Hellgate: London Subscribers Report Extra Charges, Restricted Access to Membership Benefits

By Nick Breckon, Nov 07, 2007 2:51pm PST Following activation of the service after a lengthy post-launch downtime, many subscribers to Flagship Studios' optional Hellgate: London membership program are reporting massive problems with the system, including mistaken credit charges and unavailable access to promised content.

Most alarming among the issues, many users claim they have been charged the monthly $9.99 subscription fee multiple times within the span of a few days.

"I could sum this up as the worst online gaming experience I have ever had," Shacknews reader Tyro described to us. "I applied for a monthly subscription. I then noticed I was charged two times on 11/03 $9.99, one time on 11/04 $9.99, and one time on 11/05 $9.99."

Other users have only been billed once, but find themselves unable to use the service they've paid for.

"I checked the account pages on both web sites," wrote Mayella_EU in the support thread. "It doesn't show I have a subscription. Yet my credit card was charged."

Further compounding the issue, Hellgate customer support has been slow in responding to complaints according to many of the unhappy subscribers. A 392-post support thread on the official Hellgate: London forums has cropped up following the closure of the temporary billing/subscription forum.

Shacknews has contacted Flagship, but has not yet received a comment at this time. Hellgate community managers are aware of the issues, and promise an update on the situation soon.

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44 Threads | 150 Comments
  • Well, I keep getting this response and they keep taking my money every month. since last year.
    So someone should report stuff like this as well.

    This is an automated response:

    Your cancellation has been submitted to the Shacknews LTD credit card handler. If you signed up with a regular credit card this is all you need to do. You will not be charged by Shacknews LTD any further and your Mercury account access will be closed.

    If you are a PayPal subscriber you cancel yourself. Just log in to www.paypal.com and select your original subscription in your transaction history and then click cancel and confirm. Please note that you must use the original subscription date transaction to cancel.

    We hope you enjoyed the service! Check back with us at www.fileshack.com for more great gaming!

    -FileShack Support

  • I hope there's one of those Post Mortem articles written about this game. It sounded really promising a while back, and still might turn out to be something good, but it's obviously been pushed out before it was ready with so many bugs in so many areas and an apparently inadequately tested payments system.

    Whoever's fault it is that it wasn't tested enough and pushed out early with bugs, I do feel sorry for the developers. Nobody wants to ship with known bugs, and it sucks to ship something and then have more bugs found when people start using it, and that's when it only affects gameplay/features. When it affects people's bank accounts that is pretty serious and no doubt the devs are working their arses off now and feeling very bad/guilty (or very angry about management forcing them to push it out, depending on whose fault all of this is).

    Code that deals with money is like any other code, it's just numbers and algorithms, and it's easy to get blasé about it after a while but when it goes wrong it all becomes very serious again.

    (Not that related but I find it amusing all the same: I remember the first "business" call I listened in on at work where people were talking about $10 million transactions like it was nothing to them but me and the other IT guy on the line were gesturing "HOLY SHIT!" to each other. Now I often write code which interacts with those kinds of figures and it's just a number to me now. Of course, we test the hell out of each release and do take things seriously, but it is just numbers and code like any other code.)

  • Another blunder. This is pretty upsetting, as Flagship was supposed to be the beacon of hope for another PC gaming company done right. While I think Hellgate will eventually be a "good" game, unless they re-write most of the dialog and add in voice overs to tell the friggin story, and give us some goddamn cutscences, it's nothing more than just a good game, so long they fix all the outstanding bugs.

    I've got a good 35+ hours into this baby and while a part of me loves the game, the other half of my demented brain is telling me i'm a dumbass for buying it despite my many complaints in beta that I knew would be an issue come release. I guess it's the kid in me that is always striving to find the next big and best game. On the one hand, I'm loving my engineer to death, getting cool loot, building my character, yeah, it's fun, but at the same time, I'm crashing to desktop, I have to turn down the settings big time just to get it to run for more than an hour and without hiccups and crashes, and I have to keep re-specing my drone every time i log in and find a new gun to put on it since it's still losing guns/armor. Not to mention, the loot space for us non-subs is atrocious. I don't give a bleep what other games are like, this isn't enough space for a loot driven game, not even close.

    I think if FSS did a better job at writing a fully fledged out RPG Epic Story, like we were all assuming they would, I think many people would be more inclined to be positive about this game. It's really hard though, seeing just how sloppy the story is, to the point were it doesn't even matter what the hell they are saying. At the the end of the game, you don't even feel like you did something on a large scale, it just feels, meh. ok. They really really needed some ingame cutscenes between acts and around large boss battles, you know, what we should expect in the year 2007. I would be excited for an expansion or premium content, but with a story to forget, there's nothing to be excited about other than new loot. Also, I don't think I'm ever playing another game with friggin sewers, I've had enough in this game to last a life time, over and over and over again.