Archives, Columns, Letters to the Editor|February 15, 2012 1:52 PM

Challenge Issues, Embedded Games, Bad Help, DHS, and, Actually, Not a Lot More!

Can it Get Worse?!

I’m so frustrated. Upset. Disappointed.

First let me start by saying that I love Pogo… or used to. I’ve been a long time member… in fact, I just checked my stats, and today is my 12 year anniversary of being a member.

Last week’s fiasco with Stellar Sweeper was frustrating. I played, I got credit, I lost credit. Then I would play again, not get any credit. This went on for a few days. I dealt with it.

Today I was playing Phlinx for at least 1 and half hours. Number of stones dropped was somewhere around 1,400. Finished a game, screen froze, and I lost everything.

Winning a Badge is supposed to be challenging… and FUN. (I’m one of the weird ones who loved the Quick Quack challenge and got it before the requirements were changed). However, playing a game for a decent amount of time and losing credit is not FUN. Not after it happens time and time.

I just renewed my membership and almost wish I didn’t. I don’t like the Facebook formats on games at all. I don’t like how many problems Pogo seems to be having so often. And I hate the fact that when I tried to get HELP, I kept being directed towards the forums. Where is the email addy for good old fashioned help?

Mutter mutter, grumble grumble…

Please Pogo, restore your reputation as a FANTASTIC game site that has FANTASTIC customer service.


A Not So Happy Anniversary

Another Week, Another Issue!

Pogo should have left well enough alone. You had many happy Club Pogo members, now, there is nothing but complaints in chat. You are trying to convince people in the forums and Letters to the Editor that members actually like the embedded games. Well perhaps you should go into some of the games and read the chat to find out what they really think.

What was wrong with the games being the way they were. The Pop Ups issue can be remedied by everyone; simply make the change on your computer.

I for one, am rethinking my membership when it expires. And I am not the only one.

Disgruntled member

Not Enough Rooms for Daily Challenge

Why you created a Daily Challenge in Greenback Bayou and neglected to add the additional rooms is beyond me. You say we can go into Live Chat, but when I log into the EA website, tell it the category of Pogo and the game in question, my only choice is to go to the forums. By the time anyone ready the forums, our 15 hours that are left for this one daily challenge will be expired.

Brilliant!!!! I will let me Pogo membership now expire when it comes up for renewal. This happens way too often!!!!

Xbox will be my new home for gaming.


Lost Progress in Phlinx

I was playing Phlinx for the Weekly Challenge badge.

I had dropped 454 stones and the game froze.

When I got back in I had lost not only the stones for the game I was playing but the 454 I had already earned.

Please tell me we aren’t going to have repeats of last weeks fiasco from Stellar Sweeper..please please please.

I hate chewing my cabbage twice so please get this annoying bug fixed.

Thank you.

Another Player Unhappy with Embedded Games

Hi Tahd

What, OH What, are you doing to Pogo? Everyday there seems to be something new or something not working.

I haven’t been a member for years like a lot of other people but I do spend a lot of time and money on my entertainment. I also opened a second account last year. This account has no friends and no one knows about it. This where I can go and play my games when I feel like being alone.

The Embedded Games are horrible and contrary to what you say about them being faster, they take a lot longer to open. I don’t like the format and the fact people can see when I was last there and the wasted space of me seeing when my friends were there. Who cares? Bottom line… two thumbs down.

In the three years I have been a member I have never seen the issues that Stellar Sweeper caused last week. I started over five times, even after we received the message it was fixed, I still lost over 50 jets. I do know and understand issues come up and I get frustrated with others who constantly complain about the weekly badges, but this was just beyond reasonable.

For the past week my Friends list has gone wonky. Many times its ‘not available’. What could be the reason for this? It should be a stable page as you aren’t making changes or upgrades to it. OR ARE YOU? If so, leave it alone, it works fine as it is.

