Pokémon Go launched in July this year, and so far over 70 individuals feel that they have been victimized by the game, or the roving packs of wannabe Pokémon masters that it created, and have filed complaints with the Federal Trade Commission.
According to a Freedom of Information Act Request filed by Polygon, 56 out of 72 complaints were directed at Pokémon Go developer Niantic with the bulk of the rest spread between Nintendo and The Pokémon Company.
One of the main grievances that people have against Pokémon Go and Niantic has to do with feeling cheated after spending a lot of money on the game. A lot of these complaints are related to the server issues and tracking issues that have plagued the game since its launch, or about Niantic cracking down on the use of 3rd-party apps, which included banning the accounts of the users of certain apps.
One complainant who fell under the banhammer noted that he had spent nearly $450 on the game, only to have his account blocked for using a 3rd-party Pokémon tracking app:
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. 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.
That's a lot of moolah for something that can be snatched away from you just like that. And while some welcome the advent of social gaming into the public sphere, there's also an issue with Pokémon gyms turning up on private property.
We have Pokemon Go players showing up at a house that does not play at all. 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.
In at least one case where a hospital ended up hosting a Pokémon Gym, there were issues with privacy, and probably also with the risk of infection.
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.
With an app that requires such comprehensive access to user data as Pokémon Go, data privacy is also a concern. Nowadays people can be too ready to sign away their personal information. Malware aside, Pokémon Go created a legit privacy scare over the summer, and people are concerned that its demands to user data are unjustifiable.
Ah, yes, the children. The above complaint does make a decent point. Some others are more passionate about this point.
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!!!
In all fairness Pokemon Go does seem to have inspired some dodgy behavior, but that complainant doesn't even know what was on that phone.
Had your account banned or home invaded? What's your biggest gripe against Pokemon go?