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XBOX Live account suspended (a warning and a rant)


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#1 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:53 PM

Back in September my XBOX Live Gold account was due to expire. I never did get the auto-renew function turned off, but figured it wouldn't matter since the credit card I have on the account is expired. I figured, "OK, it shouldn't be a big deal. The card will be declined, then I will automatically be put into Silver status afterwards." Well, apparently that's not how it works--they just suspend your account a month and a half later. After giving you an extra month's worth of free service that, as far as I am concerned now, is used as leverage against you, heh.

Another interesting thing to note is that at the very same time my account became suspended (I received a notification when signing into Live), many of my XBOX Live Arcade titles went into demo/trial mode. Even games that don't require a constant connection, like Geometry Wars, Robotron 2084, and many others. Hmmm..

So, what can Customer Support at Microsoft do for me? Wait, wait.. Wait for this one guys:



ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.


Apparently after 30 days, they have no way to push an account into Silver status from their end. They also have no way to remove the pending $60 charge (that keeps being declined over and over) from my account. So even though I don't want to sign up for another year, they can't tell their system to stop charging me. Nope, no way at all apparently. The only way out is to pony up for another full year's worth of service. Not even purchasing a one or three month will clear me. The system will only accept the full $60 payment that it wants.

#)$*!!!

Funny thing is, Customer Support made it a point to remind me that they "gave" me an extra month and a half's worth of service. That was obviously so kind of them to do so. Except for the fact that they didn't suspend my account (therefore motivating me to call them) until 45 days after my card was declined. So, that 30-day-payment/account modification-through-Customer-Support policy? Yep, pretty much useless.

So, anyways guys.. I'm still a bit livid right now. I feel this sort of activity is asinine, and the fact that for even a company as large as Microsoft, that to not be able to modify a customer's account after a certain period of time is completely inexcusable. In the end though, I will either have to pay up, or wait the apparent six to eight months for the pending charge to erase itself, heh. So with that, this is more of a warning than anything. If you are not sure if you will want to sign up for another year of XBOX Live service or not, do yourself a favor and call support and have them remove the auto-renew option. Having a defunct credit card won't toss you right back into Silver status. And when you are suspended, the only way out is paying up, or waiting six to eight months before the suspension will remove itself.

I'm curious to hear your thoughts on this as well.

Oh, on a side note, Customer Support believes that my arcade games going into trial mode is due to me not transferring my system license to my 360 Slim. Which is the very first thing I did when I purchased the system a year ago. So, that doubled with the fact that these games *only* went into trial mode when my account went into suspended status, I have a very good feeling their advice is BS. I'll give that a shot though and let you guys know what happens, but I'm not holding my breath on that one..

*edit: I just tried to do a license transfer, despite the fact that my current console ID is the one listed on my XBOX Live profile. Customer Support stated that perhaps the license on my console became corrupt, but get this--You have to be signed in to XBOX Live in order to do the license transfer anyways. So, I'm basically SOL until I pay up for another subscription, heh.

Edited by Austin, Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:08 PM.


#2 VertigoProcess OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:15 PM

Something similar happened to me where I had a canceled credit so I figured it would just deactivate and id go and reactivate later... well instead it just started racking up charges and when I went to reactivate it on my 360 it gave me a error code... so I called microsoft and they told me about all the fees racking up and told me I had to go to my windows live account and pay them off there...

Well since I made the account mad long ago I had no idea what my password to my old email account was anymore so I couldn't pay off the fees... the rep ended up telling me without my password the only think I could do was make a new account... so good buy all of my gamer points and everything I've accomplished since xbox 1 on xbox live....

Wasn't very happy about it...

#3 Hyper_Eye OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:50 PM

It is not enough to just do the license transfer. After the license transfer is complete you must redownload all the licensed content. You must have missed the last part as that is the only way I know you could end up with this issue. I have taken old consoles and new offline before and after license transfer. It sucks that it works that way but it is certainly better than not being able to transfer at all like the Wii. Anyway, the whole account suspension thing sucks. I think the support technicians are being less helpful than someone higher up might be able to be. File an online support request and push it until it gets to the right person.

