Thursday, 10 June 2010

AoC: Billing stupidness

My AoC account got frozen on Sunday shortly after I'd ordered the expansion. Now I'm generally sympathetic if accounts need to be frozen as I realise that companies need to fight fraud, however it wasn't the reason this time.

It was, quite frankly, utter stupidity.

This is the message I've just received:


The account is frozen due to the purchase stuck as pending. The charge
is stuck in pending because the account is set to canceled. I assume you
have set this to canceled so it would not automatically bill you when
subscription time came around.

To get this account unfrozen you need to log into your account
management page and reactivate the account allowing the payment to
finish processing.

If you have any further questions on this matter please feel free to
reply directly to this email.


and this was my reply:

I've reactivated the account. Please can you remove the transaction for the collector's edition of ROTGS which I accidentally clicked while trying to sort this out.

Please also can you pass on my feedback to the appropriate person that it's ridiculous to suspend paying customers who have, as you surmised, canceled to avoid automatic billing. It's completely normal in this market segment to do so and it's dreadful to penalise customers. Essentially you're refusing me access to a game which is paid for up to September on the grounds I might not renew in September.

Please can you also arrange to credit my account with extra days as I have missed from Sunday to Thursday through no fault of my own. Possibly beyond Thursday as my account is not yet unfrozen.

No matter how well you design your game if you can't get ancillary aspects like marketing and billing right too you're going to lose customers. I'm pessimistic about whether they'll sort this out entirely to my liking. F2P Lotro is going to be a genuine rival attraction to me because while I prefer the AoC setting I really don't like automatic credit card hits or a system that punishes you for trying to avoid them.

PS: I've just received an email back from them. It's simply my email, forwarded to me. It doesn't say this email was generated automatically or anything so presumably they were trying to forward it to someone else but used the wrong email address. My confidence in them is not high.


  1. 1. So you bought online the expansion by credit card, and then cancelled your subscription to prevent the usual automatic +1 more month sub?

    2. And your account is now frozen because there is a transaction open and your sub cancelled.

    3. And now you also ordered the ROTGS CE by accident.

    4. now they wanted to forward your mail to their superior, but by accident sent it to you.

    Oh my! Guess you will have to mail them again. You are right, their billing system is stupid, as what you did is the USUAL procedure for many MMO players.

    You can be certain you are not the only one.

  2. DDO is currently having some grief for ancillary issues of their own. The latest update flipped a number of premium members back to free member level, resulting in loss of access to some characters and several in-game limitations for about a week as they tried to sort out the issue (which happened last update as well). They finally got the core issue sorted out, or so they reported, and began fixing people's accounts one by one. Only a couple of days ago some of the fixed accounts reverted back to free.

    So they're having a bit of a PR nightmare over that.

  3. Sorry to hear you're having so much grief due to their poor customer service.

    At least you can let off steam by chopping off some heads in Age of... oh. Right.

  4. Yeah that happened to me when I preordered the expansion too. If I remember right you have to upgrade your subscription within your account info on the main site, then your account will reflect the extra 60 days of gameplay time.

  5. It's working now.

    I subcribed in March for 6 months then cancelled so as not to incur repeat billing automatically.

    I then bought RotGS last week and it froze my account.

    At least I can now take Melmoth's advice and go brutalise some pixels.