After writing my blog post about issues I was having with my son’s Xbox Live Gold account, I used social media to my advantage and tweeted a link to my story to @xboxsupport, and started a thread in the Chatty on Shacknews.com (where I regularly hang out … I’d link to my profile, but … ) to spread the word about the issues I was having.
@xboxsupport, true to their “Guinness World Record Holder: Most Responsive Brand on Twitter”, one of their CSRs ^JD thanked me for the link within minutes and when I pushed him for help with the issue, initially I was rebuffed.
I wasn’t satisfied, so I pushed back …
… and finally got through:
About an hour after DM’ing my gamertags, an Xbox Support CSR from Redmond (as I later learned when he called my cell phone and “Redmond” was displayed) emailed me and said he was reviewing my issue and wanted to know if I had a phone number I could be reached at the following day.
The Phone Call
Davey called on Tuesday and we had a very interesting and good conversation.
The TL;DR version: Xbox Support was going to refund my points, and while they couldn’t bump the date of birth on the existing Live account, Davey instructed me to create a new Xbox Live account and that he’d send me codes equal to the time left on the current Gold account to add to the new one.
While not perfect (I’m going to have to play the hard missions of Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis again since Tommy’s save games are attached to his old XBL account…), it’s pretty much exactly what I want.
In case you’re wondering, I’ve already created the new account, had the points refunded to the new account and receieved the codes for remainder of my Gold membership.
Thank you Davey and the rest of Xbox Support for helping me out!
The Interesting Bit
The most interesting thing about the phone call was that Davey told me that I should have been offered a refund after my initial email. I told Davey that most of the correspondence I had had with Xbox Support to date was already posted in my blog post, but I offered to bundle the full emails up into an attachment and pass it along to him and he was interested in seeing that.
The good thing that may come out of all of this is that my noise may help others having similar issues in the future.
I was pretty amused by the reception my original article got on the Internet.
The Escapist wrote a story about my issue and by the time I found it, it had already garnered 176 comments.
I was pretty surprised by the number of posters who didn’t think I deserved a refund because the conditions were available from the Marketplace screen for the game, but I think The Escapist user Puffenstuff put it into words better than I could:
Let’s set up an analogous situation (based on actual events). I send a 17 year old intern to buy dry ice at the store. What I don’t know is that the state I am in does not allow anyone under 18 to purchase dry ice. You are saying that the clerk should take his money (my firm’s money actually) and then refuse to give him the dry ice?
That’s how I felt about the whole fiasco. I’m fine if my account can’t play the game, but you don’t check my DOB *after* taking my money.
mjc0961 was one user in particular who was arguing strongly against my refund; he argued with several users on The Escapist’s site and also left a lengthy comment here on my site with his thoughts. I feel like the screenshot he posted shows text stating “YOU MUST BE 13+ TO REGISTER WITH EA ONLINE” is a little misleading. While the text does exist there, you have to scroll to almost the bottom of a pretty lengthy chunk of text to get to it.
When I originally saw his screenshot I felt like an idiot, but when I was setting up the new account and downloading BF1943 again, I realized just how far down I had to scroll to actually read the “13+” text:
Thanks for reading!
UPDATE: The Escapist did a follow-up piece as well. I’m still really amused by the comments over there. Thanks guys!