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I know a lot of people are probably contacting Steamforged Games about Dark Souls issues right now. And that's an understatement. I've seen numerous reports of missing and/or busted components, as well as a fair share of people who clearly couldn't be bothered to read the updates over the last few months -suddenly flooding the comments feed with the same two questions ad naseum. But while waiting for a response, I thought that it might be positive to build some realistic expectations and an understanding of just how backlogged they are.

With that in mind, has anyone had successful interaction [with a human being, not just the automated acknowledgement bot] through Support@Steamforged.com? Their Facebook account is great at responding -as long as you're happy with them telling you to contact support@steamforged.com, ugh.

I'm trying to wait patiently for them to respond, reminding myself that this isn't ebay or Amazon, and they don't have the manpower to reply within 24 hours. It's been about a week since I contacted them, and I haven't heard anything back... Which is starting to seem like a VERY long time, just for an initial response. On the other hand, I don't want to hammer their support team with duplicate requests (I'm sure they have enough people doing that already). It's tough to determine at what point you still need to be patient, and at what point one's request has likely been lost or misfiled.

 

So... The key question: has anyone gotten a direct (and human) response from support@steamforged.com? If so, would you mind posting the dates/time frame? I think it's useful for customers to understand what the real turnaround time is likely to be from Steamforged Support.

 

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Don't know if you saw this, but they posted a small update FAQ about 4 days ago:

Some of my pieces are missing/broken. How do I get replacements? We hold our products to the highest standard and will replace broken or damaged components. Please email support@steamforged.com – the team are VERY busy at the moment but will respond to all emails. You should receive an automated response, when you receive this your email is in the queue. Please do not continually email as they work from the date the email was received.

So I wouldn't resend any more emails.

I also remember reading somewhere that it might be 2 weeks before they get back to, although I don't remember where.

Is your problem game breaking? I myself have a Silver Knight that is missing a shield but I'm going to wait a while until I ask for a replacement.

Also bear in mind the game technically isn't out yet, only the personal and retail backers have got their hands on copies.

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I'm going to be honest with you here, your response completely ignored the question and the purpose of this discussion. Maybe I'm a bit on edge because of my situation, or maybe you didn't realize that your response to someone trying to be patient and reasonable came across somewhat negative. Maybe it's a bit of both. I've been very clear that I did NOT want to spam them with multiple responses, which is why I decided to see if anyone in the community has heard back from them directly. It was an attempt at constructively defining the likely delay that I, and others in a similar position might encounter.

I've copied all of steamforged's Kickstarter updates since February 2017 into a single document for easy searching, and there aren't mentions of any specific time frames for customer service, I've tried more than a dozen keywords. If you find something I've missed and can point it out, I would genuinely LIKE to be wrong about that.

They've said they're backed up. That's about it. But that in itself is a pretty vague statement. That could mean a few days, weeks, or in some nightmare scenario months.

The problem I've encountered breaks the game completely -FedEx has lost or misdelivered mine. I received a tracking update last week that it was delivered. No one came to my door, and security footage of the building shows no FedEx driver came here around the time it was supposedly delivered. FedEx service refuses to deal with the recipient in these cases, so I can't even get access to the photo that drivers supposedly take when they drop off without a signature (why on earth did this not require a signature?) I'm basically sitting here wondering whether Steamforged will fix this within a month, before Wave 2 ships, or whether they'll do anything at all. I've heard horror stories of creators deciding that a backer is lying about missing products, and just ignoring them. That genuinely worries me, this was a moderately pricey buy. All the wave 2 bonuses and all the add-on content I've paid for wouldn't justify or fix the fact that I never received the base game, and none of it would really be of use without that. 

I want to be reasonable and calm, but with no response and literally no idea of how long I may have to wait to GET one, I'm getting uncomfortable. It's not like a missing card, a broken miniature, or something else I can just proxy in for now. It's the entire product.

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On 5/12/2017 at 7:24 PM, TheHandsomeDan said:

I know a lot of people are probably contacting Steamforged Games about Dark Souls issues right now. And that's an understatement. I've seen numerous reports of missing and/or busted components, as well as a fair share of people who clearly couldn't be bothered to read the updates over the last few months -suddenly flooding the comments feed with the same two questions ad naseum. But while waiting for a response, I thought that it might be positive to build some realistic expectations and an understanding of just how backlogged they are.

