Tag Archives: Customer Service

Blizzard Relents, Lets Me Cancel WoW Early

Not that they bothered to mention this change of heart to me directly or anything.

Previously I mentioned how serious Blizz seemed to be about keeping their Annual Pass subscribers from cancelling their accounts, even those who had already paid in full months before.  Like me.

Then there was the customer support run-around, where official representatives of Blizzard repeatedly told me that they were not in anyway refusing a request to cease charging my credit card, while clearly and unambiguously refusing to cease charging my credit card.  Sometimes in the very same run-on sentence.

This mattered to me because I happened to have a very short window of time between when the annual pass would expire and when the subscription would renew and my credit card would be charged again.

The only assurance I received was that if I somehow got charged, I could contact them for a refund.

Of course, when a group of people who have no power and/or inclination to deviate from company policy tell you that they will happily violate the stated policy of the organization at some later date (Blizzard explicitly says “No Refunds” in its billing FAQ), I do not think one can be blamed for any skepticism that might result.

All of this was enough that Green Armadillo wrote a public service announcement over at his blog on the subject.

And that was pretty much the state of things a little over a month and a half ago.

Something must have changed since then.

I went to check my WoW account yesterday, just to make sure that the times and dates hadn’t altered for whatever reason.  Everything seemed about the same.

However, the cancel button was no longer grayed out.  So I clicked it.  And I was brought to the standard “OMG, is there something we can do?” set of options that indicates that you are trying to do that thing that Blizz hates; cancelling your subscription.

Wait, you’re leaving? But why?

Of course, they want to assure you that if anything is wrong that you can call customer service.  I won’t discount their ability to fix some problems, despite my recent experience, but they cannot fix my problem.  The second option in their survey summed it up about right.

The game used to be fun, but isn’t as fun anymore.

That about pegs it.

Then there was a further list.

Just to clarify even more so…

Account compromise came up again.  That seems to worry Blizz.  In fact, that looks like a pretty good list of WoW problems, which is what you would expect the customer service group to generate.  The closest item I could find to my own reason was simply running out of things to do.

That is not really true.  There were always plenty of things to do, I just felt no joy in doing them.  But you have to pick something, and that was pretty close.

Can you explain the lack of fun?

Of course, it carries on, looking for more details.  I like this second list, because it reflects some of the deeper reasons that Blizzard realizes people quit over.   This list seems to focus a lot on changes to the game around class, talent trees, and equipment.

WoW competitors like Trion would do well to understand this list that Blizzard created.  Don’t be doing things like Patch 1.11 very often, as it appears to drive people from your game.

I chose the second item about the direction development.  A lot of people are happy with the game, but my own desires no long seem to be on the agenda.  Such is life when you fall outside of the first standard deviation of the bell curve.  And that was about it.

They did want to know how likely I was to come back.  I won’t say never, but right now there are a lot of other games I would play before I went back to WoW.

Coming back?

Then there was a request to be able to contact me about future changes to the game.  I said okay to that.

And, finally, I was give a 255 character window in which to add any additional comments.  I decided not to waste it on a quip like “Contact me? Like you contacted me about changes to your Annual Pass cancellation policy?”  Instead I pointed at SOE and their attempts to farm nostalgia with the progression servers and asked why they couldn’t do the same.

So, my comment was probably still wasted, but not in an angry way.  I doubt Blizzard will ever formally do anything like a classic server.  Going backwards is not a Blizzard trait.

One more button and I was done.

Subscribed no more.  The account will run out Tuesday morning and that will be it for now.

Feel free to speculate in the comments about how likely I am to return.

In the mean time, I still have my daughter’s account to cancel.  Due to bad alignment, it still has another 1 month billing cycle to charge before the annual commitment is paid off.

Blizzard – Taken Over by The System

The ongoing tale of trying to get Blizzard to not charge my credit card at the end of my annual pass commitment.  The post that sets the situation is here.

I opened a support ticket to see what Blizzard would say on the subject.  After setting up the situation, I asked what I thought was a very specific question:

I do not wish to be billed further after the one year commitment.  How do I ensure that does not happen?

