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Author Topic: Failgate London or “Why You Don't Outsource Important Services.”  (Read 70686 times)
DarkSign
Terracotta Army
Posts: 698


Reply #35 on: November 18, 2007, 07:46:04 AM

Speaking as a lawyer, the question becomes did they "substantially perform." If they gave you "most" of what you bargained for and didnt leave out anything essential, then your contract should stand. You do have a leg to stand on as this is a goods contract (technically hybrid goods and services) that you didnt get exactly what you were promised. The UCC gives you a reasonable time to reject what you've already accepted.

Speaking as a gamer, yeah Flagship did you wrong. The games industry is so eager to make more profits than Hollywood that customer service blows chunks. CSR's have so little ability to make decisions that they end up being robots. Sure they're supposed to stop you from taking your money back, but what they need to do is sell you / convince you of the value you're already getting...not just try to keep you from unsubscribing.

Sorry man.
CharlieMopps
Terracotta Army
Posts: 837


Reply #36 on: November 18, 2007, 08:24:22 AM

Firts off: Write the better buisness burrow. It has worked twice for me in the past, and it gets the company in question to send legally bindable info to you WITH a signature on it. In once case a company I was having an issue with said "We don't know who this person is, they do not have an account with us" and sent it back to us. The BBB sent me a copy.

A year later the comapny sent me to collections... lol
I called up the collections agent and she said "Wait... you have a signed dockument from the VP of the company stating that they do not know who you are and that you do not have an account there? Jeasus Christ..."
lol

Then, if that doesn't resovle it, contest it with your creditcard company. Tell them you bought software from them and it doesnt work. They refuse to fix it or let you exchange it. They will refund your money.
I
Hoax
Terracotta Army
Posts: 7272

l33t kiddie


Reply #37 on: November 18, 2007, 08:56:11 AM

A post in which CharlieMopps makes an ass of himself and the others laugh

Jesus.  CSR Marcus is that you?

PS.  Schild, never stop being this funny.  I love news posts like that.  The winnar is you.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2007, 08:58:43 AM by Hoax »

A nation consists of its laws. A nation does not consist of its situation at a given time. If an individual's morals are situational, then that individual is without morals. If a nation's laws are situational, that nation has no laws, and soon isn't a nation.
-William Gibson
Aez
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Posts: 1369


Reply #38 on: November 18, 2007, 09:51:08 AM

Quote from: terms of service
You acknowledge that refunds are not provided for any reason, and that you will not receive money back for prepaid time when the Account is closed, whether such closure was voluntary or involuntary.


They can ban a lifetime subscriber?  The comic potential is great with this one.
taolurker
Terracotta Army
Posts: 1383


Reply #39 on: November 18, 2007, 10:21:17 AM

Ahem.. I won't even bother to go into all the Hellgate issues, and exactly why I still refuse to spend any money on this game, but I feel that I should at least point a couple of things out.

Firstly, Schild, I really can't feel sorry for you and your situation here, because you were aware of the many issues when you paid for a subscription, and still spent the money anyway. In fact you knowingly ignored most of them and were concentrating instead on "it's a fun game" and "it will get better".. Just review a few of your fanboy responses to me about this game.

Now, I do feel that you have reason to be upset about the subscription character slots being granted to everyone, but I also don't feel you should be getting a refund because you were spending it supporting a game you knew was broken. The only thing they didn't give you which you were entitled to by subscribing was a "special event pet", which probably isn't worthy of a refund. BTW There was already a "Zombot" Halloweed pet, which likely every player got, but that to me doesn't really equate to breach of contract.

I really am mostly stunned how you can complain about Ping0's lack of grammar or spelling, especially when your front page post contains this type of gibberish:
Quote
Obviously they have some sort of program that grabs specific words from a support ticket and tells the CS staff a combination a number and letter so they can look up the response on a grid. Obviously 'cancel' + 'subscription' + 'lifetime' = 2C or something. Obviously. Unfortunately it's just a poster on the wall and the CS member has to use his rudimentary grasp of English to retype the response he's from across the room.

a combination of a number and letter?  he's across the room from?

