Blizzard’s Poor Customer Support Continues, Players Losing Money in the Auction Houses
Oh Diablo 3. You never cease to provide me entertainment in your controversies. While I am having fun playing the game on Nightmare mode with myself and my brothers, others are not having as jolly of a time. There were the launch day connectivity issues. The French consumer group UFC-Que Choisir demanded Blizzard attend to these issues, and ended up giving refunds to Korean players due the connection issues and the Chinese invading the servers. There is still the whole Linux debacle, where Linux users were accused of using 3rd party software to cheat when there were only running WINE so that they could actually play the game.
But now I present to you an even more serious issue with Blizzard and Diablo 3. Blizzard is abusing their Terms of Service (ToS) so that they can take off with players money from the Real Money Auction House due to the players accessing the RMAH while not residing in the Americas game region. This is false on their part for multiple reasons.
To show you the issues I am going to discuss the story of two people who have been robbed by Blizzard. The first story is about a user named Xres who has a permanent residence in the US but travels a lot due to his job.
Xres decided he wanted to put $200 in his BattleNet Balance to be used for Diablo 3 and other Blizzard products. Xres had to wait a day for them to review and approve it to be put into their account. They were fine with that. The day it was approved Xres decided to buy a few pieces of gear off the RMAH for his Diablo 3 characters. At first everything was fine. However, without a moment’s notice, their account was locked and suspended.
They then sent an email to Blizzard and got a response saying that his account was locked due to an auction house related issue. After opening a ticket, they waited 36 hours for a response. The response then said that the account failed an audit review and that they needed to verify account ownership. But did they not take a whole day to take the money and transfer it into Xres’s BattleNet Balance?
Xres then spent over a week trying to come into contact with Blizzard customer support since email support was not getting him answers. Keep in mind that these are international calls Xres had to make. They finally told him that the issue was that he registered the account in the North American area but was playing from a different region due to Xres moving. The real kicker though is that the customer support person told them that they only check for a region difference if you try to spend the money, not if you deposit it. As Xres said, “How convenient on their part.”
Eventually they unlocked Xres’s account and they were able to play the game but not able to access the auction house until a region change was done. The icing on the cake here is that Xres will lose all of their money because it is Blizzard’s policy that all remaining balance on the BattleNet Account will be removed and customer support is not able to convert the balance into another country’s currency when a region/country change is commenced.
That is the current end of the tale of Xres. A fellow forum user under the name of AngryAndy seems to provide hope that Blizzard will actually use their brains and fix this issue since the same thing happened to him and they fixed it for him.
And now I bring you the tale of DarthVader (not who you are thinking of but it would be cool if it was… who would he play as?) who currently resides in Vietnam.
The user, DarthVader decided they would do the same as Xres. They added the money to the BattleNet Balance and used it to purchase gear from the RMAH. DartVader has the account registered in the US server area so that he can play on the US/North America servers for all Blizzard games. They even bought Starcraft II a year and a half ago on this same account and had no issue then. But like Xres, thing went awry.
All of the same issues with Xres were happening with DarthVader. The user was going to have to do a region change and lose all of their money too, and with any good story comes a twist. DarthVader, whilst looking through the ToS, found something quite shocking. This shocking fact is that the America’s server region includes SouthEast Asia. They live in Vietnam which is in SouthEast Asia. The RMAH is only available in the Americas server region area which oddly also contains Australia and New Zealand. The point here being that DarthVader should have been allowed to use the RMAH, since he is registered in that area and that area is one of the few that supports the RMAH.
Their story, like Xres, has no end yet but hopefully it soon will.
The most shocking part of this story, besides Blizzard’s actions, was how cold and calculating the users were towards these two, out of who knows how many abused players. They were hostile and using the ToS as an excuse for Blizzard’s actions when there where many ways that Blizzard could have aided to help these guys out.
Blizzard obviously needs to take a closer look at what’s going on here and make changes quickly, before the RMAH expands and more players come across the same issues. You are really lucky to find good customer service these days. Hopefully, both Xtres and DarthVader have their funds returned to them sooner than later.
You can see the full stories below: