What’s In A Name? – Part 2

7 Mar

First and foremost, I want to thank anyone who was bold enough to shoot Blizzard a nasty Tweet or two on my behalf for their part in the whole name changing debacle or for stopping by and leaving a comment about their experiences with name changes or people in serious need of one.  It makes me smile that some people are as passionate about this or more so than I am and I appreciate the support immensely.  Thank you so much.

With that said, there were some recent updates in this situation and I thought I would keep people abreast of things and here is what happened as of the last post.  After I received the first response from the Administrators, I replied with this e-mail:

Good afternoon,

Thank you very much for the expedient response.  Unfortunately, I must say that I continue to disagree with your decision and I would like to take this dispute further.  Please let me know who else I may address my correspondence to, so I can receive a proper response to the issue that I seem to be facing.

Thank you again and please take care.

The Administrators shot back with this e-mail, which was largely similar to the one before it:

Greetings!

Thank you again for contacting us about the World of Warcraft account ******. We have reviewed the action taken against this account once more and have again determined that the registered player of this account has violated the World of Warcraft Terms of Use (http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/legal/wow_tou.html) by using an inappropriate name.

As such, we are unable to amend or remove the account action. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. We take account-related matters very seriously and can assure you that this issue has been fully investigated by multiple members of our Account Administration staff to verify accuracy.

As a reminder, only the Account Administration department can address any disputes or questions about this account action. To learn more about how we’re able to assist you, please visit http://us.blizzard.com/support/article/21505.

Upon receiving their latest response, I took to my Twitter to voice my displeasure with how things were going and received a number of good suggestions on how to proceed further.  My next step was to call Customer Service and I spoke to a representative named Mike after a brief five minute hold on the line.  Mike ended up severely lacking in the customer service department and spent much of the conversation interrupting me and not allowing me to speak.  He typed “Oestrus” into Google and went on to tell me that the first page of responses served to support their claims that my name is offensive and should be changed.  He did not actually click on any of the links but instead skimmed over them and made his own assumptions.

When I asked for his supervisor, Mike told me that his supervisor (named Vaughn) is extremely busy and that their supervisors do not normally take calls from customers.  A customer needs to be penciled in for a call back and the supervisor will then return the call to discuss whatever issue the customer is having.  His only other offer of assistance was to open a ticket to another area (he didn’t specifically say where this ticket would end up) and to have Vaughn call me back whenever he got around to it.  I basically told Mike we had nothing left to discuss and anything he could do would be much appreciated.  Lissanna provided me the e-mail to a GM feedback Inbox and I dropped them the following line:

Good afternoon,

I am writing you this e-mail because of an issue that has recently come up concerning my account that I feel is being handled inappropriately.  On my account which is under this e-mail address, I have a druid by the name of “Oestrus,” located on the Eldre’thalas server.  I have had this toon since late Burning Crusade and have traveled across a number of servers in my time playing this game.  Up until now I have never attracted any attention for my name and it was never a cause for concern.  I attempted to log in to that particular character and was informed that I had been flagged for a name change.  I did not purchase a name change for myself and discovered that my name had been reported as inappropriate and this is what prompted the forced name change.

I opened up a ticket to a GM in game and was told that I would have about a two day turnaround time to hear something back.  One day later the ticket appeared to be closed and there was no response from the GMs about this.  When I sent an e-mail to wowaccountadmin@blizzard.com I was informed that my name had violated the Terms of Use and a link was provided to me.  From reviewing the Terms of Use at length, I fail to see how my name has attracted such concern.  What adds to my frustration regarding this situation is that there are hundreds of people who plainly operate within the game bearing names that clearly violate the Terms of Use and they do not receive nearly as much attention or pressure to change their names as I am and I feel that I have done nothing wrong.  If I were to take the time out of each day to go through major capital cities and report people that were in violation of the Terms of Use I would not have any time left in my day to actually play World of Warcraft.  It would be that much of an endeavor and one that I’m more than happy to undertake to prove my point.

