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Payments etcFollow

#1 May 01 2010 at 2:52 AM Rating: Decent
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So, today I was logging on to FFXI, but after I press "Play" I get a message saying "You have no content ID, purchase or reactivate blablabla". I just got back this month and I wasn't sure if I was really going to play much so I deactivated the ID right after I'd reactivated just so I wouldn't be billed for another month if I forgot about it. No big deal really, but I figured I might as well.

I choose Content ID and Reactivate and I get the message that basically says payments are currently being processed, and that I will have to wait until this is over to reactivate. I had completely forgot about the monthly server maintenance on those servers. Usually not a big deal, but I just bought an add-on expansion and was going to start it today with a RL friend, so it was bad timing. Now I realize that it was my own fault, but I can't help but get a little frustrated because even though it is my fault, it is something that should not even be possible(unless it was an odd server crash that just happaned to be today).

The first issue I have with the payments/server maintenance issue is that I actually don't pay for 30 or so days of play, I pay for however many days are left of the current month. That is a really ****** system. It makes me hesitant to want to reactivate(I tend to play on and off a lot) the closer to the end of the month it is. In this case it doesn't really have anything to do with it, but I thought I'd mention it.

The second issue is the placement of the reactivation services maintenance. It is usually placed during the last days of the month and the first few of the month. Basically that means that if I at the end of the month suddently decide that I want to quit, or have forgotten to deactivate and suddenly remember, or w/e other reason there might be, I can't do it unless I am a couple of days before the actual date where my month ends. I would have to pay for an extra month even though I wanted to cancel my account during the last days of the month. Again, it is not really a lot of money, but it still is annoying.

Further, the fact that I can't reactivate during the first few days of the month, means that I can't even get my full month, again, even though I was ready to pay as soon as the clock hit 00.01 of the first of the month(No I don't actually sit and wait like that, just making a point hehe).

Basically, what I am saying is that the placement of their server maintenance is really really bad. Most likely they did this on purpose of course, I am sure they earn some extra money from it, but from a consumers point of view I think it is probably one of the worst ways they could have done it. IF you are going to have server maintenances(especially ones that last for several days) at least try to put them when they will affect as few people as possible.

Aside from this the "You have unpaid fees" is something I've never seen in a MMO before(or after) FFXI and I am not sure why it happens, but it is **** annoying when I reactivate and have to pay twice simply because they didn't just withdraw their money immidietly earlier or w/e the issue is.

All of these things are things me and my friends have had issues with ever since we started playing the game back in 2004. I really hope they do it differently in FFXIV. I seem to remember that in some interview they talked a little about payments. From what I recall they said that they are looking into the "pay for a month" model instead of the "pay for the rest of the month" one. Good choise and I really hope they go with it. I think it should be a given in a modern mmo to go with the earlier model, it is a lot fairer and it shows more respect to us as consumers.

The fact that I have never had issues like this in a game like WoW where the subscriber base is so much bigger shows that there are ways of doing it that are much better. If I pay 13 Euro or w/e the price is I pay for a full month, no matter when I reactivate. I am sure there are server maintenances for payments, but I've never seen it and more importantly I've never been affected by it. FFXI went with two crappy systems and combined them into a super crappy one because of their payment system and their maintenance placement. Like I said, I hope they don't do the same thing again. Neither of them.

I know this is not the most important factor of them all. First and foremost I want a good game, but the things around the game(at least for me) help mold the total feel for me. Things like payment, customer support and playonline(in a sentence whith negatives about FFXI, playonline has to make an appearance) are all part of the total experience and in FFXI they all just created frustration. I hope that with FFXIV they have learned and go with a different payment system, improve customer support(in every way) and from what I remember I don't think they will have Playonline which I give a big thumbs up for.

It seems they are thinking about moving in the right direction, just hope they stick with it and actually do it. I guess I am just a little bit worried, because SE can do some awesome stuff, but imo they have a tendency to make some horrid decisions as well.
#2 May 01 2010 at 4:27 AM Rating: Decent
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Your right, and I had similar issues with the billing system. As far as XIV goes, I would like to see prepaid cards too. It's a nice way to do it if you have ever tried them. Also does anyone know what the monthly fee will be for XIV?
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#3 May 01 2010 at 11:09 AM Rating: Excellent
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SE's billing policies for FFXI have gotten them in trouble with several credit card companies. The main complaint, as you mention, is that some customers are being billed a monthly rate for only a few days of actual service.

