TPG Cast Episode 10: Off Topic

For our tenth TPG Cast, Phil Cordaro and Adam Ames decide to tone things down a bit with some off topic discussion.  In the beginning though, Adam tells his horror story about GFWL then goes on to talk about the lack of quality customer service.  Phil then shines happiness on the cast by bringing up the fast food differences between Germany and the US.  You can download direct on Dropbox or listen via YouTube.

Running Time: 1 hour, 2 minutes.  Up Next: Dave Gilbert from Wadjet Eye Games

20 thoughts on “TPG Cast Episode 10: Off Topic

      • Does this mean I can finally get gamepad support for Chess Titans? That game is so hard to play with this stupid keyboard and mouse.

        It is good to see that Ethan is still around, I have you to thank for turning me onto Linux.

  1. Did I hear that right?!!? Did Phil really just insult Bowling?!?!
    Do I really want to hang around a site that denigrates the great sport of bowling in this way?

    Oh what am I saying.. of course I don’t.

    Okay, I guess there was some more to the cast that I could comment on. Concerning Customer Support. Has anyone seen the Reddit about the guy who emailed Steam support about their new Terms of Service? He basically asked what he could do to play the games he already bought if he didn’t actually agree with the new terms. The response was something to the effect of “Thanks for asking. We can permanently delete your account and you will lose everything and there is no chance for any type of refund. Do you want us to do that now?” Of course I’m sure the guy just agreed to the new TOS rather than lose everything, who wouldn’t? This also touches a bit on Adams point that Steam should go to the expense of setting up call centers as it would pay for itself in that they wouldn’t lose customers due to poor service. As of right now there is no way to really leave Steam short of simply giving up almost every game you probably own, but if there were a mechanism where you could cancel your Steam membership and transfer all your games to Origin, GamersGate, GOG or any other service of your choosing I can guarantee you that the customer service at these sites would drastically improve almost over night. Well maybe not GOG because they are already so awesome. On the other end of the spectrum of Customer Service comes the story about the customer who saw that Alan Wake was on sale at GOG for $15 and bought it thinking that GOG was like any other site and would just email him the Steam key. Needless to say he was quite upset, he wanted the game for Steam not a DRM-Free standalone installer. He complained to GOG support and on the GOG forum, the latter hurled insults at him for not reading the fine print until the GOG employees came in and told them to knock it off. GOG then gave the guy a full refund and apologized for the confusion. If that is not a shining example of customer service then I don’t know what is.

    Hearing Adam talk about dealing with customer support after having worked in customer support reminded me a lot of a friend of mine who used to work for Burger King. We would go out to eat at BK and he would spend the first 2-3 minutes of the meal inspecting his Whopper to make sure there was the right amount of mustard and tomatoes on it and then randomly checking fries for quality. I remember thinking how great it would be if I were ever good enough at my job that I could critique others in the same line of work. I don’t understand half of what the people at my work do. They say things like “Steve! Help! I’m trying to print the AL2 Report and nothing is coming out!” and I’m just thinking to myself “I don’t know what an AL2 is but it sounds important. I do know how to fix the printer though, so I’ll start there.”

    I recently took the opportunity to check out a couple of things I have been looking at all in one fell swoop. GamersGate introduced their Void program a while back which is basically where you get a game added to your account for free but you have to watch adds before you play to offset the cost of the game. I was curious to how such a thing would work but the selection of games on the Void list were either titles I already own or those I had no interest in playing. I decided to check it out again the other day and found that they had added some games to it, including Syder Arcade which I learned about here at TPG and kept meaning to explore further. I had downloaded the demo but never put much time into it after my initial install. Now that I have access to the whole game for a while (it looks like I have to give it back after 2 weeks) I have been playing it a lot more and I am loving it. I’m so close to beating level 3! This game is quickly rising to the top of my list for Next Purchase.

    • Phil may or may not post a response. He is heading back to Chicago from Germany for a much needed vacation. He would probably just come up with some lame attempt at a cover up. Bowling was big in my family growing up. My parents were league bowlers at least three times a week. Not sure why I did not strike down Phil on that one.

      I saw that image as well. I do not believe those are real. Probably some troll to get people riled up about the whole deal. For the life of me, I have no idea why Valve does not have call centers set up. Frankly, I was surprised to find out Valve outsources their support in the first place. Support seems to be a second thought for most companies which is a very sad trend.

      Interesting on Void. I heard about it and wanted to write up a piece, but the game selection was pretty terrible. How are the ads presented?

      • When I installed the game it put a shortcut on my desktop and when I open it I get two full screen videos that last about a minute or so each and then the game launches. The ads are streamed and not just embedded in the launcher but so far it has been the same two ads everytime. I think that I’ll pick just any game next and see if it effects what ads I get. The first ad is for WOW Cataclysm (I guess for the one or two gamers who don’t know about WOW yet) and the second is always for a F2P MMO called GodsWar Online which I have never heard of before. I was actually a little disappointed because I was kind of hoping that the ad selection would be varied a bit more, it would actually be pretty cool if they could somehow tailor the ads to your Void game selection or perhaps to your GamersGate account based on the games you have in it. They do have FlatOut and Painkiller on there, both of which I have fond memories of playing many years ago.

      • I wonder why they pick the games they do. I suppose I am one of those two because I have never played WoW.

        Flatout 2 is one of my favorite PC racing games and Painkiller is one of the best pure shooters.

      • I am indeed posting a response…I regret nothing. 🙂

        Interesting comments as usual, I guess I don’t have a ton to add other than it seems like many companies out there have a whole lot to learn about proper customer service. Oh and also I promise our next off topic show will be more off topic than this one. 😉

  2. GFWL, WTF, FPOS – so many abbreviatons, and all somehow tied together… I do have some games with the GFWL virus attached, but I have bought my last one. It is now an instant non-buy if I see that thing on it.

    I did have an issue with Steam once where I pre-ordered Dirt 3, and as a sweetener a copy of Dirt 2 was offered to me to gift to someone. However, I couldn’t gift my copy as I didn’t have Dirt 2 on Steam (I have a boxed copy). Steam techsup used that as the reasoning for why I couldn’t gift it – I threw back false advertising at them. After a few arguments about the “Steam Agreement” not allowing me a refund, and the UK Courts of Law over trades descriptions, I got my refund. You’ll now see it say “Gift a copy (if you already have it on Steam)” – yeah, that was me 🙂

    As for outsourced techsup – we get it here too. Some of UK companies actually use “UK call centres” as a marketing tool, and the thing is, us as UK customers DO NOT MIND paying a bit extra for a product if we know that we can at least speak to someone we understand IF there is ever a problem.

    • I completely agree about support. The hosting company we are currently with (running our eventual new site) states during the hold message, “A US-based tech support agent will be with you shortly.”

      • Even better! If anyone ever has a problem with the website they can just call you. Then you can run down to the support center and get the problem fixed in person.

      • They would be in big trouble if I answered.

        “HHHmm… yes. I have seen this before. What you need to do is edit the .css sheet in the .php table. After that, make sure the XML code is still functioning through HTML backdoor. If all is well, your MySQL rendering apparatus should open into WordPress.”

  3. Phil, if you want to buy a load of extra copies of Bang Bang Racing, I’ll be happy to take a copy off your hands 🙂

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