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“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” ~Dr. Seuss

Monday, February 13, 2012

Some Business 101

I had expected that I'd write far more about the struggle of consumer rights against big business than I did. Another one of those things on my todo list that never happened, but I will give a quick synopsis before moving on.

We won a single battle (not the campaign) in that the company in question reversed the disagreeable changes that had destroyed the fun in the game, this AFTER 100's of emails were sent, forum topics started and shut down and finally a worldwide 24-hour blackout staged by the players. I have no idea how many actually took part in the blackout, but the word was those that didn't, found the games to be quite deserted. Quite honestly, it still boggles my mind the ripples that were caused by my one little stand, I'm no hero, I'm not a political activist or a lawyer, I'm one person, a SAHM, I believe in being treated with respect, that's it. A quick comment here on my view on capitalism, I have no desire to put any company out of business, I understand the need to make money for R&D, to pay the bills & the employees, I wouldn't play the games at all if they were bad games, but there are business practices that are fair and there are those that are unfair, and when money is literally being stolen from people, I'm sorry, that is very bad business. When a company doesn't listen to the customer - also very bad business.

The campaign for a fair product is still a process that continues to be ignored. This game development company continues to ignore the requests of their end users; is it really so hard to install a confirm purchase button to prevent unexpected charges to credit cards and to ask for sensible prices for in-app purchases? Who is going to pay $50 just to make their fake farm bigger?? Is it illogical to consider that if you do choose to make a purchase that you should no longer be spammed with advertisements? Is it unreasonable to want to protect ourselves on-line? For nearly a year players have requested a block feature to prevent cyber bullying, which I myself have experienced on the games. I have seen good people, paying customers, quit because they were so poorly treated by these "trolls" with no real way to protect themselves. These are realistic requests and have been on the "wish list" of players since not long after the games were made available; a free app that is decidedly NOT free (some have spent 100's and even 1000's of dollars), if you play any of these on-line simulation games will understand what I mean.

I was reluctant to outright share the name of the company, I like the games, they are fun games and really, they're quite clever. But last I checked we do have freedom of speech and I'm not saying actually anything against the company, just suggesting that perhaps they remember the age old business adage, the customer is always(usually) right. So TeamLava (developer team for Storm8), what say you? Maybe time to hire a customer representative... that actually listens to the customer.

~Miss Shannon **  ƸӜƷ  **

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