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Bug The Almighty Buck Games

Warhammer Online Users Repeatedly Overbilled 216

Posted by Soulskill
from the greenbacks-for-greenskins dept.
TheSpoom writes "A screw-up in EA's Warhammer Online billing system has resulted in many players being charged upwards of 22 times for a one-month subscription, filling bank accounts with overdraft fees and the Warhammer forums with very angry players, who are discussing the issue quite vocally. EA has said that refunds are in progress and that '[they] anticipate that once the charges have been reversed, any fees that have been incurred should be refunded as well.' They haven't specifically promised to refund overdraft charges, only to ask customers' banks to refund them once the actual charges are refunded. They seem to be assuming banks will have no problem with this."
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Warhammer Online Users Repeatedly Overbilled

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  • Banks (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Andy Smith (55346) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @11:02PM (#31785642) Homepage

    ask customers' banks to refund them once the actual charges are refunded
    Yes because banks are so courteous to their customers [meejahor.com].

    • Re:Banks (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 08, 2010 @11:20PM (#31785758)

      Okay working for a financial institution myself, I can tell you that it is very likely if the charges are on a Visa Debit Card, people do have recourse. Due to Visa's Zero Liability Coverage [visa.com], people who bank with an institution that participates in the VZL are likely to get the funds back if they file a Dispute with their bank or credit union. Fees resulting from the erroneous charges are also likely to be refunded as well. However, each institution is different and some don't fully participate in the Zero Liability Program. If you bank with an institution that tells you to go fuck yourself, it's time to switch to a new bank, or better yet, just switch to a credit union.

      So to summarize, call your bank if you were one of the ones fucked over by EA and request an immediate dispute on all charges beyond the one authorized and agreed upon charges (and then proceed to cancel your subscription to Warhammer). Also, as a word to the wise, make sure to ask your bank to stop subscription charges from EA. Just canceling and getting a new debit card isn't enough. If a merchant has an authorization for subscription billing, they can still bill the card even after the card is canceled, since they have an authorization already.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by X0563511 (793323)

        Oh, and be nice. You'd be surprised how far being a friendly and courteous person on the phone can get you, and how far being a jackass will NOT get you.

        I've never had problems, and I have Bank of America. The horror stories I hear all tend to stem from someone calling them up in a pissy mood.

    • I had a 1&1 subscription that I forgot about and was charged for, which resulted in an overdraft fee of $35, as well as several subsequent $35 overdraft fees on small few-dollar purchases and multiple $5 "Continued Overdraft" fees every day for almost a week. I had 1&1 cancel my account and refund what I paid minus a dollar or so, and Wells Fargo had no problem reversing every single one of those fees once the credit posted. I'm sure other banks would be the same way.

      This was a purchase that was not

      • by Kalriath (849904)

        Screw the bank being decent, I'm more amazed that 1&1 refunded you! Did you kidnap their VP's daughter or something?

        • Screw the bank being decent, I'm more amazed that 1&1 refunded you! Did you kidnap their VP's daughter or something?

          His son, actually.

          But in all seriousness, I've never had a problem with 1&1 on the customer service front, and refunds are automatic when you cancel your service effective immediately: cancel.1and1.com [1and1.com]. I think they have a 30-day guarantee on new service which gives you a full refund if you cancel, but after that, you get a pro-rated refund, and you can cancel at any time for any reason.

          • by X0563511 (793323)

            I'd also assume (from your tone) that you were nice about it when you contacted them.

            It amazes me how people act like jerks when they contact customer service, and are shocked to find that GARBAGE IN = GARBAGE OUT.

    • by Xest (935314)

      To be fair, I've never found Barclays in the UK to be too bad to me.

      GOA (used to run European Dark Age of Camelot) continued to bill me after I'd cancelled my subscription. I spent weeks trying to get hold of them and to get them to refund me and they did. Only they billed me again after that, so I contact the bank and asked them to reverse the charge and block any future charges, and even though it was a debit card, which I was told they will not do that for, they did.

