I spent 45 minutes on the phone with 2 support people the other day and i figure this will take me 15 minutes to type up. So all told likely an hour spent ..... for pretty much a bad taste in my mouth.
My call is logged as 1161138296
I had read horror stories about people's experience when linking a credit card to their xbox account. Mostly was trying to remove the card from the account. Some agents tried to reset their gold account to a silver, remove the card and set it to gold. Always with issues.
So Xbox got Paypal on board a while back and I said PERFECT! I can control payees from Paypal side. I signed up for an offer i think was 2 months for $2 or somethng like that.
I logged in at one point a few weeks ago to xbox live and received a prompt asking me about auto renew. I don't recall exactly what it said but I picked the negative response and my understanding from it was I was removing auto renew from the subscription. Since this happened I didn't worry about my account. I had a prepaid 12 month signup on the table ready to be entered when my current deal expired.
A few days ago I got a paypal charge from microsoft. I called XBOX and explained the situation .... and they basically said it was my fault. The first person said people need to start reading the EULA and that i didn't read the prompt properly. The prompt didn't remove auto renew, it was meant to inform me to call them. I didnt't see that at all. They said people need to read things before just click ing on them. This is first time I ever had one of these prompts and to call it deceptive is an understatement.
The first agent said he would transfer me to another agent to fix this all up. I got transferred and second guy said no way... too bad essentially. He said he could turn off my auto renew. I guess again I am just not clever enough to understand microsoft on paper or in conversation. I don't understand why I wated on hold for a few minutes to talk to someone else to tell me how to remove auto renewal on the web, when the first guy could have done the same. But again I assume this is all my fault because I should have probably read something somewhere. The second agent claims the popup I saw was only supposed to be a SURVEY.
So at this point I ask what would have happened if i had removed them from a paypal payee before the 2 months had been up. They said they would just continue to charge the account and it would fail. Eventually they would put the charge as non paid and suspend your account. This is ridiculous. Hire a first year co-op student to change the system so that if the payment fails the live subscription is NOT renewed. Makes sense doesn't it? Account is expired, try charge, charge goes through renew account, charge fails do nothing.
So anyways I told the agent to remove all account information even though we had now set auto renewal off. He said in order to to do that I have to cancel your subscription which has 6 days left on it. (I think it was that) I said great you can then pay me back the pro-rated amount. He said ... no.
What is this? This is a joke? He said it makes sense that you have subscription so you need the payment method attached. Actually no it doesn't. you have a PAID FLAG ENTRY in the database, that is all that you need to recognize the account as active. Ok so now I have to wait until the subscription ends and remove the payee myself. Then renew my live account. This is pathetic. A company that has profited off facilitation of business processes and actually makes the TOOLS business uses has to have one of the most archaic and customer unfriendly services.
To whoever designed, implemented and allowed that STUPID survey idea to go through ..... I hope Mr. Ballmer reassigns you to the Siberia office to do an inventory count on all the unsold copies of Windows ME and Microsoft BOB.
I thought the agents were fine. They friendly enough and answered my questions best they could. The second agent even removed auto renew for me, and then went step by step on the web on where to change it. Despite my frustration I felt I was not rude ... or overly rude.
Although, I couldn't get over a few things from the agents. First the customer is always wrong and not doing X,Y,Z. This is meant for the average Joe, how many hoops do you expect them to jump through so their kids can play video games?
Also every point I brought up they say "People call about that all the time", or "People say that all the time". Ok so if a lot of customers have problems that means your process is severely flawed. Thats a microsoft problem not a customer problem.
My other favorite is "Any business that does auto renewal gets complaints like this". Then don't do it. Just because other companies are implementing unfavorable policies doesn't mean you have to. Why is auto renewal on by default? It should be off. If it expires people can call and get a renewal. If people want auto renewal convenience they can put it on themselves. But i guess Microsoft would get less money in that case, since people would make a decision on what they actually want to pay for.
I have heard other people having issues in the past and the auto renewal amount was refunded. I guess they were having to give back too much money so now you get stuck with the one 1-800 number, the static triage .... and a sense of dissapoinment.
So Microsoft's position is they hope I learn a valuable lesson and read their convoluted and pitfall ridden policies so I don't get done over again.
Actually the lesson I learned is to never give financial access to Microsoft or any other company that has a reputation for putting it to their customers. Also on next generation consoles i will be taking a serious look at all the offerings and their costs. The nickel and diming of the video game industry has become insane. I feel sorry for parents as it costs them an arm and the leg when you tally it all up. Microsoft may have a better online system, but Sony can offer it free why can't Microsoft?
One other thing to tack on, which is a seperate note. Can you please tell distributors to STOP using those garbage recycled green cases? The center ring is FAR too tight on the discs. I have had 2 games develop tiny cracks on the inner ring ... which then leads eventually to the disc cracking. And before you blame me, which as we can see is a pattern here: I mentioned this at Gamestop and he said people constantly come in with the same complaints. they recommend swapping out the cases on newer games for older ones you use less often. Again a common complaint that goes ignored and customers are expected to pay for.
Well i think i went over my 15 minutes, so I'll leave it at that and I'm not correcting typos etc ... :)
Long story short anyone thinking about transactions with Microsoft, at a minimum read up on their archaic systems and policies.