Square Enix: Customer Support Failures

Square Enix needs to communicate better with its customers

The company behind the curtainIn case you do not know who Square Enix is, they make the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts series of video games. They also publish games made by other companies like Everquest II, and Dragon Quest VIII. If you look at the titles of games they have had dealings with however, it quickly becomes obvious Final Fantasy is their bread and butter. This includes FFXI and FFXIV, the MMORPG titles.First MMORPGFFXI was Square's first MMORPG title. As with any other first, there will be issues. I remember coming home from the store excited to finally have my hands on the game. Opening the box and installing the client from the disc was a simple procedure I had done many times in the past. But when it came to setting up a subscription I was ready to pull my hair out. Keep in mind I have been playing MMOs since Neverwinter Nights on AOL -- making accounts and subscribing to games is something I am familiar with at this point. You had to pay for each character slot, and subscribe to each slot seperately. They also renamed everything to something unintelligible, almost seemingly made to confuse people.Second attemptFFXI went on to become quite a success despite the account support issues, and Square eventually announced the MMO followup FFXIV. The developers did not listen to any customer feedback during development. The game was so horrible that they gave out an entire year of free game time while they tried to fix it. Eventually the game closed completely and is now being rebuilt as FFXIV: A Realm Reborn from the ground up. This includes a new game engine, new jobs, and the removal of some of the old core gameplay mechanics. The remakeFFXIV: ARR goes on sale August 27, 2013. I decided it was time to see what my account standing was. I wanted to know if I would get anything for returning to the game when it launched, or if I would get beta access. After searching the FAQ I read 'legacy' players would receive guaranteed stage 3 and 4 beta access without even signing up for it. What they did not mention was what exactly a legacy player is. I had to search through the internet for about 20 minutes to find some random news site that said you only qualify for legacy status if you paid for the game for 3 months.Ok, so I had to go check my account and see if I qualified. I hoped I could remember by login information. To keep this short, I did in fact remember my account login information but it depended on which Square Enix page I was trying to login to my account from whether it worked or not. One site would tell me my credentials were wrong, and another would tell me I am now logged in. After about an hour of trying everything I eventually ended up inside of my SE account and was able to update my information -- I also found out I am not a legacy player.Why SE failsThe problem with Square Enix is simple communication. They do not offer timely and accurate information. I feel I should not have to find out information from a news reporting site. I should be able to login to the FAQ on the official site and find what I am looking for. By the way, the official site tells you step 1 to install the game client is to run ffxivgame.exe file installed on your hard drive. Wait, what? When did this file get installed on my hard drive? Magic!I do not know if this is a translation issue, or a simple lack of intelligent design on their part. Either way it is frustrating. I simply wanted to know what, if any, benefits I would receive for returning to the game. This ended up placing me on a two-hour quest that just frustrated me to no end. I still do not have the answers I was seeking. I think I might get two weeks of free game time and the free client? Or perhaps that is legacy players only, I simply do not know.I do enjoy playing the games, but dealing with the customer service is the worst. Have you had similar experiences with SE or other companies?


I am a self-described MMORPG addict. Not in the sense that my real life suffers, but rather my real life is enhanced.

Published Jul. 27th 2013
  • racooperii
    I have been looking into ARR for a long time, been a part of Beta 3 and 4, and then my PC died right at the edge of EA. Got a new computer, went to get everything up and running but LO and BEHOLD.

    SE Digital Partners Digital River no longer recognizes that I had an Order with them, making my hunt for my Registration Codes(Since I NEVER got an email either...smart SE) a pain. The fact that I already registered my codes doesn't seem to matter to SE or XIV's Client, and after having spent the better part of my evening talking to SE Customer "Service" I am no where near closer to playing the game I paid for.

    So, with that Square Enix has lost a 20+ year customer forever.
  • Done_with_SE
    I just waited for about 3 hours on the phone, only to get disconnected right at 9pm EST without any follow up. I am so done with this company. Used to love Final Fantasy when I was a kid. Too bad they stopped caring about customers. Never buying Square Enix product again until they go bankrupt.
  • Ernie McCracken
    I have been waiting for customer service since the moment they opened this morning (9am pst). It is now 5 hours later, and I still have not been taken off hold on either the live chat support, or phone support.
    I literally purchased ffxiv yesterday, and made an account... An account I have not been able to access yet due to neither their game client, nor their website recognizing my credentials.
    What kind of scam is this company running?
  • LordDarkwolf
    I got the PS3 version of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. My first mistake was having played all previous open and closed betas, pre-ordering the title, and early access. By the time the game was released I had four characters at least lv 10, but a few closer to lv 30, and I had been playing for two weeks. Why is this a problem? After the release in order to continue playing you had to enter a product registration code which I got from my PS3 version FF ARR game box. The signup interface was not exactly perfect for the console and had more of a PC feel. The interface wasn't designed to scroll on every screen, so on the final screen to add the credit to your existing account it shows all activity on your account (i.e. betas, bonus items, etc.) pushing the primary options off the screen with no way to scroll down to see them. The only option that was left on the screen was the secondary option to split your account squeezed right in on the bottom of the screen. Even though this was my only option, it was the absolutely wrong option. Now my credit is attributed to a "new" account, but now my 4 previous characters are no longer associated to my system and I have to either start from scratch or sift through the square-enix customer service site that really wasn't designed to get anything accomplished. I have put in 3 separate tickets to get this resolved and almost two weeks later I'm still waiting. I tried to call their customer service phone line to get it resolved and was left listening to a loop of a young man's voice tell me that I need my ticket number ready and if I haven't got one to go to the website to get one. This has been a frustrating nightmare and I'm almost feeling inclined to let this game go and cut my losses. Good game or not, SquareEnix has shown me their business isn't that important to them.
  • Breaker909
    I had the exact same issues. Add in that I was also previously using a key generator on my SE account and it got to be such a mess I just created a new account. Yes I lost my legacy status with the move but saved a few more hours of frustration. Maybe this is what SE wanted all along?

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