6 years ago I fought with Amazon.com over their customer service response to delayed shipping times for Star Wars Galaxies, a Massively Multiplayer Online Game that I wanted to play on launch day.
Basically their order system wasn’t updating correctly and I emailed them to inquire about arrival times and they didn’t respond until after I had already made other purchase arrangements. The ensuing dispute ended up with me refusing shipment on two copies of the game and them holding my money for more than 2 weeks after the fact. At the end I told a supervisor that unless Amazon.com did something to make it right I would no longer be a customer.
This was a pretty big deal for me because I used Amazon.Com for everything. Books, music, DVDs, gift shopping. All of it. Dozens of purchases in a single year. Their offer was a $5 gift certificate which I threw away and ceased doing business with them.
Flash forward 6 years. I ended my personal boycott after about 5 years because it seemed like that was plenty of time to withhold my money from a company even for the trouble hey had put me through. I started to purchase small items and used their Unbox service to download content to my TiVo.
So today I purchased two copies of an MMO online from them. The MMO is offering a 3 day head start for pre-orders. The web site tells you that you will receive the key via your “Media Library” which is a place you can download your digital content and see your purchases.
The first problem is that the key didn’t appear at once and there was no indication where it would show up when it did. Emails to customer service went unanswered. Finally a key showed up. But only one.
I emailed again and got a response about shipping instead of the media library. Another phone call first resulted in them telling me the pre-start offer was “one to a household”, after me telling them that was the silliest thing I had ever heard with regards to software licensing and a threat to cancel the order immediately I was put on hold for several minutes and finally told that I would get another key but it would be later. After some dancing around I was told to give them 24-48 hours.
So here I am again after 6 years I’m 24-48 hours away from canceling an order from Amazon.com and buying my MMO software somewhere else. I promise if this occurs the personal boycott will be at least another 5 years. I can’t believe after all this time the customer service and understanding of MMO games is still so poor on the part of online retailers like Amazon.com.