      I was also double charged by a hotel (

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by makomk (752139)

        To be fair, I've never found Barclays in the UK to be too bad to me.

        Yeah, but we have actual regulation of banks here, unlike in the US.

  • Lawsuit (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 08, 2010 @11:02PM (#31785646)

    3 elements of the tort of negligence:

    1) Did they owe the claimant a duty of care?
    Yes. By getting direct access to their bank accounts, they had to take care not to overcharge.

    2) Did they breach that duty?
    Yes. They charged multiple times.

    3) Did that breach cause damage?
    Yes. Customers were put into overdraft (and who know how many cheques bounced because of it).

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      you forget the 4th one :
      4) are the damages enough to realistically sue them and spend thousands of dollars in legal fees ?
      No.

      • Re:Lawsuit (Score:5, Funny)

        by Red Flayer (890720) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @11:16PM (#31785730) Journal

        4) are the damages enough to realistically sue them and spend thousands of dollars in legal fees ? No.

        Aw, come on. This is a perfect example of why we have class-action lawsuits. It's not worth it for any single member of the class to pursue it in the courtroom, but banded together with sufficient legal representation, they could put the hurt on EA.

        This would be perfect, I can see it now:

        Court findings: For the plaintiffs, the sum of $1,000,000 to be split among the class and awarded in vouchers for three months of free play on Warhammer Online, plus lawyers' fees of $10,000,000 to be awarded in cash to the legal representation team.

        • Re:Lawsuit (Score:5, Funny)

          by Elky Elk (1179921) on Friday April 09, 2010 @04:59AM (#31787288)

          Would you have to file one class-action for the wizards, one for warriors etc....

        • by iamhassi (659463)
          "Court findings: For the plaintiffs, the sum of $1,000,000 to be split among the class and awarded in vouchers for three months of free play on Warhammer Online, plus lawyers' fees of $10,000,000 to be awarded in cash to the legal representation team."

          No, these are real damages, the customers should be reimburse real dollars, not a few months of free play, especially the hundreds that will probably cancel their accounts over this.

          I'm sure the customers would be fine with the lawyers getting 10 million
      • by Lehk228 (705449)
        it's called small claims court, a perfect place for $770 in wrongful overdraft charges
        • by iamhassi (659463)
          "it's called small claims court, a perfect place for $770 in wrongful overdraft charges"

          Yep. Pay ~$70 to file and a sheriff to deliver the summons and you're done. Just look up EA's corporate office and whoever the CEO is. Of course the sheriff probably won't see the CEO (even though he's suppose to) but he'll march up to the secretary and they'll sign for it and I'm sure the CEO will hear about it.

          I'd go for whatever the limit is for your state's small claims, 3 grand or 5 grand. Judge might see
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by iamhassi (659463)
          FTA: [warhammeronline.com]
          "I have gotten this same error, I believe the system may have done this to everyone who is currently playing that is using credit cards to pay... My fees were 13 charges of 6 month subscriptions, 77.94 X 13 = 1013.12 I didn't have this much money in my account, costing me any money that Icould possibly have to live off of..."

          Wow... just wow. Having $1,000 suddenly deducted from your bank account would hurt almost any gamer

          Warhammer Online requires a credit card on file: [direct2drive.com]
          "This game requires a
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ultranova (717540)

      1) Did they owe the claimant a duty of care?
      Yes. By getting direct access to their bank accounts, they had to take care not to overcharge.

      The real WTF is right here. Why on Earth did you give a third party the ability to withdraw funds from your bank account? What did you think would happen?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Spazztastic (814296)

        1) Did they owe the claimant a duty of care? Yes. By getting direct access to their bank accounts, they had to take care not to overcharge.

        The real WTF is right here. Why on Earth did you give a third party the ability to withdraw funds from your bank account? What did you think would happen?

        Frankly, if you are doing online purchasing or paying for a game subscription, you should only use a credit card. You can get one with a low limit ($200~) with even the worst credit rating, or buy a prepaid card and pay as you go. PayPal can kiss my ass if they expect me to give them my bank and routing details. If I ever did that, it would be tied to a savings account which I deposit money into on an as-needed basis. My brother had a bad experience with them overdrafting his account because someone dispute

        • by aj50 (789101)

          Also, all my cards say "CHECK ID" in big bold lettering on the back.

