle such a simple task.”
Another frequent issue with Gameloft’s system is their My Downloads section of the site which lets you re-download games that you already purchased. Initially they limited your purchase to a single download, but we complained loud enough that they changed that policy.
Of the 8 games I have purchased from Gameloft, only 3 are available for me to re-download. I’ve emailed their support about the issue, but have yet to receive a response.
Finally, my last gripe with Gameloft is that they have no system in place that allows you to easily update a game after it has already been installed.
I’ve tried to be patient with Gameloft and I even reached out to their PR team several times, but I think I’m on their bad list after I wrote their online store sucked. The point of this article is not to get their attention, but to warn other customers about the frustrations they might experience if they try to buy from Gameloft.
Why is Gameloft avoiding the Google’s Android Market, but fully supporting Apple’s App Store? I wish I knew, but I’ve never been able to get a real answer. The last time I asked that question a Gameloft representative responded, “The Android platform is still rather new, we are trying out different methods of distribution to see what works best.”
The Android Market might still be considered “rather new” by some people in the industry, but at least it works. Hopefully Gameloft reconsiders their support for the Android Market and uploads more of their awesome games. In the mean time, I can not recommend buying from their online store.