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Dark and Light: Special Report: Billing Issues

DanaDana Halifax, NSPosts: 2,415Member

Reports surfaced late last week of inactive accounts being imporperly charged. Garrett Fuller reports on what happened.




Farlan Entertainment, the makers of Dark and Light, has come under fire by community members for billing player accounts who are not actually playing the game. In these types of situations things can become very tricky so we here at MMORPG.com want to try to provide all the people involved with as much information as we can get. Here is the situation as it stands from community posts on the Dark & Light boards.

When players signed up for a Dark and Light pre-order last November they agreed to have ClickandBuy, an online pay service, charge them for any services rendered by Farlan Entertainment for the game Dark and Light. Players could have signed up for this pre-order and never once logged in to play the game, hence expecting to never be billed. All they were doing was signing up for pioneer accounts and giving information in case they wanted to play and be billed accordingly.

You can read the full report here.

Dana Massey
Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

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Comments

  • JelloB2000JelloB2000 NAPosts: 1,848Member


    Other than forum posts by employees, Farlan has yet to make any official announcement on their website. (...)

    Farlan did neither make any official announcement when their site had a virus infection that spread to those visiting the site, so unless some kind of law-enforcement contacts them will pretend the problem does not exist or ever existed.

    They have a minor post in the anouncement section (that is not linked outside of the forums) BUT the post does not explain why people got charged for the client-software aswell or what they will do as compensation.

  • ZorvanZorvan nowhere, CAPosts: 8,912Member

    Thumbs up to MMORPG.COM for putting this to the public and giving it more credence than just us posting about it here on the forums. I know it's a tricky thing to get the info out while making sure to avoid possible hassles from the dimwits at Farlan/NPcube, as well as Click and Buy. Please don't let this fall to the wayside, as it's time to start putting the pressure on these fraudsters. Again, kudos::::20::

  • InteritusInteritus Vancouver, BCPosts: 136Member
    Well at least I have some idea whats going on. I was not a happy camper when I saw that email saying I was being charged.
  • Thor79Thor79 Chicago, ILPosts: 96Member

    Thankfully I revoked the permission I gave C&B to charge my credit card...so nothing happened with my account.

    I would assume the people who did get charged were the ones who forgot to revoke the permission for C&B to charge their credit card even though they hadn't actually setup their accounts for the subscription.

    I believe I recall reading people here advising people to revoke the permission so something like this would not happen. Looks like that advice was good advice.

  • Jade6Jade6 HelsinkiPosts: 429Member

    Of course it could always just be pure incompetence... I remember when World of Warcraft first went online in Europe, the system got swamped when thousands of people tried to subscribe at the same time and they got billed every time they tried again; more than one person mentioned they couldn't pay the rent since hundreds of euros were locked for Blizzard and thus temporarily unusable because of the hassle - I wonder how it turned out. So yeah, it happens...

    Then again, trusting account details to incompetent people isn't much better than just handing them to robbers.

  • NaarNaar crackville, CAPosts: 165Member
    Wow...Farlan screwing people over for the millionth time? I'm so surprized.

    image

  • EleuisisEleuisis blacksburg, VAPosts: 14Member
    All these "free trials" request credit card numbers. It's a little scary. Makes me afraid to give out my credit card number to any of them.


  • TarValonTarValon Leavenworth, KSPosts: 59Member

    I would like to say thanks to MMorph.com for posting this article.  Click and Buy charged me for 69.98 on Nov 17.  I have an email copy from Click & Buy dated Feb 27, 2006 stating I cancelled Dark & Light and got my refund, but they charged me the full price, plus the extra $10.00.  I contacted my bank and they still want me to get some sort of confirmation from Click & Buy before they will refund my money. 

    On the person who clicked the "REVOKE" tab on Click & Buy site, well, I did the same back in February but I still got charged.  You got to think this has to be criminal in some fashion.  Companies should not be able to do this. 

    I just got this off of the Dark & Light website...

    Current Game Access Plan

    Our records indicate that you have already registered for the following game access plan:

    Freedom Pack (USD)

    If you wish to switch to a different game access plan, or if you have a Prepaid Game Credits plan to which you would like to add credits, please click the button below

    So I goto the suspend game plan and get this screen...






















