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Special Report: Billing Issues

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Dark and Light: Inactive Accounts Charged

Garrett Fuller reports on this recent billing issue that has reared its head over at Farlan

Farlan Entertainment, the makers of Dark and Light, has come under fire by community members for billing player accounts who are not actually playing the game. In these types of situations things can become very tricky so we here at MMORPG.com want to try to provide all the people involved with as much information as we can get. Here is the situation as it stands from community posts on the Dark & Light boards.

When players signed up for a Dark and Light pre-order last November they agreed to have ClickandBuy, an online pay service, charge them for any services rendered by Farlan Entertainment for the game Dark and Light. Players could have signed up for this pre-order and never once logged in to play the game, hence expecting to never be billed. All they were doing was signing up for pioneer accounts and giving information in case they wanted to play and be billed accordingly.

Now, this past week, it appears that players who had signed-up for the service, but had not logged into the game or ever played it were billed $9.99 or 8.03 euros. Some players have reported much higher amounts billed. In other words, if you had signed up for the pre-order last year and gave your information, but never played you should not have been billed. For some reason this week those players were billed by ClickandBuy on behalf of Farlan Entertainment. Many people who had signed up for pioneer accounts on the Dark and Light boards have expressed anger at getting billed for a game they do not play.

We tried to get in touch with the people at ClickandBuy; however, it is past work hours in Germany so no one was available. There have been several posts on the Dark & Light forums by DnL employees who have said that they are looking into the issue and will address it as soon as possible.

This post was made on Friday morning by a DnL employee jerusha:

"We are aware of the problem and have informed Farlan of it.

"For the moment we don't have an exact explanation to give you.

"For the 3 free months all the accounts were made into Master Plan accounts in order to give you the best possible experience of Dark and Light. At the end of the 3 months all the accounts should have come back to their normal state. It seems a problem occurred at this stage and that explains why you have been charged.

"Farlan is looking into it and they're currently trying to find an appropriate solution. You will be informed as soon as we have more details and/or a solution."

Other than forum posts by employees, Farlan has yet to make any official announcement on their website. Based on some of the posts the issue seems to have risen from the free-play period that was given to players over the past few weeks. Once this time frame had ended players were sent an e-mail saying that billing would resume accordingly. When player accounts started getting billed again the system seemed to have also hit the pioneer accounts it had as well, even if players did not log in or ever play Dark and Light.

If you have been wrongly billed the best recommendation for dealing with the issue would be to contact Farlan Entertainment billing support and explain the issue. Also, contact your bank or financial institution to find out if and when your account was improperly billed and follow up on any policies the bank has for dealing with improper billing.

MMORPG.com will continue to follow this story as best we can by tracking the forums and what is being said on both sides of the issue.