After receiving 2 e-mails from wowaccountadmin@blizzard.com both stating that the decision would not be reconsidered and that I was at fault I decided to call Customer Service to see if anyone there could recommend someone above those that are behind that e-mail address.  The customer service rep that I spoke to provided awful customer service and proceeded to act condescending towards me and interrupted me throughout most of the call.  I work in a call center environment and have worked in them in the past and I was disturbed by the training or lack thereof this individual showed during our conversation.  He stated he could open a ticket to another area or division and declined my request to speak to his supervisor, Vaughn.  The rep offered to pencil me in to Vaughn’s apparently busy schedule and went on to say that supervisors at Blizzard do not have the time to address customers directly and they have to schedule a call back if they wish to discuss anything with them.  I told the representative that my schedule was wide open to discuss this issue and Vaughn could call me back at his earliest convenience.

As a long time loyal and frequently paying customer (I have spent hundreds of dollars alone on your various services regarding World of Warcraft, from realm transfers to race changes and everything in between) I am horrified at the direction in which this issue is going.  I would have expected behavior like this from someone who committed a more serious infraction than one that I am being accused of, which again I do not feel that I have taken part in.  I do not feel that any consideration is being shown to me as a person or as a customer and I am extremely disappointed in the way that all parties representing your company have handled this.  Please note that I am more than happy to take this dispute as far as I can and will continuously request people of higher standing on the chain of command to take my concerns to.  I am also prepared to never log in to that particular toon again, if it means having to change my name that I have worn proudly for years due to something I deeply disagree with.

If you can provide any assistance with this, I would be more than happy to discuss it further as I eagerly await a positive resolution to this matter.

Thank you for your time time and consideration.

Hours later, said Inbox responded with this gem.  Notice how it doesn’t really expand on what the previous messages have stated.  The emphasis is of course mine.

Greetings,

Thank you for contacting us in regards to the World of Warcraft account, ******.  After a review of the recent name change, I regret to inform you, that I have come to the same conclusion.  The name Oestrus has been deemed inappropriate for the World of Warcraft.  In playing this game, you will encounter thousands of other players who share different experiences and come from vastly different backgrounds. While a certain phrase or name may be appropriate to you, please consider the fact that that same phrase or name may have a completely different effect on someone else. The bottom line is that we want World of Warcraft to be a fun and safe environment.  Therefore, regrettably, the name change will not be reversed.

This action has been taken in accordance to our Terms of Use (http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/legal/termsofuse.html) and our game policies (http://us.blizzard.com/support/article.xml?articleId=20309), which all players acknowledge and agree to prior to participation.  When an account violates these policies, the situation is reviewed and appropriate action is taken.

Section 9: Code of Conduct.

A. Rules Related to Usernames and Guild Designations.
Each user will either select a character name or allow the Service to automatically select a character name at random. Additionally, users may form “guilds” and such guilds will be required to choose a name for the guild. When you choose a character name, create a guild, or otherwise create a label that can be seen by other players using the Game or the Service, you must abide by the following guidelines as well as the rules of common decency. If Blizzard finds such a label to be offensive or improper, it may, in its sole and absolute discretion, change the name, remove the label and corresponding chat room, and/or suspend or terminate your use of the Service.

In particular, you may not use any name:

(i) Belonging to another person with the intent to impersonate that person, including without limitation a “Game Master” or any other employee or agent of Blizzard;
(ii) That incorporates vulgar language or which are otherwise offensive, defamatory, obscene, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable;
(iii) Subject to the rights of any other person or entity without written authorization from that person or entity;
(iv) That belongs to a popular culture figure, celebrity, or media personality;
(v) That is, contains, or is substantially similar to a trademark or service mark, whether registered or not;
(vi) Belonging to any religious figure or deity;
(vii) Taken from Blizzard’s Warcraft products, including character names from the Warcraft series of novels;
(viii) Related to drugs, sex, alcohol, or criminal activity;
(ix) Comprised of partial or complete sentence (e.g., “Inyourface”, “Welovebeef”, etc);
(x) Comprised of gibberish (e.g., “Asdfasdf”, “Jjxccm”, “Hvlldrm”);
(xi) Referring to pop culture icons or personas (e.g. ” “Britneyspears”, “Austinpowers”, “Batman”)
(xii) That utilizes “Leet” or “Dudespeak” (e.g., “Roflcopter”, “xxnewbxx”, “Roxxoryou”)
(xiii) That incorporates titles. For purposes of this subsection, “titles” shall include without limitation ‘rank’ titles (e.g. , “CorporalTed,” or “GeneralVlad”), monarchistic or fantasy titles (e.g., “KingMike”, “LordSanchez”), and religious titles (e.g., “ThePope,” or “Reverend Al”). You may not use a misspelling or an alternative spelling to circumvent the name restrictions listed above, nor can you have a “first” and “last” name that, when combined, violate the above name restrictions.

