A Giant Leap Forward for MTGO Customer Service

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There hasn't been a whole lot of positive news regarding MTGO in quite a while, but that changed today. Corbin posted about the new reimbursement policy earlier, but as a non-MTGO player, he wasn't sure if it was a good or a bad thing. I'm here to tell you: this is an extremely good thing.

Over the past few years, we've seen the MTGO team raise the costs for redeeming sets, cut prizes for prerelease and release events, shave niche formats from the schedule, shut down a not-great-but-still-functional client for a vastly inferior one, and poorly handle crashes experienced in major tournaments. For players who care about value, the last couple years have been extremely disappointing.

But this reimbursement policy change is one that actually benefits the community, and in a big way. A couple months ago, Brian Wong discussed the problems with MTGO compensation in depth on episode 249 of Limited Resources. He did a great job of breaking down the problems with the policy, so check out what he has to say if you're interested in the topic. Yesterday, he posted on Twitter:

Ah, don't sell yourself short, Brian...

Limited Resources is one of the most popular MTG podcasts around, so I firmly believe that Wong's eloquent description of the many problems with the old compensation policy was a major catalyst for this change.

If you're still wondering what the big deal is, here's a few scenarios that came up more often that you'd think under the old policy:

  • You draft a sweet deck, submit it, and get a deck-submission error. You are unable to log back in before deck building time is up, and end up playing an 80-card deck in all of your game ones. Under the old policy, if you won any prizes, these would be counted against your reimbursement (so if you went 2-1 in a Swiss draft, you would get a pack and two tickets as compensation).
  • A draft fires and your client crashes. You miss the entire first pack before you're able to log back on. With a combination of luck and skill, you win the draft. Despite the program making the experience less pleasant (and probably downright tilting), you would receive no compensation at all under the old policy.
  • You enter an 8-4, make the finals, and then a bug or client crash causes you to lose. Under the old system, you would receive no compensation for this, since the four packs for second place exceed the entry for the event.


All of these are very real problems that happen frequently due to the instability of version 4. With this new policy, you can presumably win an 8-4, but if you encounter an unacceptable problem that impacts your enjoyment, you may be eligible for reimbursement as well.

WOTC is going to be giving away more product than it has been under this policy, no question. It's been a rough couple of years for MTGO players, and this change is a clear bid to increase consumer confidence and satisfaction. And you know what? It will probably work.

One more thing: the quickest way to make R&D backstep on this policy is if the community starts filing for reimbursement in situations where it's not really deserved. Don't submit fraudulent compensation requests. It may seem like no big deal on an individual level, but if everyone sees it that way, it won't be long until this policy reverts to the old version. If you want this policy to stick around, think of the bigger picture and only submit compensation requests when there is truly a problem—and trust me, you'll run into plenty.

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Danny Brown

Danny is a Cube enthusiast and the former Director of Content for Quiet Speculation.

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Posted in Free, MTGO

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