Club Penguin / Site Not Secure - Accounts Hacked - Customer Service Rude
Not only do I NOT recommend this site, but I recommend you stay away from it. There are safety issues that they know about and are not addressing. They disregard the parents and treat them as though they are the children and not the adults. They take your money and then get rude with you when you call about an account being hacked. This site is not safe.
My children started off with free accounts a couple years ago then decided they wanted to upgrade to paid accounts a year-and-a-half ago. Things went well until almost a year ago when my then nine-year-old daughter tried to sign on only to discover that she had a 72-hour ban. I called Club Penguin and found out that the ban started the previous day due to a post late Sunday morning for foul language. I informed them that there was no way my daughter could have done that because we left for church at 8:45 a.m. and were out all day. My daughter hadn’t even had access to a computer from Saturday evening until Monday afternoon. After speaking to several people I was informed that yes, someone might have gotten into her account, but why would they want to do that and even if that did happen they didn’t care, her account was banned period.
I tried to contact Disney, because they purchased Club Penguin. I wrote several emails and made several phone calls and never received a response.
I ended up eventually letting that go. I wish I hadn’t and had canceled the accounts then.
Now, about a year later, my son received a ban for a post. I spoke to them this afternoon and found out that the post was an advertisement for a different web site for kids. Honestly, other than a competition issue, I don’t see how that warranted a 72-hour ban. More importantly though is the fact that at the time of the post, the entire family was at a birthday party. How could he have done this? She then informed me that in the posting about the other site, the poster wrote “sight” instead of “site” in an attempt to avoid being caught. I told her that it was quite obviously not an 11-year-old who did that. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that that post came from someone promoting their own web site.
Still, the 72-hour ban was not lifted.
She then informed me that my son had a previous ban back in October of 2010 for a swear word. I asked my son, who stayed with me during the entire phone call, about that. He never even knew he HAD a ban in October. We were on vacation during that time. No computer access. I asked her why neither he nor I had received an email about it, after all, they email me about everything else. She actually told me that they “thought about doing that” but decided against it because a lot of children “have accounts their parents don’t know about” so emailing wouldn’t help because some of the reports would go to a child’s email account anyway. HUH?! So because of some accounts belonging to a few children who lie, they choose to not contact ANYONE? I thought that Club Penguin was concerned about the safety of the children who use it. Their reasoning behind not emailing parents doesn’t sound like they’re concerned much at all.
To make their lack of email notification even more interesting, I get auto billed $5.95 per month for each account (two accounts). In order to do that you have to use a credit card. When you use your credit card you have to enter an email address. The accounts with credit cards OBVIOUSLY have REAL email addresses to an adult somewhere! At the very least they should contact the parents whose emails they KNOW are CORRECT and are PAYING for their service.
During our discussion, I told her repeatedly that I am concerned with the security of their site. If someone can get into my children’s, and other children’s, accounts and pose as them and post as them, and put up advertisements for other web sites, can you only imagine who else might be getting in there, such as child predators? They promote a safe site for children, but there is a clear security issue here. She didn’t care.
The person I spoke to recognized that yes, our accounts were hacked. Yes, the advertisement for the other website obviously didn’t come from my child. Yes, they’ve had problems with this with other accounts.
Yet, my child was still banned for 72-hours. Oh wait, she told me my “child” wasn’t banned, but my child’s “account” was banned. Yeah, big difference. HUGE.
I have cancelled the auto billing for our accounts. I called the credit card company and have received credit the most recent billing of less than a week ago. My children have been told no more Club Penguin. They are unhappy, but understand why. I wish it hadn’t turned out this way. Club Penguin was a lot of fun for my children, but it has now turned into a nightmare. They owe me and my children apologies, although I doubt I’ll ever get them. My only recourse is to warn as many other parents as possible about the problem with Club Penguin and advise them to not allow their children to use it.
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