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Reader Comments (24)

Posted: May 27th 2010 6:20PM engrey said

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I have to put in a good word to the CS folks at Turbine. Someone hacked my account and billed my credit card information for a year or lifetime sub. So when I saw this huge charge on my bank account I immediately contacted Turbines support. I told them I did not re-active the account and even closed it a year before. The money was refunded and the CS rep was very kind and understanding.

When contacting Blizzard over the years the CS reps have been able to do what I needed to get done. However I cannot say the same experience is better when sending a ticket in-game. Most take 5-10 hours to get through, even more if you log-off after waiting for a long time. Over the phone the wait was usually a matter of minutes, in-game is a much different story.

CS is really over looked and not given the credit it deserves, if you just think at the amount of accounts, items, and other things Blizzard needs to restore on a regular basis the number can be daunting. However working CS in any industry is a tough job, dealing with people who are typically upset and on a short fuse to begin with. Though when the budget need trimming CS is usually the first to go, which is disappointing considering the needs of the community and the help they provide.

Posted: May 27th 2010 6:32PM eyeball2452 said

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I think this is a good article. However, I wonder if declining subscriber numbers or the long lapse in subscriber dates on the account were the reason that Blizzard was willing to relax their policies.

I enjoyed playing WoW for 3+ years. However, I've always told people that if they want something to change (including better customer service), they should cancel their account. Money seems to be the only metric that Blizzard uses in their decision making process.
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Posted: May 27th 2010 7:02PM (Unverified) said

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Blizzard has the worst customer support out of any company I have dealt with in my lifetime. A few years ago I would have said AT&T, but they have actually worked on bettering their support.

Rarely has a company made me so angry to deal with. They have a real take the money and run mentality to them.

Some of my issues have been:
• 3 - 4 hour hold times

• once in my 2rd hour of being on hold having them hang up on me, only for me to call back and hear they were closed for the day (it was noon on a weekday.). I found out from a friend who worked at Blizzard that they had a server crash and decided to just close customer support for the day rather than to deal with people.

• phone messages saying that because of the high demand, they wont be accepting calls. this went on for several weeks.

• the emails telling me to call in to discuss my problem, and the phone message telling me to email.


Posted: May 27th 2010 6:33PM Scopique said

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I was in EXACTLY the same boat! I got an email from Blizzard saying my INACTIVE WoW account had been locked because of illegal activity. I tried to get into Battle.net to change passwords and all that, but the account was locked down with an authenticator. 48 hours and maybe 2 emails later, everything was back under my control.

Same thing with GW. Had lost my character name, and even the account name -- it had been a while since I played GW. Once again, 2 emails later, and everything was running smoothly.

I felt a little odd when dealing them them both, however. I couldn't help but think: what if I wasn't who I said I was? What if someone else was trying to get access to MY accounts using the same language, the same VERY BASIC information? Is there anything about my requests that may raise red flags with either group?

Because I was on the correct side of the issue, I'm pleased with the service from both companies.

Posted: May 27th 2010 6:39PM Williwaw87 said

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I had my GW account banned when it got hacked. I got it back within a week,

Posted: May 27th 2010 6:41PM (Unverified) said

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I had the same experience with the GW staff on my account it took about two days after my account was locked out, but they were amazingly prompt and helpful. Go Anet customer service!

Posted: May 27th 2010 6:43PM (Unverified) said

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Not to be harsh.. Okay I'm going to be harsh. 3 day wait time and response by email is HORRIBLE customer service for any company that does customer service. The fact that you had to put in a second request month and months later is also horrible. Sure their phones may be busy, but they have a large user base, they should be able to support a large number of customer service calls/emails per day.

On pretty much any CS inquiry I've had to submit for all sorts of services the standard response is next day. I'm not sure why the OP thinks that a 3 day wait is praiseworthy. Also this is called damage control, you give the customer something small so that they may be inclined to continue doing business for you. Obviously the first ticket never got resolved properly and was a huge mistake, any knowledgeable CS Rep will know that if they ever want you back as a customer they better fix anything and everything they can with no questions. In my opinion this is actually a fail for blizzard, not a plus. Sure it could have been handled worse, but why wasn't it handled right the first time?

