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:
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:
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:
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.
After receiving 2 e-mails from email@example.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.
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.
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!