Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Electronic Arts and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Service Day...

This was sent to me by someone who wishes to remain anonymous.

It is epic.

Here's the set-up: around Thanksgiving, A. Nonymous tried to purchase something through Origin. His credit card was declined for no apparent reason, and his band verified that they had not declined the purchase.

Easy to sort out, eh? Well, read this. Wonder why people don't want to buy games from big companies? Welcome to Exhibit A.

Please: names have been replaced with "XXXXX" and "-------".
Hey Bill,
I had to share this with you.  I have had 6 back and forths with EA about this issue of my not being able to make a purchase since I last emailed you.  I have been struggling to resolve it and will click on the "contact me by phone" link and wait for a call 4 hours later and pray that it resolves my issue.

On the 10th I got this email:
My name is --------- and I am a specialist here with EA, I would firstly like to apologize again for the length of time you have been waiting for a reply from our team regarding your issue. We greatly appreciate your considerable patience and understanding. It has been a pleasure speaking with you thus far. 

I am a huge gamer myself XXXXX so I understand when problems like this occur it is extremely inconvenient. You are through to the correct department anyway XXXXXX so rest assured I will do everything I can to explain what the situation is with your account.

We have reviewed your transaction history and thank you once more for providing this valuable information for us on your initial contact. We understand your anxiety and worry when this occurred. We understand payment problems can be stressful so I can assure you we will do our very best to explain the situation to you.

From reviewing and investigating your transaction history, it would appear your most recent transaction(s) has been rejected by your card issuer/bank. We would advise contacting them for further assistance before re-attempting any other potential purchase. We do not have the precise information as to why this payment may been rejected hence advising contacting the card issuer.

I am sorry to bring this negative news to you today. I am a huge gamer myself so I understand your frustration with this matter. I have been playing games for years thus I completely empathize with firstly any billing problem occurring and secondly the fact that you cannot purchase a game you obviously wish to play. I cannot apologize enough again for the considerable time you have been waiting for my reply -----, I hope this reaches you safely. I do hope this is helpful and will put your mind at ease. Please contact us again if there is anything else we can do to help you going forward. Again thank you for your patience and understanding. All the very best in the future and I hope you continue to enjoy our games.

First of all I never talked to this dude.  Second of all he says that the transactions were rejected by my bank... my bank claims that's not true as do my other credit cards that I've tried to use.  So he closes the account and says essentially "Sorry, it's not me, it's you."

So on the 12th(!!!!!) I talked to someone that my issue had been "escalated" to who said they were reaching out to the proper people to solve it and they would be in touch with me.  so 3 days later I get this email:
Hello! My name is ------ and I will be the Specialist assisting you today. I wanted to start by thanking you for your patience and apologizing for the wait time that you have experienced thus far. Just so you are aware, once I accepted ownership of your case, all of your responses will jump to the front of my personal queue, so the dialogue between us will be much quicker than the amount of time it has taken to get to your case.

Now let’s get started. From my understanding and after reviewing the case notes and previous correspondence, you are having problems placing an order in our system. I am a gamer myself and I completely get your frustration. I hate running into these types of issues when I’m trying to get my game on, but know that I am here to help and intend on doing so!

I would like to begin by asking you if the issue persists. Sometimes, these issues work themselves out but if not, please let me know and I will personally run this down and get it figured out for you. 

Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to reach out and like I said, I am confident that we can get to the bottom of this for you; I would just ask that you be patient with us while we work through everything.

Finally, I wanted to make sure that you had all the resources you could need for any future issues. We have an extensive knowledgebase full of troubleshooting and general knowledge located at help.ea.com as well as Answers HQ. Answers HQ brings all of the EA community together to offer support to each other and I’ve personally even found a lot of solutions that we use based on how awesomely supportive our community is. You can find it at answers.ea.com. I know these don't help with the current situation but I just wanted to make sure you had them for any possible future needs.

Hope to hear from you soon,
EA Games Specialist

So many wonderful things about this.  The first is that this guy has taken ownership of my case but I haven't talked to him when I've tried to reach out since.  Second of all their solution is to just plug in your card again and see if it magically works!  Thank you magic wand. I love that they suggest that I just use their online forums which are useless and full of people with the exact same problem and no solutions.  Good going EA.

The very best most special part is the signature "Hope to hear from you soon," because there is no method to contact the guy in the email.  If you reply to the email it goes to a generic ea email and you get an email saying no one will see it.  No phone # attached... nothing.

So finally today, after encountering this issue around Thanksgiving... I waited to get called back after 4 hours of hitting the "call me" button I get a phone call.  That guy can't help me but he'll bounce me to someone who can... and then I get put on hold...and the phone disconnects.  I just started laughing.  But a miracle occurred and a woman from EA called me right away and when I told her what happened she just laughed a little sadly about their systems and she ended up telling me exactly what the issue is, gave me XYZ (which I've been trying to purchase for months) for free and then afterwards sent me her email.  She said she'd get it sorted in 24 hours and let me know and if there is anything she can do to contact her personally.

It only took 3 months to get in touch with someone who could help me.  A miracle.

God I wish their games were on Steam.
Isn't that great? Canned customer support e-mails (that aren't even grammatically correct), total disconnect between the issue and actual reality, and a 5-minute problem that has taken (at this point) two months to resolve (and it may not be resolved yet--let's not celebrate prematurely).

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