Posted: May 27th 2010 8:46PM (Unverified) said

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I quit playing wow about a year ago and recently got an IM from an old guild mate telling me my druid was in that cave in Storm Peaks. Out of fear for my personal information I wanted to get the matter resolved through blizzard, I tried the online help solutions and got some nicely copy/pasted responses and got that fucking message " we have too many calls so we aren't going to take yours, bye" 5 times when i tried to call.

Cold, faceless, and Greedy is what I thought. Fuck them.

To be fair they did eventually get my account sorted but not before I cursed the name of all of their mothers a few hundred times.

Posted: May 27th 2010 6:52PM CCon99 said

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It's funny how there wasn't this much massive hacking in WoW till after they started forcing everyone to use an email address as your stupid Battle.net login. 4 years I never had a problem with my account getting hacked, once they switched over to the battle.net email login, I got hit twice using different email addresses each time (they were also email addresses I created just for my WoW subscription and never used for actual mail or signing up for other websites).

Posted: May 28th 2010 12:31AM (Unverified) said

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i too got hacked soon after being forced to use an email address to log in..... took me only like 2 days to get it back.... that was the 2nd hack on my account.

the first hack was when WoW version 2.0 broke a ton of addons and, as it all came out, a couple of popular addon sites had malware embedded in their page frames and some such.. took me a month of back and forth emails to sort that one out.
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Posted: May 27th 2010 10:03PM Its Utakata stupid said

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Not to be dismissive of your concerns, because I think your concerns are valid...

...but I developed a work around it by having an web based email account that I only know about. Therefore, I don't use the one everyone communicates with me...I'll be asking for trouble if I do. I also have added an Authenticator as an extra security precaution.

Though I agree having a user name instead of using your addy would make it far more secure. Furthermore, Blizz will be introducing a cross game/server that uses your real name. I'm not sure the success of their Authenticator program has gone to their fat heads...but that one does make me do a /facepalm. :(
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Posted: May 27th 2010 6:55PM urgan said

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I agree that good customer support is another one of the features that an MMO must have to succeed.

All I have to say, is that after my experience with SOE MMO support, both over email and phone, with multiple representatives, I really don't want to pay them anything ever again. I was trying to play Matrix Online one last time before the servers closed forever, but they said my account was not valid because THEY never copied it over from WB when they bought Matrix Online. I tried to give them my valid serial number, but they said I was out of luck. It wasn't just what they said, it was the way their representatives rudely said it.

Posted: May 27th 2010 6:58PM (Unverified) said

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Authenticators are cheap, free if you have an iPhone. My friend was recently hacked and they had merged her account into a battlenet account and added an authenticator to it. No one that started playing a game years ago remembers their secret word. It only took them a few days to get it back to her, (and they sent her a free authenticator). I have come to the conclusion though that their phone lines are just an hour long wait and that message. I havent heard of anyone recently actually getting through to them. Maybe they downsized and outsourced their support staff and dont want anyone to know...

Posted: May 27th 2010 7:11PM engrey said

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I think it was Blizzcon last year that they showed a presentation about WoW by the numbers. From what I remember the presentation showed they had 3,000 CS reps for the entire world population of WoW. How many being in China/NA/Europe is anyones guess. Though that does seem like a large number and given the amount of questions and calls MMO companies get daily its no wonder the lines are busy. Since who knows what people are calling in for, free gold, their pass not working (When caps is on), hacked accounts, quest advice, and each person that does not have a legitimate concern are just tying up lines for the rest of us.

I am sympathetic to those who are working the CSR position. Working in customer service myself I know how the system works and you cannot always help everyone. Also keep in mind that the person that answers the phone is not the same group that gets your account back. If a hack happens that gets escalated to another team that looks into the information, what occurred, and what was stolen/sold/what have you. So that has been known to take a few days and honestly I never expect an answer back within the next day. Most sites (Say for banks and other services) tend to say 1-3 business days for a response.
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Posted: May 28th 2010 4:48AM Interitus said

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I have to say I have had great service from GW support recently.

But the one I would really like to thank is a SOE rep about The Agency facebook game. It wasn't linking properly to my station account. He offered me various suggestions via email. Even going through each step to make sure I wasn't doing something wrong. All this was through their ticket system. (this was the day after the game came out, I was unsure how many support people had training yet about the game. So he asked if he could call, I said yes, he called me and it turned out something simply needed to be reset on their side. But I have to say the guy was patient, polite and a great example of a custoemr support person.

