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It hasn't even been 24 hours since the last Real-Money Auction house scandal and yet additional reports are already piling in for more people losing money in Diablo III's Real-Money Auction House. The latest victim is more-so the result of a grey area in the terms of service for the RMAH, which caused him to lose $200.00.
A user going by the handle Xres recounts his story on the Battle.net forums, where he says that his account is locked out. Why is it locked? Well, after depositing $200.00 into his Battle.net account two weeks ago from today, and attempting to buy a few virtual items off the Real-Money Auction House, his account was locked.
After 12 days of contacting various customer support reps, it turns out that the user's account was locked because his region had changed and to prevent fraudulent activity or potential money laundering, Blizzard locks accounts who attempt to spend money on the RMAH after a region change. See, the user had moved but didn't update his profile quickly enough, because he's no longer in North America.
So after depositing the $200.00 into his Battle.net and attempting to buy items off the Real-Money Auction House, Blizzard instantly flagged the account and had it locked since the regions didn't match up. Although, it probably would have been more honest of Blizzard to lock the account before the deposit went through, but Blizzard conveniently only checks or audits accounts when spending or cashing out Battle.net funds not depositing money into them.
Moving on. Blizzard's support had a solution, and support suggested that he have his account region changed to regain access and remove the "locked" status. Seems easy enough, right? Well, check out what customer support had to say regarding region changes for accounts...
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Battle.net Balance uses your account's registered country to determine how to handle your transactions, having an out-of-date or incorrect country of residence can cause a number of inconvenient issues.
Take note about that Battle.net Balance having to be less than $20 U.S. dollars if you want to do a region switch for your account and that it may be set to zero when your country change is completed. Can you believe that?
The user is currently in a tough spot because he can either have his region changed and have his balance set to $0.00 to prevent any fraudulent activity (as it's not possible to transfer money from a Battle.net Balance into a different currency, in order to prevent laundering) or he could just move back to North America and attempt to buy something off the RMAH and then re-sell it to try to make back the $200 and then transfer it back to his Paypal. However, that's about as likely as major TV networks giving up on reality TV and actually developing real shows to gain viewership: it's possible, but requires too much work...and it's inconvenient.
Despite a lot of Blizzard fantrolls placing blame on the guy for not thoroughly reading over the Terms of Service for the Real-Money Auction House, a few people offered helpful solutions such as asking the bank to reverse the transfer, although I imagine that will get sketchy.
Since the user does not have access to his $200 and Blizzard is refusing to let him have access to it, as well as deducting it if he decides to change regions while offering nothing in return, you can literally chalk that up to theft. The consumer paid Blizzard but did not receive a service in return. The $200.00 goes into a vacuum as part of Blizzard's revenue. Some forum posters labeled this as wire fraud.
We warned people about the Real-Money Auction House leading up to release. I can seriously see now how right the South Korean Government was in banning the RMAH in South Korea. This is very serious and a lot of gamers will continue to lose money in this grey market area where there is no one policing it other than Blizzard.
Again, if you cannot get your financial issues resolved in a timely manner or a refund of your deposit then be sure to take the necessary screenshots and gather what evidence you can and present your case to the Better Business Bureau, your local press outlet, the Fair Trade Commission or your local FBI branch.
This is real money we're talking about here and this is not to be taken lightly. If you value your hard earned money, please do not use the Real-Money Auction House if you play Diablo III.