Banning without cause or reason


#1

I am writing this post to stand up against the malicious ways which larger companies believe they can operate. Normally, for dismissal of an employee, or cancellation of a service, there are facts, a break in procedure, or a break in the “cardinal rules” or code of conduct. When the said individual has underperformed, or violated one of the rules, the individual is approached, and addressed, and asked to explain themselves. This, is the typical, and normal way to deal with situations.

On the 23/12/2017, a member was banned without following this system, the individual went to log into the game and the loading screen dictated to them that they were banned. There was no reason, no evidence, and no explanation. The individual wasn’t able to plea their case or fight against what is right. Instead, it seems, the system is based on a dictatorship where by the individual doesn’t get a say in the matter at all.

This individual has not only been a member of this community for over three long years, spending a considerable small fortune because this game is the individuals way of relaxing and enjoying some free time. This individual was also an excellent person and great warm soul who deserved the opportunity of expressing themselves and fighting their battle.

The individual has tried to communicate to PG, and created a ticket. The individual has been in the dark the entire time since being banned and even tried to use their alt account to communicate and get some kind of insight as to why they are banned, and some form of communication to enlighten the individual. If you imagine walking into a small wardrobe, getting your enemy to close the door and turn the light off, then sitting down and trying to imagine how you ended up in the dark room, alone, and with your possessions taken off you, that is how this individual would be feeling currently.

I have been in constant discussion, with my tickets piling up to nearly 6 different tickets about the same issue. I had one request, and that was to talk to the individual, and start doing the right thing by producing the information for the accused, and presenting it to them so they could understand what is going on. The responses were typical light hearted responses which achieved nothing. I then replied to all the tickets giving them a 12HR window to reply to the individual as it was cruel, and unjustified, and I’m sure, you would all do the same if a team mate of yours was removed without justification and potentially only slander from other teams. If however they did not meet this expectation to communicate and be fair in their decision, i would take all my information live and viral. This is the first place I will be publishing my information.

The result of the individual raising a ticket has been poorly actioned. I have received many responses from PG on this matter, one comment admitting, " We check our queue and was able to found his ticket number which is 488233. We are not working on this one". If you had been banned, and put inside the little dark room, would you not want to know what is going on? If I hadn’t done the digging i have done, the individual still wouldn’t have had any feed back at all as PG will happily take away someone’s enjoyment, their game, their fun right over the Christmas holiday whilst not following up with their actions.

I am writing this today, firstly because when an Australian says they will do something, when someone says they will make an evil issue public, I will action it. Secondly, I wanted everyone to know, if you haven’t been involved in banning, or exposed to it by PG putting one of your own teammates in the dark room, that this is how it happens, and it is a terribly poor leadership and management approach. There is no experience in handling this issue properly and with the correct delicate approach that is needed. I want this letter on the forum to make a change, I don’t care if people dislike the member i am talking about. This is the reason i have not used gender, or names. I want this to be a generic banning letter to make a change to the way things operate. As paying customers in this ever growing game, we must join together and take action. We must ensure that the next person which is targetted by a “programmed bot” incorrectly is not immediately banned. Bots are simply code programs and make mistakes, so shouldn’t we be able to have the chance before we are banned? Shouldn’t we get the change to explain ourselves if we are innocent?

Thank you for reading if you got this far. Merry Christmas.


#2

Completely Agree Sneaky! They should have have a reason that they are investigating and the player should know what the reason is and be able to defend themselves.


#3

Sneaky Am in same boat Only mine is a permanent ban on LC i have asked why and no coherent reason produced in the end its some BS I also have an open ticket on a player that accused another of being a pedophile Without proof And when asked for prood none was produced Then the idiot hit my base and found out I farm back At this point PG hasnt done squat Said they would look into it They didnt look into anything with me and my ban on LC though So it isnt always what you spend Guess its something else And in terms of fairness there isnt much
Good luck Sneaky


#4

Thank you for taking the time to address this issue so openly Sneaky. I have seen this occur a couple of times in my 15 months playing and both occasions are fairly recent. For one instance we were able to communicate with support and have the decision overturned within 24 hours, for the other, the issue has remained unresolved and PG are not providing any reason as to why. It is a shame that PG operate as guilty until proven innocent… oh wait… sometimes they don’t even give you a chance to prove innocence.

I can understand PG need to have the ability to ban those that are truly offending, however this should be done after communicating with the individual involved or at minimum, providing them with the reasons why and allowing the individual to respond accordingly.

Hopefully by starting with this post Sneaky we may see a difference in how this is handled in future. Both incidents I have seen have been quite distressing to the player involved, both claiming innocence.


