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By: Nagarjuna, Mario Schulte
Nov 11 2010 3:20am
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Hello everybody,

This is my first article for puremtgo because I’m not a native speaker and can’t explain my thoughts in detail for some strategy issues and stuff I guess. The topic of this article will be the costumer service of Wizards of the Coast and the refund system they offer us for mtgo.
So a few guys around know me as part of the Heirloom Community - others don’t. I played paper magic with breaks from 1994-2006. Never major events, but in the end weekly sanctioned extended and legacy events. I quit that “scene” because of time lacking - I’m 28 years now and live gets more serious - and the behavior of some guys. I don’t want to complain about the social behavior of some “typical” magic players, but I quit paper because of that...
For a  while I didn’t play magic, until I got a dsl internet connection and opened a mtgo account after reading about the software on forums. Here I had my first issue with the company and contact with the costumer support.
Opening an MTGO account
I paid my account via PayPal because that was always the fastest and easiest way to pay on the internet for me for a while. Here in Germany credit cards are not as common as in the states I guess. So I paid and waited for an email or something to activate my account. After 3 business days I searched for the customer service. The contact wasn’t easy, there wasn’t an email provided on the webs.
So what do you have to do to contact the customer service?
Go to and “contact” ( Then go to “Email“  and click
Now you are offered some FAQs and answers. Maybe that can help you, but I needed more help in my case. So I thought about the “live help” option. Chatting with a customer support on other websites was always helpful for me before. But here you only get information about the online response crew on mtgo or the online chat wasn`t available at that time.
When I now checked the site for the article, it would be able to chat on special topics, but I didn’t try it now because I didn't want to annoy them by just saying hello for a test.
In my case I tried “email us”.
You need an email account for the wizards’ website here. I had trouble remembering mine I set up years ago, but figured it out in the end. So here I could submit a message telling the customer service that I paid for my account and did not get an activation code after three days. After 48 hours I got an email back.
The format of the emails from that customer service is not very easy to handle I think. You can only response to it by typing your answer in between those lines in that email:
[===> Please enter your reply below this line
[===> Please enter your reply above this line
They are not highlighted so you have to read that email carefully!
In my case I had to submit all details from my MTGO account registration again to verify my person. After 24-48 more hours I received another email that said my account is active now. That was ok in all, but troubleshooting would be nice, because nobody told me that they are sorry or what went wrong here.
So finally I could log on MTGO for the first time.
I red all about the interface and the starter kit and how to handle it on forums (never open your booster, but sell it or keep it for a draft!) to be prepared to start my mtgo live! But what?!? In my collection was nothing! No Starter kit!
I asked the ORCS and they gave me a link I already knew – customer service here I come!
I wrote another email explaining how my account was activated and that I don’t own a starter kit. After another 72 hours I got a well known email that told me that my starter kit should be ready now and that there are troubles for me paying by PayPal - so I should pay with another method in the future! Funny guys! They offer the option to pay via PayPal and tell me that. They didn’t tell me way my account or payment is troubled and others are not.
So now I always pay by credit card and my stuff is offered immediately.
The refund link
My account is running well now, but like everybody else (?) I have a lot off errors and bugs while using MTGO. Sometimes even watching a replay creates error loops that force me to shoot down mtgo completely. The interesting and aggravating errors are those in sanctioned events. Here I give you my last examples:
First issue
I played a SOM Prerelease right when they started. I joined the server with around 1000 guys to fire the first sealed events and it was very laggy. In one of my first matches an aura enchanting a creature was copied 4 times by an error that occurred in some loops.
It didn’t affect the result of the game, but it was an error that disrupted the game and I submitted it to the customer service to let them know by this link:,525,870
You can always ask the ORCS for the refund link on mtgo. It is important that you note the number of your event and the number of the game that was bugged. Fill in the formula step by step and seriously.
The answer came in between 6 hours and offered me a full amount of my spend money (with the tax) as a compensation code for the mtgo store. That was more then I expected here!
Second issue
The next trouble I had while playing a 4 Booster M11 sealed event. I like those ones, and now the packs are sold for 3, 5 so its 14 tix for a sealed event, that’s fine for me.
During the first match I had a terrible bug:
Sometimes (actually 6 times in 2 games) at a turn step the game said “waiting for opponent X” on my screen and his time was running down. But actually it said the same for my opponent and when the turn moved on I lost the whole time on the clock by interrupt. I had to ask my opponent if he had stopped playing or if I was bugged again and had to log off and on - while losing time! That caused me like 14 min so I used the refund link again.
And again in between a few hours a compensation code for the whole money spend was offered to me.
I never wrote something like: “Give me my money back!!!” but only described the error that went on. Even an answer that says “Sorry for that, we are fixing the problem for the future!” would have been fine for me. But a full refund is welcome too!
So all in all I think the refund system works really great. So I can just tell you, if you have trouble in a sanctioned event, use the refund link! You keep all the cards and stuff you won even when you get a refund!
If you have some experiences with the customer service I would really like to read about it in the comments!

