Star Citizen backer took CIG to small claims court over his refund request – and lost
The Star Citizen refunds subreddit is often the home of big words and tall tales, but Redditor firefly212 did more than just talk: He actually tried to take Cloud Imperium to court over his refund request. Unfortunately for him, he lost in small claims court and the case has been sent to arbitration, as the judge apparently agreed with CIG that its retroactive policy regarding refund arbitration should apply even to donors and package-buyers who began contributing to the game before that policy existed.
“In mediation, CIG/RSI would not agree to refund the portion of my account not covered by the arbitration agreement. Though lawyers aren’t permitted, CIG/RSI lawyers drafted and submitted statements that were permitted. The judge declined to hear anything about the conscionability or lack of consideration in the TOS. Despite the top sentence on the TOS, CIG/RSI successfully argued that the arbitration clause should be applied to transactions even before the clause existed. CIG/RSI repeatedly argued that there is a playable game and that funds have been earned, but the judge did not rule that either. Following application of arbitration clause to transactions outside covered dates, court orders matter to arbitration, case is dismissed without prejudice.”
You’ve heard the name firefly212 before: He was the MS-stricken backer whose comments started the massive soul-searching thread back in June about his loss of faith in the project and desire to claw back his $4500 in purchases; at the time, he complained about CIG’s lack of financial transparency, his belief that CIG hadn’t given any refunds since January, and the cost (hundreds of dollars) to seek relief in arbitration court. That thread ballooned to almost 1500 comments and 1700 upvotes, and firefly212 has since been “expelled” from the Evocati corps in spite of the fact that CIG is still hanging onto his money.
CIG’s official current policy is to refund purchases up to 30 days; after that, it says it will examine refund requests on a case-by-case basis. Prior to the TOS change two years ago, the refund grace period was 18 months.
Most people are thanking firefly212 for having the guts to at least try to grapple with CIG.
“Regardless of whether or not you think people should get refunds, it strikes me as incredibly weird how people are over there cheering the idea that CIG can just tell us (and, accordingly, them) to go fuck ourselves,” Beet Wagon (who is also one of our tipsters for this piece) wrote in the burgeoning new thread about the case. “Even if you think all the people who want refunds are dirty lying punks trying to back out of an obligation, cheering the loss of consumer protections seems… very strange to me.”