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Suspicious Anti-Cancellation tactics?

DvoraDvora Member UncommonPosts: 499
Just curious if anyone else has experienced this or something like it, especially in FFXIV.

So i restarted my FFXIV account some months back.  I played for a month or two, then fizzled out.  I did not immediately cancel my sub.  After a couple months of noticing the charges coming through, I finally went to the website to cancel my account.  

When attempting to log in I got a message stating that my account was blocked due to "suspicious activity" and that I would be required to call customer service to remove the block.  Being lazy as I am I blew it off and decided I'd deal with it later.  I had recieved no emails alerts mentioning any suspicous log in attempts or account activity.

A couple months go by, with more monthly charges, and then the credit card my subscription was linked to expired.  Another month goes by and I decide to check if the block was still there.  It was not.

It seems suspicious to me that as soon as they are no longer getting money from me they are ok with me or anyone else logging back in to resume giving them money.  The "suspicious activity" they blocked my account for seems to be suspicion that I was about to cancel my sub, and the block was just an attempt to add another hassle/hurdle to cancelling my account.

This happen to anyone else?
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Comments

  • rochristrochrist Member UncommonPosts: 134
    You could, you know, actually pick up the phone and ask them. Since that's what they asked you to do in the first place. Rather than asking a bunch of people who have no idea.
  • barasawabarasawa Member UncommonPosts: 618
    On top of what rochrist said, they also don't read minds, and have no idea you were intending to cancel, but too lazy to stop giving them money. 

    Lost my mind, now trying to lose yours...

  • DakeruDakeru Member EpicPosts: 3,802
    Looks to me like you just didn't care so you let the subscription run instead of calling them to cancel it.

    If you don't mind to pay them for months because you don't want to pick up the phone then you shouldn't nag afterwards.
    Harbinger of Fools
  • DvoraDvora Member UncommonPosts: 499
    edited July 2016
    You know, I could.  However it would be pretty easy for mmo developers to automatically add extra hurdles like this to anyone that has not played recently, and odds are that they would recieve quite a few extra $.

    Can you explain why a block would magically disappear once the credit card and their source of income was inactive?

    [mod edit]
    Post edited by Vaross on
  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,383
    Doesn't look suspicious to me. AOL was suspicious. This is just S/E's really bad administrative portal - which for some reason is the absolute worst and most convoluted system I've ever seen.
  • DvoraDvora Member UncommonPosts: 499
    barasawa said:
    On top of what rochrist said, they also don't read minds, and have no idea you were intending to cancel, but too lazy to stop giving them money. 

    lol.. dont waste your time posting unless u have a valid point... There have been lots of unscrupulous mmo developers/publishers that use many different tactics to discourage cancellations.  If you think it takes mind reading to assume that someone that hasn't played in a couple months is eventually going to log in to cancel the account then...  you're rediculous.
  • DvoraDvora Member UncommonPosts: 499
    Dakeru said:
    Looks to me like you just didn't care so you let the subscription run instead of calling them to cancel it.

    If you don't mind to pay them for months because you don't want to pick up the phone then you shouldn't nag afterwards.
    You are right, I didnt care that much, and that is the point.  They know that people are naturally lazy and could be counting on that to get a few extra free $.  Thus the commonly added hurdles, like this (possibly) and the more typical tactic of cancellation links that are hidden behind numerous other links that are hard to find.
  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 43,662
    Perhaps they clearly understand their audience and how to maximize the revenue from it.

    "True friends stab you in the front." | Oscar Wilde 

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing New Worlds atm

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  • DvoraDvora Member UncommonPosts: 499
    edited July 2016
    Dakeru said:
    Dvora said:

    [mod edit]
    [mod edit]
    yes because when investigating someone that is possibly untrustworthy you never look to other sources to confirm suspicions.  Instead I should ask an underling of the suspicious party who at best knows nothing about it or at worst has an interest in covering their employer's ass.

    MMO publishers in general have a track record for dishonesty, and could very easily say whatever they want to justify blocking an account.

