I want to express my extreme irritation with the current system of buying xbox live membership. I decided to buy 1 month of Gold membership for the time that I was on holiday from University. I then returned to Uni, and came back home after term had finished to find that Microsoft had charged me 3x as much for 3 months of Xbox live which I had not asked for, nor had any ability to use as my Xbox is left at home.
At no point did I agree to buy 3 months of xbox live. I signed up and paid for 1 month. Why would I choose to pay 3 individual payments of 5.99 when a 3 month package is significantly less? Microsoft cannot reasonably have assumed that I wanted to renew my membership each month, because I would have to be the most stupid person in the world to decide to pay twice the price for the same amount of xbox live, most of which I would not be able to use. Worst of all, I was never given any indication that Microsoft would be taking my money every month; it wasnt even on my bank statement as it does not appear as a direct debit.
Furthermore, I was at no point given an option to turn auto-renewal off. I had to ring an 0800 number from my mobile phone (as obviously I dont have a landline at Uni), which is a completely unnecessary cost. Would it be so difficult for Microsoft to offer the option to turn auto-renewal off either online or when you pay for Gold membership?
Essentially, I think that the current system is unfair and unclear. I dont suppose that Microsoft will be in a hurry to change it though - they did manage to steal 3x as much money from me as I was intending to give them.