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The W - Video Games - Xbox Live/Microsoft support issues
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KJames199
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Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 12 hours
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.68
Here's a giant post about my fight with Microsoft. You likely don't care but I'd rather write about this than finish my six-week-overdue concert review.

SHORT VERSION: Microsoft has decided that I am no longer allowed to buy games on Xbox Live and they won't tell me why. I spent way too long trying to resolve the issue, considering that the only thing I am trying to do is give them more money.

LONG VERSION:

Tuesday, December 17: The Countdown to 2014 sale begins. I pick up Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and two DLC characters. I do this from my iPad at work using my credit card on file. Everything works as it should.

Sunday, December 21: At my house, I try to buy the Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection using the existing credit (from old MS Points cards) on my account. It tells me there's an error with my account. I switch to my credit card, but that won't work either. I hop on the Xbox Support chat, where I am eventually told that there is a temporary hold placed on my account for security reasons. This seems dubious to me since I have two-factor authentication on my Microsoft account and require a passcode to access Xbox Live from an Xbox 360 console, but better safe than sorry. I change my password just to be safe. They promise to get back to me.

Friday, December 27: I've heard nothing and the problem hasn't fixed itself. I hop on the support chat again, but since it takes 40 minutes to start the chat, I have to leave before getting anywhere.

In unrelated news, I bought a Wii U. Super Mario 3D World is really fun.

Saturday, December 28: I get an email from Microsoft, saying...

    Dear James,

    My name is Nicole and I am with the Xbox Customer Care Advocacy Team. I would like to thank you for taking the time to contact us in regards to the payment instrument authorization failure on your Xbox LIVE account. Rest assured that I am committed to resolving your issue quickly and efficiently.

    After investigation, we were able to determine that purchases have been disabled permanently on this account. Unfortunately at this point in time we will be unable to approve purchasing from this Xbox LIVE account. While I understand this is certainly frustrating, please be advised that account security and personal information protection is of upmost importance to Microsoft.

    If you believe that your account may have been victim to unauthorized access by a third party, you are welcome to contact Xbox Customer Support directly using the information available at http://www.xbox.com/support/contact, to pursue an unauthorized access investigation, and someone would be happy to assist you further. Otherwise, you will need to use a different Xbox LIVE account to make the desired purchases.

    We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that you have experienced. We appreciate your understanding and patience while this problem was investigated.

    Sincerely,
    Nicole
This sets me off on a path of rage that may or may not be justifiable.

I request a callback from Xbox Support. The guy on the phone was very patient (all of the front line staff I have dealt with have been good people), but he's first-tier support. This means that he does not know about this hold on my account, can't find out why it's there, can't fix anything, and can't transfer me to anyone who can. His best suggestion is that I should create a new email address, create a new Live account, move my Gamertag to the new Live account from my console, and see if that will circumnavigate the block. No guarantees. I suggest, with some impatience, that maybe jumping through all these hoops is something I shouldn't have to do.

I reply to the email and am grumpy about it.

I realize at this point that I no longer care about actually buying games and am instead fighting on principle. Mostly I am baffled by the idea of this security lock that allows me to do absolutely everything except GIVE THEM MONEY.

I go to the Xbox Support forums and ask to have an unauthorized access investigation opened.

Sunday, December 29: The Xbox Support forum (which is moderated) tells me that my account is not banned due to a Terms of Service violation (which I knew) and I should contact Microsoft Support.

Round 3 with the online chat support. I ask for an unauthorized access investigation to be opened. They say they'll put a note on my file but my best bet is to respond to the email. I ask that the note mentions how much I'm enjoying my Wii U.

I reply to the email again, this time clearly and politely restating my position (I made all of the purchases on my account, I see no evidence of unauthorized access, and I did nothing wrong) and my demands (I want the ban removed, I want to know exactly what caused the issue in the first place, and I want to know how this type of ban makes my account, anyone else's account, or Xbox Live as a whole any safer).

I also play more Super Mario 3D World.

Monday, December 30: Nothing yet. I feel the need to document this nonsense for posterity. Further updates as events warrant.
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thecubsfan
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Since: 10.12.01
From: Aurora, IL

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.35
Have you tried yelling at calmly stating your problem to @xboxsupport? I'm not sure if the days where complaining about things on Twitter to get them working is already over, but I liked that period of time.

(edited by thecubsfan on 31.12.13 0907)


thecubsfan.com - luchablog
KJames199
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Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 12 hours
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.68
I did, but they were like "where does it say you have a purchasing ban?" and I said "in an email from Xbox support" and that was the end of the conversation.
KJames199
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Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 12 hours
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.68
Wednesday, January 8: Three weeks in and no resolution. I will be charitable and assume they were short-staffed over the holidays and were dealing with lots of new console owners.

On Cubs' advice, I go back to @xboxsupport and ask for an unauthorized access investigation to be opened. I also include a link to this page so that if anyone there cares to do so, they can read the long version of this tale. @xboxsupport tells me that I should use phone support. I reply that phone support had previously told me to reply to the email from the Advocacy team, which I did (twice) to no response.

