I know not many people read this blog (I don’t post enough) but just have to get this out there, as this is no way to make a happy customer.
Approximately 10 weeks ago, I awoke to discover that my XBox 360 account had been used to purchase 3 of the largest points packages totaling almost $300. Figuring that my account had been hacked, I immediately logged into the website with the intent of changing my password before calling Microsoft, however, upon logging in I discovered my account had been converted to Russian. Not knowing Russian, I was unable to navigate the site to change my password, so I was forced to sign out, and call Microsoft without changing the password. I reported my account as being compromised (which is MS’s term) and the customer service guy was pleasant, and worked with me through the process. The account was also apparently being transferred or something, although I’m not exactly sure what that means. At the end of the report he mentioned that the investigation time-frame was currently 20 - 25 business days (4 - 5 weeks) which I thought was a little long, especially when he stated that I would receive my refund at the end of the investigation.
So I started waiting.
After approximately 2 weeks, I received an email on the alternate email address that had been supplied as part of the reporting procedure that stated:
Your report of an unauthorized access to your Xbox LIVE account has been reviewed by our fraud investigations team. However, there is a delay in processing your request, so we’re sending you a free, 30-day Xbox LIVE membership code that you can use to create a new, temporary account.
Well, as I don’t play too much, I thought I’d just wait it out, as it was only going to be another 2 - 3 weeks.
After week 6 I called again to see what was going on as I hadn’t heard anything and it was past the original estimate of 4 - 5 weeks, but I had given them some extra time as there was the email saying there was a delay. Well, I discovered the customer support people can’t tell me anything. All he would say is that it’s been handed off to the investigation team, but couldn’t tell me anything else. I asked for an ETA, even just a guess as I wanted to be able to play when Batman: Arkham City came out, but he refused to give me anything. Just before ending the call, he commented that I should keep an eye on my secondary email address in the next couple weeks.
At the end of week 8 I started a chat on the MS XBox support site with one of the support people, and I basically vented about not having my account for so long. The fact that I can’t play any of my save games as they’re attached to the compromised account, and that I can’t even play the PC version of Batman as I need to register my CD Key with a Games For Windows Live (Xbox Live) account. I could create another account, but then in the future I have to try to remember which account which game was registered to? That seems really complicated, especially when I was told I would get my account back, and my $300 refunded. In the end, I was told they can’t do anything I’d have to call in.
At the end of week 9 I had time to call in again. The first person I talked to, said that was way past when I should have had my account back, took my reference number, and then hung up on me. So I tried again, and the second lady was quite nice. She agreed that it wasn’t right that it had been so long, even though the current estimate they were giving out for people was 6 weeks. But I did find out that the account is read-only to the customer service people when it’s under investigation, so she really couldn’t do anything. I asked if there was a way to attach a note to the account to ask for an update as it’s been 6 - 7 weeks since I last had any communication from the investigation team. She said she would add one, and get her supervisor to add one as well. And that was the end of that call.
Now I’ve given them several business days to respond, and still nothing. So we’re approaching the end of week 10, and still no account, still no refund, and still no communication, other than the standard marketing emails which are all in Russian.
At one point I was doing some searching around, looking into whether XBox has two-factor authentication (which they don’t) and stumbled across a guild forum where several people were talking about their accounts having been hacked around the same time-frame as mine. Most of them said they got their refund the day they reported it, and most of them had their accounts returned in 2-4 weeks.
So now after 10 weeks, with the lack of communication I’m extremely frustrated. I want my account back, I want my $300 back, and I want my 3 months of Gold service back.
This is not the way to keep a customer happy.
Update Dec. 09, 2011: According to XBoxSupport on Twitter, it still under investigation, and I haven’t been forgotten. Still, 10 weeks of no XBox gaming does not a happy gamer make.
Update Jan. 06, 2012: I did receive another email on the 17th of December from XBox Support that stated: We wanted to give you a quick update on the status of your unauthorized access case. Due to the complexity of your case, we are engaging our engineering team to create a solution that will allow us to return your account to you. While this work continues, we’d like to offer you a free, 30-day Xbox LIVE membership code.
Which is now the second 30 day code they’ve offered, and yet still no offer to transfer data back to the old account or anything, hence still effectively useless to me.
Then today I saw another post that had been linked to by Kotaku about another person that had a hacked account as well. Due to the publicity it appears their story had a quick ending. http://hackedonxbox.tumblr.com/post/15365217063/microsoft-a-company-with-no-brains-heart-or-soul