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Hi, theres this online game I play and I have spent lots of

Hi, there's this online game...
Hi, there's this online game I play and I have spent lots of money on it and the company gave my game to someone else who destroyed it. I sent receipts and screen shots of my game and now the company is saying none of it match. I have been writing to them for over a month and same answer. My receipts do match but I don't know hot to prove it. They denied me my own game that I had built and know everything about. What can I do?
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Answered in 11 minutes by:
6/1/2013
Brandon M.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12,620
Experience: Attorney experienced in numerous areas of law.
Verified

Brandon M. :

Hello there.

Brandon M. :

Thank you for your question. I would like to know a bit more about what happened. You said that the company gave your game to someone else. What do we know about how that happened? Did they just call someone on the phone and give them access to your account? To what extent is the company responsible for someone else getting your game?

Customer: I have no idea how the thief was able to retrieve my game, but storm8/teamlava had given them a new password XXXXX email. It had taken them sometime to get it but I had told the company that my email addy is the one that's logged into the game ([email protected]) I had immediately emailed them but they never responded. I watched as the thief destroyed my account. The game is a fighting game and I have receipts and screen shots and also emails going back and forth from me to storm8.
Brandon M. :

You mentioned that you spent lots of money on the game. Did you incur any additional charges after your game was hijacked?

Customer: They retrieved a new password XXXXX my account thru email. I had found out that all they need is my storm8 id and amount of points I have. I had provided all the proof they needed so I may get my game back but they denied me. I even have my email addy logged into that account and it still wasn't enough. I have screen shots, receipts and emails going back and forth from me to storm8.
Brandon M. :

You mentioned that you spent lots of money on the game. Did you incur any additional charges after your game was hijacked?

Customer: No I didn't I'm not sure how things go
Customer: May I forward all my emails to u?
Customer: Yes I spent lots of money on this game and they were able to steal 2 of my games
Brandon M. :

That's probably not necessary, but I appreciate the offer and I will definitely ask if it appears that it may be necessary for our purposes ehre today.

Customer: I'm so sorry my device lagged and I'm not sure if the poor service thing went thru
Brandon M. :

With a lot of games, the players will buy game points or credits. So they might pay $5 and get 500 Space Bucks (or whatever) that stays on their account until it is spent on in-game purchases. Did you have anything like that on your account at the time of the theft?

Customer: I paid 5 and got 60
Customer: Yes I did I had over 300 points
Brandon M. :

To your knowledge, were any of those points spent after you alerted the company of the theft?

Customer: I am not sure, I haven't been able to log on to my game after it was stolen
Brandon M. :

Thank you for that information and for your patience. Please allow me to explain how the law works:

Customer: I believe it was, they had changed name and had written nasty things about me.
Customer: But I do have a screen shot of someone saying that the person who stole it was bragging about it.
Customer: I had also asked them for a refund and they said that the receipts didn't match what was in their records but I know they do. I swear on everything that that account belongs to me. I don't know what else I can do to prove it is mine.
Brandon M. :

I should start by saying that, because the nuances of every case are different, this information should not be construed as complete or advice without consulting in person with counsel. That said, the first thing that needs to be recognized is that when you have a dispute with an online gaming company, you could be 100% right and they could be 100% wrong, and you can provide all the proof in the world, but that doesn't keep the company from being uncooperative if they want to be uncooperative. When a dispute arises, it can sometimes be resolved by agreement of the parties, but when an agreement can't be reached, the courts can step in to resolve the dispute. It really doesn't matter what the company has in their records--if you have a credit card receipt, for example, showing that a company charged your card, it doesn't matter to a court if it doesn't match the company's records...

Brandon M. :

So with that said, if you're asking how to get the company to cooperate, it's entirely possible that you can't. The real question, then, is what to do when a dispute arises with a company that isn't cooperative...

Brandon M. :

It's possible that your account was stolen by someone without any mistake of the company. Maybe someone was looking over your shoulder when you entered your password (or whatever). Companies are only responsible for their own mistakes. If I stole your car, for example, you couldn't sue the auto manufacturer to get your car back because it is the fault of the thief, not the manufacturer...