Quote from: terms of service
You acknowledge that refunds are not provided for any reason, and that you will not receive money back for prepaid time when the Account is closed, whether such closure was voluntary or involuntary.

They can ban a lifetime subscriber?  The comic potential is great with this one.

Aez posted what I was actually just looking for, and if you don't tread carefully, they may just cancel your account and not refund you anything. Then you'll have nothing.

As far as most MMO subscriptions are concerned, I don't know of any that actually refund subscriptions, and although you may feel like you're entitled to a refund you probably won't get one. You might even get your account banned if you get too crazy here.

You could do like CharlieMopps suggested and contact the BBB, or the FTC, and start a letter writing campaign/legal action, but honestly you aren't really likely to see a refund through that route as well. Basically, you're screwed because you had faith you were spending your money for future perfection, and your subscription will last as long as the game does (which could be lessened significantly if your refund crusade continues much further).

Seriously, calm down, take a valium, smoke a joint or something, and maybe they'll give you a free month of service on your lifetime subscription.. LOL. Obviously they're sort of screwed already with a broken game, and the last response seemed, at least, like they were going to attempt something to make you feel appeased, but freaking over this now (after you already spent money expecting improvement) is only going to result in double the frustration.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2007, 10:23:10 AM by taolurker »


I used to write for extinct gaming sites
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rk47
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Posts: 6171

The Patron Saint of Radicalthons


Reply #40 on: November 18, 2007, 11:48:02 AM

He did all that for the lulz, tao.
Doubt he's serious about getting the money back. He buys dozens of games every week I bet 150 is like chicken shit.  awesome, for real

Colonel Sanders is back in my wallet
Phildo
Contributor
Posts: 5128


Reply #41 on: November 18, 2007, 12:18:56 PM

There's also the fact that he got the same canned response twice, but with different spelling errors.
Samwise
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Reply #42 on: November 18, 2007, 12:27:35 PM

Firts off: Write the better buisness burrow.


"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
schild
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Reply #43 on: November 18, 2007, 02:05:53 PM

Those of you thinking I'm freaking out, I'm not. The two things that fueled that post were there lack of ability to prioritize the biggest problems with the game and the fact they've hired foreigners to do their trouble ticket support. I work in an American based call center. I know how to do and manage good customer service. Ping-0 has done badly at every single job they exist to do. Including but not limited to, network infrastructure, customer service, communicated on forums, making the issues known, and keeping the community happy. Aria systems fucked up on the KEY THINGS they were hired to do - billing management.

I want people to know this. So I wrote something.

I don't care if you have sympathy for me, but at least understand that once again, I really, really, really could not care less about the $150. If they refund it, great. If they don't, hey maybe the game will be worth playing again one day. Or at least be playable one day (iLOL). Nonetheless, that refund wasn't the core of the issue. The billing setup and the Customer service was. But I know, I know, READING IS HARD. If you don't "get it," then don't bother responding to the article.
Threash
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Posts: 7585


Reply #44 on: November 18, 2007, 02:28:44 PM

I have yet to have any "technical" problems with the game besides one bugged side quest, but i also canceled my non retarded monthly sub.  Theres simply no reason at all to have one atm.

I am the .00000001428%
Musashi
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Posts: 1692


Reply #45 on: November 18, 2007, 02:35:26 PM

I logged into the test server last night to see how many character slots I (non-subscriber) would have, and that number was four.  That's one more than I have on the live server.  Don't know if that will stay that way, and the test server wasn't up for very long, so....  Yea.  Just sayin'.  Perhaps with all the ytpos tyops typos, someone fucked up the patch notes.  Wouldn't surprise me one bit.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2007, 02:43:36 PM by Musashi »

AKA Gyoza
geldonyetich2
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Posts: 811


Reply #46 on: November 18, 2007, 02:50:06 PM

The patch message says the intent is 24 slots for non-subscribers... but I'm not saying that their patch message is perfect.

