Customer Service Is A Nightmare

I’ve heard stories of EA’s costumer service and a small part of me wondered if all the bad things others were saying wasn’t a bit of an exaggeration. Well, a few weeks ago I discovered first hand that it’s actually ten times worse. I haven’t written anything about this until now because I prefer not to bash EA if I can help it, but this problem still has me scratching my head in puzzlement.

My brother has some sort of weird glitch on his account where he can’t level up to 75. He was subscribed at the time Onslaught came out and played through the new expansion, managing to level his Jedi Knight up to 73. After that he didn’t have time to play the game anymore because he took a job working with one of his friends for a couple weeks and by the time he was able to play again, his subscription had ended.

That was when we discovered the bug. He couldn’t get his Jedi to level up anymore and all his other toons were stuck at level 70. We knew something was wrong since Bioware advertises that if you subscribe you get access to the latest content and current level cap and you keep it even after your subscription ends. So even though he wasn’t subscribed anymore he should have been able to level up his characters.

He waited awhile before doing anything about it since he couldn’t afford to subscribe again at the time to write an in-game ticket. When the whole corona thing happened he had no choice, but to address the issue given that he can’t work during this time and has nothing else to do.

The first thing he did was call customer service and explain what happened. The guy who answered the phone told him that because he was no longer subscribed he couldn’t level up any more. My brother told him that made no sense since Bioware says that subscribing gives you access to all the current expansions plus level cap even after your subscription ends, and he had been subscribed when Onslaught came out, so he should be able to level up his characters to 75. The guy told him that wasn’t true and since he was no longer a subscriber he couldn’t access Onslaught or level past 70 anymore. When my brother pointed out that he could still play Onslaught even though he wasn’t subscribed anymore the guy said it must be some sort of glitch since he shouldn’t be able to play it as a non-subscriber. After going around and around like this for awhile, the guy told him it was a moot point anyway since they don’t handle problems in-game and if he wanted help he needed to submit a ticket.

Now that was a problem. You can’t submit an in-game ticket unless you’re subscribed and he can’t subscribe right now because he needs to manage his finances carefully during this time. So we came up with the idea of him using a referral link to subscribe for a week. When he was subscribed, he wrote a ticket describing once again what was wrong with his account, making sure to point out he had a character stuck at level 73.

The reply was swift. They told him that since he wasn’t subscribed he couldn’t level up anymore in spite of having been subscribed when Onslaught came out and that his character was stuck at level 73 because his subscription ran out. When he pointed out that he was subscribed right now and that his toons still weren’t leveling up — they said that referral links didn’t work that way and don’t allow you to level up or gain access to new content. They told him that he needed to subscribe for thirty days in order to play Onslaught and level up his characters. When he pointed out to them once again that he can play Onslaught whenever he wanted to whether he was subscribed or not…they just told him that must be a glitch since he’s not supposed to be able to access that expansion anymore.

Long story short they absolutely refused to help him out, insisting that when he subscribes again his level 73 character will finally be able to reach level cap. So now he’s going to have to wait until he can afford to subscribe to the game and then write another in-game ticket to prove that wasn’t the problem before they’ll be willing to help him out.

The thing is I know they are wrong about referral links and how they work because when Jedi Under Siege first came out I couldn’t afford to subscribe at the time so I used a referral link to gain access to it and had absolutely no problems playing it even after the one week subscription ran out. I’m currently subscribed now, so I can’t say whether Onslaught is different or not, but I really can’t imagine it would be.

Either way, what customer service refused to understand was that he was subscribed when Onslaught came out and that means he should be able to level his characters up to the current level cap. No where does it say that the second you’re subscription ends your toons will be stuck at which ever level they were left. It makes no sense that his Jedi is stuck in limbo at level 73 simply because he’s no longer subscribed.

It seems to me that somewhere along the lines, Bioware and EA got their wires crossed and EA doesn’t even know how their own product works. It sucks that he can’t get this resolved right now, but I guess once he gives EA their money they’ll fall all over themselves to help him out.

What was even funnier was that when I was describing all this to someone else whom I thought could help him out, they said that he couldn’t even use a referral link if he wasn’t subscribed. That stumped me since I was like well he’s not subscribed and he did use one. After that I very quickly realized there was no way they could help out since they couldn’t even fathom how my brother was able to use a referral link without subscribing first. Turns out the EA website says only subscribers can use referral links while the SWTOR website says non-subscribers can use referral links every 90 days. So…wires have definitely been crossed and since EA is the one that handles support, it makes life difficult when they clearly don’t know how anything works.


2 thoughts on “Customer Service Is A Nightmare

  1. Your Jedi Under Siege comparison doesn’t work since that didn’t involve a level cap increase and was in fact advertised as free to all players, but that aside your brother’s situation sounds very odd and sucky.

    My own experience has always been that the phone support dealing with actual account issues (can’t log in etc.) is excellent, but trying to get in-game support is largely futile. (Except the one time I got them to grant me a bugged achievement, but even then I was accidentally also granted another one that I hadn’t actually earned.) I try not to be too mad at the people on the other end because my understanding is that they are poorly trained and given few resources to refer to (I read that somewhere on Reddit once I think) but that doesn’t make it any easier to be on the receiving end of their completely useless “support”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, okay I didn’t know Jedi Under Siege was free so I guess that explains why it worked. My brother is hoping that once he subscribes again they’ll be able to fix his account. It would suck if he had to start over again on another account.


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