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Would you pay for enhanced customer support in UO?

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Richtor Darkbane, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. Would you pay $1 extra per month to get enhanced customer support?

    So this is the idea: Customers who are interested in upgraded support would optionally pay $1.00 extra per month to entitle there account to it. This extra $1.00 a month would create the funding to hire some new customer support representatives and train them properly to handle small problems in game. The more people that subscribe to the optional enhanced help, the more support staff that could be hired. These customer support folks would be in communication with both players and GM's. They would be pageable through the help menu, only to accounts that pay the additional $1.00 a month. Players would still have the option of using the traditional help, but also have advanced help button in the help menu to get a faster response.

    What they should be able to do:
    • Help with any simple questions, such as those answered in the knowledge base.
    • Clarify gameplay rules, TOS, for players who aren't sure if something is legal in game.
    • Access the players problem and if need be bundle it nicely and pass it on to a GM. (Problems passed to a GM by Customer Support should have to be responded to in-game by a GM. In Other words if the Customer Support feels it warrants GM support you don't get a canned response.)
    • Open a support ticket with EA web help system on behalf of the player if desired.

    Yes I realize I should have called this thread something like "Pay For Counselors To Come Back." but I didn't want to get flamed right off the bat. :hahaha:

    So what do you all think? Thoughts, Ideas, Comments? Yaysayers, Naysayers, what say you?
     
  2. Hemisphere

    Hemisphere Always Present
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    We already pay an extra $3 per month for enhanced customer support.
     
  3. drinkbeerallday

    drinkbeerallday Visitor

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    no i wouldn't. i already have to pay an extra dollar for sales tax as it is.
     
  4. According to.....?
     
  5. Hemisphere

    Hemisphere Always Present
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    So not exactly just for enhanced customer support.. but this was one of the most oft touted reasons at the time of the price hike, particularly by U.Hall cheerleaders, but also EA representitives.

    Edit: Link to the full article
     
  6. K'torr

    K'torr Guest

    So you are asking if we would be willing to pay extra for what they should already be doing.

    Kind of like paying Policemen to showing up at crimes, but having to pay them extra to actually make an arrest.

    And it would make it like America's health care system. You can go to the Hospital, but only those who can pay extra will be treated.
     
  7. Sebrina

    Sebrina Guest

    Nope - not the way that they are doing it. If they will realize the importance of a GM or Counsilor (as a payed employee,) then possibly. At the moment, they do not realize that important aspect of Role-play, it seems. This IS a roleplay game, right. Do they not get the idea that the NPCs need to role-play with us? - or did none of these people ever GM an AD&D game before?

    They cannot just leave it to game-mechanics to handle it for a roleplay game.
    You want real action? Pay some people to interact with the players. Leave to canned mechanics...*Crash and burn the entire idea of the game in the first place.*

    I'd pay extra, if there is one true GM dedicated to each shard. -But not their current thinking.
     
  8. No. I am asking if you would pay an extra buck a month to increase the quality of the in-game support basically, and as an incentive for you to actually pay that extra buck that the enhanced service would only be available to you, there-in making players who want increased support happy, and also for the people who couldn't care less, or "would quit" if the price went up it would not effect them as it would be a totally optional addition to your account and you could still get the current support system.

    Your analogies aren't really correct, if we must put it in the form of an analogy it should be worded like this:
    "Kind of like paying the city extra money for more police to be on patrol in your area, and thus getting faster response times to the crime."

    I won't debate America's Healthcare System with you here but I know at least in the state where I live no person can be turned away from emergency hospital service regardless of weather they can pay for it or not, but at any rate if you want to talk about healthcare go to U.Hall Off Topic.
     
  9. I probably wouldn't as I've rarely needed a GM... but what I really want to say is your sig is stunning, Richtor Darkbane :)
     
  10. As a player and customer ...

    The rates were raised from either US$9.99/month or US$10.99/month several releases ago - with the promise of "enhanced customer support" as part of the deal.

    GM's seem to be virtually non-existent; according to reports only send out canned responses many times
    EMs and Counselors ... gone.
    More stable shards.
    Phone support ... <shudder> in the main, not good even for the few times I've needed it.

    Less participation from EA Devs and others.
    I compare this to Stratics and an old board - Crossroads of Britannia - where daily appearances of Dev members was common. Explanations of mechanics and so forth - even to giving out some of their fave PvP tactics if one but asked.

