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Our Favorite Quotes - "Greybeard support? Sorry, you'll get none here. I read your account of the invasion of the osi IRC channel shortly after you did it. You were pretty darn proud that you could repeatedly get into their private channel and even ban some of them from it. Hope it was worth it....people usually get what they deserve....and you got yours." - Ken Mitchell (Sorry to dissapoint you Ken... now blow me)
Good things happen to good
Every now and then though, the bad guys get lucky too - [Greybeard]
Welp, the Greybead vs. OSI standoff has been resolved. Head off to the WTFMAN root page for all the details. Actually I hadnt planned on updating UOEvil anymore, but thise whole circus just made for far too much spam to throw on the main page. All that aside, go there if you want the scoop.
And the story takes a new
Yet another phone call from Origin - [Greybeard]
This time however, things took a positive upturn. Before I get into that though, I would like to thank Lum, Dr. Twister, Jinx, Azile, ALL my fans and supporters who e-mailed both me and OSI on my behalf (If I havent responded to you yet be patient, I took in over 100 e-mails since last night) and even those of you on the message boards who shared your support, insight and objectivity.
With that out of the way I will mention that I took another call from Origin tonight. All I can tell you is that the issue is still NOT resolved and my accounts are still banned, but there is possibly a solution in the works and I will know more on Monday. Soo.... stay tuned for more details.
The truth is now told
Ed comes clean and now I know why I was blown off for so long - [Greybeard]
Ed called me tonight and he says that (and I quote) "I was
banned due to misconduct and racial slurs in the counselor IRC channels"
Remember that piece I did last month on IRC, where I popped into the channel and was kicked, called a nigger, etc etc? Welp, that is supposedly what I'm banned for. Ed says that a lead GM as well as Gordon (aka Tyrant) both approved it. He went on to say that "the IRC chat channel is technically considered to be in-game and hence, things said or done there are succeptable to the Terms of Service Agreement also." So now you can banned from UO when people call YOU a nigger in IRC? Whats next, they catch someone breaking into your tower in UO, then ban you for being a tattle-tell and paging a GM? Here is the letter I wrote to them after my chat with Ed.
Subject: The truth finally comes out, but is this really justice?
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1999 19:50:38 -0400
Well, I finally got wind of why both my accounts were banned. Per a phone conversation I had with Ed at 4:45 pm EST tonight, and I quote "My accounts were banned due to an IRC incident involving misconduct and racial slurs"
Just when I thought I had heard it all, I heard this. My wife (who happens to be black and doesnt like to be called nigger any more than I do) seated next to me heard this and was equally as shocked. The amusing part, is that in the evening in question I was the one on the receiving end of the slur. Feel free to view the log of the incident incident which I found so comical, I posted it on my web site. You can find it under the date September 17th date at:http://www.wtfman.com/uoevil/september.htm
I also encourage you to look at the posts on the 19th and 27th of the month appearing on the same page which further clarifies my position on racial slurs.
I would also point out that I had no idea that being in this room was a violation of the TOS. I was merely invited there by a friend and popped in looking to do an interview with some OSI staff or counselors for my web site. I felt that I was very pleasant until people in the room began kicking me and calling me a "nigger" and thats when I became upset and kicked people in return. Essentially I feel I responded justly to the treatment I received. Were my actions saintlike? Not at all. Do they justify the banning of two accounts that I purchased weeks later? I dont think so.
I mean really people, I am just a guy who loves the game and enjoys entertaining people. I feel that having my accounts killed over this is excessive to say the least and would ask you to reconsider. I would also suggest you review the following message board thread which has taken place at Lum the Mad's tonight:
The mass of e-mails I have gotten as well as the public sentiment I have witnessed in forums such as this one convince me that there is ample reason for you to reconsider your decision.
Now, if you read the above through all the way though you can see that I do discuss legal options. I mention this with great sincerity, as I feel that the termination of these accounts does put me at a financial disadvantage and that I have a strong enough case to pursue legally. However, we are all adults here and I dont think it has to come to that. I mention this not as a threat, but simply to reinforce my point that simply banning my accounts isnt the end of the issue here, and I will pursue it through all means at my disposal.
Once again I ask you to be reasonable and reconsider. My humor while not always appreciated nor understood, is not designed to harm the game in any way, shape or form. If I act in a manner unsuitable in-game and you find me breaking into homes with mushrooms, hurling racial slurs, exploiting bugs, or any other such act clearly in violation of the TOS, then by all means give me the boot. My actions would be clearly worthy of it. In this scenario however, I dont see this as justice at all.
aka Bob Selby
What do you think people? Am I right in that they are full of shit on this one, or is Origin calling it right? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and tell him what you think.
A brief update...
12:45 pm EST, Ed speaks - [Greybeard]
Just got a call from Ed at Origin.. not an e-mail mind you, but a phone call. Needless to say I was impressed. Unfortunately Ed didnt have much information. Said there were no notes to reflect why my account was banned, just that it was banned. Period. He said that he would have to do some research and speak to one of the managers to try and find out what exactly was happening. Soo.. we dont have any answers in sight but at least I finally got someone to read my mail. Yippee.
