File this one under “no good deed goes unpunished”: A 10-year veteran of Star Trek Online who picked up a lifetime sub to the game recently ended up with a banned account thanks to technical and customer support difficulties.
Norwegian Redditor MattPoly detailed the situation on the game’s subreddit, explaining the circumstances that led to his account’s banning after having some issues with a perk related to the lifetime sub. According to the story, MattPoly had asked support about one of the lifetime subscriber benefits of additional shared bank slots, which were for unknown reasons not probably applied. Initally, support told him he’d already gotten all of his benefits and there was nothing more that could be done. The player then replied with another ticket complete with screenshots to corroborate his story, which was met with the same response. He then submitted a third ticket asking to either have the issue fixed or have his lifetime sub refund, which earned the reply that “attempts on [his] part to get [his] money back would have serious repercussion to [his] account.”
Following the advice of a US-based lawyer, MattPoly sent Cryptic a formal letter of complaint, asking for a refund or to be contacted about the situation within seven days or face legal action. This was met with the following response, which was both shared in a copied post and in an image of the reply:
After further review, we’ve granted a refund to your account. However the account will be banned. The funds should be visible in 5-7 business days. Feel free to contact us again if you have further questions.
Thank you for playing.
GM DragonAsh, Senior Game Master
One reply to the matter suggested that MattPoly may had already maxed out his shared bank slots, but the OP explained that he was not maxed out despite having used Silver to get 10 slots around 2012-2013. The vast majority of players urged him to reach out to Ambassador Kael, which he says he has already done, though like many such loyal MMO players mistreated by customer support he appears to be beaten down by the event.
“At this point my account matters less and less due to the thought of having such a bad and unpredictable support system in place. This would always be in the back of my mind. Even starting a brand new one free account could be preferable. Ironically enough I’m sure if I had bought lifetime for a new account, all the rewards would be there without issue. The other side of this is the love for Trek, regardless of developers, publishers etc. That stings.”
We don’t often cover these sorts of account actions, as we’re well aware that in most cases, we’re getting only one side of a story and that studios can rarely comment to defend themselves. However, in this case, the situation is well-documented, and while it might be understandable that a studio would be tempted or obliged to ban any account that suggested legal restitution whether just or not, it’s still one hell of a bad look for the game and its customer support. We’re fans of Star Trek Online around here, so we’re very much hoping that PWE and Cryptic will rethink this one.