P.S. In what situation is a Crazed Goblin more useful than the Mons's Goblin Raiders?


I've always gotten refunds by GainsBanding at Thu, 11/11/2010 - 04:35
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I've always gotten refunds when I've had a problem. Even when I'm not sure I deserved it and told them so in the email - like when I was having lag that I'm sure was because of a slow internet connection on my end. I'm just always courteous and professional and describe the situation. I've never abused it, but I won't hesitate to click that link if even the slightest thing goes wrong in an event.

Hello GainsBanding, that's by Nagarjuna at Thu, 11/11/2010 - 04:45
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Hello GainsBanding,

that's exactly my experience. Describe the issue in detail and they will always be willing to give you refunds. The bad side is, if they are able to give you back products without complainig, that's a sign for how much profit they make with you paying in the store...

Thanks for reading the article



WotC profit from MTGO by StumblingMonkey at Thu, 11/11/2010 - 05:09
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I don't see how profit by WotC is a bad thing, per se. It is a business after all-much like puremtgo. To me, if you are pleased with teh service and enjoyment you get for what you pay then it is actually good. I think it is good because if MTGO was doing poorly they would 1)become stingy with things like refunds and 2)MTGO would eventualyl fizzle and any fun you have or money you have "invested" in said fun will be gone. Profit, as long as you are pleased with what you get for your money, is a positive for us and WotC. I don't always agree with waht Wizard's does but if I am displeased with this game and feel as though I am not getting the level of enjoyment for my money then I won't do it. I don't think this is anything more or less than that: it's like going to the movies---I don't think anyone complains about the movie theatre making a profit. I would also like to say I wasn't attacking you at all, sorry if it came off that way.

Hey Monkey, profit by WotC is by Nagarjuna at Thu, 11/11/2010 - 09:27
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Hey Monkey,

profit by WotC is not bad per se, but some changes (like introducing mythics - what is it good for beside selling more boosters?)are bad for players on a budget.
I'm willng to pay for the stuff I want to enjoy, but some things really went wrong in the last years I guess. Right now in germany you can't run official events in paper if you don't own a shop that works together with WotC. So the events run in my town where always PREs that are gone now wthout any replacement.

The movie theatre is a great example. I don't complain about their profit, but if a company that makes movies will show them to me for the same prize as a theatre, making much more profit, I would complain. So while I get the benefits of mtgo, I don't know why are the boosters at the same prize as in paper? To prevent paper from drying out? Did you ever get a discount when buying 100 boosters online?

I don't feel attacked and I'm thankful for your commen :-)


Thuh-Nagarjuna, congrats on by Xaoslegend at Thu, 11/11/2010 - 05:17
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congrats on the first article!

pretty good run down of some of the common issues players have at event making an account and dealing with cust service, but ya theyre usually more than generous with refunds for documented issues, just make sure you have a screensot, that always helps.


Hey Xaos, thanks for your by Nagarjuna at Thu, 11/11/2010 - 05:54
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Hey Xaos,

thanks for your comment and many thanks again for helping me to correct some mistakes of the article.

It's interesting to realize that a lot of people have very positive/successful experiences with the customer service refund. It seems to be no big subject on the forums (or I missed it :-). Maybe some people don't share their experiences because they don't want to lose that positive point.



This is a pretty useful by StealthBadger at Thu, 11/11/2010 - 06:28
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This is a pretty useful article. I've never had cause to contact the customer services (which is probably due mostly to the fact that I haven't played any online limited since leagues disappeared), but if I ever do, I can imagine myself coming back to this article.

Hey StealthBadger, when I got by Nagarjuna at Thu, 11/11/2010 - 07:45
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Hey StealthBadger,

when I got my issues with mtgo I had to figure it out by myself. So I thought it could be helpful for some people.

Thx for reading the article

Once I entered the online by Lord Erman at Thu, 11/11/2010 - 08:00
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Once I entered the online store to buy me 10 tix. And instead of buying those tix, I ended up buying 10 draft sets! This is what happens if you click too fast and don't look at your shopping basket.