For fun, I reply to the email from the Advocacy team again.

No response to the email and no further response from @xboxsupport at this time, but the day is young.

It's worth noting that I downloaded Sleeping Dogs as part of the Games With Gold program, because they will happily give me free games, but they won't let me pay for any. Maybe I should be thankful?

You know, if they just said "there's a security issue, you can't use a credit card anymore, only prepaid cards," okay. I get that. It'd still be stupid since there's no security issue, but it would be a level of stupid that I can comprehend. But this is incomprehensible.

Luckily, Nintendo will happily take all the money I feel like giving them.
pieman
As young as
he feels








Since: 11.12.01
From: China, Maine

Since last post: 7 hours
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.28


I know nothing of these fancy gaming systems (tm old guy), but my kids just got one of these XBox things (they bought it themselves). They of course need my PayPal account to buy stuff though. This thread is enlightening and I will keep my eyes peeled.



KJames199
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Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 12 hours
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.68
Wednesday, January 8 (again): Went back and forth on Twitter with @XboxSupport for quite a while. They started off by telling me to contact phone support, then asked a bunch of questions, and concluded by... telling me to contact phone support.

So I did! The person I talked to this time said that he'd escalate the issue again, pointing out that I've had an Xbox 360 for quite a while now and adding, repeatedly, that "this is not cool." I agree, good sir!

The nice gentleman on the phone suggested it will be another two days until I hear back from the Advocacy team. My attempts to give my money away shall continue.
    Originally posted by pieman
    I know nothing of these fancy gaming systems (tm old guy), but my kids just got one of these XBox things (they bought it themselves). They of course need my PayPal account to buy stuff though. This thread is enlightening and I will keep my eyes peeled.
To be fair, my issue isn't unheard of, but it's pretty rare. And I've much preferred the 360 over the PS3 or the Wii (and the Wii U, while delightful, is no match for the 360 either). It's a great little machine - but if I can't get new games* for it, I'll eventually move on to something else.

* I can always buy discs, but that leaves a lot of content out, and besides, having everything on the hard drive is so handy! However, I appear to have discovered a significant flaw with going all-digital...
KJames199
Scrapple
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Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 12 hours
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.68
Sunday, January 12: We have progress! In theory. I did all the stuff they said, and so far, the credit on my account doesn't appear to be there, the pinned items disappeared off my dashboard, and under the Games tab, where it used to try to sell me things, it says "no recommendations to display." I replied to the email from the Advocacy team but maybe this will all sort itself out within 24-48 hours, like they say. I am not holding my breath, but... maybe?


    Dear James,

    My name is Cris, and I am with the Xbox Customer Care Advocacy Team. I would like to thank you for taking the time to contact us in regards to the payment instrument authorization failure on your Xbox LIVE account. Rest assured that I am committed to resolving your issue quickly and efficiently.

    At this point in time, your account is now re-enabled for purchasing. In order to ensure that your payment instruments work as expected, you will need to go through the troubleshooting steps provided below. While these steps may seem inconvenient or unnecessary, they will ensure that payments are fully enabled to authorize on your Xbox LIVE account:

    1.) Sign into your Xbox LIVE account on www.xbox.com, navigate to your account information, and change the contact email address you have on file so that it is different than your current Microsoft Account ID (The email you use to sign into your profile).

    2.) While still looking over your account information on www.xbox.com, please verify that the address and other information on file (such as your phone number) match the billing information associated with the payment instrument you are trying to add or use on your Xbox LIVE account.

    Once the above steps have been completed, you should be able to resume purchases on Xbox LIVE using valid payment instruments within 24 - 48 hours from this email.

    If you have any concerns regarding this notice, you may either reply to this message or contact Xbox Customer Support directly using the information available at http://www.xbox.com/​support/​contact, and reference the Service Request number above, and someone would be happy to assist you further.

    We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that you have experienced. We appreciate your understanding and patience while this problem was resolved.

    Thanks for being a member of Xbox LIVE!


(edited by KJames199 on 13.1.14 1143)
KJames199
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Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 12 hours
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.68
Monday, January 13: form letter response

    Dear James,

    My name is William; I am with the Xbox Customer Care Advocacy Team. I would like to thank you for taking the time to contact us in regards to your account recovery issue. Please know that we are aware of the issue you are currently experiencing and are actively working towards a resolution.

    Once a resolution is reached, you will be contacted via email. I hope you understand that we value your loyalty to the Xbox LIVE service and want to ensure you are back online as quickly as possible.

    Again, thank you for your patience and understanding while we continue to resolve the issue with your account recovery.
pieman
As young as
he feels








Since: 11.12.01
From: China, Maine

Since last post: 7 hours
Last activity: 7 hours
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.28


This is a cliffhanger, waiting anxiously for the resolution, James!