With that in mind, has anyone had successful interaction [with a human being, not just the automated acknowledgement bot] through Support@Steamforged.com? Their Facebook account is great at responding -as long as you're happy with them telling you to contact support@steamforged.com, ugh.

I'm trying to wait patiently for them to respond, reminding myself that this isn't ebay or Amazon, and they don't have the manpower to reply within 24 hours. It's been about a week since I contacted them, and I haven't heard anything back... Which is starting to seem like a VERY long time, just for an initial response. On the other hand, I don't want to hammer their support team with duplicate requests (I'm sure they have enough people doing that already). It's tough to determine at what point you still need to be patient, and at what point one's request has likely been lost or misfiled.

 

So... The key question: has anyone gotten a direct (and human) response from support@steamforged.com? If so, would you mind posting the dates/time frame? I think it's useful for customers to understand what the real turnaround time is likely to be from Steamforged Support.

 

Yes, I received an Email from the team a couple of days ago. Though bare in mind I did get in touch around 3 weeks ago. Though that kind of delay should be expected at present given the size of the team vs product success.  

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Thanks Flak, that helps. It's a little disconcerting that they're so unprepared for inevitable service requests, knowing the volume of games they sold... I've seen first time creators who sold more and still understood the need to plan better for service requests, resolving an issue in under 48 hours. I don't think that's "standard" by any means, nor did I expect it from this company.

 

Hearing that it took so long for you to get a response, particularly when fewer copies had been received (thus fewer support requests would have been generated at that time)... Well, it gives me some comfort that my request hasn't just vanished into the recycle bin. As someone who does MOST of their shopping online (fun things and for just about all of my household goods), I also recognize that when something outright doesn't arrive at all there are usually a few steps one must go through to verify that the product genuinely has not arrived -that, of course, takes more time. It's nice to hear that the support team is moving through their requests, but discouraging to hear the time frame, because that leads me to believe it will likely be somewhere around July before I can finally get this thing in my hands (that's trying to be positive, assuming they actually resolve my problem).

 

At first, there was a part of me that hoped FedEx had just given the package to somebody else on the property -maybe they'd be a "good samaritan" and drop it off at my door, or pass it to our property managers to have delivered to me. But as the days went by, and the security footage showed FedEx never stepped foot in the building, that's not even something I can realistically hope for. Wherever they ACTUALLY set my package down it wasn't here, and whoever received it has had plenty of time to contact FedEx to fix it. As it stands FedEx still believes they dropped the package off correctly.

I was really REALLY excited for this game, I've been following the updates religiously, and watching every unboxing and playthrough I could find online up until the day it was supposed to arrive. And then it didn't. Realizing how much longer it will likely be until(if?)  I actually get the product I paid for... A lot of the joy and enthusiasm that's built up over the last several months has kind of been sucked out of the experience. If they fix it, I'll be happy to play the game whenever they get a copy properly delivered to me. If they don't, well I'll have to see what recourse if any of have in the matter. The fact that FedEx will only deal with Steamforged is frustrating for me, but at least it's less of a reason/excuse for Steamforged to potentially brush me off when they finally get to me. They can't reasonably just tell me to take it up with FedEx, if FedEx refuses to deal with anyone but them. I'm thinking through worst case scenarios, so that I can be a little more patient and less concerned with the situation while I wait.

They mentioned a few updates ago, that they hired some additional customer support people. I don't know how many more support persons that is, or how many they had before, but maybe it will speed things up a bit. I'm not 'expecting' that to make a big difference, but I'm trying to be optimistic about the situation.

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@bartschinator

In the spirit of the original post I'm half-happy to say that I can report I've heard back as of this morning. That makes it just under two weeks in my case.

I say half-happy, because their response feels like an apathetic middle finger.

In my case they say they "can't" help me, unless FedEx supplies them with more information. I've worked with shipping companies as a consumer and as a professional large volume sender. When a package goes missing, there's not a lot of information to be had. The delivery company says it was delivered, the customer says it wasn't. If your package is valuable and you're smart, you've sent your package requiring a signature for proof... Steamforged apparently opted not to, allowing drivers to dump these packages off in whatever bush or on whatever street corner they like.

At the moment, the response is an apology, a link to FedEx claim form, an advisement that they "can't" help unless FedEx supplies them with additional information, and a link for me to contact FedEx (I already have, they refuse to deal with me because I'm not the sender.)

