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Neopets class action Lawsuit

Discussion in 'Virtual Pets Chat' started by cpvr, May 6, 2011.

  1. cpvr

    cpvr Owner and Founder Administrator

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    Wow, I was doing some research on Neopets - and a few users are mad as heck, they want to file a class action lawsuit against Neopets/Viacom for bad customer service, and losing their accounts for no reason.


    Check this out http://www.worldlawdirect.com/forum...t-canceled-account-terms-service-dispute.html
    OP said:
    Can they really file a lawsuit on Neopets?

    User 2:
    Accounts seem to be getting frozen for no reason a lot - have you been frozen for no reason?
    Another:
    3 years, and banned for getting cookie grabbed? Ouch. What do you think?
    Buying items in the main shop isn't something that'll get you banned for no reason.:p
    Page 2:
    http://www.worldlawdirect.com/forum...canceled-account-terms-service-dispute-2.html


    Neopets' customer service strives on auto responses - agree or disagree? Their customer service isn't up to par - have you ever gotten a response from Neopets?

    Page 3:
    http://www.worldlawdirect.com/forum...canceled-account-terms-service-dispute-3.html
    As players - why are we getting banned for no reason, when our accounts are old?:confused:


    Page 3

    http://www.worldlawdirect.com/forum...canceled-account-terms-service-dispute-4.html

    Spending money on Neopets, and getting banned for no reason? We're trying to support the game, why are they doing this to premium account users?:confused:

    Children are getting banned too?:confused:

    http://www.worldlawdirect.com/forum...canceled-account-terms-service-dispute-5.html


    What does everyone think about this so-called lawsuit? Do you think it'll go anywhere, or no?
     
  2. Corleone

    Corleone Approved Artist Approved VPL Artist VPL Member

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    That's really messed up, but could they actually win in court?
     
  3. Carl

    Carl Junior Programmer Junior Programmer VPL Member

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  4. astrail

    astrail New Member VPL Member

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    Alright then... lets begin. THIS WILL BE LONG, I KNOW IT. AND ITS PROBABLY NOT GOING TO MAKE MUCH SENSE

    First of all, if neopets can be sued for bad customer service... then deviantart better watch out. Deviantarts customer service, from what I know and in my opinion, is much worse. Lets just mention the gender vs sex drama from last year, and the deactivation drama from end of last year/ beginning of this. Both examples of major slip ups by the admin team.

    And now lets take a look at some of these claims.
    The person who said their account was "Frozen for its protection"? Has no right to complain. Their account WILL be returned to them. It was frozen to stop someone else on the account!! Sure, customer service is slow... but er...
    Players Online: 18,430 and Total Owners: 185,107,576
    Do they really expect customer service to be fast when there are that many players? True, not all of them are active. But remember the economy right now is in a recession, and no doubt Neopets INC are running on the lowest amount of staff possible (Like. everyone. else)
    Buying neocash, and having premium membership, also does not entitle you to special treatment on neopets. You get nice things, thats it. Your account will not be seen as "better" than a non premium/ non DONATER. Because its unfair treatment for people who have the money to spend. If you do something to warrant being frozen, TNT aren't even going to look to see how much money you've spent on the site. You break the rules, you pay for it.
    http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&issue=350 - No staff member is a "bot".
    http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&issue=382 - Older players do not get treated differently for the same thing. It all depends on your record.
    http://ncmall.neopets.com/mall/shop.phtml?page=&cat= - There are no refunds on the NCmall
    http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=editorial&issue=336 "We try to do our best though. We do read your emails, and yes, our support staff does read your ideas and forward exceptional (and funny!) ones to our content staff. Aside from our pre-scripted "we got your email" responses, any other reply (while it may be a standard one) is sent to you from a real staff member who has read your email. We get thousands of the same questions/concerns a day, and in order to get through the massive amounts of email, we have to standardise some aspects unfortunately."

    That being said, there are some people who may be innocent. Buying items/nps with real money is quite a tricky one. Especially when you know you don't even go onto those websites. On the mod side of things, if they see something kinda suspicious going on, they will take action. E.g. if a rare item from a stolen account finds its way account hopping, TNT are going to assume its being sold. Or if a brand new account is suddenly gifted loads of nice pets, items, nps etc. Or if you give a new account loads of nice things. It seems as if you're buying/ selling nps to the mods. Unfortunately, all you can do in that case is try to argue against it and providing proof.

    Plus a lot of people claim they were frozen "Unfairly" because they have no idea the actions they did were against the rules. The problem with neopets is the rules are a bit here, there and everywhere.... if they're even written at all! There are rules for the BC that have never been written on site, and the majority of them are only in the editorial. If there was a standardised page with all of the rules in it, I think it would stop a lot of this. PLUS if TNT quoted the exact post you made/ the exact transaction etc etc that got you a silencing/ warning/ suspension/ freezing I think people are going to find it a lot easier to understand what they did wrong, and how to stop that behaviour. Its not too hard to avoid getting those if you pay attention to the rules. My main account has no warnings on it and hasn't for 3 years. All because I know the rules, and stick to them.
    Found someone on Aywas the other day who said they were frozen "unfairly" and yet they let someone else petsit on their account. Which is against the terms of service AND written on the chat rules page!