    And again you added nothing constructive to explain why the block magically went away.  That was the key point that aroused my suspicions.
    Post edited by Vaross on
  • DvoraDvora Member UncommonPosts: 499
    Kyleran said:
    Perhaps they clearly understand their audience and how to maximize the revenue from it.
    Exactly.  Something like this could never be proven as fraud, but doesn't mean that people shouldn't be made aware that dishonest practices are possibly afoot.  
  • TillerTiller Member LegendaryPosts: 11,258
    I would call them now and find out if you still can. You don't want a flagged account when you do come back.
    SWG Bloodfin vet
    Elder Jedi/Elder Bounty Hunter
     
  • k61977k61977 Member EpicPosts: 1,505
    For them that normally means someone else tired to log on to your account multiple times so they locked it down to stop anything for happening till contacted by you.  It could just be someone who has a name very close to yours or could be someone that has your account name but not password.  Games get hacked a lot and if you ever used that account name on another game account it very well could be comprised. 

    Should just pick up the phone and call the number listed.  I had to do it once before and took just a couple mins to get things fixed. 

    They have done nothing wrong they were responsible and locked down the account till they hear from you.
  • PhryPhry Member LegendaryPosts: 11,004
    Dvora said:
    Dakeru said:
    Dvora said:

    You could, you know, stfu and let people that want to answer my question answer it.
    You could, you know, also stfu and ask the only ones who know for sure - the company itself.


    Thing is you don't want to hear some simple solution like an attempt to log into your account from China or something..
    You want to hear tinfoil hat theories so you can rage over lost money instead.
    yes because when investigating someone that is possibly untrustworthy you never look to other sources to confirm suspicions.  Instead I should ask an underling of the suspicious party who at best knows nothing about it or at worst has an interest in covering their employer's ass.

    MMO publishers in general have a track record for dishonesty, and could very easily say whatever they want to justify blocking an account.
    Congratulations, you won, your new shiny headgear will be in the post to you shortly, unless of course they are monitoring your post too, and intercept it!
  • Dagon13Dagon13 Member UncommonPosts: 566
    Ridelynn said:
    Doesn't look suspicious to me. AOL was suspicious. This is just S/E's really bad administrative portal - which for some reason is the absolute worst and most convoluted system I've ever seen.
    It is bad but did you ever experience the old PlayOnline system with FFXI?  I wouldn't be surprised if they missed out on subscribers because they couldn't figure out how to get in.

    What's suspicious is how my WoW account was compromised and reactivated 6 months to the day my previous subscription ended.  On top of that, two people I know personally told me the exact same story.  We joked about a conspiracy but I've wondered ever since.
  • bartoni33bartoni33 Member RarePosts: 2,044
    Totally off topic but an actual issue unlike OP's is the way Microsoft handles cancellations of Xbox Live payments. You can create an account and start payments on the computer or Xbox but to cancel you have to call and sit through a bunch of begging to get you to stay subbed.

    That is shady as all get out!

    Bartoni's Law definition: As an Internet discussion grows volatile, the probability of a comparison involving Donald Trump approaches 1.


  • VrikaVrika Member LegendaryPosts: 7,900
    edited July 2016
    Many banks give you the option to allow or disallow online use of your credit card. You could have just disallowed it for a while, causing the subscription to end due to failed payment, then later allowed it again.

    At least where I come from (Finland) this can be done online through your banks services and doesn't even cost anything.
     
  • DvoraDvora Member UncommonPosts: 499
    edited July 2016
    k61977 said:
    For them that normally means someone else tired to log on to your account multiple times so they locked it down to stop anything for happening till contacted by you.  It could just be someone who has a name very close to yours or could be someone that has your account name but not password.  Games get hacked a lot and if you ever used that account name on another game account it very well could be comprised. 

    Should just pick up the phone and call the number listed.  I had to do it once before and took just a couple mins to get things fixed. 

    They have done nothing wrong they were responsible and locked down the account till they hear from you.
    Tiller said:
    I would call them now and find out if you still can. You don't want a flagged account when you do come back.

    Clearly not many people read the original post beyond the first sentence.  The block is already gone, no need to call them for that.

    The suspicious part was not the account block (by itself), it was that the block magically dissapeared once my credit card expired and they had already lost their income.  This could be because there was no more chance for fraudulent charges on a non-existant card, so no reason for a block... other than theft of gold/items on my characters.    Maybe they have a time limit on blocks and they just expire.  But to me blocks expiring is at least a bad security practice if fraud attempts were indeed made on an account.

