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  • Report: #721467

Complaint Review: Iron Realms Entertainment

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  • Submitted: Sun, April 24, 2011
  • Updated: Fri, September 07, 2012

  • Reported By: Matt — Portage Michigan United States of America
Iron Realms Entertainment
35 Miller Avenue Mill Valley, California United States of America

Iron Realms Entertainment Iron Realms Entertainment LLC Aggressive and threatening customer service that has refused all attempts at resolution, threatened repeated removal of my access to the game despite a nearly flawless administrative record and remove Mill Valley, California

*Consumer Comment: Another customer continuing awareness.

*Author of original report: Addendum to previous response

*Author of original report: Response to "Troll Watchdog"

*General Comment: Report validity

*Consumer Comment: Scammed as well...

*Consumer Comment: Absolutely appalling

*Author of original report: Contact the Better Business Bureau

*Consumer Comment: Iron Realms Customer Service

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I have played Iron Realms games with friends for 8 years. Several months ago, the administration and customer service personnel removed access to a friends character for breaking no rules then created and instituted a new rule to justify their actions.

I ceased playing one of their games (Achaea), for a while, out of disgust for the way that I was treated. My 8 year hobby was no longer enjoyable due to the regular and repeated actions taken against me by the administration as well as the ever present and repeating threats of the removal of my character despite having a nearly flawless player record. In this time, I broke no game rules and my character and player record is in line - or cleaner than - that of other character's of the same playing frequency.

Recently, other customers have broken the same rule that the administration created and gone unpunished. When I brought these situations to the light of the customer service department, specifically Jeremy Saunders, his reply to me was, quote: "If you send another email like this, I will be banning you from all IRE games".

Emailing Mr. Saunders was, essentially, my last and only recourse. It is apparent that I am no longer welcomed in the game and am told that access to my character will be removed - across all of their games - if I contact support to file any more grievances.

It is absolutely abominable that a customer should go to a customer service representative with a legitimate customer service issue and be told that if they report another, similar issue that they will be disallowed from a service that they have paid for.

I have spent, by my estimates, between $8,000 and $10,000 on Iron Realms Entertainment throughout the years and feel that this treatment and hostile attitude towards customers and customer service should be curtailed.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/24/2011 10:40 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Iron-Realms-Entertainment/Mill-Valley-California-94941/Iron-Realms-Entertainment-Iron-Realms-Entertainment-LLC-Aggressive-and-threatening-custome-721467. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
3Author 5Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Another customer continuing awareness.

AUTHOR: Miss M - (United States of America)

http://www.reddit.com/user/IRE_Exposed

I just wanted to make available this link which leads to an article written by an ex-employee of IRE.  I have experienced similar issues as the poster though less dramatic due to my limited notariaty.  I would like to add that I believe I am familiar with the characters of the original writer and even though they had been at times abrasive, I had never witnessed behavior or had an interaction that went beyond the bounds of expectations/guidelines/roleplay or rules.  

The bias involved in these games is extensive and I have personally witnessed ill-will transferred from one game to another after a person's alternate character on a different platform (both IRE games) was discovered.  The administration is negligent at best.  
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#2 Author of original report

Addendum to previous response

AUTHOR: MRD - (United States of America)

I should note that my figures above are estimates; they are as close and accurate as I am able to provide them, however, for three reasons they should be qualified as estimates:





  1. I do not have access to my administrative profile and, therefore, cannot know with certainty what is contained in it.


  2. I do not have access to my purchase history and am providing monetary figures based on partial purchase receipts, credit card charges and extrapolation of those figures over the periods and times that I played.


  3. Many of my figures are remembered from an 8 year period; therefore, there could be additional information that I am unable to provide.