The Help Page is now a disaster zone, even though you think it’s improved. Improved for who? When I went there last week about an issue I got the message there was no one available to talk to me. How can this be? What happened to the queue? I ended up sending an email. This was four days ago and I still have had no reply. The past few times I was able to talk to someone, as soon as I told them my problem they said they were putting me to a Level 2 advisor where I was to wait another half hour. Needless to say, I didn’t wait.

Pogo doesn’t have the number of members they do because of dissatisfaction. In fact, many are talking about not renewing. This is partly because they are not happy with what has been happening but also they are beginning to wonder if Pogo is going to be closing its doors.

The past few times you have had badge or album specials I wasn’t able to take advantage of them. I had been one of those people who bought an album or Mix-n-Match when they came out and your offers were on such old items I already had them. It was like we were being punished for spending our money. So no more. I have stopped purchasing and will wait for sales. Sounds good for business doesn’t it? When you offered ‘the bundle’ with a free M-n-M a few weeks ago, there was one bundle where I only had one of the badges in it. Doing the math, it was still a deal for me to buy that and get my free M-n-M. But oh no, because I owned one badge already I wasn’t able to make the purchase. Does that sound fair to you? Again, punished for buying at regular prices.

I buy my Gems at 750 a pop and still have some left, but I will be thinking seriously about purchasing more. If in fact, the rumors about Pogo closing shop are true, why bother with items from the Mini Mall or Badges as all could be lost shortly.

I know you have heard this before but it needs to be said again… STOP fussing around with Facebook. All these problems started when you linked up with them. In my opinion you spend too much time getting things going there and your paying members are suffering. I could go on and on but I know you have heard it all before.

The bottom line is I will definitely NOT be renewing my second account and my primary one is still up in the air. As far as Gems, I think they will be on hold for a while too. So just with me, you have lost $40 on a membership plus about another $40 every two months for gems… that’s $280 a year from just one member you will be losing.

One last thought. You didn’t get the membership numbers you have because people didn’t LIKE Pogo as it was.

Very Frustrated

Love the Challenges. The Problems Not So Much

I like the fact that you feature daily and weekly game challenges. It gives an incentive to play games you might not otherwise visit. However, when the game play is interrupted by server issues and other problems, the experience is very frustrating. This is the third week in a row that you have been unable to provide an enjoyable gaming experience for these featured games. I can only speak for myself when I say that this is not meeting expectations, but I am seeing many other user comments that echo my feelings. If you can’t correct the problems, don’t entice people to play the games by offering the challenges. I see many comments about cancelling subscriptions and I can certainly understand that sentiment.

Please, get the problems fixed. Your members just want an enjoyable platform to play games and make new friends. But they will go elsewhere if you don’t correct the interruption issues.

Thank you


A Plea for Daily Hot Shots!

Dear Editor,

I just wanted to voice my complete disappointment in hearing that Hot Shots will be canceled. I renewed my membership based on this game, which is by far the best game and the one I look forward to the most.

I will not be renewing my membership next year and to be honest, I am contemplating cancelling my subscription altogether early. There have been so many changes with Pogo over the last year and every time I feel like we, the subscribers, get a little less with the changes. The Badge Challenges are less, there is such a requirement for Gems now to be used, and the jackpots are not available like the old days which takes away the excitement of playing the games.

I know things change, but again, I feel that I am not getting my money’s worth anymore. Also, it took me ten minutes to figure out how to get this letter to anyone’s attention. It makes me feel like I am not valued as a customer and that you don’t care if someone is so unhappy they may want to cancel their subscription. I hope you read this and forward this to someone who cares.


A Sad Pogo Club Member

Give Me One Reason to Stay Here

Dear Tad,

Can you please give me one good reason as to why Pogo is switching all the games over to the embedded format?

I know I’m technologically impaired…but this change has many people up in arms and upset (including me) and yet you still continue to change these games over to this ridiculously cluttered, static, and privacy compromised format. WHY? What reason can you possibly give us for the change? Does the outcry against it from your paying members mean nothing?

