Ubisoft thinks it's above the law. I've tried to contact them through Customer support rather than Live Chat, and even then I was given scripted responses and they refused to tell me how to actually get into contact with anyone. If you purchased any armor sets that had Diamond slots removed then you are a victim too. Below is the one sided conversation I had with customer "support".
TL;DR: Ubisoft knows it broke the law, put no effort into response, refuse to tell us who needs to be contacted.
As of February 16th 2021 the product was changed with patch 1.1.2 and it states:
"BALANCE: Removed diamond rune slots from gear set pieces other than torsos"
I purchased the "Gothic Pack" which included an armor set that had it's stats and slots advertised when viewing the product. The diamond rune slots were a contributing factor when I purchased the "Gothic Pack" on January 16th 2021.
I would like the set that I paid for changed back to how it was when I purchased it as I did not agree to having the DLC changed.
When you buy digital good(s) you are buying what is known as a Perpetual License.
A perpetual license is a good and a product, and whenever a perpetual license is sold it undergoes transfer of ownership upon the point of sale. Whoever owns a perpetual license owns the instance of software it grants a right to use the intellectual property (IP) of. After the transfer of ownership of a perpetual licensed software, the seller of the license no longer holds any rightful say over anything regarding that non-reproduceable instance of software represented by its perpetual license.
I went over the EULA and I came across this;
"UBISOFT may modify the Product for any reason or without any specific reason, at any time and at its entire discretion, in particular for technical reasons such as updates, maintenance operations and/or resets to improve and/or optimize the Product. You agree that the Product may install or download the modifications automatically. You agree that UBISOFT may stop to support previous versions of the Product upon availability of an updated version. UBISOFT’s channel partners and associated service providers shall have no obligation to furnish any maintenance or customer support with respect to the Product. UBISOFT also reserves the right to amend the Rules of Conduct set out in Section 1 to place limits on the use of the Product."
Ubisoft is well within their rights to change the Gothic Pack that they sell in the shops, but the moment they retroactively changed the content that was purchased by anyone before February 16th 2021 was a breach of contract. This doesn't mean you can change/remove an advertised feature of a product.
Also in Section 1 the paragraph ends with "THIS PRODUCT IS LICENSED TO YOU, NOT SOLD." We were SOLD a perpetual license.
The issue goes beyond everything mentioned.
The decision to change the rune slots on the armors was made public on January 22, 2021. Three days after the release of the "Gothic" armor and two months after the first set with diamond slots was sold. Between January 22nd and February 16th two more Armor sets were released that would also have the slots changed. The fact that the only way to be privy to this knowledge is if you had visited the forums and went to a specific section that stated the change was being made and nowhere in the actual game is disingenuous at best.
I would like the product I was sold a perpetual license restored to the way it was advertised and sold as but if that's not optional I'd be willing to settle for a reimbursement of the Helix points used to purchase the pack, or a refund for the Helix credits.
Ubisoft's Response (Ubi-Lumina)
Thank you for contacting Ubisoft Customer Support. I hope that you are doing well!
Please note that we cannot address legal policies with you. As it turns out, Customer Support would have no ability to revert the change to the Gothic Pack, but we will be forwarding this feedback up to the proper individuals for review. We greatly appreciate the passion you have for our games.
That being said, in-game purchases would be final and cannot be reverted, or refunded. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.
If you have any further problems, questions, or concerns, please feel free to contact us.
You state that you cannot address legal policies and yet you acknowledge that a product I purchase a perpetual license for had been changed after the point of sale.
If the in-game purchase was finalized then the item wouldn't/couldn't have been changed in the first place. This sounds like an admission of guilt as you clearly are sticking with a pre-made script in regards to the issue at hand.
Next you say that you will forward my issue to the proper individual who can review the "feedback". Customer service was the only given option to talk about such issues and if no one here is able to help then how do I get in contact with a person who has a say in the matter? Telling me that you will tell someone about a problem rather than directing me makes me think that nothing will come of it.
The link you post means nothing. Just because it states "in-game stores are final and not eligible for refunds." does not mean that Ubisoft has the right to change the contents of the product I purchased without my consent.
A perpetual license is a good and a product, and whenever a perpetual license is sold it undergoes transfer of ownership upon the point of sale.
Whoever owns a perpetual license owns the instance of software it grants a right to use the intellectual property (IP) of.
