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MPL Studios (2)

skippy (52) 02-07-13  08:18pm
Rookie Badge  Pollster  Top Monthly User  Male Profile TRUST USER?   YES (23), NO (0)

CCBill and MPL Studios don't get it....

Here's a letter I just sent ccBill within 20 minutes of joining MPL Studios. PU Sysadmin, there isn't really a forum here to discuss account management systems, so I'm dropping this on the related website in the hope that both companies will notice. CCbill is generally MUCH better than the other account managers, but lately, I've had a lot of problems with them.

Here's the letter.

Iíve been happy to use ccBill and have been trusting you as a billing provider for years. Check my email address and you will see a history that is as long as your business has existed. But lately, service has gotten so poor that I am uncertain if joining a site that uses ccBill is worth it.

Tonight I joined MPL Studios for the first time. Not only did ccBill generate a RANDOM password and username, which I hate enough to cancel subscriptions over, but the lsgmodels login pop-up prevented me from toggling back and forth from the ccbill username page to the login. When I finally opened ccBill in a different browser and was able to get the insane user name and password info, the MPL Studios site would not let me in. I can only assume that I exceeded some kind of login attempt limit imposed by you.

Look, you guys are among the better account administrators out there, but I recently cancelled my subscription to met-art because I attempted to log in on several occasions and was unable to because YOUR login servers were down. I cancelled a subscription to Watch 4 Beauty because the random password was soo damn difficult to deal with, I gave up.

As a 20 year IT professional, I understand the importance of security, etc. You are going to tell me something like ďthe host web site required...Ē Bullcrap. As a leading service provider, you are in a position to explain to the host that random passwords cause them to lose customers. And a lockout after a certain number of attempts should redirect me to YOUR site to reset the account, not leave me mad enough to cancel the account immediately. In the end, any web based service must satisfy two needs to be successful. It must be convenient and it must be reliable. Random passwords make your service incredibly inconvenient and the inability of a user in good standing to log in to a site he/she paid for makes your service unreliable.


And while you are at it, unlock my account on MPL Studios so I can use the account I JUST PAID FOR!

Now, after I wrote this letter, I went ahead and called ccBaill. They told me that MPL Studios will not allow them to reset passwords that get locked out and that only they can do it. So now I'm sitting here witha paid subscription I cannot use. I will be sneding a letter to MPL Studios, as well, and I have already cancelled my brand new subscription because no website should subject thier customers to this kind of nonsense.

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Msg # User Message Date


tangub (155) I also got locked out of MPL with no explanation. Apparently I had exceeded an unknown download limit which at the time wasn't stated in the Terms and Conditions. I got a fairly quick response from their webmaster, the block was removed and they even added a couple of days to my membership for the inconvenience so I couldn't really fault their customer support. I would be surprised if they don't sort you out quickly.
02-07-13  11:02pm

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lk2fireone (196) I'm not an IT professional by any means. I can turn a PC on and off, and that's about the limit of my tech knowledge. (I can also click a mouse at the screen, and hope that will accomplish whatever it is I want to do).

But CCBill is one of the better payment processors, in my opinion. I've always had a good experience dealing with them. They send confirming emails when I subscribe or cancel a membership, which seems to be rare today. And it's nice to be able to search their site for membership information.

I don't like random passwords. But aren't those a function of the paysite, and not the credit card biller?

I certainly understand your frustration. But instead of blaming CCBill, the problem seems to me more with the paysite. The few times I ever had to contact CCBill customer support, it seemed to me I got courteous agents who tried to be helpful. CCBill can only do so much, they are only a billing agent, they don't have complete control of the account.

I've had problems with paysites in the past. But I don't blame CCBill for those problems. I think CCBill is a positive factor for me in joining a site, because I know that it will be easy to cancel a membership.

02-08-13  05:42am

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luv lickn clit (23) Over the last year or so, I have made a point of writing down my subscription ID number, user name, and password immediately after signing up for a site. I keep these all in the same little notebook. They come in very handy when you go to log in, and when you go to cancel.

I hate the random usernames and passwords too, but I just view it as a necessary evil to deal with. Some of them are so bad I can never memorize them.

MPL is one of those sites that seems to be overly concerned with people trying to download their entire site. They have a list of rules right on the home page that seems just a bit over the top to me. However, I am very selective about what I download, and I don't use a download manager, so I never ran into any problems at their site. Having said that, I did notice more than once that after being on their site for about an hour or so, the back button on my browser didn't work anymore. I wasn't sure if this was problem with the browser or their way of trying to throttle me. It didn't work, as there were buttons at the bottom of each photo page to go back to the gallery. I think I had the same issue at another site, so I wasn't sure what the problem was. I doubt if your lockout originated from CCBill--you probably violated one of MPL's rules without knowing it.

02-08-13  06:09am

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MPL Studios uses different layers of security on our web site. We are reasonable and accessible to our members regarding access and download issues that come up. We post our site's rules on our Terms of Use page.

The only issue that came into play regarding this customer was his inability to login for the first time using the Username and Password assigned by CCBill. The customer wasn't being blocked on our end for violating any rule. He simply wasn't entering his login details correctly...and so he was locking himself out. We choose to have strong passwords assigned rather than allowing easily cracked, easy to remember logins as a first choice for new members.