Anyway, I immediately contacted the customer service and basically told them about my own stupidity. And they immediately deleted those draft sets from my account and I got my refund. I was shocked (in a good way) that they were so fast and friendly, and even paid back what they normally shouldn't have. That was, after all, my own problem and my own stupidity.

So that was the only time I contacted them and my experience with them was very positive.


Hey Lord Erman, great story! by Nagarjuna at Thu, 11/11/2010 - 09:13
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Hey Lord Erman,

great story! If they payed back in cash, i'm really suprised!

By the way: If they deleted those Draft packs immediately, I ask myself why it is not possible to get rid of those gold boardered cards...I was always told that it is not possible.


I have asked for a refund on by gimlicolby at Thu, 11/11/2010 - 10:09
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I have asked for a refund on 3 occasions and they were very prompt and courteous. That being said, the customer service website is not very intutitive. Also this past SOM prerelease I was lagged out and had not wrote down the event number. They would not refund my tix until I found that number. I had to ask my computer savvy brother-in-law to find it on my computer. They then gave me my tix back. The best part was that I ripped a mox opal and sold it for 24. So it was like a free 24 tix.

Hey gimlicolby, I totaly by Nagarjuna at Thu, 11/11/2010 - 11:41
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Hey gimlicolby,

I totaly agree that the customer service website is not vey intuitive. To get refunds you have to keep the event and game number to submit it as you said, but than it worked great for me. Good to get some free tix as you did, maybe they hope to see you coming back for more limited events?


Most definitely. I just may by gimlicolby at Thu, 11/11/2010 - 11:45
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Most definitely. I just may avoid the prerelease events. I hate setting aside time and not being able to play

What to ask request compensation for. by Haarek at Thu, 11/11/2010 - 14:22
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"It didn’t affect the result of the game, but it was an error that disrupted the game and I submitted it to the customer service....."

Should be really interesting to hear words from Wizards on this one, if such stuff deserves a compensation. I for one have had many enough such scenarios where I didnt file for compensation. And Im also one of those who have had almost exclusively positive experiences with MtgO-customer service. Until yesterday, which I hope is a one time happening:

I SENT MtgOcustomer-service: "Contagion Engine - proliferate resolving messed up. Sometimes the background is white when resolving this, sometimes its black. And instructions are awful. This made me resolve this on MtgO so that some of opponents creatures were not sent to graveyard as they should have been if choosing right permanents to proliferate at the right stages - which is hard - couse its just messed up on mtgo."

I RECEIVED from MtgO - ya know the ones we usually receive ? But no, this time an "entire story" came back:
"Upon reviewing your request for an event reimbursement we have determined that we cannot grant compensation for the event you have indicated. This is due to the fact that the Magic Online servers were not down or experiencing technical difficulties during the event you reported.

To proliferate, choose any number of permanents with one or more counters on them, and choose any number of players with one or more counters. For each permanent chosen this way, choose a counter on that permanent, then put another of those counters on it. For each player chosen this way, choose a counter that player has, then he or she gets another of those counters. You can choose any permanent that has a counter, including ones controlled by opponents. You can't choose cards in any zone other than the battlefield, even if they have counters on them, such as suspended cards or a Lightning Storm on the stack.

It is Magic Online’s policy that we cannot compensate for problems that are out of our direct control. This policy is clearly stated in the Magic Online Terms of Service which can be found at We cannot reimburse our customers for errors that occur because of their computers, software on their computers, or Internet connection issues/lag on the part of their Internet or the Internet as a whole.

We understand your connection may have been stable and you were able to connect to websites at the time of your downtime and recommend you read the following simple explanation of how your system connects to our servers. It is possible that your connection or failure to connect is a general internet failure and not the result of either your connection or the Magic Online servers. We closely monitor our servers as well as the lag in Magic Online on a regular basis and our staff is aware of any problems with events and/or server stability.

If you experience or have experienced lag or disconnection using our product, please check for the status of many of these global Internet routers. We encourage you to check this site if you're having connection issues that are unannounced so that you can better understand why you may be having connection difficulties.

If all the information you have provided in your request is correct as it stands then this decision is final concerning your compensation. If you have additional information to provide or want to make a time correction please, reply to this mail and we will review it again.

We would appreciate your feedback on the service we are providing you. Please click here to fill out a short questionnaire.

To login to your account, or update your question please click here.
Online Response Crew
Wizards of the Coast"

Internet-connection - where does that come from in this case ?