          With Chip&PIN we can no longer do this, the cashier never touches my card.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 08, 2010 @11:03PM (#31785648)

    I probably left it in the glove compartment of my flying car.

    I thought that, by now, we would have computerized bank accounts with asymmetric encryption, so that I can write a shell script and put it in a cron job to automatically send the $20 monthly payment to my MMORPG provider. The electronic pseudocheck would have a date, a recipient, an amount, and an RSA digital signature. It would prevent mistakes like this, as well as most credit card fraud.

    Until we get this system (never), just don't tie your bank account to anything. Use your credit card for everything electronic, since you can always dispute the charge.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pcolaman (1208838)

      Good stuff until the FUD at the end. If it's a debit card with a Visa or Mastercard logo, the dispute rights are exactly the same as they would be with a credit card.

      • by AK Marc (707885)
        If it's a debit card with a PIN transaction, then no. If it's a debit run as a credit card, then almost. The difference is that with a "real" credit card, your account is hit with the charge. You then dispute it. You pay the rest. Then you get the non-paid amount deleted if you win, or added back in if you lose.

        With a debit transaction, you lose the money from your account, possibly incurring other charges. Then, when you learn about the improperly charged transaction, you have the charge removed. H
        • by pcolaman (1208838)

          Go read up some on the Zero Liability Coverage from Visa. As long as the institution participates in the coverage (which, if they don't, indicates that you need to switch banks), then you will get provisional credits on your account until the dispute is resolved either for or against your favor. Generally it isn't instant (usually takes about a week or less, depending on the institution), but it's not like you are sitting without your money for a few months as you would have people believe. Seriously, re

          • by AK Marc (707885)
            Seriously, research before you spout off.

            You didn't say anything that disagreed with me. The debit (PIN) debit (credit card) and separate credit card dispute processes are separate. You disagreed, then never addressed my only point.

            And yes, the dispute does generally result in the fees assessed as part of the disputed charges being waived as well.

            The fees of that one overdraft, yes. Are you asserting that all overdraft charges from the time of that one charge until the time the disputed amount is
            • by pcolaman (1208838)

              When does someone pay a fucking MMO subscription with a pin-based transaction. Show me when that's ever happened, short of buying a time card at a store.

              • by AK Marc (707885)
                Never. What does that have to do with the protections from different transaction methods?
                • by pcolaman (1208838)

                  My point is that the lack of zero liability with pin-based transactions doesn't apply in this case. No one is paying for Warhammer with a pin-based transaction.

            • by pcolaman (1208838)

              The fees of that one overdraft, yes. Are you asserting that all overdraft charges from the time of that one charge until the time the disputed amount is credited to the account will also be covered? That's the assertion you'd have to make for me to be wrong, and you have been asserting that I'm ignorant without addressing the comments I made. Address the comments or quit insinuating that I'm wrong.

              I don't know who the hell you bank with but you need to run, and run fast. I bank with an institution that not only gives a provisional credit during the dispute (as per guidelines by Visa's Zero Liability Policy) but also for the fees themselves until the dispute process is COMPLETE. I guess if you are with some crummy bank like Bank of America or something like that, than yeah, you are probably out of luck. I'll just thank my lucky stars I actually do business with a good institution.

              • by AK Marc (707885)
                I don't know who the hell you bank with but you need to run, and run fast.

                So, you are saying, "you are correct 100%, I'm wrong, and and the protections are as you say, not as I say." That you'd try to find someone that doesn't do it that way is irrelevant to the point you've never disputed about what the dispute process involves. Whether your institution does something in addition is completely irrelevant to the specific topic of what must happen for the dispute process.
      • by iamhassi (659463)
        "If it's a debit card with a Visa or Mastercard logo, the dispute rights are exactly the same as they would be with a credit card."

        No. Still run through your bank, and you still have to beg your bank.

