Monday, July 27, 2009

Taken from LOTRO's Forums: My plea to Turbine to let me play the game.

Sigh... been wondering if I should post this since I started reading the information available here on the forums, and I thought, "I really have everything to gain if I can figure out how to subscribe to the game."

Here's the situation:

I live in the Philippines, and the only retailer here that sells original games not only has no stock left for LOTRO, but also doesn't sell the prepaid cards.

I received a founder's referral from a twitter buddy who lives in one of the territories that is supported by Turbine.

I found a post at ( ) which mentions that credit card subscriptions can only be done if you live in the US, Canada, New Zealand, or Australia.

I freak out internally. I check the My Account page, and try the Buy now Button, and it's true.

Then I remembered the PayByCash option. Well, just checked PayByCash's site, and attempted to purchase 90 days of play... and apparently, my IP address or something indicates to the site that I'm in a restricted country.

Below is the text from the error message:

The Lord of The Rings Online Restricted Country
We're sorry! The Lord of The Rings Online has asked PayByCash not to accept payments from your country. We provide The Lord of The Rings Online information about how often and from what countries their potential customers have this problem.
Thank you for considering PayByCash.

Given all this information, I'm running out of hope that I can play the game beyond the ten day trial. As I can see it, the only way I can find to play this game is if I use Western Union or some other service to send money to my uncle in the States so he can buy prepaid cards for me en masse, if LOTRO prepaid cards are still being sold on the cheap.

Thing is, I don't think he'll accede to my request seeing as his family's also strapped for cash because of the recession.

I could try calling up customer support to setup a subscription, but if they give me a "no" answer, then I'll have made a long distance call at some odd hour of the morning just to be rejected again.

I don't want to give up on LOTRO, but unless, by some miracle, the Community manager for LOTRO steps in (she contacted me via Twitter) and finds some loophole for me to play the game, I think I'm out of options.

I know it's silly to want to play a game this badly, but I really think it's a great game based on some astounding literature, and I'd like to be a part of it.

Within the past three days, I've managed to learn how persevering I am and patient with regard to setbacks, mostly because Turbine is having issues of its own with its Trial account and subscription systems. I can understand that.

I can even accept the fact that my connection or some part of the connection between my router and is pinging back asterisks: that's the nature of the internet connection that people face sometimes.

What I can't accept is going through all these hoops to get into a game just to be pushed back at this very last, and perhaps most important, turn.

In any event, it's 3:32 am where I'm at now. I'm drained, both physically and mentally, and I hope that, when I wake up in five to eight hours' time, something will have changed. Maybe something small, or something miraculous, but just something...

Perhaps something as preordained as a young hobbit picking up a ring that could save or damn the world.

Godspeed to you all.


I woke up this morning to a direct message from Meghan Rodberg, Senior Community Manager at Turbine. She forwarded my post to the Account Supervisor to see if he could help and told me she would get back to me after a day or so.

I don't know if it was my persistence that did the trick, or luck, or whatnot, but I learned the value of knowing when to keep a cool head and analyze the situation and when to let your emotion guide the way. As I see it, I had exhausted all logical and hypothetical options, so a plea based on the experience I'd gone through seemed like the only course of action left: a mild, tired rant, so to speak.

Honestly, even if I don't get into LOTRO at this point, this is the kind of customer service experience that really makes me feel like I'm valued as a consumer. I doubt they can do this for every customer, and I doubt anyone can logistically pull off such a task as to make the customer service experience a positive one despite experiencing setbacks, but one thing I will say is this: for all its issues at the moment, Turbine has earned my respect and support for trying.

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