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dray33

Customer Service is Hell.

19 posts in this topic

I am going to make suggestions here. It is not intended to insult anyone, or to offend anyone, it's simply to offer help. Take it, leave it or ignore it, it's fine At the end of the day, you (the creators/owners of WW2Online) will either get it, fund it, and make it happen... or you wont.

There is no reason, absolutely no excuse, and should be zero tolerance - for giving paying customers the feeling of not being heard, lost, or hung up in the ether. None. It's not about money, because the solutions are simply too easy to create. It's not lack of resources... if done right it should take light moments of anyone's time. It DOES take concern: meaning you have to care enough about the people who pay to use your service to make it so.

It got to be that I felt bad, like I was pushing on people at CRS to complain... like I was "putting them off". I made my suggestions and hoped for the best. But really, every time I complained I got the usual response: nothing. OR a curt reply that everything is fine and that I should have patience. Even the good citizens of WW2 would chime in: "It's the holiday and it's probably a limited crew".

Here's the bottom line: How tough would it be to REALLY try, not just BS try, but REALLY REALLY try to keep us informed when things are going wrong? A simple tweet. A message, somewhere... anywhere. Hell, I don't care if the message is: "Guys, were at wits end and will NOT have a fix for at least a week". Bad news, sure. But better than constantly looking, hoping, scrounging for any details anywhere. To find information on the forums, and this has been going on for years, is worthless. A fools errand. And the tweeting is limited to once, every once in a while, when someone feels its called for. The facebook page is worse. So we are left with the whole "stop complaining and have patience" thing, without any more information. If the Mac version isn't fixed and wont be for a while, why not be honest. If it's going to be an hour to fix... TELL US. And if you're wrong, tell us a more realistic time. Why the endless stream of lies? That does nothing to help us.

It's so easy it's silly. Throw a 20 character tweet. anytime. From anyone in the know. Keep the info flowing. Pick a way to keep us informed and stick to it. Not the forum? Great. Only on twitter, fantastic. facebook? Wonderful. Call it like you see it. At the end of the day, it's about responsibility.

Was it wise to upgrade to an unusable patch the week of the holidays? In retrospect, kind of silly, right? Was it smart to take the "less is more" approach as we all complained about not being able to get on? What do you think? Radio silence is never the answer, not from a PR standpoint, a business standpoint, or a customer satisfaction standpoint. Come on guys. The book has been written about this. It's 3rd grade by now.

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What are you talking about? CRS does keep the player base informed. System messages in the game will detail stuff such as server coming down or a glitch in the client that requies a five minute down time. Im always seeing game admins logged in or replying on the forums. Plus the website itself has updates. Probably the only large game Ive seen where software admins interact andplay with the players. Also I learned early in life sometimes the best answer is no answer at all if one is not sure they could give a suitable answer at that time.

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He's probably referring to the fact they broke the mac client, we have been unable to log on for going on two weeks now. Most of us had time off during this time, prime time for gaming. (though, for me at least, if persistent and I try to log on some 20+ times I seem to always get into the game eventually)

Mac client was fine, until right before break when they broke two items, right clicking on the map and logging in. I can live with not right clicking on the map (pain, still accidentally do, but at least can work around), but when you can't log into a game it sort of ticks you off big time to say the least.

They knew about both errors on Friday, before the weekend and week off. They either should have reverted back the patch or simply fixed the two errors. I have a very negative outlook about them and this game as a result. Will I keep playing, yes, probably for a while, but I have no good will atm towards them.

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Ah mac issue in general. I havent used macs since college and that was ten years ago. Hopefully they will resolve it soon.

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Also I learned early in life sometimes the best answer is no answer at all if one is not sure they could give a suitable answer at that time.

How about honesty? Ever work for ya? You will learn to revisit this when you run or work in business. look no further than politics to see how THAT works out. What you are inviting is a PR nightmare... especially in this day and age when it's so much simpler to just let THE PAYING CUSTOMER know the truth. How can you deny that?

Regardless, the Customer service is non-existant. Case in point:

I post, because no one is answering other players on the forums (something i have mentioned and experienced many times before)... and am told the issue was fixed. It wasn't, and still isn't. That's right, not only miscommunication, but simply wrong. THAT'S the level of service i have become used to. The forum is very very rarely answered. Usually, it's wrong anyway.

Whenever players issues go unanswered, they say "Check the twitter feed on the home page". As of today, the feed says:

"Forums should be back up within an hour. Sorry for the inconvience.

