I just tried to register my retail key to my buddy key account and it instead created a second account. I went to customer service to get it fixed, and the customer service representative told me that the buddy key is a full copy of the game and that there is nothing they can do to un-register the key that I registered. They can't even move it to another account or anything like that. I'm apparently out $50 for a useless retail copy. Here's the chat log.
Agent Nicole: Regarding the ticket, did you register the Buddy Pass to the Beta account first?
Nyali Llhyen: Yes
Agent Nicole: Okay, when the Buddy Pass is registered, it acts like a regular registration code to the game.
Agent Nicole: That's why when you entered in the registration code for Final Fantasy XIV, it made a new account.
Nyali Llhyen: So are you telling me that it wasn't necessary to purchase a retail copy of the game at all?
Nyali Llhyen: My understanding of a buddy pass is that it's a trial, and the game does need to be purchased to continue playing after the trial
Agent Nicole: The Buddy Pass is an actual registration code to the game so you are able to continue the game on the Buddy Pass as long as you pay for the account.
Agent Nicole: I'm very sorry for the misunderstanding.
Nyali Llhyen: In that case, is there any way to un-register the account key? Since I don't need it
Nyali Llhyen: It does me no good to have two SquareEnix accounts under the same account name, after all
Agent Nicole: Unfortunately once the registration code is registered to an account, there is no way to un-register the code.
Nyali Llhyen: So I'm out $50 for an account and a copy of the game that are useless to me and there's nothing you can do?
Agent Nicole: I'm sorry but since the registration code was registered to the account, according to policy we are not able to issue a refund.
Agent Nicole: I'm very sorry for the inconvenience.
Agent Nicole: Are there any other issues I can assist you with right now, Nyali?
Nyali Llhyen: The key can't even be treanferred to another account?
Agent Nicole: Once the key is on a Square Enix account, there is no way for the key to be transferred to another one.
Nyali Llhyen: I have friends who would like to try the game, if the second account key could be moved to another SquareEnix account they could play
Nyali Llhyen: Even though two keys on one account is useless?
Nyali Llhyen: It's not like I can create characters with the other key and log them in at the same time as my existing character
Agent Nicole: You are actually able to use both service accounts to play at the same time as long as you are playing on different systems.
Nyali Llhyen: How does the game even know which of my two accounts to log in to when I log in?
Agent Nicole: Since you have two XIV service accounts, you are able to put characters on both of them and log in at the same time. You just need to do it from two different systems.
Agent Nicole: The two XIV service accounts act like two different accounts.
Nyali Llhyen: But they're associated with the same login name and password. Does it give me a choice when I log in? Do the characters from both show up on the same character selection screen?
Agent Nicole: What happens is that when you log into the Square Enix account, you are able to choose from one of the XIV service accounts.
Agent Nicole: Since there are two of them, you can log into one XIV service account from one system and the other XIV service account from another system.
Nyali Llhyen: I see.
Agent Nicole: You need two systems (computers) to do this.
Agent Nicole: And you could play both characters at the same time.
Nyali Llhyen: Unfortunately, I have one computer, and don't especially like playing two characters at once, so this doesn't help me. I was hoping I could somehow create a new login and password for the other account so I could share it with a friend
Nyali Llhyen: For obvious account security reasons, I don't want to give my own login and password to a friend
Nyali Llhyen: Since there's nothing that can be done about all of this, does SquareEnix intend to inform other BuddyKey users that they have a full copy of the game and do not need to purchase one? I know I'm not the only one who thought it was only a trial key.
Nyali Llhyen: Every other game, including FFXI, that has had a buddy key made it only a trial. Since it doesn't say anywhere on the buddy key that it's a full copy of the game, I'm sure many others have bought copies of the game that they didn't need.
Agent Nicole: They should have information about the Buddy Pass on the Official Final Fantasy XIV website and on the Square Enix Support site but you should submit Feedback about this on the Support site just in case the information is not there.
Nyali Llhyen: I don't think it's there. I followed the game very closely before launch, and saw nothing of the sort. My fiance and I would only have bought one collector's edition for the two of us if we had known that it worked this way.
Nyali Llhyen: On the official site it says only that there will be no fees billed for the buddy key during the trial, nothing about not having to purchase the game
Nyali Llhyen: I understand that sales probably haven't been as high as SquareEnix would like, but being unclear that the buddy key is a full copy of the game is a rather underhanded way to sell more copies
Agent Nicole: I'm very sorry about the misinformation that was presented. The best thing to do would be to submit Feedback about it on the Support site so that the information could be presented to the company.
Agent Nicole: Do you have any other questions that I could help you with?
Nyali Llhyen: In fact, under the information about the collector's edition features, it says that the buddy key will "invite a friend to play for a limited amount of time"
Nyali Llhyen: That's all. I have to say that this makes me nervous about purchasing SquareEnix products in the future.
Agent Nicole: From as far as we have been told, the Buddy Pass works like a full game. If anything happens, please contact us again so that we can help you.