As I had mentioned earlier on this blog, I have recently stopped playing LOTRO. So today I went and officially canceled my account, however while doing so I saw no option to remove my CC and billing information from their system. Having been a victim of random charges by unsaid company in the past I wanted to remove my info so that my subscription would not accidentally be restarted. Seeing no way to do this from Turbines website, I contacted support, who basically said,
You either keep your CC information in our system or the game that you PAID for will no longer work, ever.
At first I was confused, so I asked him to explain and sure enough he confirmed what I had thought. The full transcript of our chat is in the image to the left.
Now there are 2 things wrong with this policy.
1) You are treating your users as criminals. This is inline with what the video game, music and movie industry have now been doing for years. Treating customers like criminals in a desperate attempt to prevent data from being copied or in this case sold to another user.
2) You are holding my CC information as hostage. If I cancel I can never play the game again without going and purchasing a new copy and if I don’t my CC information stays in your system. As any gamer will tell you, there comes a time when perhaps you wish to replay a certain game and should be able to. You did PAY for it. I’ve done this with dozes of games, Starcraft being the last as I got nostalgic when talk of SCII started.
What Turbine is doing is completely unacceptable. If I decided in a year to start playing again I have every right to without leaving my CC information in there system for said year. After all I might never decide I want to play again and my CC info will remain there forever since most likely I would have forgotten by then.
In the transcript above you will notice that a Supervisor was going to call me. He did, about 10 mins after the chat to my surprise, however my phone was on vibrate and on my bed so I didn’t hear it. I did reply to the ticket opened by the Supervisor and receive a reply that basically said the same things as the support rep. However he did add some more info.
– If you remove your CC information your account will be permanently disabled INCLUDING any days remaining on your account. Again there logic is beyond me.
– Trying to replace your CC info with a Game card will not work, since you have to remove your info first, your account will become dead.
So basically once you enter your CC info Turbine gets to keep it or they take away your game, WITHOUT refund. Whats next for the gaming industry? monitoring the number of installs? Oh wait there already doing that too!