#1 Edited by CanuckEh (77 posts) -

So I posted this video yesterday, basically discussing my experiences with the Canadian online game rental service Game Access.

EDIT: Per the advice of many people, I've taken the Youtube video down. I can agree that it is hyperbolic to call them a scam. For the people that missed it: they're an online game rental company akin to Gamefly. You pay their monthly fee, they send you a game, you play, send it back using the postage-stamped envelope included with the game, get another. I returned Dead or Alive 5 on the 360 over the holidays because I received the PS3 version of said game (the special edition, no less) as a gift. They claim to have never received it. Because they claim to have never received it, the "Fast Return" feature (they send you a game as soon as you log into their website and tell them you mailed back the game) was disabled despite my paying for it.

I traded some e-mails with their customer service that spent a long time putting off my requests of a cancellation. Their initial offer included billing me for the game and giving me credit for the next few months. I told them I wanted a cancellation; I can't trust either them or Canada Post to not let this happen again.

In a nutshell, I sent a game back to them, they claimed to have never received it, and they were adamant to charge me for it.

Their response to that video was to cancel my account, charge me for the lost game, and then send a CEASE AND DESIST letter demanding I edit/take down the video for false information/representation of their company.

So I guess what I'm asking from you guys is, what should I do here? I am in no position to have a legal battle. I'm also disgusted in that I feel that they responded to my accusations of them bullying with more bullying. All I know for sure is shame on me for having used their service at all.

And if that video or this thread gets deleted, well, you'll be able to guess why.

#2 Edited by believer258 (11898 posts) -

I don't think they can do anything to you for making a Youtube video decrying their shitty practices...

...but I'm not a legal expert and some (read:most) lawyers can be evil motherfuckers depending on how good they are at their jobs and how well they are paid.

EDIT: Get ALL of your friends to also make videos making fun of them. And then start a meme of people making Youtube videos hating on that particular business. You might not win a lawsuit but you'd certainly drive them straight out of business.

#3 Posted by Subjugation (4720 posts) -

@believer258 said:

I don't think they can do anything to you for making a Youtube video decrying their shitty practices...

...but I'm not a legal expert and some (read:most) lawyers can be evil motherfuckers depending on how good they are at their jobs and how well they are paid.

They would probably go with libel and slander.

#4 Posted by believer258 (11898 posts) -

@Subjugation said:

@believer258 said:

I don't think they can do anything to you for making a Youtube video decrying their shitty practices...

...but I'm not a legal expert and some (read:most) lawyers can be evil motherfuckers depending on how good they are at their jobs and how well they are paid.

They would probably go with libel and slander.

In that case, OP, do you have any evidence that you rented the game from them? Like a receipt or something? And that it was sent back to them?

#5 Edited by OmegaChosen (645 posts) -

I feel like they're just expecting you to back down since I somewhat doubt a company would go after a single person for such an inane reason and tarnish their reputation even further in the process.

Of course, some places are crazy like that and will actually go to those lengths because fuck logic. Guess what I'm saying is be careful.

#6 Posted by 49th (2755 posts) -

Share it with games industry guys, journalists, ect.  
Get your story heard.

#7 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19336 posts) -

I use Game Access and am pretty happy with the service, so this isn't real comforting. My decision would be to comply with what they're saying instead of landing in more trouble.

Always good to have proof that you've shipped something, which is something you do not seem to have for the game you sent back.

#8 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3051 posts) -

If you have proof of your accusations, fuck 'em.

#9 Posted by CanuckEh (77 posts) -

@believer258 said:

@Subjugation said:

@believer258 said:

I don't think they can do anything to you for making a Youtube video decrying their shitty practices...

...but I'm not a legal expert and some (read:most) lawyers can be evil motherfuckers depending on how good they are at their jobs and how well they are paid.

They would probably go with libel and slander.

In that case, OP, do you have any evidence that you rented the game from them? Like a receipt or something? And that it was sent back to them?

Had my "Platinum account" had not been cancelled, their website would have me listed as having rented out Dead or Alive 5 in the queue. So the information is on their side. Beyond that are my back and forth e-mail exchanges with their customer service discussing the matter, including their recent billing me for the whole game.

