Steaming about Customer Support

by July 15th, 2011 - Culture » Video Games »

I love game company Valve and their distribution system, Steam. I have logged many hours basking in the “Om Nom Nom” of the zombie survival game Left 4 Dead, have sat in awe of the Half Life and Portal franchises, and have discovered such strange indie games

However, it never dawned on me that they chose to name to their distribution service as Steam, because it is actually powered by an old fashioned black and white cartoon steamboat. Or at least, it seems, their customer support is.

Recently after a long night of Portal 2“>Portal 2 co-op I finally made myself log off. On my next log in, I was oddly presented with a log-in screen instead of automatically signing in as usual. I reset my password, but it then failed to work when logging in to the client. I tried recovering my account in case I got my username wrong, but the resulting email told me that my account name was: . That’s right, my account name existed but didn’t have a name.

Oh dear, it seems like it’s time to directly contact customer support. Searching their website, the only option I had was to create an online ticket with my problem. Submitting my concerns, I immediately received an automated response that it was received. However, 4 days later I still have not received any other information and I still can not log in to my account.

Now the obvious complaint is that there is no phone support, whatsoever. That wouldn’t be a problem if I received any human response to my email. Even if there was not an immediate fix, it would be nice to get an email from someone with a name explaining what is and isn’t working and how long it might take.

Instead, I imagine my support ticket lying in a pile of dot matrix print-outs in the abandoned offices of Aperture Laboratories and I highly doubt GLaDOS will be arsed to do anything about it.

My account appears to be broken in some way that it no longer even exists in the eyes of Valve. Of course, years down the road none of this will matter when mankind is either fighting off the Combine and/or a zombie epidemic.

Perhaps that is what Steam is counting on, racing towards the doomsday clock while skimping on their customer support. In the meantime, however, this blog post is my best effort of injecting information into their market short of flying to their headquarters in Bellevue, Washington. I love quirky game ideas, but somehow I don’t think I’m going to like playing this odd new title, the only game available to me, Customer Support Ticket Warrior.

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