Friday, March 18, 2011

Sleazy Business Practices

I've been a Game House/Real Arcade member for years. For a small sum, each month I can download samples of oodles of games, get a free game, and can, if I wish, buy additional ones. And I love my games! I'm a computer game junkie. And Game House has some good ones! But lately Game House has been doing something that really bugs me...and now it's gotten worse.

When you ask to download a game, a special download screen pops up. Generally you have to listen to an ad before the download will start and that's okay. I understand that Game House has costs and maybe the members' fees don't cover all of them...and they certainly are entitled to a profit. Fine.

Then, sometimes the download screen pops up and you are given a "chance" to download some other sort of software. Some time ago it was Chrome. In order not to download the additional software you had to click a radio button. Okay, that was mildly annoying, but it doesn't take much effort to click the button...provided you remembered to do so.

But they've gotten me angry. The last couple of games I have tried to download have offered some sort of "Registration Optimizer" with no explanation as to what this will do, what it's for, where it comes from. But there's a radio button and you can opt out. Then I noticed that even if you opt out of the Optimizer, by clicking on the button to begin downloading your chosen game, you are automatically agreeing to the end user agreement for something called (if I am remembering correctly) OpenCandy. There is no way to opt out, no explanation about what this is, no clue as to where it comes from. How sleazy is that!!

(After doing some Googling, it appears OpenCandy has something to do with advertasing and tracking responses to advertisements. So possibly perfectly legitimate...but I don't want it!)

So I haven't downloaded anything (even though there are a couple new games I really want to try) and this evening, I called Game House to complain. Apparently, I can't get an answer over the phone. My complaint has been upgraded to a service request and I should get an email at some point.

I'm thinking that if they can't resolve this, I'll be stopping my subscription. Feh.

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