When I heard about the cute new Cenarion Hatchling pet that Blizzard released a couple of days ago, I was one of the first ones in line to get it. Not only do 100 percent of the proceeds go to the Japanese tsunami relief effort, but it’s also a darn cute little fellow (who happens to share a model with a rare Hippogryph Hatchling from the first TCG set.)
It was a pretty mindless set of actions of my part — Head to the Blizzard Store, click on the front page promo for the new pet, enter my password and authenticator info, verify payment via usual means — and, voilà, one cute new bundle of cuteness arrives on my account details page. With one slight problem. I go to attach it to my account, and get the following message (paraphrased): Region Code must match target account.
Ick. I had bought an EU Hatchling. My account is US.
I sighed and was annoyed at myself for not realizing that by default because of my location, Blizzard had automatically rerouted my Blizzard Store request to the EU store. And, in fact, for most customers living in Germany, this is indeed what they would want. But not me. Really, I had no one to blame but myself. The fact that the pet’s cost was listed in Euros should have tipped me off, but I suppose I’ve gotten so used to converting my currency that I didn’t even think about it.
I took a moment, momentarily considered contacting Blizzard support, but instead opted to shrug it off — it’s for a good cause, so I don’t really care about donating an extra 10€. In any other situation, I probably would have demanded my money back, but this was a special case.
I went back to the Blizzard Store, changed my region, and bought the pet again, this time in US dollars. Redeemed it onto my account just fine, retrieved my new bundle of joy in-game, and went on my merry way, vowing to learn my lesson.
The next morning, as I completed my wake-up ritual of checking my e-mail, Blizzard had sent me a little surprise, from the EU store.
Blizzard Entertainment Europe – Digital Game Purchase Failed:
Greetings, This notice is being sent to inform you that we were unable to successfully complete your recent purchase for one or more digital games from the Blizzard Store. The charge for this digital game on your Blizzard Store order was not finalized.
Since we could not fully authorize this item’s purchase, the game license in question has been removed from your Blizzard Account.
…We thank you for your patronage and your patience in this matter.
I was taken aback. A company that actually refunded my purchase, without me even asking? Does that ever happen? (Answer is NO). I checked my account page, and sure enough, no trace of the EU hatchling. Not even listed among my recent purchases in that region. It had been completely wiped off my account.
Despite what the e-mail says about not completing the purchase, I have a previous e-mail saying that the purchase had indeed been completed, and I was even given the opportunity to either redeem or gift the pet to an EU account. I was even contemplating what kind of contest I could make up for Lore Hounds so that I could give away the code to an EU player. But I guess it wasn’t in the cards.
Maybe it had to do with the fact that I turned around and made the same purchase on the US Blizzard Store. I’m certain that I’m not the only one who has made this mistake, and I’m guessing Blizzard put in an automatic safeguard to refund an unused purchase if it is made twice in different regions. Maybe it’s just coincidence and I’m reading too much into it.
But I don’t think so. I think that Blizzard outsmarted me. And I am impressed at getting a great dose of customer service that I didn’t even ask for. So happy, in fact, that I’m going to take that refunded money and re-donate it to tsunami relief.