I returned a Starforce 3 game

I bought Breed recently, thinking it had some Safedisc or Securom protection, which meant it could be backed up, with patience. Turned out it had Starforce 3, making the game (as I know it) impossible to backup with current knowledge (AFAIK) and no cracks.

I took it back to the shop, and told the assistant “I’m returning this game because its protected by an absurd copy protection scheme which makes it impossible to back up, and I am within my rights to make a back up for archival/personal purposes…”

The assistant looks at me oddly for a while, and says “Please wait while I go talk to the manager about this…” Obviously he’s more used to your everyday reason like “It doesn’t work” or something.

I ask “Why?” and the assistant looks at me as though I was about to rob the store, then says “Oh, its standard procedure to do that when a customer wants to return something.” What a load of BS.

Note that this is Virgin Megastores, and I have never heard from my friends nor experienced for myself before them asking the manager if a customer can return something. In fact their store policy (in a big sign right behind the cash register) clearly states that customers are allowed a week to return goods which they are unsatisfied with, no quibbles.

So I wait. I’m 100% within my rights so I’m not worried. Eventually the store assistant comes back and accepts the return, giving me my money back. I hope the store manager took note of this and somehow the software makers hear that copy protections which limit their market by either:

  1. Making discs so non-standard with their protection schemes that some drives don’t take them and some customers can’t buy them;
  2. Piss their potential customers off by infringing on their archival/back up rights

Will mean less people buy their products.

Now let’s hope that Starforce (just like Tages did) won’t put this on their site as the proof that ‘pirates are returning games because they can’t be copied anymore’ :stuck_out_tongue:

Seriously, I think you did a good job. If you think it’s important that you are able to backup a disc and you can’t then the product isn’t satisfactionary and you deserve your money back!

The Virgin Megastore UK policy is

All within 30 days

Faulty With Reciept - Money back
Faulty No Reciept - Exchange or Vouchers

Not Faulty With Reciept - Exchange or Vouchers
Not Faulty No Reciept - Supervisors discression (either take a hike or Exchange or Vouchers)

So I suppose it depends on if they count not being able to back it up a vaild reason for it to be returned as faulty.

I agree. If enough people start returning products because either the originals don’t work on their drives because they’re so non-standard or because their rights are being violated by being unable to back up the discs, software fat cats have to take notice :wink:

“… I hope the store manager took note of this and somehow the software makers hear that copy protections which limit their market by either: …”

I think not, store managers are usually also worker helper monkeys that make about a buck or two more per hour than regular workers and dont give a rats ass, especially for big companies like Virgin Stores.

I just think you did “the right thing”. I also wish the companies’d learn something from this, but somehow I’m afraid they will not…

You could’ve said “this shitty CD doesn’t work on my system.” Most stores in my city, if any, will not allow refund if software, music, movies are opened, unless it’s damaged. And even if it’s damaged, you’ll only get an exchange.

Maybe the manager at your mega virgin didn’t even have a clue what you’re talking about, thinking it’s some damaged CD you couldn’t play on your setup.

Imagine where all the opened and returned WC3 CDs will go if people dub and return them for a refund. Hmmm…

They let you return opened software?! :confused:

They let you return opened software?!

I think it depends on your excuse, and the store’s policy. Some stores won’t accept opened goods back, period. BTW, I’m not sure if this violates the Consumer Credit Act 1995 and the Distance Selling Regulations (in the UK) because both stipulate that the consumer is allowed a cooling off period after purchasing the items.

Back to the question, even if the store does accept back opened goods, if your excuse is you don’t like the game then probably they won’t take it back. If it is because it doesn’t work, then they probably will.

Of course, if your excuse is like mine, “…I’m returning the game because of its stupid copy protection…” then they call the manager :cool:

Now let’s hope that Starforce (just like Tages did) won’t put this on their site as the proof that ‘pirates are returning games because they can’t be copied anymore’

I hope game makers and copy protection makers realise that us CDFreaks hardly fit the description of a pirate. Real pirates are in it for money, and we’ve all seen how finicky burning a working backup of a copy protected CD is. It takes time, patience and doesn’t even work all the time on different drives (or even the same one!). I’ve had a Securom backup fail verification a few times, even though it works 99% of the time. Because of this, pirates usually just modify the executable. The game always works then, its much faster to produce and their customers are happy.

Besides, I think compared to some of the other people here my knowledge of CD copy protections and related topics is quite limited. They should not take my inability to copy the game as a sign that they’ve won the race :wink: I’m sure one of you smart chaps will figure out how to backup a Starforce 3 game someday :iagree:

Just remember to post a helpful FAQ when you do :smiley:

Stick it to the man!

(I’ve always wanted to say that!)

Codemasters release Starforece uninstaller
I salute codemasters, and what can you say about starforce… oops? :slight_smile:

There is already a starforce removal tool.

Good for you mate, at least the assholes who cursed us with Starfrorce 3 will take note, but im not to sure whether that is a good or bad thing.

I think it depends on your excuse, and the store’s policy. Some stores won’t accept opened goods back, period. BTW, I’m not sure if this violates the Consumer Credit Act 1995 and the Distance Selling Regulations (in the UK) because both stipulate that the consumer is allowed a cooling off period after purchasing the items.

Spot on. Some stores (such as PC World) have decided that our consumer rights are not worth dealing with and will not accept opened software back (unless you can PROVE its faulty). Now the PROOF bit is rather tricky as the consumer’s view of “faulty” will always be different to the seller, in this case a monolitic, corrupt superchain run by the biggest bunch of arseholes on the planet. Ever taken something back to PC World? The basic experience tends to consist of -

  1. Stand in a queue at the “Customer Service” counter for about 15 minutes with a dozen other equally fed up and annoyed customers where there appears to be no apparent order of service, where the “assistants” do not appear to be in any great rush to deal with the queue that is steadily developing and there is always about 15 or so other employees sat behind a perspex screen (put there so you can SEE that they are fu&^*$g around to annoy you still further) doing nothing.

  2. Listen with increasing annoyance at various bleeps, whistles and sirens that seem to emanate from various sources in the store, triggered when someone opens a door, touches something, breethes, farts etc.

  3. Eventually be served by a person with more spots than the sun’s troposphere and so young you would probably not trust them to babysit your children.

  4. Have an argument with one of the “store managers” who has been specially trained in PC worlds ninja academees in the art of the “customer is obviously a complete idiot / software pirate”

  5. Depart the store with said product still in hand, swearing you will never be back but knowing that you will.

I stick to GAME stores for software purchases - never had a problem with them and they seem to understand the importance of customer loyalty over pissing off people who are legitmately returning their purchases by treating them like criminals.