Have to vent... I hate download code vouchers


Advanced Member
Jan 31, 2006
I have to let go of a little steam. After a whole year of abstinence, I decided to buy an xbox 360 game or two. They had diablo 3 and batman arkham collection for a low price at a local supermarket chain. Since they have quite an electronics and media department and I never had any problems before, I didn't think twice about it. So when I got to the information booth after paying at the counter, where they get the DVDs out of a locker in a sealed envelope, I was a little disappointed already. Turns out arkham collection is not a collection of physical games, but rather arkham origins on DVD and the other games on little voucher leaflets.

I hate when they do this. It doesn't say anywhere on the package, that you will have to download the rest of the collection. Of course I didn't look up what the release was made of online beforehand.

Well, the collection was cheap enough I thought, so what the heck. When I got home I just wanted to binge play diablo 3 in coop with my fiancee and didn't bother to try out the vouchers until sunday. Then I found out that all of the codes that were included with that DLC and DRM laden POS of a release are not valid anymore.

I spent like 30 minutes chatting to the xbox live support and they figured out, that the codes are now void because the offer has changed in the marketplace. In other words: they have either pulled the games or changed pricing. What the fuck did I pay for then? A collection of batman bookmarks?

So since the xbox live support wasn't able to help, I figured I'll return the whole thing and get my money back so I can buy physical versions of the games. LOL. They won't take back the item because it's been opened. Well no shit. I've not damaged any of the goods, the case and packaging is in prestine condition and of course I have kept the receipt, which the fucking person at the register told me to "in case there are any problems"... I was told to return tomorrow morning and see the manager.

I have written to the publisher and hope that they will be able to at least provide me with valid DLC codes. I will try returning this mess again tomorrow morning.

All in all: Fuck vouchers for DLC that is supposed to come as physical items! I don't have a problem with some DLC but this "we'll just add some papercrap to your order" voucher shit has got to stop.
So basically it's a scam / bait and switch / false advertisement. :| Good luck trying to get it returned tomorrow.

I personally believe that this is why DRM / DLC / etc stuff is wrong: It stomps all over the rights of the consumer.
Wtf? So they kind of sold you "expired goods" and won't give you a refund? That's a shitty move :mad:
I only had issues once when I was trying to redeem a code on UPlay. The damn thing unlocked the game, but when it started downloading, it somehow managed to screw up verifying some ID and stopped the process. Had to wait a whole day with the game sitting in the library, with a "Play" button next to it. Very annoying.

I hope you'll get your games or at least a refund! Good luck :)
I'd be speaking to the manager of the store first.. You probably need some sort of verification that the DLC has expired though tbh.
Take it back to the retailer under the Consumer Rights Act - they are responsible 100% because -

a) The item is not as advertised
b) The goods were not fit for purpose.

Easy refund. They can't argue.

- http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/sale-of-goods-act

Under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 goods must be as described, of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose.

Fit for purpose means both their everyday purpose, and also any specific purpose that you agreed with the seller (for example, if you specifically asked for a printer that would be compatible with your computer)

Goods sold must also match any sample you were shown in-store, or any description in a brochure.
Yeah, in the UK it should be straightforward - the store screwed up, go take it up with them. However, I don't think our OP is UK based from memory, so things might be different there.

Also, if you read that which link you posted, it will tell you that the 1979 act has been superceded by the Consumer Rights Act (2015 IIRC), which covers online sales and so on a bit more completely. As far as I know the retailer is still the actor you took a contract with though.
I would insist on the shop as well. They sold you a shiny package that says it comes with games.

If MS screws up with shitty DRM, it is not your problem. It is the shops' problem and if enough people complain the shop will in turn make it the whole shop chain's problem which will in turn complain to MS.
I'll try to insist on a refund but my chances are slim to none. German supermarkets often state that they will not offer returns on video games after they have been opened. Also I can't even prove that I bought the game there. The worthless receipt that I got for this only has two items "video game" with different prices. It's completely useless. Fuck I think I am just going to steal my money's worth back or light something on fire. this makes me so angry.

BTW It's also not the vendors fault that publishers decide that this voucher crap is a good idea. I am pretty sure it screws vendors majorly as well.
You should bring this case to the "Verbraucherschutzzentrale". They should at least be able to tell you which steps could make sense.
If you live in or near a big city there should be a local agency near you. Otherwise you could still contact them via telephone or online.
actually warner bros customer support just answered my request. all they need is fotos of the codes, the game and the receipt. well i am not sure if I will be able to use that receipt at all. luckily i still have the envelopes that the dvds and vouchers were sealed in and those have barcodes, a price tag and the serial number that's also on the box. maybe that'll be enough proof.
Good luck, I wouldn't take this sh** without a fight.
Best case would be that you can play those games without shady means after your contact with WB and you have learned some lessons from all this annoyance.

