It's not unusual for game publishers to ask some of its customers to fill out an online survey. It's also not out of the ordinary to offer those same survey users some kind of freebie to get them to participate.
This weekend, Electronic Art sent out online surveys to users of its PC game download service Origin. When the survey was completed, they received a code that was designed to give them $20 off a game from the service. Many of the games on Origin are priced at $19.99 or below, which basically means a user could get a free game out of the deal.
That was the idea. The problem was that some users quickly found out that the code could be used more than once. As Kotaku reports, that caused a number of people to download what could be thousands of free games, worth tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, from Origin.
EA stopped giving out the codes on Sunday but said they would honor all of the purchases made with the code on Origin before they pulled the plug. However, some people who filled out the survey and failed to use the code before EA's decision are now upset. Kotaku reports that one user on EA's forums stated, "When confronted on this issue, EA has chosen to respond by honoring the purchases of those who abused the system and not the coupons obtained by those wanting to use it properly after the fact. They have rewarded the abusers and punished their customers."
Source: Kotaku | Image via EA