September 9, 2007
While I wouldn’t engage in the activity myself, I feel the need to relay the experiences of a friend who dove headfirst into the world of Real Money Trading (RMT). For the inexperienced, RMT refers to gold trading in the world of MMORPGs, a controversial practice wherein people trade their real dollars for virtual ones. Many people, including the game makers, object to this since it provides a deus ex machina way of gaining a substantial advantage in the game world. I have my objections as well, but I also have sympathy for the plight of my friend, whose negative experience with the vendors reflects a deceptive business practice that ought to be noted for anyone out there, regardless of your opinions on RMT.
So for either the prospective currency buyer or someone just interested in not screwing people over, I’d like to present my friend’s experience purchasing (or attempting to purchase) from several of the more “reputable” establishments:
IGXE (www.igxe.com) – My friend had purchased successfully from them in the past, so he was not expecting much trouble. They also had a few novel tricks to attempt to circumvent the game makers’ attempts to intercept the transaction, which seemed interesting. However, the experience was absolutely unacceptable. They did have live chat with customer service representatives (where a real person answered!), but the person obviously spoke little English. Delivery of the currency was never done, and eventually the order was cancelled.
MMORPG-SHOP (www.mmorpg-shop.com) – Thinking this place might offer a better alternative than IGXE, he tried to take advantage of their equally novel methods of delivery, as well as some positive comments found online. Unfortunately this situation was even worse. Getting delivery from them was like pulling teeth, and didn’t occur for more than three days despite their “instant delivery.” However, they did deliver, so they deserve props for at least that.
IGE (www.ige.com) – The largest and most established of the RMT vendors, surely this experience had to be better? Well, yes and no. Their live chat seemed only to be available to people placing orders or selling entire accounts (order inquiries and other questions are not deemed worthy), but unlike the others, they were actually relatively prompt about returning emails. Their delivery was a fair sight short of the “instant delivery” that was promised, but the increased communication made it feel only slightly less like he was getting the run around. Unlike the other two, however, delivery was actually accomplished, so on this fact alone, it should be the only place you should consider if you wish to engage in this practice.
Overall, the impression I got from my friend was that the entire industry has a lot of snake oil, which is only possible because it is a bit of a grey market due to its proscription by the game makers. All vendors offer huge amounts of currency available for “instant delivery” to whatever game or server you like, but this hardly seems the case. Is this due to a poor “just-in-time” delivery system gone horribly wrong? Are they hoping customers will pay and not expect anything close to what was offered? With these questions alone, I would steer clear of the whole industry. Grinding for hours in the game is certainly preferrable to the hours of grinding with the RMT vendors, as my friend sadly has done.
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