To Microsoft Xbox Gold Live,
I’m dissatisfied as a customer with your service.
Recently, I had an interesting call regarding my Xbox Live Gold Membership with a pair of phone agents working in the Billing Department for Microsoft Live. Probably most do not even know what I’m talking about. Xbox 360 and the games they market have the capability to play over the internet with quite literally, the world.
Sure, this is great fun, but not free, though it should be. Especially when rival company Sony, offer’s the same multiplayer experience for free with their Playstation 3 gaming console. While I could rant on this point alone, for the time being I’m giving the people making Xbox Live possible, the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the service requires extensive maintenance to offer it to so many players.
On Sept. 22, I was distressed to find a strange debit of $7.99 taken from my account. The descriptor was labeled Microsoft, Xbox Gold Membership. Immediately I called Microsoft Billing, as it was still processing the debit. I spoke to two different agents in there Billing Dept., both of which told me their was nothing they could do to refund the money. All they could do for me was stop the automated billing for the next month, and asked me to enjoy another month of Xbox Gold. After hearing this, I was upset with the “customer experience” I was receiving from Xbox Live.
I explained to them this policy was not made known or mentioned to me in any literature at any time before, during, or after my purchase of a single month of Gold Membership. The agent explained me the policy could be found on the internet at the Xbox live website, to which I responded I hadn’t purchased the membership on the website, rather I had purchased the membership over xbox live.
The agent was quiet. Why? Because there is NO policy listed to subscribers when purchasing Gold Memberships over Xbox Live. The agents rebuttal was, and I’ll paraphrase, “none-the-less, you signed the agreement and there are no refunds. We literally can’t do that.”
I asked them if they understood what a Catch-22 was. They seemed vaguely familiar, but I explained to them I was living it currently and that I was unsatisfied with the lack of understanding in my position as a consumer. I used one valid and logical argument after another to prove my case, and even the agent seemed to empathize with my plight. In the end, I was told frankly, “we can not refund your money.” And to talk to my bank about filing a fraudulent charge to recoup the debit.
I was winning though. I know this because I could hear the Billing agents manager coaching him/her in the background, trying their hardest to get me off the line.
Microsoft, are you so bent on getting my 7.99 that you’re willing to lose a customer for life over a shitty contract which seems to vaguely make stealing from people legal, so long as I “agree” to it? Apparently so.
I’ve decided to pursue a job with the Account and Billing Dept. for Xbox Live, as it is apparently the easiest job in the world. It seems they only operate in two singular capacities. 1) Of giving the appropriate web address for Gold Membership billing policy, when customers complain of a surprise reaming. 2) Explaining to customers Microsoft is legally not required to offer lubricants.
P.S. As a tip to your agents, tell them not to pitch a guy who’s making a complaint.