Several interviews have confirmed that they are moving to a 30-day billing cycle with FFXIV:

ffxivvault wrote:
Q: How will the payment plan look?
While Final Fantasy XI runs on a monthly plan through PlayOnline, Final Fantasy XIV will drop PlayOnline and utilize the recently established Square Enix IDs and Security Tokens. The monthly plan is also due for a change, and Tanaka says they are considering a more versatile plan, based on 30-day payment cycles. Some people have been confused by this, but all it involves is altering when a player's plan stops and starts. If you count by days instead of months, you have the freedom to stop and start more freely. This would allow billing to break free from the shackles of the monthly cycle and possibly really help out customers by helping them avoid paying for unused time and lessen the inconvenience of the regularly scheduled billing maintenance.


Source.
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#4 May 01 2010 at 11:49 AM Rating: Decent
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Wish they would provide a few more then just Credit Card like for instance Meastro for Europeans.
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#5 May 01 2010 at 1:14 PM Rating: Decent
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akirussan wrote:
SE's billing policies for FFXI have gotten them in trouble with several credit card companies. The main complaint, as you mention, is that some customers are being billed a monthly rate for only a few days of actual service.

Several interviews have confirmed that they are moving to a 30-day billing cycle with FFXIV:

ffxivvault wrote:
Q: How will the payment plan look?
While Final Fantasy XI runs on a monthly plan through PlayOnline, Final Fantasy XIV will drop PlayOnline and utilize the recently established Square Enix IDs and Security Tokens. The monthly plan is also due for a change, and Tanaka says they are considering a more versatile plan, based on 30-day payment cycles. Some people have been confused by this, but all it involves is altering when a player's plan stops and starts. If you count by days instead of months, you have the freedom to stop and start more freely. This would allow billing to break free from the shackles of the monthly cycle and possibly really help out customers by helping them avoid paying for unused time and lessen the inconvenience of the regularly scheduled billing maintenance.


Source.


Thanks, it confirms that I remembered correctly which makes me happy, because the way FFXI is/has been is far from optimal.

I am not sure why, but a few months a go me and one of my brothers even had trouble changing credit card info for our accounts. He wanted to use my CC which I was using, but when we entered the info it basically said my CC didn't work. Since I was using it I was kind of stumped, and of course customer support couldn't help either lol. Haha, I am a bit worried, but in all honesty I do feel quite confident that SE will do a good job of it in XIV. If nothing else XI seems to have been a learning experience that they now take with them into XIV, which your linked article suggests.

I do somewhat agree with the Maestro card thing etc, since SE hasn't used the previously mentioned pre-paid cards. If nothing else it will make it less of a hassle for the younger crowd who can't have CC, so they don't have to go to mom or dad and ask to use their CC(which some don't agree to).
#6 May 01 2010 at 2:55 PM Rating: Decent
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Ya i hated that crappy s.hit system in FF11...so many times they charge me a full month just for 3-5days of the service..and some times i had to pay 2 month cause i reactivated late on that month and when they took out the $ it was like $25 for about 33-35 days of service..it really sucks! If FF14 does that crap too..i'm not playing..don't matter how good the game will be..so SE will lose a good customer on that. Think on that SE!
#7 May 01 2010 at 5:03 PM Rating: Decent
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Does this whole "30-Day" payment plan thing they are talking about mean that whenever you actually log 30 days of play time, they will charge you? Or is it like if you log in 1-X times a day for 30 days they charge you?
#8 May 01 2010 at 5:40 PM Rating: Good
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middle wrote:
Does this whole "30-Day" payment plan thing they are talking about mean that whenever you actually log 30 days of play time, they will charge you? Or is it like if you log in 1-X times a day for 30 days they charge you?

You pay for 30 days of service whether you play or not. The only difference between this system and what SE currently does is that there is no longer any debacle over prorating subscriptions.
#9 May 01 2010 at 5:47 PM Rating: Decent
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It also means that it doesn't matter what part of the month you start.

