Epic Games has been in the news recently for their argument with Apple regarding Fortnite on iOS devices. This article isn’t about that, though, because much like Apple, I have my own beef with Epic Games, specifically regarding the Epic Games Store and their shockingly bad customer support.
Earlier in the year I had a problem with my old internet service provider. To make a long story short, I used to have an email account from my ISP, but after they migrated their email hosting from one company to another, I was locked out of my email account – the primary one I used. Among other accounts I’d set up with it were shops like Steam and the Epic Games Store. My ISP was utterly useless when it came to getting me back into my email, and as a result I ended up making a new email address. Most accounts were easily switched over, but one of the outliers was the Epic Games Store.
I don’t have that many games in my Epic account; I think there are eight or nine at time of writing. But some, like Control and The Outer Worlds weren’t exactly cheap, and because of Epic’s policy of throwing its money around, aren’t available anywhere else. So I might’ve spent somewhere between £50-75 in total on games in my Epic account, as well as picking up a couple of freebies along the way. That may not be a huge investment by some people’s standards, but it’s not a small amount of money either, especially for someone on a low income.
After logging in to my account on the Epic Games website, I navigated to my account details and hoped that the process to change my email would be smooth. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Epic insisted that they send me a code to confirm my identity before they’d allow me to change the associated email address. Okay, I thought. No big deal. I had already set up two-factor authentication – something I’d encourage everyone to do for any such account – so I assumed they’d text me a code or use an authenticator app. But I was wrong – the only way Epic would allow me to change my email address was by sending a code to my old email address.
The help section of the Epic Games website was useless, but I did eventually manage to open a “support ticket”. I included as much information as I could about who I was and why I needed to make the change and submitted the ticket – at which point I was told to check my old email address for updates! This was nonsense – Epic’s own website was telling me to create a support ticket for this issue, then the support ticket was being sent to the email account that they know I couldn’t access!
There was no way to log in to the Epic website to access support tickets, either. I tried this three times, and each time received no response – or if I did receive a response it went to the email address that they knew I couldn’t access.
My fourth attempt – several weeks later – initially seemed to be going better. Epic’s website had been updated, and a new form complete with captchas asked for a lot of information including my old email address, my new email address, information about me, information about my Epic account, etc. I gave them the IP address of my PC, which is the only place I ever log in to Epic. I gave them receipt numbers for games I’d bought. I gave them screenshots of my account logged into the Epic Launcher. I gave them the unique alphanumeric code of my account. And as much additional information as I thought I could find. I was thrilled when my new email address received a reply!
But this was the reply:
They refused to change my account email address despite having ample proof that it was me – the genuine account holder – requesting this change. The customer service agent told me point-blank that this was “Epic Games security policy”. So that was that. They wouldn’t make the change.
Every other company I’ve dealt with allowed me to change my email address. Some wanted to text me a security code, some wanted me to jump through other hoops, but every single company I’ve dealt with over the last few months allowed me to make this simple change. But not Epic Games. Their customer service stinks, and their policy – if it is indeed policy to refuse this kind of request – is nonsensical. I can’t be the only person who has had to make a change of this nature, can I? It must be a common enough occurrence, or Epic Games wouldn’t have a page on their website telling you how to do it. Every other company I had an account with easily let me change my email address, so there’s no legal requirement or other such issue standing in the way. It’s purely the intransigence of one company.
When we hit the wall and it was clear the customer support staff weren’t going to be able to help, I asked them to refund my purchased games and close the account. But they couldn’t do that either, so I’m left with a useless, inaccessible account with games I can’t play, money they won’t refund, and my personal details still held by the company.
I don’t think anything will ever convince me to shop with Epic Games again. I bit the bullet and made an account because I wanted to play a few titles that weren’t going to be available elsewhere. But Epic has done nothing to ingratiate itself with the wider gaming community, and issues like this, with stupidly bad policies and poor customer support, erode the tiny amount of goodwill that they’re trying to create.
Obviously this was a rant because I’m annoyed and disappointed, but I think it’s worth making people aware that Epic Games is hardly the “freedom fighter” that they’re pretending to be in their tussle with Apple. Like any other big corporation, Epic Games couldn’t give a fuck about any of us. Its lawsuit against Apple, which it filed after knowingly and wilfully violating the terms of service every other developer using Apple’s ecosystem agrees to, is purely about making more money and more profit for itself. And its treatment of customers like me is proof positive that Epic Games doesn’t give a shit.
This article contains the thoughts and opinions of one person only and is not intended to cause any offence. Except to Epic Games.