Scratch Too Hard On Your XBOX Live Card? Microsoft Won't Tell You The Code

Microsoft sells scratch off cards that contain codes you can use with XBOX live. Trouble is, if you get overzealous and scratch off the code along with the scratch-off stuff—you’re out of luck.

Microsoft will not tell you the code and they won’t send you a new card. We assume that this is to prevent people from calling in and lying about not being able to read their cards, getting the codes, and then selling the unscratched cards to various chumps.

Still, it doesn’t help reader Matt, who really can’t read his code:

My name is Matthew [redacted] and my family (registered to my younger brother) is the happy owner of an xbox 360 purchased in the summer of 2007.

I have already sent in my xbox for service on two separate occasions (red ring once, discs not reading another time) and have had a wireless controller replaced… My family has owned an xbox for around 7 months and for 2.5 of those months it has been either inoperable or in transit. Despite the hassles I am quite pleased with owning an xbox because of the quality titles. Aside from a couple of hiccups involving creative navigating of the customer service representatives and multiple delays in receiving the shipping box for a return; my overall opinion on the customer service has been helpful, pleasant and ultimately have helped me solve my issues each time.

On my second servicing of my xbox, I had an active xbox live gold subscription card and was obviously not able to suspend service so I was given the standard one month card. I waited until Christmas break to utilize this card. When scratching off the card with my fingernail (a lowly level of 3 on the Mohs hardness scale) I managed to scratch over scratch 4 of the characters. Searching the internet I found multiple people with similar problems and was sure support could help me out. All I wanted was to have them help me complete the code.

There is a separate serial # on the card to identify it I presume. Perhaps they have records of the codes according to serial #. After about an hour hold, I spoke to one rep for a half hour, was told it was another departments problem and to refuse being transferred back here if that department said it was the previously departments problem (I was told this multiple times for reiteration). I waited on hold for another hour explained my plight and did the back and forth about 45 minutes and again was tried transfer me but I did my job and held strong. At this point I felt like I was making progress. Finally, I was transferred reluctantly to a third dept. but was told not to worry, they can resolve this almost instantly. Another hour hold and 45 minutes of back and forth with another attempt to transfer me back to both of the previous two departments. I explained I had already been there and that it should not be my job to coordinate between different departments. After several more minutes of hold I was then greeted with an abrupt, there is nothing we can do for you, sorry we do not have access to the codes and will not issue a replacement card.

I would not be so bitter if I had purchased this card from the store because I would have attempted to return it. But this was card issued as an apology for a faulty product and compensation for the hassle. To have the apology not work and then refuse to correct the problem is insulting. Not only that, if the answer was so simple I wish I would have been told up front that it is a policy not to issue new cards or give out codes because I wasted about 4 hours on the phone trying to get my halo 3 on.

I write to you as a final attempt at finding credibility in Microsoft’s customer service. I hope I can in the end be happy with the service I received.

Matt

Matt sent us an update:

Just a quick followup on the scratched xbox live gamercard. Microsoft contacted me last week on their own accord. This was not expected, but I was pretty excited because I thought I was getting action due to the email I sent them. Unfortunately they only called to tell me again they would NOT be replacing the card. All I could think in my head was, gee thanks for rubbing it in. I was then asked by the representative if there was more he could do to help me? Baffled, I said nope and hung up the phone.

Hey, Matt. All is not lost: Our good friend Phil the Philmguy did the same thing this weekend. He actually sat around trying different combinations until he figured it out: “That happened to me this weekend. i had to guess on seven of the letter/numbers in different combinations. Took me three hours, but I won.”

Buyer beware.

Xbox live card refund? [Metafilter]
Xbox 360 Live 1 Month Gold Card [Amazon]

Comments

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  1. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    He’s gonna get a call in 10 years with the correct code…

  2. joemono says:

    Wow, a five hour phone call?

  3. joemono says:

    Oops, shoulda kept reading. Adding up his numbers gave me five, but he later says 4. Still, I can’t think of much that’s worth a 4 hour phone call.

