Diablo® III

Reason behind my RMAH account lock explained

Follow up and update at http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5977979900

After having my account locked up for 12 days, finally I was able to reach blizzard's support to get an answer as to why my account was suddenly suspended after purchasing an item from the RMAH.

First, let me describe the steps I took that let to my account's lock up. I've been playing Blizzard products for at least 10 years now and never had a problem before RMAH. 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:

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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: http://battle.net/support/article/5400055.
--------------------------------------------

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:

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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!
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Failed an audit? What the heck does that mean? They didn't offer any further explanation in the email, so I had to try calling them to get an answer. After attempting to call them 8 separate times, 3 of which I was on hold for over an hour with no one coming to help in the next 10 days, I finally got someone to help me today. 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:

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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.
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Are you serious? Is this practice even legal? So, this is where I am at. They locked my account up, and in order for me to unlock it, I am forced to do a region change. But they are going to take my entire bnet balance away. Does this make any sense?

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. Not saying $200 is a small amount, but what if I deposited $2,000? Only to find out I can't spend it because my region is different, and to make change my region, I lose everything I deposit. This can't be legal, can it?

Edit: Provided the follow up thread.
Edited by Xres#1429 on 7/1/2012 6:46 AM PDT
Wow. Just...wow.

Were I you, I would continue calling (just hit redial it's faster to get through at least) and request to talk to supervisors. Keep requesting until you get someone who will do something about this.

I've talked with Blizz support in the past concerning a couple of issues, and found them to be helpful, even if a bit confused at the bottom of the ladder with more complex issues. Higher-ups usually have answers or know where to get them and make things right - I realize not everyone shares this view (esp you ATM I would assume) but...keep trying.
Edited by Osire#1981 on 6/29/2012 4:20 PM PDT
90 Tauren Druid
9135
06/29/2012 04:14 PMPosted by Lipe123
LMAO, I'm sorry OP but why would you put 200$ into this game in its current state?


Doesn't matter. If they're going to lock accounts over discrepancies between billing address and account region, they need to do that BEFORE a balance gets added - especially if a change in region could result in a loss of those funds.

Sorry to hear what you've gone through OP. Total BS, and proof they have a lot of work to do on the back-end of the RMAH.
Yeah, complain and complain.

If they don't resolve it for you call the BBB and file a dispute. As well as go to your bank and explain that you deposited money into a bank account with blizzard. They then require you to forfeit your account balance since it exceeds their limit.

The manager will be able to advise you on further action you can take with your bank to get your funds back as well as places you can call. With direct numbers and people that answer, since calling blizz is damn near impossible.

These authorities will be capable of demanding your money back. Since this is probably the first time I have heard of this, I'd say it's very uncommon.

Even if they cannot "transfer money from currency to another", technically they can and are able to. The worst that should really happen is they charge you conversion fees.

They cannot keep your money and as they have essentially become a bank with this whole blizz bucks thing, they must adhere to all standards held by any money holding institution.
Blizzard does this to prevent money laundering outside of country boundaries. That's why they 0 it out.

Honestly, you should keep an updated address if you want to utilize services. I update my address when I've moved at everything I care about
banks
Ebay
PayPal
Post Office (mail forwarding)
Cell Phone company
Employment
...now just add Blizzard to that list.

Also, the region change may result in you not being able to utilize the US-based AH. This is also to prevent scammers.

I'm glad they have these policies and audits. Sorry to say, but you should have taken more care, OP.
06/29/2012 02:19 PMPosted by Xres
Are you serious? Is this practice even legal? So, this is where I am at. They locked my account up, and in order for me to unlock it, I am forced to do a region change. But they are going to take my entire bnet balance away. Does this make any sense?


They are serious because you violated the Battlenet Terms of Use when you moved and didn't update your address. I'm not saying I agree or disagree with the policy, only that the Terms of Use very clearly states that and you agreed to it.

http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/about/termsofuse.html
Establishing an Account.
When creating or updating an Account on the Service, you are required to provide Blizzard with certain personal information such as your name, address, phone number, email address and, in some cases, payment information. For certain Games, an unused authentication key provided to you by Blizzard will be required when adding a Game license to an Account. A Game license must be added to an Account before you can play that Game online, where applicable. You agree that you will supply accurate and complete information to Blizzard when requested, and that you will update that information promptly after it changes.
Edited by Alethia#1148 on 6/29/2012 4:32 PM PDT
90 Tauren Druid
9135
06/29/2012 04:27 PMPosted by Banksownus
I smell a lawsuit, in the future, regarding to these rmah issues.