3 days ago

----------------

Happy Holidays to all our players present, past and future. S!

about a week ago

----------------

Patch is live!

about a week ago"

Sorry, that's not customer service, that's ignoring us. Guess what... I am STILL waiting to hear what's what with the Mac situation. And its frustrating/insulting. So there's the web site doing nothing, twitter doing nothing. What about facebook? Here's current posts:

WWIIOL: BATTLEGROUND EUROPE

All of us at CRS hope that everyone's Christmas was full of fun and love. We're looking forward to being back in the office on Monday to keep working on improving your gaming experience.

WHAT GAMING EXPERIENCE? Because someone decided to update and patch, I have NONE.

and:

WWIIOL: BATTLEGROUND EUROPE

Happy Holidays to all our players present, past and future. S!

That's it. So basically, nothing. Forums useless, Twitter useless, facebook useless. Oh and as for your "System messages in the game will detail stuff such as server coming down or a glitch in the client that requires a five minute down time." remember - you have to be able to log in to see those... no?

Regardless, here is the truth:

It's a simple, 3rd grade effort to fix this completely so mac AND other users can feel informed, like someone cares. That's a PR coup. That's smart business. Anything short of that is simply ignoring the issue, burying your head in the sand hoping it goes away. Not a fan, since its easier to fix it than it is to continue NOT fixing it.

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And as for more proof, go look at the thread below this one: "Still can't login?" It took 2 entire pages, of over 40 posts, before anyone from CRS answered a single thing. Can you imagine? 48 posts, one of them CRS, the 41st post That's it. Without resolution, or further info. Would have been so much simpler to say: "We have a problem with the Apple client, and due to the holiday we wont be able to address it till January 2nd or 3rd. Very sorry for the inconvenience." Instead... nadda. THAT is frustrating.

I'm glad things are peachy for the Windows crowd. They are far less for the Mac community. Weird thing is, we BOTH pay for the service, regardless of system choice.

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I'm not making light of the issue. Having no game during the major holidays of the year is a PITA.

But this "Support" forum - and the Windows one - is for Player to Player Support.

(I have no idea on MACs, so I don't try and sort stuff out here)

If you have a support issue that can't be fix here, then you are supposed to go to http://support.playnet.com/support/faq.psp make a ticket and you will get official support.

However, it appears that won't help in this case, because the issue is a known bug that will only be fixed with a MAC client patch

Should a RAT have stuck up a post somewhere to say "Sorry, MAC is broken, will fix early New Year? Yes they should.

Even just as a courtesy it would have been good. But that's RATs. They on holiday and obviously avoiding reading the forums (BLOO apart, and this is not something BLOO can fix, I think). You'd think they might have taken a smartphone up whichever mountain they are climbing, then they could at least check a few times over Xmas ... Hell, even I've done that in the windows forum ... But it seems not.

Given the pain experienced by all players over the last 2 or 3 weeks, everyone feels ya pain. Let's hope it is priority No1 on TUESDAY (Monday is a Public Holiday in USA, I think??) when they get back to their desks.

:(

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Understood, and I guess they will fix it whenever they fix it. Along with this fix, they should consider initiating a bare-bones customer service program that addresses these issues simply, so that paying users no longer feel left out in the cold. It's really easy, no joke. Use what technologies are available, and just do it. 3rd grade. and you save a whole lot of angst.

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The thing here is it's not the one time that this happens where everyone freaks out. It's the addition of all these bugs and things that go wrong, unfixed bugs for long periods of time that start to build up for the PAYING customer.Add to that the way CRS handles things in the forums and you get unsatisfied/angry customers.

We have been in a beta-testing kind of environment for the best part of the last 2 months and yes, we're paying for it (or have been in my case, some on wb soldier free play) so you'd expect CRS to show a bit more initiative in communicating about bugs and possible fixes.

Then there's always the save that it's 'community support' so it's not considered the right place to ask for bug fixes/reporting and basically means these forums can be ignored at will...

Anyways I've had it. 1 more week on trial and if this thing isn't fixed by then it's good bye for my sub for an extended period.

It's not the fact that I'm paying to play a bugged game/beta test but the way the company continues to handle these issues. In a way that really makes me not want to continue supporting them with money.

And by the sheer time this thread has been up and not locked or vanished one can assume how many times a Rat has read it.

Edited by marcus

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Besides the lack of customer service, which in itself is indefensible...

