Blizzard Saves Overwatch Player From Loot Box Disaster

Imagine that, after buying hundreds of loot boxes, you finally had all the Overwatch skins you spent so long coveting from afar. Then imagine that they started slowly disappearing.

It's like something out of a very dorky (yet EXTREMELY terrifying) Twilight Zone episode, but that's exactly what happened to Kaleptik. Over the course of a few days in September, they watched their in-game currency nosedive into the negatives, all the way down to -42,535.

Previously, Kaleptik had unlocked every Summer Games item. Some of those became locked again as loot boxes randomly appeared in their inventory. They had no idea what was going on, and it became hard for them to muster motivation to play the game any more. Earning enough currency to get out of the negatives was gonna take a damn long time, and since the Summer Games were a time-limited event, they couldn't just re-earn those particular items.

Initially, Blizzard support didn't think they could help. Since Kaleptik was playing on Xbox, they suggested it might be something on Microsoft's end. Unfortunately, that turned out to be another non-starter. Microsoft said they had no control over the servers of games they didn't develop.

Flash forward to now. After Kaleptik posted a public chronicle of their woes, Blizzard customer service longtimer Araxom stepped in. Turns out, the trouble was technically in Microsoft's court. A Paypal chargeback had occurred on loot boxes Kaleptik bought, but that chargeback quickly got reversed. Microsoft's servers apparently only detected the former.

Even though it technically wasn't their bad, Blizzard decided to gift Kaleptik a whopping 500 loot boxes, 400 of which were special Summer Games boxes, to make up for their losses. "It took an hour and 45 minutes to open them all, but I got every single item I lost back from Summer Games. Which is everything from Summer Games," wrote Kaleptik in a Reddit post thanking Blizzard for going above and beyond. Granted, I doubt Blizzard's actions were even remotely altruistic, given that they get a stocking stuffed full of good PR for this one. But it was still cool of them to do.

So there you have it: A big company's customer service is actually good. It's a real-life Christmas miracle!


    "So there you have it: A big company's customer service is actually good. It's a real-life Christmas miracle!"

    remind me again how long it took them...

      Remind me how quick you think they'd be able to get details of a transaction from one 3rd party to another second third party.

        Remind me again how it is even legal for a company to charge for a product that is then lost to the customer entirely due to the fault of the same company and/or that company's sub-contractors, and then for that company to not reinstate the customer's losses immediately they became aware of their own error.

        How is the fact that Blizzard/Microsoft might not rectify an error in their own built in payment systems even a question?

        The trouble might have been "technically in Microsoft's court", however it's irrelevant whether the stuffup is with Microsoft or Blizzard, since Microsoft is providing a back end payment solution to Blizzard. The customer has a dispute with Blizzard and/or Microsoft, which Blizzard and/or Microsoft needs to rectify.

        In any case, I have trouble seeing the difference between "technically in Microsoft's court" and simply that the problem was "in Microsoft's court". "Technically" means nothing here. It was Microsoft's problem and therefore Microsoft's problem to fix... "technically".

        I would, however, like to know whether Blizzard actually ended up with the money for the boxes after PayPal's charge back was reversed, in which case the problem was not "technically" with Microsoft at all.

        Last edited 10/12/16 7:30 pm

          But the problem is, if Blizzard has no control over the payment system, all they can do is pressure Microsoft to sort it out. The customer also went to Microsoft to sort it out, and they failed to detect the silent Paypal chargeback reverts (which is shit by paypal as well).

          From Blizzard's standpoint, they didnt actually do anything wrong. The transaction was processed successfully through to Microsoft. The problem was, Microsoft failed to do their job properly due to their incompetant systems.

          Also, keep in mind that Blizzard tech support do not have the ability to reinstate stuff without proper investigation/escalation. How were they to know anything actually happened incorrectly with their system without investigating with Microsoft first. And what if they found out it was the customer's fault/a 3rd party like Paypal causing the problem? They would have had to then revert any immediate reimbersment.

          As soon as they found out what happened, they gave the customer the lootboxes etc, and they went overs to rectify. The issue here is the process the customer had to go through, which is what happens when you have multiple companies of this size working together.

            The issue is that the customer should have had one port of call, either Blizzard or Microsoft. Whichever one they contacted should have said to them "It doesn't look like it's on our end, we'll be contacting the other company to figure out what went wrong. We apologise but it might take a while to sort out and we'll contact you when we have an answer."