KJames199
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Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 12 hours
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.70
    Originally posted by pieman
    This is a cliffhanger, waiting anxiously for the resolution, James!
I poked around the Xbox a bit yesterday and it looked like my credit had been restored. The pins were back on my dashboard too. I didn't try buying anything, though - had no time and besides, the sales are long since over. Maybe I'll dig around tonight and look for a Rock Band song that I don't have yet. There surely has to be one, right?
KJames199
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Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 12 hours
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.70
Sunday, January 19: I figured I'd best not wait for something I really want (in case things are still broken), so I decided to test the system by picking up up two Rock Band DLC songs. Success! I even bought one with credit card and the other with the existing funds on the account, and both worked. All of the world's problems are now solved. What a time to be alive.
pieman
As young as
he feels








Since: 11.12.01
From: China, Maine

Since last post: 7 hours
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.28


The nightmare is over. Thanks for the update, James.



KJames199
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Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 12 hours
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.70
Tuesday, January 21: Okay, so as far as I know, the problem is solved. Microsoft, however, hasn't figured that out yet:

    Dear Xbox Live Customer,

    We would like to thank you for taking the time to contact us in regards to the error that occurred on your Xbox LIVE account. Rest assured that we are committed to resolving your issue quickly and efficiently.

    At this time, your service request with Xbox LIVE is still under investigation. The issue you are experiencing requires engagement of one of our product teams for further research. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide any estimated timeframe for the resolution, however we will ensure to keep you updated as to any progress on your open investigation.

    We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused you. Thank you for being a valued Xbox LIVE member and for your patience while we work to resolve your issue.

    Sincerely,

    Xbox Customer Care Advocacy Team


(edited by KJames199 on 21.1.14 1539)
Oliver
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Since: 20.6.02
From: Derkaderkastan

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.41
On an unrelated note, but of curiosity: has anyone ever gotten one of those code vouchers in a game only to find that it's already been redeemed.

I bought TOMB RAIDER over the Christmas break (fantastic game, very much worth a purchase) and I found that it has a trial for two weeks on Xbox Gold. Now, my Gold membership expired yesterday, so I thought about using the trial. Upon entering the code, I found that my 360 suggested it was already redeemed.

I bought the game new, by the way.

Has anyone come across that after buying brand new games?



...on a roll!
KJames199
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Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 12 hours
#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.70
Sunday, February 2: my attempts to let Microsoft know that the problems are fixed have hit a stall

    Dear Xbox Live Customer,

    We would like to thank you for taking the time to contact us in regards to the error that occurred on your Xbox LIVE account. Rest assured that we are committed to resolving your issue quickly and efficiently.

    At this time, your service request with Xbox LIVE is still under investigation. The issue you are experiencing requires engagement of one of our product teams for further research. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide any estimated timeframe for the resolution, however we will ensure to keep you updated as to any progress on your open investigation.

    We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused you. Thank you for being a valued Xbox LIVE member and for your patience while we work to resolve your issue.

    Sincerely,

    Xbox Customer Care Advocacy Team
KJames199
Scrapple
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Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 12 hours
#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.70
    Originally posted by Oliver
    has anyone ever gotten one of those code vouchers in a game only to find that it's already been redeemed.
Only in used games. Where did you buy the game from? Was it sealed?

Also, I know that some of the two-free-week Gold codes are only for new members, not ones who have already had a Gold membership. I can't speak to your specific code but maybe read the fine print to see if that's on there.
Oliver
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Since: 20.6.02
From: Derkaderkastan

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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.41
    Originally posted by KJames199
      Originally posted by Oliver
      has anyone ever gotten one of those code vouchers in a game only to find that it's already been redeemed.
    Only in used games. Where did you buy the game from? Was it sealed?

    Also, I know that some of the two-free-week Gold codes are only for new members, not ones who have already had a Gold membership. I can't speak to your specific code but maybe read the fine print to see if that's on there.
Ah, fine print...how I hate thee.

It was sealed: I bought it new, sealed in box, at an EB games around Toronto when I was out that way around Christmas.



...on a roll!
KJames199
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Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 12 hours
#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.70
Tuesday, February 25: After at least one more form email that I didn't bother mentioning here, I received another email from Microsoft telling me that my issues were resolved. Which I knew - and had told them - but whatever. They also put $5 in my account and gave me vouchers for two XBLA games (The Maw and Aqua) and another for three months of Gold membership. Hooray!

This is the part where you're not surprised that none of the codes work.

I think the issue with the Gold code is my current Gold membership expires next week, and I turned off auto-renew, and I no longer have my original credit card associated with my account (because I no longer have that card). I don't know why any of that should matter, but their error code lookup tool says I can't just redeem the voucher and have the time tacked onto the end of my existing Gold membership, I have to let my current membership expire first.

I don't know if the issue with the games is related or not.

I replied to the email - we'll see if I hear back!
pieman
As young as
he feels








Since: 11.12.01
From: China, Maine

Since last post: 7 hours
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.30


This story is turning into a full-fledged book!



KJames199
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Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 12 hours
#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.70

    Dear Xbox Support Customer,

    Xbox Support would like to ask you a few questions regarding your recent request to our support team. Your answers will help us improve the Xbox customer support experience.

    If you remember contacting Xbox Support and would like to share your experience, please click here to start the survey.
:)
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