Paul Gregg

Jack of all Tech.

My OnLive Experience

Written By: pgregg - Mar• 27•2012

In February BT posted an offer
(no longer on the BT web site) allowing customers in Northern Ireland
to buy an OnLive Gaming Console (MicroConsole) for £9.99 (normal price
£70) plus £6 shipping. Seemed like a good deal – and so I signed up (2
Feb 2012). Remember these prices – they are important as they come up
later.

Executive Summary:
I bought a MicroConsole device from OnLive, that is faulty.
OnLive
is failing to uphold consumer’s Statutory rights in the UK. And even
goes to far as to explicitly deny those rights to consumers, itself a
criminal offense in the UK. I have been denied a refund of a defective
unit on the grounds that the unit was free and all I paid was postage
(which is incorrect).
OnLive’s website states “No refunds” – a criminal offense in the UK.
Onlive
have stated that my MicroConsole was free, and I only paid shipping
costs. And shipping costs will not be refunded. *wrong*
OnLive are
also denying Sale of Goods Act by saying that I only have 7 days to
cancel and that I agreed to this in the Terms of Service. This relates to the Distance Selling Regulations and not to faulty goods under the Sale of Goods Act.

I am of the
opinion that I acted reasonably and gave OnLive sufficient time to
rectify the problem. I also believe, given the time lines showing that
the hardware never worked, that I can not, in law, be deemed to have
accepted the goods, and so have a lawful right to fully reject them, and
obtain a full refund for all monies paid.

I don’t want to criticise OnLive Technical Support, just their Customer Service policies.

Timeline: I will update the timeline below as things develop.

I
received the MicroConsole the week of February 18 (not sure exactly
what date) and attempted to use it, however it was nothing like the
experience received when playing on the PC.  The PC was reasonably quick
and responsive and I would estimate ran at maybe 15fps which was
reasonable for streaming videogame over the internet.  The MicroConsole
on the otherhand was laggy, and I achieved maybe 3 to 4 fps. In short,
the game (Dirt 3) was unplayable.

I opened a Support ticket February 18. And so the saga begins.

My original support request:

02/18/2012 05:18 PM (timestamps from OnLive support portal)

I have attempted to set up my MicroConsole and am able to connect to the service.
However any time I attempt to play/start HomeFront game, the MC crashes and reboots.
Attempting to play Dirt3 results in a game running at approx 4 frames per second.
Playing Homefront on my PC is fine.

The
MC constantly pops a message in the top right complaining of network
problems – but the fact my PC works fine, shows the network is fine.
http://www.speedtest.net/result/1782184455.png
My home is wired for Gbit ethernet, and the MC is plugged into that. I’ve tried an alternative ethernet cable – no difference.

Even the intro screen/animation on the MC is blocky and just looks wrong.

I’m beginning to think I got a bad MC as I have never been able to play a game on it.

Thanks,
PG.

Within an 80 minutes I had a reply, excellent. Except it is a standardised get-more-info affair. Fair enough I suppose:

02/18/2012 06:40 PM

Greetings PG,

Thank you for contacting OnLive. To help our team troubleshoot the issue, please provide the following information:

- In what country are you located?
- What is the name of your Internet Service Provider?
- Is an error message displayed when you connect? If so, what is the message?
- What are the results of the broadband quality test from http://www.pingtest.net? *
- What are the results of the Internet connection test from http://www.speedtest.net? *
- What is the brand and model of the cable or DSL modem used in your home network?
- What (if any) is the brand and model of the router used in your home network?
- Are you behind a firewall and/or are any antivirus applications running?
- Are you using a Wireless (Wi-Fi) or Wired router?
If Wi-Fi, please check for interference:
-
Are you the only person currently on network (using the Internet), or
are other members of your household sharing the connection?
- If you have a smartphone, is it configured to share your Wi-Fi network?

* For best results, choose the server closest to your location:
US
– East Coast –> Washington D.C.
– West Coast –> San Francisco, CA
– Midwest –> Dallas, TX
UK
– London

Best regards,

Realiana
Customer Service Representative
http://support.onlive.com/

So I respond to each of the questions: 02/19/2012 06:13 AM

In what country are you located?

UK

- What is the name of your Internet Service Provider?

BT

- Is an error message displayed when you connect? If so, what is the message?

No error message.

- What are the results of the broadband quality test from http://www.pingtest.net? *

http://www.pingtest.net/result/57209759.png

- What are the results of the Internet connection test from http://www.speedtest.net? *

http://www.speedtest.net/result/1782184455.png

- What is the brand and model of the cable or DSL modem used in your home network?

BT Supplied HomeHub3 (I believe) – supplied with the BT Infinity service.

- What (if any) is the brand and model of the router used in your home network?

Same device as the BT HomeHub3

- Are you behind a firewall and/or are any antivirus applications running?

No – just the BT HomeHub.

- Are you using a Wireless (Wi-Fi) or Wired router?