After the transfer of ownership of a perpetual licensed software, the seller of the license no longer holds any rightful say over anything regarding that non-reproduceable instance of software represented by its perpetual license.
Ownership over a thing is what establishes one's decision-making authority over the thing.
To sell something is to relinquish it as one's property and to relinquish all of one's decision-making authority over that thing and to transfer decision-making authority over that thing to the person who bought the thing.
Anything sold via a perpetual (meaning non-exhausting, eternal, lasting-forever) license is a product that becomes the sole possession of whoever purchases it, and upon its purchase all property rights including all decision-making authority transfer from the seller to the purchaser. And then the seller no longer has any rightful say over anything regarding that non-reproduceable instance of software represented by its perpetual license.
Ubisoft's Response (Ubi-Crow)
Thank you for contacting Ubisoft Customer Support. I will be assisting you today.
I am sorry to hear about your experience.
Your feedback has been marked as a complaint and will be escalated up to the development team so they are aware of the complaint.
We very much appreciate your passion for our games and hope that you continue to enjoy them.
Please let us know if you have any further questions or concerns.
You say that my complaint will now be escalated to the development team, but why wasn't this the case from the very first message?
The issue of altering an item that was legally purchased (specifically because of advertised features that were changed) perpetual license. This isn't just an issue with myself, but every single person whom purchased an armor set that was unrightfully changed.
This makes the Ubisoft liable and considering how many people may have bought the perpetual license opens up a potential class action lawsuit situation. So I ask again, how is this only NOW being escalated?
Ubisoft's Response (Ubi-Lumina)
Thank you for getting back to us in regards to this situation.
Please note that it is only your feedback regarding this matter that is being escalated to the development team as a complaint. This situation would still be in effect as the changes made to the Gothic pack are working as intended.
In this regard, no further actions can be taken on this matter. If you have any further problems, questions, or concerns, please feel free to inquire about them.
So basically what you're telling me is that nothing will be done and Ubisoft has no intentions of reimbursing all of the people they committed Fraud against when they decided to alter a perpetual licensed digital download after it had be legally purchased?
I have already voiced the concern of the issue on the forums and the developers chose to ignore the post and to make the changes in spite of the legality being pointed out before the changes were ever made.
I also contacted Ubisoft via the support chat on January 24th 2021 (CASE NUMBER XXXXXXXX) and it apparently went no where either.
In the Ubisoft's Store Terms of Sale under section 8.2 it states the following,
"NOTWITHSTANDING THE FOREGOING, THESE DISCLAIMERS DO NOT EXCLUDE ANY PRODUCT LIABILITY CLAIMS, STATUTORY CONSUMER RIGHTS, DAMAGES ASSOCIATED WITH PERSONAL INJURY OR RESULTING FROM INTENTIONAL MISCONDUCT, RECKLESSNESS, FRAUD, OR GROSS NEGLIGENCE BY UBISOFT."
This means in spite of the information just mentioned or stated (section 😎 these disclaimers do not exclude any product of the issues listed above.
PRODUCT LIABILITY CLAIM: After the notice was posted on the forums that the Armor sets were being altered from what was being advertised two addition sets were posted with the same advertised slots, and the customers were never given a warning that the product was never intended to have the slots advertised.
(warning or/and Labeling Defects Product Liability Claim)
STATUTORY CONSUMER RIGHTS: The Consumer Rights Act gives you the statutory right to return something and get your money back if it's faulty. Your 30 day right to return You have the legal right to a refund if you return your faulty good within 30 days of receiving it, regardless of what the store's return policy says. Your consumer returns rights after 30 days.
I bought the product on January 16th 2020 and requested a refund on January 24th 2020 after I was informed of the changes to my purchase that I had no say in. I was refused a refund in spite of the purchase being well within the 30 day return timeline.
DAMAGES ASSOCIATED RESULTING FROM INTENTIONAL MISCONDUCT:
Intentional misconduct means conduct whereby harm is intentionally caused or attempted to be caused by one who acts or fails to act for the purpose of causing harm or with knowledge that harm is substantially certain to follow when such conduct caused or substantially contributed to the harm claimed for.
Ubisoft sold armor sets after publicly acknowledging (on the Ubisoft website but never in the store where the content was being sold) the slots were being altered from what was advertised. Ubisoft failed to act for the purpose of causing harm by letting the products be sold intentionally "broken" to insure more were bought before the damage (balancing) was implemented.