I have no proof of me returning the game (under normal circumstances, you wouldn't need to.) I made a video of me returning the last game they sent me to a mailbox just to cover my back in the event they tried claiming I didn't send it back.

#10 Posted by gogosox82 (424 posts) -

I have no idea what to do about that. They more than likely just want you to take down the video but who knows if they will actually do anything against you legally. I would probably just take the vid down tbh. Its not worth the hassle and aggravation.

#11 Posted by Karkarov (3102 posts) -

What a bunch of morons. Even if everything you claim is pure nonsense and a lie by threatening to sue they pretty much make it look true. Personally I would refuse to pay them one cent but take down the video. They won't come after you legally to get the money because truth is... it would probably cost them more to force you to pay than they would get by you paying them. Also if the video really was inappropriate they wouldn't need to threaten you, they could simply ask youtube to take it down.

If you lived in America I would have told you to laugh in their face though and call the better business bureau. But what do I know, Canada is such a superior place and all.

#13 Posted by CanuckEh (77 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@CanuckEh said:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZ2l8-K-jdg&feature=youtu.be

Their response to that video was to cancel my account, charge me for the lost game, and then send a CEASE AND DESIST letter demanding I edit/take down the video for false information/representation of their company.

So I guess what I'm asking from you guys is, what should I do here?

I would take down the dumb video before the hyperbole lands you in legal trouble on a technicality. Make another video, perhaps one which doesn't refer to the business as a scam in the title and in which you don't accuse the company of holding you hostage in your opening line.

I think you may be right, and I think that is what I am going to do.

#14 Posted by Marz (5651 posts) -

i would just not do business with them, cancel any credit cards you have on file so they don't try to charge you for the game.   I don't know about all this making a video nonsense though.

#15 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -
@Karkarov

What a bunch of morons. Even if everything you claim is pure nonsense and a lie by threatening to sue they pretty much make it look true. Personally I would refuse to pay them one cent but take down the video. They won't come after you legally to get the money because truth is... it would probably cost them more to force you to pay than they would get by you paying them. Also if the video really was inappropriate they wouldn't need to threaten you, they could simply ask youtube to take it down.

If you lived in America I would have told you to laugh in their face though and call the better business bureau. But what do I know, Canada is such a superior place and all.

AMERICA.
#16 Posted by StarFoxA (5157 posts) -

You could post your story to sites like Reddit. Publicize it a little bit and let the Streisand effect take hold.

#17 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5826 posts) -

don't companies usually make the customer liable in case a package is lost by the mail?

the cease and desist letter is crazy though.

#18 Posted by CanuckEh (77 posts) -

The bad news is my card had already been charged, too late for that.

Their policy states that the customer is held liable in the event of lost mail.

"Once Game Access ships a game from your account, it is your full responsibility to return it to us. If the game cannot be returned to us, or not received back for any reason, Game Access reserves itself the right to charge the replacement cost of the game to your credit card. Although extremely rare, all instances of unreturned games are dealt with case by case and investigated to prevent fraud. If you ever receive a damaged game, please contact us for instructions."

Well, there hasn't been any talk of an investigation.

#19 Posted by KevinK (198 posts) -

@FancySoapsMan said:

don't companies usually make the customer liable in case a package is lost by the mail?

the cease and desist letter is crazy though.

Netflix never received two or three DVDs back from me (lost in the mail or whatever) and I just said I sent them and they never showed up and they didn't give a fuck.

Game Access is probably raging for the same reason GameFly has bitched here in the 'States. Netflix deals in DVDs that are $20 when new (increasingly less, as they often have special deals with movie studios which is why you see those weird grey "rental edition" DVDs from Netflix with no special features). These game rental services are dealing with games that are $60 when new (and game publishers probably don't want to make any deals with these companies - they say fuck them, let the customers buy them new from GameStop). So, it wouldn't surprise me if Game Access is raging over a lost disk while Netflix is like whatevs.

#20 Posted by henry1989929 (26 posts) -

If what you said is true, just do what you can. never be fear.