BT HomeHub does Wifi – but I am not using Wifi. I have Gbit Cat5e wired ethernet connections to all devices, including the MC.

If Wi-Fi, please check for interference:

No
interference. The BT HomeHub3 is supposed to scan and pick the best
channel with no interferences. However, the issue is moot – my nearest
neighbour is 100m away and using my phone’s (android app) Wifi Analyser,
I am the only wifi network it can see.

- Are you the only person
currently on network (using the Internet), or are other members of your
household sharing the connection?

At the times of testing, I am the only one using the network.

- If you have a smartphone, is it configured to share your Wi-Fi network?

No.

Thanks,
PG

The following Wednesday I get a holding email:

02/22/2012 12:09 PM


Hello,

Thank you for the information. I will forward your inquiry
to our Technical Team for further assistance, They will contact you via
email as soon as they are able.

Thank you for your patience. Have a lovely day!

Best regards,

Realiana
Customer Service Representative
http://support.onlive.com/

And so I wait another 2 days to receive: 02/24/2012 02:23 PM


Hello,

Your issues may have to do with a couple of things. I saw
that you had run a speed test, but we would like it if you could run the
test to London.

Can you please run a test for me at
www.speedtest.net and find the white dot that represents London. Click
on that dot and start the test. When the test finishes, please click on
Share This Result, then click Copy and paste the results here.

Best regards,

Berret
OnLive Technical Support
http://support.onlive.com

2 days later, I reply:

02/26/2012 04:41 PM


Hi,

Here are some results from London based speedtests that I ran just now.

http://www.speedtest.net/result/1798764992.png

http://www.speedtest.net/result/1798810091.png

http://www.speedtest.net/result/1798812080.png

http://www.speedtest.net/result/1798812973.png

Thanks,
PG



02/28/2012 04:22 PM:


Hello,

Thank you very much for providing those links for me. Is
this issue only on your MicroConsole, or do you notice issues on you
computer as well?

Best regards,

Berret
OnLive Technical Support
http://support.onlive.com



02/28/2012 06:26 PM


Hi,

No. PC play seems to be working well.

Thanks,
PG

Sent from my Android phone with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.



03/01/2012 10:26 AM


Hey PG,

I am trying to do some research into why you are having
this experience on your MicroConsole only. Can you try and run a few
more sessions on the device, so we can get some details? When I look up
your previous sessions, they are understandably computer ones for the
most part.

I appreciate the help in figuring out your issue.

Best regards,

Berret
OnLive Technical Support
http://support.onlive.com

Now,
somehow I did not get this email :( but on Monday 5th I got a
notification that the ticket was closed because I did not reply.

From: OnLive Support [mailto:support@onlive.com]
Sent: 05 March 2012 08:22
Subject: MC blocky and crashes. [Incident: 120218-000143]
 

This ticket has been closed because we have not heard
back from you in 3 days. This is an automated message, but you can re-open the
ticket at any time by replying to this email.



I replied saying I didn’t get the earlier message, assuming it would reopen the ticket.
It
didn’t, but I was not aware of that and several days later I logged
into the web site to find the ticket still closed :(  So I open another
ticket.
 


03/20/2012 05:33 PM


Unfortunately you did not solve 120218-000143.

I did not receive the message just before you closed the ticket and so was surprised when the ticket was closed.

In your message about closing it you state:
“This
ticket has been closed because we have not heard back from you in 3
days. This is an automated message, but you can re-open the ticket at
any time by replying to this email.”

Unfortunately this is not
true because I did reply to this email with further information but this
did not reopen the ticket. Now when I look at the ticket online, it
says I can not reopen the ticket.

So with that complaint out of the way…

I wish to request a refund for this MC because it simply does not perform the function to which it is supposed to do.
Please advise as to the correct process to follow to achieve this.

Thank you
Paul Gregg

It was then I spotted on their web site the message “No refunds” and so sent a followup:

03/20/2012 06:14 PM


Oh – I just saw this:

What if I change my mind, and want to return the OnLive Game System or an accessory?

All purchases are final. No refunds.
Find comprehensive support information at: OnLive Game System.

FYI – Not only is this term unlawful – OnLive is *committing* a criminal offense in the UK.

Under
the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 it is also
a criminal offence to mislead a consumer about his/her legal rights.
Examples might include stating ‘no refunds’ or ‘sold as seen’.

The picked it up again:

03/21/2012 04:02 PM


Hello,

Thank you for contacting us again, I apologize you had not
seen my previous message. I would happy to continue to troubleshoot
your issue with you if you are still having a bad experience. If you
would like to pursue a refund, you are correct that our policy is that
all sales are final, but we can escalate you to our billing department
to review your request.

Please let us know how you would like to proceed.

Best regards,

Berret
OnLive Technical Support
http://support.onlive.com

 

03/21/2012 05:26 PM


Hi Berret,

Thank you for your reply.
I am at the point where I believe the MC is faulty because it crashes and reboots when I start a game.