        If I filed a dispute with my last credit union over a Visa transaction on my debit card they would terminate the card and make me wait 2 weeks for a new one to arrive. I closed my account with them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by LordLucless (582312)

      Here in Australia, every bank I've been with offer similar services. You can setup automatic deposits into any other Aussie bank account, or to any service provider that provides billing through a system called BPay (all relatively-large companies do). These payments can be once-off, or recurring, and do not incur transaction fees.

      Granted, I can't do it via cron with a shell-script, but I can do it. I generally don't give direct debit access to any company; I either automatically pay via this system (majori

      • by Corbets (169101)

        Here in Australia, every bank I've been with offer similar services. You can setup automatic deposits into any other Aussie bank account, or to any service provider that provides billing through a system called BPay (all relatively-large companies do). These payments can be once-off, or recurring, and do not incur transaction fees.

        Granted, I can't do it via cron with a shell-script, but I can do it. I generally don't give direct debit access to any company; I either automatically pay via this system (majority), or use a direct debit card (which uses the VISA network, and is identical to a credit card in its disputation rights, but uses actual cash rather than credit).

        Same with Swiss banks. And, as a matter of fact, it's the same with my American bank. I think the GP needs to get out of the basement once in a while.

    • by Inda (580031)
      Are you being sarcastic AC? It's so hard to tell from your posting history and your lack of emoticons.

      Computerised bank accounts are normal.

      Shell scripts are not needed. A simple online form is all that is needed. We call them Standing Orders.

      A Chip'n'Pin reader (encrypted), password, PIN, and customer number (not bank account number) provide more than enough authentication.

      Welcome to the UK.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ultranova (717540)

      I thought that, by now, we would have computerized bank accounts with asymmetric encryption, so that I can write a shell script and put it in a cron job to automatically send the $20 monthly payment to my MMORPG provider.

      I can just tell my bank to conduct a given electronic money transfer every month, no shell scripts needed. But then again, I live in Finland, not USA :p.

      The electronic pseudocheck would have a date, a recipient, an amount, and an RSA digital signature.

      No offence, but for such a large econ

    • by iamhassi (659463)
      they have this.

      it's called automatic bill pay.
  • Chargebacks (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Were I on the receiving end of these charges, I'd just call my bank and have them process a charge back. Let EA handle the fees from that.

    Also, teach you a lesson of never, ever putting things like this on a debit card that can pull money straight from your account.

    • by pcolaman (1208838)

      This is one of the things that really makes me want the inconvenience of having to buy monthly time cards like those sold for WoW and some other MMOs. Better to have to go to the store each month or buy a batch of these cards and input the codes once a month than to go through such a problem.

    • by Guppy (12314)

      Were I on the receiving end of these charges, I'd just call my bank and have them process a charge back. Let EA handle the fees from that.

      Well, they can retaliate by cutting off your account access.

      As an example of another company with similar issues, Square Enix's has a lot of problems with charge-backs due to a combination of a glitchy billing system and account jacking problems. Enough that they may have gotten themselves on the problem list with CC companies. Doing a charge-back, however well justified, will typically get you perma-banned, are successful appeals are uncommon.

  • It is usually a good idea to call up your bank and opt-out of their overdraft "service". Some people may prefer to pay a fee to save embarrassment of letting people know their account is empty, but usually you can just pull out a credit card if need be. Not to mention some banks intentionally re-order transactions to hit multiple overdraft fees, so if you're one of those unlucky people you never want to overdraft. A good alternate solution is to switch to a credit union, as they tend to have better customer
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Andy Smith (55346)

      Banks in the UK notoriously operate a catch-22 procedure:

      If your account is allowed to go overdrawn:
      1. You are charged for processing of the debit that takes you overdrawn.
      2. You are then charged for being overdrawn.
      This amounts to around £65 of charges for going overdrawn.