Upon signup, we provided this customer a working login to our members area. However, we can't do the logging in for him.
It should be noted the customer never requested to have his login changed by us, nor did he ask for any help testing his existing login he was having trouble with.
Both we would have done gladly had he asked for help.

It should also be noted: 12 minutes after we received the customers email, the same email he posted here, he had logged in successfully and already downloaded a 4000 res set. Nothing changed on our end. He had the ability to login all along. He just wasn't entering his login details correctly leading up to that.

To save him further frustration, we closed his account, refunded his subscription, and sent him notification.

02-08-13  07:27am

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luv lickn clit (23) REPLY TO #4 - MPL STUDIOS :

I think Skippy's gonna like the site. I know I did.

Oh, I just read the last part. Maybe you could have asked him if he wanted to cancel?

Hey mon, take da frowns and turn dem upside down!

02-08-13  01:48pm

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skippy (52) REPLY TO #4 - MPL STUDIOS :

Interesting response. No "Sorry" message. No possible way that the web site could have done anything wrong. Operator error is the only thing it could have been. (Did I mention that I've been in IT for 20 years?) Kind of arrogant and politically incorrect, don't you think? The ONLY way to accurately enter in a cryptic username password combination like the one you assigned to me is to copy it from the ccbill site and paste it into the host site and that is exactly what I did. About 20 times.

YOUR site locked me out after multiple attempts based on the IP address I was using. When I loaded an anonymous browsing client that uses a proxy server, I was able to get in, but was unable to download more than a few images before, within 60 seconds of logging in, I got a message from YOUR site that said I was accessing the site from an unauthorized IP address (i.e. the proxy server) and tossed me out again. I clicked on the download button for the ZIP, but did not get the file. Probably an issue with the proxy server, not yours.

It's kind of too bad, too, because I liked the little bit I saw of your site.

I'll tell you what. I'll try again tonight to get in. If you look at my other revews for similar sites you will see that I write fair and in many cases glowing reviews. If I get in I will write a review that is untainted by this incident. But in return, you need to secret shop your own site from outside your facility on a typical IP connection. Use Internet Explorer. Buy a subscription. Click on the link in the "Approved" page that ccBill provides and watch as a tab within IE opens. See for yourself that it is physically impossible to get back to the ccBill login page (in an IE tab) once you click login and your website login pop-up appears. Try it a dozen times like I did and see if your site locks you out. Then get back to me and either say "Yes, we can see how this might be a problem" or "No, we tested this exactly as you described and were able to toggle tabs once the login pop-up appeared and were not locked out.

Your call. Actually replicate the issue as I carefully described above, or continue to be a defensive sysadmin who refuses to beleive something an intellegent, experienced customer tells them about their site.


02-08-13  03:53pm

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skippy (52) REPLY TO #2 - lk2fireone :


I absolutely agree that ccBill is perhaps the best billing system. The problem, though, is that the site determines policy and ccBill abides by it. The random password is the site. Login attempts is the site. the tab issue is probably a comibination of site and ccbill as niether seem aware that it is an issue.

The reason I went to ccBill is because they are the site's wallet. If the issue comes from ccBill to the site, chances that it will be addressed are sometimes better than if it were just a little old user.

And lastly, I've had a few instances lately where login servers have been down and I was unable to get into sites. The login servers belong to ccbill. In those cases, you need to complain to both ccBill and to the paysite. There are usually quality of service clauses in the service level agreement between them and you want both parties to think at least a little bit about whether those clauses have been broken.

02-08-13  04:09pm

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skippy (52) REPLY TO #4 - MPL STUDIOS :

Wow, now I just read the entire message from the webmaster and read the email he sent me. Although I can't really tell if he's telling me to screw off or not...the message was pretty polite...I am a little dissappointed that he just closed the account.

I'll try again some other time. Knowing what I do now about the login issue, I should be able to get around it without getting locked out.

02-08-13  04:17pm

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skippy (52) REPLY TO #4 - MPL STUDIOS :

Apparently they WERE telling me to screw off since future sign-up is "no longer an option". Here's the final message I got from the webmaster. You have to wonder what people are thinking in terms of marketing when there are public review forums like this. Was it retaliation for writing the comments? I don't know. It's just very dissappointing. And I'd bet that they never even try to replicate the problem I outlined.


No disrespect intended and no justification is necessary on either end. Our site is not a good fit for you. We both recognize that. Your $19.95 has been promptly refunded
Future signup is no longer an option. As I said earlier, we're sorry it was so difficult for you. Login authentication is not supposed to be a complicated, frustrating experience.

MPL Studios

On 2/8/2013 5:22 PM, skippy99 wrote:


Well, Iím more than a little disappointed that you just closed my account and refunded my money, but I suppose that is your prerogative. The reason I contacted ccBill and not you was that I really wasnít expecting anyone to respond to me from your site at 1:00 in the morning. Usually, ccBill can reset locked passwords and even change them and I know they are there 24/7.

From: Webmaster at MPL Studios
Sent: Friday, February 08, 2013 12:53 AM
To: skippy99
Subject: Re: Your login process is a nightmare!

02-09-13  09:04am

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