     

    Missing or invalid service plan selection.

    showErrors();

      Please select a new service plan from the list below.

    Current Service Plan:   Freedom Pack (USD)
     
    Available Service Plans:  

     
















     

     
     



     

     

    So I click on the "Suspend Game Service" and I get this....

    Missing or invalid service plan selection.

    So, I cancelled my Pioneer subscription from Click & Buy in February 2006, clicked the revoke button (did not make screen copy - stupid me), Farlan Entertainment signed me up for the Freedom Plan without my knowledge and will not let me suspend the game service.

    This is worse than having the clap.   image

     

  • SBE1SBE1 New York, NYPosts: 335Member

    The other problem is that it is very difficult (to put it politely) to actually cancel your account with Farlan/NP3.  There is no "cancel account" option.  The forum administrators tell folks to submit a ticket to actually cancel the game. 

    As a result of slow or no response to tickets, many players have simply cancelled via the financial processor Click & Buy, either by disputing charges on their credit cards, changing credit card account numbers, or limiting the debit amount allowed under their account at Click & Buy.

    Finally, earlier this year when pre-order players were attempting to get refunds, the process took a very long time and some players simply gave up.  It will be interesting to see how long it takes this time around to refund players.

    This is just another problem surrounding this game. 

  • Thor79Thor79 Chicago, ILPosts: 96Member

    To be clear...I revoked the permission of Click & Buy to charge my account...at that point I wasn't trusting Farlan to take care of anything. I checked my bank account today and there is no sign of a charge to the account and I haven't received anything from Click and Buy recently.

    I never requested a refund though for my Pioneer Account. If they ever get their act together (which I highly doubt) that was a one time deal (except for the few they have let people buy)...if they ever get their act together...I'll have my pioneer account to use...if not...oh well, not the first time I wasted money on a game.

  • DemonOvrlordDemonOvrlord San Antonio, TXPosts: 69Member

    Even if they actually refund any money (which seems doubtful), after this latest fiasco I think Dark and Light will go down in history as having rightfully earned the title:

    "Worst MMOPRG ever released"

    It's kind of nice to know exactly where the bottom of the barrel is located, just for reference. 

    The really ridiculous thing is that you still see clueless-types defending the game on the DnL Forums.   I guess you really can feed garbage to some people and they'll happily eat it up.   

  • ZenoLocZenoLoc Oklahoma, OKPosts: 71Member Uncommon

    You have to hand it to D&L, They have managed the impossible.
    They made SWG look like a glowing beacon of MMORPG perfection. image




  • DignaDigna City, CTPosts: 2,014Member Uncommon

    There were also other 'trial' packages which allowed you to
    play and cancel within 14 days if unsatisfied. I tried it, was horribly
    disappointed and cancelled. No money ever returned. I've had numerous emails
    and person to person phone calls to C&B and they confirm that the money was
    collected and sent on to Farlan. Emails to Farlan netted me several emails
    saying that had not collected any money and that I should look to C&B for
    it as well as 1 which said 'You do not have an account here. Your account has
    been cancelled. This is not our issue." Very disappointing. There is
    always the hope of a massive lawsuit I suppose. I don't mind rough games at the
    outset, I expect it. Several  times I renewed  a subscription then
    cancelled a week later because I realized I wasn't going to be able to go
    through it all, all over again. I was responsible for the money paid out (okay I
    wish I could have avoided it but who wouldn't) because I elected to play. Not
    the game companies fault I decided i couldn't spend the time again. DnL and
    Farlan though got their cancellation in writing within 3 days of starting the
    game which I think falls within the 14 days rather safely. At this point, after
    nearly 8 months of back and forth emails I've pretty much given up on them
    which I am sure is what was hoped for. How such a mess of a game could have
    been launched amazes me but the fact that HR and Accounting didn't fix this in
    hope of salvaging possible return customers later in the game's life.




  • LamamotoLamamoto DusseldorfPosts: 20Member

    hello guys,

    Hehe, same old story again.image

    In November 2005 i signed for an Pioneer account, in May 2006 i canceled it, cause the "Stresstest-Client" of DnL didnt work with my ATI- card (Graphic, for those who dont know ATI :)  ). I got my refund as it was promised by Farlan/NPcube.  OK , everthing allright. That I didnt get any help by support of DnL, with the problems depending on my Graphiccard, i dont have to say, most of you know that.

