Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Second-class Customer

There was a shared topic suggestion on the Blog Azeroth forums, suggesting we should post something regarding Blizzard's new "Recruit-A-Friend" so I'll be taking a shot at it, and rant a bit on how I feel about it.

As some people have seemed to figure out by now, this is really suited better for multi-boxers than for bringing in new players. With that, and the fact that I should be getting a new PC today (still have to put it together, so I don't know when I'll actually get to play on it), I figured I'd give it a shot. Even if I don't end up dual-boxing to level, having 2 accounts can be pretty convenient (for example, I can start a guild and invite my own alts into it).

Obiously, the next step is clicking the "Recruit-A-Friend" link and registering. Ha! I wish it were that easy. I log in, to receive an error message saying "not all accounts are eligible to recruit a friend", and includes an address for an FAQ (you would think Blizzard would figure out how to use hyperlinks on their website, but maybe not). One of the questions in the FAQ mentions that only people living in certain countries can recruit friends, and Israel is not one of those countries.

While, at first, I was just a little disappointed with that, the more I think about it the angrier it makes me. Why should I get treated differently from other customers? It would be a different matter if Blizzard had said "we don't want Israeli customers" to begin with, but that's hardly true. WoW (European English version) is officially distributed and sold in Israel. Blizzard accepts Israel as the country of residence, and accepts Israeli credit-cards. At no point do they say "you live in Israel, so you may get worse service than people in other countries" (hmm, I should probably go over the EULA and see if it mentions anything about that). And it's not like there's any real reason for this ridiculous limitation - I mean, it's easier not to check where the user is from, and this only cuts off part of their income (however minute). So that just leaves discrimination. What's next? Make dungeons unaccessible based on your country of residence? A lower level cap?

Just in case you're wondering, I tried to change my country in the personal information on the site - except that that's one of the few things you can't change. Also, Japan is not eligible either, so even if I could change it, I would have to lie (for a good cause, but still) which would be bannable.

So where does that leave me? Angry and disappointed with a game developer that I've been a huge fan of for almost 15 years. I have sent an inquiry to customer support, but they haven't answered yet and even when they do I don't expect them to be able to (or willing to) do anything about this. I was actually considering canceling my account, until I realized I just paid for 6 months at the end of July... I don't know, maybe I should cancel the subscription anyway - there's a much better chance of them taking note of my comments on why I left than a random ticket to customer support, and I can always renew it. Blah, That's all I have to say...

On a different note, I've had a comment in the past by Hulan asking about the Nostromo. I've also noticed that out of the 6 search engine referrals to my site so far, 2 were regarding Nostromo mappings (specifically, for rogues). So I'm thinking maybe I should make a series of posts, starting from basic Nostsromo introduction, on to my key mappings and finish with the specific action bar settings I use for different classes. What do you think? Would that be interesting to anyone?


goooooood girl said...
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MW said...

Wow, that's really not cool. I could understand if it were a country-exclusive thing — they've had promotions specific to certain countries before, I believe — but to have it for some countries and just exclude others seems a bit bunk to me.

Hulan said...

I know there are restrictions on competitions that are usually due to local laws, is it the same issue for the recruit-a-friend program?

As you already know, I'd love to read more about the Nostromo :D

Tal said...

Well, for competitions, there are usually local laws making it too much of a hassle. But most of these laws are usually more about the fairness of the competition/raffle/whatever to protect the customer, and not intended to limit what you can sell or give for free.

And, if the "regular" 10-day trial promotion code and the "scroll of resurrection" work, why not this? I really can't see any difference.

And it's not just Israel (which one could claim is not strictly part of Europe), there are other European countries which are not included...