Feb 2011

Denial is a wonderful thingTo abuse

So, I wanted to remove a Sony Online Entertainment account. This is, apparently, impossible. Even if you die. Here follows the chat that I've had with their interesting representatives. Except for minor details (like my old address) nothing has been changed or bleeped out. Enjoy...

TSR Stephen H.: Hi, my name is TSR Stephen H..
aspirit soe: Hello there.
TSR Stephen H.: How are you doing today?
aspirit soe: I have an SOE account, I want to remove it. How?
TSR Stephen H.: Unfortuntely, we are unable to remove a Station Account. Are you simply no longer wishing to use it?
aspirit soe: I want to remove it, as I get Spam.
aspirit soe: And, because of you operating in Europe, you are required by law to allow people to remove one's details: ie. removing an account.
TSR Stephen H.: I don't believe it works quite like that, however you should be able to log in and change your email address or there should be an option to remove yourself from any mailing lists at the bottom of the email.
aspirit soe: Changing e-mail address -> To what? You need to verify the new address.
aspirit soe: Removing yourself from a mailing list -> YOu'd think so, but no, I am unsubscribed and yet I still got spam from you guys AND without an unsubscribe link.
TSR Stephen H.: What address does the mail without an unsubscribe link come from?
aspirit soe: Now to be clear: I've read most of the Knowledgebase and the forums about this. You could add something about 'removing a station account' to the KB... You know, to help peopl eout.
aspirit soe: Server Merge Notification - EverQuest II Customer Service
aspirit soe: From info@soe.sony.com
aspirit soe: And the header does not show it being from any one else.
aspirit soe: "On or around February 14th, 2011 at 12:00 AM (PST), EverQuest® II will begin the process of merging the Lucan D’Lere server to the Crushbone server, with the goal of providing an even better gameplay experience for everyone. Please check EverQuest2.com periodically for any further updates on this scheduled server merge."
aspirit soe: It's not a fake e-mail.
TSR Stephen H.: That is not a spam or mailing list, that would be pertinent information regarding something that affects the game.
aspirit soe: Games I don't play. For years... I want to remove my account.
TSR Stephen H.: There is unfortunately no way to remove your Station Account, however you might be able to add that address to your spam or junk mail filters.
aspirit soe: No... I want to be out of SOE's system. As simple as that.
aspirit soe: You cannot "change" your e-mail adress without a verified address.
aspirit soe: So basically, there is no way to be rid of Sony OE, which is wrong.
TSR Stephen H.: There should be an option to unsubscribe from your account management screen, is this regarding the account you are contacting me from?
aspirit soe: Yes.
aspirit soe:
Account Info
Subscriptions Info
Payment History
Payment Sources
E-mail Settings
Parental Controls
Recruit A Friend
Enter Activation Code
Station Cash Balance
aspirit soe: Which of these options contains this magical "unsubscribe" option?
TSR Stephen H.: One moment.
aspirit soe: (no, it's not subscriptions, as that only pertains games, not SOE)
TSR Stephen H.: Should be under email settings.
aspirit soe: That just contains the list.
aspirit soe: And I've unchecked everything... Painstakingly I might add, as there is no "uncheck all" option.
aspirit soe: And this at the bottom: "Business communications related to customer service, account status, technical issues, etc. are not affected by your selections above." points out that - Whatever you do, you still get unsollicited e-mail (SPAM) from us...
TSR Stephen H.: It doesn't appear that you are on our lists, however the emails you would receive of account activity or important game information would not be affected.
TSR Stephen H.: Unfortunately, the only way that could be stopped would be changing the email to one you don't monitor or setting up a filter rule.
aspirit soe: ... So you are saying, because SOE is unable to remove an account, I, the customer, have to go out of my way to filter out your crap?
aspirit soe: Ahem, I mean mails?
TSR Stephen H.: Unfortunately, we have no method of removing an account.
aspirit soe: I wish to remove my account. Plain and simple.
aspirit soe: Then find a method...
TSR Stephen H.: It cannot be done in our system.
aspirit soe: Yes it can.
TSR Stephen H.: We do not have a way to do so.
aspirit soe: Then, I must say, I am impressed by your ineptitude.
aspirit soe: While I understand you, the chat-script does not have a way, who does?
TSR Stephen H.: There is no one that can delete an account from the system, it is not doable.
aspirit soe: So, you are saying me that you do not allow anyone to remove an account, ever... Not for privacy reasons, or anything?
aspirit soe: Not to put too fine a point on it, but that's just a court-case waiting to happen.
TSR Stephen H.: There is not a way to delete an account, we can only remove access to the accounts.
aspirit soe: Oh, so that's even worse. Then people without access to their own account, still get those 'essential' e-mails about games they haven't played for 5 years.
aspirit soe: And when the person dies, you will still keep the account?
aspirit soe: Grieving widows with random e-mails?
aspirit soe: E-mails without an unsubscribe link, I might add.
TSR Stephen H.: Unfortunately, I would not be able to chat about the policies regarding account administration. Was there something else we could help you with?
aspirit soe: Okay, while I understand you are carefully monitored and probably feel that SOE is as stupid as I imply it is but are unable to respond on this. Could you at least verify that you do not remove accounts, even when the accountholder dies?
aspirit soe: Well?
TSR Stephen H.: There might be a few moments between responses as I have several chats going.
aspirit soe: With a KB like that, it does not surprise me.
TSR Stephen H.: We cannot delete an account or delete the fact that an account exists, if you are able to verify ownership of the account, I can go ahead and close down the account for you as well as change the email address to prevent you from receiving further emails.
TSR Stephen H.: If this is done, the account will no longer be accessible.
aspirit soe: I am truly impressed by SOE's company policies. One cannot do but wonder in awe and take note of how definitely not to treat your customers.
aspirit soe: But yes, please do so. I have already made sure that no further e-mails will reach me by using a fake account and 'verifying' it. As your limits of acting are quite severe.
TSR Stephen H.: However with an account, if we make a major change to our service (such as merging servers) we are required by law to notify our customers.
TSR Stephen H.: Which is why we cannot prevent that email from reaching you.
aspirit soe: I at least hope to have given you a good read and some sprakle of amusement in the horde of insanity you must surely face on a minutely basis.
aspirit soe: Well I have taken measures, and I hope you will do as you say, 'closing' the account and changing the address to a fake/empty one.
aspirit soe: No one likes spam, no matter how important Sony thinks it is.
TSR Stephen H.: I can certainly do that, I would just need you to verify your ownership of the account by providing some information.
TSR Stephen H.: Please copy and paste the form below into your response field and fill in the information missing below:

- Last four digits of the credit card used to bill the account:
- The name on that card:
- The COMPLETE billing address:
- Current Answer to your Security Question(What is your pet's name?):
- Account / Registration Key (usually found on the back of your CD case or on the instruction manual):
- Real Name:
- E-mail Address:
- Station Username: aspirit
- Birthdate:

Please keep the format above. This will enable us to process your request more efficiently. Thank you for your patience.
aspirit soe: Credit card -> Long since expired, more than 5 years remember?
aspirit soe: Name -> myself (******)
aspirit soe: Billing address.... God... I have since moved... The street doesn't even exist anymore. Probably ******.
TSR Stephen H.: That's fine, simply provide as much as you are able.
aspirit soe: Security question -> ******
aspirit soe: Email address -> Totalcrap@******
aspirit soe: Birthdate hasn't changed in 5 years though, it's still - ******
aspirit soe: Happy?
TSR Stephen H.: That should be fine for me to go ahead and close it down for you.
TSR Stephen H.: Just to confirm, you want that listed email to be removed, correct?
aspirit soe: Correct.
aspirit soe: And any other e-mails that were ever part of that account
TSR Stephen H.: Alright, I will go ahead and take care of that presently. Please be aware that once this is accomplished, the account will be unusable in any part of our system.
TSR Stephen H.: Would there be anything else we could do for you presently?
aspirit soe: Now, don't let horrendous company policies get to you too much, Mr. Stephen H. You have been as helpful as you can be, crippled by them.
aspirit soe: So I thank you for your aid and wish you a good day and evening.
TSR Stephen H.: You as well, thanks for using our Live Chat service.
You have disconnected.