The information I have presented, however, is accurate to the best of my ability and is indicative of my experience with Achaea and Iron Realms Entertainment. My complaint does not stem from the money spent on the company, I spent that money as a paying customer and do not fault them for that; my complaint stems from the way that I was treated by the administration and, specifically, by their customer service department.
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#3 Author of original report

Response to "Troll Watchdog"

AUTHOR: MRD - (United States of America)

I am the original author of this complaint; I wanted to keep the report short, however, I will further clarify, since it seems that more information is being requested. In regards to your questions, I will answer them in the order in which they appear.

What, exactly, did the company claim this friend had done?

There are language rules, in the game, which prevent the use of certain words (most curse words). There are also 'protected' lines of communication; that is, lines of communication that are between two consenting parties on which language rules do not apply. The friend who was banned, permanently, used a curse word on a 'protected' line of communication, as players often do, the only difference in his case was that his curse word was used to describe and administrative action.

The author obviously was not disgusted enough to stay away entirely and returned. I am curious as to why, if the quality of customer service was so poor.

Like most games, I returned because it was where my friends where. Also, during the interim, the management was shifted, so I had hoped that perhaps this change had affected the company's treatment of customers. I was, unfortunately, wrong.

Again, the question of why the author still continued to play must be asked. Additionally, what were these "threats" and "actions taken against [the author]."?

I played because my friends where there, as I said above, but also because I had made a substantial monetary investment in my character, and in the game. The threats made against me were:





  1. The administration threatened to make my character useless; that is, they would allow me to log in but my character would be incapable of performing any actions.


  2. The administration threatened to remove my access to the game, entirely.
The actions taken against me were executed in an 'in-character' manner; that is, they did not come from an administrative point of view, but from an administrator that was acting as a god in game:





  1. My character was killed for no stated reason and without the possibility for fair play.


  2. My character was placed on an uninhabited continent, with no possibility to return.


  3. With 1000 credits (valued at $299.99) I purchased an in-game item; after two days of having the item, I was told that I was no longer allowed to have it and forced to pick another item, which I did not want.


  4. I emailed to purchase a customization to an item that I had obtained in game and bound 50 credits (valued at $19.99) to my character, as indicated in the help files. The administration refused my customization and furthermore refused to unbind my credits, even though I had only bound them for the specific purpose, rendering the credits nontransferable.


  5. I wrote a 50+ page in-game document for a faction, which was received positively by the game community, only to have the administration tell me that it was insufficient for the purposes it was intended for, even though far inferior texts had been approved and, in fact, was told that other factions had been approved without the inclusion of texts at all.


  6. The administration, on at least two occasions, made NPCs impossible to kill and made them deliver single hit kills, just to kill me; this fact was confirmed by other disgusted administrators who thought the action was out of line.


  7. The administration would change skills and game effects silently as me and friends were using them, leaving us to die when the skill or effect functioned differently than expected.
If the author broke no game rules and spent so much money on the game, his player record should be spotless.

My player record should, indeed, be spotless; however, due to the administrative bias against me, I lost 1 or 2 issues against me over the course of the years I played. To put that into scope, I polled 5 other players who have played as long as me and who have the same interests (combat) and play frequency as me: out of the 5, 3 said that they average about 1 issue loss per 3 months, 1 said that they average about 1 issue loss per 6 months and 1 said that they have only 2 issue losses in their character's history.

My character had 1 or 2 issue losses, for attacking player(s) (not killing them) that I thought I had reason and cause to attack. Aside from that, to my knowledge, I have no other player-based issue losses and absolutely no administrative punishments - that is, punishments for TOS violations - on my player record.

To warrant removal of a character or outright IP ban, all past instances that I am aware of have been for repeated and overt disruptive play, with 6-8 issue losses in a short span (attacking players repeatedly with absolutely no reason or cause; this type of ban is temporary) or for TOS violations (playing multiple characters, credit card fraud, character sharing, cheating; this type of ban is permanent). So, the threat to remove my character permanently for 1 or 2 issue losses over 8 years and zero TOS violations is both unwarranted and historically inconsistent.

What are these 'rules' the author keeps referring to?

