How long does a company have to respond to a complaint before you cry foul? On March 15 Blizzard acknowledged the fact that a large number of consumers weren’t able to unlock and play Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm after purchasing it digitally with a credit card. That acknowledgement came 12 days ago, and no-one has heard anything else since.
The situation seems simple: players are buying Heart of the Swarm online, are being charged the full amount for the game. The order is said to be complete but the game itself does not recognise the content has been purchased, so when players try to play Heart of the Swarm, they’re being asked to re-purchase the content. According to most people with the issue, the problem is isolated to those who bought the game directly from the official Blizzard site.
On March 15 a Blizzard Support Agent on the forums stated the following:
We’re aware of an issue with upgrading StarCraft II accounts to Heart of the Swarm. We’re actively investigating the issue, and we will post updates as we learn more. Thank you very much for your patience.
And there has been zero communication on the issue since.
Understandably, consumers are getting frustrated. Some have had replies to tickets sent. One asked players to “try logging all the way out and back in” — essentially asking players to turn it on and off again, but this does not solve the issue. Other ticket replies reinforced the above communication from the support agent, stating the team were looking into it. These tickets have now been closed by Blizzard as resolved. Clearly the issue has not been resolved.
12 days. That’s a long time for a response to an issue that is stopping a large amount of paying customers from using a service they’ve already paid for. Closing tickets, saying the issue is resolved when it is clearly not is also not ideal. The ACCC website states that if a problem with a service is not addressed “within a reasonable time” you are within your rights to demand a refund, but is 12 days a reasonable amount of time? That’s a difficult question to answer; the language, I suspect, is deliberately vague.
We’ve contacted Blizzard locally for comment on the issue and will update the story when we hear back.