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Spurned Pokemon Go players file complaints with federal government


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A player catches a Psyduck using AR mode in Pokémon Go

More than 70 Pokémon Go players and those who see themselves as victims of the game, its players or the gotta-get-em-all pocket monsters have filed complaints with the Federal Trade Commission since the game’s July launch.

Of the 72 complaints filed about the game through Sept. 13, 56 were directed at Pokémon Go developer Niantic with the bulk of the rest spread between Nintendo and The Pokémon Company, according to records obtained from the Federal Trade Commission via a Freedom of Information Act request filed by Polygon.

While the reasons for the complaints vary, the largest number are tied to customers complaining about the money they spent and what they received for that cash.

Much of those money complaints arose after the game began to suffer server issues or after an update removed the ability to better track Pokémon. One customer noted they had spent nearly $450 on the game without complaint, but then Niantic blocked third-party applications used for tracking and banned accounts using certain apps, including the complainant’s.

“I had my account taken away from me without any warning or contact from Niantic. I have emailed them and sent in an appeal form against my ban,” the person wrote. “I would like to have all my money that I spent on their game refunded or my account returned to me so i can continue to play their game.”

Other complaints involved concerns for:

the location of Pokemon Gyms on private property,

“We have Pokemon Go players showing up at a house that does not play at all,” wrote one complainant. “We do not participate, downloaded etc. PLZ remove the address. for others that do. It appears that our gmail account was used incorrectly for others to participate and use this address.. It has cause anxiety (panic attacks) which causes physical intervention from Life Alert.”

“We are a small hospital in Oregon and Nintendo Pokemon Go players are descending on our halls and asking to go into private areas to take pictures and get their game points. In the process, they may see our patients in rooms and halls. Our hospital works to carefully protect patient privacy and is in a dilemma, protect privacy versus public service. We ask that Nintendo NOT allow hospitals or clinics to listed as sites where anyone may locate a Pokemon target.”


“The Pokemon Go mobile game privacy policy states that they access ‘PII such as email address’ but their app requires FULL google account access to function - giving them access to all emails, calendar contents, contacts, etc. At no time when creating an account or linking the game to one’s google account does the app state the extent of the access or that the required access far exceeds that described in the privacy policy. Revoking access from one’s google account forces the game to log out and logging back into the game reinstates full google account access. This game is aimed at children and very aggressively deceives players into revealing potentially incredibly private information.”

and of course, the safety of the children.

“I am deeply upset and concerned about the safety of every person playing Pokemon go especially the children. I almost killed a child today who was riding his bike and veared into the road way holding his cell phone up. I have many friends and family member who report similar instances and I see on the news it is possible a death occurred due to this game and countless injuries and even attacks on those not paying attention to their surroundings. This has to be one of the most unsafe products out! Not only for those who purchased it but for those who have not and may get in a car accident because of someone else playing it. Please please get this product off the market asap!!!! Before children are killed!!!!!!! —- Additional Comments: Recall! Get it off the market!! It is unsafe!!!

Read the response letters and data below.

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