So, yeah, I worked in an American call-center before too, and it does chafe a bit to see my ex-job outsourced to foreigners who are given some basic instructions and no real power to do what the customer needs of them.  They're there to be yelled at by the customer while their bosses have pretty much cut them off.  That was my job, too, until I snapped.  Apparently, this kind of apathy under the guise of professionalism is considered the cutting edge state of customer service for many companies, but clearly they took the wrong turn back at Albuquerque if ignoring their customers is the result.  You could threaten legal action, but the result is that your account is suddenly shut off and they refuse to pretend to be talking to you anymore.

Of course, any company that thinks that's how to handle their customers likely feels the same way about keeping that $150 in their pocket.  The very intent behind the lifetime subscription may have been that it was a cunning trap that uses the new game buzz as bait.

It's a bigger problem than Flagship and Ping0 or your $150.  It's Corporate America no longer having any reason to care.  Nothing less than a radical political restructuring is going to change that.
Reg
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Posts: 4499


Reply #47 on: November 18, 2007, 03:20:09 PM

Quote
I don't care if you have sympathy for me, but at least understand that once again, I really, really, really could not care less about the $150. If they refund it, great. If they don't, hey maybe the game will be worth playing again one day. Or at least be playable one day (iLOL). Nonetheless, that refund wasn't the core of the issue. The billing setup and the Customer service was. But I know, I know, READING IS HARD. If you don't "get it," then don't bother responding to the article.

Maybe I just don't "get it" but it seems to me that the majority of your article involved you showing us this series of emails in which you demanded a refund from some powerless customer service drones during which you got progressively more angry as it became obvious that they had no intention of giving you any of your money back.

But it's not about the refund? It's about how they spell "cancelled" right?

I had thought most of the jaded gamers around here knew enough not to play any new MMOG during it's first month. Did WWII Online and AO teach us nothing?
LK
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Posts: 4268


Reply #48 on: November 18, 2007, 03:25:34 PM

Today's Hellgate Hater Tip: Potential is a bitch when its unrealized.  The tears of disappointment in six months if this game fails to deliver and continues to have major, game-breaking issues will be sweeter than personally bitch-slapping a trash-talking 13-year-old XBox Live fuckhead.

I didn't realize it would take 9 days.

Your H'ate is delicious.

"Then there's the double-barreled shotgun from Doom 2 - no-one within your entire household could be of any doubt that it's been fired because it sounds like God slamming a door on his fingers." - Yahtzee Croshaw
Ragnoros
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Posts: 1012


Reply #49 on: November 18, 2007, 03:37:18 PM

I logged into the test server last night to see how many character slots I (non-subscriber) would have, and that number was four.  That's one more than I have on the live server.  Don't know if that will stay that way, and the test server wasn't up for very long, so....  Yea.  Just sayin'.  Perhaps with all the ytpos tyops typos, someone fucked up the patch notes.  Wouldn't surprise me one bit.

The game only shows you one "slot" that says "create new character" beyond what you're currently using. So unless you actually made another character and then checked again it would appear that you only had 4.

"At this point it wouldn't surprise most of the world if the US was secretly building star destroyers." -Arthur_Parker

BattleTag - Ray#1555
Signe
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Posts: 18773

Muse.


Reply #50 on: November 18, 2007, 03:59:47 PM

I logged into the test server last night to see how many character slots I (non-subscriber) would have, and that number was four.  That's one more than I have on the live server.  Don't know if that will stay that way, and the test server wasn't up for very long, so....  Yea.  Just sayin'.  Perhaps with all the ytpos tyops typos, someone fucked up the patch notes.  Wouldn't surprise me one bit.

When you use that character slot, another one will pop up. 

My Sig Image: hath rid itself of this mortal coil.
lariac
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Posts: 40


Reply #51 on: November 18, 2007, 05:05:08 PM

I think there are several good lessons here...

Closed Betas = Suspicious as hell.

Open Betas = good

Technical issues trumps any redeeming qualities the game might have.

Don't suck developers dicks based upon what they have done in the past, but judge them on their actual product today.

oh...and don't pay for shit that should come with the game anyways.