            This person went to Blizzard got told to go away. They went to Microsoft and were told to go away. It's pure luck they got any resolution, Araxom did do a great job by getting in and doing what should have been done by that very first rep. He should be applauded, Blizzard and Microsoft should both be looking at some changes to their support lines.

              Age of entitlement. Mistakes happen and the fact you would lose your mind over something like this is an absolute joke. You quite obviously don't work in any kind of industry with global scale payment processing and customer facing operations.

                I once worked for one of the biggest companies in the world actually.

                I don't see how it's entitled to expect CSRs to ensure that customers don't have products they paid for taken away from them.

                I think you'll find most consumer law on my side too.

                Mistakes happen, that's fine and to be expected with companies this size. But as consumers we need to push so that these mistakes only happen once.

                It's not that unreasonable, actually. The 'age of entitlement' is back when our consumer protection laws were drafted.

                If a consumer product malfunctions or otherwise isn't what was represented, it's the retailer's obligation to resolve it. NOT the manufacturer's. Same as if your TV or video card started fucking up, you don't actually have to deal with the manufacturer yourself, the retailer has to.

                Same deal, here. Except it's digital subscription, which makes it legally iffy, but in spirit the same.

      And only fixed after it started getting publicity.

      A company has done the bare minimum and this article praises them...

        The bare minimum would be to do nothing.

          Which would probably be a violation of consumer law in most places.

          If he unlocked everything it sounds like he paid for those boxes, then the product he paid for was being taken away.

          So yes I expect the minimum the company should do is give him what he paid for. Preferably without giving him the run around and requiring someone higher up at the company to see a forum post rather than find out through any customer support channels.

          Customer support failed him and then he got lucky because he made enough noise on the internet. Imagine how many people this might happen to who just give up because it's too hard?

          I love Blizzard games, but frankly we need to hold companies to better standards.

            I'm not disagreeing that they should do what they can, I'm just sayin that technically the bare minimum would be to do nothing.

              Hoisted by semantics... My bad I suppose it should be the bare minimum they're obliged to do =P

                I'm glad they did do something though, even though it was technically the fault of Microsoft and Paypal, but like I said, I agree that companies should be held accountable. I would like to see him reimbersed by Microsoft or paypal as well. I think it's only fair.

                Yeah. sorry, I was being silly with my comments. Didn't mean to rev you up.

                  It's all good, I probably shouldn't get so revved up, I'm just reminded of so many awful CSR experiences including one with Telstra that took three months and was only resolved by emailing the CEO directly.

                  Sure it was resolved within two days after that with a few reimbursements but I don't think they deserve praise after the ordeal it took to be helped.

              Hmmm, can you actually do the bare minimum and still not do anything? "bare minimum" implies "something". Not that it counts for much, but here is the definition from Wiktionary:
              'bare minimum' = The smallest possible quantity or the least fulfilling, but still adequate, condition that is required, acceptable, or suitable for some purpose. I'm not saying you are wrong, but at the bare minimum I think there is a question mark.


                The bare minimum is acknowledging that there was a problem?

        It's like you didn't even read the article.

          Or I did and I expect that a paying customer should be able to have their issues sorted by contacting support, not by trying to gain attention in a public forum after they have failed to get any resolution through two different companies.

          This article should be "Blizzard answers support ticket after it's raised three times, gets free PR."

          It's not even as if they gave anything away... They reimbursed him with digital goods that cost them nothing.

          I love Blizzard, I play most of their games and have had some great experiences with their tech support, as well as some mediocre. But "customer gets to keep what he paid for" probably shouldn't make a news site and definitely shouldn't be seen as positive.

            "Blizzard answers support ticket after it's raised three times, gets free PR."

            See, this is why it looks like you didn't read the article, because the article pretty clearly says otherwise. The article says Blizzard did answer the ticket the first time and told him it wasn't a problem on their end, and to try contacting Microsoft. Blizzard can't just contact Microsoft when it comes to a billing issue, the customer has to contact them directly because Blizzard's a third party to the transaction. This is confirmed by the Blizzard response he got from his first ticket:

            While I really do wish there was more I could do to help, sadly, we have no way to look into Xbox or PS accounts. We're very limited on what we can help with on console due to us not receiving much information on our end. [...] That sounds like it may be some sort of payment issue on Microsoft's end. Have you tried speaking with their payment department?

