April 13, 2006

Blizzard Customer Support

As many of you know, I work in a job where I am frequently forced to spend time on the phone with the technical and customer support departments of a variety of major technology companies. In fact, just the other day, I spent an hour on hold trying to get to the "Advanced Technical Department" at Alltel... just so that the lady on the other end could realize that they had failed to correctly copy the serial number of a customer's PCMCIA Cellular Access card into their systems and thus he couldn't dial in... but I digress.

I must say that Blizzard has surpassed my lowest expectations of the standards to which I hold even the little ball of phlegm in the back of my throat.... but I get ahead of myself. As some of you may know, back in December, a misplaced credit card initiated a great panic that resulted in cancelling said account before the card was relocated. Well, both Anna's and my auto-bill accounts for World of Warcraft were on said card.... and while mine had been fixed, we had never gotten around to fixing hers.

Yesterday, the billing cycle was up and autobill hit the dead card, putting the account on freeze. So, in the evening, we got home and Anna tried to update the account online. The problem is, Blizzard's authentication servers are tied to their online account servers, which are in turn, also tied to the servers needed to transfer characters. Now, character transfer and authentication have lately been borked out of their minds, so online billing really wasn't an option... it was quite broken. Not that we didn't try for a half hour to get past the mine-field of borked server-dom.... but we failed miserably.

So... at this point, Anna began calling Blizzard. It's at this point that things got really interesting: "Blizzard Customer Billing is closed for a department meeting. Please call back between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Pacific Time or hold for the automated billing system."

Wait, so the WHOLE DEPARTMENT is closed?! Alright... I guess I have to hold. But then the message repeats... again, and again, and again. So maybe automated billing is a lie? So I expressed doubt in Anna's ability to negotiate Blizzard's phone systems, and she gratefully allowed me to try. Same result.

So I tried online... and repeated, ad nauseum. And in the end I realized that all I had to do was wait for the close of business so that people would stop being able to transfer characters and maybe then I could get through.

Yeah, that's right, Anna and I wrangled with Blizzard Account Support for 2 or so hours last night. Any other company that made you work that hard to pay them on a model where you pay before you get service would be out of business.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at April 13, 2006 10:09 AM | TrackBack