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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3705
Experience:  Experienced in both state and federal court.
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Hi there, I had a internet Gaming Account I played for around

Resolved Question:

Hi there, I had a internet Gaming Account I played for around a year I had invested about $300. US into and around 3000 hours of time. Ive been suspended multiple times for various things such as swearing, but I was suspended 3 times for reasons that havnt been answered and wasnt my fault to begin with. My account was just terminated due to multiple apperent violations but I know atleast 3 accumilated violations that werent my fault. The gaming company named NCsoft refuses to tell me what I did wrong. I asked 2 times in email to provide evidence of me actualy violating a TOS.

My question is, can I seek legal help if this is actualy discrimination?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 1 year ago.

TexLawyer :

Good afternoon. I'll be assisting you with your question.

TexLawyer :

The question here is whether you had a contract with the website. Did you pay a membership fee? What was the $300 spent on?

Customer:

No membership fee. I purchased the physical disc for the game for my PC $156. USD Ive purchased several add on's to expand the game and the game consists of over 3000 hours of time ive spent on it in little under a year. NCsoft internet gaming company moderates the game, and the developers (Arena.net) have limited power for game accounts. NCsoft Game Moderators (GMs) reply to emails from customers and respond accordingly. Ive had many replys from GMs over the year for various reasons of contact. Ive had a fiew poor choices in character names which I disputed for nearly 3 months with them and finaly they just told me to shut and go away. This counts as a Accumilated violation and each 1 adds a mark to my account. 3 of which supposed violations were uncalled for and werent my fault. 2 name violations, and 1 verbal. Ive appealed each violation but was met with ignorance and deluded and hidden meanings behind each reply. Pretty much telling me to stuff it and go away. I want to know if I can sue them to gain my account back in court under certain litigations?

Customer:

Ive also tried to Appeal each violation I felt I wasnt in the wrong for and was denied each time. Each reply was met with Shut Down speachs. I signed a Terms of Service agreement when I created the game account and it includes many paraphrases that would void any confrintation legaly for their services but I believe that a fiew GM's have taken personnal interest of vengance to terminate the account and even go as far as spy or stalk me ingame.

Customer:

The GM's replys in the past have fed me false imformation and misled me to believe that the recommended gaming option for chat options "Chat Filter" would prevent such TOS violations in the future and using such options would void any vulger language spoken aloud to anyone in the game. But the fact is, the Chat Filter works 1 way. It blocks all incoming profanity in chat, and here I was for almost a month talking to people in game. Using profanity at times and unaware that people could read what I wrote. Not only was I humiliated but punished for it as well, and ultimately added to a accumilated mark system.

Customer:

Not only did they lye to me but they also refused to let me appeal this violation. Theres also no such detailed information attributed to the chat filter which led to my punishment that would indicate that the chat filter would work as it does.

TexLawyer :

OK. Thanks for the reply. Let me do a little research and I'll get back with you later this afternoon.