An other thing Im just mentioning about bugs in general: How many users out there are not even in the position of registrating such errors, even in the situation where they cant make smth work and they still dont get it. Do they file compensation ? no...

Unfortunately there was an by OKCoyote at Thu, 11/11/2010 - 15:59
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Unfortunately there was an FAQ on the MTGO Group when SOM first released online where it listed Known Issues. One of the known issues listed was the problem with Contagion Engine - namely that it didn't tell you when it was switching from the first instance of proliferate to the second, and it was a little hard to follow. The card works correctly if you understand how to play it, it's just not very clear. Unfortunately since they did explain it in advance of the events, I believe that justifies their decision not to give you compensation.

Hello OKCoyote, maybe that by Nagarjuna at Thu, 11/11/2010 - 17:46
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Hello OKCoyote,

maybe that makes sense! But the question is: is it ok to release a product that is so bugged? I have red about a list of known bugs before the release of SOM!

Thx for the information!

Hello Haarek, thx for your by Nagarjuna at Thu, 11/11/2010 - 17:40
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Hello Haarek,

thx for your detailed story. I nerver got any detailed answers like the one you quoted. Maybe it depends although on the person who is handling your case? Maybe some new guys at the service have to work "correct" or they have a contingent for refunds or something like that...

For registering errors: When I looked up a replay of a bugged game the bug wasn't screened there! So the screenshot couldn't show the bug...what can we do then?

Thanks by Lythand at Thu, 11/11/2010 - 15:06
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Thanks for the Walkthrough. I have never had to do a refund, but this is helpful. Good first article. A few grammer mistakes, but over all pretty good.

Grammar mistakes! ^ by greyes3 at Thu, 11/11/2010 - 16:34
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Grammar mistakes! ^

Hello guys, i expected some by Nagarjuna at Thu, 11/11/2010 - 17:43
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Hello guys,

i expected some grammar mistakes because I'm not a native speaker, sorry for that.

teehee. by StealthBadger at Fri, 11/12/2010 - 05:20
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They make that website as by TheRegularGangster at Thu, 11/11/2010 - 17:52
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They make that website as difficult to navigate as possible on purpose. The entire process is a farce. I love the double submit at the end of it all and on the second page after you've pressed "submit" there's a "your question has not been submitted yet" in smaller text. I wonder how many people think that their question has been submitted when it just really hasn't.

I use this process often as I draft tons and I'm usually in 2-3 tournaments at any given time. One crash could be 3 or more draftsets by the wayside!

Hello Gangstar, the Website by Nagarjuna at Fri, 11/12/2010 - 04:14
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Hello Gangstar,

the Website is really a farce. And the eMails I got were the same. If you can only response by typing your answer in that narrow space that is not highlighted, it's uncommon to everybody using eMails....

Thanks for sharing your experience


Bugs and compensation. by Haarek at Thu, 11/11/2010 - 19:37
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The thing about MtgO and bug-compensation is that it takes so much vigilance/research/tracking and (mtgo)experience to spot the bugs that by the time you actually get the hang of it (which is defo possible if you play much) you are already "agitated" by all those times you prolly should have filed and requested.

LoL - my paper-play-grp has ppl in it who have qualified for and been to ProTour and even then says "o'rly?" when we talk about mtgo, bugs and compensation-form.

One thing must be said again though: I feel I could have written "DONALD DUCK QUACK QUACK" in my first compensation requests and still have received Tix-Shop-Codes, thats how nice MtgO-customer service initially is and for the most part of my first 12 months on MtgO. In my 13th month now...

..its confusing that the by Nagarjuna at Fri, 11/12/2010 - 04:19
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..its confusing that the website and the whole process is really difficult to handle, but if you go through it, refunds are given out quickly...

Saving the Game/Event Number and the time of the bug showing up was always helpful for me.


WotC customer service has by ArchGenius at Fri, 11/12/2010 - 10:27
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WotC customer service has always been very helpful. The problem is finding it.

It would be nice if WotC put the customer service requests into the game the same way they put the store into the game when it used to be handled on a website.

I enjoyed this article much, by smack8001 at Fri, 11/12/2010 - 14:39
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I enjoyed this article much, much more than a 234902th snoozefest draft by Some_Dude. To the editors: creative content like this, that actually matters to players is appreciated.

Thx smack! Without being hit by Nagarjuna at Fri, 11/12/2010 - 16:51
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Thx smack!

Without being hit with some stupid bugs I would never had written this article. So maybe it's not easy to bring something up beside drafts if that's the stuff you deal with on mtgo.