    As for the person who was shot down for trying to provide proof. Erm....
    sorry but your drivers licence isn't going to prove a neopets account is yours o_o". It really is not. TNT have a standardised proof form. Account name, password, PREVIOUS passwords used, email address the account is created on, pets created on the account including those you have abandoned, stocks on the accounts, recent trading record, neomails in your inbox, neofriends usernames. That kind of stuff. These are all things only the account owner is going to know. You gotta provide enough.

    I know their customer service isn't perfect- but it is getting better. The new ticket system (even if it DID manage to destroy a few FAQs, BC FAQ I'm lookin at you) is a massive improvement. Beforehand you were only guaranteed a decent reply if you mailed staff directly. Now you can even see how far along your ticket is. A friend last year was averaging about a reply a week from one staff member.
    I know back when my old account was compromised (It was not a cookie grabber, as it happened when I was offline), I reported it as stolen. And it was quickly frozen for its protection... by a staff member called Amanda. Most people know her as contest_judge. She froze me because she saw me mention it ON THE BOARDS. This was over 3 years ago now. My new account then got compromised the week afterward, and was self frozen. I sent her an email, and she unfroze me THE SAME DAY (Saturday!), told me you need less proof for a self frozen account and told me the above piece of information about how my old one was frozen. Thats amazing customer service, from a woman whose job isn't even to do that!

    As for whether people can actually win in court.
    We got ourselves a business (if we exclude Viacom from this), vs a bunch of players.
    Who do you think can get the better lawyers?
    The better lawyers are more likely to win. I honestly don't think this lawsuit will go anywhere.
    Yes, TNTs customer service needs to improve. But I don't think these guys have any legal standpoint, because I as a regular member (with no legal training) can argue against them using quotes FROM TNT and knowledge gained by reading the editorial weekly.
     
  5. cpvr

    cpvr Owner and Founder Administrator

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    What about this issue? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toby_Studebaker
     
  6. astrail

    astrail New Member VPL Member

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    Not quite sure how THAT would relate to the lawsuit.

    I would assume she was breaking the rules to begin with, by faking her age.
    Not to mention, TNT have numerous rules in place in order to STOP this kind of thing happening. Okay, I can't be too certain about in 2002/ 2003 (it was a very long time ago now XD), but I don't think they've added anything to those rules. Just added ways that make it harder to go around (Back when I was under 13, for a while I used to be able to edit pet lookups and stuff, but that was eventually stopped). They don't allow you to disclose personal information (Where you live for one). Essentially, the incident is not the fault of the admins, as they had the rules in place. It is the fault of the child for choosing to ignore them (And choosing to take a plane to France to see this guy!) as no doubt these things went on through neomail (Which is private, so no one can report it but those on either end). You can't sue a website when their ToS (Which you agree to before signing up) said these kinds of things were disallowed on the website. It is both the child and their parents' fault.

    Okay so this is from the recent ToS, but anyway:
    Do Not Try To Share Personal Information. Please do not try to share with anyone your personally identifiable information such as your e-mail address, physical address, school name, last name, photographs of yourself, instant messenger username or telephone number. Likewise, do not ask for any such information from other users. If you think anything is suspicious, make sure to report it privacy@[USER=621]Nick[/USER]elodeonworlds.com
    She would have agreed to something similar upon joining the website. Even if she didn't read it... checking that box is basically like signing a legal document. You cannot really sue for breaking the legally binding agreement you made.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2013
  7. Andie

    Andie New Member VPL Member

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    Neopets is terrible at monitoring their boards. There are tons of children under 13 on their site who use the boards openly. (Or at least there was in 2002/2003). While legally they aren't at fault due to the fact that she would have indeed lied about her age, morally you would think a company which targets children would put more rules and effort into keeping them safe. I know Powerpets is known for being extremely strict about minor rules because the staff want to protect children. Neopets is a company that wants to make money and that's all they really care about. Nothing more, nothing less. It's what they do, they have no other mission then making money. They do not really care if they've created a safe online game environment for children, as long as they aren't liable.
    Back in 2002/2003 ish I also frequently saw people posting personal information on the boards. Nobody there cared.
    It's not about if they are legally responsible, more about if they are morally responsible I think...
     
  8. kuitsuku

    kuitsuku New Member VPL Member

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    There was a glitch to my account a few years ago that switched my age to below 13, which meant I couldn't access most of the site or send neomails. It was very frustrating, especially since this was my main account that got a lot of traffic because of my older petpages.
    I had to mail them a copy of my driver's license and they did end up fixing my account...3 months later. I wasn't in any rush so it seemed fine for me. I've heard horror stories about their customer support team, so I was grateful to get my account back.

