Banned: The Update


In my last post I discussed my recent experience of getting my Lord of the Rings Online account banned.

(For the record, although the email I received called it a “temporary suspension”, my Turbine billing account listed the game as “banned” until the year 2037.)

Four days after the initial notice, I received a second email from Turbine’s In-Game Support, stating that my account “…was identified as being compromised as it accessed our game from an IP address directly associated with gold farming, selling, powerleveling, and account hacking activities. Other accounts in addition to yours were compromised, and as soon as we identified this we suspended the affected accounts so that they could not be further abused.” Scary stuff! At the end of the email I was instructed to contact them again as soon as I had changed the password on my master Turbine account.

The following day I received a third email indicating that my LotRO account had been reinstated. Anxiously I logged into the game, half expecting to find my minstrel naked and penniless. Or worse – deleted.

Instead, I found nothing.

Nothing was missing. No gold or items had been taken. None of my characters had been touched.

Which leaves me mightily relieved and perplexed – all at the same time. I was grateful for the fact that resolution occurred in 5 days, not 2 weeks. Although I found the 2 week estimation to be excessive, and the lack of payment suspension to be annoying, it wasn’t the time or the money that truly bothered me. It was the lack of transparency.

Turbine originally claimed that they had reason to believe that my computer had been compromised, but they weren’t giving me the information I needed to take appropriate action. It’s rather unsettling to think that your computer may have been hacked, or that it contained a virus that managed to elude your best cyber defenses. I STILL don’t know what they saw in my account that caused them to take such drastic measures. Perhaps I was accidentally caught up in some type of preemptive anti-hacking initiative? Maybe it was a simple case of mistaken identity?

Or maybe Middle Earth now has ninjas?

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8 Responses to “Banned: The Update”

  1. henebry says:

    So have they credited your account for the days during which they made your account inaccessible?

  2. Leslee says:

    @henebry:

    No, I have not requested a credit and none has been given. If the resolution had taken the 2 weeks that they had originally forecast, I would be more inclined to pursue a credit. But I’m not overly concerned about losing 5 days.

  3. J Greely says:

    In other words, they didn’t treat you better because they assumed you were knowingly violating the Terms of Service, and didn’t need an explanation for the ban. That’s what I suspected from the way the original letter was written: “we don’t need to explain because you know what you did, and should be grateful we’re not just deleting your account”.

    -j

  4. Jeff says:

    I thought someone explained that they were unlikely to explain the specifics until their investigation was done. For example, if they told you the IP was the problem, and you weren’t the victim but the culprit, then you’d be able to change tactics before they caught all the compromised accounts.

  5. Michael says:

    FYI: The plural of ninja is ninja, not ninjas.

    It’s good this got resolved, but I agree that they need to learn a bit about transparency.

  6. HeadHunter says:

    Five days is still a good portion of the month. If they upped the subscription price by those three bucks and gave you nothing, you’d probably balk. In a way, that’s what they did – gave you nothing for five days’ woth of play time.

    I’d demand a credit, and an explanation. And I’d let them know that they’re quite literally not the only game in town. Softwate companies, more than anyone, need to realize that they can’t take subscribers for granted.

  7. Elf says:

    Since several accounts were accessed from a goldfarming IP, it rather looks like THEY were the ones compromised.

  8. Reval says:

    Yeah…how about having your account banned from AUGUST until JANUARY? Think I’ll have any luck if I ask for a credit for my account?

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