So... "Sorry, we WON'T help you unless unimaginable additional information suddenly surfaces. But hey, here's a link to the shipping company that we already know won't talk to you, just so we can try to pass the buck." 

...fantastic. I don't even know what my options are at this point. The shipping company has lost my product, the seller has basically enabled them to do this by choosing not to require a signature, and regardless of how much bonus content is coming or how much expansion content I've already paid for in wave 2, it doesn't change the fact that I don't have the core game required to use any of it.

I'm trying to be positive here, proactive even, but it's sounding an awful lot like they have no intention of helping their customer. These rose-colored glasses don't seem to be working anymore.

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@TheHandsomeDan

wow that's.... wtf!

I still got no reply at all. I tried it via Facebook aswell in the meantime roundabout 30 hours ago. Seems like no one has even read the message so far. I am seriously thinking about contacting paypal to at least try to refund my money. However i doubt paypal will be able to help me with a sum this big and after this time :/

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On 5/16/2017 at 11:50 AM, bartschinator said:

@TheHandsomeDan

wow that's.... wtf!

I still got no reply at all. I tried it via Facebook aswell in the meantime roundabout 30 hours ago. Seems like no one has even read the message so far. I am seriously thinking about contacting paypal to at least try to refund my money. However i doubt paypal will be able to help me with a sum this big and after this time :/

I'm trying one last, slightly more extreme avenue. I really hate taking things this far. I've worked in customer service, and I've even worked a specialty department for escalated concerns... I detest consumers who jump to extreme measures without giving fair pursuit of a resolution with customer service. That said, I spoke with FedEx yesterday -they confirmed that the missing parcel was researched, and that they concluded it has been lost. 

Part of the problem here, is that FedEx representatives don't always have consistent answers for things. Their website says that parcels delivered without signature require the driver to snap a photo showing the delivered parcel as proof of delivery... But most reps I've spoken with have never heard of this being done, even in their "tracing" department (not "tracking"  apparently) that heads up lost parcel reports and research. The first rep I spoke with yesterday didn't know what to make of my claim -it was filed, I included the necessary evidence of value, and filled out their online form completely. After they couldn't locate my parcel, the next logical steps would be to mark that they could not locate the parcel, and to process it as a 'total loss'. 

They documented that it could not be located, but rather than processing the total loss, they closed the claim. The rep had no idea WHY they did this, and tried to forward it to the total loss department... Which failed. She couldn't send it to the total loss department, because the claim was closed (despite it obviously not being completed). She told me that she would adjust the claim status so that a NEW claim could be filed for total loss, it would take a couple hours for the system to recognize this, so I would need to call back. She gave me the proper jargon and claim number so that I could get to it quickly on my next call.

The next call did not go as smoothly as I genuinely anticipated. I provided the info, waited for the rep to look up the file, and then found more FedEx confusion. She sent me a FedEx claims form... It appeared to be the same form I filled out previously, requesting the same evidence of value again. I advised the rep that I had done this, and that it was what prompted them to research my missing parcel in the first place. She was confused, because I had a claim number, which meant that I had indeed sent the form correctly... But FedEx did not follow typical claims process, they just traced and stopped when it was determined to be a loss. She said I would need to redo it, with the sender's info this time (much of which I have no way of knowing or obtaining). I brought this to her attention, she put me on hold, and then came back to advise me only the SENDER can file a total loss claim. She confirmed FedEx will not contact the sender under any circumstance. 

 

So, SFG won't contact FedEx. FedEx knows the package was lost, but won't go further unless SFG contacts them. SFG won't move further unless FedEx contacts them. Think about that. 

 

I'm hoping that my attempt to escalate this will lead to a resolution for me and maybe bring some awareness of the support team's apparent shortcomings to management to help others. 

 

 

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another update from me then:

As it is nearing the 3 weeks mark without ANY reply, neither via E-Mail nor via Facebook i have decied to try and get my money back via Paypal. However, since this was a kickstart / latepledge payment, it's more than 180 days ago that the payment was made. Paypal does not even allow to file claims on transactions that old.

Congratulations @Steamforged, you succesfully ripped me off. You took my money without ANY service in return. From what i currently know there is no way for me to get back to you. So i grant you that victory but you should know, that is exactly what i will tell everyone arround me about your business. You are professionals, so you probably know how "big" the community for board games and niche shops is in certain areas. Rest assured, what i have to say about it will be heard at my local shop. 

