First of all, I have been a subscribing member to this company's online game service "Final Fantasy XI" since March of 2006. I have paid my due fees at the beginning of every month without missing one fee since then. If you missed a fee, your account would be deactivated and you wont be able to play that month.
Over my 3 years of service, I have noticed being double charged quite a few times. Recently I called them, and they explained to me a billing system that made sense to them but I didnt quite understand. All I understood is I paid my fees timely so when I am being double charged it is clearly a double charge.
I asked them to fax me my billing information for the last year, they refused. I asked them to connect me with the superior, they said the superior will not handle the issue any differently.
Eventually, the customer service rep seemed to get irritated and proceeded to end the call with "Can I assist you with anything else today?" I said yes you can help clarify my bill, he said "I believe we have resolved that issue, can I help you with anything else today?" me>"I dont think we have resolved it". Then he said "Thank you for contacting playonline support, have a nice day" He hung up on me!
I have never had such an upsetting experience with any customer support. All their agents are like that, its their policy. That behavior was not limited to the one agent I spoke to that day.
They have a seemingly "ironclad" Terms Of Service agreement which pretty much states the game belongs to them and they can do whatever they want. if a billing issue like this arrises, they must be valid and no mistakes were made and they leave no corporate contact to dispute it with. Everything must be done through their incapable lowly customer service reps.
Now for WRONGFUL TERMINATION:
Ive been playing the game for 3 years as I stated above. I find the game to be a wonderful diverse community of people from all around the world with similar interests.
I have had respect for this community and it's game mechanics. I have never disrespected anyone, never stolen from people, never disadvantaged anyone, never used 3rd party programs to enhance the game mechanisms.
I wont try to fully explain it here, because it would be lengthy if you are not familiar with the game, but basically there was player misconduct within the game and I requested one of the game masters to resolve the issue. I requested the game master, when he appeared he suspended my account for 24hr period and usually after a suspension next offence is a BAN.
So I was suspended for nothing, I tried to dispute it but they say all suspensions and bans are final and no mistakes are made and they cant be overturned. If their game logs were subpeona'd and investigated it will prove that I had not committed any offence.
My "Second" offense:
There was a error in programming in the game which allowed a certain battle field to drop 3x more in-exchangeable items. Lets call it the "Bug". These items have no game currency value, and cannot be traded to anyone else. They are extremely rare items that can take up to 6 months to obtain by entering the battlefield with a group of 8 people and do not greatly increase game mechanics once you obtain and use them.
The Most you can participate in this battlefield is 1x a day, accumilating about 18hours a week including acquiring the points needed to enter the battlefield.
Now imagine 8 people doing this, everyday for a year and only 1 of them recieving the desired item in a whole year when 4-6 of them are waiting for the item too.
People got excited about the "Bug" and began using it.Many many people used it, it was known for 2 years and reported to the Game Masters by players and they took no action.
So I joined a group, unknowing that they took advantage of this "Bug". They got me involved, a week later after learning about what they were doing I dropped from their group.
A few months later the Game Masters patched the bug and launched an investigation of people who took advantage of the Bug in the last year. My name came up on the list and I, along with 549 others were permanantly banned. While 440 "less serious" offenders of this Bug were temporarily suspended.
I called them to explain why my name came up, and upon speaking with the superior everything I told him was replied with "We have our investigators and they investigate very careful and you were someone they needed to permanently terminate. You were found cheating". He spoke to me angrily and it upset me. Is this how treat impressionable kids and the youth who come to a game for the socially rich content? It was upsetting that this is how they treat everyone else.
So I feel like I should have recieved a temporary suspension instead of a ban. Maybe if they didnt reserve the right to pull stuff out of their a*s and suspend me for that first issue and deny that their staff can actually make a mistake, I would have most likely gotten a temporary suspension as I was never a serious offender.
Whether this is grounds of a civil suit or not, let it be a warning of how grossly Square Enix Inc treat's its customers.