Got this horror story in the mail today. Similar hijinks have happened in Everquest, which caused Verant to disavow responsibility for any eBay transactions. In contrast, Richard “Lord British” Garriott seems quite proud of “the eBay model”. I suppose we’ll have to see if that pride continues in the face of scams like these…
Heres an astonishing bit of info for everyone that has ever bought or sold a UO account: How would you like to be able to get that account back EVEN after you have received your EBay money or whatever you sold it for? Think I’m kidding? I’m not. All you have to do is be the original credit card holder that opened the account, it doesn’t matter whose credit card is on it ‘for now’.
I have been playing UO since the charter and I can say I’ve seen some really screwed up sh** from Origin but this really takes the cake. Much like bugs are revealed to be exploited so Origin is forced to fix them, so should this be. This did not happen to me but someone close to me and I believe everyone should know exactly how screwed up it is.
Around the time SP was made permanent (July 99), I took over another
player’s account because he was quitting UO. He had told me that if SP was wiped that he would leave for good. When the moment came, he mentioned that he wanted to give his account to a friend. I supposed it was for sentimental reasons. He said none of his friends were playing, etc.
I suggested that he give me the account since I was looking for a second one and had no intention of leaving UO. He agreed and cleared out his credit card info from the account site. Then, he gave me the password and I went in and put in my info and changed the password. He talked to me now and then to see how it was going.
Then, a few weeks ago, he messages me to see if I would be willing to give him back the account. This was about the time that Sunsword announced that UO could go on for years (and also the changed to containers, house ownership etc). I had just bought 4 vendor deeds to set up a shop in my little house (on the other account). The SP character on this account was the owner of the SP house and also did a lot of the secondary skills for me. I had also moved all my stuff in the large forge and had set aside about 30 bags of stuff for the ticket barrel. I took a week to think about it and told him that I had decided to keep the account but would be happy to help in any way I could.
He said that it was fine and that he did not want to cause me any trouble.
“If it is going to be that much trouble then I do not want it. Some
friends have been bugging me to come back so I thought I would try again.”
(icq from the original account owner on 10/2/99)
Then, this past Saturday, I go to log in with one of the characters of that account and I can’t. This is when I called (a friend at OSI). It was evening and I was so worried that I had been hacked. Then I went to the house and noticed that I had been unfriended, the locks changed, etc. Not a word from the previous owner. Same with the SP house. Not a word from the previous owner.
The large forge on LS is mostly full of my items now. All my best things. My guilds SP house and stone are lost.
He told me in icq that the decision to come back was something he never imagined and that he did not want to disrupt my play. Now he does this. As far as we both knew, he was gone from UO and that account is mine. In fact, the day he gave it from me, XXXXXXX (old friend of his) offered to buy the house on that account. If he had the idea that I was simply holding the account for him, then why would he have sent his friend my way?
” Umm, I do not think you are being a bitch. I did not think I would ever come back either. It is up to you” (icq from original owner 10/2/99)
After contacting OSI, I discovered that the OSI customer service person just gave the account back to him. I don’t understand this. The password and credit card info were mine and therefore it could not be transferred to anyone without my consent. A comment attached to the account said that they tried to reach me. I did not receive an email or a phone call about this matter. My phone number was there and they could have at least warned me.
On 11/3/99 I finally talked to Ed Ball who is the guy in charge of the account dept (I suppose). He told me that it didnt matter that I had the password and had been paying for many months. All that mattered was that XXXXXX has the original jewel case AND the original credit card number that opened the account. I asked him why this policy wasnt clearly stated since so many accounts were being bought on ebay or transferred like mine. His words : We are working on it.
-The email from OSI, pay close attention to this line “The original owner of the account (the person who possess the credit card with which the UO account was opened) is considered the true owner.”-
>Subject: Fw: Re Account being given to former owner
>Date: Tue, 2 Nov 1999 18:05:24 -0600
Dear (name removed),
I’ve received your letter and am giving it to Ed Ball here at Origin. I understand that there is a note in your account that says if you were to call in, to be patched through to Ed. However, I am confident that Ed will respond to your email as soon as possible. If you don’t wish to wait, then I would advise that you phone in the morning and ask to speak to him regarding your account.
It is important, however, to set your expectations at this point. In the cases of this type of thing that I have seen before, the original owner of the account (the person who possess the credit card with which the UO account was opened) is considered the true owner. This is absolutely necessary to protect individuals who are illegally hacked.
I believe that Ed can discuss this in more detail, but believe me, these rules are in place to protect our customers. Transferrence of accounts is a very dangerous business, and while it can provide some very cool results, it can also lead to disputes like yours. I am so displeased that you are now the victim of this situation. From what I can tell, you are absolutely sincere in your plea – but unfortunately that sincerity can’t win a legal battle. In cases such as these, our service department tries to identify the true owner of the account. I also understand that someone tried to contact you and was unable to do so.
So, while I do believe that Ed will contact you, I think you should prepare yourself for the fact that you will probably not be able to get the account back, or any of the possessions within it, unless you are able to patch up your differences with the person himself and arrange for your goods to be transferred to you.
I’m very saddened to have to impart this information to you. I know
first hand the pain that is involved in being ripped from what you believe is rightfully yours, and from things that you have worked hard for. I take such things entirely personally, myself, and I know what you must be feeling right now. I wish that I could say more, or do more for you, but I’m afraid I can’t.
Your options at this point are to wait for Ed’s response, or to call him tomorrow morning, and see what you can get from him. He’s certainly the authority in these types of matters, where as I am only a Community rep. I do wish you luck, and hope that you can work something out.. either with Ed, or with the friend whose account you shared (Note: the account was not ‘shared’ is was taken over).
If I can answer any other questions, I will do my best….
After reading this I think you will agree that anyone and everyone can get
UO account back at any time they want to whether it been sold for real money or whatever. This is truly screwed up and needs to addressed, hopefully these kind of situations could be rectified quickly if a large number of people started re-claiming their sold accounts, then maybe OSI might take some action.
I assume the original owner of the account merely called OSI and stated he was hacked, or possibly just that he wanted to change some account information or lost his password, provided his credit card number and was given back the account.
So what do YOU think?