Green Ronin is driving me crazy


Other RPGs

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

This is a rant.

Make no mistake; I really like Green Ronin's products, from Blue Rose to most of the Freeport material; from Mutants & Masterminds to the extraordinary "Song of Ice & Fire". They're terrific, and well worth the price.

But they have to least helpful customer service people in the world. I've written them notices on their website every couple of days for the last month. I've dropped privte messages to them via facebook.

No response. (Oh. The one time I posted a public message, letting them know that I'd left them another private message, they deleted the public message.)

As far as information is concerned, they have no phone number.

Back in the day, you had to mail a letter to TSR to get an answer, but you would indeed eventually get one.


So many businesses really underestimate the importance of customer service or understand how to implement easy to use customer service systems.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Wow, that's a shame. Probably what's keeping them from being a great company rather than a good one. I agree their product line is fantastic, and I've always wondered why they don't get more word-of-mouth praise. I bet this is a factor.

I agree with Swank76. You can be trained in basic customer service in two hours. It largely involves being promptly responsive (the main issue here, both in the "prompt" and "responsive" part, which are so very essential), saying *everything* with a smile, and always remembering to thank the customer for their patronage. So extremely easy to do, and utterly mind boggling that so many companies and sellers don't grasp it. (Why yes, I have worked in sales.)

The hardest part to be fair is responsiveness--if you're a small company, it's hard to have enough staff to cover that. But it's one of the most important parts. If you don't have enough money for full time "reception" of some kind, you pay a starving college student in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to do it. You need someone to answer customer concerns, even if it's someone to just say, "We got your message, and the person in charge of the Extillybloo Ruleset is on vacation for a week, and I'll be sure they get back to you as soon as they settle back into the office." It makes such a difference just for someone to know they got the message. Better customer service training programs (which might take 5 hours instead of 2) will also teach you how to deal with difficult customers, etc.

Grand Lodge

And since there are services in India and other countries that will rent secretaries to businesses, they could pay someone a few dollars an hour to cover customer service complaints.


All I can add to Chris Mortika's situation is: The Better Business Bureau ranking for Green Ronin Publishing is an F. And it looks like even if you file a BBB complaint against them, they won't respond.

DeathQuaker wrote:
Better customer service training programs (which might take 5 hours instead of 2) will also teach you how to deal with difficult customers, etc.

More importantly, if the issue is handled well to begin with, there are far less difficult customers.

Dark Archive

Sadly ... I have to agree :(

Like the OP I'm a huge fan of their work; owning the whole M&M Line in both print and digital, Freeport, Song of Ice and Fire, etc.

Recently (in the last few months) I moved to a new job, and when I asked them to redirect two orders from an old address to a new one through the webpage form, 2 emails directly to Nichole, and a few PMs, the order still never had the address changed - and none of the emails or PMs were acknowledged as received.

These weren't last minute changes either, I pre-ordered Silver Age and SoiF:Campaign Guide right at announcement ... giving them roughly 3 months to acknowledge my address change.

Both parcels went to my old office. Were it not for still having a civil relationship with the office assistant taking my packages, I'd have never seen my order.

Dark Archive

In my experience, a PM to Chris Pramas / Pramas (if you can find a way to do that) or Evan Sass / Sassyronin will get a reply sooner than a PM to anyone else. (Even then, AFAIK, they all have day jobs in the real world, and don't check their PMs daily, since timely issues are supposed to be handled elsewhere, but, obviously, aren't.)

There is a specific 'route' by which things are supposed to travel, and that route appears to be the source of the bottleneck, as customer service matters that go down that road fall into a sinkhole and are never seen again.

Great products, 'though!


WHile the BBB is a decent stick by which to measure a business - and an F is a pretty poor score, keep in mind that a company like Paizo Publishing only rates a B and their customer service, as far as I have experienced it, has been outstanding.


Checking the BB website, Paizo is rated at a B- due to the fact that there isn't a large amount of information. The company has only been listed by the BBB for 2 1/2 years. I'm willing to bet that in order to get a A rating a company has to have been around long enough for the BBB to be comfortable making a profile. Plus, they have to be accredited by the BBB, which costs money that a small company might not have.

Dark Archive

Set wrote:
In my experience, a PM to Chris Pramas / Pramas (if you can find a way to do that) or Evan Sass / Sassyronin will get a reply sooner than a PM to anyone else.

Sadly, my emails and PMs were directly to SassyRonin and NikChick, and not only single attempts. NikChick being Pramas' significant other would at least warrant some priority, you would think.

Day jobs or not (and FWIW Green Ronin is Chris and Nicole's primary income, at least as far as March of 2010), it doesn't take a lot of effort to at least reply with an acknowledgement that someone's request has made it into an email mail box.

Anyways, I think from now on I'll rely on Paizo or my LGS to get my Green Ronin stuff (since I'm going to invest in Dragon Age next) so to avoid any potential mix-ups again.


