Civ5 for £2.35 update: You're outta luck

I’ve just had a chat with someone from Coolshop‘s very helpful customer service department, and they have confirmed that the Civ5 for £2.35 deal was indeed a pricing mistake, and the reason their system stopped giving out keys was because they had ran out.

They are in the process of issuing everyone who did not get the game a full refund, and in addition to this they are giving everyone 3 coolpoints as compensation. These will get you £3 off your next order with them.

They’ll be sending out an email with the details and an apology shortly. [Update: Check your emails, some people have already received this]

It’s a shame for those that didn’t manage to get a key, but no loss in the long run, and you can save some money another game in the future.

Cheers Coolshop.

Here are a selection of decent deals they have on at the minute for you to consider using your 3 coolpoints on. The prices I’ve quoted are including the £3 off.

Xbox 360
Rock Band 3 – £31.99 delivered
Rock Band 3 + Rock Band 1 drums – £36.99 delivered
Pure & LEGO Batman – £5.99 delivered

Rock Band 3 – £31.99 delivered

Sonic Colours – £22.99 delivered
Rock Band 3 – £19.99 delivered

Professor Layton and the Lost Future – £22.99 delivered
Last Window: The Secret of Cape West – £21.77 delivered

CODBLOPS – £28.77 delivered
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit – £20.49 delivered
RUSE – £18.99 delivered
HAWX 2 – £18.77 delivered
Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days – £10.49 delivered

Edit: Content of the email if you’ve not got it yet/are just an interested bystander:

We write to you because you have made a purchase of our Civilization 5 Download game. Unfortunately there was a price error on this product causing it to be shown at an obviously faulty price. The company that supplies us with the download games only supply a certain number of codes. Unfortunately this means we are unable to cover all the orders with the supply of cdkeys we can get from the supplier. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and will naturally issue you a full refund. Furthermore we will give you 3 Coolshop points (a value of £3) as compensation.

We thank you for your custom, and look forward to seeing you in our shop again.

Kind regards

43 Comments Leave yours

  1. Chris F #

    Thanks for the update. Nothing ventured, nothing gained 🙂

  2. Jaffo #

    I can look forward to emails from Coolshop and HMV then today I guess!

  3. Rich #

    Boo! 🙁

    Oh well, was worth a gamble.
    Wonder how many (besides His Lewieness) managed to get one.

    • Lewie Procter #

      I’ve seen 10+ people confirm they got it, but it looks like the majority definitely missed out.

  4. James G #

    Oh well, was worth a gamble. Glad to see they are being decent with the refunds. Will be adding coolshop to my rota of sites I check when looking for a specific game.

  5. Thanks for the update, Lewie. Also nice of Coolshop to give a £3 voucher on top of the refund for what was very clearly a pricing mistake.

  6. Ben Rose #

    Yay for customer service.

    The discount points would bring New Vegas for PC down to a very acceptable £20.77 btw, although it’s out of stock right now.

    • Lewie Procter #

      Yeah, I would have included that, but since I don’t know when it’ll be back in stock, it might be cheaper elsewhere by the time it is available.

  7. x25killa #

    Ah well, at least I be getting a refund and a £3 discount on my next purchase.

    That was nice of them for explaining the error to you LewieP.

    • Lewie Procter #

      Indeed. Much nicer than, say, freezing my account, cancelling my order and then having their fraud administrator follow me on twitter.

      Almost as if they took responsibility for their fuck up, instead of blaming me for telling people about it.

      Zavvi could probably learn a few lessons from them.

      • Ben Rose #

        Yeah, she was following me too, until I blocked her. Amusingly, Zavvi just sent me an e-mail to say that they have shipped me New Vegas, for £17.45, despite the fact that I decided to cancel my order on Thursday.

        Confusing business practices are confusing.

        At least I get cheap New Vegas, though.

      • Rich #

        having their fraud administrator follow you on twitter!?!

        Bloody The Hut.

      • Sammy #

        Do you follow the Fraud Administrator on Twitter in return? Is their feed any good. Do they enjoy your Twitterings?

  8. mamac #

    cheers lewie gonna buy black on pc from them with £3 discount because thats the cheapest ive seen it thus far!

  9. Mac #

    Given that they have taken our cash, “consideration” has taken plce and the contract is binding – isn’t it?

