I got an email from a pissed off “Customer” this morning complaining about getting double charged. Which is funny, because I am not charging yet, nor have plans to in the near future.
Our records indicate an overdue balance in the amount of $49.99 USD
remains on your Galactic Melee account. To avoid interruption of
service, you must bring your account current.
If your payment has already been made, please accept our thanks and
disregard this notice.
If you feel the information included in this notice is incorrect or have
questions about your Galactic Melee account, please contact us at .
Thank you for choosing Galactic Melee.
$49.99 is the cost of my lifetime subscription fee.
My billing service provider Aria Systems must charging when I told them not to, sending out payment emails in test mode, and/or charging monthly for the lifetime subscription.
I told the (potential) customer I will personally refund his money if he was charged and the billing provider does not deal with this satisfactorily. I don’t want chargebacks and complaints of theft before I even open for business.
Another problem is that two weeks ago I also found that Aria did not verify email addresses on signup, which I discovered when I tried to contact a few people for some feedback. Admittedly, I never specifically asked for this, but it’s sort of obvious this is a necessary requirement. I don’t know of any online games that don’t verify email addresses, it’s just common sense that this should have been implemented, or at least they could have asked me “Hey, is it important to you that you can communicate with your customers?”
When I emailed asking about this I was ignored. So I followed up a week later and get a reply to the effect of “There is no central repository of all valid email addresses, how can we verify it?” Perhaps, the same way everyone else does, which is to make the user click a link when they get a confirmation email. I never heard back again after that – maybe they are doing it, maybe not. You’d think they have the code for this already, since every online game needs it.
Since I’m a small customer I’m really trying hard not to ask for too much. But still, for a $1500 setup fee and a percentage of my gross revenue is this too much to expect?
Speaking of fees, it’s been bothering me that the credit card processing company takes 10% They don’t call it 10%, but at the end of the day this is the difference between what I charge and what I get.
If I can find a 3rd party billing provider that:
1. Charges less than 10%
2. Can generate a purchase confirmation code that my game can automatically check
3. Can add paid registrations to my database automatically (through a web form ?)
4. Verifies customer information before sending it to me (esp. email address)
I can switch over, do lifetime subscriptions only, and fix both of these problems in one swoop. I think the hardest part will be #3 though. I know there are download services, and services where you get an email for every new customer, but I don’t want to go into the database every time I get a new customer.