As it appears that multiple administrators have determind that the correct action has been taken in this matter, I regret to inform you that any further e-mails regarding this issue may go unanswered. Thank you for your time and understanding of our position in this matter.

So this appears to be the end of it.  Any more attempts by me to bring up the issue again will probably be ignored and will not be responded to.  One could say that I basically lost this one, but I’m not prepared to give up just yet.  I’m not sure I want to fight it or draw it out anymore, but I’m leaning towards doing one of two things.

I will either:

a) Leave Oestrus as is and not log into that toon anymore and see what happens.

b) Change her name to another “O” name that I have bookmarked or that I can come up with and then save “Oestrus” for another time.  Maybe change it back when the focus isn’t on me to change it by the Administrators and see if I can get away with it then.

On a more positive note, I have amended my Twitter bio to reflect my officially inappropriate status and will at least wear that title proudly, no matter what happens with my name going forward.  Silver lining, folks!

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16 Responses to “What’s In A Name? – Part 2”

  1. Zinn March 7, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    I’m sorry to hear it, but not suprised unfortunately. Googling on the issue myself, I noticed that Oestrus is the Latin name for a “botfly” (as well as the other definiton). Apparently the name originally comes from the ancient greek word Oistros, so there you have a suggestion for a new name! The link also has a bunch of Anagrams on Oestrus which could work as new names.
    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/oestrus#Etymology

    • Oestrus March 7, 2011 at 9:55 am #

      Oistros? Sounds like the name for an oyster flavored gyro or something.

      😛

      • Fannon March 7, 2011 at 11:18 am #

        Oestria? Oestrious? Oestrana? Oestriae? InHeat? (j/k on that last one)

        It’s too bad that you lost your petition, but at least you have the satisfaction of taking it all the way. I’m not really surprised with the outcome, but hopefully you’ll find a new name that will resonate with you as much as the old one did.

        • Oestrus March 7, 2011 at 11:35 am #

          Thanks Fannon!

          Like several others said, I can still have it even if I don’t “have” it. If that makes sense. There are ways around the surface thoughts of “I won” and “I lost.” It’s all in how you slice it.

  2. Jezi March 7, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    I’m terribly sorry for all this, O. Considering the number of truly horrific names I’ve reported and seen changed (or not) it really seems unfair that something, quite frankly, most of the WoW community wouldn’t recognize without a dictionary is being targeted.

    However, you COULD always do what those assholes I report tend to do — special characters. When I reported an undead warrior named Poonhammer (yes, REALLY) they showed up several days later named Pøønhammer. Reported again and they changed to an actual other name. So unless someone’s actively keeping tabs on you and trying to get your name changed, it would probably fly under the radar.

    Only thing is, if you do this and then get reported again, I don’t know if they give you another chance to rename yourself or just slap you with a generic thematic name. So you may or may not want to run the risk. :/

    • Oestrus March 7, 2011 at 11:16 am #

      Good morning Jezi,

      Thank you very much for the sentiments and I agree with you completely. I wasn’t sure if I was awake enough yet, because I had to do a double take there. Poonhammer? Did I just see that? Yes, I did. Poonhammer. Poon. Hammer.

      I don’t even have words!

  3. Apple March 7, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    Personally, I’m of the opinion that you should camp Oestrus on a lv 1 alt, wait a couple of months, and change it back to what it was. Of course, that does have the possibility to get you into more trouble if you get flagged again, but… you’re OESTRUS on that toon. It’d be wrong to have it anything else.

    • Oestrus March 7, 2011 at 11:15 am #

      That’s what I was thinking, too.

      Great minds do think alike, even if they are perverted ones, eh?

  4. adgamorix March 7, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    The downside to having your named reported a second time if you go from say Poonhammer to Poonhmmr, is that they have changed how they handle name changes. The first time you get a ‘forced’ name change, they let you pick. The next time you get a name chosen for you.

    Sorry you lost the petition, and one thing I noticed was that previously they had bodily functions and parts of the body as no-nos – like Fingerman could be reported. Who knows. They might have just been linking the wrong section.

