Evenin’, everybody! I have to admit, since I was not met with roughly 20-30 people at the airport, it really stung. I was stung, I was hurt, but after three months, the pain has subsided. I am out of practice, a bit rusty, if you will, but hell, some of you saw me 2.5 weeks ago, when I led a covert operation of 1 back into DC in order to participate in a Crystal City Bombers softball doubleheader. Mission was successful, it’s a safe statement to make that the CCB are undefeated when I play for them this year. I even went yard once. Also took a collossal spill as I overran firstbase and ran into a mountain of dirt. Good times!
So, now that I’m back… What can you expect? Probably a little more of the same, perhaps a little difference, but without a doubt, MORE O-MAN! That’s right! A whole lot more of me.
I’ve decided for this entry, I am going to do a little CCP action (cut, copy, and paste) from some emails I’ve been writing lately… This will help dust off the rust!
To set the tone, I was recently re-introduced to this free online soccer game called Hattrick by Lance H. I’ve since been trying to get a team, but have been finding it extraordinarily difficult, hence extraordinarily aggravating. To date, I still do not have a team.
I first sent this email on 6/22/06 at 9 AM:
Hello there –
I am going through any number of problems trying to register, and I have not been able to get an answer as to why. Each time I have registered, I have encountered a different problem. I sent the message below last night, but I could not access it today as my team was rejected for a 4th time, different reasons (as outlined below), and my username doesn’t work either. I logged in, checked my password, and had it sent to my email account. Each time I use this username/password combo, it says “FAILED.”
Can you please explain what is going on? I am in Ecuador right now, but I am a US citizen, and I would like to have a US team. This is the only reason I can surmise for my rejection. There is some stock message that is getting sent to me, and it’s not at all specific as to what my problem is. My team name keeps coming up as “used” even though there are zero teams like that in the game already — I have checked each time I have attempted to register. It’s now keeping my names, but not keeping my teams.
All I would like is for some sort of human interaction here — Please detail for me what is wrong with my team name and why I cannot use it. Again, I am a US citizen temporarily in Ecuador, and would like to have a team in the US, please.
Thank you very much for your consideration. I am not at all a difficult person, but I am getting increasingly frustrated with this! It’s seriously taken me over a week for the reasons outlined below.
Dear Game Masters,
I am getting increasedly frustrated by what is going on here. I have had multiple problems getting my team validated, which is simply not right. Please allow me to enumerate my problems:
1 — username markodie, email email@example.com, I set up a team to play in Ecuador, where I am currently doing some work, though I am a United States resident. I validated my team, logged in the next day, and found that my team, and account, were deleted without explanation. I could no longer use that address, however, as that was NOT deleted from your database.
2 — username markodie, email firstname.lastname@example.org, I changed my team to be in Washington DC, USA, as that is where I actually live when I am not in Ecuador. I logged in, validated my team, and when I returned the next day, my league had been changed to URUGUAY. I have zero interest in having a team in Uruguay, and someone from HATTRICK deleted my team for me so that I could start this process yet again. HOWEVER, the person who deleted my team did not delete my account, and when I tried to use that account, I was blocked, as it said that having 2 teams is illegal and that I would get kicked out. I didn’t even have one team, but now that address, email@example.com, remains in your database as well, and I cannot use that address for anything.
3 — I signed up for a team, username markodie, email address firstname.lastname@example.org, in Washington DC, US. I was suddenly denied a team, ostensibly for using a city name of something other than my zipcode. This is something that should hardly matter, yet apparently I could not make my team again.
4 — I am BACK ON THE WAITING LIST, and this process has taken over a week now. This is completely incredible. I have heard wonderful things about this game, but this is absolutely intolerable. What is going on here? It should not have taken 4 TRIES to get a team.
I would hope that you would do the right thing and move me to the head of the line somehow. I am remarkably frustrated, and all I want to do is get in a league with my friends, who have been playing for quite some time, telling me how wonderful this game is. I would like to get started, but my interest is waning each and every time something like this has happened. I mean, come on. Is this how you treat your customers? I was planning on donating, but without a team, that sure doesn’t seem like a good idea!
Please do the right thing and get me a team ASAP. Please also delete those other email addresses from your database, as there is no reason they should’ve been kept.
THank you very much.
This email was met with this clever little response at 3:01 PM, 6/22/06:
You are in Uruguay. You have to get a team in Uruguay.
Any and all information in this email is considered confidential and should not be disclosed in public.