`A`ohe lokomaika`i i nele i ke pâna`i
Ixxit
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Posts: 238


Reply #52 on: November 18, 2007, 06:09:06 PM

Hellgate the game, Ping0 the support and infrastructure company and Aria Systems the billing partner all share the same problem:  They are all not working as intended to varying degrees.   This whole thing  has the stench of a product that was pushed out so early that almost NOTHING was tested properly and everything was rushed out the door from the tools customer service use to a coherent feature set for subscribers, to game stopping bugs that have been around since the beta

It's not because the support is being done out of country, or that the support people are retards or robots.   To place the blame there is to ignore the fact that the actual game Hellgate London is more problematic than the support and billing functions combined.   The blame fully rests on Flagship or their  Ur'quan masters whoever they may be.

I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate.
Soln
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Posts: 4402

the opportunity for evil is just delicious


Reply #53 on: November 18, 2007, 06:14:01 PM

Sold you toe.

Seriously.  The memory leaks still seem there, but I suspect that mostly there's some bad video calls going on.  Translated: they implemented DirectX poorly in places.
Chenghiz
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Posts: 868


Reply #54 on: November 18, 2007, 07:54:01 PM

I think there are several good lessons here...

Closed Betas = Suspicious as hell.

Open Betas = good

What?
rattran
Moderator
Posts: 3711

Unreasonable


Reply #55 on: November 18, 2007, 08:13:34 PM

At least for nvidia, the memory leak seems to be a driver/hardware issue. I thought the last patch had fixed the memory leak, seems to be my switching from an 8800gts to an 8800gt that fixed it. Same driver revision (169.04) just a hardware change.

Still, sucks that it's still there. Client stability should be A#1 priority, then other bugs. If people can't play, it doesn't matter how borked the actual game is.
wirespeed
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Posts: 8


Reply #56 on: November 18, 2007, 08:16:05 PM

Just so I'm clear here...  At *present* the only differences between being subbed and unsubbed are:

  • Additional inventory space
  • 1 Additional characterr slo
  • Access to elite mode
  • Fawkes day event which is of dubious value

Am I missing anything?
Trippy
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Posts: 20328


Reply #57 on: November 18, 2007, 08:38:10 PM

Your Halloween stuff still works.
UnSub
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Reply #58 on: November 18, 2007, 08:59:06 PM

I think there are several good lessons here...

Closed Betas = Suspicious as hell.

Open Betas = good

What?

'Good' in that they are open and you can evaluate for yourself. Can you trust any commentary that comes out of a closed beta, either good or bad? Perhaps. I wouldn't spend $150 on perhaps though.

And if a game chooses to launch from closed beta, then yes, it's a red flag. It's like a movie that screens without ever being shown to critics.

EDIT -

However, the thing is that schild played the beta and paid the money anyway. He said the game was fun and had potential. That's what the $150 was supporting.

To cancel at this point would seem to say that HGL hasn't got the legs to ride out two weeks (or however long until they fix it) worth of problems. That the CS sucks and relies on annoying the customer into inaction is hardly a new event. Now, I hope that such results / articles see companies like Ping0 avoided by other developers in the future - such poor service shouldn't be rewarded - but the article is about schild trying to drop his lifetime sub and get a refund. That's what drives it, and simplying saying, "Oh, it's not the money, it's the principle" doesn't cut it when money is mentioned every paragraph.

Anyway, the moral of this story: don't buy on potential alone, ESPECIALLY if you know the product is flawed right now, unless you are willing to accept that this potential may never be forefilled. I thought we knew this by now.

