Thursday, 13 September 2012

Please Take My Money: SOE & PSS1

Something that isn't Guild Wars 2 for once:

If anyone from a PSS1 territory*  has an All Access account they are entitled to keep it running until such time as PSS1 can offer an equivalent. Since to date the only SOE MMO that's transferred is DCUO and transition for the second in line, EQ2, has been delayed with no new date yet given, that could be a while.

To keep your Access account, though, you must continue to keep up an uninterrupted payment schedule. As I understand it (and please correct me in the comments if I'm wrong) SOE is no longer opening new Access accounts for customers from PSS1 territories and moreover, if your current Access account lapses it can't be re-opened. 

What I imagine PSS1 Customer Service to be
If you have an Access account and want to hang on to it as long as you're able, be sure you know when your Credit Card expires and be aware that SOE's account page won't automatically allow you to update payment details for the current card or add an alternate payment method. You'll get a message saying the Access account isn't available in your territory if you try.

Suspecting something like this would happen, I tested mine a few weeks before the critical date. I have subsequently been in conversation with several customer service people at SOE, from whom I have had the usual exemplary courteous and efficient assistance (and no I am not being ironic - in more than a dozen years I've always found SOE's customer service to be excellent). 

That said, I did initially get different replies on the two tickets I submitted and one of the replies wrongly stated that due to the PSS1 issues the Access pass wasn't available to me. If you get that response, query and escalate it because it's wrong. My error quickly got corrected and with the assistance of Customer Service I have been able to update both accounts. The final proof will come at renewal when we'll see if I get billed correctly but at least I have the paper-trail now to confirm the accounts are meant to pass this hurdle.

It took a while to get this sorted, so if anyone is in the same position, don't leave it til the last minute. 

Please give generously - large castle to maintain
Ironically, it's now somewhat in doubt whether I want to carry on paying two SOE subs indefinitely, because what with GW2 and the upcoming Rift expansion (which will also require a subscription and which we are now very likely to buy) we may well decide to let the Access pass lapse anyway.

At least with this sorted out it will be our choice, which makes a big difference in terms of sentiment. We've had fantastic entertainment from SOE for well over a decade and despite my well-documented irritation verging on anger over both the existence and the handling of the PSS1 transfer, I do not intend to let this lead to a permanent parting of the ways (nearly said "rift" then!). 

Indeed, with SOE now embracing the free-to-play model so wholeheartedly, the real issue isn't whether I'll go on playing their games but whether I really need to go on paying for the pleasure.

*(that's Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom in case you were wondering)

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