Mar 3, 2011

How to Explain Your Game Problems by Fiona


FionaWG, Mafia Wars Moderator, has made a post that should help those who don't have luck with their Customer Support tickets. If anybody can relate to players who issues with Mafia Wars, it's Fiona. Check out how many Forum posts she has made. 10,243 is a mind blowing number! If you feel this is a waste of time because you already know what to do, consider sharing it with your not so savvy mafia members and help them see the light. Improving Customer Support starts with us. The more of us who know how to use it properly, the less of a load there will be and it will run more efficiently.

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Old Yesterday, 06:31 PM
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Mafia Wars Moderator
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Bugging CM in Mod Lounge :P
Posts: 10,243
Default How to Explain your Game Problems to Customer Service/Support.

Imagine this scenario, if you can place yourself in this situation when someone comes to you and claims to have a problem. Say, you go to the Emergency Room and you’re a Doctor. Several people come to you and say “My stomach hurts. I don’t feel well. I don’t like it.”

How do you respond to something like that? What would be your reaction (or course of action). You would want to ask some more questions. You’d want to start probing with more detailed questions like “When did this happen? Do you remember what you were doing when your stomach hurt? Do you recall how it happened?”

Your patient gets vague and says “I dunno. It happened yesterday and it’s been like this ever since.”

This only leads you, the Doctor, to simply refer you to someone else, perhaps a Triage Nurse who can possibly help you a little bit more and give a band-aid fix instead.

But if the patient tells you instead of the above situation, they get specific and detailed what the problem is. “Hey Doc, even though my stomach hurts, it started around 4 pm yesterday, and I was in Bangkok. I was eating raw sushi at the same time I was trying to rob a bank and someone walloped me with her purse into my gut. Did I do something wrong?”

You, as the Doctor, would be gladly ready to jump right in, knowing exactly what the problem is and determine the outcome how to fix it. You and the patient can resolve the situation, narrow down just what it was that made the patient’s “stomach hurt” and you can also give some advice how to prevent that from happening again if possible and if the patient is willing to take the advice.

This is a similar scenario that Customer Service deals with when they get a ticket or even in Live Chat with something that is more of a complaint rather than explaining what is the problem.

Not all Support tickets are created equally. Some can be easily explained and resolved quickly. Some may need further investigation to see if they need to check for an underlying problems that a bug or glitch may be causing. Maybe it’s a brand new bug that they need to look into. Maybe it’s a scenario with certain ways of playing the game that may make a user’s account get a little wonky. A lot of these situations may be unique or pretty common.

Here’s a scenario that may make someone at Support a bit flummoxed and unable to help. 

Submitting a ticket that is venting and emotional, for example: “I am having so many problems with this game! I hate this game and I’m quitting! I’m going to have all my friends quit too and this game suxs. I am telling you that I’ve had so many problems with robbing and fighting all sorts of people on my fightlist and I can’t collect on my properties in NY and the game doesn’t load right for me and then I get error messages at all hours of the day! FIX IT!!!”

Now, this isn’t very helpful. It would likely make it difficult and time consuming to get resolved. It may feel good to start dumping everything but it does not help you get the help you are looking for. It will overwhelm the Staff at CS and they think “Jeez, I don’t know how to help this guy and even though I’m trying to ask some questions, he’s still being all vague on me. Think I better put this to a higher level of Support and let’s see if someone else can figure it out instead.”

They are not mind readers. They can’t always decipher just what the exact nature of the problem is.

Here’s an example of a helpful way to submit an email Support ticket and even to Live chat.

“Hi my name is John Jones, I have 3 problems that I’d like for you to look into.
One: I keep being unable to collect my NY properties and this has been going on for 3 days now, and I am thinking it started around 10 AM on the 15th. The collect button kept disappearing on me.
Two: I cannot rob anymore because all the buttons have gone every time I try to use up my stamina on the robbing boards. I tried to rob from someone’s profile page too but I am not seeing any buttons there either. I think this was going on at the same time I was unable to collect my properties.
Three: OMG I am seeing levels 2000 and above on my fightlist! What’s going on here? I’ve never seen that before until today. Is it an error on my server or something? Is it me? What’s going on?”

When you submit a Customer Service ticket, it is very important to get specific and detailed as much as you can, including time, what happened, how it happened, if at all to be able to recall as much detail as you can remember. It’s important to include your FB and in game ID right up front and ready to give them it so they can immediately be able to look up your account with some speed. Giving them detailed information of when, how will help the team to start tracking down to compare any other reports they may have to see if there is a pattern they need to examine. Even if there is an issue regarding events, it would help if you explain which event is affecting your account (There may be more than one event going on!). Try to get the name of the event as specifically as possible. There may be similar reports on the same problem, whether it's for an event, for game play issues, robbing, bugs, doing jobs, fighting, inventory, bars for missions and operations or even which City/Country. They may be able to see if there’s a trend of a certain event happening at a certain time of the day or night and see about fixing it. Maybe it’s a bug they haven’t seen before. Maybe it’s a common bug that they have fixed but it hasn’t worked just the right way and may need to go back and re-do it a different way. There are a variety of reasons that you may be having a problem or multiple problems with your account.