#21 Posted by frankfartmouth (1018 posts) -

Disclaimer: ALWAYS TAKE ONLINE LEGAL AND MEDICAL ADVICE WITH A LARGE SPOONFUL OF SALT.

That said, I don't know any particulars of Canada's libel or slander laws, but in the U.S., it is required that libel or slander be both knowingly untruthful and have the presence of malice. Malice in this sense doesn't mean malicious, like mean and nasty, it means you knew what you were saying, knew it was untrue, and knew it could have a negative effect on the victim. Those components are necessary for a case to succeed in the U.S., i.e., if it's true, it's not libelous or slanderous.

So if it were in the U.S., it sounds like you could tell them to piss off. Maybe the same in Canada, but I don't know.

#22 Posted by Grillbar (1825 posts) -

im not an expert on this subject and i dont know how the Canadian legal setup is and what not. all i can do is ask and tell from what i have experienced in similar or somewhat similar cases.

first of

dont you have some sort of confirmation order that says that you have actually sent the item. if so then its the post office that will be liable of that.

had a similar experience with a pc i had sent back for having faulty hardware and demanded a refund after having the try to fix it 5 times. they said they never got it i send them a copy of my order confirmation that i had gotten. then they claimed the tower was damaged and would not refund i claimed i sent it in the fashion they demanded and the post office ended up paying due to the fact that they must not have handle it properly (as a fragile package) as i had paid for.

second

from what i could gather from your video it is not opinion based, you state it as fact and encourage people to stop using them on that fact. i think it fall under libel and/or slander. but sending a cease and desist is a bit of an overreaction on there part.

i would say get all the proof that you got that you are in the right here

#24 Posted by Korolev (1706 posts) -

If you were in America, there's nothing they could do against you. I don't know about Canada, however. I know that Canadian law is closer to English law, and in England, you actually could get in trouble for "badmouthing" a company under England's legendarily screwed up defamation laws. I'd study up on the subject. If Canada does not share the UK's famously stupid defamation laws, then leave the video up. If Canada is like the UK, take it down pronto otherwise you're in for a costly and annoying legal fight.

#25 Edited by CrazyBagMan (842 posts) -

reddit. They eat shit up about consumers being abused to companies.

#26 Posted by KevinK (198 posts) -

@Korolev said:

If you were in America, there's nothing they could do against you. I don't know about Canada, however. I know that Canadian law is closer to English law, and in England, you actually could get in trouble for "badmouthing" a company under England's legendarily screwed up defamation laws. I'd study up on the subject. If Canada does not share the UK's famously stupid defamation laws, then leave the video up. If Canada is like the UK, take it down pronto otherwise you're in for a costly and annoying legal fight.

He called the company a "scam" in the title of his video, which implies they're actively deceiving and defrauding customers. Access Games doesn't sound like a scam to me. It sounds like a service that this guy has enjoyed for awhile, you pay them money, they send you games in the mail and then send them back. They've had a disagreement over what happened to a to-be-returned game that turned into a billing/customer service issue. There are millions of legitimate disagreements like this between legitimate customers and legitimate businesses every day.

Nobody will defend the right to free speech more than me, but he took it a step far when he called them a "scam". This isn't an identity thief or a Nigerian email scam or a Ponzi scheme. Access Games sounds like a legit company they have a right not to be accused of something they're not in the public eye.

I agree with the advice previously given in this thread, post a new video, state the complaints with just the facts without all the hyperbole and drama.

#27 Edited by Petiew (1347 posts) -

I'd at least remove the video. If defamation laws are strict then bringing this to the attention of a site like reddit who'd blow it up may make the issue worse. There's probably a big difference between a video with 50-100 views and one with 10000+ and a ton of angry people claiming GameAccess have been scamming you.

#28 Posted by CanuckEh (77 posts) -

So I took the video down, and edited this original post with a little summary of the events.

#29 Posted by Lord_Xp (602 posts) -

I say use an alias and get hired into the company covertly and work your way up the ladder for years and years until you get to the top. Then sell all of it's assets and become a millionaire.