RECKLESSNESS: lack of regard for the danger or consequences of one's actions
Ubisoft sold content with the intention of altering said content and claimed they don't have to do anything because they wrote " No Refunds".
FRAUD: Wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain
Selling items with advertised information that was never intended to result in financial gain.
GROSS NEGLIGENCE: a conscious and voluntary disregard of the need to use reasonable care
Sold items that were under a perpetual license and have no intention of holding up their side of the bargain. Trying to strip the consumer of there legal rights.
I'm not a lawyer but I truly believe that Ubisoft is acting with malicious intent.
If Ubisoft isn't willing to even acknowledge the situation then perhaps the best course of action would be to talk with my lawyer to find out how to proceed from this point.
Ubisoft's Response (Ubi-Chimp)
Hi there The-Foxhounded,
I'm sorry but we absolutely cannot address legal policy with you in any matters.
Your feedback has already been forwarded up but that is the extent of what can be done here.
If legal policy continues to be addressed, we will not be able to reply to this case.
If this is the extent to what you can do then where can I get ahold of someone who can actually discuss the issue? There isn't any listed contact information and opening cases/live chat doesn't seem to actually mean customer support, but rather technical support.
Ubisoft's Response (Ubi-Chimp)
Hey again The-Foxhounded,
Sadly we cannot forward you to someone for this issue. It is correct that we are more here for technical support.
I know this wasn't the answer you were hoping for but it is the situation we are in.
End of Conversation
This isn't just about the $20 I paid for the armor pack anymore, this is about holding Ubisoft responsible for making illegal alterations to perpetual licensed content that they have no authority to change. This is the type of change that needs to be called out. If we let them get away with doing this then they could get away with selling a season pass, advertising four new locations and only giving two. The way they have their EULA made up is nothing but a scare tactic that isn't enforceable.
EULAs are not laws but are subject to laws. Corporations do not possess law-making powers. Many EULAs are not written by legal experts but by people who just see the formats of previous EULAs and make assumptions from seeing those about what the nature of an EULA is, and then just copy and paste the terms they like the sound of from other EULAs. Many EULAs even from large companies contain made-up and non legally-enforceable stuff in them. Considering that it is even unreasonable to expect people to read EULAs, there is a question of how could an EULA-based argument pass the "reasonable person" or "the man on the Clapham omnibus" legal tests. An EULA can often be nothing more than an extremely long-winded and self-aggrandizing equivalent of printing a © symbol, with the parts of it that reach beyond the meaning of a © symbol being invalid.
EULAs are also used as a tool of manipulation to psychologically ward off potential challenges and to provoke the type of customer behaviour a publisher wishes there to be, by claiming, or, by phrasing things (without outright saying them) in a way that suggests publisher rights and powers beyond what actually exist. There are countless examples of this, but one very familiar one is "this software is licensed, not sold", which plays on the semantics of "software".
An EULA and a Terms of Service (ToS) are not the same thing. An EULA purports to apply to a good you've purchased and own, to impose conditions on how you use your own property, and so is invalid. A Terms of Service applies to a service, owned by someone else, that you use via a subscription license or a free account, and so a ToS can be valid. Someone else isn't entitled to set terms for your usage of your own property, which is what an EULA tries to do but they are entitled to set the terms over your usage of their own property, which is what a ToS aims to do. However, a ToS can still be invalid depending on what terms it claims. If a ToS tries to add in conditions about your usage of your own property, such as software you've purchased or perhaps modification of your hardware, then at least that part of it is invalid. Just as how some perpetual-license software might include a component that requires a subscription-license for its typical usage (as with some MMOs), a software good that you own might have an online component to which a ToS applies for the sake of accessing 3rd-party servers, with those 3rd-party servers not being a part of your ownership of the base game software you purchased.
Ownership over a thing is what establishes one's decision-making authority over the thing. To sell something is to relinquish it as one's property and to relinquish all of one's decision-making authority over that thing and to transfer decision-making authority over that thing to the person who bought the thing. Anything sold via a perpetual (meaning non-exhausting, eternal, lasting-forever) license is a product that becomes the sole possession of whoever purchases it, and upon its purchase all property rights including all decision-making authority transfer from the seller to the purchaser. And then the seller no longer has any rightful say over anything regarding that non-reproduceable instance of software represented by its perpetual license.