DRM-free installers with all DLCs included ftw!
well I didn't need to learn a lesson at all actually. I wasn't aiming to buy any kind of voucher, the product was just falsely advertised. I have alway been opposed to DRM and the concept of full game DLCs overall. It's ok if they want to offer dlc as add on features that you can buy after you are done with a game. at least you have a choice then. But having me believe to have bought a physical product and instead providing me with this shite... I never signed a deal for that. And this could've happened with any retailer. What's the lesson to learn? never buy another xbox game in a store and instead buy all the games as DLC in the first place? I don't think so.

The actual lesson I have learned a while ago and should've followed in this case is that the original xbox should have been the last microsoft product that I have ever supported. I like my 360 as well but the constant updating, drm bollocks and shoving dlc down our throats has really gotten out of hand. I am certainly not ever buying an xbox one. I'd rather keep investing in expensive but awesome open gadgets and vintage video games.
There is this kind of shit on the Vita as well:
Final Fantasy X X-2 has X on a cartridge and X-2 as a DL voucher. Excepeted in Asia where the consumer might not like to be fucked as much as we do as they have an edition with both games on cartridges.

Borderlands 2 has the DLC on a DL voucher instead of directly on the cartridge. So when you buy 2nd hand you don't get the whole package.

I am only buying on cartridges. There are digital-only games I would like to play but I prefer not playing them than buying air on a DRM PSN store where Sony can decide to ban me if I run emulators on my Vita.
I've buyed an Asus Mainboard a while ago, it included an code for recent DOOM and some nice World of Warship Premium goodies. Well, the problem is, you basicly can't use both. First, you have to sign in on various websites and in case of DOOM additional age verification crap. And then, the code was 2-part split. First one was on the Mainboard Box but the second one was printed on the mainboard itself...underside. Of course I already had built up my new PC completely before I found that out... :oops:
well I didn't need to learn a lesson at all actually. I wasn't aiming to buy any kind of voucher, the product was just falsely advertised.
Maybe that's the lesson to be learned here: Don't accept vouchers if you expect physical media.
I guess you could have demanded your money back at the info counter right after learning that you won't get all the content on physical media.

A point that also makes me think (disclaimer: I'm no lawyer):
Under German law the duration of validity of vouchers ("Gutscheine") is 3 years (§195 BGB) unless specified otherwise. If for some reason the service can't be delivered within that time by the voucher issuer you have a right to get your money back.
I believe this is the lever you need to use here. But I think you'll need a lawyer for that. One pitfall I can already see is to determine legally who the actual voucher issuer is (the shop, the game publisher, MS, some middle man?).
Wow, german law sounds complicated! In the UK, if they refused a refund they have to offer a replacement, and you could go for that, just spin on the spot and announce it's not fit for purpose, since your purpose was to play Arkham Asylum and City.
Wow, german law sounds complicated!
It is. It is often said that German law is the most complex in the world.
But that might just be an urban myth. I have no measure to test that claim. I guess pretty much any people will claim that for their own law system.

In the UK, if they refused a refund they have to offer a replacement, and you could go for that, just spin on the spot and announce it's not fit for purpose, since your purpose was to play Arkham Asylum and City.
In principle it's the same in Germany. But the devil is in the details.
Some goods are excluded from this rule. Multimedia volumes are, because the law is from a time where there was practically no DRM. The basic idea is that you shouldn't be able to buy an audio/video cassette, copy it at home and return it the next day. Therefore you can't return opened CDs and DVDs, only the ones that are still sealed in original packing.

My layman's interpretation of xnopasaranx's case would be, that the product he bought is a compilation of a physical medium and one ore more vouchers. Since he opened the physical medium he can't return this part of the compilation. But since the voucher issuer (whoever that is) can't deliver the service that is promised by the voucher, he has a right to get a partial refund for the voucher part of the compilation.

This is where the lawyer's fun begins:
1. Can the parts of the compilation be separated without destroying the integrated final product? (see operating system bundling for a famous example)
2. If the compilation can be separated, what are the partial prices of the individual parts? (For example, the voucher issuer could argue, that the price being paid is only for the physical media and that the vouchers are free gifts. In that case there would be no refund.)
3. Who is the voucher issuer to be charged?
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Pretty obvious that the issuer is the publisher. WB games have created the compilation and that's where I got support. I will still try to get a refund from the supermarket first though.

UPDATE: Great news everyone! fornsworth would be proud of me. I fought the fight and I won! well actually I went back tod did talk to the manager, turn out he was super empathetic as he is a fellow gamer. they refunded the full price after hearing me out.
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