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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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So, still don’t have the replacement stuff for my Rock Band 2 guitar. Sort of afraid to go to the EA website, for fear of discovering that this RMA has also failed. We’ll see. The upside is that with everything packed up to move, I’m not really playing Rock Band 2 right now.

Talked to HP Friday to try to coordinate the return of the defective monitor, they said a shipping label was coming. It hasn’t, yet. They called today asking why I haven’t returned the monitor yet. I said it’s because I haven’t gotten a shipping label, despite my best efforts. They say I’ll get one in 3-5 business days via email. Seriously? It takes a week to email a shipping label? It’ll come from (yet) another third-party provider that handles their returns. They’ve warned me that their shipping labels usually get caught by spam filters because they look like spam. I’ve been checking my quarantine, no shipping label. Incredible. Would have been a lot easier if the initial shipment just came with a return label. My success rate with the HP customer service folks has been about 1 in 3, for the 30 or so contacts I’ve had with them over the course of this incident. Probably still the most incoherent and disorganized product return process I’ve ever been involved in.

I was really impressed by this blog post on Steam and Impulse (defunct). Impressed enough that I thought I’d give Impulse a shot. I like competition. I’m not married to Steam, even though it works great. I don’t have any need to own physical copies of games. I like digital distribution of game content. I like being able to play games without discs. I like paying for games.

So, I thought I’d give Impulse a shot. I’ve wanted Sins of a Solar Empire for a while, and I’ve been convinced to try Galactic Civilizations II. I try to pick these up via Impulse and … well, looks like only Sins is going to work properly. The other is complaining that it has an invalid registration serial number. Shitty. Never had issues like that with Steam. I realize Steam has an invasive connect-to-play licensing system which I still don’t entirely like, but I’ve never had an issue with it failing to function, ever. I don’t like DRM. I don’t like asking for permission to use intellectual property that I have paid money to “own.” That said, nothing is more frustrating than purchasing something, and being told “uh, that’s not yours!” I sent a support inquiry to Impulse. To this I received three automated responses indicating common solutions (yes, three separate emails) immediately, as well as a boilerplate “we’ve got yer email, we’re going to respond” email. We’ll see how this one works out in the end.

Update

Got a response from the Impulse folks, they told me I was obviously logging on under another account, and as soon as I login again with my account, things would be all set.

Wrong on both counts, morons.

They did, however, issue another email serial numbers for all of the individual products, which included correct serial numbers for the GalCiv expansions. Funny how I might need those, rather than just one serial number applied to all of them, with it not working.

Morons.

Of course, now I get:

GalCiv II: Twilight of the Armor: Network XML Unavailable

Yeah, that’s when I’m trying to install the game.

Also, the download links they sent in the support email … don’t work.

Unbelievably fucked up. This just convinced me that Steam is the only option; if you can’t compete, don’t play. And by that, I mean if you can’t be bothered to give it even a college try. Impulse is, at the moment, brittle, disorganized, and broken.