    As far as i am aware, they have offered to sell Civ 5 for a price, you have accepted their offer and paid their asking price, and they have accepted your asking price – I thought that this made a binding contract?

    • Ben Rose #

      I’m not sure of the exact word of the law here, but this seems to be a pretty decent way of dealing with the situation, especially as you’re essentially making 65p out of them.

      • Ben Rose #

        Making £3, rather. I fail at thought when I’ve not had any tea.

    • Diziet #

      That’s the confusing point and I suspect it would have to be tried in court. I only say this because as I read the law what you say is correct. However the system here was fully automated. I suspect such issues may be why online firms tend to honour such cock ups (personally thinking of incorrectly priced hotel rooms and the like).

      • Diziet #

        Err to clarify… could a firm argue that because a fully automated system took the order and monies with no human oversight that the normal law could not apply. You would have to treat the computer as a legal entity or er…. crap I don’t know. I hope you can see the spirit of the point I’m trying to make.

        If such an appeal failed on the part of the business concerned it could have ramifications for electronic trade.

        None of this, as far as I am concerned, should apply here as it would be:

        – Bloody petty.
        – In very poor human spirit.

      • Mac #

        Actually no, they have full control over the system and the choice of what system to deploy – if they do not put in failsafes to manage errors, then that is their issue and not the systems, therefore as far as I am aware, if they took paymnet they need to deliver the goods or service.

        Otherwise, nobody would honour anything – blaming middleware in web sites, etc.

      • Diziet #

        Good point. And some extra text so that my comment is long enough to be accepted.

      • moss_icon #

        Mac, what is your job? if you make a simple screw up at work, would you rather that people forgave you for it, or would you prefer that they were allowed to cause you to lose thousands of pounds simply because you made a small typo error? just how mean and lacking in empathy are you?

      • Mac #

        I head up a commercial team … thus deal with contracts for acquisitions and sales every day of the week … what joy! But i’m no Lawyer or Barrister … so I still retain my soul!

        I’m not saying that their offer isn’t fair or reasonable, just pointing out that what they are actually doing is cancelling a valid contract and giving you compensation – but they haven’t come clean and said this. You could if you wanted refuse their compensation and insist on the delivery of the agreed contract. Not saying you should though.

        My only concern with their compensation is that you appear to only be able to spend multiples of 5 points … so the 3 points are worthless unless you spend a further £60 on the site? Can anyone confirm that you can use the £3 discount now or not please?

    • Bob Bobson #

      I don’t doubt that the small print covers them. And really you’ve not lost out unless, say, you’ve incurred overdraft charges so a small claims court will be unsympathetic.

      Coolshop screwed up, they’ve taken (more than) reasonable steps to cover the damages to their customers. And being reasonable is very important to UK law, so end of story.

    • YenRug #

      I believe the “contract” is not complete until the goods are handed over, so those who failed to receive the code have not completed the exchange of money for goods; it left them in the position of being able to go, “Oh, that’s a mistake, sorry about that.” Notice how those that did receive codes have not been told their orders are being cancelled and refunded, it’s because the purchase was completed for them, so Coolshop have to abide by what you’re referring to under the Sale of Goods Act.

      • Mac #

        Not true, the contract is binding once paymnet has been made

      • Rich #

        Had payment been made? I’ve had online retailers fail to dispatch insanely cheap goods because they’ve run out of stock and weren’t getting any more in. Normally, they only take payment upon dispatching the order, at which point the contract becomes binding.

        If they actually charged your account, then maybe. If not, then there wasn’t a contract yet.

        I honestly didn’t check if it had left my account, but I assumed it hadn’t, as I could/can still cancel the order.

      • Mac #

        Yes, my account was charged as soon as I made teh transaction – I guess this is due to it being a download rather than a physical product.

  10. Ziv #

    Darn. Well it was too good to be true anyway. But now I have to use the 2.35because my card is single use (can’t put money in it) what do they have for download and won’t be pricey using my 3 points and 2 pounds?

