GAMING BLEND

Gamer Loses $186 To Diablo 3's RMAH, Requests FBI Assistance

By William Usher 2012-07-15 19:31:29 discussion comments
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When we originally reported on a few individuals who lost money to Diablo III's shady RMAH and took their cases to the FBI, one of those cases turned out to be fake. The guy was just trying to ride the coattails of popularity and ended up getting himself in trouble. Nevertheless, additional gamers have been coming forward bringing their complaints to both the FBI and the Better Business Bureau.

A user going by the name of lowkeylai, real name Jimmy Pike, has been traveling to various forum boards and contacting several individuals in the press about missing funds from Diablo III's Real-Money Auction House. After more than two weeks of Blizzard's support not helping out or allowing refunds, Jimmy has aptly decided to take his case to the FBI.

IncGamers is reporting that lowkeylai has tried multiple times to get in contact with Blizzard support staff to get his issue resolved. He sold an item for $186.15 but the transaction apparently failed. He didn't receive the money and his item was not returned. There's no word on whether the individual who bought the item actually received it or whether their money was refunded or not. Naturally, over the past two weeks, Blizzard has not commented.

First up, Jimmy was smart enough to start documenting the process after things started going south. Jimmy snapped a shot of the item that sold with this screenshot here and another in-game screenshot here. Next up, after waiting a while, he contacted customer support about the progress of the item trade and was told by Game Master Tyghaing that item trades sometimes take a while to complete. That was back on July 3rd.

After some additional time passes, Pike contacts customer support once again and Game Master Solmaun finally gets back to him on July 13th to confirm that the auction house listing did in fact fail. Solmaun refers to the failure of the auction house listing as a bug and that the report will be filed and submitted for review.

Later Game Master Maldrauft chimes in and says that the auction house listing failure is beyond their means of resolve, since they cannot modify, change or alter any in-game listings, and instead that this has turned into a legal issue. He directs pike to Blizzard's legal department for resolution.

By this time poor Jimmy boy is getting a bit peeved and is simply asking for reimbursement. I mean, Blizzard is running a real-money free market here and you can't just let money evaporate into a digital vacuum. Nevertheless, Blizzard's support by this time just wants the problem to go away, and Game Master Lyeieide suggests that Pike wait five days because the auction didn't fail? The pure contradictory and lazy response is part of a PR-run-around to avoid having to actually deal with the situation.

Game Master Kalelmhat tries to derail the situation by saying Jimmy already has the item. This is the EXACT same pathetic run-around that Blizzard used before in our recent coverage of another player who also lost goods in the exact same way. Blizzard's inept support claimed that the item was already restored (even though it was not) and tried closing the case out.

What we're dealing with here is not only blatant consumer neglect but gross incompetence. This is real money we're talking about here folks and real people are losing real money, just the same as people can lose in a stock market. The only difference is that Diablo III has zero oversight and Blizzard is running the RMAH like a corrupt casino where the consumer is always wrong.

The situation for Jimmy doesn't end there, though, you have got to read what Game Master Ophmeht tells Jimmy as he continues to pressure for resolve...
Greetings, ^_^

Thank you for contacting Blizzard Entertainment Customer Support.

I see you were looking to get the item or the currency back. As mentioned before, we have limited abilities to help with Diablo 3, compared to our other games like World of Warcraft. Since we have looked into the Auction House, I hate to say but we are unable to restore the item or the currency back. =(

Please accept my apologies about any inconvenience in this.

No sense posting the rest of the proverbial PR nonsense but feel free to read the rest of it right here.

That is straight up bullcrap. You cannot take someone's money and then make it disappear rendering the service they paid for and the money itself void or lost in some grey market loophole. Seriously, is anyone reading this that isn't pissed? Because really, it pisses me off that a corporation can get away with just eating up and pissing away someone's money in a real-money market, in which I must remind everyone it has zero oversight for consumer protection.

Game Master Daerdrin and Game Master Feuslie both offer apologies and useless PR spiel that isn't worth quoting anymore. You can read it here for yourself thanks to this screenshot.

This case is identical to the one we recently reported on that took place on the European server, letting us all know that this sort of pro-corporate, anti-consumerist incompetence is not restricted to any particular facet or region of Blizzard's support. They are grossly inadequate for dealing with any of the real-world problems that are attached to dealing with a real-world market with real-world money in a virtual gaming environment. This is a sad state of affairs and as a gamer I wish there was some sort of authority to step in and shutdown the RMAH. It has nothing to do with having fun in a game.

And just so you all know, this guy still hasn't been reimbursed for his $50 lost to the RMAH, nor has this guy been reimbursed for his lost $200, or this guy and his $149.

This is no joke because this is real money. We're only reporting on the cases of people who have gone public about their loss of funds, but as you can imagine there are countless others who are experiencing the same thing and not speaking up about it. If you or someone you know has lost money in a grey area of the RMAH, be sure to contact the FBI's IC3 division or please contact the local press or a trusted member of the media to get your case exposed.

Gamers are still consumers and consumers have rights.
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