Jason Ellis 350 wrote:
Checking the BB website, Paizo is rated at a B- due to the fact that there isn't a large amount of information. The company has only been listed by the BBB for 2 1/2 years. I'm willing to bet that in order to get a A rating a company has to have been around long enough for the BBB to be comfortable making a profile. Plus, they have to be accredited by the BBB, which costs money that a small company might not have.

I work at a BBB accredited business and we have an A+ rating. We've been accredited since 2001 so the time may certainly be a factor and I expect the gamer market is more likely to generate complaints than our rather smaller more professional sector. But the key to BBB ratings is dealing with issues one way or the other and then reporting the issue and resolution to the BBB and them finding the resolution reasonable given the issue and evidence. Now if a company simply Black Holes all communication then they will receive a very poor rating. If they can't be bothered with the customer there is no way they are keeping on top of reporting issues and resolutions to the BBB.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I recently printed out and bound both the Rulebook and the Campaign Setting for Song of Ice & Fire. I have to say, it's great. I'm also loving what I've seen of the Dragon Age RPG.


Well, whatever the problems have been in the past, now that they have a major deal with DC Comics, if there are issues with those books in the future and you still can't get a reply from Green Ronin, maybe a letter sent to DC will get their attention. That said, I am looking forward to the DC Adventures books and the 3rd edition of M&M.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

A follow-up. Eventually, some anonymous person wrote me back, apologetic, and had me talk to Bill Bodden in sales. I did, a few hours ago. Bill wrote me back promptly, apologized heartily for the lack of communication, and made sure that my needs were taken care of. (In particular, Green Ronin will be supplying prizes to the players at my 'Warriors and Warlocks' table at PaizoCon.)

So, thumbs up to Bill.

Liberty's Edge

Chris Mortika wrote:

A follow-up. Eventually, some anonymous person wrote me back, apologetic, and had me talk to Bill Bodden in sales. I did, a few hours ago. Bill wrote me back promptly, apologized heartily for the lack of communication, and made sure that my needs were taken care of. (In particular, Green Ronin will be supplying prizes to the players at my 'Warriors and Warlocks' table at PaizoCon.)

So, thumbs up to Bill.

Was any REASON given for the abyssmal customer service?

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

No, Marc, and I wouldn't expect there to be. However, I was told that, in the future, I would expect faster service on convention support by writing to sales@greenronin.com directly, rather than consupport@.. or demosupport@...

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

And Bill followed through on his promise. He sent two copies of the "Warriors & Warlocks" softcover, and twelve copies of the Mutants & Masterminds Quickstart Introductory book.


For what it's worth, the BBB rating for Green Ronin is based on 3 complaints in the last 36 months. So, not much data to go on, really.


Bill Dunn wrote:

For what it's worth, the BBB rating for Green Ronin is based on 3 complaints in the last 36 months. So, not much data to go on, really.

The real problem I see here is that, no matter how great a company may be or how great it's rating is, they do not have a publicly listed business phone number and posted business hours that they can be contacted within.


Enevhar Aldarion wrote:


The real problem I see here is that, no matter how great a company may be or how great it's rating is, they do not have a publicly listed business phone number and posted business hours that they can be contacted within.

While I think it's a good thing to have regular contact hours, I'm not sure it's really necessary for all business models, particularly ones involving or revolving primarily around internet communications or catering to a specialized hobby need. Good communication is important, but I am not convinced it needs to be via the phone or at particular times.


Their horrible customer service is the very reason I don't purchase anything from them anymore. If I wan't one of their products, I get in at another online store that carries it.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Most smaller publishers/companies have a small amount of false leads and dead ends when contacting them. The problem is in the case of say a publisher, a lot of people will try and write to the writers/developers who really have no idea how to handle the customer service/management side of things.

If your careful, you can generally spot administration emails that will net you better results. This is usually the sales staff email, or publicity, etc. It's also one of the ways I usually got interviews for my podcasts. Hit up their sales/marketing team and suddenly I had developers/writers e-mailing me.

Paizo is wonderful with their sites connectivity with customers. The subscription services, the vast ammount of staffers on the boards themselves. It's really nice.

Before tracking down a company for help ask yourself a quick question:

Is this really something for the management side or for the develoment side. Management tends to be behind sales email addys, development tends to haunt the boards.

Rarely, they'll cross communicate on stuff like this, but directed questions tend to have better results.

Wanna talk about a nightmare to get in touch with...talk to me about White Wolf. They were cryptic before their 'dead year' post reorg, but nowadays you usually only hear freelancers and 1 or 2 line developers chatting it up on the boards. Most the marketing/admin team is tied up in CCP stuff. Compared to that, Green Ronin is quite tame.


hedgeknight wrote:
Their horrible customer service is the very reason I don't purchase anything from them anymore. If I wan't one of their products, I get in at another online store that carries it.

\

DITTO.

Several years ago, just before 4th edition was announced I tried to order a book from their site. I paid for the book, sent an email to them asking for confirmation of shipping when it shipped and... nothing. I never got the book, I could never get in contact with anybody for a refund. It was like I was emailing a dead website. I took the loss and vowed never to purchase from their site again. In fact the only publishing company I'll buy from directly is Paizo. All others I purchase through proven 3rd party retailers.

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