To access the multiplayer content of Battlefield 3, the reason most people are picking the game up in the first place, you need to use a single-use code called an Online Pass. Pick the game up used, you have to pay $10 for a new pass. This isn’t a new thing however, as many games with online content curbed piracy by having a serial code which could only be used online once, the original DRM but only got in the way once.
A screwup on someone’s part caused retailers to get invalid codes packaged with the game, and EA has stated simply that they are aware of the problem, “apologize for the inconvenience”, and that you should tell your retailer you have a faulty code and get a replacement. It’s simple and it works unless you get unlucky twice in a row, or bought it from somewhere you can’t easily get a replacement from.
To be honest, I think that this would be a much more simple solution.
“My online pass code doesn’t work.”
“Can you provide a photo of the code and the receipt, please?”
“Yes that’s an invalid code, give me five minutes okay?”
“I’ve manually activated the online pass for you, have a nice day.”
That would be so much simpler and far more straightforward it’s not even funny. EA is known for a lot of things that are sometimes negative but until recently they had the edge of excellent customer service, but it seems to be slipping into hit and miss. I don’t see how they could screw up on the codes, create the generator, have the site reverse the generator’s math, and profit! Having people come in and out of a gamestore is going to do nothing but heavily irritate clerks who think they’re getting a sale, and instead it’s someone with a BF3 code problem.
Here’s an even better solution, drop that online pass BS altogether!