Unknown Losses

There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen.
— Frederic Bastiat, What Is Seen And What Is Not Seen”

Spinks points us towards Battlechicken‘s battle with customer service: false positives on cheat detection and then a series of form letters rather than anyone responding to what she actually said. A week of fighting, blogging, and cancellation eventually led her to a human being.

I wonder how many players would have just quietly dropped the game, upset, on receiving the first email and not tried to fight back and argue their case. I wonder how many would have kept trying after the second and third form email.

This is a virtue of the vocal minority, the bloggers and the forum-dwellers: you (the developer) get feedback on why people are leaving your game to which your system might blind you. It took heroic efforts to find someone willing to entertain the hypothesis that the cheat-detection system was driving away customers. For the customer service rep responding to banned potential-cheaters, I can promise you that watching for that problem is very low on their rewarded activities, if they would be allowed to provide useful feedback on the question at all (if anyone with decision-making power was aware that the question might exist). These are the unknown unknowns, the blind spots where your organization is incapable of looking without violating the normal structure.

: Zubon

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