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By | Tony Smith 24th March 2005 16:35

Credit card cock-up confuses World of Warcraft players

Identity theft panic

Does World of Warcraft developer Blizzard Entertainment run its European operations out of a four-star hotel in Croydon and a three-star premises in Harrogate?

A large number of WoW's European players have this month received credit card statements showing their £8.99 monthly subscriptions for the online game being billed to either the Croydon Park Hotel in Croydon, Surrey or the Swallow St. George Hotel in Harrogate, Yorkshire.

That was sufficient for many of them to fear they had become victims of identity theft.

Gordon Chingara, deputy general manager at the Croydon Park Hotel, told The Register he had to field dozens of calls from worried WoW players. One caller even said she had felt it necessary to cancel her credit card immediately, he said.

"People panic when this happens," he said. "Many can't remember what they've spent £8.99 on. They think someone's stolen their credit card details."

Others think the hotel has taken the money, Chingara said. The hotel has not received any money, he added, and pledged to return any mis-directed funds.

Chingara laid the blame for statements mis-labelling on an error at EuroConex, the County Dublin, Ireland-based credit-card processing company, which handles the Croydon Park Hotel's credit card receipts, those of the Swallow St. George Hotel and those of Blizzard Europe. EuroConex assured him that all funds had been correctly routed to Blizzard, he said, and that it would apologise in due course to affected customers via their credit card issuers.

The Swallow St. George Hotel confirmed it too had received a number of calls from surprised and concerned credit-card holders - "it's only natural when something like this happens", said a hotel spokesman - but it had agreed to forward the details of anyone affected by this "administrative mistake" to EuroConex.

EuroConex and Blizzard Entertainment parent company Vivendi Universal did not respond to our requests for comment. ®

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