If restricting players that bought a digital copy of Diablo III to only the first chapter wasn’t enough to call into question Blizzards’ business practices, then this latest incident might be the call to action. As everyone knows, there has been some issues with the implementation of the Real Money Auction House in D3 when it launched. But the issue that a user by the name Xres on the battle.net forums has experienced sounds more like highway robbery.
Here’s his story: Like most loyal fans of Blizzard, he bought his copy of D3 when the RMAH was finally put into effect. So in addition to the $60 he paid, he also added $200 into his battle net balance. After having the transfer of money into the bnet balance approved, he started to play and decided to buy some gear in the RMAH. Then without warring, he was locked out of his account and couldn’t even play the game. It turns out that his account failed an audit review when he was buying gear in the RMAH. After ten phone calls, he finally had some answers as to why he was locked out. The physical address that the bnet account tied to is not his current place of living at the moment. So in order to get his account unlocked he would have to chance his former region (which was in North America) to his current region. Sounds like a simple thing to do right? Yes, till he got to this part of the process of changing regions (which will be highlighted):
It's important to have an up-to-date address registered to your Battle.net account, particularly if you plan to use the Battle.net Balance feature. Because Battle.net Balance uses your account's registered country to determine how to handle your transactions, having an out-of-date or incorrect country of residence can cause a number of inconvenient issues.
Requirements for Country Changes
There are certain criteria that your account must meet in order to qualify for a country change:
Your Battle.net Balance must be less than 20 (for players who purchased Battle.net Balance using US currency)
Note: Active Battle.net Balance may be lost and all Battle.net Balance may be set to 0 when a country change is completed. Customer Support will not be able to convert Battle.net Balance purchased using one country's denomination to Battle.net Balance for another region. If you require other assistance with your active balance, please contact Customer Support.
And here in lies the problem, in order to have his account unlocked and for him to continue playing, he must ask for a region change. But if he goes through that region change he will lose all of his real money that he added to the account. After a few more tries of contacting customer service, they sent him a better explanation (also will be highlighted):
Thank you for taking the time to contact us.
We would be more than happy to investigate the possibility of changing the region on your Battle.net account for you. Please understand, however, that this is not a standard service. Certain restrictions must be met in order to qualify for a region change, and this service is something that we can only provide as an exception to our normal policies, depending on the reason your request.
If you have an active Battle.net Balance, the following criteria must be met in order to be eligible for a region change:
- You must have no active bids or auctions on the Currency Based Auction House.
- You must have an active balance less than $20 US (or equivalent).
- We will require proof of residence in order to complete the change. This may be either: a legal form of identification with address of your place of residence, or a legal form of identification without address and a utility bill for your place of residence.
**PLEASE NOTE: Any active Battle.net Balance will be permanently lost during a region change. Customer Support is unable to transfer any remaining balance between regions.
So now not only will he lose all of his money, but Blizzard is now requiring him to verify his identity, which could possibly lead to his most sensitive data being mishandled, lost or in a worse case scenario stolen. With all of the shifty business practices that have been going on since the beginning of the year, this one has to be the worse that has surfaced. Taking money without a reason, making players send their most sensitive information just to unlock the game, refusing to transfer money over to players current region, not warning players that they might lose their bnet balance if they play while traveling out of their home region; these action that Blizzard is pulling are actions that deserve the title of worse company in America, and not because of a terrible ending. If any of you out there are planning to spend any amount of money on the RMAH in Diablo III, be careful that this doesn't happen to you.