Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It has been 2 years, time for a XBOX Live problem

So 2 years ago this happened ( ).
We had a big problem with XBox Live where Microsoft tried to charge
the automatic subscription fee to an expired card, when we bought a
gift card for our son to renew his subscription he couldn't because
the account was locked because they billed an expired card. Two years
ago, I sat on a phone for close to 8 hours for the opportunity to give
Microsoft money. It has been two years, the card the subscription
bills to is expired. Have they made things better?

No. Things are not better. The card expired and before the
subscription fee is due, we decided to update the card information
BEFORE it expires. Turns out you can't. The new card has the same
numbers as the old card with the exception of the expiration date and
the CVV2 code. For 10 hours my son and then wife tried to update the
card on the console. It would look like it took, but when you go back
into the billing area the number reverted to the expired card
information. I got home and did a few Google searches (I won't use
Bing!). Every XBox forum post link resulted in an ASPX error (nice
advertisement for the raw power of ASP!). Via Google cache, I was
able to get the real support page for XBox Live ( ) -- I was not able to find
that page otherwise, only a hell of pages that link to each other with
"trouble-shooting" information on them.

I tweeted to the XBox Live support account and got a few
back-and-forth tweets of moderate usefulness. The real help came in
the form of a agent on their chat system. The first time I went on
chat the page informed me that I would only have to wait about 3
minutes. I waited 45 minutes to get to number 2 in the queue only to
stay there another 35 minutes. I left and got back into chat and
spent another hour waiting for an agent. After going from 26th to
1st, I met Nichole (my second most favorite Microsoft employee,
EVER!). She had me do some things and in the end we had to cancel the
current subscription, she re-issued me "gift subscription" codes to
get back my remaining balance of time and then we had to resubscribe
to XBox Live with the gift accounts and then enter the new card.

Once again, I found myself putting in a solid day of work to give
Microsoft money. Am I out of line to think that, as a customer, they
should put in a day's work to GET my money? What success would a
business be if to pay your bill with them you had to wrestle
alligators and jump through flaming hoops just to hand them a check?

I think about our other console, the Wii. Internet access is free on
the Wii. It is integrated with Wi-Fi which is the way MOST people
access the Internet from devices in their homes. If you want to buy
stuff to play on the Wii from their store, you can buy points from the
console or Grandma can mail you a gift card. No subscriptions, no
adapters, no multi-layer accounts (Windows Live account -> XBox Live
Profile??) Nintendo does the work and you give them money. They made
it easy. Microsoft intentionally makes it harder than anyone else.
In the age of the App Store and Google Play Store, or even the Ubuntu
Software Center, users can buy and install programs very easily. Is
this usual XBox Live fiasco the way it will work with Windows 8? I
hope not!

Not that it matters, I'd love to throw the damn XBox into the sea
after this last set of issues. Check back with me in 2014, maybe they
will have fixed it by then? LOL!

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