#5

Sorry to hear this Seems like a pattern will emerge When players discuss situations they have witnessed


#6

Ronin and Soulmatrix, your stories are touching and sadly I’m sure have become forgotten. This post, as you’re both hoping is purely designed to capture these stories and force awareness into the community. PG need to learn that they may be the creators of the game, and they are the rule enforcers, but we are paying customers and do not tolerate bullying and harassment. If someone has cheated, or been using hacking methods, then the banning of an account is required as the rules are broken. When players have done nothing wrong, and simply been “reported out of personal spite”, or simply tagged by a bot which has incorrectly identified an account, investigation and a cautious approach should be taken instead of closing the doors on a fellow individual in the community. Punishment before proven guilty is a very ancient method which is not tolerated in a modern age. Thank you everyone for your support. I gave every chance for PG to amend this decision, and I was taken lightly. The next step I will implement if the individual is not assisted will be further public avenues with all conversations recorded into a hyperlink for all to see. This will stop here with unfair banning and unfair standards toward dedicated players.


#7

Your teammate could post on the forums giving pgCampusLifer/PG permission to share the ban details. It hasn’t been done as often as it was on the old forums, though + holidays.


#8

See my previous comments in a thread on the industrial scale of cheating by monsters,…spending a little to cover hacking is a common tactic. Monsters did it, Donnie (cough cough can’t remember which team he was in cough) did it.

As your teammates posted in LC - if they are a cheat, then good riddance. I applaud PG being more vigilant as the cheats are becoming more wide spread and brazen.

Let’s wait and see the outcome. If it’s another game mechanic that glitches a player to be reset, then PG needs to lift their game, but if that annoying purple Barney wannabe was a cheat, then I hope someone rubs chill on his undies.


#9

This entire post is made under the assumption of a few things though. That he’s innocent and they need to tell him what he did wrong. In their TOS they said they don’t and if he was caught out then telling him which one he was caught for might just result in someone fixing that hack and then coming back with an even better one.

If it was a mistake a think more than a few of us have been there and hopefully they fix it. It probably couldn’t have come at a worse time as most of the employees are hopefully on holiday but if he has forum access could just ask here like others have?


#10

Dorble and Panda, I agree with you that Cheaters shall be banned, and are required to. This post is an example of somebody, but not designed to help the individual. I want to use this post/forum to explain the way that PG do ban somebody and in my opinion, and from the stories shared by others from replies to this post, the methodology should be changed as it does not assist the wrongfully accused.

Panda: To your first Line of your reply, yes it is formed under the assumption of those two concepts.

Dorble: I had previously read your post/thread and found it enlightening. Although for the application of it in this thread, it is not applicable sorry. This is not about naming or even hinting towards players, or specifics towards an individual. My story is of a person yes, but i preferred the characters identify remain anonomyous as I am going for concepts and ideas rather than helping one person. I feel the system needs to be changed.

To Panda and Dorble (all DreadNought): I know that both of you and your team have also suffered from false accusations and the accidental banning of players. It is a horrible concept and idea which individuals on your team need not go through either. They miss out on event prizes, wars, integrity, and more. I simply want to promote awareness and hopefully rally a better way for approaching banning players as getting it “half right” and applying the same blanket rules isn’t good enough. Thank you for your feedback and time reading my thread though.


#11

Not sure what you are hoping to achieve here.

If you think PG is bad, you should see what google play’s policies are. They actually won’t tell you why even if you have good reason. All you can do is request they doublecheck as you believe it to be in error. (And they often won’t, at least that is how they used to operate)

It is standard for all business to keep a right to refuse or terminate business at any time. Your bank account is almost the same deal, with the exception that they are required to return your money.

Reality is that online video games, no matter how expensive, are not actually your property legally, and you have no rights. There is of corse obvious grounds for challenging this, but you would be pioneering relatively new law.

I hate to say it, but this is more like your bank card, not really yours and must be surrendered on termination. The difference being that you probably don’t value your bank card, but you value your account and consider it your property. (It probably should be, but it’s not like you can take
It with you and bring it to a competitor)

And to follow it up, I know we are all loyal to our teammates we have known forever, but in reality nearly 100% of teammates would swear their teammate was innocent, and greater than 0% are actually guilty.

I have not observed a single person wrongfully recieve a permanent ban in the year I’ve played, but I have observed many cases of people who clearly deserved a ban and did not get one. And I could be wrong but the outrage of folks who believe PG isn’t issuing sufficient punishment would probably defeat any argument for the contrary.

