Please, SOE, let me give you money

That’s what I felt like I was saying over the past week, falling to my knees, clasping my hands together in supplication, and begging Sony Online Entertainment to please, please let me stuff their pockets full of cash.

And in a move that surprised me greatly, SOE said, “No!”

Let me back up.  So I’ve been poking around in EverQuest 2, nothing super-serious but enough that it’s caught my attention and I’m enjoying the company of the guild there.  I rolled a Warden the other week and she’s gotten up to level 11 and is figuring out things all over the place.  Also, I can become a tree.  This is important to my ego.

What I did not know is that I created a character during a promotional time in which SOE upgraded all of the free players on the Expanded servers to “gold” status, meaning that previously locked classes were open for business.  And, of course, I happened to make one of these classes.  So I’m playing without a care in the world, la de da, and then one day BOOM.  The promotional period is over and my character is thrown into SOE’s jail.

Now, this bothers me because (a) I was actually liking the class and even at level 11 I had not intention of rerolling, and (b) SOE didn’t really go out of its way to tell me that I was rolling a premium class.  It’s a small failing, but it did fail me, and I’m wondering who else stumbled into the game during this time, did the same thing I did, and then had the door shut in their face.

But no worries, I’m flush with the Washingtons, and I am okay with paying a few bucks to play a class I’m enjoying.  So I go to the website and figure out where I need to go to buy Station Cash so that I can buy other things.  Found it, no problem.  Then I try to log in, and the system tells me to reset my password, presumably so the hackers have something new to steal.  I do so, and then get an error message saying I already reset it.  This happens again and again, the consequence of which is that I can’t log in.

Please, SOE, can’t I give you money?

Okay, I’ll roll with it — I’ll simply pay for it inside the game.  I go to the in-game store and click on the “add payment information” button.  This proceeds better until I finish entering my credit card information and then the game gives me a popup that says “Enter your security number.”  Mind you, there’s no field or anything to enter it in, just a notice that’s maddeningly vague.  What security number?  Who are you?  WHY WON’T YOU LET ME GIVE YOU MONEYYYYY?

So now I’m on a vendetta to jam a wad of cash down the throats of SOE execs, so (and I’m almost ashamed to admit this) I use an eBay gift card I got for my birthday to buy a Station Cash card, waited for it to be shipped to my home, and then entered the code into the game so that I could finally, finally unlock my toon.

I don’t know who’s sadder in this story, me or the company.  I think this could be turned into a Shakespearean play of sorts.


12 thoughts on “Please, SOE, let me give you money

  1. Rog June 23, 2011 / 9:04 am

    I’ve had a similar experience with Games for Windows Live recently, where I finally decided that my stubbornness in waiting for Gears of War PC to end up on Steam (or Impulse) was of course never going to happen (which I knew to begin with).

    So I finally logged in to buy it. Only to find that the GFWL account I automatically created previously via GTA IV’s interface was marked as “USA”, so it wouldn’t accept my credit card address as Canada. Okay, that’s dumb, I can’t change that? Apparently not, because that might allow someone to *gasp* by an Xbox in Canada and use it in the United States.

    I created a new GFWL account. And it still won’t recognize my credit card. The same one I use on Steam, Impulse and Paypal without troubles. Weird. Checked and double-checked, nope for some reason it doesn’t fit what the GFWL site expects. They don’t take Paypal (at least not in Canada) either.

    Microsoft doesn’t want my money.

  2. Wilhelm Arcturus June 23, 2011 / 9:30 am

    Yeah, the SOE website is still shaky in the post-hacking world.

    But it was never stellar before then either. I had the same “but I want to give you money!” problem back when the EQ progression servers went live. The site stubbornly would not let me subscribe to the game. I had to open a support ticket… though even that can be challenging.

  3. Dorath June 23, 2011 / 10:23 am

    Recently I started playing EQ2 again, and so far I’ve paid for everything in cash. I’m glad that Sony has game time and Station Cash cards in retail stores because I really rather would pay in cash anyway. Not only does handing over cold, hard cash make me really consider what I’m spending my money on, but there is no credit card information to be had for the taking on any of Sony’s servers.

    Going forward I will be taking into account the availability of game time cards in retail stores when I consider subscribing to any online game. This seems to be more common now, and I hope the trend continues. A pre-paid Steam card would be fantastic.

  4. Gankalicious June 23, 2011 / 10:52 am

    That’s pretty hardcore, I must say, and not unusual. I’ve gone to some extraordinary lengths to play games that have captured my interest as well.

    Your quest to play is kind of like a crafting mini-game, or the starter content and now, after extreme struggle (and little fun) you’ve managed to reach….. the end game.

  5. Warsyde June 23, 2011 / 11:42 am

    Definitely the game is sadder, as you really have to wonder about a company that presumably has the intention to make money as a going concern, yet makes it nearly impossible for you to actually give them money, EVEN WHEN YOU WANT TO!

  6. Gina Cirelli June 23, 2011 / 11:44 am

    *puts on her tinfoil hat*

    Maybe they do this on purpose so that it whets your appetite for the game more?

    I think Mythic has always done this kind of psychological gameplaying in their games. So many times in both WAR and DAoC I’d find myself saying to the game, “But I want to do *this*!” And Mythic’s answer was always, “NO, that’s not allowed (for strictly arbitrary reasons)!”

  7. NoAstronomer June 23, 2011 / 11:46 am

    and we’re supposed to be surprised that Sony got hacked?

    Handoff errors are symptoms of exploitable loopholes. Give them your credit card info? I think not.


  8. Angry Gamer June 23, 2011 / 12:27 pm

    Ah… the joys of Unified Authentication Servers….

    It would appear that SOE (to their credit) implemented a new Authentication Server after their compromise. And consequently things are not all synced up.

    Just wondering out loud here. This kind of error indicates they have a tenuous hold on their IT infrastructure right now…

    How do y’all feel about playing games in the cyber equivalent of a condemned building? It’s all fun and games until someone’s bank account gets poked out.

  9. Dont June 23, 2011 / 4:33 pm

    I believe the security number is the last three numbers on the back of your credit card.

  10. keymakrtr July 17, 2012 / 7:16 am

    I’m having the same problem with the ‘reset your password!’ ‘you already reset your password today, but you still need to reset it!’ problem is thats happening with my entire old SOE account, not just when i try to buy thing but when I try to log into any of their games. Luckily there was nothing on those accounts that I cared about so I rolled a new one and was fine. Still rather annoying though…

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