So it's obvious to everyone (especially CRS) that the Holiday season was going to basically leave the players with limited resources for fixes. It wasn't communicated properly, yes, and all of that, but a more serious issue is this: Knowing resources were on "holiday", who decided to release a new patch before the break? Granted, it seemed to only inconvenience a small part of the community (Apple users), but it's the act of releasing the patch moments before a big break when many people finally have some time to play when the decision was made. Why? It's unfair and shows an incredible lack of concern for the playing (scratch that), PAYING customer.

A continual loop of poor customer service, wouldn't you say? $3 dollars and a coke could have had this all cleaned up in a jiffy. Very sad.

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The MAC builds have been problematic for a little while now. It's been a challenge to get the darned thing to build properly but Gophur is will be back to working on it when the office is back in full swing, as is stated in the "Open Letter To All Players" article.

So many projects and tasks are being worked on on a regular basis, it's hard for me to keep track of them all and would be impractical to try to get a status update on every single one of them. However, our Mac clients need better information, for sure. I'll make sure that I get as much as I can and keep you updated from now on.

November and the server issues hit us hard, many projects had to be put on hold while the team worked to fix them. We were relieved when the last bits of work to the host stabilized it and we could all push away from our desks and take time to collect our thoughts over the holidays without worry. It's not healthy to work as many hours as the team did with no chance to catch a breath and re-energize.

We're looking forward to a productive January and the hopes that we'll have all of the major issues fixed and the game flowing smoothly once again.

S!

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I totally agree.

After being away from this game because of starting a new business and the old MAC wasn't up to the graphical challenge, I recently got a new, much stronger Mac, a Mac Pro, to handle my publishing requirements.

I thought, right before the holidays, I'd give WWII Online another go and see how it played so I joined in with the Welcome Back Soldier. The game played fine before the patch. I was happy with it so I subscribed and sent in my money. The next day, the patch was issued and ruined everything.

As a paying member, you shouldn't have to keep on hitting the "Play Now" button, getting the launch screen and watching it stick on the "FINDING BEST CONNECTION" - next crashing back to the desktop. This totally sucks.

It should launch the first time - not the 10th or 15th or 20th time when trying to get into the game.

The mere fact that no one from the game has responded simply indicates that they don't care.

I'll give them one more week then I'll contest the charge to my credit card and perhaps visit the forum again in a year or two - provided that there's still a game around.

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Jeep, as was announced on the front page on the 23rd, the office has been closed for regular business over the holidays. We will all be back in tomorrow morning.

S!

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Good to hear; I sure hope they fix the logging in problem and RT click issue immediately. And don't mess with anything else!

It's funny, my mac client has been literally flawless the last 2 months. I think only 2 cell hosts and 4 CTDs the whole time. In other words it has worked fantastic, I was so happy to not be on the PC client this last 2 months. (yes, still some game play bugs, but not game operation problems)

It is why I was so worried when they released that patch (because macs were working so well). And my fears were well founded. How I wish they never would have done that right before a break. There really isn't much more to say and not sure what you can even say, major mistake there and it was handled extremely poorly imo.

Clean it up asap and let's move forward... and never do that again please.

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Motormouth... I'm a huge fan of yours and I know the effort you put in to make the game what it is today, I appreciate the effort, but you have got to stop feeding the flames of this issue.

You wrote: "Jeep, as was announced on the front page on the 23rd, the office has been closed for regular business over the holidays. We will all be back in tomorrow morning." Come on, that's offensive. This is NOT a time to pull out an excuse because you think you might have one. Where did it say that?

Did you mean here?:

"The holiday season is upon us and we're all looking forward to a couple of days to spend with friends and family. But before we do, we're going to be pushing out an update for our players. "

Or one of the other longer article posted on the Home page? Should we have found the article and known what you were talking about? Should we have experienced the issue and somehow back-tracked to find the article, the line, and deduced the intention? Is this where we should read for updates now? Is it the home page, or is it the facebook page? or is it the twitter feed? or is it the forums? Or is it the "Testing and Bug Reporting"? Or maybe its just open a ticket? or possibly the http://support.playnet.com/?

Please please PLEASE don't make it like we should have read the story on the home page, and found your intent, and deduced what you meant, and understood the situation. It's insulting. Let's leave it at: COMMUNICATION NEEDS TO BE BETTER. WE ARE GOING TO REVIEW PROCESS AND FIND A WAY TO KEEP EVERYONE (MAC AND WINDOWS ALIKE) BETTER INFORMED. SORRY ABOUT THE DELAY, PLEASE KNOW WE ARE GOING TO FIX IT. anything short of that is basically saying, "we left you hanging for a while, but it's your fault for not reading my note on the home page".

