At first the Diablo III auction house sounded like a great idea for giving gamers an extra way to earn some dough. The biggest concern was hackers stealing items and such, but nobody thought they would have to worry about Blizzard stealing their money.
Recently a player posted this complaint on the Blizzard forums depicting what had happened with $200 he had put onto his RMAH account.
…14 days ago, I deposited $200 into my bnet balance. After 1 day of review, it was approved and the balance added to my bnet account. I then went to the RMAH to purchase some gear. The first few items I bought went through without trouble, and then all of a sudden, my account was suspended (locked). The subsequent email I received stated:
This Diablo III account has been locked due to an auction-related issue. Until this issue is resolved, the account will be unavailable for play. Access to the Diablo III auction house is restricted until the account is unlocked.
Contact Account Administration to recover access to the account.
I thought there must have been some kind of mistake. I used the RMAH legitimately, why would this happen? I then opened a ticket to get this issue resolved, and after 36 hours, this is what they responded:
I have investigated your account and I’m happy to report your account is not banned. Currently your account is locked because it failed an audit review when attempting to use the Real Money Auction House (RMAH) and we need to verify account ownership. If you have secured your email and computer go ahead and follow the steps below and we can work on getting your account unlocked!
The answer I got from them was that my account is registered in the North America region, yet I am currently not playing from that region (I’ve moved since the days when I first started the account with Blizzard). That was the reason behind the failed audit. And they suggested me to change my account’s region to the region where I am currently at. I asked them, if this was a problem, why didn’t it stop me from depositing money in the first place? The support person told me they only check for this when you try to “spend” the balance, and not when you “deposit” it. How convenient on their part.
In order to solve this issue and get my account unlocked, I had to request for a region change. I thought “Fine, I’ll do it. There shouldn’t be any more issues after this.” Little did I know. Below is the email they sent me detailing the steps to do a region change:
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.
To summarize, he put $200 into his RMAH account but because he had relocated, his account was suspended shortly after and he was forced to do a region change in order to reactivate it. The region change made his $200 vanish into thin air as per Blizzard policy.
Was it his fault for putting so much on his account at once? No, because some items on the auction house actually go for $200 or more. It isn’t an abnormal thing to do.
And that’s ignoring the problem that Blizzard can even do this at all. If you can be forced to do a region change, the fact that this will wipe your RMAH balance is ludicrous. Unfortunately it’s a bit necessary to prevent international money laundering, but that’s why there is a $250 account limit in the first place.
There are several things wrong here:
1.If your account’s registered region being different from your current residing region is an issue, why did they allow for money deposit in the first place? Mind you there was a review that took 1 day for every deposit you make to your bnet balance where they could have detected this issue and stopped anyone with this issue from depositing, rather than locked us out when we try to spend it.
2.Why did a failed RMAH audit results in an account lock and not just a temporary RMAH lock? The issues were with RMAH, not with the game. I still paid $60 for the game right? Why should I not be able to play it just because a failed audit on a RMAH purchase?
3.Perhaps the biggest problem right now, in order for me to use any of the money that I deposited onto my bnet account, I must do a region change. But if I do that, I lose everything I deposited. Does this make ANY SENSE to anyone? So with the current rules, I lose everything I deposited no matter what. I either leave the region as it is and be locked out of the game and RMAH, or I make the change and lose my entire balance.
The whole problem was because you allowed me to deposit money in the first place. If being in a different region is an issue, deposits shouldn’t even be allowed.
The lesson here is be moderate with how much money you invest into this game at once for now. I see RMAH lawsuits in Blizzard’s future.