      If you instruct the bank not to let your account go overdrawn:
      1. You are charged for the rejection of a debit that would have taken you overdrawn.
      2. You are charged again every time the debit request is repeated, which may be each d

      • And to all dutch people reading, this is why the disappearance of the Postbank is a really bad thing. We forget just how good we got it as consumers when the government used to run the cheapest bank around.

        Pin charges, used to be free but still an insignificant amount compared to Credit Card charges.

        None of the penalty payments like the above. If you can go in the the red, then you just pay the reasonable loan rate over the amount borrowed. There are no penalties. If you are not allowed to go in the red (

      • Banks in the UK notoriously operate a catch-22 procedure:

        Catch-22 implies a dilemma; that you're caught by one horn or the other. Not true - there's a third way.

        It's a little known tactic called not going overdrawn. It requires some advanced mathematics called managing your money properly.

        Having said that, it's not much use in this situation - when some other bastard chooses to grossly mismanage their[1] cash.

        [1] Not a mistake. I mean it used to be yours...

    • by Hangtime (19526)

      With the passage of CARD Act and the accompanying Fed rules related to penalty fees customers are no longer opt-in, but automatically opt-out by default. Unless you specifically opt-in for overdraft protection your debit card will be declined if there are insufficient funds or the in the case of a check it will go NSF. This is the reason you should never have a recurring charge set against your debit card. A debit card has significantly restricted rights when it comes to chargeback. Chargeback is VERY, VERY

      • by makomk (752139)

        With the passage of CARD Act and the accompanying Fed rules related to penalty fees customers are no longer opt-in, but automatically opt-out by default. Unless you specifically opt-in for overdraft protection your debit card will be declined if there are insufficient funds or the in the case of a check it will go NSF.

        The banks promptly reacted by charging fees every time they declined a transaction, something the CARD Act foolishly neglected to ban. Yes, really.

  • by RWarrior(fobw) (448405) * on Thursday April 08, 2010 @11:28PM (#31785806)
    I've incurred overdraft fees based on merchant error a number of times, and every bank [bankofamerica.com] I [wellsfargo.com] have [citibank.com] ever [1stcb.com] had [woodforest.com] has done everything they can to screw their customers out of as much money as possible. EA expecting banks to refund overdraft fees is like asking EA to ... I don't know ... behave like a company that cares about its customers.
    • Credit Union (Score:4, Informative)

      by beakerMeep (716990) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @11:46PM (#31785914)
      Find yourselves a good credit union people. Mine has no ATM fees, refunds ATM fees that *other* banks charge me, doesnt ever reorder checks to double hit me, has a max fee of $30, and has about the best customer service and relationship of any company I have ever dealt with. And probably about a dozen other good things I can't think of off the top of my head.

      There is literally no reason whatsoever to give your money and soul to Citibank or Chase or BoA these days.
      • by phorm (591458)

        If they're that good, then mention the company's NAME! Seriously, we're quick to jump on and tell about BAD companies, I would love to hear which ones are considered good in case they're available in my area.

    • by Twanfox (185252)

      Sometimes there are some banks that treat their customers right. While the one I house my money at is labeled as a bank, it acts very much better than even the best credit unions, and I like credit unions. True overdraft protection without fee, with your own money, handled automatically! A policy of deposits before charges when processed in batch. I've had as of yet absolutely no complaints with my bank, had no fees charged yet with them, and in fact the one time they were well within their right to charge

      • Exactly. My credit union has waived fees on numerous occasions, dug deep into their clearing house internal records and made them available to us during a dispute with our property management company over rent payments and the alleged lateness thereof...

        AND has a policy of a) crediting all deposits before withdrawals, b) giving 24 hours grace on any overdraft, and c) assessing all withdrawals during a day in a "smallest to largest" format, to minimize the number of overdrafts generated (although, on the tw

  • by rennerik (1256370) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @11:47PM (#31785922)
    I've been with a number of banks, including BofA, Washington Mutual, and lately Wells Fargo. I'm not that old, but I've been banking for around 10 years, so I've had my fair share of unfair fees and what-not, but all in all, there has been one thing that has helped me over the years, and that is establishing a personal relationship with your banker.