            The article also says that in the end that was correct - it wasn't a problem on Blizzard's end, it was a problem between PayPal and Microsoft. It goes on to say they gave him 500 crates worth $400, which is way above the 300 he'd purchased in the first place.

            Your cost argument holds no water. The cost of designing the content in the crates is budgeted for by expected crate sales. Giving away free crates means lost income. Your logic would mean pirating any digital download video game is perfectly fine because once it's made it doesn't cost the publisher anything to make more copies of it. I refuse to believe you're that stupid.

            So no, it's not "Blizzard responds to ticket after three attempts, gets free PR", it's "Blizzard sympathises with problem player has with third party vendor, gives player their 300 crates back plus 200 more on top". Even the guy himself is stoked and feels like Blizzard went above and beyond to help him out, you seem to be the only one pissing on the story.

              Giving away free crates means lost income.

              Not in this case though, because previously Kaleptik had unlocked every Summer Games item, so there is nothing else that he could have got from additional summer boxes that he didn't already have. It could have been 1 million boxes for all the difference it would have made to Blizzard's bottom line. Seriously dude, it looks like you didn't even read the article.

              Also, Blizzard never lost any money in the first place since a Paypal chargeback had occurred on loot boxes Kaleptik bought, but that chargeback quickly got reversed. Microsoft's servers apparently only detected the former. I guess it was just easier for their support department to enter a certain number of chests in the chest text box field at their end and then to force the customer to spend an extra hour and 45 minutes to open them all, presumably saving Blizzard a few minutes of staff labour costs in giving him back the items he lost individually and directly. It looks like you didn't even read the article.

              Last edited 11/12/16 8:59 am

                Blizzard decided to gift Kaleptik a whopping 500 loot boxes, 400 of which were special Summer Games boxes

                I wonder what those other 100 crates, worth about $80, could have been? Never mind the fact that duplicate items you get are converted to currency, which can be used to buy more things outside of the summer games set. Please, try reading the article.

                Also, Blizzard never lost any money in the first place since a Paypal chargeback had occurred on loot boxes Kaleptik bought, but that chargeback quickly got reversed. Microsoft's servers apparently only detected the former.

                Exercise some basic thought for a moment. Microsoft charges the customer, then later gives that money to Blizzard. If Microsoft saw 'chargeback' on the system, they would have pulled the missing money out of the next payment to Blizzard, who wouldn't have gotten the money until the payment issue was resolved. Microsoft would have had the extra money but not passed it on because as far as they were aware they hadn't received it.

                Last edited 11/12/16 9:10 am

                  I wonder what those other 100 crates, worth about $80, could have been? Please, try reading the article.

                  Well, it doesn't say anything about what other gear he had in the article, although clearly your vastly superior reading skills have super powers in reading between the lines, but I would personally guess that someone willing to splash cash on 300 summer crates might have a fair selection of gears from other crates as well...

                  Exercise some basic thought for a moment.

                  Looks to me like you're describing the error (poor Blizzard, poor Microsoft! sniff), not addressing either company's legal obligations to provide the goods that the customer actually paid for with real cash, or providing a reasonable mechanism for resolving disputes that didn't involve venting on a public forum.

                  But sure, let's just go with your obviously vastly superior reading and thinking skills. The rest of the internet can just come directly to you from now on for advice. You might want to open a helpline.

                  Last edited 11/12/16 9:23 am

                  @angorafish Come on mate, you're foundering. It says clearly in the article that he got 500 crates, 400 of which were summer games crates. What did you think the other 100 crates were?

                  As far as both Microsoft and Blizzard were aware, the customer hadn't paid for the crates he got. The last thing the payment processor told them was it had been reversed. Blizzard did exactly what they should have done, refer the customer to the company they made the transaction with. It takes special mental gymnastics to attribute blame to the third party twice-removed from the transaction.

                  You're just repeating yourself. Go back and read my posts and the article. I'd say read them again, but it's fairly clear that there hasn't been a first time yet.

                  @angorafish I read your posts, that's how I know you edited your most recent one after I'd already replied. What I replied to was you said the number of crates awarded wasn't in the article, and you originally said $300, not 300 crates. The AU sites have a bug right now that the edit line only shows the first edit time, not the most recent.

