In a desperate attempt to play Spore while visiting family in Tahoe, an Ars Technica writer stumbled across a disagreeable little caveat in purchasing products from EA's online store. He was charged an extra $7 for the "extended download service," a nasty little program by EA's digital distributor, Digital River. The company only allows purchases to be redownloaded for a certain period of time (which varies), but to enable the option to download the product again within two years, the customer will have to pay the fee. Apparently, there's no indefinite download option.

Ars went down the rabbit hole to get some answers from Digital River about why the company does this, but was met with a perma-hold and disconnects when calling. Considering that we haven't heard of "extended download service" fees on independently-created digital distribution services like Steam, which now sells Spore, it's probably safe to stick with that if you're a PC user. Feel free to let us know if you've seen "extended download service" fees from other distributors, because what Digital River is doing sounds like shady business.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.