#30 Posted by Kidavenger (3546 posts) -

If their policy has always been that customers pay for lost games, you'll have to pay it and just be done with them.

No doubt it's a shitty policy, but if that's what you signed up for that's what you get.

I would make another video that explains the policy exactly and just says that you are doing it for people's information, if you are just regurgitating their own words, they should have no issue with it.

Then post it everywhere you can and see how happy they are with you.

I would suggest posting it on redflagdeals.com

start here http://forums.redflagdeals.com/hot-deals-f9/?prefixid=Games9, it's their most popular forum, one of the mods will probably move it out after a few hours to a more appropriate forum but it'll get the message out to gamers in Canada that would use a service like this.

#31 Posted by Branthog (5562 posts) -

I can only speak in terms of US Law, in which case all opinion is protected and the only concern you would have is if you slandered them. If the things stated in your video are either factual or opinion, then you have nothing to worry about (except Google responding to any complaint form a business with thoughtless removal and possible account termination because fuck us, I guess -- and possibly being taken to court, in which case you can just demonstrate that your statements are all fact or opinion).

For example, you can't accuse the CEO of Game Access of being a child molester. You could say that you think he is worse than a child molester. You could say that you think the guy should go fuck himself in the ass with a broken broom handle. You can say that you were a customer and that they terminated your account and under what conditions.

If this happened to me in the US and I knew I clearly did not slander anyone, then I would send them a certified letter telling them that your right to state facts and opinions are protected and that you would gladly defend it in a court of law, should they wish to push it. However, being as this is in Canada and some countries outside the US have ridiculous libel and slander laws, I would seek the advice of a regional legal expert. Your best bet is to probably contact the EFF and ask for a referral to an organization in Canada that would be willing to speak with you (assuming the EFF doesn't do any work there, which they might).

I know that Canada treats slander and libel differently and, I believe, slander requires not only proof that someone said something defamatory, but that you demonstrate actual real damages that were incurred because of it. That's nearly impossible to do. Especially in a case like this. On the other hand, I have no idea what they qualify as libel or slander, in Canada. I mean, a youtube video is spoken -- so slander. But . . . it's published. Even though not exactly "written". So . . . maybe it's libel? I dunno. And this is why you should seek the advice of a lawyer. It should be pretty cheap or even free for an initial consultation. Or, as mentioned, something like the EFF or an online community of legal experts that may help give basic advice in chillingeffects.org - style issues.

Unfortunately, if Canada is anything like America, there is rarely anything stopping a business from filing nuisance lawsuits which cost you a lot of time and money, even if there is no justification for their case. They usually have legal staff that they have to pay, regardless, so it's no difference to them what they spend their time doing -- and in the meantime, it costs you dearly. Enough that you probably just say "fuck it, I'll just delete my shit and accept being threatened and censored".

But yeah, like someone else mentioned, too -- also post it to reddit. At least then it'll be massively disseminated. Put the video up without self-identifying information somewhere with a throw-away account. Then use a throw-away account to post about it and link it on reddit. For that matter, consider at least using a reputable VPN service to make linking back your identity a little more difficult (this depends on the third party VPN service you use, obviously, as some do keep logs and respond to legal requests and some don't keep them and respond to requests with "sorry, we don't have any data to give you"). You shouldn't have to do any of this, but if you don't want to be harassed, you sort of have to.

#32 Edited by Wrighteous86 (3782 posts) -

A major game publisher threatened to sue me recently. It didn't go well for them, in the long run. And no, I can't go into more detail. Scared the shit out of me, though.

#33 Posted by IrrelevantJohn (1070 posts) -

If you ever use this type of rental service again, just remove EVERY game off your waiting list and THEN return the game. After that, wait until they received the game and THEN you cancel like I did.

I read that this bullshit happens to other people as well so that's why I took extra care when cancelling.

Online
#34 Posted by GaspoweR (3022 posts) -

@Wrighteous86: Is the part of you not revealing details part of the settlement?

#35 Posted by Wrighteous86 (3782 posts) -

@GaspoweR said:

@Wrighteous86: Is the part of you not revealing details part of the settlement?

