Minor authorization problems, big customer support issues

Longest blog post title ever…

Anyway last night lots ‘o folks had trouble logging into Warhammer for a while. For some, persistence was the key to getting past an “Invalid Password” message coming up even after we were logged in, with our passwords, which just worked. Um, invalid? Anyway for others, we just had to wait for the IT doodes at Mythic to reboot the Authorization Server.

It sucked but stuff happens, yes?

However before I realized it was a widespread problem, I thought my account was borked. So I attempted to open a support ticket. First thing I learned is that the account I use to manage my Warhammer Online game account is useless for opening support tickets with EA. I needed an EA account for that.

So I created one and…huh, apparently I already have one, as my email is in use. So I hit the “Forgotten Password” button and was assured my password would be mailed to me. Uh-uh. 15 or so hours later, still no email (and yeah, I checked the spam folder).

So I created one again. Nice thing about using gmail… you can put a . anywhere in front of the @ sign and systems like EA’s will consider it a “new” email but Gmail won’t. So I finally got an account set up, and opened a ticket.

I got a response at 1:24 am local time, though the response itself was time stamped 10:24 pm. The email was (and I’m sure this will shock you) a canned response about password management that urged players *not* to use special characters in their password! (As a web developer this killed me a little inside.)

Anyway, I’ll paste the whole email below.

Overall response time wasn’t too bad, but the response itself indicates no communication between the IT guys and the Support guys. What I *should* have gotten was an email saying “We apologize, our authorization servers were experiencing technical difficulties this evening, you should now be able to log in normally.” rather than sending the poor schlub user on a wild goose chase of trying to figure out what s/he did wrong.

Also, the Herald should’ve been updated during the problem. The Server Status page shows only gameplay servers, which were all up. Maybe Mythic needs to add Patcher and Authorization Servers to that page?

Anyway, credit for a reasonable turn around time but everything else was handled poorly. Let’s hope someone learned something during this event (honestly there have been very few issues like this so the customer service chain probably hasn’t had as much in-the-field testing as one might expect by Launch+1 month).

Here’s the pertinent part of the email. Note the lack of formatting between Q’s & A’s and no indication that the rep actually read and understood the issue. They do, towards the end, mention servers being down but then direct you to a page where all the servers showed as Up during the problem.

Greetings,

Thank you for contacting Electronic Arts.

If you are having problems using your account name and password, here are some common problems, and solutions that we have encountered.

Are there any general rules on entering my new account information before I submit my information?

There are no rules persay, but it is always best to make sure you use Alpha & Numerical characters ONLY, when creating an account name and password. Refrain from using any special symbols or characters as it will make it easier for “you”, the user, to remember these in the future.

I am getting the message “Your password is incorrect”. What can be the problem and what can I do to correct this issue?

Please double check and perform the following, to assist you:

* Passwords are case sensitive, please note how you entered this info in your new account section.
* Make sure you check to see if your CAPS LOCK button is on or off. .
* Account names cannot be longer then 18 characters in length or you may have problems logging into the game. .
* If your account name and password are repeatedly coming up incorrect, try typing them up in a notepad document and compare it against the account information to rule out any keyboard malfunctions.

Also,
There can be one possibility where the servers are down and so you are getting incorrect password error. The server status can be located at the below mentioned link.

http://realmwar.warhammeronline.com/realmwar/ServerStatus.war

If you have any questions about this material or have any additional questions about your issue, please let us know. Take care.

Sincerely,

EARep Hagan
Player Relations
Electronic Arts

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