Sunday, September 28, 2014

To Err is Human really screw something up takes a computer.

Ah, technology.  Nothing is so wonderful, nor so frustrating, at times.  I don't remember where I first read the adage of my title/first line, but I have used it ever since, because it's true.

Or at the very least it's perceived to be true.

Today I found myself trying to give Turbine (and by extension WB) some money (though in this case it was the LotRO division of Turbine and not DDO...not that that really matters, much).  But, alas, there is an apparent glitch in the system, so they 'refused' to take my money.

As a side note, if you think the in-game DDO store is slow, then you obviously have not tried the LotRO in-game store.  Comparatively speaking, the DDO store is 'lightning fast' (no, really - the LotRO store is painfully slow; of course, I've noticed in general that LotRO loading is quite a bit slower than DDO, and I have very good internet connection/speed, and computer system; but I digress...).

Anyway, LotRO is currently having a 50% quest pack sale this week, but I have very few TP over there.  So I decided to buy some TP from the in-game store because the bonus TP is better there than the Market (same is true with DDO; not sure why, but unless you're buying the 'top tier' TP bundle, you get a few more bonus TP from the in-game store than the Market).  So I log-in, open the store, go to the "Add Points" page and I'm all set to enter in my CC info, since I don't have one file; but it looks like I'd have to add it to "my account" profile and not just enter the info in for a "one time" purchase*.

But I don't WANT to add CC info to my account.  So I look at the "other payment options".  Most of them, I don't have/use (that's right - your reading the blog of the ONE person who doesn't have a "PayPal" account.  OK, OK - yes, several people don't have one.  Sheesh.  Can't a guy use hyperbole anymore without being jumped on by everyone?  Stupid internet trolls...).  BUT - tucked away, somewhat 'hidden', under the "3 more options" tab**, I see an "Amazon Payments" option.

"What's this?", I think to myself, and proceed to use my Google-fu to investigate.

"Amazon Payments" is a (relatively new?  Obviously, I haven't heard of it before...) way to make on-line purchases with other non-Amazon sites using your Amazon 'account'.  They charge a modest "3%*** plus 30-cents US (or less****)" per transaction.  {Another side note, most CC companies charge stores a "3% transaction fee" on all CC transactions as well.  Which is why some places will give you a 3% (or more) discount on your cash purchases, as they don't have to pay the CC company that money.}

This is a cool option.  At least, to me it is, as I do have an Amazon account.  Yes, I will end up paying slightly more for using it, but I should be able to use any "cash back rewards" I may have to actually lower the total "out of pocket" purchase cost.  I say "should be able to" {because it's an option I've always had on the actual Amazon check-out page}, but as you may have guessed, I ran into a problem trying to use this option.

As I said earlier, the LotRO store is p-a-i-n-f-u-l-l-y s-l-o-w.  Once the "Amazon Payments" page finally loaded, I click on the big, yellow "Pay now with Amazon" button and...nothing.  I wait...and wait...and wait.  I try clicking the button again...and wait.  And again...and again.  Nothing.  No new page, no spinning "waiting" icon, no 'white' page, just - nothing.  {I tested the DDO store and same thing - nothing.}


I do a 'quick' search in the LotRO fora (sorry, "forums") and the Turbine knowledge base and I don't see anything that says 'Amazon payments not working', but it's apparently not working.

I suppose it could be a setting on my end - I do have my browser settings relatively 'tight' (I reject all non-session cookies, by default, adding in the specific frequent sites I visit that "need" them to function properly.  Why anyone would want the 'factory' default of "accept all cookies" is unfathomable to me...but that's me).  But then, with the in-game browser, I would think they have their own settings, making mine moot.  But maybe not.

Still, I filed a bug report and got the automated response back.  Guess I'll wait and see if I get another, non-automated response come Monday.  I hope so; and I hope they have a solution, 'cuz I really would like to use it.

*Has it always been that way?  I thought I used to be able to do a "one time" CC purchase in the DDO store, but I checked and nope (at least, not anymore).  I know I've gotten TP from the DDO store, but maybe I just always used codes and/or TP-point cards?

**In the DDO store, it's not 'hidden' - it's the first "other options" tab.

***OK, OK - it's really 2.9%.  I was rounding up to the next whole number.

****Yes, they actually say "or less" on their page.  I gave you the link, go check it out yourself.  Now, this may only apply to US transactions, but since I live in the US, that's all I care about.  Still, it might also be world-wide - I leave that up to you to discover.

UPDATE:  I heard back from Customer Support today.  Their first, non-automated response was, in essence (but also very politely, not as impolite as the following may seem), "If you're having trouble with Amazon payment, you need to talk to them..."  Which is not totally unexpected.  So I replied that I'm not having an issue with Amazon, per se, but that the link in the in-game store doesn't take me anywhere.  I mentioned that it could be on my end, wth my browser settings not being "factory default" and asked if they had any suggestions for me to try.  I also asked if there was someone there that could go into the in-game store and see what it does for them (troubleshooting 201 - try from different locations).  Their response was, in essence, "Oh - yeah, it does not seem to be working.  I'll let the appropriate people know."

So, it's not me.  (*Whew* - I always like it when it's not me.)

I should also mention that in their first non-automated response, they also mentioned:
"If you would like to purchase Turbine Points without having to save your credit card on file, you may give us a call to process a one-time payment. We are available at 1-855-WBGAMES (924-2637), or 1-781-407-4020, Monday through Friday from 12:00 noon to 7:00 pm Eastern US Time."
Which is good to know.


  1. Yeah I don't have PayPal either :D

  2. I have paypal but only because I was an ebay seller back in the 90's. Yet it is still there, which it reminds me whenever I buy TP.

  3. I have a PayPal account but haven't used it in years....