    You can always do what I do. I report every name I see that I think might be inappropriate, and then whenever I see someone in the armory I just report every instance of that name. Currently I’m working all 158 instances of the name Sodomite.

  5. Bman March 7, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    Hello, I am sorry that you have to rename your character, however, I am probably the “cranky old man” here when I say, it sucks, but deal with it?

    I know you had the toon for a long time and you have validated the name with the length of time it was “inoffensive”. Perhaps this is because others dealt with it or let’s be honest, most people don’t know what that is. But then someone did, was offended, and reported you, and Blizzard was alerted and thought that indeed it violated the naming policy.

    You had to know on some level that you were taking a risk here, even though you claim it’s biological and natural. But so are vagina and penis but they don’t accept those names just because they are biological.

    I know it’s not the response or support you’re probably looking for, but part of me says, sorry you got caught, but I guess play by their rules. Because if you don’t like their rules, you don’t have to play.

    I do wish you the best of luck finding a new name though.

    • Oestrus March 7, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

      Hello,

      Thanks for the initial sentiments. It does suck and I am dealing with it and have dealt with it. I feel that I put up a hell of a fight and others did, too. Clearly, I’m not the only one who has gone through a situation such as this one or has seen other examples where the Terms of Use were being enforced more strongly in some cases than others.

      In terms of the main points of your comment, I actually validated my name on many fronts. The duration of time that I was “Oestrus” was just one of them. I didn’t think I was taking any kind of a risk with any of the names that I have chosen. I also don’t claim that my name reflects anything natural and biological. I know my name reflects something natural and biological.

      Your argument about parts not being acceptable is valid, however I have illustrated and supported that my name does not reflect anything that is possible in humans. “Penis” and “vagina” tend be more commonly associated with human beings. While many animals certainly do have those parts, theirs are usually not the first ones to come to mind when you hear those words.

      I’m also not “looking” for any kind of response or support. I blogged about an issue that I was upset about and felt strongly about and while I’m thrilled that people related and took it a step further, I assure you that I didn’t post solely to “get” anything out of it. If that was my intention, I certainly would have milked it for everything I could get and probably would be taking this one step further. Towards the end of my post I made it clear that I was essentially done fighting and was ready to move on to other things. If I wanted more I’d certainly go out and get it.

      Thanks again for stopping by.

  6. Pathak March 7, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    It’s teflon coated responses like this that make it easier to walk away from their product.

    The particularly frustrating aspect is that while it’s all well and good to continue to reference Section 9 of the ToS, they never really pin point why the name has been deemed inappropriate. Looking at the Google results, they’ve probably zero’d in on “sexual desire”, and possibly the bit about menstruation from the Estrous Wikipedia entry.

    At least with Colerejuste, I knew I was dealing with an American based help desk that assumed all of it’s customer base only spoke English as a first language, and were using a US-102 keyboard or similar. I’m sure I would have been able to use the name, with the accented e on the European servers.

    If you should decide to move on from Oestrus, I would recommend jumping to the next step in the Oestrus cycle. Perhaps Ovum, Oocyte, Ovarium, Ovulus or Ovulvus. That last one sounds like bad news, but it’s totally made up, or at least a miss spelling.

    • Oestrus March 7, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

      I was leaning towards Proestrus, myself. It’s one of the other phases and I do consider myself to be a little “pro” sometimes!

  7. V March 10, 2011 at 8:57 am #

    You could always use the Œ as an OE, but I don’t know how you feel about the funky character thing.

    I’m under the impression that someone reported you about it, since that’s usually the only way attention is drawn to something like that.

    • Oestrus March 10, 2011 at 9:55 am #

      Most likely. I’m not really going to overthink it and wonder if it was someone I knew, didn’t know, off the realm, on the realm, etc.

      I have a few backup names in mind and I’ll still save the name for a rainy day.

      Good to see you again! How are things?

  8. ithilyn March 18, 2011 at 7:36 pm #

    Oh, I realize this is very late to post, and you’ve probably already taken some action, but I was thinking about your post the other day while driving that you could pick something phonetically similar, yet spelled differently, like “Esstris”, “Esstruss”, “Esstrix” etc. That way you’re name didn’t really change, at least not on vent, and it’d be a bit of an inside joke. Oh well, it sucks, but hope you figured out something!

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