  11. Ben Rose #

    Just got an e-mail from them, which I will quote for the sake of completion:


    We write to you because you have made a purchase of our Civilization 5 Download game. Unfortunately there was a price error on this product causing it to be shown at an obviously faulty price. The company that supplies us with the download games only supply a certain number of codes. Unfortunately this means we are unable to cover all the orders with the supply of cdkeys we can get from the supplier. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and will naturally issue you a full refund. Furthermore we will give you 3 Coolshop points (a value of £3) as compensation.

    We thank you for your custom, and look forward to seeing you in our shop again.

    Kind regards


    • Lewie Procter #

      Thanks, I’d just got given it by someone else too, and it’s in the post.

  12. Diziet #

    I just got the same email. Perfectly understandable in my opinion and the £3 voucher is quite decent of them. I’ll certainly make use of it in the future so in that sense they’ve gained some proper custom from me. Stores are not obligated to sell you a product if it is miss-priced.

  13. Ringwraith #

    Well, not bad for a free £3 at least.

  14. 3 points = Shadow of Chernobyl for £2.49. Win.

  15. Preciousgollum #

    I must say it is very nice of the shop to give £3 off a purchase over this. It has now tempted me to buy something :).

    I did already have Civilization 5 (first CIV that I have actually got round to finishing, had CIV IV during the steam sale) and I thought that if I got a CD-KEY from this then I’d have gifted it to someone. Given that people here appear to be more discerning games purchasers, It was a bit cheeky to expect anything in this case.

    All in all I am enjoying CIV 5 and the robust patch support that the developers have shown to be committed to by balancing, adding gameplay elements and improving the AI.

    I have to say that Civ 5 is a bit more streamlined than the previous iterations and, although there feels to be less ‘variety’ and there is a slight disconnect in the immersion in terms of progress regarding historical eras, given that the game features, graphics and music don’t change as much between ages (can easily be rectified in a mod), the interfacing has been altered to make the game much less of a chore to play than previous Civ games. The ‘Easier and Faster’ design makes it all the more engaging and has also influenced a focus in gameplay on pure strategic choice over statistics when interesting situations arise. I do, however, hope that in future Civ games the interesting situations might extend beyond simply warfare. More elements of play, beside war, could be improved with engaging features to provide a better emphasis of ‘Civilization’ over a war game. The choice to focus on war is certainly understandable, due to human history being predominantly a story of conflict, but I can’t help feeling that Civ 5 is lacking a sense of development and tangiable rewards in other areas of its design.

    Purely as a game, Civilization 5 triumphs greatly and is an amazing achievement, being incredibly well balanced where personal choices of play don’t inherently hinder the player, instead actually complementing the playing experience, such as choosing the size and focus of your empire, however, as an immersive experience, Civ 5 isn’t quite as ‘Civilization’ as it could be.

    This is likely a choice to make the game fit on a single DVD, something that I can understand.

    As a side note, one of the new lead developers on Civ (replacing Sid Meier to some degree) has said that the war-game “Panzer General” inspired him in development. I think that answers a lot of questions 🙂

  16. Gentian #

    Traders don’t have to honour prices where there’s an obvious mistake, there have been court cases about it which shops have won. Obvious means it’s clear to a reasonable person that a mistake was made, and everyone on this blog thought that over the weekend.

    So these guys come out of it quite, erm, cool. They don’t seem to be trying to claw back the money off the people who did get the product, although coolshop have lost money over the weekend on this. And they are giving away money to everybody else.

  17. goliath #

    how would the keys have been recieved.. by email or postal?

    • Email/within your downloads section.
      No, you bounder, if you don’t have it yet, it’s not gonna suprise you by coming in the mail 😀

  18. Preciousgollum #

    By the way, new content has been released today, some of it is old stuff that was in the collector’s edition: Babylonian with Nebuchadnezzer II while some has been patched in for free: Mongols and Genghis Khan.

  19. G_Man_007 #

    Just to throw a spanner into this, I received an email tonight from Coolshop, detailing the invoice for the download. Anyone else get this email after the one saying sorry we can’t give it to you?

    • Sammy #

      In the interest of being completely unhelpful, I’ve received this twice (having ordered twice). No mention of Coolshop points.

  20. h_g #

    Has anyone actually gotten a refund for this? I just checked my accounts and still do not see the amount for this being refunded. I only see the charge they made for £2.35. It’s been more than enough working days for a refund to filter through the banking system as well.

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