    I don't think anyone who agreed to the terms has a chance of suing them.

    Also, before viacom owned Neopets (I think) they sent me a warning-to-sue unless I signed their fanart license agreement. It was..interesting. 8)
     
  9. Slashmaster

    Slashmaster Supporter VPL Supporter Pet Game Owner Approved Writer VPL Member

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    What's their fan license agreement like?
     
  10. Rebel Networks

    Rebel Networks New Member VPL Member

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    Before Viacom owned neopets, it was owned by Scientology ;) Before that, it was owned by Adam and Donna. Adam and Donna have not been a part of Neopets, for quite some time now. I still have to dig up that video interview I had with them at PAX. NeoPets is a corporate entity, not just some small business, they have a team of lawyers, and they make upwards to $4M a month! You can be rest assured that they have all the legal precautions put in place to protect themselves against idiots like this.
     
  11. cpvr

    cpvr Owner and Founder Administrator

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    Where's the video at? What does Adam say in the video?
     
  12. Rebel Networks

    Rebel Networks New Member VPL Member

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    Mainly it was just a generalized interview about their Twin Skies project, but there were a few questions I threw in about NeoPets, I have to search through all my old hard drives to find it. But more or less, just discussion about Meteor Games. Oh and then an argument after he found out who I was, and him ranting about me and Hizer. Then all calmed down and a profession discussion ensued.
     
  13. Organic

    Organic Supporter VPL Supporter VPL Member

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    I really sincerely hope that it does go through. I also hope that I am able to contact whoever it is that will be representing it because I absolutely want to be a part of it.

    I was frozen eons ago for "cheating on flash games". A.) I never played the stupid flash games because I hated them and sucked at them. B.) Still to this day like 4+ years later I have NO IDEA how to cheat on a flash game!
     
  14. Organic

    Organic Supporter VPL Supporter VPL Member

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    @astrail - You are so off base. You obviously have no idea whatsoever about the neopets support system. ANYONE who has dealt with them would never stand up for them like you just did. Not to mention half of your stuff is full of crap lol. I've sent 30-40 e-mails to them... ALL were responded to with copy and paste. Even when I responded to their copy and paste BEGGING that they stop copying and pasting. They have also NOT READ what I wrote. I know this because I could provide evidence and proof throughout my e-mail and they only EVER copy and paste something that even remotely relates to the first paragraph entirely ignoring the rest.

    ANd about slow... so you think it's cool for someone to have been frozen for their safety over the period of 3-4 months without response and having their debit card still charged for premium? Are you high? How could your self worth be so low that you feel if you were treated that way it would be ok? It's not ok. I don't know who will win but it isn't ok at all and I hope they treat people better in the future.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2013
  15. Jenny Harper

    Jenny Harper New Member VPL Member

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    You signed the TOS when you signed up, tough shit. There are paypal agreements that might get them through, but you never own your account, you are a guest on Neopets.

    I do kind of hope it goes through so Viacom can send a rocket up Neopet's Jaxxy.
     
  16. Andie

    Andie New Member VPL Member

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    I really do think though, any class action lawsuit would be thrown down by the millions of people filing who really honestly broke the rules... There are a lot of people who did and just didn't wanna admit it. I did ;) Way back in the day. Can't remember what rule I broke but I did, and got froze fairly, and didn't like it. :) LOL This happened when I was like 13.
     
  17. cpvr

    cpvr Owner and Founder Administrator

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    I was young as well when I got banned for no reason, but I could careless about it now. As it brought me to create VPL, and work for Zetapets. I really think if it wasn't for Neopets banning everyone for no reason, a lot of pet sites wouldn't be up today. What do you guys think?
     
  18. Organic

    Organic Supporter VPL Supporter VPL Member

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    @cpvr

    I definitely think neopets paved the way for all of the sites we have now. I think they improved upon where neopets failed. Then again I'm still very very sour about my pets being frozen unfairly.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2013
  19. que

    que Supporter VPL Supporter Approved VPL Artist VPL Member

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    I blatantly cheat on neopets now. This is because after I spent all my time LEGITIMATELY earning my neopoints, my krawk, Jibbs, my pets "Fatty", "Gamble" and Jotnotes..
    I was unfairly frozen because they suspected me of scoresending or some shit like that.
    So, I decided to ACTUALLY start scorsending shortly after that.
    Totally don't waste my time there anymore.
     
  20. Slashmaster

    Slashmaster Supporter VPL Supporter Pet Game Owner Approved Writer VPL Member

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    @Bexxy

    Do you feel threatened at all by the sections that are in the Neopets TOS (or were last time I played, a few years ago) stating that you have to pay a large amount of USD in damages ($500) if they catch you using a program, especially considering the thread on VPL showing that Terms of Services are enforceable by courts?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2013

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