Why is it that Pogo felt the need to change something that was not broken? Why cater to a Facebook-like audience? If I wanted a Facebook game… I’d go to Facebook… duh! Why not keep Pogo… Pogo?

This is like a game site pandemic as far as I’m concerned. Every time I turn around… another game has caught the virus and it’s killing my enjoyment… and quite possibly my membership.

One reason Tahd… ONE reason. Please!

Sign me,

Triple D

(Disappointed, Dumbfounded and Dismayed)

Letter FROM the Editor, In Response!

Dear Letters to the Editor Readers,

Thank you all very much for sending in your feedback over the various issues we’ve had in the past few weeks. The Editor box has not been this active since the infamous Quackadoodle Challenge in 2006!

About the string of Challenge issues: I empathize with everyone who’s had problems with the recent Club Pogo Challenges. We really messed up with last week’s Hypnotic Angler Badge in Stellar Sweeper. Thankfully, the issues with the Sphlinx Play Badge appear to have been resolved and we don’t expect that one to break again. Furthermore, we did add a great deal of capacity to Greenback Bayou earlier today.

It’s little comfort, I know. So far this year, we’ve had a lot of change and, unfortunately, a lot of issues. There are various reasons why our Challenges have been so problematic, and unfortunately, not attributable to one source. In other words – we’ve had a string of bad luck with the Challenges, and we can’t pin it to any one thing. Bugs, typos, server crashes and “technical issues” have all played a part. It would have been a lot easier if it were one little problem. It’s been incredibly frustrating on our end as well, not to mention embarrassing. This is *not* the Club Pogo we aim to be.

Regarding Help: Our Customer Experience department has made some dramatic changes, and there are definitely some growing pains associated with that. The department, which services all of Electronic Arts, has long term plans for huge improvements to the Help experience. But, as many of you have noted, we’re not there yet.

Furthermore, there is not currently any phone support. When we launched Pogo way back when, we had e-mail support only, and it wasn’t until a few years ago that we actually began offering phone support. You can still chat with real, live people through our Live Chat. We will update our players in the Pogo News if any further changes are made to our support structure.

We are working with the Customer Experience team more closely now to address some of the issues our players have been having, and we expect that the service will improve.

As for the Embedded Game Pages – we have heard from a lot of players who are unhappy with them. Many of you have been incredibly articulate in exactly what you don’t like about them, and that is much appreciated, as we will be addressing some of those issues longer term.

As for why – while many will think I’ve raided Ms. Netiquette’s “special blend” of tea when I say this – it’s to make the game experience better. There’s a lot more information available in terms of game play, Badges, friends, and how to play. Overall, it should be a better experience.

Furthermore, the numbers are showing that most players are adapting to the new pages, and that engagement in Challenges specific to those games is actually up significantly.

But again – we are looking at your feedback and we are looking at ways to address the various issues you’ve brought to our attention.

Finally, on Daily Hot Shots: I know a lot of folks are unhappy with this decision, and I am sorry that on occasion we have to make tough choices that result in the loss of a game. But, alas, the game did require a number of resources, and the usage was declining. Furthermore, it was a challenge to keep the content fresh, which we recognized would eventually result in a greater decrease in usage. It was a tough business decision, and it is sad to see it go.

On behalf of Pogo, I am sincerely sorry for the issues with Challenges we’ve had in the past few weeks. I also want to assure you that we’re working with our Customer Experience team to provide better service, and finally – we are listening. We can’t react immediately to everything due to a number of reasons, but your voices *are* being heard, and as much as I may regret saying this tomorrow when I have an overflowing in box – keep those Letters to the Editor coming!

Feeling Your Pain!

Dear Tahd:

I just read some of the ugly comments in the forums and on Facebook posted by angry users. While I understand their frustration–I, too dislike embedded games and Stellar Sweeper has been anything but stellar this week–I can’t understand their viciousness. Yes, we pay a “whopping” $40/year to play games, and yes, there are over a million subscribers, and yes, I can “do the math,” but people, the logistics of a gaming site such as Pogo are immense! It isn’t a little point and click operation.

