No Karma Koin for Christmas for us (a.k.a. NEXON, you could have done better)

Last year my kids requested NX Cash / Karma Koin for Christmas. In case you don’t know, NX Cash / Karma Koin are cards you can purchase at stores that have scratch-off codes on the back that you redeem for in-game cash for NEXON games. Like Maplestory, or Mabinogi. Or Vindictus, Combat Arms, Dragon Next, Dungeon Fighter, or Atlantica.

I bought $25 for each kid – $100 worth. We scratched off, then entered the codes the morning after Christmas Day, bought a couple of items, then went to sleep, plotting which of the magnificent Cash Shop items we would buy tomorrow.

The next morning, we woke up, logged in, and the kids started buying.  Except for my daugher, my girl. She logged in and ALL her NX was gone. Gone!? 23,910 NX just disappeared!?

I logged into the NEXON site to check the account history, and SOMEONE had bought octopus legs, through the MTS, with all the missing NX.

Somehow, someone had managed to hack into my girl’s Maplestory account within 24 hours of redeeming her Karma Koin, even though her computer has Norton 360 and Malwarebytes on it.

Sad and distraught, she changed her password, and we logged a ticket in the NEXON support system.

I assured her, it was CLEARLY a case of hacking, and at the time Maplestory was going through major account hacking turmoil. Surely, they would make it right.

So, she wiped her eyes. And we waited.

Now, if you’ve never been hacked in a video game, you should be aware that it’s a pretty sad, nasty, rage-inducing, violated feeling.

When you play a MMORPG game, you spend many hours online playing – leveling up your character, getting equips, perfecting your stats.  And many dollars getting your avatar to look just the way you want, and buying game-enhancing items.

To have someone hack into your account, steal your in-game funds or items, drop your equips, screw up your character’s looks… It’s just an awful feeling.

Every week she got an email from Nexon that looked like this:

 

That, actually,  is the last email we got from Nexon, on August 7th.

Today, all the kids were playing Maplestory, training in the Haunted Mansion with their online friends. And they asked me if they could get some NX Cash / Karma Koin for Christmas. Please.

You see, I have banned buying any NX Cash / Karma Koin since we filed the ticket. I said until Nexon fixes it, no NX. Nexon needs to make it right. They have been having so many hacked accounts, and this happened so quickly after redeeming, I don’t want to put any more $$ in, until I feel they’ve got their database more secure and they’ve refunded your sister’s stolen NX.

So, they’ve gone all summer – through birthday money and grade money – and I haven’t let them buy $1 worth of NX. They haven’t been happy about it.

Today, I checked my daughter’s email to check the status of the ticket. I was expecting to see another “We’re sorry, a GM has not yet been assigned” update email – number 32, I think.

Oddly, the last email we received from NEXON support was dated August 7. And it said no GM assigned. But there were no more emails. What happened?

I logged into the NEXON support ticket page. And clicked on MyTickets.

And it said “Closed by GM”. WTH?!

And then, there’s a lovely, utterly inadequate, confusing response from GM Panthiro:

 

 

Wow. So, to compensate for almost $25 lost NX, you’re giving me a Hairstyle Coupon and a Hair Color Coupon?  And I have until October 10th to claim the coupons in the Cash Shop? But, you didn’t SEND ME AN EMAIL saying I only had until October 10th? And now, it’s November 3rd?!?!

Just wow.

To say I am disappointed is an understatement. To say I am angry is an understatement.

To give out Hairstyle and Hair Color Coupons, when you are doing a Random Beauty Coupon event is tactless and thoughtless.

To “gift” me a time limited item – but not let me know you’re gifting it, or that there is a deadline is inadequate and inept.

What. An. Epic. NEXON customer service Fail.

I’ve played Maplestory for over 5 years. I was there when having a Zakum Helm and being level 50 meant you were a pro. The days of Tiger. And Fangblade. And CurryIsHot. And Starlightzz.

Hackers invade Maplestory regularly, like moths to a flame. I’d heard horror stories of being hacked over the years, but our family had managed to stay safe.

Maplestory has taken steps to stop the hackers – they recently added Black Cipher, and terminated the MTS this summer. I understand it’s a tough job. I know there are websites and forums that exist whose sole purpose is to hack online games.

But, I had faith in NEXON, that they would protect and aid their players from the hackers.

NEXON’s Q2 2012 revenues were $290.8 million. NEXON estimates they will make $1.33 billion for 2012 fiscal year.

All that money. And yet they couldn’t make just one kid, who had her NX stolen from her account on Christmas, happy.  All you had to do NEXON, was to return the stolen NX – either in NX Cash, or in Maple Points. That’s all.