    So, though you asked nicely, I would have to respond with a no - I would NOT pay more on a promise. I want to see/hear it happen before I would agree. And they are still over-taxing my subscriptions!
     
  11. drinkbeerallday

    drinkbeerallday Visitor

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    that is federal law. it is the law a hospital has to treat you if you are ambulatory. it is unfunded (although you may qualify for medicaid) and the hospital can bill you and pass the account to collections and your credit score will suffer if you don't pay. needless to say a lot of people do not end up paying which drives up costs for the hospital which drives up insurance premiums for people that do have insurance.
     
  12. Wilde1

    Wilde1 Guest

    crappy support + enhancement = a little less crappy support?

    if the customers were actually supported in the first place, no enhancement would be necessary.

    no thanks
     
  13. Alvinho

    Alvinho Great Lakes Forever!
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    We already are paying for "enhanced support" when tehy raised the fees fmr 9.95 to 12.99
     
  14. yeah
    What everybody else said, they already increased the fees to provide better support, more events, etc etc.
    And I've really seen neither, for the most part (Draconi's current line notwhithstanding)
    So put me down as NO
     
  15. This is something entirley diffrent, this is about a new customer support service, for an OPTIONAL monthly fee. Everyone keeps bringing up the old price hike, and in a round about way it was supposed to include better support yes, but bottom line it's not cutting it. I am just trying to come up with constructive REALISTIC ideas to better the game. It's either that or raise hell about the current service offered, which hasn't done anything so far.
     
  16. Hemisphere

    Hemisphere Always Present
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    Perhaps customer support should be a micro-transaction?

    $2.95 and you get the full undivided attention of a trained GM who knows the game inside out for however long it takes to fix your problem :D
     
  17. Kaj

    Kaj Lore Keeper
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    Also throw into the mix that Euro-countries pay significantly more and that it's not possible to pay in dollars for us. I pay the equivalent of $20-21 per account per month.
    I remember a similar discussion like this 7 years ago. Everyone basically seemed willing to pay extra for better support and more IGMs. It never happened. Heck, as customer numbers dropped, the support decreased (obviously for pecuniary reasons).
    Now we are left with just an empty shell of the initial support system back in '99-'00. You used to have counselors, senior counselors, GMs, Lead GMs. There were so many layers of dedicated folks that played UO themselves. You even had UK GMs.
    Now we have people that also do DaoC and just use scripts 99% of the time. Now scripts are common in support in all fields, but when it leaves the customer feeling misundersood and/or ignored you've gone too far. I think everyone agrees that the customer support isn't the prettiest side of UO. But I do respect the current GMs for managing to cope. I can't imagine that their job is a lot of fun with so many complaining people (like me ;)).

    Anyway, the crux I think is just trying to make the best of it. EA isn't going to increase funds for new/more customer support. There will never be a special subscription for 'extra support'. With the limited amount of devs working on UO I doubt we'll see the amount of dev activity on Stratics that there used to be. But I guess those are all extras and don't take away that UO still is a great game.
     
  18. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    But all those things you said SHOULD Already BE part of the support that I'm paying for...... and am I ever paying!...... 8 accounts worth of the pay hike they added awhile back.. and I'm getting LESS support than EVER before!..... and you think I would PAY another buck for even LESS support??? How much more support do you think we can do without??? Listen I hate to break this to you but the ONLY extra support that I want would be a return of EM/Seers..... THAT I would pay an extra buck for.... though then I'd have to close an account. But that would be worth it..... IF and only if they got the idea and helped to put the RP back into my MMORPG.
     
  19. RoycroftLS

    RoycroftLS Guest

    Well, here are my thoughts on the matter:

    Isn't a knowledge base supposed to be an easily understood reference source that can stand on its own? If some players are willing to pay to have someone interpret the knowledge base for them, I'd have to say that the "base" isn't very knowledgeable or user-friendly in the first place.
    I understand where you are coming from on this point, with the recent bannings and related paranoia. But I would argue that there should be a frequently updated page in the knowledge base that has a list of any recent changes in policy/rule interpretations and enforcements.

    In general, we shouldn't have to pay extra to be able to figure out if we are playing the game legally by the most recent rendition of the rules of conduct.

    So, you'd be paying for someone to let you down gently if your query would respond in a canned response. I can understand the frustration at the way customer service has become so automated, but there are only so many ways someone can say "Sorry, this is not something we can help you with." Eventually those "non-canned" canned responses would become repetitive too.