Posted: May 28th 2010 4:38AM (Unverified) said

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Lol at people spoiled by Blizz, You do know that there are many MMOs where after being hacked and loosing Your characters You'll get empty account back and hear tough luck, should have kept Your account details/PC safe?

Blizz undeleted my friend's character after his spouse got mad and deleted those. No questions asked. So what if You have to wait 3 days or week. After all You get it done. Not to mention most of "hacked" accounts are fully due to being careless about surfing onto fishy sites, sharing account or using same e-mail/pass on various games/sites.

Ah forgot, it's just in trend to whine at Blizz and scream that grass is greener on the other side. Yet somehow in reality it isn't...

Posted: May 28th 2010 7:54AM Ocho said

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I have to sound in on this topic. I previously worked in the customer service industry, both in e-mail for a worldwide company, phone support, and and sales. When it comes to assisting customers, I know the drill.

However, I went through the EXACT same thing you did here, Sera. I had my account hacked into, all my equipment sold off, all my gold gone. This was probably in the middle of April. I couldn't access my account because the hacker had attached an authenticator to the account. I found out because Blizz had sent me an e-mail saying my account had been involved in nefarious gold spamming/farming issues. Well, my account was put onto a 48 hour probation. I wrote Blizz an e-mail saying "Hey, this isn't me!" What happened? Nothing.

The 48 hours came and went, the hacker still accessed my account no problem. Then a week later (A WEEK!), they closed it down and did their inquiry. Another week later (!!!!) they got around to saying "Hey, we saw your account was hacked. We reinstated your stuff and reset your password. Don't have this happen again, it's your own fault and we really don't have to do anything, but we did." Fine. (I really don't agree that account security and safety is simply my own fault, that Blizz should be actively trying to combat hacked accounts and not blame people for getting their account hacked... but thats my own opinion)

I accessed my account to change my password... the authenticator was still attached. I wrote them back saying so... a week later (!!!!!!!!!!!) they finally got back saying they removed the authenticator and I was able to access the account again. Finally. I was not under any subscription at the time, but there was still time left on the hacker's Free Whatever Month, so I logged back in, fixed my inventory, put my gear back on, and sold off anything I completely forgot what it was for.

The next day I got a letter from Blizz "Your account has been accessed by a third party and has been frozen". I wrote to them and told them I logged in to fix everything as I didn't know when next I would subscribe and used them time left by the hacker. A week later (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! see a pattern on response time?) they got back to me saying my account was was active again and needed to reset my password. All said, its now the end of May, a MONTH AND A HALF later, and my account's status still reads "Frozen".

I would really like to agree with you, Sera, and it might be that only the account security of current paying customers is of importance to them. But I still do not have my issue fully resolved, its been a month and a half, and I was essentially blamed for it happening (I don't hand out my account and password information to anybody and I use different passwords... really not sure how they accessed it as I do malware and virus scans all the time as well as practice safe browsing... honestly, I blame facebook... I think an app there got some of my info). Really... quite possibly the WORST customer service I have ever received.

I now have an authenticator, which I purchased, specifically so that if my account is hacked again Blizz can't blame me for it. Seriously, who blames the victim?! Because of this, I most likely will not be coming back for Cata. Too many other MMO's out there, they can't act like they are the only ones and they can treat their playerbase with such disrespect.

- Ocho

Posted: May 28th 2010 8:16AM phlux said

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I literally just reinstalled Guild Wars after about two years. When I tried to log in it asked me for any one of my character's name as an extra layer of security.

I didn't remember any names and didn't even know if I had a character made. First I changed my password thinking it was that. Then when I realize I really needed the names I e-mailed Guild Wars support.

Literally seconds later I get an e-mail. Then after replying I get another e-mail soon. They gave me back my character names. All within about 3-4 minutes.

Thanks Guild Wars Support Team!

Posted: May 28th 2010 8:22AM phlux said

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I literally just reinstalled Guild Wars after about two years. When I tried to log in it asked me for any one of my character's name as an extra layer of security.

I didn't remember any names and didn't even know if I had a character made. First I changed my password thinking it was that. Then when I realize I really needed the names I e-mailed Guild Wars support.

Literally seconds later I get an e-mail. Then after replying I get another e-mail soon. They gave me back my character names. All within about 3-4 minutes.

Thanks Guild Wars Support Team!

Posted: May 28th 2010 8:23AM phlux said

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Sorry about the double post!

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