It may help if you simply write everything out first before you submit a ticket or contact Live Chat so that you can recall every detail that you can think of and then set it aside for a while. Maybe later something will prompt your memory of something else that you may have missed to write down and there’s another piece of the puzzle you can add to your list. It might be something big or small, or it could be that very thing that ties up everything together and explains the whole problem, that you, as a player just haven’t been able to see yet. But perhaps someone at Support can zero in on it and know exactly what it is and resume to go ahead and help you deal with your account and game problems.

Taking screen shots are very helpful at times so they can look at exactly what it is you are seeing in the game as it happens. If you are not very good with describing exact details or even get technical (if you know and understand the game terminologies), giving a snapshot would help explain just what you are trying to describe. Click HERE for the link in Support that explains How to Take Screen Shots. After taking screenshots, you'll have to pick Paint or other programs of your choice. Make sure you understand how to do all this first and even practice to get familiar with taking screen shots so that in any event that an error happens you can be quicker to react, take the picture, file it and know where you’ve put it on your computer files and drive. There’s nothing worse than seeing a goofy thing happening on your screen in the game, you don’t think to take a screen shot of it and then you find out later that may have been the one thing that would help get your problem solved a lot faster!

All this will help you as a player submit an effective ticket to Support, whether by email or to Live Chat.

Be hopeful you never have to submit a ticket, but if you ever have to, or have in the past but need to consider how to give better results to send a ticket it, this guide will go a long way to help you deal with it as painlessly as possible!

Article written by Jennifer Patterson, Creator of the MW Loot Lady Blog, The Mafia Wars Loot Lady Facebook Fan Page and Co-Host of The Informant Podcast.
All material is protected by copyright law


  1. I agree its always best to use honey rather than vinegar. People always want instant gratification and being demand doesn't work. I use to work in Customer Service and had to deal with irate customers. Its not nice hearing people yelling on the other side of the telephone. I will tell them well I see what we can do and when the problem is solved I always followed up with a call or email letting know what the issue was and how we resolved it. Yelling and cursing does not make customer service work any faster it just delays them helping you.

  2. Agreed that the more info provided the faster and easier it is to have resolved. One must remember it is not the Customer Service reps fault that there are issues with the game and they are people with feelings too. They are not there to take frustrations out on, but to provide assistance.

    On the flip side of that it is also normal for people to want and even need to vent their frustrations with the many issues that creep up in this game especially with how often those issues seem to happen. It would in some ways be nice to see an uncensored outlet be provided for people to just let off steam about it.

    Yes, I mean provided by Zynga and not in their forums where many just don't go. Some people need to feel that their frustrations are not only being heard but felt by the ones at the root of the frustrations. A place where being ambiguous is ok, where it is not about getting a particular issue resolved but just to vent about the game in general.

  3. still have no missions... so sweetness dont work! going on a month now....

  4. If at all possible I always try to provide sreen shots of what type of problems i am having... Needless to say most of the time thie issue gets taken care of immediately... as well as being as respectful to cs as well, not everything can be automatically fixed everything has flaws.

  5. This is all well and good but the forum moderators tend to SUCK. They banned me for ever because I asked a valid question in a post I started. It showed a massive hole in the Zynga cafe world game system, it advised all players to bombard Zyngaland with complaints until the problem was resolved. Without explanation some MOD deleted that post. SO, like a good Samaritan I reposted it -result- Banned for life from the forums. Guess the mods don't understand that forums were invented for discussion - seems to me if THEY don't like what you write in them they delete your posts and ban you!

  6. Iv put So much into Bangkok For So Long it seems totally unfair for you too pull the plug on it before I can finish,Is it Worth the Bother at all,..It's Quickly & Obviously Only for the Rich Now Who Can afford a £100 a week..minimum

  7. Does it really matter how you talk to a computer? You do know that is the first four rounds of the Customer Support don't you? Zynga Koolaid - We just can't get your problems fixed if you're talking mean to me...waaaaaa! How about some professionalism on their end? Is that not vogue these days?

    Plain and simple... You can only get things done with Support if you hold their feet to the fire. Try this experiment: Send one complaint word nice and concise. Then file the exact same complaint frantic and excited.. never follow up on the first one and bug them every day with the second.. see which get resolved.


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