Diablo 3 Patch Devalues Items; Players Advocate ‘Chargebacks’

Saying you didn’t receive something when you did, though sometimes difficult for credit card companies or merchants to discover in their investigations, is actually a form of credit card fraud. It’s known by the term “Friendly Fraud,” and it’s a big problem for online retailers especially. And because it is a form of fraud, it can have legal implications should police become involved; by initiating a chargeback, a consumer is basically both claiming they paid for something they didn’t receive in writing, and submitting to an investigation. Credit card companies and banks all have different rules about chargebacks, as well, and multiple chargebacks on an account can trigger fraud investigations or potentially have other impacts on a customer’s credit. The cost of issuing a chargeback to Blizzard is very likely to be a permanent ban on a player’s Battle.net account, at the least.

In the case of auction house items in a video game, the situation gets a great deal more nebulous, since the situation deals with virtual goods and the issue isn’t one of “item not received,” but of “item not what I thought it was.” The players advocating using chargebacks are advocating some form of dishonesty, even if they do feel as though Blizzard took advantage of them.

There’s also another caveat — lots of chargebacks appearing on the accounts of a business like Blizzard can have further implications, like higher fees or fines from the bank with which the merchant does business. The most vindictive players who advocate chargebacks know this, and hope that a run on refunds will hit Blizzard where it’ll hurt most: the company’s bottom line.

Game Front reached out to Blizzard for comment on the Patch 1.0.3 situation, but questions posed to the company were never answered. Blizzard instead pointed to a statement in its Diablo 3 auction house customer support page on Battle.net, which outlines what happens if players purchase an item that is later altered by an update.

“It’s important for us to ensure that Diablo III remains balanced and fun for years after launch,” the FAQ reads. “To that end, it may be necessary to change stats or alter abilities of items from time to time. It’s very important to note that Blizzard will not be providing refunds or making other accommodations if a purchased item is later altered in a patch. Given this, it’s up to players to determine whether they’re comfortable purchasing items in the real-money auction house.”

There are also an official customer support channel through which players can submit issues or complaints to Blizzard, which can be accessed through this link. Given Blizzard’s official stance on auction house purchases, however, gaining refunds through these channels seems unlikely.

Follow Hornshaw and Game Front on Twitter: @philhornshaw and @gamefrontcom.

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11 Comments on Diablo 3 Patch Devalues Items; Players Advocate ‘Chargebacks’

Kyle

On June 28, 2012 at 4:23 pm

wow, gaming is going straight down the crapper

D3

On June 28, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Consumers have some protections when making purchases online or through catalogs, and chargebacks allow them some recourse should purchased merchandise never arrive or arrive broken, and so forth.

wel seeing as they only get half they payed for i would say its pretty broken… chargeback time then

pooleboy87

On June 28, 2012 at 5:28 pm

“wel seeing as they only get half they payed for i would say its pretty broken… chargeback time then”

While it can be argued that players didn’t necessarily receive the item they thought they would, Blizzard announced the attack speed reduction a full week ahead of the launch of the Real Money Auction House, and even if they hadn’t…chargebacks aren’t supposed to be a weapon against feeling cheated. They’re supposed to combat unauthorized spending.

If you had the item given to you, used it, and then attempt to say that Blizzard cheated you by not delivering the item, then you are committing fraud. Chargebacks are NOT the solution to this situation. While I’m sure countless players are hoping this would hurt Blizzard…the one’s facing a huge loss of money and heavy fines would probably be the idiots…I mean, players who decide this is an appropriate mechanism to fight back with.

I’m curious if Blizzard is still excited about their RMAH experiment so far. It seems to be to be causing a TON of headaches for Blizzard. Honestly, I don’t even see the damn point in purchasing loot in a game in which the endgame is supposed to be finding the loot. Kinda seems like paying $250 to have the game played for you to me…

R.J.

On June 28, 2012 at 6:37 pm

I didn’t know that Blizzard was getting such a large cut of those sales. I figured they got something for facilitating the transactions, but 15% could make them a lot of money fast.

T Wal

On June 28, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Am I the only one who heard of this “real money auction house” and instantly knew it was a horrible idea?

Critique

On June 28, 2012 at 10:35 pm

I hope this really bites blizzard somewhere where it will hurt them enough not to do it again. Let’s face it, I’m sure blizzard made their money back on the game from the stupid idiots who bought into the hype.

First the story about how Diablo 3 is bleeding players
Now this.

This is why, even though there was tremendous peer pressure, I resisted it and did not purchase the game. Now I have 3-5 that I can log onto and just play, while at the same time laugh at the people who bought this game blindly and without thought.

Worst part is many of my friends, co-workers, etc, who bought this and were warned about it, also bought other regretable purchases, and they don’t seem to learn from their mistake. Good thing though is most of them just hide their anger and avoid conversations about their horrible purchase.

There isn’t another ecosystem with this kind of blind brain activity as in the game industry. No matter how much a movie gets hyped up for example, If it’s crap, it usually won’t make that much. Games on the other hand have a bunch of retards for followers and these people will litterly buy a turd with a blizzard sticker on it.

What happend to buying games AFTER release dates? Now games are pushing for pre-purchase option, it’s not even pre-order, NOPE. Pay for the game 6 months in advance, and we’ll take that 60 dollars and turn it into 120 dollars in the stock markets before you get your hands on our game that has a gaming appeal of about 1 week, Thanks please buy our next installment of Call of Dog$hit

backy

On June 28, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Blizzard is walking a dangerous path that finally will lead them to a BOSS that will end their game permanently!

J

On June 28, 2012 at 11:48 pm

this can be expected to happen time and time again as Blizzard change this and tweak that. It’s what Blizzard does with there patches, for years and years after their games are released. It’s not worth spending even a dollar on a temporary virtual bit of code that’s supposed to help you progress through the same boring and linear game for the 10th time.

It’s such a horrible game. Blizzard screwed up royal.

penco

On June 29, 2012 at 5:28 am

Just FYI “IAS” is “Increased Attack Speed” not “Item Attack Speed.”

Phil Hornshaw

On June 29, 2012 at 7:53 am

@penco

Whoops, noted and fixed.

gasmaskangel

On June 29, 2012 at 7:55 am

It boggles my mind that anyone at Blizzard ever thought the real money auction house would be a good idea, and it astounds me that anyone actually uses it. No entirely digital item is worth $250.