    It is in their best interest to make it hard to cancel, but easy to reactivate subscriptions.
  • CyraelCyrael Member UncommonPosts: 239
    Between 1.0, ARR, and Heavensward, I have almost four years total of played time. I've never ran into this issue on the few occasions where I've canceled my sub briefly.
  • DvoraDvora Member UncommonPosts: 499
    Dagon13 said:
    Ridelynn said:
    Doesn't look suspicious to me. AOL was suspicious. This is just S/E's really bad administrative portal - which for some reason is the absolute worst and most convoluted system I've ever seen.
    It is bad but did you ever experience the old PlayOnline system with FFXI?  I wouldn't be surprised if they missed out on subscribers because they couldn't figure out how to get in.

    What's suspicious is how my WoW account was compromised and reactivated 6 months to the day my previous subscription ended.  On top of that, two people I know personally told me the exact same story.  We joked about a conspiracy but I've wondered ever since.
    Yep playonline was bad...  With much greater competition in the market nowadays though I'm sure there are many that look for creative and un-provable ways to snag a few extra dollars.

    Blizzard is no exception, they could easily put a cancelation link on their main account page but they don't, at least not last I played - it takes some looking.  Minor hassles like this are guaranteed to get them at least a few extra months paid sub here and there.  I had the wow account re-activation thing happen at one time also.
  • VrikaVrika Member LegendaryPosts: 7,900
    Dvora said:
    The suspicious part was not the account block, it was that the block magically dissapeared once my credit card expired and they had already lost their income.  This could be because there was no more chance for fraudulent charges on a non-existant card, so no reason for a block... other than theft of gold/items on my characters.    Maybe they have a time limit on blocks and they just expire.  But to me blocks expiring is at least a bad security practice if fraud attempts were indeed made on an account.
    If the block was made due to multiple failed login attempts on your account, then having a limited time block only is standard practice. Even something as short as 48 hour block is enough to prevent someone from guessing your password by trying thousands of times until they get it right.
     
  • DvoraDvora Member UncommonPosts: 499
    Cyrael said:
    Between 1.0, ARR, and Heavensward, I have almost four years total of played time. I've never ran into this issue on the few occasions where I've canceled my sub briefly.
    If you had canceled your sub this would not have applied to you so I'm not sure what your point is, but thank you.
  • axtrantiaxtranti Member UncommonPosts: 97
    Dvora said:
    You know, I could.  However it would be pretty easy for mmo developers to automatically add extra hurdles like this to anyone that has not played recently, and odds are that they would recieve quite a few extra $.

    Can you explain why a block would magically disappear once the credit card and their source of income was inactive?

    You could, you know, stfu and let people that want to answer my question answer it.
    No, they don't care. They get money for you being lazy, happened to me as well on Arche Age but without the lazy part. If you don't cancel that sub, it's gonna' run until you stop it or game closes down.

    asdasdasd

  • OnijinOnijin Member UncommonPosts: 50
    I was gone for a short break myself and had a block, and they block accounts with multiple platforms aswell for the first login it'll state it's been blocked due to suspicious activity, all that is required is following the steps to reset the password lol your just too dumb to read your subscription info which clearly states it renews unless you cancel it, the lock is just from logining from another IP try not to trash talk a company before actually reading the information they all ready have clearly posted for you to fix it.
  • DvoraDvora Member UncommonPosts: 499
    edited July 2016
    Vrika said:
    Dvora said:
    The suspicious part was not the account block, it was that the block magically dissapeared once my credit card expired and they had already lost their income.  This could be because there was no more chance for fraudulent charges on a non-existant card, so no reason for a block... other than theft of gold/items on my characters.    Maybe they have a time limit on blocks and they just expire.  But to me blocks expiring is at least a bad security practice if fraud attempts were indeed made on an account.
    If the block was made due to multiple failed login attempts on your account, then having a limited time block only is standard practice. Even something as short as 48 hour block is enough to prevent someone from guessing your password by trying thousands of times until they get it right.
    This is very possible but still bad practice imo at least.  If it was a short 48 hour block the odds that i would have run into it after 6 months of subs going through before I actually checked on cancelling the account seems pretty low.  Yes I let the charges go that long.  I am their dream come true :)  Still fishy tho, especially since they did not send any email alerts about the suspicious activity, which is even worse as far as security measures.
  • GeezerGamerGeezerGamer Member EpicPosts: 8,856
    Yeah, they just singled out one account. Drew it from a hat and said.....Keep billing this guy's credit card even if he cancels the sub.....write some fake error code on the website but only for his account so it looks like a technical error/

    Yep, they did that all just for you and you alone.
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