Jan 26, 2012

Posted by in News | 27 Comments

Security Key Fob Fumble?

My name is Zlatto, its been 22 hours and 15 minutes since my last account login and the hand tremors and sweats have started.

Now my fob is not lost, it just seems that the Digipass GO6 “made in China” model I received in the Collector’s Edition box has a bad button. It was working fine for the first six weeks, but started acting up a few days ago. I would have to push the button multiple times at multiple angles to sometimes get a number to appear. I sent out a Customer Service request and received this:

I am Protocol Droid W6-C9 Human-Cyborg Relations…
I am sorry to hear that you cannot access to your account because you have lost your security key.
We regret to inform you that we cannot deal with your request through email. In order to protect your account, all Security Key issues are dealt with via our Customer Service telephone support.

I happened to be traveling at the time (on vacation with Mrs. Zlatto and I really did not have the time to call in and wait on hold for a live person) I did not loose my key, it was just acting up. So I suffered through the button mashing and was hopeful that when I got back home I could address my inconsistent access issues.

By the time I arrived home, the fob was giving me a number approximately every twenty presses rather than the previous three to five. I am in a guild called  Lorem Ipsum and we are a close knit group. We are friends in real life and are on instant messenger with each other through out our work days. When one of us is at work and another is not, the slacker will give them a play by play as they game. It feels like a friendly IM kick to the nards to remind you that they are leveling past you while you sort through mindless emails about some car that left the lights on out in the parking lot. So when I shared my frustration over IM about my malfunctioning key fob one of my guild mates (Deacon) reminded me of the app. Well, reminded makes it sound like I am from a warm and fuzzy guild,which is far from the truth.  It was more like he mocked me for being a technical Luddite with a fob, as the app requires no watch battery or rubber button to give me access. Makes you want to join our guild right?!

So I logged onto TOR and after 20-30 button mashes I was able to access my account info. I found the section on the left hand side that mentioned Security Key, and you can see what I get below.

Nothing about removing my key? I scoured the site for some way to remove the key from my account. Nothing.  So I sent out another request to Client Services, asking about removal of the fob.

I am Protocol Droid W6-C9 Human-Cyborg Relations…
Thank you for contacting us. I have received your transmission regarding the removal of security key in your account. However, we regret to inform you that we cannot deal with your request through email. In order to protect your account, security key issues are dealt with via our Customer Service telephone support.

Oh my. There is no route for self-service in relation to a process that is set up via self-service?

When I called in to start my removal, I got a nice welcome from the Doctors and then was informed that BioWare was experiencing a high volume of calls. I am not a specialist in Customer Service, but I would think that allowing players to self service a process that is added via self service would help shorten the long call waiting lines.  I only had a short time before I had to do some errands so… I still have a malformed button, my crew is not working and my guild mates are leveling ahead of me. Looks like my lunch hour will be on hold for me being on hold. My fob has given up, what flarking koochoo designed this process?

My name is Zlatto, its been 22 hours and 52 minutes since my last login. My guild has left Hoth without me, I am alone.

Let us know your experiences with they security key system and process!

  1. We got the app for my wife’s iPad. She decided quickly that she didn’t like having the iPad tethered to the computer for logging in. So we did the opposite of you, and got her a fob to replace it.

    We called later at night (around 9pm CST). After a few false starts working through the menu, we got a real person with no delay (despite the high volume warning) who quickly removed the old security key, waited while I logged into the game to verify that it was cleared, and I was immediately able to register her new fob via the website.

    I don’t mind it being hard to remove/change the security key on the account, honestly.

    • Agreed. It should be a little hard. Not impossible, but hard, otherwise that defeats the purpose of the added security.

      This article is much ado about nothing in my opinion.

    • I wondered about the security fob vs the iPhone app for a while too. But my fob (knock on wood) has been just fine, but I have wondered…What happens when the battery dies.

      If the fob malfunctions, I’ll do what it takes and jump through the customer service hoops in order to get it working or a new one again.

  2. Same problem, been driving me nuts going in loops on the account page. I stupidly added my CE key too, wanting to just get in-game and certain that I could easily just add the iphone app later. WRONG.

  3. I will try an off hour call, just seems a low tech solution to something they have partially enabled as ‘do it yourself’ process.

    • Lady Republic says:

      Good luck to you. This sounds like a real pain – and I agree, it seems so much simpler to have an automated way to do it online, once you’ve verified security questions and such. Isn’t that why they had us add all those in the first place?

  4. I started out with the app and am happy I did after reading this. I always have my IPhone with me any ways on the couch in front of my T.V. with my IPad. You can never have to much multitasking.

  5. You can’t remove it via the website for security reasons. If the site got hacked anyone could remove it and get into your account and ruin everything for you. The point of calling is so they can verify it’s actually you.

    • This statement is fairly nonsensical. First, they’d have to hack the original key to even loggin(after hacking the PW)…then, as with other gaming companies that have security keys, get another number, or 2!(one I did required one number, wait 20 seconds then add a second number), to untether a security key.
      It’s as reasonably safe as having a key to begin with!
      Obviously its not impossible, but if they hacking into your account that already has a key enabled, its really too late anyway… possible, but far less likely..that’s why you have the key.
      Anyway, my point is other games have keys.. and other games have automated unlocking systems… This is a burden to customers, and to the staff at BW CS.

