ESEA offers a service to Counter-Strike players across the globe: Pay a subscription fee and you can compete against players of equal ability in an environment that’s supposed to be free of cheaters. Your progress, meanwhile, will be measured by a sophisticated stats system. Recently, however, Brazilian customers have found themselves paying for the privilege without getting the benefits.
For two and a half months, the organization’s Brazilian servers have been unstable. Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are the best theory as to why, but theories are all the Brazilian users have. ESEA has offered no official statement on what’s causing the problems, and its staff has yet to even acknowledge the instability problems exist. That’s despite an outpouring of frustration in multiple forum threads and users contacting admins directly.
With forum threads closed and support tickets mostly ignored, some users reached out to the Daily Dot. One detailed how, after paying his subscription and receiving no answer as to why he couldn’t use the service on the forums, he opened a support ticket. ESEA’s response was to close the ticket and issue the user with a few hours ban, something he described as “incompetent.”
“For me, that’s not how a company should treat their customers,” the user said. “They should have apologized for the situation of the servers, giving some information, and that’s all.”
To make matters worse, ESEA denied this user’s subsequent refund request. After raising another support ticket, his first request for a refund was simply ignored. After raising a second ticket, he received a reply that made no mention of the refund but explained the servers “were in maintenance” and the service “is starting to be normalised little by little.” Ultimately the user managed to get a refund through Paypal.
This story isn’t unique. Another ESEA user we spoke to about the situation also found himself unable to play with his subscription during this time. “If you insist on selling your product, tell your customers the situation,” the person said. “How can they not fix a major problem that turns the servers unplayable, for over two months, and yet sell their product like everything is normal?” They also alluded to the fact that the Brazilian region is neglected by ESEA in comparison to Europe and North America despite paying the same subscription value for an inferior service.
ESEA declined to offer an official comment on the situation for this story. Sources close to the organization, however, claim the servers are now operational and the service will continue to be monitored and improve over the coming months.
Photo by Nicholas Raymond/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)