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On 5/19/2017 at 11:48 PM, bartschinator said:

another update from me then:

As it is nearing the 3 weeks mark without ANY reply, neither via E-Mail nor via Facebook i have decied to try and get my money back via Paypal. However, since this was a kickstart / latepledge payment, it's more than 180 days ago that the payment was made. Paypal does not even allow to file claims on transactions that old.

Congratulations @Steamforged, you succesfully ripped me off. You took my money without ANY service in return. From what i currently know there is no way for me to get back to you. So i grant you that victory but you should know, that is exactly what i will tell everyone arround me about your business. You are professionals, so you probably know how "big" the community for board games and niche shops is in certain areas. Rest assured, what i have to say about it will be heard at my local shop. 

I've had a thought. I'm thinking about writing out a detailed review for the game, somewhere like BoardGameGeek, or hell, maybe even Amazon -discussing component quality, how well the mechanics work in practice, how long a session lasts, and how complete everything feels with the core box -all with the caveat (and appropriate score) of someone who hasn't yet received it. I wonder if that might become a user trend, and begin to significantly alter their product score?

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On 22.5.2017 at 4:52 AM, TheHandsomeDan said:

I've had a thought. I'm thinking about writing out a detailed review for the game, somewhere like BoardGameGeek, or hell, maybe even Amazon -discussing component quality, how well the mechanics work in practice, how long a session lasts, and how complete everything feels with the core box -all with the caveat (and appropriate score) of someone who hasn't yet received it. I wonder if that might become a user trend, and begin to significantly alter their product score?

uhm, ok... i guess?

So, i finally got a reply from support. It's something, but still strange. They claim not to have any payment from me, in return i sent Screenshots from my paypal account showing the transaction. Waiting for an answer on those...

They also got the wrong E-Mail adress, which is funny comming to think of it: They could actually link my paypal transaction to my E-Mail while having the wrong E-Mail linked to the pledge manager while they "have not taken payment". Maybe there are background mechanics at work i cannot comprehend, but it sounds weird as fuck to me.

 

Editing in some more thought, in case someone with the same problem as me stumbles into this thread:

And then they just resent the survey to the wrong e-mail adress, even though i was mailing them from the correct one.
I managed to identify the hickup that caused it, it's not SFGs fault, but also not mine. Even though i changed the E-Mail adress in my paypal account years ago, they got my old one, which has been hijacked and thus terminated even more years ago. It was never an issue, until now. 

I will not get the game before the next wave. And as i allready know my shipping adress will change later this year, i can only dream of the issues to be solved then. I really hope support can work this out before it goes to hell...

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On 5/22/2017 at 3:52 AM, TheHandsomeDan said:

I've had a thought. I'm thinking about writing out a detailed review for the game, somewhere like BoardGameGeek, or hell, maybe even Amazon -discussing component quality, how well the mechanics work in practice, how long a session lasts, and how complete everything feels with the core box -all with the caveat (and appropriate score) of someone who hasn't yet received it. I wonder if that might become a user trend, and begin to significantly alter their product score?

Give them time, friend. Try not to attempt to single-handedly sink their score out of pettiness. I'm sure they're trying their hardest

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15 hours ago, Archangel said:

Give them time, friend. Try not to attempt to single-handedly sink their score out of pettiness. I'm sure they're trying their hardest

I can appreciate and understand your sentiment, but I don't think you understand mine.

 

I've waited through the support times for assistance.

I've gotten their response. Their response has been an outright unwillingness to help. Not "we're very busy and we'll resolve this as things die down", Burbank outright refusal to assist. Those are two very different things.

Understanding that their might have been a serious miscommunication from their service rep, I took the next logical step and I attempted to escalate my request to someone who might remedy the issue or at least offer some better communication/clarification on the matter. They asked me to email them the details. They gave me names of specific people to email, people of authority. They promised a much swifter response time, based on the fact that I've already waited and received what they agreed was an inappropriate response.

And then they did nothing. They've received my email, I have confirmation of that. But these 'higher authority' employees have communicated no effort to even look into the problem. The shipping company has no records of anyone else inquiring as to the status of my parcel/claim. So they've heard me, they've given lip service that sounds really good, but they have outright chosen NOT to do anything about this.

Clearly I have nothing to be upset about. My parcel went completely missing, they're the only ones who can resolve this, but they refuse. Yeah, I'm just being petty.

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