Customer: Ok thank you so much for your time. =)
TexLawyer : First off, you a standard TOS gives the merchant the exclusive right to determine what is or isn't a violation of the terms. I'm assuming that's the case here.
TexLawyer : As such, they essentially retain complete control over who can and can't use their platform (with a few exceptions).
TexLawyer : So, you don't have an inherent cause of action. Since you don't, the second thing one would look to is whether you have an actionable contract, so you could sue for breach of that contract. Here, since you weren't paying a subscription, you don't have a contractual relationship. In order to have a contract, there must be some form of consideration (i.e. an exchange of money for a service). It appears you don't have a contract that would support a cause of action.
TexLawyer : Now, as I said earlier, there are exceptions, but they are very limited. You could have a cause of action against the website if you can show that they discriminated against you based on your race, gender or religious preference.
Customer: I dont know if you would consider gem buying, paying real cash for game items as a contract as it is bought and paid for with real money. I had a considerable ammount I bought as well around $150. worth. But the fact that they refuse to show evidence of me actualy violating their TOS inclines me to "believe" that they have something against me. Whether its due to me having a mental disability or a problem swearing. This is also part of my disability and they have shown disregard to the fact I cant control it sometimes. If you would like, I can forward every email ive ever writen to ncosft and replys Ive gotten back. but I must warn you...theres potentualy 1000+ Because ive delt with Ncsoft on previous games as well for around 5 years now. I dont know whether they have shown me any kind of discrimination to be honest. I have a hard time understanding the meaning. But I know this much, I sent ncsoft an extremely hatefully angry email just prior to my accounts termination saying I'd laugh 1 day if someone "not me" would kill them all" I have a feeling all this has resulted from that 1 email and which leads me to believe they acted outside the relms of the game. This goes against Ncsofts code of employee conduct and ive read their GM Employee rules. Rules they must fallow, and they obviously broke a fiew of their own rules. Acting beyond the game and took it personnaly and acted on it. Which raised my suspicions even more when they refused to give me a reason for my termination. Because they didnt have any proof of me actualy violating any TOS. But instead broke vital employee regulations.
Customer: I dont know if this is damaging evidence or not or if I could sue based on those conditions but I do know some should be fired for it. I appreciate you looking into this for me and the extent you went into finding the details for this situation for me.
Customer: I just remembered something. I had a Guild Wars 1 Account that was terminated around 2 yrs ago. I tried to kill myself and was sent to a physc ward for 2 weeks and had severe depression for months after it. The game account had over 37,000 hours on it. pretty much 5 yrs of my life 8-14 hrs a day sometimes even 20. I socialy deprived myself and issolated myself many times after the game account was terminated and I told Ncsoft GMs back then that I was a disabled vet. I had serious issues back then and was trying to recover from Severe PTSD. I still deal with it to this day but not as extreme. I suffered emotional loss and feel that due to this action I suffered greatly. I dont know if they can be held accountable for my pain and suffering but I did suffer greatly. Back then, very simmilar cercumstances accured where GM's wouldnt really give a damn even like today about situations ingame that would arise and consiquently just brush incidents i had and disputes with other players off. Leading ultimatly to the account termination. The game was my ONLY outlet at the time as I just came back from the war, and I didnt have any freinds in the area. The game was my life and freinds I had online were my only sourse of communication and socialization. Cut off from this soucer like now but not as extreme I was going to run myself in front of a truck. Infact ive had these same thoughts a fiew times after my Guild Wars 2 account was terminated.
Customer: Is this due cause to persue legal action? I was humiliated, rubbed the wrong way, scolded and tortured. It may sound silly but Its just the way I felt and I get sick right now just thinking of the situation I was in when this all happened. It took years to get over it. Here I am in the same situation and begging for help. I didnt know about legal aid or if I could ask an attorney before.
TexLawyer : Thanks for your reply. It certainly sounds like a difficult situation for you, and I really wish there was an easy legal fix, but I just don't see one. In order to prove a discrimination case, you would need to show that you were treated differently than other people, and that difference in treatment was because of your disability. Simply having a disability and being removed from the game is not enough; you would need to be able to show a connection between the removal and your disability.
TexLawyer : You may have a a contractual relationship created by the purchase of the items for the game, but your losses would be limited to the money you spend (i.e., no pain and suffering or compensation for the time you spent building your character). Since you spent $150, a lawsuit may not be worth your time and expense.
TexLawyer : I'm sorry for the bad news, but I can only give my honest assessment of the law and how it applies to your case.
Customer: I see, well in regards XXXXX XXXXX issue then I conclude that im screwed. I purchased gems 3 times from what I recall over a period of 7-8 months. If this isnt contractral then I dont know what is. The account was also special due to its special conditions of purchase and rarity. So any legal action to retake the account is worth it. I may not have the money now, but when I save up i will hire an attorney based on the contractral litigation. Thank you for your efforts and I believe this will conclude my inquire.
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3705
Experience: Experienced in both state and federal court.
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