    Along with the first point, I would hope that any help system would be intuitive enough that you wouldn't need help to get help. Offering to pay to have someone else do a (hopefully) easy task sounds lazy in my opinion.
     
  20. Masuri

    Masuri Seasoned Veteran
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    I'm a capitalist, so I know that everything has a cost, including customer support, and I am more than willing to pay for good support.

    But I'm also NOT a flaming idiot, and I know that a few extra dollars a month isn't going to put a dent in the customer support problem, any more than did the last fee hike. The problem isn't their profit margin, the problem is their repeatedly poor allocation of all of their resources, and that includes their support staff. I am vehemently opposed to throwing money at problems. That very rarely works, and even when it does, it doesn't work for long.

    Besides, there's no good reason that the same $15 a month (or less) that buys me support from every other game on the market, shouldn't get me the same support from a megalithic company like Mythic.
     
  21. Doomsday Dragon

    Doomsday Dragon Visitor

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    Nope I already pay for a service and that should include full support not this halfassed crap they call support.
     
  22. Joyous2K

    Joyous2K Guest

    No. I am sure you had some good ideas. Customer support is not good. This is not always true, but it is generally true about everything. So, no matter what people pay for it, it will still be bad. It's a lot easier to say "We don't know." Or "Try calling back later" or "unplug your computer and then plug it back in" than it is to support the customer.

    I am in favor of a reduced price for UO. Let's make it the retro game with the retro prices.

    I know they are expanding UO in 1-2 years but let's still get the rates down where they belong - in the 5-6 dollar range - and people will join and it will fit the look and feel of UO.

    I know you guys like paying 10-13 but I think you are really shortchanging yourselves.

    Also, increased fees do not improve customer service. Try unplugging your computer and letting it refresh for 5 seconds and then plug it back in. That will fix your problem. We call it "Power Cycling" in the business.
     
  23. Lisolette

    Lisolette Guest

    Exceptional and top notch customer support should be with every company whether we are paying .99 or $ 200 a month.
     
  24. DevilsOwn

    DevilsOwn Stratics Legend
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    at this moment I would fold a $20 into an airplane and shoot towards whomever can get the shard list back

    :D
     
  25. Hemisphere

    Hemisphere Always Present
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    That's not a bad deal for you, considering no matter how hard you throw and how true your aim, it's unlikely your 20 bucks is gonna make it out of the room you're in ;)
     
  26. DevilsOwn

    DevilsOwn Stratics Legend
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    :lick: pretend, Hemisphere.. imagine that bill, see it clearly in your mind's eye, making it all the way to Redwood :D
     
  27. Raina

    Raina Journeyman
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    Sure, if they also reduced the price of the Monthly to $4.99. Which makes sense really, the price was $9.99/month then they raised it a couple bucks to cover customer support and all that. So sure, make it optional IF you then make the price of the game itself accommodating.

    All other games have customer support, some even fairly decent customer support, all inclusive of the same type of monthly charges that EA is charging us now. So why can't EA?

    More than that, EA/Mythic seems incapable of doing, well... anything when it comes to UO Anyways. Look at the current state of the game, hell look at the state of an unfinished KR Client that's over a year old... If they can't even manage to do that, what makes you think that paying anything 'extra' that requires something from them, that they will actually follow through on it when they haven't on ANYTHING else?

    So.. there's my two cents *grins*

    ~Rai
     
  28. Was supposed to be for "Seer run events" when they upped the price of the monthly subscription. However, they quit doing those..... so now we pay 3 dollars for nothing.... crafty buggers.
     
  29. Anjeel

    Anjeel Guest

    Absolutely not. They should already have this kind of customer service. Paying extra for it is merely telling them to make their "free" customer service worse so you have to pay more.
     
  30. RenaLynne

    RenaLynne Guest

    I do pay for it...:coco:
     
  31. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    No. For three reasons:

    1) With what they charge for the game and their claimed number of subscribers, and including the fact that they support MULTIPLE games with their service base, they already make enough money to provide a level of support better than they do -- they simply choose not to, as they believe that since it's a game, a high level of support is not necessary.