  4. Sheesh. It’s stuff like this that makes me wary of getting a 360, despite the fact there are several games I’d like to play on it.
    (Oh, and the hardware reliability… That’s a big negative to me…)

  5. Ashkihyena says:

    Damn, remind me to never, ever buy one of those cards.

  6. jmuskratt says:

    D00d, you can actually GET ON to XBL?

  7. Need any more proof that Microsoft customer service SUCKS? I was supposed to get a free month of Live service when I first got my Xbox. Never got a thing, after emailing to ask why, I was told I was not going to get it either, no matter how much I asked.

    Matthew should call them back (And record the phone call of course), and tell them that a lengthy article has been posted about the issue on Consumerist.com. Then he can proceed to ask for a replacement card. We’ll see how fast they send one then.

    Honestly, did we have to deal with this crap back in the Sega Genesis days? Times were better back then… I’d like to go back please.

  8. mizzocd says:

    funny. my boyfriend had the same problem. after a process of elimination and after about 1 hour we figured the code out. no thanks to microsoft.

  9. Oh, and in case you don’t see my name beside my avatar, yes, I have a 360 being serviced right this moment. All these new games, nothing to play them on. I love it, I really do.

  10. cleverlymadeup says:

    ok here’s the deal and let me construct this sentence the way that no one seems to get

    I have a card that I scratched TOO HARD and now this is YOUR fault YOU can’t/won’t replace something I did

    to put this in another view, if you bought a car from a car company and it had a defect in it, so they replaced it, they gave you free leather seats as a bonus, you then sat in said seats with a pen in your pocket and ruined the seats, sorry but you did that to the car not the company

    also another point, the ppl in xbox live support do NOT have access to the codes, unless that’s changed and that’s very doubtful, so him calling is pointless

    scratching the card too much was with in the top 5 calls at the xbox call centre i worked at

    scratching a card too hard is YOUR fault and sorry i have no pity for you being a drama queen

    also how good can a product be if you have to keep returning it cause it’s defective?

    • VouxCroux says:

      @cleverlymadeup: I agree with your reworking of the OP’s issue. It’s unfortunate that he scratched too hard on the card, it really is. But life sucks sometimes. There.

    • FamousLastX says:

      They could have seen if any codes were applied to his count recently or even since his XBOX was returned from service. They had done it for me. They were just being lazy.

  11. Russian Experiment says:

    ha…scratch hard…but not too hard.

  12. MadChad says:

    I manage an EB Games. I deal with this more often than I’d like to. I fail to see how it’s anyone’s fault but yours if you scratch the number off the card. I’ve scratched about 20 of the cards myself and I’ve never had an issue. If you use your finger nail you won’t scratch the number off. If you use a coin or something (which if you’d try your fingernail first you’d know you don’t need to use a coin) than it’s your fault for going too hard on the card. I really don’t see why the retailer OR Microsoft should be rewarding people’s stupidity .

  13. Russian Experiment says:

    @MadChad: So I shouldn’t use my double edged diamond razor for scratching purposes?

  14. omgJOHN says:

    Maybe the person should learn some friggen’ self control and not scratch so damn hard. I’ve had a few PC games where I screwed myself over by accidentally scratching off the CD-Key on those.
    The few times that happened, I bite the bullet and buy a new copy of the game if I really like it.

  15. MosquitoControl says:

    This happened to me two weeks ago, actually.

    My Live account expired on 1/1/08. I never received an email warning me that it was about to expire, merely one telling me it was over. Great. Wonderful. On hangover day.

    So I was given the option of either running out and buying a card (not too wonderful an option) or putting my credit card into a shared Xbox (also not too wonderful an option.)

    I managed to find an old 12 month card given to me years ago. It was branded for the Xbox, not the 360. Scratched it. Couldn’t read it. Called customer support. Was told to return it to the point of purchase. Who knows were that was?