Customer: Yes because their records are wrong. I have several receipts of purchases for points. They didn't want to help at all.
Brandon M. :

Exactly, and that tends to suggest that the company has made an error...

Brandon M. :

So where the company is responsible in part or in whole for an error, and where that error has caused someone damages, the injured party is generally entitled to compensation.

Customer: The game is an app on the phone. We are able to create id's and are given codes to help add people in horde for clans.
Brandon M. :

So basically, it sounds like they're saying that they don't care what the records of your bank or credit card say--they're only going with their records. You can't blame them because they don't have to accept your records as true any more than you have to accept theirs as true, but a court is going to be more persuaded by bank or credit card records than someone's internal records for obvious reasons.

Brandon M. :

I understand that you lost the work you put into your game, but how much money would you estimate you invested in the game, total?

Customer: I would say about over 500 dollars
Customer: But that's just one game alone, I have a phone and iPod and 2 games, this is the second time this had happened to me so that's why I am here.
Brandon M. :

Ok, where a dispute arises, where the parties are at an impasse, you basically have to ask yourself if you're willing to move forward with legal action. Small claims court in Hawaii can handle disputes of up to $5,000--it is relatively quick, cheap and easy. It's also usually cheaper for a business to just pay a plaintiff a few hundred dollars to resolve the dispute than to have to send someone to court to defend against an action that they might lose anyway.

Brandon M. :

Naturally, anyone contemplating a lawsuit over a software application would also want to review the terms of service, but it really comes down to the legal system.

Customer: So I have to spend more money? I can't afford it
Customer: I just feel it isn't fair and with all my proof I get denied
Brandon M. :

The filing fee can be waived based on a plaintiff's income.

Brandon M. :

In other words, if your income is below the court's threshold, any court-related fees do not have to be paid.

Brandon M. :

Does that make sense?

Customer: Yes it does
Brandon M. :

There's obviously no magic wand to make people do what is right, but the legal system is designed to reach the fair outcome.

Brandon M. :

The system favors reaching the right outcome over reaching the quick outcome, so some patience is required, but I do encourage you to take whatever steps are necessary to get what is right for your case.

Customer: I'm hoping someone can put a stop to this company for ripping several people off. A lot of people are starting to complain now and the company are acting very jerkish
Customer: Ok so what is my first step?
Brandon M. :

I understand, and it's entirely possible that no one has actually taken any legal action against them.

Brandon M. :

Obviously, this is a problem that can't be fixed completely in one evening, but I hope that this information helps you to understand the law. Have I been able to help?

Customer: Yes u have helped me a lot and thank u for taking the time to. I appreciate it very much.
Brandon M. :

Well, it's my pleasure, and I hate to see people being pushed around. I didn't get into this line of work to help the bullies.

Brandon M. :

We have a good legal system, but it doesn't mean anything if no one uses it.

Customer: That's exactly how I feel. Thank you so much for your help
Brandon M. :

Did you have any other question?

Customer: I hope the people here can help me. It's an unusual case for them.
Customer: Yes
Customer: Should I contact iTunes again or it should be the company?
Brandon M. :

Well, you said that iTunes is basically ignoring you at this point, so before talking to them again, you would have to ask yourself why the result might be different next time.

Customer: Maybe a different person who answer may be able to help?
Brandon M. :

It's certainly possible, but you can expect that they are keeping track of all of your communications, so anyone viewing your new communications would normally be able to see the history. For purposes of consistency, if someone didn't answer earlier, it is probably part of a strategy. It might not hurt to contact them again, but I would set my expectations low. From a legal perspective, there would normally not be any benefit to making multiple, idential communications to the same company.

Brandon M. :

Does that make sense?

Customer: Yes it does and I understand now.
Customer: Thank u for ur help and have a great day/night :)
Brandon M. :

Thanks :-). I wish you the best.

Brandon M.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12,620
Experience: Attorney experienced in numerous areas of law.
Verified
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Brandon M.
Brandon M.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12,620
12,620 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Attorney experienced in numerous areas of law.

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