    To give them ( Farlan/NPcube ) a second try i orded DnL some month later again, ok, end of all, everytime i tried to activate my gameaccount on the CnB site, there was still the information that my subscription be refunded, tho... nothing to activate. My phonecalls to CnB Germany , neither my emails , brought any result to fix that mistake.

    Full disapointed by this kind of service i deleted my CnB account.

    Month later i took a look in my Billinghistory on the DnL accountsite, there was still my second subsription as "pending" signed *lol

    Some weeks later i got 2 emails, in first email are my both subscirptions  ( pioneer and the new )  are to be charged... * hehe, there is no CnB account, how lucky am i imageimage , in second email , which was corrected, they deleted, the once deleted pioneeraccount :), but the second new subscription would be charged..... *lol

    Both emails are in my postbox at the same time, only the timestamp differs some minutes !!!!

    The only word i have to say to all of the above written is : if a company cant build a save and secure billingsystem, their products shouldnt buyed !

    thats all i have to say

    *sorry for my bad english :)

    so long Pioneers of DnL

    greetings

     

     

  • AlarnaAlarna DaunPosts: 15Member
    Some errors in the report:

    1. Not all of the community members got an email with billing report.

    2. Not all the community members were set as Master.

    My friend and me we both hadn't selected any packet, we took a look sometimes to see if anything changed in our accounts, but it hadn't. Then after the mail from click and buy we were astinished to see, that our account had been upgraded.

    It's impossible to cancel an account. Some of us brought a charge aganinst Farlan



  • korvasskorvass den haagPosts: 623Member

    Yep, Farlan do it again. Wonder if they'll disappear with all that dough image

    I remember the virus fiasco. I even posted a warning on this site to let people know. Not a trolly post, just a warning. Strangely MMORPG gave me a warning *shrug*  


  • CholaynaCholayna My Boat, FLPosts: 1,604Member

    Same crapola that went on at the beginning. There was an excellent post made regarding the legality of a "no refund" policy they tried to enforce (no refund on a product yet to be delivered and sight unseen - hah! incredible) . This post also gave some very good information regarding credit card online purchases and the customers rights (US at least - not sure if it applied to any other countries). After this post generated much ado on the forums, Farlan stated they would allow refunds. (they had no choice really). However, the original poster of this most excellent post was banned from not only the forums but from the game itself even though he was a paid pioneer!

    Hundreds of ppl were ripped off at that time. Then came the mess again when they decided to sell the "refunded pioneer accounts". Same thing. Then it happened again when billing was to have started but due to the games inferior playability, they extended the free period yet again, several hundred were charged erroneously. Now that the free period has ended, several hundred are charged erroneously yet again! C&B goes by what information they receive from Farlan Entertainment. C&B had enjoyed a very satisfactory transaction history with several thousand companies across the globe -- until Farlan Entertainment. Several hundred ppl were taken care of with C&B going outside the lines and refunding ppl without the "confirmation" from Farlan as Farlan simply refused to deal with it.

    Now the excuse of Farlan Entertainment taking the liberty of changing your "payment plan" without consent nor knowledge then expecting you to change it back to what you really wanted before the next round of billing had begun without being informed nor noticed that there was any change to your plan made at all is simply yet another laughable and highly unethical manuever by Farlan Entertainment.

     As was stated earlier in this thread, there was and still is no way to cancel anything with this game. Changing your billing address, revoking your C&B membership subscription to the game, all the ways they suggest obviously dont work. Calling your credit card company and reversing the charges seems to have worked for many. There is also implemented a "ban" on anything to do with C&B and Farlan Entertainment from accessing your account from your credit card company. A simple call with a full explanation of the circumstances surrounding these charges to your credit card company would take only minutes and you will be free of Farlan Entertainment forever.

    Dont give up getting your money back. It is unknown just how many have not had the tenacity to stick with obtaining your money back however Farlan has time on their side and can and will "out-wait" you. Good luck to those ppl.