    I just ate the lost card. Oh, well. So I had to put the credit card into the Xbox. I actually did it online via my PC. Sounded like a good idea, but my 360 still ended up with my credit card info, and one roommate still managed to “accidentally” put points on my account and buy Tron. I was not amused.

    I understand them not refunding over-scratched cards. Whatever. I don’t understand them making it so difficult to get my credit card info out of their system and off of my xbox so no more “accidental” purchases can be made.

  16. slungsolow says:

    happened to my brother once… he just returned the card to best buy with no problems.

  17. Calicomarie says:

    I don’t really think it is a matter of scratching too hard. We had a card that my boyfriend scratched off with his fingernail, the same method used for scratching off all of our cards, and the number came right off with the silver coating.

    Luckily, we still had the receipt and Best Buy exchanged the card for us. It makes me wary of buying any more point cards, but I definitely don’t want Microsoft to have my CC info.

  18. snwbrder0721 says:

    I had this happen on a microsoft points card I recently purchased. I used a key (first thing I found in my pocket). Of course, that was way too hard an object to use, but honestly shouldn’t microsoft warn people that their cards are more “scratchable” than, say, EVERY OTHER GIFTCARD EVER MADE. And on the same note, why can’t microsoft use the same type of gift cards everyone else uses where the number is part of the card rather (i.e. can’t be scratched off) rather than have numbers printed on (=can / will be scratched off)?

    I ended up being able to guess the 2 numbers I scratched off as portions of the digits still remained, but one slip of the wrist and I could have ended up just like Matt.

    @cleverlymadeup
    So it’s my fault for using the product as intended and subsequently ruining the product? Worst. Policy. Ever.

  19. Anonymous says:

    huh-buh?

    He scratched the card he got from Microsoft for his repair? I just got mine back from being replaced and that card is NOT a scratch-off.

  20. FamousLastX says:

    Mine came faded and some of the ink had rubbed off already. It was a pain and they just considered it overscratched, but I was eventually able to get a new code from best Buy, after making them call Microsoft and confirm the card hadn’t been used.

  21. def PD says:

    I’ve done this before. The rep was smart enough to tell me to go back to where I purchased the card (Best Buy) explain to them the situation and reference some customer service pin and they would take care of it.

    No questions were asked when I went to BB to explain what happened.

  22. zackass87 says:

    if i had a nickle for every time this happened to me, id have 1 nickle.

  23. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @BPMΩ:

    A friend of mine just had his 360 & PS3 die within 48 hours of each other. Fuck all of the “Next-Gen” consoles, I’ll stick with my PC.

    Although the Wii *is* pretty cool.

  24. CMU_Bueller says:

    This almost makes we want to pull the Live card I used last week out of the trash and see how hard you actually have to scratch to incur damages. For the record, I used a penny with no ill effects.

  25. Adam In Texas says:

    Wow, some of you are pretty hardcore set in your opinion of “it’s the customers fault” aren’t you?

    I can sympathize with Matthew because I had the same thing happen with one of my 1600 point cards that I received as a Christmas present. The first one I scratched off without issue but the second one is a loss at this point. I couldn’t get that stupid plastic shell off to actually access the card so I took it into the kitchen to go at it with a knife. That did the trick and instinctively I used the knife to scratch off the code. I wasn’t pushing particularlry hard or anything but managed to wipe out all but the first 9 characters (xxxxx-xxxx) of my point card. I was thinking that maybe Microsoft could help me out in this situation. After all, I have the first nine digits and that other number code is clearly visible on the back of the card as well. I was thinking that they might be able to input what I have along with that additional number and give me my code. Negative on that idea though.

    Maybe it is the fault of the consumer for scratching too hard but I haven’t experienced anything that scratches off as easily as the characters under that silver scratch-away barrier. I read the packaging and the only warning they give is not to scratch it off before you are ready to use it. It mentions nothing about not scratching hard or anything like that. A scratch off game piece, a lottery ticket, these would still have all the information clear and legible if I used the exact same knife to scratch this point code.

