Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Supporting Turbine's Customer Support

It's easy to be negative.  And a lot of people are - just go check out pretty much ANY game fora (sorry, "forums") and you'll see quite a bit of negativity.  I, myself, have had some posts that many would consider 'negative'.  Even I have been known to vehemently disagree with certain game mechanics (I'm looking square at you "AP spent in tree"...).  But at the same time, though I disagree with some aspects and what, at times, feels like arbitrary decisions, I still roll with it (or at least I try to) - it is what it is.  If our complaining makes any difference, that's the exception and not the rule, so just be pleasantly surprised when it happens.

Sometimes there seems to be a lot of anger thrown at Turbine over anything from "lag" (see what I did there?  hehehe) to BtCoA loot to new content to any number of other things.  But whenever I have had an issue that I've felt the need to contact Turbine's customer support over - which has been few and far between - I've always received excellent treatment.  Oh, I may not get what I want, but they have always been polite, pleasant, and responsive.

Just to be clear, I am not talking about in-game GM support; though I will say that the few times I have used that channel, more often than not it has also been a positive experience.  But not always.

Now, you do need to understand a few things about "e-mail" customer support.  The first thing is:  any company worth their salt will always give a first reply that is automated.  Always.  Why?  Mostly to let you know they received your report.  But also depending on what you reported, there can be FAQs related to what is interpreted to be the issue you report.  And often, one of the FAQs may solve the issue you're having.  If this does happen, or you discover you made an error in filing a report (I've never had that happen... *nose begins growing*), then you should reply to that e-mail (provided it says to do so ) with a "thank-you" or "never mind", "the issue is resolved".

Second, it may take them a couple of days to get back to you, but they almost always will follow up with a non-automated reply.  BUT - don't be surprised if this reply is, or seems to be, somewhat scripted.  That's probably because it is.  What do I mean by "scripted"?  Well, there are certain topics that are very commonly reported.  Many of these have solutions that work 90+% of the time, so these are often "written down" and parroted back in the first non-automated response ("Have you tried...?" or "you need to contact the outside vendor to resolve that." types of responses).  And it's also common for the respond-er to not quite understand or misinterpret (or assume, incorrectly) what you are asking.  Don't get upset - just politely (re)explain what your issue is, in a different manner - you know, try to clarify what you're reporting.  DO NOT just repeat verbatim what you already stated, as that will not help anyone.

Many people tend to get upset when the first non-automated response is completely off-base from what they experienced.  But don't - it's a commonplace occurrence.  A friend of mine likes to say that "communication is an inexact science" - meaning we all misunderstand each other, all the time.

Case in point - my recent report with Amazon Payments not working in the LotRO store.  The first non-automated response was, in essence, "I'm sorry you're having difficulties with that, but you'll need to talk to Amazon to get that resolved."  Why?  Because it had to do with a third-party vendor (Amazon).  They assumed, based on my mentioning Amazon Payment, that I was having an issue with that system.  Not unexpected, as most reports mentioning that probably are having problems with that system on Amazon's end of things.  But I just politely explained that my issue was not with the Amazon Payments, per se - it was that the link in the in-game store was not working for me - that is, "I can't get there from here".  I suggested it could be on my end and asked if they had any suggestions I could try.  I also asked if there was anyone there who could try to duplicate my failure (as this would help determine if it is indeed me, or not).  The third reply was (again, in essence), "Oh - yeah, that link does appear to not be working.  I'll let the appropriate people know."

Which is pretty much all I could really hope for.  Would I have liked for it to be fixed "right then"?  Sure, but most of the time that is not realistic (of course, that really depends on what the issue is).

My point to all of this is:  it may take a little bit of "give and take" to get them to really understand what you're reporting, but (as I stated earlier) Turbine's customer support has always been polite, respectful, and understanding.

So when dealing with them, you should be, too.

1 comment:

  1. I agree, common courtesy goes a long way!!