    Farlan Entertainment and NP3 will indeed show the world just how horrible and catastrophic a game can be.

  • ZorvanZorvan nowhere, CAPosts: 8,912Member

    Hey, Cholayna? Remember when I said to watch for the next train wreck as soon as the free time ended? lol

  • indiramournindiramourn Moorpark, CAPosts: 884Member Uncommon



    Originally posted by Zorvan

    Hey, Cholayna? Remember when I said to watch for the next train wreck as soon as the free time ended? lol



    Yeah, saw this coming from a million miles away.  My condolenses to the poor folks screwed over by Farlan.  All they wanted to do was throw their support behind an up-and-coming MMORPG developer--who, early on had so much "potential".  But in the end Farlan raised the concept of incompetence to an art form.  At this point, my only frustration (I was not affected by this latest scam) is with the few people who, for some demented reason, are still playing the role of DnL fanbois.  Even the term sycophant is too good a term for these misguided fools.
  • Holyavenger1Holyavenger1 Montreal, QCPosts: 439Member Uncommon
    Wow. And yet another scene added to an already entertaining MMO-drama.

    *sits and passes popcorn around*

    Let's see how this unfolds in the next installement. image




    Fyrr Deerdan - HolyAvenger
    http://www.therepopulation.com - The Sci-Fi Sandbox.

  • CholaynaCholayna My Boat, FLPosts: 1,604Member



    Originally posted by Zorvan

    Hey, Cholayna? Remember when I said to watch for the next train wreck as soon as the free time ended? lol



     

    oh yeh imageand most of us happily got the popcorn and got in our seats to watch this latest comedy of errors LOL I was ready for it, popcorn, lotsa butter, goobers, feet up on the seat in front of me and a tall drink the cup holder.

    Gotta admit -- for a game that is incredibly elementary coding 101 with not many graduates the behind the scenes crapola is extremely entertaining in and of itself. LOL

    You gotta , ya just gotta say omg whats next? LOL

  • ArislanArislan HamburgPosts: 43Member
    Damn I am so angry about suppoting them in the past...

    But fotunately my cc expired in June this year... though... lucky *g*



  • ZionnaxZionnax Tallahassee, FLPosts: 107Member

    A tip that has helped me prevent getting scammed/charged for trials that I shouldn't be...

    Most credit card companies now have a system online wherein you can request a virtual card number.  It basically creates a unique card number for you that is attached to your current account.  It is intended mainly for online or phone purchases.  The vendor/company you give this information to gets the temporary card number, never your actual credit card number.

    Some of the better banks/financial institutions allow you to set both expiration dates and dollar limits on charges to these virtual numbers.  I usually, for a trial, set the expiration date to 60 days, and put a $.01 limit on it.  If I like the game, I up the limit allowed to be charged to the card and extend the expiration period (appropriate to LEGITIMATE charges that I would incur).

    If a "trial" accidentally (or on purpose due to scamming) charges me, the most they can charge for is $.01; there is no "overcharge" penalty on the virtual card.

    This can really save you a headache in situations like this.  Plus, all this info is tracked online via your actual credit card account, so you can see what activity is pending and processed against the virtual card.  Try it, you'll thank yourself.

  • ricklowdisricklowdis flushing, OHPosts: 15Member

    They've known about this billing issue since before dnl went live

    This is the same billing issue that effected the golden egg accounts from getting to login on time

    This is the same billing issue that i bitched about in many many many posts, I went thru the highest people I could talk to at AD, I filed probably 20 support tickets each taking about a month to answer (with a canned response I might add)

     

    They knew it was going to happen, in fact I'm sure they planned for it hoping that most people wouldn't notice

     

    You can see all my posts on the dnl forums complaining about being misbilled and mischarged since around jan 06

     

    Go to the dnl forums and do a search for all posts by ricklowdis, I believe my last 300 or so posts were about the billing problems

    I don't think I need to worry about this but I'll say it anyhow I'll never again play a game from farlan nor will I or my guild ever play a game that Alchemic Dream GM/Mods for

  • darkredeemerdarkredeemer hornchurchPosts: 2Member
    i think i got round it. my credit card run out so they dont have my new details


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