#4 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:06 PM

It is not enough to just do the license transfer. After the license transfer is complete you must redownload all the licensed content. You must have missed the last part as that is the only way I know you could end up with this issue. I have taken old consoles and new offline before and after license transfer. It sucks that it works that way but it is certainly better than not being able to transfer at all like the Wii.


Hm.. I'm pretty sure I did the transfer prior to downloading the games, but I guess I will have to delete everything that gives me trouble and try it again. It's just strange that it didn't start happening until I got the "Your account has been suspended" message when signing into Live. Problem is, I don't think I'm going to be able to download them with the account being suspended. It won't let me sign on to live, so I can't get to the marketplace.. Unless the Download History area still works--I will have to take a look at that.

Anyway, the whole account suspension thing sucks. I think the support technicians are being less helpful than someone higher up might be able to be. File an online support request and push it until it gets to the right person.


I took it up to a Supervisor, but he basically just repeated what the first guy said. I asked him if I could get someone else's contact info, someone higher, and he basically advised to go to the "Feedback" page on XBOX.com.

#5 Hyper_Eye OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:14 PM

Don't delete them! At this point you might not get them back. It isn't required to delete them to redownload. If you can't login there is no way for you to download your DLC. I think you are stuck until you get your account issue resolved.

#6 bomberpunk OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:20 PM

knowing that your card would decline, it's unfortunately nothing more than your own laziness that's gonna cost you the 60 bucks.

#7 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:24 PM

knowing that your card would decline, it's unfortunately nothing more than your own laziness that's gonna cost you the 60 bucks.


Thanks for the constructive feedback, jackass. :thumbsup:

#8 VertigoProcess OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 19, 2011 9:28 PM

knowing that your card would decline, it's unfortunately nothing more than your own laziness that's gonna cost you the 60 bucks.


That's completely uncalled for...

#9 bomberpunk OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 19, 2011 9:58 PM

really? because i wasn't trying to be a smart ass. it's the simple truth. Austin knew of his credit card expiring and knew of the renewal date coming up. even after a grace period, no action was taken. he, in is own words, assumed that it wouldn't matter.

#10 Jibbajaba OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:16 PM

That doesn't mean that he's lazy. It just means that he was incorrect in his understanding of what would occur. It could happen to any of us. I wouldn't have known any better, either. And no one suggested that you were being a smart ass. Jackass. The word that was used was jackass.

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#11 bomberpunk OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 19, 2011 11:19 PM

That doesn't mean that he's lazy. It just means that he was incorrect in his understanding of what would occur. It could happen to any of us. I wouldn't have known any better, either. And no one suggested that you were being a smart ass. Jackass. The word that was used was jackass.

Chris


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#12 Atariboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:52 AM

Hm.. I'm pretty sure I did the transfer prior to downloading the games, but I guess I will have to delete everything that gives me trouble and try it again. It's just strange that it didn't start happening until I got the "Your account has been suspended" message when signing into Live.


It makes perfect sense that it started happening then. You didn't transfer your licenses correctly, but had been able to keep accessing them since you were logging into Xbox Live. Now that you're not logged in, you're not able to access them since the licenses weren't transferred correctly to enable offline access.

knowing that your card would decline, it's unfortunately nothing more than your own laziness that's gonna cost you the 60 bucks.


That's idiotic

It seems perfectly reasonable to think that an Xbox Live Gold account is just going to revert to free Silver status if the credit card associated with the account is no longer active when renewal time comes up.

Edited by Atariboy, Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:53 AM.


#13 HammR25 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:25 AM

It's mind boggling that Microsoft can't (won't) remove the charge. Otherwise I understand why giving the customer a free month would be a good thing to do from a business standpoint. Some customers may really want to autorenew but forgot the card they had on file had been canceled or expired. Microsoft gives them a chance to update their card without cutting their service. It's good business. Now, when the customer calls them up and says they don't want the service Microsoft should either refund the entire $60 charge or prorate it for the time the person received the service because as far as Microsoft knew the person wanted to autorenew their account.

