Cerulean Studios member support


Nov 18, 2004
I'm sure many of you know of what the software "Trillian" is, and I'm sure many of you use it. I've been a user of Trillian for many years, even since before it had file transfers....even before version "0.631", which I believe was the last 0.6x version before they drastically altered their site, the software, and the business model. Anyways, since 0.7x, they decided to move to a pay model and a customer support model and things of that nature.

Now the problem I've had with Cerulean isn't their software, after all, at this point in time we've all come to accept their half-working software, false promises, and slow times to release software and fix problems (anything that isn't an immediate issue like a service connectivity problem, they could care less about and will wait until next major revision before adding it).

I've found the Cerulean customer support, whomever they may be, to be rather insulting and unruly. It's to the point where it has bothered me where I've decided to see what anyone else had to say about it.

A bit of back story was this:

There was a discussion on the "paid member" forums, in which I participated in. People were rather upset that Cerulean didn't honor many promises and things of that nature, and I participated. I, too, felt very cheated by the software company at the time. This of course, after laying out $25 to them for their software and what seemed to be revamped support. (After all, I figured with the financial support, they would change their old behaviors that they had with their free software). Nonetheless, the "Super Moderator" and myself had ended up in a bit of a conflict. Words were exchanged, he started to exercise his authority, and I ended up making a post with a rather bit of colorful wording, mostly including the F word and other sorts.

At this point, the moderator had banned me from the paid member forum (I did, however, continue to have access to the other forums). So I had e-mailed them with a customer support ticket to try and see if I could have the situation resolved, after all, being just a tad bit unruly I don't think warranted such an act. So, they treated me in disgust and that was that.

Fast forward about a year and a half to nearly 2 years later, and I decided that I wanted to try out Trillian 3 Alpha. So I fired up my aging account, and dropped in the $5 they wanted for the extra support and the ability to obtain the latest software. So tonight, after about 5 days or so of using the software, I once again attempted to e-mail Cerulean and regain my access to the paid forums. I assumed that after 2 years, the ban would've been removed. It hadn't been.

So, e-mail correspondence went as follows:

Dear Cerulean Studios,

About 2 years ago one of your super moderators (Amoeba) and I had gotten into a dispute. Since then, my account has been banned from accessing the Trillian Member Forums. I haven't had much doing with Trillian in recent years (Though I continually use it daily), and decided to pay the $5 again to obtain Trillian 3. To assist in my usage of Trillian 3, I would like access to the forums to see of any issues in which may arise during my time while using Trillian 3. If it is at all possible, I would like to be unbanned from accessing the Trillian forums.

Thank you,


Well, after filing this support ticket, I quickly received a reply (within the hour) from a Trillian customer support representative. Due to the graphic nature of this e-mail response, I won't be posting all of it to HardOCP, but it went as follows:

I can see why you were banned. You "went out with a bank".

....!!!......colorful posting here..............!!

So now you want to get back on the "useless" forums?

We don't really need people on the forums that have no regard for the
rules. Given your history, how could we be sure that this wouldn't
happen again?

Don Petty
Customer Support
Cerulean Studios

The largest problem I have with this response isn't so much of the fact that he decided to bring up my past experience on the forum, which I had expected. The problem I have with this is that he went as far as insulted me (the reference to 'bank' was a mispelling I made of the word 'bang').

So after this, I decided to respond--rather humanely, twice. One email consisted of me saying that it was a shame that they are so quick to judge me over such an incident, but if that was the case I guess that's the case. The 2nd email consisted of me expressing my distaste with being insulted by their customer support, which is as follows:

Let it also be known please, that despite my rather matured and changed behavior--I do not appreciate being insulted by a customer support representative of Cerulean Studios. It is astounding that this is the way a company treats its customers--even its sometimes most unruly ones. It's petty, and over such a petty argument also. It's a real shame--I must say.

So in the end here, it seems that despite my unruly behavior--they still don't wish to change their ways. After 2 years, and they are not willing to accomodate one unruly customer who wishes to make some ends.

I'm not sure about everyone else, but I'm sure there are times when you've gotten a bit unruly with an insulting customer support representative. After all, I surely don't say such things unless they REALLY deserve it (I have grown a tolerance to a lot of things after being a volunteer worker for many years at a large east coast convention), and I've also learned that you simply don't treat people with disrespect--especially customers. In any normal business, if you had asked to speak to the management because someone on their team insulted you, which subsequently got you fired up, that person would be dealt with. It's like common business ethics. I mean, don't get me wrong...I don't cuss out customer support and then complain to their management about it, haha....It's just that there is a level of expectation between buyer and seller when the seller should honor its duties. I don't put up with insults by businesses because they think of me as a 'consumer'.

