Monday, November 9, 2009

Getting help from Stardoll Support #1

It is very hard to get help from Stardoll support. Sometimes they have been great. Sometimes not. It is usually a frustrating process. So I am going to make a series of posts with ideas and advice that may help you if/when you have a problem.

Stardoll deleted my non-superstar back-up account. It wasn't their fault. That is a complicated story which I can tell another time. My account got deleted and I did not do anything wrong. I wrote two very detailed emails to support and I got my account back. This is what I learned.

What works for me may not work for you. I can tell you that you must keep sending emails over and over again until you get a resolution. Write one email and make sure to cover all the issues in one email so the person you want to help you will have all the information she needs. Send it to every day until someone responds with an answer that sounds like a real person and not a robot.

Get a parent to help you if you can.

Tell your story in a way that makes sense. Usually in the order that it happened. Use dates. Make a timeline. Check reciepts to keep things straight. It will help to attach a reciept at the very end of your email with proof that you have spent money on your account.

And use names. If it is about being scammed, name of the scammer. Name other people scammed by her. List other accounts you suspect she might be using. What was the website address you went to if you did. What email address did she ask you to change your email to. What proof she gave you.

Most important are dates. What dates this happened. Include the last date that you logged in, and the date you could not log in anymore.

You can get your account back, but you have to prove what happened. That can be hard. I am not here to judge, just to give advice.

You have to be 100% truthful. If you lie about one tiny thing, they will not help you at all. They have records on their servers for everything you have done on the site, so they can check. The problem is with all that information, they have tons of things to go thru to straighten something out. So the more you tell them and the more specific you are, the more likely you are to get help.

Try to make it easy on the person helping you. Be specific, be clear. Put in as much detail as you can. Put things in order. Admit when you did something wrong.

Do not include your feelings. They do not care how you feel.

Do not threaten. You have no power to follow thru on threats. They have heard them all before.

Create a back-up account that is 100% who you are. And start using it.

Here is the thing. They do not have to do anything for you. If you gave someone your password or changed your email address, you have to admit it. Giving someone your password is a violation of the terms of service you agreed to when you signed up for an account. (It is useful to read these things, but no one seems to do that. I try to read everything I agree to, but it is tough.)

They could delete you for giving away your password. They usually do not. But they don't have to give your account back if it gets stolen.

There are millions of people using this site, so they have a lot of data. Some of this data they never look at, unless they want to investigate something. They can track what IP address accesses an account each time someone logs in. IP addresses can pinpoint a city, a home or a specific computer. Some hacker use techniques to hide their IP addresses, but usually they are not aware they can be tracked this way. I usually use my home computer, which has a unique IP address. When I traveled last year I was in Amsterdam. I used a laptop to log in and a wireless network at my hotel. I also did that at other times of the year in Las Vegas, Ohio, Kentucky and other places. When I do that, the IP address might be my laptop or it might be the network I am using. The point is, sometimes a different IP address just means the user is traveling or logging on using a friends computer. Sometimes a different IP address can indicate that someone has stolen an account. There is so much going on that Stardoll keeps the data, but nobody reads it because it is usually not significant.

One hard luck story told over and over again is about a girl who claims after account is deleted that she was not scamming other users. She will claim that a scammer had stolen her account and that scammer did all the bad things. If all the logins were with the same IP address, Stardoll will know that the girl is lying. If there is no change in the IP address, the same person who owned the account did the scamming. Stardoll is very annoyed with scammers and liars. This behavior costs time, money and customer satisfaction.

If you can prove that someone else is a scammer and a liar, if you have screen shots of what went down, and you can tell your story in a way that makes the job for Stardoll support easier, someone will help you.

Part of this is about adjusting your attitude. Even if you spent money, you are bound by the terms of service. Stardoll does not have to return accounts to any user who has violated the terms of service, even when this girl is young and made a foolish mistake. Stardoll is more likely to give an account back to a girl who admits she gave her password to a scammer and asks for forgiveness and her account back as a favor. Demanding anything is not going to get results.

I hope this is helpful. Good luck.

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