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I'm posting this here as I am currently unable to log into the official forums. I've personally experienced, as have others a disastrous problem when deleting an old character. SOE customer service reps claim it's a "known issue", yet fail to notify it's customers in any way, shape or form.
During the deletion process, users are asked to enter their characters name and hit DELETE. There's somewhat of a delay and the character seemingly is wiped. However after leaving the game, logging out of ones account and logging back in, main characters are missing, deleted infact. As previously mentioned I have experienced this myself only recently, onto to be told there is absolutely nothing they can do but only refund SC's I purchased.. how lovely of them. SOE support claim they are unable to carry out a character restoration and send you on your way.
Just to clarify, NO I did not enter the wrong character name, this is a KNOWN issue that users are discovering the hard way. If you are considering deleting any old avatars, think twice! It's absolutely disgusting to say the least, I'm not a massive gamer but I was enjoying my time in PS2. Doubt I'll be returning anytime soon.
There's a thread on it here