Usability - Productivity - Business - The web - Singapore & Twins

World of Warcraft - Improvements on family accounting needed.

The gentlemen have discovered WoW and were bogging me to get them an BattleNet account, so they can play get access to a strategy and leadership training ground. BattleNet requires a parent to have an account too in order use the parental controls. So far so good. I got an eMail with the URL to access the pages that allows me to limit what they can do and how long they can play, per day and/or week and when. I also can opt into a weekly play statistic. So that works rather well. Only downside: you have to keep the eMail or bookmark the page, since your BattleNet account won't reflect your parental status and show the URL to you. From there it went downhill.
When I created my account I registered the game serial number in my account. I learned very quickly, that that wasn't a good idea. So I contacted helpdesk through their online form only to get a reply: Sorry we only handle Starcraft for SEA, please go ... and then the link to exactly the form I just had filled. Lousy service. After another round of forms/eMail I finally got the right eMail to the US helpdesk. The replies to my questions very badly formatted standard answers, that just missed the point. I at least would expect cookie cutter answers to be more appealing. Finally I found out: To transfer that to one of my sons I have to go through hoops and loops including faxing identity documents. I haven't seen a fax for years - and I won't send a private company and of my identity documents. My second question: Can I buy a subscription for my sons, pay it with my credit card in my BattleNet account. Turns out that isn't possible. I would have to enter my credit card details in their account, where I have no control (I encourage them to have their own passwords)- another fail. To clarify this took 3 rounds. The only alternative is to find an retailer and to buy battle cards. Every contact with support was followed by an "rate how we doing, click here" email.
In summary: WoW fails:
  • Online support is confusing
  • Account transfer between family members is overly complicated
  • Parental controls are functional but could be easier to access (and why not have a playtime dashboard instead of a weekly eMail)
  • Family payment option (from a master account) is missing (That also might work for companies as a perk for the Geeks)
Guys you can do better!

Posted by on 12 December 2010 | Comments (1) | categories: After hours


  1. posted by Erik Brooks on Sunday 12 December 2010 AD:
    Wow! I've got to say, I'm impressed they differentiate between parents and kids at all!