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]