After my friend was banned for using a curse word on a protected channel, the administration created a rule stating that you cannot say bad things about administrative volunteers, on any channel. This rule came ex post facto and he had no way to know that he was in violation of a rule that did not exist at the time he broke it.

No other information is given about Jeremy's reply or the author's original email.

My original email to Mr. Saunders pointed out a violation of the forum rule of "No personal attacks." and linked to a post where a personal attack was neither punished nor removed and mentioned my perception of an administrative bias and my disappointment that the administration could not apply the rules equally across the board.

Here is the entirety of Mr. Saunders' email response, with only my name edited out:

This is your one and only warning Mr [name removed].

If you send another email like this, I will be banning you from all
IRE games and shrubbing all of your characters.

- Jeremy


The author certainly must have a more accurate figure than this, even without keeping all his online transaction receipt emails. $2000 dollar is a large amount to have as a difference in figures when, "estimating".


My figure is broad, certainly. When I originally began playing the game, I did not have a credit card and I paid for my credits by money order and therefore have no record for those purchases.

I will say instead that, over the years, I am fairly confident that I have spent a minimum of $8000 on IRE games.

I hope that this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have about the validity of this report and I hope that the additional information provided proves useful to potential customers when they are making their decisions on whether or not to purchase from this company.
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#4 General Comment

Report validity

AUTHOR: Troll Watchdog - (South Africa)

How accurate is this report? The author relates his personal issues with the company but at times is vague at best. Whilst it is evident that some sort of turmoil took place, the details are one-sided and vague at best. To quote some of the author's report:

"Several months ago, the administration and customer service personnel removed access to a friends character for breaking no rules then created and instituted a new rule to justify their actions."

What, exactly, did the company claim this friend had done? Whilst this is a report and should be kept to an appropriate length, hardly any decent information has been given here. For all we know, the author's friend could have been a player who abused an in-game bug which let to character suspension. Given how vague the statement is, though, we simply don't know!

"I ceased playing one of their games (Achaea), for a while, out of disgust for the way that I was treated."

This statement is dubious. The author obviously was not disgusted enough to stay away entirely and returned. I am curious as to why, if the quality of customer service was so poor. Again, any useful information is omitted and the reader is left with only vague and ubiquitous statements.

"My 8 year hobby was no longer enjoyable due to the regular and repeated actions taken against me by the administration as well as the ever present and repeating threats of the removal of my character despite having a nearly flawless player record."

Again, the question of why the author still continued to play must be asked. Additionally, what were these "threats" and "actions taken against [the author]."? Statements in a report should at least be backed up by examples, lest the integrity of the entire report fall into question. Making accusations that are not backed by fact or example is not a report; it is bias mudslinging.

"In this time, I broke no game rules and my character and player record is in line - or cleaner than - that of other character's of the same playing frequency."

If the author broke no game rules and spent so much money on the game, his player record should be spotless. The wording of this statement suggests that the author's player record was not as spotless as he claims.

"Recently, other customers have broken the same rule that the administration created and gone unpunished."

What are these 'rules' the author keeps referring to? Not a single example has been given thus far and the statements regarding the rules are undeniably vague. Readers don't need to know every rule the game has, but the author should at least mention in more detail what rules he is referring to. 

"When I brought these situations to the light of the customer service department, specifically Jeremy Saunders, his reply to me was, quote: "If you send another email like this, I will be banning you from all IRE games"."

The author provides a quote from Jeremy Saunders but the quote is short at best. No other information is given about Jeremy's reply or the author's original email. It is unfair to quote bits of an email which could, for all the readers know, be completely context. 

"It is absolutely abominable that a customer should go to a customer service representative with a legitimate customer service issue and be told that if they report another, similar issue that they will be disallowed from a service that they have paid for."

Again, the author makes serious accusations which the readers are left very clueless about in terms of validity as no examples or hints have been given over what this "legitimate customer service issue" is! For all we know, the 'issue' could've been completely inane!