Lions and tigers and
lawsuits, oh my!
The biggest rant ever - [Greybeard]
This to me is so amazing I wouldnt have believed it unless I saw it with my own eyes. My latest dealings with Origin have convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have the WORST customer support I have ever seen in my entire life. And trust me, I have seen some horrid examples. This is a long story so lets take a moment and go back to the beginning.
As many of you know, I sold off my original UO account some months ago. Despite this I continued to update UOEvil. Now about a month ago I had an e-mail exchange with Lady MOI and the conversation opened my eyes to a few things. I now and always have, greatly enjoyed this game. Unfortunately it and the people who play it have numerous flaws, which while often frustrating to deal with make for great comedy hence, the existence and success of UOEvil. Basically what the conversation with MOI made me realize was that I had a responsibility to the community. To use my abilities and fanbase to do something constructive with the game, rather than continually bash it . The bashing while humorous really accomplishes nothing. Dont get me wrong, I didnt suddenly decide to become a saint, as things like our recent UO Too Parody indicate, I simply decided to start looking for ways to not only bitch about the holes in the game, but to look for ways to repair them as well.
So thus I set out and bought a couple accounts off of Ebay. They were pretty reasonably priced at $150 each, and considering I sold my old one off for $725 I figured I was still ahead of the game. I also wanted to get some practical game experience from characters other than the 7x GM powergamer that I had been used to playing. Bards, smiths, fishermen, etc etc.. These two accounts offered a great variety.
So, you would think all was well no? Two new accounts, great outlook on the game, ambition to make some positive changes, etc etc.. WRONG. Thats when it all actually went in the toilet.
Lets take it from the top with this handy dandy timeline...
Oct: 1st I purchase the second of the two new UO accounts and start playing again.
Oct 5th 6 pm. EST. While logging in I discover that both the accounts are blocked. One apparently for an issue with my credit card, the other it says was blocked by support staff. The first one was easy to figure out, I think I had just forgot to update the customer info on it. The second baffled me.. Hell, I hadnt even really played the account, so how could it of suddenly gotten blocked?
Oct 6th 11 am EST. I call Origin support. Waited on hold about 10 mins, finally got ahold of a rep. I Ask him about the one account and he confirms that all I need to do is update the credit card information which I do. Fine, one problem fixed. I ask him about the second account, and to my utter amazement he tells me that the account is PERMANENTLY blocked. WTF Man? I ask him why, he says he isnt sure. He confirms that the account has never had any disciplinary problems and that there are no notes reflecting why this account is perma-banned. He says it odd. He also puts me on hold to see if the GM who blocked the account is in, but returns to say that he isnt in the office yet. He then suggests that I e-mail email@example.com for some answers. Fairly upset at this turn of events, I send them the following mail:
From: MMMBOP1012@aol.com [mailto:MMMBOP1012@aol.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 06, 1999 11:17 AM
Subject: Attn: Lead GM
Note: Please direct your reply to firstname.lastname@example.org, thanks! (am at a
associates computer now)
Reference account name: *****
I recently purchased an Ultima Online account and am having a problem with it.
When attempting to log on yesterday I found that the account was blocked. I
contacted customer support and to my dismay, was told that the account was
permanently banned. I spoke with the previous owner and he assured me that
the account was never banned before and that he had no history of harrasment
or other problems.
I am not sure what to do. The seller has misrepresented some facts about the
account regarding characters stats and wealth, which he agreed to recitfy
and said they were an accident. I had provided him the the new password under
his assurances that he would take care of these things (primarily one character
on Europa had 25k less gold than he was supposed to have and had lower
strength and fencing skills)
I logged on twice after this and found that he had indeed provided the gold
and the characters skills were improving. (The the main reason I bought this
account for $150 rather than a new game was so that I wouldnt have to train
up new characters)Then yesterday I attempt to log in and find my new account blocked, and
according to customer support this morning there is a permanent ban on it of all things!
I ICQed the original owner to ask him if he had the account cancelled and he
said no. He told me had played the account earlier in the day and had worked
on the characters fencing skill and strength, but hadnt harrassed anyone or
was even approached by a GM or councelor, so he says he has no idea either
about whats going on.
I am very upset that I paid what I did only to have a non-functional
account, and dread the process of litigating with the previous owner over this. ($150
isnt large enough to break my bank, but is large enough that I would not just
forget about it) At this point I can only hope that this was some sort of mistake. All I have
to go by is what customer support as well as the previous owner has told me.
I would greatly appreciate it if you could shed some light on this subject.
Please feel free reply via e-mail or phone
Ok then, that I felt was cordial, well spoken and pretty much to the point. Now all we have to do is get a reply..
Oct 6th - (note my original e-mail was sent at 11 am. EST) No reply the whole day
Oct 7th - No reply
Oct 8th - No reply. Now Im a little ticked. Two business days have past and I have heard nothing. I call customer support and speak to the same guy again. Says that the guy in charge of the issue has my mail and will definitely reply today. Is sorry for the inconvenience. Apparently he wasnt sorry enough... Noone ever replied to me that day.
