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Anti-Aliased: The customers aren't always right, but they should be supported pt. 2


Customer service wars?

Second team to get my personal thanks? The Guild Wars support team. When we started doing the Guild Wars weekly events (which is tonight, by the way, and you should all attend) I couldn't log back into Guild Wars because I forgot the name of my characters. A new security measure asks you for the name of a character on the account when you log in, and I couldn't remember a single one.

The Guild Wars team was almost the opposite of Blizzard, in a good way. Instead of just making everything better magically, they were willing to communicate with me very rapidly over email, and after answering a few questions to verify my identity they gave me the name of a character on the account. (Who, hilariously enough, was named after one of my other characters. I'm totally dumb sometimes.)

"So it wasn't only me they helped out extremely quickly -- they helped out a good seven or eight people who wanted to join us in a day or less."

The GW support staff worked very well as a unit, as both GM Ethan and GM FruitSnake were involved in the same petition, and they were very fast in getting not only my information to me, but also character names to many of those in our guild who had forgotten their character names. So it wasn't only me they helped out extremely quickly -- they helped out a good seven or eight people who wanted to join us in a day or less. That's a great response time, and I certainly appreciate that.

The one sticking point -- anonymous account closures

A rising trend in the industry are these "anonymous account closures" that some companies are using. Basically, in short, if an account is banned and believed to be suspected for gold farming or cheating, the account owner has zero recourse. Not even an explanation of why the account was closed.

Companies like Square-Enix and Nexon, and many other MMO companies, will not give you an explanation of why they ban your account when they ban your account. They'll use dodgy terminology like, "the account is under investigation," but they won't outright give you a reason as to why you've been booted.

I fully support companies when they make the decision to ban accounts -- they usually have some sort of justification to do so and ultimately it's their decision. However, I don't support keeping information away from the consumer. It's downright creepy to have your account closed and the company not give you any explanation as to why they closed it. I'd personally like an explanation given, should it ever happen to me, and I'd at least like to make a small case as to why it may be wrong.

But, ultimately, it is their decision, although I'd prefer if they would at least give a reason they ban accounts to the account owners. It's the least they could do for those people, even if they are gold farming or cheating.

But, that aside, to those in the customer service aspect of our industry: keep on truckin'. While we may not always give you the thanks you deserve (and sometimes we scream over the phone at you) we do appreciate your service. Or, well, at least I do.

Seraphina Brennan is the weekly writer of Anti-Aliased who understands the perils of customer service, but also understands that customers deserve great support experiences. When she's not writing here for Massively, she's rambling on her personal blog,The Experience Curve. If you want to message her, send her an e-mail at seraphina AT massively DOT com. You can also follow her on Twitter through Massively, or through her personal feed, @sera_brennan.

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