    Many banks see you as just a number with some cash tied to it. The more cash you have, the more valuable your business, but unless you have tens of thousands of cash at a branch, most banks don't care. So, in lieu of having a bunch of cash, you'll have to cash in (bad pun intended) on the human element to get human treatment.

    For me, I make sure I go into the branch every now and then to make deposits, and stop by my banker's desk, ask her how her day is going, and so on. These five minute conversations are important, because they re-enforce your presence to them, and they show that you care. Once a year, for Christmas/New Year's, I buy her a small gift and write her a card (expensive isn't important; under $20 is perfect). I make sure to thank her for everything, wish her a great year, and so on.

    So, for a bit of attention and a
    My point is, we can all complain that banks are evil machines not caring about people, but we're part of the problem because we treat them like machines. But if we make that effort to treat them as a company run by humans, we might make some headway towards being treated as humans in turn.

    (Disclaimer: YMMV of course. I left BofA because no one there gave a shit. I'd had luck with both WF and WaMu)
    • by rennerik (1256370)
      Sorry, bad form to reply to myself, but Slashdot ate part of my comment.

      "So for a bit of attention and a..." was supposed to go:

      So for a bit of attention and a $20 gift per year, you can have someone who will fight for you and treat you like a human being within the huge bureaucracy of a bank. Case-in-point: Earlier this year I had over $400 worth of overdraft fees applied to my account because of an oversight by me. I appealed to my banker, explained my situation, and she was happy to reverse the ch
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Rasperin (1034758)
        Interesting, can I get that bank employee's name? It's actually _illegal_ to accept any gift of any monetary value from a customer. This is not just a code of ethics thing, it's illegal on a federal level. Such as I work for a medium midwestern bank, I didn't know this policy so when my father (who banks there) decided to give me a gift for Christmas, I was forced to give it back. (My fault for saying how I got a nice gift card to Outback to my boss...). I then was forced to file a report to Feds which was
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by broken_chaos (1188549)

          This says you're wrong. [fdic.gov]

          Read the 'exceptions' list. Exception (a) applies to your situation (father giving you a gift), and exception (f) applies to both your situation and the grandparent's banker's situation (Christmas gifts). For your situation, there would be no value limit on such a gift (exception (a) places no limit on value), and for the grandparent's situation, $20 would certainly be 'reasonable' (the limit on exception (f)) for a Christmas gift.

        • by Acius (828840)

          I'm guessing you are not a lawyer, and therefore I can argue with you (not that it would stop me anyway, I suppose).

          Quoting from a random bank code of ethics found online:

          No gifts, regardless of value, are to be encouraged or solicited by employees in connection with the
          Bank’s business or responsibilities. However, employees, as expressions of courtesy and appreciation
          may accept gifts in kind such as fruits, flowers or candy so long as their monetary value is minimal and
          does not represent a “sub

    • by T Murphy (1054674)

      I'd had luck with [...] WaMu

      [Parse error]

    • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @11:57PM (#31785986) Homepage

      My point is, we can all complain that banks are evil machines not caring about people, but we're part of the problem because we treat them like machines.

      Woah woah, wait... let me get this straight. I *choose* to patronize a bank, enriching them through my custom. Now you're telling me, that's not enough? That I essentially have to bribe them for good fucking service?

      I'm sorry, buddy, but that's pure, complete bullshit. I am their fucking client. It's their job to please *me*, not the other way around. Now, do these employees deserve to be treated with kindness, dignity, and respect? Yes, of course, just like every other human being out there. But I am not, and should not, be obligated to buy fucking flowers for the local bank branch manager just so that I get decent service. Hell, the very fact that you believe that's necessary speaks to their rank arrogance. It's utterly absurd.

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        I'm sorry, buddy, but that's pure, complete bullshit. I am their fucking client. It's their job to please *me*, not the other way around.

        They see you as a piggybank.
        For every dollar you have sitting in your checking/saving account, they invest or lend 8~12 dollars.
        Managing your deposits is usually a very small part of what banks do.