#14 NE146 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:28 PM

Well.. quite honestly they build it all into the Terms of Service which, you sign into when you get the service. Yeah it's sneaky but it's all in black and white that they will automatically bill you, and you must cancel the service prior to the renewal to avoid being billed. Kinda sucks that they hold you to that without a valid credit card # but it is what it is.

#15 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 20, 2011 4:45 PM

Don't delete them! At this point you might not get them back. It isn't required to delete them to redownload. If you can't login there is no way for you to download your DLC. I think you are stuck until you get your account issue resolved.


Although the marketplace/download history section won't initially appear on my dashboard when I first turn on the system, I found a workaround (sort of). If I tap the XBOX home button on the controller and go to the marketplace tab there, it will let me attempt to sign in. It will then say my account is suspended, and will ask me to update my payment info. If I hit cancel, it takes me back to the dashboard, but then the usual XBOX news, Marketplace, etc tabs appear again. From there I can access games for sale, or re-download games from the marketplace. And you were correct, by the way--Robotron and Geometry Wars work fine now after re-downloading them. I must have grabbed them before registering my system. Now I just have to go through the rest of my games to see which ones need to be corrected. :lol:

The only thing that bugs me about this is that neither of the two Customer Service reps (the lackey and the Supervisor) knew about this issue. This sounds like something that needs to be documented on their end.

really? because i wasn't trying to be a smart ass. it's the simple truth. Austin knew of his credit card expiring and knew of the renewal date coming up. even after a grace period, no action was taken. he, in is own words, assumed that it wouldn't matter.


Perhaps I was wrong to assume that nothing would happen, however, I have had similar situtations in the past. In those cases, only one thing happened: my service was dropped. That's it. No suspension, no hoops to jump through in order to get reactivated.

I see Microsoft's policy here as being akin to banks and credit card companies wanting you to slip up, with the money from fees coming to them as a result. Their all-or-nothing approach when an account is "suspended" (which is absurd in itself), DESPITE having other plan options available (one month, three month, etc.), is ridiculous and more people need to know about it. Also, from a customer standpoint, the fact they cannot do anything is mind blowing. Even banks can reverse overdraft fees if they feel the need. For Microsoft to not be able to perform simple account modifications after a period of time, such as going from a Gold to a Silver membership, is inexcusable, and I don't think anybody will disagree with me at least on that end.

#16 bomberpunk OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:45 AM

you guys are right. if you had owed them money that would be a different story. but this is a prepayment situation. i DO agree that they are wrong for locking up the account. theoretically and logically, the account should have gone to Silver at the time the Gold account expired which would have been a red flag for the account holder to take action.

i will indeed consider myself the jackass of this thread from now on. and also, apologies to Austin for sounding like one in my initial reply.

#17 Skarrj OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:54 AM

Hm.. I'm pretty sure I did the transfer prior to downloading the games, but I guess I will have to delete everything that gives me trouble and try it again. It's just strange that it didn't start happening until I got the "Your account has been suspended" message when signing into Live.


It makes perfect sense that it started happening then. You didn't transfer your licenses correctly, but had been able to keep accessing them since you were logging into Xbox Live. Now that you're not logged in, you're not able to access them since the licenses weren't transferred correctly to enable offline access.

knowing that your card would decline, it's unfortunately nothing more than your own laziness that's gonna cost you the 60 bucks.


That's idiotic

It seems perfectly reasonable to think that an Xbox Live Gold account is just going to revert to free Silver status if the credit card associated with the account is no longer active when renewal time comes up.



True, in the past Mine has reverted to silver even though I had an old card on file. The O.P. is justfied in bleiving that should still happen.

#18 NE146 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:54 AM

FYI.. It looks like MS made some changes in the recent past and it's now pretty easy to change turn off auto-renew via the web. No need to call in anymore.

To turn off auto-renewal or cancel your Xbox LIVE Gold Membership:
  • Go to My Account.
  • Click Sign In (upper-right corner) and type your Windows Live ID information (if you’re not already signed in).
  • Next to Automatic Renewal, click Change.
  • Change your automatic renewal setting to OFF.


