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I decided to poke in and have a look at SWTOR again now that's it's F2P. Loading in I discovered that I could play 6 of my toons which I though was all good. I clicked the activate button on my first character and the little "working" icon showed on screen, I waited and waited, then waited some more. Finally I got sick of waiting and quit the game, thinking it was just a once off bug.
Starting up the game again, the character I had tried to activate was good to go. Ok, awesome I thought, I'll get the other's I want to play ready and away I'll go. But the same issue happened again, the game just sat there for another 5 minutes. I thought I'd try swapping servers, back and forth, to see if I got the same result as exiting the game and I did, the character was ready to play. So by clicking activate, waiting a few minutes, then swapping server and then back which didn't always work, so sometimes quitting and loading back in again I was able to activate 5 characters, but for some reason the game says I've activated 6. So my last slot is unusable, I've got 5 characters activated but 6 slots used.
I decided at that point customer service might be able to help, only to find that as F2P the only way to contact customer service is to phone them, which is an international call. Having to phone overseas for this customer support is terrible. I'm not prepared to spend $16 to buy Skype credit to make one phone call and I'm not interested in phoning and spending half an hour on hold on my own phone which would probably cost about the same.
I've read the SWTOR forums and it seems a number of people have had the same issue but I can't find a work around without contacting CS.
No wonder this game gets so much hate.