Hacking, Customer Service, and Guild Wars 2 [Warning: Angry Rant Ahead] [Update: I got my account back]

It is now Day 3 after I was hacked and had a permanent ban placed on my Guild Wars 2 account. Still no resolution…

Not even a response back after the last time I sent them information at 2 PM yesterday. It’s now 7 PM, so that makes it 30 hours since their last e-mail sent to me. Unacceptable.

As a frugal gamer, it takes a LOT of thinking for me to drop $60 on a new game or anything, for that matter. $60 on entertainment is a significant amount, and I spent the full $60 for Guild Wars 2 because I thought I would be getting a true quality product for it. I, like all my fellow gamers, have waited 5 years for this game. So what do I have to show for it? I played for… what… 2 days? Now, it’s the start of a nice 3 day weekend, a great time to put in some gaming time… and I’m still up in the air, having been blocked out of it for reasons that OBVIOUSLY WEREN’T MY OWN and also receiving NO REAL RESPONSES FROM MY REQUESTS.


Listen… I’m not callous. I see and understand that they are swamped. However, I’ve also worked in e-contact for a major international corporation before and have been swamped myself. We also replied to EVERY e-mail, personally, no automated responses, within 24 hours with only a team of 6 people. If it was an issue that involved some more research, we made sure to check in daily with our customers to let them know we didn’t forget about them. I know that seems more like the exception than the rule, but I lived it from a CS perspective, our customers loved us for it, and I have come to expect that high level of quality from businesses I contact.

Here is a quick rundown of the Laurel and Hardy type communications I’ve had with ArenaNet’s Support so far:


Initial hacking and permanent ban complaint lodged by myself at 08/29/2012 03:33 PM via the Support website. No e-mail had been received noting of hack or of the ban before this time.

Reply back from Customer Service individual #1 at 08/29/2012 07:22 PM, ~4 hours later, requesting information to prove I am the owner of the account.

I reply at 08/29/2012 07:51 PM, ~30 minutes later, giving them all the information I can requested through their customer service site.

Reply back from Customer Service individual #2 at 08/29/2012 08:10 PM, ~20 minutes later,  requesting the same information that CS #1 requested.

I reply back at 08/29/2012 08:26 PM, ~15 minutes later, with more information, copying the information from the initial request. I notice that two tickets are open for the same request and I close one of them. The other one is still open and active.

Having not received another response, I add to the open ticket at 08/30/2012 07:51 AM the next morning with more information, hoping that there wasn’t a confusion from having multiple tickets.

I receive a reply from CS individual #3 at 08/30/2012 01:05 PM, ~3 hours later, asking for the same exact information I gave CS#1 and #2.

Third time’s a charm, I think, and I reply back at  08/30/2012 02:21 PM, ~80 minutes later, with the same information I gave CS#1 and CS#2. The worst part is that I can see the entire chain of information I’ve given already, and am copying/pasting the information. It’s obvious I’m repeating myself.

As I write this post, it is 8/31/2012 07:24 PM, ~30 hours after the last communication I have received from them and ~29 hours after my last reply, and I haven’t received a response to my last inquiry.


UNACCEPTABLE! I mean, I can see the responses I’ve given and received, why can’t they? I’ve repeated myself multiple times and am almost at my breaking point. Every response I’ve given to them has been polite and direct to the point.

The worst part is, what’s my course of action? I’m not even sure where I stand! Do I demand my money back? Do I just write it off as a loss and to never give them money again? In this situation, I feel helpless. I feel like I’m being screwed over by a company and a community that I liked and respected with no course of action I can take beside just voicing my opinions and warning others.

So that is what I am doing.

If this is solved tomorrow, will I still play? Yes, and I’ll probably still enjoy it. However, the shining admiration I have had for ArenaNet as a company is fading fast, and so in the future, I’ll be less likely to give them more of my hard earned money, and warn you all against it, too. If you need support from them, I wouldn’t expect it to be quick or efficient.

“Mistakes will happen, but it’s how you fix them that count.”

\\ Ocho

P.S. – If only they had a phone number to contact. I’d sit on hold for an hour to get this fixed no problem, and I’d do it with a smile. This lack of communication and being left up in the air is driving me nuts. Day 3… and still nothing.

P.P.S. – I do realize that this can definitely be chalked up as a #FirstWorldProblem, and there are lots of other things in the world that are much worse problems. However, this is a gaming blog, I KNOW I’m not the only person going through this problem, and I feel like I am the little guy fighting against a much bigger opponent. I will not be giving up this fight until it is won or lost.  This is also very frustrating and this is a nice cathartic release. If this suddenly gets fixed in the next 5 minutes, I’ll feel very foolish, but as of right now, I’m a very angry customer who just wants to get his money’s worth, and doesn’t have many options left to do so.

[Update 9/1/12 – Everything has finally been cleared up and my account has been returned. As off 11:22 AM, my password was changed to something GM derived and I was told by e-mail that I could log into my account again. The e-mail indicated to “Please be aware that the Support Team is unable to restore any missing characters or items.” Since my character is level 13, I’m sure anything I lost could be easily gained again, so this wasn’t a problem for me. I signed in, and… nothing was different. I still had all my items, my measly 6 silver which the hackers apparently didn’t show any interest in, and I was in the same exact location I last signed out at. Nothing changed.

As a recourse, and because it seems Guild Wars 2 players are being heavily targeted, I changed my password to one of the strongest I’ve ever created and I changed my account name. Hopefully this doesn’t happen again.