I
understand that you state all sales are final – however this is
contrary to UK law as I noted – and by even displaying this notice you
are committing a criminal offense in UK law. I trust you will rectify
this. Further, under the Sale of Goods Act, goods must be of
merchantable quality and fit for purpose. You’ve had over a month to try
and make the MC
I bought work, without success, and I am within my legal right to demand a full refund. This is what I am invoking now.

1. You will provide a full refund for the faulty MC.
2. You will provide return postage, or collection service to return the faulty MC to you.

Thank you,
Paul Gregg

03/24/2012 06:58 PM


Hello,

I will escalate your request to the billing department,
and they will explain the next steps to you. They will be in on Monday
and will address your issue as quickly as they can.

Best regards,

Berret
OnLive Technical Support
http://support.onlive.com



03/26/2012 11:13 AM


Greetings,

Thank you for contacting OnLive.

We understand that you are requesting a refund for your OnLive Game System purchase..
In order to credit your account, please return the OnLive Gaming System to following address:

ATTN: OnLive Department
LGI Logistics Group International UK LTD
4 Clarendon Drive
Wymbush
Milton Keynes
MK8 8DA

After
we receive the OnLive Game System, we will apply a refund to your
account. If we do not receive the device within 10 days from this email
date, you will not receive the refund.

If you have any other questions please feel free to ask.

Joseph
Warranty Department
http://support.onlive.com/



03/27/2012 08:32 AM


Hi Joseph,

Thank you for your message. However, I would request
that you pick the returned item up from me as is my right under Sale of
Goods Act for faulty goods.

To be clear – I am requesting a full refund (again under law) and NOT a “credit to my account”.

The device is faulty and has never performed as advertised. As is evidenced by support tickets you can see in my account.

Quote:
http://www.oft.gov.uk/business-advice/treating-customers-fairly/sogahome/sogaexplained/
“In
the case of faulty goods being returned because they are not fit for
purpose do not match their description or are not of a satisfactory
quality , the customer is entitled to claim the cost of postage from you
or to request that you arrange collection of the item.”

I will have the goods packaged in the original box available from my shipping address from Wednesday 28th March.

Thank you.

Paul Gregg



03/27/2012 11:31 AM


Greetings,

As mentioned in the terms of service that you agreed
upon when you created your account it states that “All hardware sales
subject to a 7-day right to cancel.”

You are past the 7-day right to cancel.

The
OnLive Game System you ordered was free and only the shipping cost was
charged to your account. That cost was to pay to have the unit sent to
you which it was. Shipping costs will not be refunded.

If the
unit is defective, we have no problem exchanging the unit for you at no
cost to you. Would you like for me to process an exchange for a brand
new unit for you? I can even provide you with a free 5-day PlayPass to
use on a game of your choice to try out the new system.

If you have any other questions please feel free to ask.

Joseph
Warranty Department
http://support.onlive.com/



03/27/2012 03:40 PM


Hi Joseph,

Thank you for your reply.

I would like to address each of your points in turn.

1. 7 day right to cancel:
“Notwithstanding the above, the purchase of an OGS or any other
hardware will constitute the supply of goods, and you will have seven
days (beginning the day after you receive the goods) in which you may
choose to cancel the contract.”

This quote relates to the
Distance Selling Regulations within which I would have a legal right to
return the goods, without reason, for a full refund.

This is NOT a
DSR issue. I am attempting to return the Goods under the Sale of Goods
Act as faulty. Not as described, not fit for purpose and not of
satisfactory quality. Given the dates of my support tickets, it should
be obvious that the MicroConsole was faulty when delivered. I also filed
my first ticket with the 7 days of delivery which, again, signals to
you that I have not “accepted” the Good in law.

2. “You are past the 7-day right to cancel.”

Irrelevant for reasons stated in 1.

3.
“The OnLive Game System you ordered was free and only the shipping cost
was charged to your account. That cost was to pay to have the unit sent
to you which it was. Shipping costs will not be refunded.”

Incorrect. The offer was a discounted MicroConsole @ £9.99 and £ 6.00 shipping.

4. “If the unit is defective, we have no problem exchanging the unit for you at no cost to you”

Thank
you for your offer. However, since the original contract in in breech
under Sale of Goods Act – I am legally entitled to reject the good and
request a full refund, including postage. In essence, I should not be
out of pocket since the contract is void.

Further, since you appear to be relying on DSR “7 day” notice period –
Your
attention is drawn to the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling)
Regulations 2000, specifically to regulation 14 which states that you
may not make any charge in relation to the supply of goods under a
contract whereby the cancellation of the contract is due to the breach
of implied terms of the contract (specifically implied terms in relation
to section 14 of the Sale of Goods Act).

I therefore request that you reimburse both goods and postage fees in accordance with these regulations.

Regards,
PG

 

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