    Microsoft already has all of our information in their system. Look to see if they have purchased points before. Does the consumer spend money on Live pretty often? Why can’t they help the consumer and credit the points with what information they have and make note of it on file and EXPLAIN how to/not to scratch the code off in the future. Let the customer know that it’s a one time thing. I promise that the end user after making a silly mistake and wasting their $20 or $40 purchase for nothing won’t be making the same mistake again.

    I also dislike how they get all your information, verify your name, gamertag, address, etc before they tell you they won’t do jack about it. They know what I’m calling about as soon as I describe the issue when they first pick up the phone.

  26. jkanownik says:

    I made the mistake of scratching off a card with a key once and it took the code with it. I called Microsoft and after about an hour they told me if I faxed them a copy of the card and my receipt they would give me a replacement code. I faxed them everything they asked for and I never received a replacement code. It wasn’t worth the trouble of calling them back again.

    I had a bunch of other cards that I scratched softly with a coin that were extremely hard to read. After my key incident I even had my wife do a few with a coin and they were still hard to read (although with multiple guesses we were able to get all to work).

    This is just one in a line of many examples of shoddy Microsoft manufacturing/design that was quitely swept under the rug. See:

    1) RROD (until it got too big to continue to deny)
    2) 1st edition wireless mics
    3) 1st edition headsets

    If you’re going to buy one of the Microsoft cards they now sell them enclosed in plastic so that there is no scratch off portion.

  27. MotherFury says:

    Not to sound all CSI about this… but is it possible you can get the numbers by doing a high res scan of the card’s number area, bring it up full screen on the monitor and look for outlines, shadows, etc of what was there or something? Maybe adjusting the contrast, inverting, etc.

    Ah, yeah. I need to cut back on the CSI watching.

  28. CMU_Bueller says:

    @CMU_Bueller: Edit: Actually it was an iTunes card that I scratched off. The Live card has no such silver on it. I am now confused as to what the OP had. Was it a points card that he had problems with?

  29. crewwolfy says:

    Isn’t the point of that code to combat fraud? Thus, if you don’t have that code, you can’t validate the card, which is exactly as it should be. This isn’t exactly new technology, people. The material below the scratch-off surface is designed to take a bit of coin rubbing, not a vigorous flogging, and certainly not a knife.

    People have hopefully used this high-tech scratch-off technology before. If you know you have trouble in this department, just buy them through Live itself.

    If this issue, in addition to console reliability (the new models have no failure epidemics), is what’s keeping you from getting a 360, I say stand strong. I probably wouldn’t want to get stuck in a game with you online if you feel this way, anyway..

  30. lordargent says:

    MADCHAD: If you use your finger nail you won’t scratch the number off. If you use a coin or something (which if you’d try your fingernail first you’d know you don’t need to use a coin)

    But I don’t have fingernails :(

    /I use coins, but didn’t scratch off any numbers. How friggin hard are people scratching these things?

  31. Adam In Texas says:

    @MotherFury:

    I’ll probably try something like that to see how it works out. The code isn’t really imprinted on the card I don’t think. It’s like it was just printed on the card. The little (what looks like) verification number to the right is actually stamped which would make reading it scratched much easier.

  32. WhatThe... says:

    I wouldn’t say this is the customer’s fault. Sometimes the scratch off silver isn’t applied perfectly and it will scratch everything off with it. It could be that there is a bad run of these cards, and while not Microsoft’s fault they should be more helpful.

  33. Adam In Texas says:

    @FamousLastX: If they were able to call Microsoft and verify that your card had not been used why can’t Microsoft do that for people that have missing parts to the numbers on their cards? I would think they could do both if they are doing one.

  34. SirPoonga says:

    I had this happen to me. I bought a 12 month subscription card and scratched off a couple of number. The first time I called Xbox support they said to take it back to the store and get it replaced. I bought it from Best Buy but when I took it back they said they can not replace it since it was scratched off. I told Best Buy that Xbox support said it was ok. So I went back home and called Xbox support and told them the store wouldn’t take it back. They told me to fax the back side of the card and they will confirm it. I get a phone a week later saying they can not deal with. At this point I wrote down all phone numbers and the person I talked to. I went to Best Buy and talked to their customer support. Again, getting the same answer I then proceeded to tell them that I have the Xbox support number and person I talked to that said I could replace it at the store. A Best Buy manager happen to walk by at the time and she said to just replace it. Since this was holiday time I think they had a rough day and wanted it to just end.