Oct 9th 8 pm EST. My brother calls me and tells me that I have an e-mail and forwards the following to me:
Received: from demai02.mw.mediaone.net ([220.127.116.11])
We have reviewed the account in question per your request. It is clear that
your actions violated the rules and regulations of Ultima Online, either in
a gross manner justifying immediate termination, or multiple times
necessitating account closure. We are never happy when we have to close an
account due to misconduct and harassment as we value the members of our
community, but we can not condone these actions. As Ultima Online contains
numerous players, our decisions are based on the benefits of the community
as a whole. After our investigation of this matter we believe that the
closing of this account is in the best interest of our community.
UO Account Administrator
You have got to be fucking kidding me. First, whomever got my mail obviously didnt read it, thats apparent by the fact that one, they replied to the wrong address DESPITE the fact that its the first thing I mention in the letter, AND they send me a form letter of all things. Didnt even take the time to answer even one of my questions. Now here clearly is a support staff that cares. Now I am really pissed.
Oct 11th Monday morning. I call customer support yet again and ask to speak to person who supervises account issues. The rep asks me what the problem is, so basically I tell him everything that has happened thus far. He tells me to hold on while he does some investigating. So I wait about 5mins when he returns and says "Sir, not just one but both of your accounts are now banned." WHAT!?!? What do you mean BOTH my accounts have been banned? I just bought these accounts, neither of them have ever had any disciplinary problems, how the hell could they be banned? To which he only replied "Im sorry, but I cant answer that. You need to e-mail email@example.com and speak to him about it. Hes waiting for your e-mail right now" I asked who is this Ed person? Let me speak to him then... obviously he is in the office and Im on the phone, so lets talk and settle this. "No, he doesnt work like that. You will have to to e-mail him and he says he waiting on your e-mail right now"
This is a first for me. Never in my life have I ever ran across a representative of any company who was apparently afraid to speak to their customers. And dont tell me some nonsense about how its more efficent this way. People can talk a helluva lot faster than they can type, and it would take a fraction of the time to discuss this verbally and resolve it. These people at Origin are actually AFRAID to speak to their customers. After my experience thus far, I can see why.
Ok, now I am so pissed off I cant see straight, but despite that I send off yet another cordial e-mail to this ED person.
From: "Bob Selby" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Account issues
I have been trying to determine why exactly one of my UO accounts has been blocked, and over the past week have not received any satisfactory information on the subject. Upon calling customer support today yet again in a quest for answers I was told that not only is the account in question banned, but ANOTHER account which I own has met the same fate. Needless to say I was and am, completely floored. I am incredibly upset at this turn of events and do not understand why any of this is happening. Neither of these accounts has to my knowledge been in any way, shape of form in violation of any of Origins guidelines I would appreciate a response on this issue so that some acceptable resolution can be met.
Ok, its mid afternoon Monday and my mail is off to Ed. The support rep stressed twice about how Ed was waiting for my e-mail right now so I am hopeful to at least hear something back this afternoon..
Oct 11th passes with no word. Apparently ED wasnt as anxious to help as I was led to believe...
Oct 12th No reply
Oct 13th No reply
Oct 14th No reply
Now here I sit approximately 9 days later still knowing nothing. I have no idea why the first account was banned, I have no idea why the second account was banned. I have been repeatedly blown off and in some cases, downright lied to and misled. So much time is passing that soon (if they havent already) 4 placed houses that these accounts own will deteriorate. Someone needs to be fired or at a minimum, taken behind the woodshed and bitchslapped repeatedly. All I can assume at this point is that these customer support people are the biggest bunch of ignorant malcontented motherfuckers in the universe, or I am being singled out because of who I am and the web page that I run.
In any event, if this doesnt get settled today, my account status returned to active, and a HUGE apology for this horrid treatment in my mailbox, you can bet your ass that first thing in the morning I am going to the district court to file suit against Origin. The money ($300 I paid for the accounts) isnt really the issue the here. Though once you add in legal fees, time expenditures, etc etc The amount I sue for will probably be in the thousands. Now, will anyone at Origin give a rats ass about this? Probably not. It wont take a single penny out of their pockets, so I dont expect them to care much at all. Hell, I might not even win, but in any event it will cost them a damn sight more to defend it than it will cost me to pursue it.
Fact is folks, I am not some 17 year old punk kid banned for breaking into towers with mushrooms and fire fields. I am a married, 27 year old small business owner. Hell, I am even a shareholder.. I still have 500 shares of EA common stock in my portfolio. All this however is worth exactly 0 when trying to get some help from their support department. Whats actually funny about this whole deal is that I still have NO idea why the accounts were banned in the first place.
Ironically, all this occurs when I am at a turning point in my UO experience. Right when I am interested in making some positive contribution to the community, this happens. Aint it a bitch?
Anyways, if you think I am full of shit, so be it. If you think I have a point and Origin's customer support blows goats, do me a favor and send em all a letter telling them what you think of this issue:
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