First post of the blog, the one where you go “hello this is my blog”. How boring is that? Instead lets skip straight to the good stuff.
Last night my faithful iPhone 3GS stopped working. I updated the software and it stopped recognising my sim card, wouldn’t restore and was basically broken. I took it to the store and they managed to get it working again but warned me that there was an underlying hardware fault. With it being two and a half years old and the hard use it’s had I wasn’t surprised. What did surprise me was being told that I could get a free upgrade. Fast forward and I’m now the owner of a new shiny iPhone 4S which is where the game stuff comes in.
Do you have an authenticator? If you don’t you probably should. With the amount of time I’ve put into my account over the years I’d hate to wake up one morning and find it all wiped out. Anyway, back to the point, when I resynced the phone the authentication apps changed meaning the codes they spat out no longer worked. With the changes to warcraft’s authentication procedure I could still login to that but swtor was off limits. I was envisaging a nightmare of lengthy waits on customer service, what I got was very different.
I sent in a regular ticket on battle.net explaining my issue and prepared to wait a few hours. Meanwhile I checked on the swtor site and found a free phone number! I apprehensively dialled it wondering how long I’d get stuck on hold. I was greeted with a message from the founders of Bioware thanking me for playing the game, I went through 3 menus pressing keys before I was put through instantly to an advisor. He asked me for my name, email and answers to two security questions before removing the authenticator from my account. He asked me to login to check everything was working before thanking me for my call. Needless to say I was very impressed and now looking to blizz wondering if they’d match this service.
I went back to the support section of battle.net to search for a phone number and I eventually found one. This wasn’t a toll free number but still a geographic one so on a free call package it was free. I dialled and went through two menus before again I was instantly connected to an advisor. He asked me for my name and email. I explained the situation and he directed me back to the website and asked me to fill out a form and upload a copy of a government approved ID. He told me that I could wait for the form to be processed which would take a minimum of a few hours or I could call back once I’d done it.
Needless to say I filled out the form and then called them straight back. I got through to someone different obviously and they did quickly remove the authenticator from my account. I said I’d just login to check and she told me that my password was automatically reset and to call back if I had any problems.
So now the explanations over I get to the real point of this post – the comparison. On the whole support was good from both companies but just summing up saying “it’s alright” would be a pretty flat end therefore I’ll delve a little deeper.
I found swtor support easier to find. This may be because of my familiarity with battle.net support section which meant that my eye wasn’t drawn to the telephone notice on the side. However, I had previously pressed the “can’t login link” which the blizz support man directed me too and it showed me a different page then with only the option to reset my password, nothing about an authenticator. I also thought that the “fill in the form and call back” was a little annoying. I appreciate that they were trying to be secure but I don’t feel unsecure with the swtor man asking me my security questions. In fact when the bank has to confirm my identity, they ask me security questions, I don’t have to send them my ID when I call to unlock my credit card. Therefore I think blizz went overkill on the security and I also don’t think that they were as patient. The whole mentality seemed to be to get you off the phone as soon as possible. While obviously if people are clogging up the lines then other people will be put on hold which is never good, a little patience would have changed my whole impression of the experience.
So finally in conclusion I think both game companies do the support thing rather well. However, at the end of the day I felt I had a much better experience with swtor than with blizzard support.