Blizzard Bankrupts Nerds

Our geeky, mouth-breathing brother site — long a source of bemusement and contempt to the editors at Consumerist as they wax on and long about imaginary elves that live inside their computer — have been on a roll with consumerist-releated complaints lately. We’re starting to warm up to these guys.

This time, Florian Eckhardt over at Kotaku has described a problem transferring a character in World of Warcraft (one of those very games in which you play an imaginary elf who lives inside a computer) from one server to another. It appears that Blizzard’s system for doing this has been broken for 9 days. Obnoxious, but the real kick in the pants is how Blizzard has been continuing to allow people to transfer characters and claiming there’s nothing wrong in the system, leading to this:

    But here’s the kicker: this morning I check the forums again, and see a message from a user who got a more or less firm statement from Blizzard over the phone that they know there’s a serious issue with their character transfer and not to keep on trying to finalize the transfer, as it would always fail but would charge your account 20 euros for each failed attempt.

    My heart stopped. I checked my online credit card statement: no charges. I went back to the forums and it turns out that it doesn’t appear to happen to those doing the transfer with credit cards, but only guys with debit cards. Dozens of people complain that their entire accounts have been drained by this. They are completely broke; their banks have frozen their accounts.

Can you even imagine what would happen if a company like AOL or T-Mobile had a glitch like this, that resulted in bankrupting their customers? It defies belief. Even more amazing, it was only after a week of problems that Blizzard silently pulled the transfer system. Smooth, Blizzard. Smooth.

Nice Character Transfer System, Blizzard [Kotaku]


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  1. Blizzard used to be such a nice and consumer friendly company, but WoW has broken their consumer support cherry I think…now they are a jaded uncaring faceless megacorp like all the others…

    Still I don’t think I have sympathy for people who are stretching it so thin in the bank account that a few overcharges from a video game subscription can “bankrupt” them….I mean…maybe it’s time to put the mouse down and get a job that’s not at the mall.

  2. Ran Kailie says:

    The thing is almost all the MMORPG companies have these issues. While I love NcSOFT and City of Villains the support sucks the big one. This past weekend they re-enabled all of the inactive accounts for the weekend for people because of a new box release.

    The result? Patch servers you couldn’t even connect to, and if you can’t connect to the patch servers to even verify you have the patch you can’t log on at all.

    I have a forum post 19 pages long and not a single Admin responded. Yeah we got a work around and posted it, but no official recognition.

    They also posted a new update for the game you can buy, instead of the box set for 10 bucks. However only one purchase per IP per 24 hours.

    So if you have two or more people in a household sharing one connection, only one person gets to buy their upgrade per day. I mean at least me and my boyfriend are amiable, imagine people who aren’t?

    Point is all of these companies need to get better with support. Blizzard is no better then NcSoft or any of the other big names I haven’t heard ANYONE tell me their MMORPG have good support and server all around.

    But people still place, regardless of the issues as long as the game works. I don’t mind so much with Guild Wars, given its free to play you just pay for the game.

    But when I pay monthly for something I expect it to work, work well, and to get some decent support.

  3. Elara says:

    Blizzard has been a giant pain in the ass with some aspects of WoW (stupidly long queue times just to play, stupidly long downtimes to upgrade hardware that was crappy to begin with, software bugs that lock you out of the game because they have messed up their debiting system and think you haven’t paid) and this is just another annoyance in a long line of Blizzard screw-ups.

    But, if you look at the WoW forums and read the the stuff people complain about, and the abuse heaped on Blizzard and their customer relations reps for completely idiotic things, I wouldn’t be surprised if they occasionally deliberately screw things up just to get even with some of their moronic customers.

  4. d0x says:

    Blizzard ripped me off yesterday. I joined WOW with a trial account and downloaded the client from fileplanet.

    I then decided I wanted to keep playing so Blizzard charged me $40 for the game and then I’ll be charged the normal monthly fee after 30 days to keep playing.

    The problem is yesterday which is the same day i paid them $40 the games retail price was cut to $19.99. Basicly they scammed me out of $20.

    I contacted them but havent been able to get any kind of response on the issue. I told them I want a refund and that I would just go buy the game retail.

    I ended up paying $20 more for the game yet I got no install disks, no box, no game instructions…how does that make sense?!

  5. thrillhouse says:

    Bankrupt? I think not. Even still, with or without a statement from Blizzard, these people who “drained their accounts” should be able to call their bank and have the charges reversed.

    I was once charged 5 times for a dozen doughnuts as my ‘fresh off the boat’ cashier was a tad confused. Took two minutes to have the charges reversed. Many times you can get them to work with you on the NSF fees as well.

    Of course, this means actually conversing with another human, on the phone, without an avatar!

  6. Elara says:

    dox, not that this makes it any better, but I’ve been seeing the game at local electronics stores now for the past week or so for $20 (and it may have been that little for a while, but I don’t get out much [no, not because I play WoW too much, but because I have a 14 month-old who makes the mall difficult to visit]). Since it was already available for $19 elsewhere before yesterday, just keep at them (call, don’t email) and maybe they’ll reverse the charges. As stupid as they can be, I’ve always had luck with them fixing what they screwed up as long as I stayed on them about it.