      • by Corbets (169101)

        My point is, we can all complain that banks are evil machines not caring about people, but we're part of the problem because we treat them like machines.

        Woah woah, wait... let me get this straight. I *choose* to patronize a bank, enriching them through my custom. Now you're telling me, that's not enough? That I essentially have to bribe them for good fucking service?

        I'm sorry, buddy, but that's pure, complete bullshit. I am their fucking client. It's their job to please *me*, not the other way around. Now, do these employees deserve to be treated with kindness, dignity, and respect? Yes, of course, just like every other human being out there. But I am not, and should not, be obligated to buy fucking flowers for the local bank branch manager just so that I get decent service. Hell, the very fact that you believe that's necessary speaks to their rank arrogance. It's utterly absurd.

        I seriously doubt that anybody's contract at the bank says "Be sure to please Abdc1234." You have a contract with the bank, and the bank has contracts with its employees. Some, who take similar attitudes to contracts as you, think that they only have to do the bare minimum in order to get by, and that doesn't include kissing your rear end.

        Now, as you mentioned, they do happen to be people. The fact of the matter is that people respond well to those who treat them well. If you were to "buy them flowers", the

    • by Moraelin (679338) on Friday April 09, 2010 @02:29AM (#31786634) Journal

      No offense, but I _hate_ people who stop to make conversation with a clerk while 20 people queue behind them with other problems. I remember spending an hour in line when I had an actual problem, because half the people in front of me were trying to chat up the clerk about the weather or about their kids. And half of those didn't even have any reason to clog a clerk's time instead of using the ATM in the hall.

      And then there are those who'll try to chat up the cashier at a checkout line at the supermarket. Usually even I can tell that that cashier isn't interested, and is just spewing more mono-syllabic responses than the stereotypical husband, but some old lady just won't shut the fuck up with trying to start a chat anyway.

      I always figured out that those must be just some lonely people, but if it's just trying to treat a corporation like real people... here's a thought for them: see those people behind you? Those are real people too. Just a thought.

  • Dark Age of Camelot (the game that put Mythic on the map) players were affected too. Unfortunately, DAoC players don't have the luxury of prepaid game cards, and MUST use a CC/Debit card to pay for their account.

    I'm not sure why people are surprised, this isn't the first time there's been a billing issue: See here [warhammeronline.com]
    • by Barny (103770)

      Yeah, got hit for $450AU more than I should have, meh, just wait for them to reverse it, I won't lose sleep and it won't dissuade me from running my 2 groups around agramon this weekend trying to nibble zergs and backdoor 8-mans :)

      If a few hundred dollars extra can overdraft a credit card, you are probably using it wrong.

      In all honesty though, if your in the shit with this, print it all out, go to your local bank and ask to speak with a loans person and raise your CC limit for a month.

  • Title correction (Score:5, Insightful)

    by T Murphy (1054674) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @11:51PM (#31785948) Journal
    Title should read "Former Warhammer Online Users Repeatedly Overbilled"
  • by Animats (122034) on Friday April 09, 2010 @01:05AM (#31786296) Homepage

    What may happen is that most of the people who used credit (not debit) cards demand a chargeback from their bank, EA gets hit with thousands of chargeback fees, and EA's merchant bank kicks them into a higher cost credit card category for excessive chargebacks.

    There are Visa procedures for this. [visa.com] This is a chargeback code 82 - "Duplicate Processing". Likely cause: "Electronically submitted the same batch of transactions to the merchant bank more than once". See "The Chargeback Life Cycle", page 71, for an overview.

    Generally, if chargebacks exceed 100 chargebacks and 1% of transactions, the chargeback penalty provisions [terminalve...essing.com] kick in. Thereafter, the merchant is charged $100 per chargeback by the merchant's bank. The merchant is forced into Visa's "High Risk Chargeback Monitoring Program", a $5000 "review fee" is charged to the merchant for the first month, and even higher fees are charged if the problem continues.

    Even big merchants have to pay. The banks have to deal individually with each customer to straighten out the mess. They charge the merchant for that.