Gee, thanks! So, not being one to be blown off so quickly, I responded with this, at 3:05 PM 6/22/06:
There is certainly a problem with your system, then. I have never in my life set foot in Uruguay. I am visiting Ecuador.
Please help me get a team in the USA. Shall I ask a friend to set up a team for me from the US? If that happened, would I then be able to access it from here?
I don’t mean to comment on your customer service, but that’s a pretty miserable response!
Being told that their response was miserable didn’t go over really well. They quickly responded at 3:41 PM, 6/22/06:
I don’t see how that’s a “miserable response”. It’s a perfectly true response. It indicates youa re in Uruguay. But we know that IP can change providers,etc, so it’s understandable that the you might be in Ecuador.
Are you jsut visiting Ecuador? will you be back soon? If so, just wait and get a team when you get back.
If you have a friend sign up for you then the team will be closed.
The reason we have this policy is because we have 100’s requests a month from people trying to get into leagues with not as many users and they areally arent from the US. I am not saying that you are or arent, but I am ssaying you aren’t in the US right now.
The policy is to also prevent cheating and to prevent “popular” leagues from filling up with foreigners.
Any and all information in this email is considered confidential and should not be disclosed in public.
I really didn’t care for this person’s response, though the speed of the response was commendable, I must say (I am nothing if not fair)… I wrote this back at 4:41 PM, 6/22/06, as work got in the way just a bit…
Hi there –
I will start with why I felt it was a miserable response, and then I will get down to business. Typically, when dealing with any type of “customer” (I do recognize that this is a free game, so I use that word loosely), it’s at least a reasonable idea to start with a salutation (i.e., Dear Mr. Odenwelder, or even, Dear Mark — I am really not that difficult to deal with). At that point, it might be nice to say, “Our system is indicating that you are in Ecuador.” (Much like you did in the follow-up response.) Then, you might go ahead and explain the policy as it relates to my specific situation. I am a new user, I don’t necessarily know that policy, and the canned response that I got upon being rejected 2x was not enough for me to grasp what was happening. Perhaps I need to become more enlightened in the ways of Hattrick technology, but there was absolutely nothing to indicate why my situation wasn’t working. At that point, you might say, thank you for your interest, but since you are in Ecuador (or Uruguay, as you incorrectly assumed), you must have a team from Ecuador. The canned response made ZERO indication that I couldn’t get my team because I was in Ecuador — It talked about my team name being illegal.
Anyway, enough is enough on that, but I do believe that your response was indeed miserable with regards to customer service. Your follow-up response, while confrontational (and incorrect) at least provided more information. As someone who works in the customer service field myself, I do understand that people such as myself can be a pain in the neck, but to be as short with any customer as you were with me in your last response is a bad idea in the longterm.
And, again, the response was not “perfectly true,” as, again, I have never set foot in Uruguay.
Now…. getting down to business… I will not be returning from Ecuador for a bit (until at least November). So, that will make this difficult for me. I would really like to do this — I’ve been invited to join a league with friends who’ve been playing this for some time (hittrick.org — You may have seen this at some point, perhaps, I don’t know), and it will make things much more difficult if my team is here in Ecuador (or even the great country of Uruguay, which I have never visited before), instead of the US, where I am a loyal, voting citizen. Is there some way you’d be able to override this? Quite frankly, while I’d like to be in DC, I would be fine if I was given a team in Sheboygan WI or Bangor ME if it would help me, I really don’t care. I just don’t want to have to deal with the international fees, as I would not be able to develop my team as much since I would instead be paying to travel to the greater DC area from South America (flights ain’t cheap, you know!).
Is there some way we can work this out, please? Is there some way I can prove to you where I am from? I can recite to you the Pledge of Allegiance, I can give a discourse on why I did not vote for G.W. Bush in the last election, I just can’t get there right now. I have no idea why my IP address is showing up as Uruguay, but this, to me, shows the flexibility of your system, and that you should be able to place me in the US. I don’t care if I am in a popular league, I’d just like to get started soon. I can assure you that I am a man of integrity, and I would gain nothing but shame by cheating in a free game such as Hattrick.
So, what do you say? How can we do this?
Thanks, and have a great day.
Mark (USA Game Novice)
Anyway, I have yet to hear back. But, I have yet to have a team in my possession. I have a feeling that I am facing rejection yet again tomorrow. We shall see. ¡Gracias por visitarme, lectores fieles!