A monthly billing cycle means if you start on the 25th of the month, you pay a pro-rated amount for the remaining days of the month, or worse full price for only a few days. Then, your full bill starts on the 1st of the next month, and is due monthly thereafter.

With a 30 day payment cycle, if you start the 25th of the month, your bill is due 30 days later, and then 30 days after that, etc.
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#10 May 01 2010 at 8:47 PM Rating: Good
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Yeah, the FFXI payment plan sucks. Without having read past the first paragraph of the OP (sorry, I'm lazy) I think the same basic thing happened to me. Last year I decided it would be fun to resub FFXI so I go ahead and do it with only a week or so left in the month, not knowing it was like this. The difference between you and me is I called up SE and complained at which point they told me they wouldn't give my money back but they would credit me for the next month but I had to keep my ID active (keep my credit card on file). Next month rolls around and I've already pretty much gotten tired of playing the game (decided FFXI is way too slow for me after all of these years of faster paced games) but figure since I get a month free I might as well stick around, log in a couple times a week. Well, turns out they charged me anyway even though they said it would be free. Right then and there I stopped my subscription and uninstalled the game...haven't looked back. I was close to not caring if FFXIV was good or not. A company that treats their customers like trash don't deserve them. But like was already quoted they will have a more conventional payment method so I'm willing to give SE one last MMO chance (regular games are fine since you only pay once).

Well, not that you guys wanted to know...it's just this billing issue with FFXI gets me upset.
#11 May 02 2010 at 1:54 AM Rating: Decent
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I completely understand how you feel, and your story really has the feel of SE written all over it. Quite frankly I don't even understand why they do things like that, all they get is get a bad reputation.

Personally I just tried to reactivate my FFXI account just now to pay the "unpaid fees" that I for some reason have lol... like I said, it is beyond me why they didn't just take the money last month when I pressed "reactivate", nor why they just don't take the money now. Apparently they didn't anyway and so now I have unpaid fees.

They wanted me to put in my CC info which I did, and now it says the card is invalid lol. Invalid for what? Using on an SE account? Because I can use it for everything else in the world, not to mention I've used it for years playing FFXI, but now it is invalid all of a sudden? >.< I am sitting here not knowing if I should laugh or cry because I should have expected it, but lol SE, lol.
#12 May 06 2010 at 5:11 AM Rating: Decent
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The whole payment system of FFXI was one of the worst I've ever encountered on any online game. I too have had problems with being billed an entire month for only 3-4 days of play after reactivating my account. Also prepaid cards would be ideal. I'm a college student with terrible credit, so paying via credit card isn't really an option for me. Back when I used to play FFXI I payed with a prepaid credit card, but its my understanding that they dont even allow that anymore, so if there is no prepaid card option in FFXIV, I won't be playing it unfortunately.
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#13 May 06 2010 at 9:05 AM Rating: Decent
Cirvantes wrote:
The whole payment system of FFXI was one of the worst I've ever encountered on any online game. I too have had problems with being billed an entire month for only 3-4 days of play after reactivating my account. Also prepaid cards would be ideal. I'm a college student with terrible credit, so paying via credit card isn't really an option for me. Back when I used to play FFXI I payed with a prepaid credit card, but its my understanding that they dont even allow that anymore, so if there is no prepaid card option in FFXIV, I won't be playing it unfortunately.


There were workarounds for FFXI so you could satisfy the vbv requirements without actually having to get verified. I'm sure one of the more recent FFXI players would be able to point you in the right direction. My one and only CC is reserved for business use right now and any online gaming I do is paid for by alternate means (prepaid Visa seems to work well but gift cards also work, and some companies are offering Interac online, etc.) SE would be missing out on a lot of potential customers if they duplicated their FFXI model for acceptable payments.
#14 May 06 2010 at 6:48 PM Rating: Good
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Perhaps this is one of the reasons SE is dropping PlayOnline? I personally never had a problem using the payment method in FFXI. I got word by the time I started playing that it was month-to-month not a personalized cycle. But I understand why an improvement is needed. Especially considering all the negative feedback I've ALWAYS heard about customer service and what is and what isn't acceptable forms of payment.



Edit: Expanded thought

Edited, May 6th 2010 8:56pm by ReiThor
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