« Last Edit: November 18, 2007, 09:13:40 PM by UnSub »

lesion
Moderator
Posts: 759


Reply #59 on: November 18, 2007, 10:45:45 PM

At *present* the only differences between being subbed and unsubbed are:

  • Additional bank space
  • Super megas additional character slots (21)
  • Access to hardcore mode
  • Ability to create guilds
  • Fawkes day event which is retarded
If anyone reading this missed the multiple times it has been said, character slots open as you fill up the last one. Elite mode is for everyone once you beat Normal. Fawkes is a dick.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2007, 10:47:20 PM by we are lesion »

steam|a grue \[T]/
WindupAtheist
Army of One
Posts: 7028

Badicalthon


Reply #60 on: November 18, 2007, 10:51:50 PM

Schild, I'm surprised at you.  There's a type of person who'll fork over a hundred and fifty bucks for a lifetime subscription to an MMO, and then get all butthurt when it has a typical MMO trainwreck of a release, but I didn't think that type of person was you.  Shame on you.

 wink

"You're just a dick who quotes himself in his sig."  --  Schild
"Yeah, it's pretty awesome."  --  Me
Hoax
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l33t kiddie


Reply #61 on: November 19, 2007, 02:18:02 AM

The only reason to sub is for hardcore mode.  But not having hardcore is failure so everyone has to sub unless they dont like the game.  At least that's what I've been believing this whole time.

By only reason I mean to say, the rest of the shit is window dressing, broken or who cares.  The only thing you NEED is hardcore, which you do not want atm because the lag issues suck and playing with others scales the mobs all kinds of retarded.  I haven't even played w/ 4 people ever.  First of all the community functions suck ass and secondly 3 people was fucking so hard at times it hurt.

A nation consists of its laws. A nation does not consist of its situation at a given time. If an individual's morals are situational, then that individual is without morals. If a nation's laws are situational, that nation has no laws, and soon isn't a nation.
-William Gibson
slog
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Posts: 5428


Reply #62 on: November 19, 2007, 06:48:31 AM

So, If I read this story correctly, I get the following:

1) This is their First MMO
2) They are not well funded
3) The beta showed all the usual signs of an incomplete game being released.
4) Fanboi shells out a lot of money for a lifetime sub ($150+box price?)
5) Fanboi has been playing these games for 8 years and should know better
6) Fanboi whines on the front page.

Or am I reading this wrong?

Edited for numerous typos.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2007, 06:51:33 AM by slog »

"Die of flaming ass cancer you schmuck. No really, die."

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schild
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Reply #63 on: November 19, 2007, 06:53:34 AM

You're reading it wrong.

But hey, if all the people that think this is about $150 want Ping-0 and Aria to work on another game, by all means, continue reading it wrong.
Trippy
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Reply #64 on: November 19, 2007, 06:58:13 AM

FSS is very well funded.
schild
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Reply #65 on: November 19, 2007, 07:02:11 AM

Which makes you wonder how they managed to make such bad business decisions with customer service and billing.
Bunk
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Operating Thetan One


Reply #66 on: November 19, 2007, 07:03:25 AM

You're reading it wrong.

But hey, if all the people that think this is about $150 want Ping-0 and Aria to work on another game, by all means, continue reading it wrong.

To be fair, you filled the first half of your article with so much vitriol and bold letters, it was kind of hard to focus on the last couple paragraphs where you calmed down. As for the ping0 and Customer Service stuff - you are right, it's subpar to say the least. I think everyone should have pretty much known that the CS was going to be shit as soon as the game launched without a working billing system.

"Welcome to the internet, pussy." - VDL
"I have retard strength." - Schild
schild
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Reply #67 on: November 19, 2007, 07:05:32 AM

The CS and Billing in this particular situation are not tied together. Which might be part of the problem. The whole left hand/right hand thing.
Simond
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Posts: 6742


Reply #68 on: November 19, 2007, 07:08:26 AM

FSS is very well funded.

Correction: FSS was well funded. I somehow doubt that the chequebooks will remain open for them much longer. I wonder how many subscribers they'll actually keep past the first couple of months?

I guess we know now why Blizzard hasn't announced Diablo 3 yet: There was no need for them to run a spoiler campaign against HG:L - just wait for events to take their course.  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

"You're really a good person, aren't you? So, there's no path for you to take here. Go home. This isn't a place for someone like you."
Trippy
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Posts: 20328


Reply #69 on: November 19, 2007, 07:14:23 AM

FSS sold the operating rights to HGL in China for a ridiculous amount of money a year ago. I'm remembering it to be around US$40 million but I would have to dig up my notebook to find the exact figure.
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