last september, i deleted all my characters (gear included) and content id's. I then uninstalled the game, broke the cd's and threw them in the trash, then burned all the manuals. I did this for a few reasons, none of which I'll go into. That was about 5 or 6 months ago. Like a true ffxi'er, i got an itch last week. I began looking into ffxiv to try something new, but after reading poor review after poor review from major game sites and a few player reports on various forums, i decided to see if it was possible to get my old stuff back.
last sunday i spent some time on playonlines site looking for information. I happened to see a pol report that said the phone support would be closed the following day (yesterday) which sucked because i wanted to call and see. I spent the evening trying to gather information about the account, which was difficult because i no longer had the manual. But from memory, scribblings on looseleaf, or the random email, i was able to put together virtually all my old account info. Armed with this info, I began to wait til Tuesday (48ish hours).
So a few hours ago, i called up pol and didn't expect much. after about 10-15 mins, a tech picked up the line and i nervously thought to myself "here goes nothing." I can't remember his name, but i think it was josh. regardless 'josh' was probably the coolest tech I've ever interacted with. Patient. Helpful. Maybe even empathetic (or maybe he played at one point and was sympathetic). oh yea, he spoke English as a first language, so that was wicked awesome.
After sorting out the account info, he checked the computers for my old characters.... he found nothing. However, he then mentioned that playonline has automated the character recovery/restoration and i should go to their site and about midway down there would be a image on the left with a taru on it that says something about character restoration.
I asked if he would mind waiting on the phone while i attempted to try the procedure, he agreed to. I filled out the form and hit submit. and i got the message "your account is voided.... you are ineligible." We checked our info and resubmitted again. same thing. So with that, I bid josh farewell, and he said i could keep trying as it was automated and free.
So after i got off the phone, i waited a few minutes, and tried again. This time though, i carefully read the message. What i missed earlier is that the message read "voided due to lack of payment." I began to wonder. did my last payment get revoked? I checked my statements and sure enough, the last payment to SE (a few days after i quit) was declined. So i wondered if the error was that the account was currently not active due to not being paid in full.
I called pol again. after about 15 minutes, i got another tech. this time it was a massive douche (further referenced as 'douche'). I asked douche if the restoration procedure had anything to do with the account currently being inactive or whatever. Douche angrily replied that billing had absolutely nothing to do with restoration, and that "if nothing was showing up on the webpage, it was because the characters were gone" for good. Douche then rushed me off the phone, but i took the conversation with a grain of salt.
I couldn't shake the feeling douche was wrong. Even earlier Josh wasn't entirely sure why it would be failing. I figured it was worth a shot, so i went and grabbed a copy of the ultimate collection. popped it in, installed POL, went into my old account and was greeted by the old "dude you owe us money" popup. so i paid the fees and the account was reactivated. I then went to pol, went to the restoration link, filled out the forms, and, with baited breathe wondering if i'd just wasted $17 and a 40~ mile round trip to Best Buy in Slidell, La(wasn't going to start over again), i hit confirm...
I was greeted by a list of every character I'd ever created on the account. Including the one char i deleted like back in '06 after like 5 minutes while trying to get a worldpass to phoenix. I returned to polviewer and reactivated some content id's. then returned to the website and reactivated the characters.
I continued to install the game & expansions. as of right now, i'm writing this while waiting the 8 hours for updates. probably wont take that long though.
moral of the story, some pol techs are nice, others are knuckle-shuffling gorilla @#%^ers that hate themselves and don't know sh*t about policy. not saying this would work for everyone, but it did for me. but i think the automated service thing they added needs to be mentioned in the OP for returning players. you just need the pol ID, password, CD registration (22 alpha-numeric code/cd key thing from the copy of the game you ORIGINALLY registered the account with) and your account has to BE PAID IN FULL and ACTIVE.
as i probably will be naked and poor... if anyone on phoenix feels so inclined to donate some equipment, <can i have it?> ;D
editted to add "originally registerd the account"
Edited, Feb 22nd 2011 10:38pm by therealcanyon
Ashmaker Glotblut, Hoo Mjuu The Torrent, Hawkeyed Dnatbat, Meteormauler Zhagtegg, Valkurm Emperor*retired from this one*, Goblin Archaeologist, Lumbering Lambert, Tumbling Truffle, Jaggedy Earred Jack, Tousandarm Deshglesh, Tom Tit Tat, Spiny Spipi, every NM in Giddeus at least 5 times, Mee Deggi the Punisher, Quu Domi the Gallant, Leaping Lizzy, Golden Bat, Jolly Green, Ogygos, Old-Two Wings(lost drop when char deleted), Steelbiter Gudrud, Stray Mary, Mimas. Think that's about it