The first response was of the classic “we didn’t bother to read your question” variety.

We cannot remove a credit card from an annual pass subscription until the subscription expires. Once this is done, you can either remove the card yourself or contact us to do so.

That response didn’t even come with a name attached, so I assume it was a keyword generated response.

I responded to that and started getting responses with a series of excuses about why Blizzard could not, at this time, honor my request to not charge my credit card in the future without stripping me of all benefits (i.e. my copy of Diablo III) for which I had already paid.

It appears that an evil system is controlling Blizzard.  This system was referenced several times.  The system would not allow this.  The system would cancel my benefits.  My favorite was this bit of circular logic:

The way the system checks to mnake sure you are fullfilling the contract is to check to see if you have a credit card on the account, If the card is removed the system will think you defaulted and remove the benefits, this is why the card needs to stay on the account.

If I don’t eat my meant I cannot have any pudding, so if I want pudding I clearly need to eat my meat.

Except, of course, I was not asking to remove my credit card, I was asking Blizzard to stop charging it.  That is not even a subtle difference to my mind.  However, the system sees these things as one and the same.

It is the system’s fault.

Another agent said that they were aware of this issue with the system.  But hey, it’s the system.  I was even offered advice on working around the system.

Another option is you can change to a prepaid credit card that has at least $1 on it and leave that on the account.

I wonder if that one came from the list of approved responses.

I realize that the person in support is limited in their options, but the so-called “system” is not some external entity outside of Blizzard’s control.  The system is Blizzard behaving exactly the way Blizzard wants to behave.  If Blizzard wanted it to behave differently, Blizzard would fix it.

This morning I got the final response from Blizzard support that denied that Blizzard was doing anything that could be construed as refusing a request to stop billing my credit card, and then refused to stop billing my credit card unless I was willing to forfeit the benefits for which I already paid.  Again, it was the system.

The response closed with a note that there were no more answers to be had from support, so go away.  If I had any further questions about my annual pass commitment… and the tone of this final message was one of me breaking my obligations, as though I had somehow not already paid them the money back in April… I could take it up with somebody at the cryptic email address custodianofrecords@blizzard.com .

In the end, I am not one bit better off after having dealt with Blizzard support, and yet I am more annoyed with Blizzard as a company.

The “WordPress.com Requiring You to be Logged In to Comment” Issue

WordPress.com made a change to how comments work last week.  This is causing problems for some people trying to leave comments on WordPress.com blogs and is getting a stream of complaints.  I have gotten a few messages from people about this issue myself.

In the grand WordPress.com tradition, no mention of this change to comments was made before it started causing problems, and since then it has been getting little or no visible attention from what passes for support.  They might want to look into some ideas on that front.

Just a suggestion...

Anyway, it seems that if you have ever made an account at WordPress.com or any of its affiliated services, such as Gravatar, the email address you used has been stored away somewhere and you are now required to log into WordPress.com if you enter an email address that matches one in the database.

Even if you have since attempted to delete your account.

You can enter your email address in the lost password page at WordPress.com to see if you have an address that has been assimilated into the database.

Since I do not actually check the email addresses people use, unless somebody asks me to contact them, feel free to make up a fake email address to comment.  I won’t mind and would rather have your comment than an accurate email address.

I will enable anonymous comments in the mean time.  I don’t mind anonymous comments, but for some reason the need to enter an email address makes some people behave better.

EverQuest Denied!

Ah well, somebody hit the switch at SOE and the free play time is finally over for EverQuest.

Subscription Required

However, 24 hours later, I haven’t heard anything about my support ticket and when I try to go to the subscriptions page for my Station Account, all I get is an error.

We will not take your money

I’ve been “trying again later” since Tuesday morning.  That doesn’t seem to do the trick.

And I got a tweet from Stargrace today that said she had the same problem in the past and that it took SOE two weeks to deal with it.

So there may be a considerable interruption in my EverQuest posts while SOE decides whether or not they want to take my money.  My past experience with SOE support does not make me optimistic.