Nexon and GM Panthiro? You could have done better.

We waited almost a whole year. And for this? Nothing? Worse than nothing?

No, Virginia. There will not be any NX Cash / Karma Koin for Christmas. Or ever again.

What about you? Has your NEXON account been hacked? Did NEXON take care of you?

Update 11/8/2012

Please read the comment regarding GM Panthiro below.

GM Panthiro states in the NEXON forums:

“I understand that all of your tickets regarding this issue got a similar response.  The reason is that we didn’t want people to have to keep waiting on an answer, especially since some of those tickets were months old.  Unfortunately, your ticket was part of a mass close.  If we did not handle the tickets this way, those who submitted tickets past and present would have had to wait even longer. We are trying our best to improve our services and to get back to everyone in a timely manner, and this seemed like the best way to do so. While it’s not perfect, we are trying to have a fresh start and hope to rebuild your confidence in us.”

Also, a little more about NEXON, as the main problem I have is with NEXON, not GM Panthiro. They took almost a year to respond. They gave inadequate compensation. And the compensation was TIME limited – yet they/their system never sent an email or update to let me know I had to use it by that time.

According to TechHub:

“Nexon claims to have invented 11 years ago the “freemium” business model of making games free to play and then charging players for additional virtual items.

“Today we believe this is the future of the industry and that there will ultimately be limited if any other business models besides that,” Owen Mahoney

North America contributing only about 7 per cent, or $80m in its last fiscal year, generated from online PC games such as Maple Story.”

NEXON is the leading free-to-play gaming company. They outperform Zynga financially, and have grown revenue’s by 46% in the last year.

According to Owen Hahoney, NEXON CFO:

“North America was down a little bit to $17.4 million (or 1.4 billion yen) [for the Q1 2012] because of a hacking attack during Christmas that the company is still recovering from. We feel like the situation is more stable than it was.”

NEXON is going to make over $1.3 BILLION DOLLARS this year! That’s awesome! They can keep their games running, and make them even more fun for us to play!

NEXON has improved their ticket system in the last 5 years, but it is STILL lacking.

They need to put more of those $$$ into Customer Support, hire more GMs to handle those millions of tickets, and deal with the tickets on a more individual basis, giving adequate, appropriate compensation.

I’m not one of those people that have spent over $5,000 on my Maplestory account, but I have purchased hundreds and hundreds of NX Cash and Karma Koin for our family over the years, for birthdays, Christmas, good grade rewards, and more.

No, those expired coupons “do not make up for the frustrations you have had to endure”. And in no way can “we wipe the slate clean and start over”.

I deserve better. And so do all Maplestory players, NEXON.

(Honestly, the old school NX Cash is so much better looking than the new Karma Koin, don’t ya think?)

Read about other players who got the same response from NEXON, or are unhappy with their ticketing system, or who couldn’t get the coupons to work, all from NEXON forums:

What about you? Has your NEXON account been hacked? Did NEXON take care of you? What do YOU think?

3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    josh said,

    After reading the ticket, it does not appear that this was GM Panthiro’s fault. It looks this message was given out to everyone that was hacked and received this type of compensation because of the amount of tickets that are being sent. GM Panthiro helped me out with my account when I was banned and I think he’s a good guy!

    • 2

      llww said,

      I’m glad to hear GM Panthiro helped you with your account. That’s awesome! That’s the way it SHOULD happen. And, that should happen more often.

      I’m sure GM Panthiro is a great guy/girl, and I understand the GMs are just regular people, working their 8 hr shifts at NEXON, for $9.25 or whatever an hour, and that there are MILLIONS of tickets that they need to sort through.

      Oh, and GMs not only have to do support tickets, they also have to be forum moderators, AND be the in-game police force searching for and banning hackers. NEXON clearly needs to hire MORE GMs.

      But, if you’re going to sign a message with your name, GMs, you really should read it through and make sure it makes sense – saying your going to compensate me with Hair Coupons, then saying “The Maple Points will be added directly to your account…” What? Huh? I didn’t GET any Maple Points. Was I supposed to?

      Sadly, though, that is all that I wanted.

  2. 3

    DeftFunk said,

    I can way strongly agree with this whole article.

    I don’t play Maple Story specifically because that game bores me to tears. But in the game I DO play my account was hacked around this time too! I lost EVERYTHING. Fortunately though, for this very reason, I never spend any actual money on such games.

    What I find really weird though, is that I know for a fact that they can gift items without a time limit. I wonder what the heck that was even for.
    I know that’s a minor thing compared to the bigger travesty, but still.


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