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A lot of people were curious how one particular case involving a Diablo III player and his $200 lost in an account lockout would be resolved. Well, the player in question, Xres, updated everyone on the progress of his situation and he's now able to play the game again, but he's lost access to his $200 and won't be getting it back.
The original story, which you can read here, recounts a fellow who ended up getting caught on the wrong side of the region fence. He used to live in North America and played Diablo III for a time while in North America, but then he decided to move back to his native country and continue playing. After moving he loaded up his Battle.net account with $200.00 and then proceeded to buy items off the auction house. After several transactions, Blizzard locked his account for audit and trapped his money in limbo. Of course, there was no audit, review or restrictions applied to money being deposited, only when the money was attempted to be used.
In an updated post on the Diablo 3 forums, Xres has some good and bad news. The good news is that after a back and forth with customer support he finally regained access to his account, with the rep stating...
I've gone ahead and unlocked your Diablo III account for you at this time. However, due to mismatching information on your BNET account versus where you are playing from, your RMAH access is banned at this time until you proceed with the region change.
Now a lot of people would think this is a win for the consumer, however, it is not.
You see, being banned from RMAH with $200.00 on his Battle.net balance prevents him from using the money until the region is changed. What's more is that as indicated in our original story, the only way to make the region change is to have less than $20.00 on the account and any account with an amount greater than $20.00 would be considered money laundering changing from one form of currency to the other. The only option is to void the $200.00 on the Battle.net account to get the region changed. This is where Xres is at the moment.
At least Blizzard let him play on his account again; I can't even believe that someone would be locked out simply because they moved and didn't notify Blizzard of the change in time. Do you have any idea how absurd that sounds? It's a freaking game for crying out loud.
Xres also explains his situation and how difficult it is to actually get the region changed for an account and the process you have to go through (for those of you thinking it's a hop, skip and a jump), saying...
I am a US Citizen. Even though I current do not physically live in the US, US is still my home. I still keep a permanent residence there. I still have a house there, I still pay my bills and taxes there. I go back to the US quite often, as I travel back and forth. I didn’t change my address because the registered address is still my home. During my conversion with the CS rep, I told him exactly this as well. He responded by saying I would need to change my region as often as I travel. Their region changing process require you to severely compromise your privacy, as they require photo IDs from your residing country’s government, as well as lots of other private information. On top of that, I didn’t want my default setting, playing environment to all of a sudden change language.
The last part about the language is another big factor, as reported by Kotaku, where the game is language locked to the region you're playing from, even if you don't actually speak the language, something people who travel should keep in mind.
For those of you who also fit the travel bill, that part about having to change your region as often as you travel could become a real hassle. So you definitely want to keep that in mind if you plan on playing Diablo III outside of your home region.
Also note, while a lot of forum members were actually supportive this time around, suggesting that the victim get a chargeback from the bank, keep in mind that your Battle.net account will be permanently banned if you take this method, pretty much voiding your $60 purchase of Diablo III.
Other forum members suggested that Xres take his case to the Better Business Bureau, the FBI's IC3 division or small claims court. We'll keep you posted on additional updates regarding his case.
Blizzard has not commented on the situation.