I’m just saying the most likely scenario is either that an honest mistake was made, or that your friend is not completely innocent. (Or received a temporary ban) In any of those cases I’m not sure what is to be accomplished. As I said there is certainly a conversation about digital rights (ownership of virtual assets), but I think you would need to demonstrate a larger trend than 2-3 people out of the entire population of WD. (More than 20-30 probably)


#12

EidolonRM: I appreciate the lengthy time you put into your reply. I value your information and input dearly. To answer your fundamental question of what i hope to achieve, I’ll explain it with a story below.

A death occurred on a site recently, it was a fatality. The client (unfortunately myself) acted about it completely incorrectly. The procedures, or in PG’s terms (TOS) were written, approved, all signed off by higher up management, but they still seemed to fumble when it came to executing and implementing the correct approach to the subcontractors. The result were very unhappy, highly outraged subcontractors and contractors. In my opinion, it was tragic and abysmal.

To redirect that to this situation, i simply wanted to write a detailed situation as an example to highlight that, regardless of the digital laws and ownership, PG still have a responsibility to its users to act responsibly and courteously, hence why even an outraged email to them will be met with a controversial calm, mellow toned email. I want to make everyone, including PG that the systems fails whether its their right or not. The system on banning needs to be changed and modified as it is not providing the customer satisfaction and is only proving dire towards the innocent players.

To answer your question simply, I want to make sure everyone is involved, and everyone has a say which so far people are. I want a change, and i want people to jum,p on board and assist with it. It may be a small starting point, but as a collective group, we can be a loud enough voice to make a change and ensure it is rolled out better.

Thanks for reading.


#13

What happens after all this and you find out your team mate has been cheating all along, are you going to compensate PG for the staff they had to employ to investigate the account , it’s all well and good spouting TOS but for every cheating PG is losing money, I am not defending Pocket Grinch ( no Xmas pressie) but they lose out by the legit players who quit playing for cheaters , so they lose money, we lose out defending against cheaters , only the few get banned for no reason, and I bet in this case it’s a 100% legit ban and that’s why they are not replying


#14

To TheBulldog:

I appreciate your input but i believe you have failed to read the entirety of my thread. You have focused on the loss for PG and the innocent players that quit due to cheaters. This thread is not about this. It is simply partly about justice for innocent people that get caught in the faulty bot and become banned. Also, to make your comment redundant, I have just received feedback that PG are doing a retake on the ban and are looking into reversing it. This then proves my point, and I am glad they have worked over christmas to fix their wrongs.

Thank you though for your feedback, I honestly believe we are fighting the same fight. We both want the innocent people to prosper. I am fully supportive of legitimate people that get banned. Have a great christmas


#15

Can not believe they have discussed another persons account with you, that comes under a data protection rule, they could be just getting rid of you for badgering them lol


#16

Yeah mate, well that’s what i mean by you didn’t read the entire story haha. I have his ticket number etc. I may have been badgering, but wouldn’t you want the same thing if you were banned and lost for communication? I just hope a positive overall throughout the community comes out of this incident and scenario i have used.


#17

Fukin right sneaky :+1:t4:


#18

just hope it’s just a false positive. you would hate this guy if he was actually cheating or did some exploit like having thousand of chest without spending anything.


#19

Thank you Thor

Kenshiki: You’re right mate, if the example ended up with fluorescent urine, i would be a little upset. The only reason why i am not worried is because this post isn’t about the example or individual i used. It is simply about realising that PG’s banning methods don’t work the way they should. They provide us with a forum for them to learn, they provide us with 50-200 gems to provide feedback and information for them to improve. This post/thread is directly designed to offer ideas by explaining how poorly the current situation is working. Hopefully with enough insight from the community, we can make it better.

Thank you for your input, It is always valued and appreciated.


#20

In general TOS are draconian. U pretty much sign away ur rights as soon as u accept them…there are some reasons a game developer needs those terms tho. This is really part of a bigger discussion tho about the nature of TOS in general. Ppl like to think that this works like a court of law…innocent until proven guilty and all that…it doesn’t. Its more of an off with his head type thing.

I don’t agree that a reason shouldn’t be given because then they may find a better hack. It’s PGs responsibility to fix any vulnerability that has been exposed. Not leave it as a honey trap. See Apple software updates…they don’t discuss what the vulnerability was u til after it had been patched. When they release an update they specify what the vulnerability was and how it affected or could have affected users.
So there is a time where they should be able to discuss what the player did, from a risk standpoint.

No one should be kept in the dark forever.