Nonetheless, the entire debacle is a bit disappionting. For a couple of days of fired up postings, and one major post with some colorful language, it appears I am banned for life from the Cerulean Support Forums.

Has anyone else had any problems with their customer support and their company?
Did you ever apologize?

The old saying "You've made your bed and now you must lie in it" fits. You broke their forum rules and got banned. The same would happen here.
i have to agree with Norky here. Rather than attempting to take care of the situation in the correct manor (going though the line of command) you simply blew up and got banned. Sure, it sucks they wont let you back on there forums, but its there forum and there rules. Try apologizing, and see if that helps
Personaly i cant justify 25 dollars for a chat client that only partialy works aim and msn both have pay clients that are secure and alot better than their regular free counter parts untill trillian touched msn or aim pay client level then i could see 25 dollars for the program.

But meh I have been using trillian since version .21 when it did nothing but message the seperate clients
norky said:
Did you ever apologize?

The old saying "You've made your bed and now you must lie in it" fits. You broke their forum rules and got banned. The same would happen here.

Oh come on now. You have to remember who's paying who. This is a customer dealing with a company. Granted, companies have a right to refuse service, but this was way out of line for Cerulean.

As for Trillian's patchy workings with AIM and MSN... all I've got to say is it's not worth paying for, and if you're using the free version, you've got nothing to complain about. I've used trillian for years now. I only use it for AIM and rarely have problems except for file transfers.
It's not particularly the refusing service that I'm too angry about. If they want to refuse service, they can--it's the flat out rudeness and insulting comments by the support staff that I've got a serious problem with. THAT is something that I will not tolerate. I'm not giving an apology to people that are going to be insulting in that manner, especially a company in which I've been a paying customer for. I've paid for Trillian because I like the product. I do enjoy some of Trillian, for what it's worth, it's worth the $5 every time I have to renew the software to get a new version. But part of that payment package is also them having to 'deal with me' for 2 months for whatever reason.

Eh, so what--I've cussed them out, lol. They act like I attempted to flood their forums or something.

And norky, one must consider the fact that when you're dealing with FINANCIAL compensation, the idea of how support staff must handle paying customers is a bit different than how you deal with random people on an online forum. For one, you do not insult those people. I mean, just look at the way he worded his e-mail reply to me, does it not look like that at some point they did something 'wrong'? I do not go off like that on someone for no reason whatsoever without some provocative insulting. I'm a very non-confrontational person and will avoid situations when possible.

It's one thing to deny service, it's another to treat a paying customer with disrespect--and that's what they are doing. If you've ever called a company and complained to them on the phone, it's not like they're going to tell you that you're stupid, hang up on you, etc. I mean, maybe if you did it for 6 months straight--yeah.....but not for one incident.
A-KO: I still don’t see how they are being rude or insulting you, i reread that email you provided and it doesn’t seem rude to me. If you’re talking about the rude comments made towards you in the forums then you should have brought them up with a moderator or someone higher. And remember, your posting your side of the story here, why don’t you post the comments you made and let them be judged? You must have said something pretty bad for them to act like this.

I really don’t like when customers get this whole attitude about how there right and they can abuse support. I guess you see things differently when you work as a support person.

In any case, is discussing it here really going to make a difference?

The rude part is insulting a typo that I had made in my forum comment, which was totally unnecessary from a support person for a company. When dealing with someone on an official business correspondence you don't say something to that nature.

The only contact with Cerulean is through their support ticket e-mail and the head moderator on the forums, whom I believe to be the same person, or is someone very close to that person. For all we know Cerulean in its entirety could be just 2-5 guys.

Regardless of my behavior, I feel it was rude and I personally think that such a 2 year ban on something so petty is unjustified. I had brought it up on these forums to see if anyone else has ever had a run-in with this company in such a manner.
hmm...even when i got banned from anandtech, and WASNT particularly civil in my emails to them (wasnt abusive, just wasnt civil) they were still at least civil to me...

trillian is a piece of crap. i'm gonna try another messenger client on next reformat. (1 week)

so what's the word on gaim? how does it compare to trillian?