I didn't want to believe it at first, but the more of this kind of thing I hear, the more I fear it could happen. Activision's pockets are deep enough for a few sleazeball lawyers to be willing to take a crack at them.

The sad thing is the lawyers will walk with a nice pay check, and the plaintiffs will probably end up with a $10 credit in the RMAH.
blatant theft... The ToS agreement cant override the law of the land, since this is REAL money commerce standard commerce laws apply... they cant just take your money.
06/29/2012 04:28 PMPosted by CyberGoat
I'm glad they have these policies and audits. Sorry to say, but you should have taken more care, OP.


I too am glad that they have these policies in place.

However, he was allowed to deposit and was then forbidden from spending or withdrawing the money. The policies should have prevented the deposit in the first place.

Blizzard has basically taken the money then told him to pound sand. I can't imagine that's really their intent, and I would hope to see issues like this resolved - with a procedure change that prevents future cross-region deposits entirely.
It is obviously easy for them to detect region of log in.

If he logs in from a different region then blizzard should immediately lock his account upon successful authentication. This is possible and not beyond them.

The problem is they have purposefully left it out but have established rules for what to do in case it happens.

Convenient, no?
Blizzard does this to prevent money laundering outside of country boundaries. That's why they 0 it out.

Honestly, you should keep an updated address if you want to utilize services. I update my address when I've moved at everything I care about
banks
Ebay
PayPal
Post Office (mail forwarding)
Cell Phone company
Employment
...now just add Blizzard to that list.

Also, the region change may result in you not being able to utilize the US-based AH. This is also to prevent scammers.

I'm glad they have these policies and audits. Sorry to say, but you should have taken more care, OP.

Money laundering? They have a 250 dollar limit anyways, what kind of failed money laundering operation would use such a restrictive method that leaves behind so many trails it be so easy to track????

There is no excuse but poor customer service for what the op is experiencing. If blizzard is going to offer such a service as a blizzard account , then they should at the very least be willing to deal with any issues involving a user who might play from several different regions. It is entirely unreasonable considering how restrictive this service already is for them to demand their users to stay stationary if they want to continue using their products.
Yeah, complain and complain.

If they don't resolve it for you call the BBB and file a dispute. As well as go to your bank and explain that you deposited money into a bank account with blizzard. They then require you to forfeit your account balance since it exceeds their limit.

The manager will be able to advise you on further action you can take with your bank to get your funds back as well as places you can call. With direct numbers and people that answer, since calling blizz is damn near impossible.

These authorities will be capable of demanding your money back. Since this is probably the first time I have heard of this, I'd say it's very uncommon.

Even if they cannot "transfer money from currency to another", technically they can and are able to. The worst that should really happen is they charge you conversion fees.

They cannot keep your money and as they have essentially become a bank with this whole blizz bucks thing, they must adhere to all standards held by any money holding institution.


Pretty sure to be classified as a bank you have to allow withdrawals of funds, which blizzard does not. That is actually the main reason AFAIK that they do not allow withdrawals since they can skate by the banking rules.
06/29/2012 04:36 PMPosted by Killabyte
blatant theft... The ToS agreement cant override the law of the land, since this is REAL money commerce standard commerce laws apply... they cant just take your money.


He isn't a resident of this "land". See why they have these rules?
06/29/2012 04:31 PMPosted by Tilde
I smell a lawsuit, in the future, regarding to these rmah issues.


I didn't want to believe it at first, but the more of this kind of thing I hear, the more I fear it could happen. Activision's pockets are deep enough for a few sleazeball lawyers to be willing to take a crack at them.


Sleazeball? This sounds like a perfectly legitimate case to me. OP is out triple-digits of money over red tape that could have easily been designed to fulfill its ostensible function without essentially stealing cash from hapless customers. Drop the Blizzard apologist conch for a moment, this isn't like bickering over class nerfs.
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