Yeah, though I'm not sure if it is still legally binding... I should stay quiet just to be safe.

#36 Posted by Vanek (383 posts) -

@Wrighteous86 said:

A major game publisher threatened to sue me recently. It didn't go well for them, in the long run. And no, I can't go into more detail. Scared the shit out of me, though.

I wish I'd never read that. I now can't think about anything other than who and why, though it's at least distracted me from being really hungry.

My advice is not to use rental services like them. We've done it in the past and had problems with returns going missing. More trouble than it's worth.

#37 Posted by Wrighteous86 (3782 posts) -

@Vanek: I'm kind of a big deal.

#38 Edited by gizmo88 (97 posts) -

@CanuckEh: First off, be very careful taking legal advice online. Everyone is an expert online. Too the uneducated like myself, this seems like scare tactics. It's extremely easy to send cease and desist orders, it's much more of a pain to open a lawsuit against someone. In America, this would be handled in small claims. (Not that anything will come of this, because it won't)

In small claims, no lawyers are allowed. This would mean it would be you versus a representative of the company. Most judge's are not going to find you liable for slander based solely on a Youtube review. Not that I'm aware of anyway.

#39 Edited by gizmo88 (97 posts) -

@Subjugation said:

@believer258 said:

I don't think they can do anything to you for making a Youtube video decrying their shitty practices...

...but I'm not a legal expert and some (read:most) lawyers can be evil motherfuckers depending on how good they are at their jobs and how well they are paid.

They would probably go with libel and slander.

Not likely, slander is incredibly hard to prove. You would need actual evidence that the Youtube video in question negatively impacted their business. The good news is, free speech is still highly regarded in most legal systems. There are plenty of legal protections for people who post negative reviews. Even if they are misleading/false.

#40 Posted by Raven10 (1783 posts) -

I've never had an issue with Gamefly in the US. I once bought a used game from them that didn't work and they sent a prepaid envelope to me to return it and refunded the money. Netflix I've literally never had an issue with. It's a shame that this company would do this. I don't know about Canada but in the US if you attempted to cancel a membership and the company didn't immediately comply (assuming you didn't have a contract with them) that would be illegal. As for paying for the game, their policy seems to say that you are responsible for any lost games. You agreed to their terms of service when you signed up so on that side I don't think you have anything to complain about. It's a ridiculous policy to have, but you agreed to it. If your Youtube video was lying about their service then they had a right to ask you to take it down. The question is, did they actually commit a crime, or did you just not take the time to read their terms of use and are now regretting it?

#41 Edited by Rabbitsuit (9 posts) -

@49th said:

Share it with games industry guys, journalists, ect. Get your story heard.

I agree with this man. It worked wonders for this gentleman, http://goo.gl/VCXad , but it might also play into their favor if they want to continue a suit.

#42 Posted by Village_Guy (2575 posts) -

I don't see the problem, the game probably got lost in the mail. And unless you can prove you sent it back, I believe it is in their right to charge you for a replacement copy (which is why I would never use a mail-order game rental service).

Calling them a scam is a gross overreaction and if I was that company, I would sure as hell react to that too. But maybe I'm just an asshole.

#43 Posted by finalkross (83 posts) -

I tried GameAccess about 3 years ago and even then, it was a BS service. I used to live in Vancouver and since they were sending thing from the East Coast, by ground, I wouldn't get a game until a week later, so it was never worth my while. I complained a few times and they offered to upgrade my account, but that still didn't improve service. Not really surprised that there service is still a joke.

#44 Posted by Hunkulese (2723 posts) -

I'm not really sure what you'd expect. They can't really let the "it got lost in the mail" excuse fly or everyone would use it. It sucks that it happened to you but it's a risk you take with any similar service.

#45 Posted by galloughs (192 posts) -

Is there anyone anywhere who either a) seeks out opinions of other people on youtube, or b) uses those opinions to inform their own, if they happen across a video like that? In general, anyone I've ever seen who would take the time to record of a video f themselves expressing an unprovoked opinion of their own have been the last sort of person whose opinion I would care about.