  6. I can understand the thought of the limitation but if the site is hacked our credit cards are in the open. Bioware can give us the accounts back and the missing items so the access limitatio seems more an over site than an overly secure design. I mean WoW has a lot more accounts to shepard and the process is in place there and it seems to be safe enough.

    • Complaining about added security to remove a multi-factor authentication token seems nonsensical to me. The whole idea is it should be more challenging to remove a token than just using a website.

      From your article, it sounds like you didn’t even bother to try a call.

  7. Tamahagane says:

    Wait a second, Pretty sure if they get hacked they aint going for my credits or crafted hilts. They are going for my CC. Not having a self service seems weird when i had to make 5 secret questions at startup that are used during login when my IP address changes.. Seems like alot of TOR is not yet complete with excuses to fill the gaps. Just lazy development and short sight on behalf of managers.

  8. Same thing happened to me. I got through to them, and they wouldn’t replace it, but rather told me to go through Amazon, where I ordered it… So I just had them remove the authenticator from my account and it works fine. I plan on getting the one on my iPad.

  9. Perderedeus says:

    If they offered a system that was “too lax” and allowed easy removal of an authenticator over the web, people would complain as well. “My little brother got my keyfob and removed it from my account, blah blah blah…” I see it a lot on WoW forums.

    It’s a bum deal that this guy got a wonky authenticator. He needs a new one. But this issue about him getting some “CSR Nightmare” is ridiculous. Just call them and they can take it off your account. If you have to wait a while on the phone… deal with it. Two-factor security is supposed to make stuff like this more difficult for anyone to break through… and sometimes that includes you.

  10. I have had very good in-game experience with SWTOR. But like you I’ve had very poor Customer Support experience, and bottom line is if I can’t get into a game I like because of unavailable customer service…guess what? I’ll go play a lesser game that I can actually play. Thankfully, my issue was before actual game start and it was easier to just create a new account and register my copy that way..or I would not be playing.

  11. When I used to play WoW I used the iphone app. One time I wiped my iphone forgetting about that app. To my dismay I had to call in to a live customer service agent. Furthermore, I had to email them a copy of my driver’s license to verify who I was before they would remove it.

    Just be glad you are suffering with that and the ramifications from a compromised account.

  12. ScytheNoire says:

    *looks at security key fob*

    Don’t you even think about breaking on me.

  13. Very nicely written article… which made me immediately get my keyfob authenticator out of my pocket to make sure the button was working seemlessly.

    In some ways the authenticator could be a better option than the app since phones change, or might be broken, the battery might be dead, or it’s left in a drawer in work, or might be away for repair, etc. At least the authenticator sits on the same ring with my car keys which I can’t go anywhere without.

  14. Hello from readers in Russia. I’ve had to reinstall OS on my android phone and didn’t backup security key app. That resulted in 2 days of no play time for me:
    First, i was waiting for email response from someoneimpersonating droid.
    Then, when i called support to reset security key for me, they said their account management software was being upgraded, so i had to call another time.
    In the end, next day, they removed security key from my account via phone identity confirmation (security questions + email + name).

    Here come surprise-surprise. After they remove security key from your account, you can’t setup it back on same device! o_O And again, they are working on that issue and someone impersonating droid promised to let me know when they fix it and i would be able to attach security key to my account again.

    Very disappointing level of service.

  15. All i cna say to the people talking about ‘security’ is that many Financial Institutions enable the ability to add/change multi-factor options online. Its not unheard of to allow a self service process, and it would seem to me that its a doable process that would help players solve standard issues without having to call.

    • Blizzard does it!

    • Devoralmas says:

      Thought the same just before activating my (app) security key. It should be some easy way to change/remove the security key for those who lose it anyway. What if my phone falls on the street in a rainy day? Do I lose my account too? What in case of robbery? And if it just stops working?

      Isn’t there 5 security questions/answers?
      These 5 should be more than enough to self-change/self-remove security keys… i’d say ;)

  16. I had a similar situation, I had the app on my iPod because the Android version wasn’t out yet, and I intended to switch it over to my phone once it was released. I called customer service and spoke to someone I’m assuming was from an outsourced call center in India and was told that security authenticators cannot currently be removed from accounts and it’s a bug that they’re “working on.” After reading the comments posted I’m gonna have to give them a call again!

  17. Spherearrow says:

    Well i also had some security key issues, as i had set up the ap on my iphone, but then got a new iphone at xmas, in my excitement i wiped the old phone and set up the new, well then i got to spend a nice 3 hours on hold with CS to get them to remove my key. i then went to go set up a new one on my new phone and it is all set up on my phone, generates my numbers and everything!!! except my account says i don’t have a security key… O consumable fleet passes how i miss you.

  18. I had issues with the button as well, but they are fixed now. I put it in my pocket while I was traveling and running SWTOR on my laptop. The button got stuck in the “depressed” state. I eventually fixed it by gently pushing up on the sides all round it with an eyeglasses screwdriver. Now the button is not quite as elevated as it was originally, but it works flawlessly.

    Maybe that will help you with your fob issue.

  19. SilverSage says:

    Well after handling it with your greasy hands and all of the other stuff like pizza hotdogs pie….J/K..however you may want to very carefully apply some mild alchohol will holding it upside down… granted it was made in china…what isn’t theses days…good luck with the hardware. Like everything else…it breaks.

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