(Update: Funcom credited the user for the appropriate amount of bonus points thanks to a submitted complaint to the Better Business Bureau. Pro-consumerism for the win. And a shotout to Funcom for doing the right thing.)

It's never a good sign when a game launches and the Chief Executive Officer is stepping down. It's a little like the captain of a ship watching the maiden voyage of a boat he helped build, while hanging up his cap and leaving for fresher waters. Well, that's exactly what happened with The Secret World.

According to GameSpot, Trond Arne Aas has resigned as CEO of Norwegian-based studio, Funcom. He states that...
"The company's financial position is strong and the foundation of the company's long-term product and technology strategy is in place,"... "It feels like a very natural point in time for me to make the transition to a new and freer role in the company, but I will remain committed to the Company both as a major shareholder and as an employee."

The game, conveniently enough, also launches today but not without a little bit of controversy. The modern-day MMORPG that features free-forming character builds, supernatural villains and large-scale PvP was plagued with a bit of sour news when a user came forward languishing an issue involving the pre-order bonus and the Bonus Points promotion, which was attached to the closed-beta test.

A quick rundown of the situation is as follows: a user participating in the closed beta was sent an e-mail notifying them that if they pre-order the game via the special promotion they would receive a bonus point for every dollar spent on their pre-order purchase. The promotion screenshot can be viewed below.



According to the user, who wishes to remain anonymous, they managed to pre-order the game after receiving the e-mail notifying them about the special promotion. They obviously wanted additional bonus points for their account and thus, went with a big 'ole, hefty pre-order. You can check out their order information below.



The thing is, Funcom did not add the bonus points to their account after that massive $199.99 purchase because...dun, dun, dun, according to them the consumer didn't properly click on the link in the e-mail they sent during closed-beta. This is despite the fact that the user clearly ordered within the given time frame on June 9th, as indicated by the dates in the screenshots from the order and the one indicated in the pre-order bonus promotion, which had a set limit of June 12th.

So the user goes back and forth with customer support and the one that sums it up best (and this is skipping over all the back and forth exchanges that usually occurs with customer support during issues like this) one of the reps states the following...
Greetings,

Thank you for contacting Funcom Customer Support.

I have gone over your previous conversations with other GMs. I sincerely apologize for any confusion and for this inconvenience. There were other determining factors to qualify for bonus points. Players who have been exceptionally active on the CLOSED beta client would receive an email saying that if they pre-order now (or have already pre-ordered), we would match however much money they spent with the same value in 'Bonus Points'. If you did not receive this email like you said, you would not be eligible. If you did receive this email as stated in that email you had to make the purchase and complete it within five days of receiving said email. Only if a player clicked the link in email was the Bonus Point key attached to their account. We do not have the ability to add that key to any account. Again, I apologize but we will be unable to compensate you because you weren't selected or even missed the email with offer. If you have any other questions or issues please feel free to contact us again.

Regards,

GM Bodulfryn

The above user isn't the only one running into problems with the bonus points. Another user also had a similar issue with Funcom where he eventually ended up getting banned and then unbanned and then getting a refund. This just happened on June 30th, with the information available on the MMORPG forums.

Obviously this isn't anywhere near as bad as the current customer support nightmares happening in the Blizzard camp, but I can imagine how this would definitely get a lot of gamers peeved if they ordered the game but didn't receive the bonus points they were promised.

This was also a problem, recently, with the Chinese MMO publisher Tencent, who denied gamers merchandise that they promised but later reneged on after changing the terms and conditions. Inevitably, this lead to claims of false advertising. You can check out the full details on that little mess over at RipTen.

If you have a similar problem and legitimately cannot get it resolved, be sure to let someone in the press know so that they can get your case out in the open. Sometimes a little exposure is all it needs.

For everyone else, The Secret World is currently available to play and you can pick up a copy right now both digitally or at a local retailer. To learn more about the game feel free to visit the Official Website.

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