This week, a massive customer service clusterfracas swept the gaming world, then the rest of the Internet. It involved a game console controller that was late in shipping, a a marketing firm in over its head, a popular webcomic, the unholy wrath of the Internet hate machine, and one humble customer who just wanted to know whether he was going to get his gadget by Christmas or not. What did we learn here? That there is such a thing as bad publicity, and that sometimes people on the Internet actually are who they claim to be.
In recent weeks, we’ve heard from quite a few Xbox Gold customers who report that points have been stolen from their accounts, but Microsoft doesn’t seem terribly concerned about it, or about stopping the account breaches. Today’s example: reader Jesse, who loaded several cards on his account before a move, for some reason assuming that the points would be safer in his account (in the cloud!) than packed for his move. Not so. Someone spent those points on content that Jesse never downloaded, and Microsoft isn’t giving him those points back.
Peter tells Consumerist that in early November, he purchased a new Xbox 360 with Kinect. His new system didn’t waste any time–it started breaking down that very night. Bringing it back to the store wasn’t an option, since he had transferred all of his licenses. His only choice was to contact Microsoft for repairs or a new box.
Forget about those unreadable termsheets that come with your credit-card bills and warn you that your home is on the line if you miss a payment by 30 seconds. If you really want to experience the worst consequence of skipping the fine print in a customer agreement, head over to Gamestation.co.uk. The web retailer has an “Immortal Soul Clause” in its terms, and now owns the souls of over 7,500 customers.
Reader Bang’s says his wife wanted to surprise him (on Valentine’s Day) with a game. She didn’t know what console he had so she asked Best Buy for some help. They said he “probably” had an XBOX and sold her not only a game, but a non-refundable XBOX Live subscription. When the couple tried to exchange the purchase (he actually has a PS3), they say they were told the game could be swapped but they were stuck with the unopened, unused XBOX Live card.
It annoys some people that Target wants to scan their ID when they buy an M rated video game. Well, guess what? We’ve heard over and over that they don’t actually need to scan it. All they need to do is type your birth date into the computer. They’ll tell you they have to scan it — but if you hold your ground like reader “Wuuu” you can escape without being scanned.
Mass Effect 2 is an awesome game that you should buy immediately. In addition, it also offers solid electronics buying advice in the form of an alien shopkeeper.
WoW.com reports that instead of restoring hacked accounts, Blizzard employees have been instructed to push “care packages.” If you accept the care package, your case gets closed and no restoration of items will occur on the account, although you still get to play your character. The care package contains 2,500 gold, 2 Emblems of Frost and 10 Emblems of Triumph for every day you’ve waited.
The staff of the annual DragonCon fantasy gaming convention seem to have decided to roleplay as Level 55 Lesser Jerks. Popular RPG parody webcomic “Looking For Group” says they’re not invited back this year because last year DragonCon staff moved their booth to a crappy part of the hall without notice, and then the staff were rude about it. Here’s the story of The Quest For The Steaming Brown Pile Of Subhuman Customer Service Goo Epic Fail:
Some members of the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) are pretty upset that the consumer advocacy group for gamers removed the ability to turn off auto-renewal on member accounts. They’ve also removed the phone number you used to be able to call to cancel. In fact, the only way to cancel your ECA membership now is to mail them a letter–and if your request isn’t processed at least 30 days before your membership is due to renew, you can expect to be charged again. Update: The ECA has responded, but their formal statement leaves a lot of questions unanswered.
If you took some college lit you’re probably familiar with the Divine Comedy, or at least its Cliff’s Notes. So you’ll remember well that the author/narrator Dante was a musclebound regeaholic who slaughtered demons with his trusty, powered-up scythe, and it’s only natural that the upcoming Electronic Arts video game — set for release in 2010 — would tell it like it was.
Bad news for gamers who are dreaming of an Xbox 361, PlayStation 4 or Wiii. You won’t be playing hovercraft Mario Kart or holographic Halo until well into President Palin’s first term.
FileFront isn’t shutting down after all! The original founders decided to buy back the company from Ziff Davis Media after learning that the service was to be shut down at the end of March. [FileFront] (Thanks to Bob!)
If you use Filefront, finish up your business with them and say goodbye before March 30th, because they’re shutting down. [filefront] (Thanks to RT!)
By now, most people know about the dreaded Red Ring of Death issue on the XBOX 360 — and the accompanying 3 year warranty. What many do not know is that that 3 year warranty only covers the “3 red lights” issue. If you get any other error code, you’re out of luck.
PC World notes that phishers are now targeting Steam account holders. Games are an easy target because you can make quick money off of them and the security isn’t as high as with, say, credit cards. The site that first reported this, SpywareGuide, demonstrates two examples—steamgift.com and steamverification.com—that will attempt to trick you into giving them access to your digital library of games.
Reader Con Seannery was randomly locked out of his Steam account one day and has been trying to get Valve’s attention for months. Will they ever respond?