That's all, simple. It's the LEAST a community of PAYERS should expect. Honesty. Insight. Communication.

It's so weird. Usually, companies that dont "get it" allow the conversation to be a monologue, not dialogue, and it's coming from the company. They don't listen. In this case, it's a monologue coming from the PAYING COMMUNITY! The company didn't listen! Spectacular if not impossible to imagine!

Please. Please PLEASE. Set up a twitter feed, mirrored on the home page, and facebook page. Regular updates. Ask the programmers to help. Monitor it. Its no big deal. I see multi-billion dollar companies doing it without a whisper. PLEASE already. Fix the forums. Make it useful, intuitive. Get rid of the sticky articles that are outdated. Get the clocks right. Make posting relevant. condense and simplify. Stop with the 400 different areas of operation. ONE FRONT. Not rats, CRS, playnet, WW2 online, blah blah blah. Not forums and facebooks and website and threads and tickets and blah blah. INTEGRATED communications with function and purpose. strip away all the BS. It can work, and from the foundation YOU create, you can grow. Hone the message.

Say one compelling thing, as opposed to 200 irrelevant things. 50 is better than 100, 20 better than 50, 5 better than 20, 1 better than 5. MAKE IT COUNT.

And good luck.

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Dray33:

Honesty does work. It’s the best policy. Honesty has worked well for me. But sometimes there is no answer to a question at that particular time. I work part time (used to be full time) in a public Unified School District within office administration that’s connected with the second largest public school district in the USA. All our computers in every school is linked back to a server network at District Office. Through this we have computers at one school which can interact with computers of other schools especially when pulling files from the middle schools from the elementary schools. Speaking in fast general. Anyhow our system is always going down…at least once a month or needing maintenance at least twice a week to keep it stable…or what not…and it’s a new system that was upgraded in the 2008-2009 school year through the state. Stuff happens…takes time to fix. Computers and networks can be unpredictable at times. I can’t speak for Mac since I don’t own one, but from a PC or network side it happens. Our phones may go down because they’re linked to a main switchboard at District Office, and parents will call in and scream at us once the phones are back up…or “walk in” unhappy. They’ll say “Your IT department took five hours to get a simple phone problem fix” not understanding the nightmare and stressful effort the IT men/woman put in all day to get it fixed and our phone system isn’t like a regular house phone system. They don’t fully understand why/how it happened even if we do, and explaining it too them wouldn’t make much sense to them unless they work within the district. But we try and be honest and if we don’t have an answer we tell them. Now I’ve gone off topic but the point I’m trying to make is that things happen. I’m sure stuff is going on from CRS side that we have no clue about. We can complain about it as if it’s a “push a switch” or "a light bulb went out just change it" type of issue yet we know it’s probably not and could be something that takes a lot of time or manpower to resolve. I’ve seen the customer service in this game to be just fine overall. I don’t know any other major game that will have system admins reply in posts to their users/customers or found within the game playing with the user base. Most games you’re lucky to get a standard pre-typed FAQ response if it’s not a billing issue.

As for Facebook/Twitter I don’t know why anyone takes that thing serious. But that’s another debate/topic.

Anyhow reading the follow up posts I see a game system administrated did reply to your posts. Trust me…in most major games that would never happen. My point in take is this game has outstanding CS support over most online games I’ve played over the years. Actually come to think of it most big games I’ve played didn’t even have a BBS style forum where other players can interact with each other and game admins. Anyhow Dray nothing personal in my responses. Hope to see ya around the game.

Anthony--

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Dray, we do have a Twitter feed. We've had it for quite some time now. Twitter.com/corneredrats. We have 4 Facebook pages, news via email and an RSS feed.

However, based on our exit survey, more than 75% of our customers get their news from the front page of our website, and less than 23% from the player discussion forums.

News that can and needs to be disseminated quickly goes out via the Twitter feed and Facebook pages using Hootsuite. If there is time, a forum announcement is generally crafted, but it's a clumsy and inefficient tool so we use the social media methods I posted above for quicker delivery.

Web articles are reserved for longer articles, announcements, production updates and support bulletins. The office is traditionally closed over the break, but staff are on call to keep the game server running. And they did that.

As to the Mac issue, the team has been working on it. The main problem is that they are unable to replicate, and it's not affecting all Mac players, just some. So they're not getting enough data to pinpoint the cause as quickly as they'd like.

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