#19 jetset OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:04 AM

MS makes good products, but their customer service sucks ass. I found that out a long time ago when my original xbox died frm a factory defect they pretended didn't exist. The rep told me despite the thousands of e-signatures, forum complaints, even a few newscasts about it (now on youtube) their defense was that it was just "playstation fanboys" making it up.
Anyone who got stuck with the first batch of 360's with the rrod know what I'm talking about too.

#20 akator OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:52 PM

Unfortunately these issues with "auto-renewal" are becoming common across the board with all types of subscriptions. The worst I've dealt with this year are magazine subscriptions which auto-renew several months to years before they expire. There is no justifiable reason why they should charge me renewal for a magazine that has 18 months of issues remaining.

This trend is only going to get worse as more of our content becomes subscription based. In the case of Austin's MS troubles, this is the company using bully tactics to force customers not to downgrade. After all, their profit estimates for each quarter and year are based on current customers never leaving and instead buying more rather than less. In the case of my magazine subscriptions, getting cash now for magazines that won't be delivered until 2014 pads their current income and makes the companies profitability look better now. Who cares if the magazine doesn't exist in 2 years because they got their money today. Both strategies are pathetic attempts to show continued growth in a bad economy.

Edited by akator, Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:52 PM.


#21 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:28 PM

FYI.. It looks like MS made some changes in the recent past and it's now pretty easy to change turn off auto-renew via the web. No need to call in anymore.

To turn off auto-renewal or cancel your Xbox LIVE Gold Membership:

  • Go to My Account.
  • Click Sign In (upper-right corner) and type your Windows Live ID information (if you’re not already signed in).
  • Next to Automatic Renewal, click Change.
  • Change your automatic renewal setting to OFF.


This is incorrect. They have this information on their web site, but the option does not appear. I questioned support about this, and they had no idea what to say.

#22 NE146 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:38 PM


FYI.. It looks like MS made some changes in the recent past and it's now pretty easy to change turn off auto-renew via the web. No need to call in anymore.

To turn off auto-renewal or cancel your Xbox LIVE Gold Membership:

  • Go to My Account.
  • Click Sign In (upper-right corner) and type your Windows Live ID information (if you’re not already signed in).
  • Next to Automatic Renewal, click Change.
  • Change your automatic renewal setting to OFF.


This is incorrect. They have this information on their web site, but the option does not appear. I questioned support about this, and they had no idea what to say.


When did you do it? It does (and did) appear for me. I just disabled my auto-renew the minute prior to posting that. Not to mention it was a confirmation of rumblings I heard on IRC that they had altered it just recently and indeed, that article is dated Nov 10.. which is a mere 11 days ago.

<edit> Just checked again, and the option is still there. I'd double check yours again.. and if it's not there I wonder if it's a function of what state you reside?

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Edited by NE146, Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:39 PM.


#23 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:48 PM

I tried it two nights ago when I posted this thread. Perhaps they've disabled the option for me since my account is "suspended". It doesn't even appear for me in any browser I have tried (Chrome, IE, FireFox).

#24 HammR25 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 6, 2011 10:01 PM

After looking at the TOS we all agreed to I assume they're hiding behind this:

6.4 Automatic Renewal.
We may automatically renew your Service (provided that automatic renewals are allowed in your country) at the then current price for the Service. We will inform you by e-mail prior to the renewal and remind you that your designated payment method will be billed. We will also provide you with instructions on how to cancel the Service. You must cancel the Service (see Section 6.10 below) prior to the renewal date to avoid being billed for the renewal.



#25 VertigoProcess OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 7, 2011 8:14 AM

After looking at the TOS we all agreed to I assume they're hiding behind this:


6.4 Automatic Renewal.
We may automatically renew your Service (provided that automatic renewals are allowed in your country) at the then current price for the Service. We will inform you by e-mail prior to the renewal and remind you that your designated payment method will be billed. We will also provide you with instructions on how to cancel the Service. You must cancel the Service (see Section 6.10 below) prior to the renewal date to avoid being billed for the renewal.


I love how that it implies that its illegal in some countries... so clearly there's some moral issues that have been brought up in the past in other countries that and deemed to be something that shouldn't be done...




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