                  I don't see any point wasting more time on this. I see no logic to your argument, I see no way you can come to the conclusion you have from the information available, and I think you're only arguing at this point to avoid admitting you read the situation wrongly. You're welcome to believe whatever you like, but the guy involved thought Blizzard went above and beyond and I agree with him.

              How can you not understand... Blizzard foisted him off, as did MS, because PayPal made an error.

              Is the customer just meant to guess who he contacts or should he know to contact the third party?

              The first CR rep should have handled it. Blizzard makes money off those crates even if they don't handle payments.

              If they can't deal with account stuff without the customer then they organise a three way call with Microsoft or whoever and they follow the issue through until their paying customer has their items returned.

              The problem you're ignoring is... How many times has this happened before? What about any customers who after being given the run around by Blizz and MS just quit playing after effectively being robbed?

              It's lucky this guys issue was sorted but they need to re-examine their SOP for the future to prevent it happening again.

              They fucked up and they fixed their mistake, which is a good start but that's all it is.

                Blizzard didn't 'foist him off', they sent him where he needed to go to get his problem fixed because they can't fix it for him. Why you have such difficulty understanding this is beyond me. His transaction was with Microsoft, through PayPal. Blizzard had nothing to do with it, they're an unrelated third party to the payment.

                He "should know" who to contact because Blizzard told him who on his first support ticket. You want to be pissy at Microsoft, go for it, they were partly responsible and shouldn't have sent him back to Blizzard. There's no grounds to be pissy at Blizzard.

                They fucked up and they fixed their mistake, which is a good start but that's all it is.

                No, PayPal fucked up. Microsoft had a share by not double checking the transaction data when they were asked. Blizzard didn't fuck up at all, but they did fix someone else's mistake. That's what makes it above and beyond.

                Like I said above, I'm not wasting any more time on this subject. If you don't understand the situation by now, you're never going to. Fortunately the guy it happened to does understand the situation and he's very happy with Blizzard's response.

                Last edited 11/12/16 6:04 pm

                  It's Blizzards product.

                  Microsoft handle the payment for them but the payment goes to Blizzard after MS takes their cut.

                  Blizzard is responsible even if the subcontractor who handles the payment system fucks up.

                  If you paid a company to build you a house and a wall collapsed, but they sent you to the brick is who built it how would you feel?

                  Again how do you know this hasn't happened to someone else who didn't post in a forum and who has just been ripped off?

                  It's good this guy is happy, but if Blizzard doesn't recognise this started with a fuck up in their CSR system it's an issue.

                  Blizzard didn't 'foist him off', they sent him where he needed to go to get his problem fixed because they can't fix it for him.

                  lol now you're just contradicting yourself, ultimately Blizzard CAN and DID fix it for him ONLY at the point this became a PR issue.

                  It's bullshit that anyone would have to go through this to reclaim what was rightfully purchased in the first place. It's only luck this person 1) had all the items and realised things were going missing, and 2) the public post was picked up by someone from Blizzard that thought to see it through!

                  @jerichosainte There's no contradiction, and I made my position clear in earlier posts. Blizzard didn't fix the problem, but they did help alleviate the symptom. Let's leave the topic be.

                  Last edited 12/12/16 5:40 pm

                  Seems like semantics are an issue for you, so no point in me repeating the same thing over and over.

                  Last edited 13/12/16 1:02 pm

    I still find it amazing that you can spend hundreds of dollars in a game and not unlock all the content.

      Don't look at Star Citizen or MechWarrior Online then....

        Ive never looked at Mech Warrior Online but Star Citizen is certainly madness. I hear about people buying ships that require 20+ crew and think, if you are buying a ship that costs thousands of US dollars you probably don't have 20 friends who will be patient enough to man the mini bar while you fly around having a good time.

    The ending bit is silly. Of course you can be altruistic AND get PR from something. They aren't mutually exclusive, mate.

      Sure, it just depends what the intention was. No-one can really know for sure. History suggests, though, that faceless corporations tend to have less human sympathy than most, and even when someone working at said faceless corporations wants to do 'something nice' they have to run it past higher ups. So, not impossible (there have been plenty of examples of devs doing nice stuff for sick fans) but out of the ordinary.

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