So, to recap. My account was brute-force hacked from a location in China as my password wasn’t the strongest. I was given a permanent ban with the explanation that it was based on RMT transactions. I was contacted by 4 different members of the Support staff, after giving the same information to 3 of them. Finally, on the 4th day after the hack occurred and ArenaNet was notified, my account was fully restored.

4 days after the event is by far not the best, as this was a pretty open-and-shut case. To ArenaNet’s credit, though, and this is a definite nice point: I was not once, during this process, berated by ArenaNet for having my account attacked.]


14 thoughts on “Hacking, Customer Service, and Guild Wars 2 [Warning: Angry Rant Ahead] [Update: I got my account back]

  1. Pingback: ArenaNet Seems to Have a Security Issue on it’s Hands [GW2] (Updated August 30th) « Casual Aggro

  2. That sucks, sorry to hear your continued troubles… coming from TSW where I had customer service getting back to me very quickly (within 5 minutes was my quickest) this seems rather incompetent or maybe just poor planning.

    Security was always going to be an issue and it surprised me when I noticed they didn’t have any of those new age tools like coin locks, phone app type things that may of the bigger high profile (and obviously more prone to attack) games have.

    Best of luck from one of those enjoying the game =p

    • Thanks man. 🙂 I really do feel for them, knowing ANet is pushing it’s employees to the limit already (which is definitely poor planning on their part), but even I have a limit.

      I just hope that the hackers got enough gold from my level 13 character (I think I had… 2 silver) to make my ban worth it. This is absolutely gobsmacking me how this is as bad as it is.

      Right now, my bet is this won’t be resolved until at least 7 days. A good week, when this most likely could’ve been solved in a few minutes.

  3. I know the frustrations your having. I have trouble coughing any extra bit of cash myself and for something like that to happen I would be ticked. From what little I saw of their “account management” site, its downright 3rd rate. At the very least offer some form of account security beyond a password and an email if someone tries to reset it. Larger non gaming websites even now have some pretty beefy security. I remember having my wow account hacked(twice) somehow. I never had any viruses, nor give out info etc but somehow they got into it twice. It was a pain to get thru to blizzard but it was eventually resolved. Quicker then 3 days your going on mind you. Keep us updated on the status of this thing, It will most definitely influence my decision later on to purchase it.

    • I did finally get it back, and although they told me they couldn’t get any of my items back, nothing had changed on my account. Total time: about 4 days. I still believe that it was entirely brute forced, but I agree. Not having any real form of secondary protection, even when Guild Wars 1 even has something, is ridiculous.

  4. I am in the exact same situation as you, I have been receiving automated responses for three days now and the automated responses just ask for information I have already provided. I (like most people) have very limited free time to play the game.

    The fact that I am getting strung along by bots on my support ticket is really starting to test my patience. I would rather they not use automated responses and instead wait until they can send a real human being to help me with my issue. Lucky for me they just gave me a 350 hour account suspension instead of straight up banning me… However seeing as it is not my fault that I got hacked even the 350 hour suspension is crazy, they could at least follow up on it.

    ArenaNet seriously needs some new security because there are a LOT of players who are getting hacked right now, even using e-mail authentication like Steam does would be better. In fact I was just watching someone livestream some PlanetSide 2 beta play and at the end of his stream he realized that someone hacked his account and changed his e-mail.

    • Thanks for reading, Darth! 350 hours is still kinda ridiculous, though. 2 weeks?! Well, as I noted above in an update, I did finally get my account back. The final time being 4 days. Not exactly optimal, but certainly not 2 weeks. I hope you get your account back soon, man.

    • They have implemented an authenticator. It was completely up and running by yesterday after noon. Personally I was surprised by the rush of hacking myself. As for delays, part of the problem is many players were bumping their support requests trying to speed them up, which slows the process for everyone.

  5. Ocho you are my good luck charm, literally right after I received your reply VIA e-mail I got another e-mail stating that my account had been unfrozen but my items could not be restored.

    I honestly don’t even care about the items anymore. Hahaha, thanks Ocho.

    • Hahahaha! That’s awesome! Glad everything turned out okay. I got the same email saying that my items couldn’t be restored, but when I got into my account… nothing was even touched. Look me up if you want, man. Ocholivis.2709.

  6. I am on day 3 of my account being hacked and changed, i’m pretty sure I was BF hacked to because my password was weak. If and when I get my account back I will be sure to make it the hardest password I can.

    • I hope you get it back soon, man. I know the frustration.

      I got mine back and locked it down as soon as I could. I feel foolish that I had such a weak password to begin with, but it’s the same password I used for GW1, which you also needed other stuff, like a character name.

      Hopefully it won’t be too much longer a wait.

  7. Realizing this is way after the fact, but I feel for you, man. My Bnet account got hacked not long after I started blogging, not long after Blizz basically forced Bnet on WoW players. An entire server full of toons got deleted, and my bank was raided on another server. I was game-less for a week. Luckily in the end, Blizzard CS restored pretty much everything. But it was an agonzing 7 days. Now I don’t even play WoW, that was the beginning of my breakaway from WoW-addiction.

  8. well im sick of mmos….money making ass rackets…you may have gotton yur account bac…but all those that didnt, have been ripped off their $60…yes some do give up and give in to that shit, but…you cant blame them, for the promise of a widely popular game, they have trusted their hard earned for the fun. fuck all them cocsukkers

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