Recently, I’ve been dealing with one of those companies known for horrible customer service. You know, one of those corporate entities that everyone loves to hate, yet they keep doing their thing, somehow convinced that people will just forget about horrible customer service in the past, forgive them completely and even though they haven’t done anything to fix anything, their belief is everything will somehow improve.
The company we’re talking about is Electronic Arts, the monopolistic entity of the computer gaming world. Disclosure: Years ago, I worked for them when Maxis was bought by them (and I worked at Maxis Software). That doesn’t mean I have become their biggest fan (or worst enemy either). When I left them, I was lukewarm about the company. My complaint today is coming strictly from a customer, or at least a former customer if you want to be completely honest.
My problem stems from one of those game properties they have that I hate to love, but tend to return to as most gamers seem to have one or two of those kinds of titles in their back list. My title was Star Wars: The Old Republic, and I’ll be honest: It’s one of those games you can enjoy for great segments of time before you grow bored with it and put it on hold for months (or years) before picking it back up again.
Well, I was on my third or so time of going back to picking it up again when all of this happened. I grew bored with World of Warcraft, was looking for something to scratch my gaming itch, and decided to come back to Star Wars: The Old Republic. A few times in returning back, the game is a lot different from when I first played it. You see, back in the older days it was one of those $15/month games, like World of Warcraft. But it kind of failed at that type of game and became one of those free to play (or purchase to play free, or whatever acronym you need to use). The monthly fee was now waived, although if you wanted the full experience of the game (all your characters and not feeling like you’re a toddler in an adult game), you basically had to pay the full price ($15 a month). So, I went to update my billing information and was immediately denied. For some reason, it wouldn’t take my credit card information. So I went to the Paypal option, and it denied that as well.
What I discovered, after some time on the phone with their customer support (this is SWTOR customer support at this time) is that EA has disabled my pay options because during the time I was away from the game someone tried to access my account and buy a copy of FIFA (some soccer game, or something like that). The person was denied (only because my credit card information had lapsed; not through any great action on the part of EA). But because of this, my account has been frozen.
So, I had to then call EA (not SWTOR) customer support where I went through a maze of customer support people who all promised they could take care of it, but each needed the information told to them from the ground up and then hung up and proceeded to do absolutely nothing. A few days after EACH call, I got an email from someone who said he or she was the one who could fix this if I provided more information but that person couldn’t ask me the information by email, so I would have to call back to relay the correct information. Each time I called back, I was given yet another clueless customer service person who couldn’t acknowledge the person who left the message, so they had to start the process from the beginning again. I should add that he email address of the person who wrote me each time basically went back to someone who would state that he couldn’t help me unless I contacted customer service directly.
So, this went on for weeks. All I kept asking for was someone to unblock my account so I can put my paypal information onto my account and be able to play the game again. There has been absolutely no resolution to this issue whatsoever. Fun fun.
So, as it is, I will probably never buy another game from any entity involved with EA, including, of course, EA.
This is customer service at is very worst.