Friday, November 07, 2008

AOL Redux

So I get an email the other day that says my XBox live membership is due to automatically renew in a month. Huh?!?! So I go online to the page for my account and what do you know there is no option to not automatically renew or to cancel. According to their FAQ to do that you need to call. Well here is the dilemma. Believe it or not I have internet access here but no phone access. It's only every now and then that I get to a phone. So I fired off an email explaining my situation. I was very polite and expected some kind of help. Here is the reply I got.

Thank you for writing to Xbox Live. We are sorry to hear that you want to cancel your Xbox Live subscription. As much as I would like to help you over email, all cancellation problems are being addressed through our phone support line. We at email support line do not have the capabilities to pull up your account, since this issue has a degree of sensitivity. Be advised that by canceling your subscription, you will lose any remaining time on the service in addition to your gamer tag and game rankings.If you still want to cancel, please call our Xbox Phone Support. We may require personal information for verification which cannot be divulged over email. When you call, immediate action will be given to your inquiries or request.

My response

Did you even read my email? I am in Afghanistan! I DO NOT HAVE ANY MEANS OF USING A PHONE. If I can bank over the internet you can cancel my lowly little xbox live account over the internet. Thousands of businesses are capable of identifying me over the internet, I'm pretty sure Microsoft can.Your website will even let me add another credit card or change any other aspect of my membership but it won't let me choose not to automaticly renew or cancel. Yea right, I'm sure that has to do with "personal information being passed over email." While you may not have the ability to help me you need to forward this to someone who can. If my membership is renewed and I am charged for xbox live when I have no means of using it then I will never ever purchase another piece of Microsoft software again.

Their response

Thank you for contacting Microsoft online support for XBOX. I am (Name) and I will be helping you today with this issue. I apologize for the inconvenience. I understand that you are from Afghanistan and need to call Xbox Customer Support to cancel your account. You may call any of the numbers listed below that is nearest your region:

My response

Apparently you did not read my message either. I am not from Afghanistan. I am an American serviceman deployed to Afghanistan. I HAVE NO ACCESS TO A PHONE. DO NOT RENEW MY XBOX LIVE MEMBERSHIP!!!!!!!! I AM GETTING TIRED OF REPEATING MYSELF. This is all strangely reminiscent of the whole AOL cancellation debacle. You all have no security issues with me changing a credit card or any other sensitive aspect of my account online yet for me to not want to automatically renew is too sensitive to pass over email?!?! So, (Name) for the last time, pretty please with a cherry on top let me make myself perfectly clear, I WILL NEVER PURCHASE ANOTHER PIECE OF MICROSOFT ANYTHING IF MY XBOX LIVE MEMBERSHIP IS AUTOMATICALLY RENEWED!!!

What is wrong with people! So frustrating.


Anonymous said...

Not saying I can do anything (I do not work for Microsoft but my company does some XBox-related business), but if you shoot me an email, I'll see what I can do.
Use this: sfc.usa at

BTW, I'm not sure I ever commented on your old blog, but I am a retired SFC and spent 40 years (ok, maybe is was on 4 but it seemed longer) as a US Army recruiter.


David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 11/07/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

Karen said...

I enjoyed this one in full sympathy. I've decided to link this post to My Alter Ego site as well. It's titled, I thought this was appropriate.

Anonymous said...

It's a personal pet peeve of mine when the customer service reps don't seem to have actually read the email they are responding to. Let us know what kind of response you get to the last message- hopefully (Name) finally got it :)

be603 said...

Lol! Feel for you brother.

So, you're saying it's pretty much like dealing with Big Army on a Leave and Earning statement glitch?

Good thing you got the Army training for these situations.

Makes me remember "the cost of deployment." Everytime I went to sea seems like I lost money one way or another.

Cynical Optimist said...

I'm putting your story up in a couple of places so maybe someone can help you soon. I know the frustrations.

OIF 2004 & 2006

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Wow, gosh, that sucks. Sorry you're in this situation, but lots of companies have crappy customer support these days. Since you only have internet access, you might want to look into Skype to make phone calls from your computer, if you have a microphone and speaker. It might cost a dollar or so but it might be worth your try unless your internet is too slow to handle the call. Good luck.

Bag Blog said...

I hope you have a great Veteran's Day - thanks for serving. I wish I could be helpful on the XBOX thing.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the story!

I do understand about microsoft but this is just too funny. Best article I have read today.

Thank you for all you do.

Take care and stay safe .

Bob said...

Hi, I'm with Microsoft and I just have to say, "For a guy from Afghanistan, you sure do write English well." (Well anyway, I thought that was funny.)

Anonymous said...

Tell 'em you're gonna forward the e-mail correspondence to the State ATtorney General's office of consumer fraud. Lawyer up -- that'll get their attention.