    2) I don't trust that EA would do with the money what it is being charged for anyway. They have already shown many times in the past as to how reliable their management of money is. They raised the price among promises of better levels of support -- that never came. They also chose to cancel UO2 and "redirect" those resources back in to Ultima Online -- something that those of us around at the time realize never happened. Additionally, almost IMMEDIATELY after cancelling UO2, they started developing UXO, and cancelled it with the same "redirected resources" line of bull that we ALL know never came to be. They also grossly mismanage the money that they're getting in because EA basically refuses to throw NEW money at UO -- which is why UO:KR was done on the cheap. They outsourced the game engine, which should have saved them some time in development, but it clearly didn't, and they outsourced a majority of the art to China (which shows in that the KR client's art detail isn't even as good as the old 2D client, which is both sad, and pathetic).

    3) Even at $1 extra per sucker who paid for it, they would not be able to justify the hiring of a SINGLE full-time person to manage the system, which is what special customer support would require. I doubt they'd get more than a couple of thousand people to pay for the service, which would mean a grand total of $24,000/year additionally earned for the service, which wouldn't pay for much given the demands of the service.
     
  32. Looks like overwhelmingly no, there seems to be so much confusion as to what our monthly subscription fee is funding... But I am glad it got everyone talking and thinking about what I think is one of the top three problems in the game. After reading all the posts I have to say I agree with most of them, we should already be getting great customer service for what we pay (but we arent so what can we do about it?). What I truly think, is that they should bring the counselor system back, but take the volunteer out of it. Pay people to work (interesting concept). If they are going to have multiple games share the same GM team, they need counselors as a buffer between the players and the GM's to sort the real problems from the simple to solve knoledge base questions and thus eliminate the canned GM responses, or they need to hire more GM's to handle the high volume, but counselors seem the more cost-effective way to go here. WARHAMMER is in beta now, I wonder what UO GM support will be like when it's actually complete and more people start playing it.

    Sorry if this came off as a "throw money at it" post to some people, but realistically if you add more employees they have to be paid somehow.

    Here is the actual quote one final time for people who failed to read it, it only says that more GMs will be on staff... It doesn't say they will be geared toward improved customer service:

    What I want to know, is does this quote still stand, or is it like stratics not being the official UO forums anymore (out the door)? And if it does stand, are we receiving the things we're paying the increased fee for?
     
  33. Farsight

    Farsight Crazed Zealot
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    I'm starting to think I should make an automated poster that says, "I agree with Doomsday Dragon."

    That's word for word my response.
     
  34. hawkeye_pike

    hawkeye_pike Babbling Loonie
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    No, I wouldn't, because reopening the Counselor Program wouldn't cost EA a penny.
     
  35. Snakeman

    Snakeman UO Forum Moderator
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    Is why the rates went up the last time $3 a month, was to pay for Better Customer Support & we got squat. (Was what 4 yrs ago when monthly fees went from 9.99 to 12.99 ?)
    So No I won't pay another dollar for squat again!
     
  36. Fox (Europa)

    Fox (Europa) Guest

    Are you nuts? Pay more for something we are already paying for and that comes with every other online game?

    Lets not encourage EA's laziness and couldn't-give-a-toss attitude any more.
     
  37. Coppelia

    Coppelia Guest

    I already pay more $ because of the € to $ conversion thievery, and I have the same unexistant support.
    Also I think that UO should cost less because it's an old 2D game and still full of bugs, plus the customer support is vaporous.
     
  38. Sindris

    Sindris Guest

    No. UO is an 11 year old game charging new game prices. Its made enormous profits for EA over the years. Enhanced customer support is something we should expect, not something we should be shaken down for.
     
  39. Wenchkin

    Wenchkin Babbling Loonie
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    Oh I think European customers have covered the additional payments for good service for the past few years, and then some. We were told the price hike was for better customer service, so where is it? I'm not paying extra for a game which is already pricey compared to the competition, just for the GMs to do their job. If such a system was ever introduced I'd expect a large reduction in fees for basic accounts as they'd clearly be treated even worse than we get currently. If that's possible...

    I wonder if Jeremy ever found out why Europeans were being overcharged, and how many free years we are all due lol.

    Wenchy
     
  40. the 4th man

    the 4th man Lore Master
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    nope.....not unless they moved the jobs back here to the good ol US of A....sorry, but giving away jobs overseas is unamerican, and treasonous..:loser:

    second of all, any company worth their weight shouldn't have such issues, but it appears both Mythic and EA are cheap scumbags.:loser:
     
  41. phantus

    phantus Stratics Legend
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    Absolutely not.
     
  42. Flora Green

    Flora Green Guest

    No. I already am.