I agree that someone screwed up, but it happens. As someone in the IT field, I’ve made what I thought was a simple tweak that didn’t just rock the house, it blew it up! The one thing I never had was a million people telling me their dog has more sense than me. Please, don’t make such nasty comments to the good men and women of Pogo. They are trying. Thank them for all the do right and all they do well and try to cut them some slack when these things happen.

Best of luck, guys! Whatever else you may hear/read, know that at least one person feels your pain and has faith in you. I appreciate all your hard work and extraordinary talents–I certainly couldn’t do it.

A Loyal Pogoian Fan

Editor: Thank you very much! While I’ve read plenty of eye-cringing stuff on the Forums and on Facebook, I’m happy to say that, for the most part, by the time people actually sit down to write a Letter to the Editor, they’ve calmed down a bit, and most of the letters I receive are pretty respectful. This week, maybe not so much, but overall, definitely. :)

How *Do* You Do It?

Dear Wonderful Editor,

I have a question for you. I want to know how you keep calm when you have hundreds or thousands of people mad at you and melting down that Pogo is not working right?

I have been reading both Pogo’s Facebook and Pogo Bret’s Facebook and am amazed at all of the people that are so rude. Yes, I wasn’t happy that I wasn’t getting credit towards the Challenge. Yes, I wasn’t happy that this was the second week in a row that a Weekly Challenge wasn’t working right. But, this isn’t a perfect world… things don’t always work right. Especially technology. I can understand everybody’s frustrations but some are just being WAY too rude. One person just kept going on and on and on and on and… well, you get the idea. How do you deal with these people without losing it and going off? I give you many kudos and cookies!

I’ve been with Pogo for going on 10 years and a Club member for going on 8. I’ve had my share of problems with Pogo but they’ve always been resolved one way or another. I’ve never threatened to “take my business elsewhere” or anything like that. I am happy with Pogo, even when there are glitches and frustrating times.

— One Happy Player

Editor: How do I do it? Letters like the last two definitely help! A sense of humor is required, as well.

I also recognize that passion is tricky. On one hand, it’s definitely hard to read the negative feedback, but on the other, I recognize that the reason people are so upset is because, on some level, they really do love Pogo, and they want Pogo to provide them with the experience they’ve grown to expect. We’ve had a “Perfect Storm” of changes and issues lately that have a lot of people very upset. While I can’t predict that everything will be back to normal or hunky dory any time soon, I can reiterate that we do listen, recognize the issues, and that we are exploring various ways to ensure that the Club Experience is more fun than frustration again.

Kudos for Crazy Cake Challenge

I have to say that in spite of not liking the Crazy Cakes game, I loved the Challenge!

KUDOS to POGO. This was an actual CHALLENGE. A lot of the Weekly Challenges aren’t very challenging but I thoroughly enjoyed earning this Badge so much so, that I actually had to help out my dad earn his. Well done POGO!

Pogo on the TV!

Dear Editor,

You would not believe what I just saw on TV a few minutes ago a commercial about Pogo yes Pogo! it stated to play Scrabble on

Wow what a nice surprise to see that Commercial in my home town of Cincinnati Ohio, I loved that Commercial.

Keep up the good work on making commercials, and on Pogo of course.

Lottso my life

Editor: I’m guessing that might be our Pogo SCRABBLE Ad that we must be running again! Glad you saw it!

Thanks for Your Help, Pogo

Hi Pogo,

While I did not fall in love on Pogo, I would like to let Pogo know that they have helped and continue to help in my recovery.

Six years ago I slipped 3 discs in my neck and had a stroke at the same time. Pogo games helped immensely in my recovery. speed or timed games helped to increase my dexterity and, as many in the medical field will tell you, that word games and puzzles will help the brain to grow new synapses that were previously damaged.

So, I just wanted to thank you for your part in my recovery.

Sandra C, aka sandybeachbluski

Do you have something you want to say? E-mail

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