    Incidentally, "No Chargeback" sales receipts are prohibited by Visa rules and will not be enforced by banks.

    EA is telling their customers [warhammeronline.com] to contact their financial institution before calling EA. It would probably be cheaper for EA if EA dealt with the problems themselves, but their call center may be too small.

    Some users are complaining that EA charged them partway through the billing cycle, when they didn't owe EA a payment.

    Anyway, EA will be getting a big bill from their bank.

  • by Protoslo (752870) on Friday April 09, 2010 @01:07AM (#31786310)
    Dear Valued Customer,

    We are sending you this email to bring this matter to your immediate attention.

    It appears that some of our customers may have been inadvertently charged multiple times for their subscriptions. If you are affected, you should start seeing a reversal of charges within 24-36 hours. We anticipate that once the charges have been reversed, any resulting fees that have been incurred on the affected account should be reversed as well. If after 36 hours, there are still incorrect charges or fees on the affected account, please follow these instructions:

    * Please begin by contacting your financial institution and explain to them that you were charged multiple times and, as a result, over drafted. Most financial institutions will reverse these charges.

    * If your financial institution is unable to remove these charges, you may contact our billing department for help with charge reversal by calling 650-628-1001 during our hours of operation, which are 10:00 AM EDT - 10:00 PM EDT, 7 days a week. Please have the phone and fax number of your financial institution ready when you call.

    We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that this issue may be causing you. Please continue to watch the Herald for your respective game (http://warherald.com/ or http://camelotherald.com/ [camelotherald.com]) in the coming days for further information regarding this issue.
  • At the bank that I use, I can generate "temporary" credit cards in which I can specify a credit limit and a expiration date. If I want to use it for reoccurring charges, like my gym membership, I can specify what the max that can be charged each month, in my case $45. Therefore if my gym screws up and tries to double charge me one month, the credit card company won't let them due to insufficient balance.

    I can't believe people provide debt card/checking account numbers to anybody as there's very little pro

    • by Kalriath (849904)

      And many merchants specify that they will not accept Visa Electron cards (the type of card that is). Just as a merchant can specify they will not accept business cards, or debit cards, or prepaid cards. They can be pretty granular.

      I'd suggest moving to a country where more than just the fucking account number is needed to direct debit a bank account (in NZ, a signed form sent in to the bank is required).

  • Whenever I play an mmo I'll buy a time card if I can, IRL if possible, through a reputable online site if it's not, and I also make it a point to remove my cc info from sites I buy stuff from as soon as a transaction I requested is finished. I don't use any online store or site that doesn't give me the option to remove my info...

    you'd think they would have some kind of safeguard on the system before the transactions are sent to the cc companies, like if they just had someone verify a total each day before t

  • People still play Warhammer Online?
  • Yeah, how's that working out for you now? Is Honest Imran's Billing Emporium (New York, Paris, Mumbai) going to refund you the lost goodwill as well as all those chargeback bills?
  • by dangitman (862676) on Friday April 09, 2010 @03:35AM (#31786884)
    If you're paying for Warhammer Online, aren't you being overcharged by definition?
  • I remember that Blizzard had this very same issue with WoW, back in either Vanilla or early The Burning Crusade times.

    I believe it was a mistake by the company they had outsourced the billing to.

  • Its sounds as if this is not the first time this billing issue has happened, and since these companies (in some cases) will only allow Credit Cards to be used, then I would believe that those players over billed excessively have the ability to protect your good name. I hate our litigous society, but to be recharge up to 22 times in a month and no one at the company realized the extra $$$ coming in? BULLSHIT! The accountants know what to expect.

    Banks may forgive one or two overdrafts if you haven't had pr

  • I have an account with at a bank, and I still have my credit union account from my college days (don't ask why, it's complicated). I've been billed once accidentally with each account where it caused me to have a negative balance. After the charges were reversed, the credit union gladly refunded the fee, but the bank told me flatly "Unless a fee is a result of our error, we won't refund it".
  • Finish This!

    Burn the heretic. Kill the mutant. Purge the unclean.

Hackers of the world, unite!

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