Friday, January 29, 2010

Squeaky Wheels...

In the MMO world we sometimes forget that our hobby is one tied to real money. May it be from buying the product, paying subscriptions or paying for services. It is a business and we are consumers.

The Squeaky Wheel.. Gets the Oil.
If there is one thing I like about S.O.E. it's the customer service, however I tend to like their games just as much. I have in the past had a few bad experiences, but when compared to most other companies, I would have to say that out of my many dealings overall-  it's probably the best out there.

I did have my characters deleted once, the CS rep I spoke to basically couldn't be bothered to restore(years and years ago). And I was billed for a month I didn't log in accidentally, it was my fault and the CS rep pretty much told me too bad. Those were both incidents I quit over.Were they the companies fault? No, but I felt as a paying customer I was blown off when I asked for help.

Those are just two examples. I couldn't tell you how many times they have helped me out with things that most companies would just flat out say no to. They -overall- have been great when it comes to customer service.

But over the years I have learned- I am not one to take no for an answer if I don't have to. Many games are quick to blow me off over my measly petitions. Games are products, I am a consumer. If I am not happy, I will go to another product, plain and simple.

Today I was once again pleased with the support team helping me with one of my 'issues'. It wasn't anything game breaking, but it was a big deal to me. It's the little things that make players happy. So why not bend a little to keep the player happy? So today I am a happy player because I feel as if the company I am with cares.

Squeaky Wheel gets Annoyed..
Blizzard has helped me with issues in the past that really made me keep playing also. However they don't always bend as much as I would like them to. I have had a lot of bad customer service, generic responces.

With many incidents I was sent an email stating the problem had to do with my UI.  These had absolutely nothing to do with the user interface- yet each time I asked for help I was sent the same email! I was pretty ticked offI deleted my character by accident can it be restored?- Try restoring your original UI settings by following the directions in this email...What?!

I explained that I was tired of getting the same lazy email every time I had a problem. I never got an apology, or even an acknowledgment about it either, which was even more annoying. Yes, in case you were wondering: I am a MMO princess who demands excellent service!

Reality Check!
Some players think the companies owe the players nothing. In reality we are consumers paying for a product, many people forget that money is involved. It is after all a business. Time= money. That is one thing the MMO business has known for years, don't fool yourself. So yes---  time does amount to money, no matter how much you debate it. I am paying for the time I play. Are those employees doing charity work keeping the servers up and assisting customers? They might enjoy the job, it's still a job none the less.

Roll with the Punches.. Or Roll Out?
Take a look at the NCSoft issue recently. This business had security issues with the account website causing security breaches with accounts, which were hacked and stolen. Do you think these consumers were happy? Knowing the company I doubt they are swift to move on this incident. Will these consumers think the company cares about them? I doubt it. They will more than likely move on to greener or rather -safer pastures.

Is it the players fault that the website wasn't secure? That would be crazy to say it was. The players didn't have anything to do with the problem, which was: A bug that logged people into incorrect accounts, allowing them to change passwords and steal accounts.

Moral of the Wheel's story...
While I love playing my games, I love having great customer service even more. The game can be gorgeous with the best graphics, all shiny and new or even claim to have millions playing. In the end if they don't care about the customer, it's probably not the game for me.


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