"I have spent, by my estimates, between $8,000 and $10,000 on Iron Realms Entertainment throughout the years"

The author certainly must have a more accurate figure than this, even without keeping all his online transaction receipt emails. $2000 dollar is a large amount to have as a difference in figures when, "estimating". It must be asked whether the author is making up the amount he has spent or is deliberately trying to exaggerate the amount of money spent on the game in order to elicit more outrage by the reader.

Overall this report is far too vague to carry true weight. The accusations made are so vague that it could be applied to almost any gaming company. This issue is made worse by the fact that the author fails to give a single example or be specific at all during his accusations. The author makes use of a quote by the Producer of the company but makes no mention of his own email to the producer, causing the quote to have a high chance of being taken out of context.

The author's attempts to keep his report vague either point to laxity in writing a very serious report (which this is, a company's name is at stake) or he is intentionally covering something. Either way, the validity of this report is shrouded in doubt making it dubious at best.



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#5 Consumer Comment

Scammed as well...

AUTHOR: wind - (United States of America)

I was a long time player of a game this company hosts for close to a decade. Unfortunately, as that decade grew closer the administration shifted drastically as well. Before I was scammed out of the money that I had invested, the became administration embittered and rude. It was impossible to ever get any information from them regarding updates or help except for their newbie system, not to mention they basically stopped developing the game for several years. I was banned from the game eventually for speaking to a player within the rules and guidelines they have outlined in their help files, and the conversation between myself and the other player was not opposed or unwanted. An admin overheard me and I was banned within a few hours, permanently, with no recourse what-so-ever, and no warning prior. After that, the rules were changed to reflect how they felt about the situation and outlawed anything that I had said to that player. This was after I put around 6500 dollars into the game, spending about 100-300 dollars a month or more on my character with their pay for perks system. They continuously alienate their playerbase and offer you no fair play what-so-ever if they choose to punish you. Their behavior is completely out of line. I'm stunned that this kind of behavior has been accepted thus far by both the playerbase and the owner of the company. 
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#6 Consumer Comment

Absolutely appalling

AUTHOR: Terriformer - (Australia)

Sadly, I'm in the exact same position as the above two people. As a paying customer who has spent just as much as the original poster, the way I've been treated by the 'staff' of this game has been shocking. Giving this company money is the thing I regret most in my life. I worked my way up in the game to come a 'leader' which essentially means you try to make the game better by the influence/popularity you've gained. The only problem is they chuck you into the deep end with no assistance whatsoever. They then ignore you as if you're not there, and then if you speak out, the 'staff' react childishly by lashing out at you. Iron Realms Entertainment and its games are a sinking ship - safe your money while you can - don't let it go down with them!
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#7 Author of original report

Contact the Better Business Bureau

AUTHOR: MRD - (United States of America)

Hello, I started a profile for Iron Realms at the Better Business Bureau, as well. If you have been also been mislead by them, then I urge you to file a complaint through them, as well:

http://www.bbb.org/greater-san-francisco/business-reviews/internet-gaming/iron-realms-entertainment-in-mill-valley-ca-375537
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#8 Consumer Comment

Iron Realms Customer Service

AUTHOR: Nekobot - (United States of America)

I am in a similar situation such as you ... I've played Achaea for several years spending a good ammount of money exceeding 7000USD. There's been problems with my character in the past, and ineraction the admins has horrible and they act arrogant, often not responding when they know they are in the wrong. What kind of "customer service" is that, when you've spent nearly a grand on a company, they they threaten to deny you of something when you've supported them? Now my only wish is to take some sort of legal action against them, I do not wish to be involved with their game any longer, or them lying about something I did, or making things up. If I'm being denied service to the game, I should be within grounds to sue them for the money I spent in it.

My advice to anyone involved with this game, do not spend money on it, it's a one-sided thing, there's no Security in what you invest in it.
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