August 11th 2009 10:20 pm
Kudos to reader Paul for forwarding me the newsletter below. I think I may have brilliantly deleted my own copy (dang bulk action option!). Hope everyone else received theirs. I’m showing the newsletter in both JPEG and text format, just in case some of you can’t see the image.
Dear Paul ,
We are writing to you today to discuss an important issue, one that is important to all of us as dedicated gamers. Please read and consider this information carefully.
Real Money Trading (RMT) is the name used to describe the selling of game accounts and virtual assets for real money.
It is an activity that was first established by gamers, not game publishers, not corporate service providers. It is something that many gamers are involved in, and is an activity which we believe gamers have every right to conduct.
IGE® was established because its founders saw a need, to provide online gamers with services they were requesting at a fair price, with real customer service and with rock solid customer guarantees.
In the 7 years since its inception, the RMT industry has evolved greatly. Today, it is not driven by gamer-to-gamer trades. Instead, it is a billion dollar annual market place, with the majority of currency provided by professional “farmers” working in third world countries. While this has brought the convenience of more inventories for purchase, it has also brought with it a host of problems. The purpose of this newsletter is to discuss those problems, and what we can do together to help solve them.
We believe that fraud hurts all of us. Unfortunately, because the industry is largely unregulated, and gold sellers are often located in countries where it is hard to prosecute fraud, there have been too many examples of abuse over the last few years. We would like to work with you to change that.
Knowledge is power!
We recognize that there is a significant shortage of trustworthy information available for you (the customer). It is practically impossible to find recommendations from experts that allow you to make sound decisions about where (and from whom) you can safely purchase virtual currency. Fortunately, a few excellent resources are emerging. Our favorite is www.wowgoldfacts.com
To correct this, about two years ago, we began quietly providing real insights to our customers regarding virtual currency supplies and industry matters as part of our commitment to ‘clean up the industry’. If currency is scarce, we admit it. If prices are moving up or down, we admit it. If a refund is requested prior to delivery, we give it. For years, we have taken a strong stand against spam and supplier fraud. We require those who work with IGE® to adhere to these same standards or we stop doing business with them. Period.
Setting industry standards:
IGE® has set benchmark standards for your protection:
- Zero tolerance for fraud
- Ethical sourcing policies
- McAfee and VeriSign verified e-commerce sites
- Scrupulous monitoring of our systems to prevent malicious activities…we guarantee that our sites
are virus free
- Absolutely NO in-game, or email spam
- Expert, English speaking and comprehensive customer service
- Clear and documented complaints escalation and refund procedures and policies
- Clear terms of service and privacy policies
In January, IGE® began reaching out to competitive gold sellers, explaining our goal of building a group of trusted member sites dedicated to standardizing the industry, and stopping all fraud and abuse. Self regulation worked well for Hollywood as well as the video game industry. We think it will work just as well in RMT. We began by eliminating sites which don’t meet the standards set above as well as those with histories of abuse, specifically; buying currency from suppliers who are known to commit fraud, account theft, dealing in stolen credit cards, power leveling abuses where customer accounts are used to farm currency, black hat SEO and SEM techniques which hurt everyone by driving up costs, false advertising, etc.
We are pleased to put forth below a list of companies who conform to the standards outlined above, and from whom you can buy with confidence. There may be other companies that meet these standards, and if so, we will happily recommend them. The list below is not meant to be complete or comprehensive. It is simply the list we have today. These companies operate with high standards of business ethics and you can purchase with confidence, knowing that if there are issues, they will work with you to resolve them fairly. You may ask, why in the world would IGE® recommend that you shop at competitive sites? It is because we believe the issue of “cleaning up the industry” is more important than competitive worries. We are confident that we can, in a fair and clean market place, earn your business.
The sites which we own are denoted by an asterisk (*).
Sites which you can trust (listed alphabetically):
Our message is clear – You have the power to regulate this industry by only buying from trusted sites.
Like you, we all have zero tolerance for fraud, spam and other abuses.
Like you, we agree that “cleaning up the industry” is important.
From time to time, we will refresh the list of trusted sites as it evolves and expands.
In appreciation of the time you took to read this message, we would like to offer you a 10% discount on your next order. Simply visit IGE.com, make your purchase, and when prompted during the checkout process, input the coupon code: SPREADTHEWORD; valid until 31st of August 2009 11:59PM PST.
Your dedicated IGE® Team
This is excellent news — and it’s not because they made special mention of my site, woohoo — but it’s because it’s high time a bunch of professionals banded together to clean up this industry and give it the cred it deserves. I personally am fed up with all the spam and scam that’s rampant in this business and heaven knows it’s in desperate need of policing!
And it’s true — we consumers have the power to become agents of positive change. We can take the first step by reporting every spammer and scammer we encounter and warning others about their harmful activities. And by shopping only at the most trusted sites and advising fellow gamers on where to buy, we can help maintain professional standards in this industry.
There’s hope after all.
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