    I can understand why Best Buy wouldn’t take it back. Someone could scratch it off, use the code, and try to return it. That would be the same reason Microsoft wouldn’t do it. However, I would think if you have proof you have the card, like faxing it, they can do something about it. One would assume the serial number associated with that card can be used to look up if the code has been used or not. If it has been used you know this is a fraud. If it hasn’t it may be a fraud. But then in order to activate the account the person has to have a gamertag. That gamertag will be used on a xbox and when they are online it gets recorded. The IP and box registration could be used to track the fraudulent users.

    That’s another thing Microsoft won’t do, track down a xbox based on registration number. I know someone that had their 360 stolen. They did register it which involved putting the machine’s serial number in the registration forum. I think he did all of this from the 360. After it was stolen we saw his gamertag online. He talked to Microsoft support but they wouldn’t track it down.

    The only thing I could think of at that point is try to get the police involved to locate the xbox and call Microsoft. However. He got an insurance settlement (other things were stolen) and that covered the cost of buying a new xbox.

  35. Sasuntsi|Davit says:

    Why don’t they utilise the method Nintendo does for their VIP cards in Nintendo published games; code printed on card, a plastic bit over the card, and then the silver coating goes over that?

    Oh wait, that would cost a few too many precious pennies/cents/peanuts for Microsoft.

  36. uricmu says:

    Most calling cards switching away from scratch-offs to simply having two sheets of paper so that the card is always hidden unless you break it from the carton.

  37. MadChad says:

    MSs new cards ( in Canada at least) are not going to have anything on the back to scratch. Those should be starting to hit every store very soon now.

  38. zjgz says:

    yeah, i don’t see how this is completely the consumer’s fault. Most scratch-off cards have the number printed on the card and a strip of clear plastic with the silver stuff on it, if this happened to a bunch of people, then its obviously a problem

  39. evilkoala says:

    this happened to me too. I made a photo copy and blew it up to about 800x size… then took a pencil and pencilled in a couple different possible letters. Luckily i got it on about the 7th try (of course this was after I called up support and they said they couldn’t help me).

  40. Player2 says:

    Actually, I’ve come across cards where half the numbers were missing. They weren’t scratched off, they were never there the first place. I had to return it to the store for a new one and had no problems, but they really should have a way to give you the numbers for the card. I mean they can only be used once, and if you physically have the card and it hasn’t been used, why not hand over the code?

  41. darkclawsofchaos says:

    to avoid this, there are sites that sell these codes at a discount and you get the code by email in like five minutes, unless you use paypal which may take longer

  42. CMU_Bueller says:

    @MadChad: I think these cards are in the US as well. The 3 month one I just purchased didn’t have a scratch off, just the uber-tough plastic case. I took a quarter to it anyways just to try it and I had to really work to make a mark in the numbers.

  43. grangerfx says:

    Waaaait… Is this the same Matt who had that run in at Best Buy? I smell troll.

  44. Nekoincardine says:

    The newer ones are no longer scratch codes for… Pretty much this exact reason. Most have the code just visible once you tear through the case, or occasionally you get a cardboard with a tearoff to reveal the code instead.

    I had no trouble exchanging mine at Gamestop after detailing the problem with Microsoft (to the same result, though I only spent 10 minutes), but knowing the staff may have helped me there.

  45. johnperkins21 says:

    Happened to me this weekend. I had just scratched off a Best Buy gift card that required more force than I’m used to, and went too hard on the XBOX Live Card and the numbers can’t be read.

    To those of you who say that it’s our fault for scratching too hard, you must never of had one of these cards. They’re made of cardboard, and what is the right pressure to apply? Not enough and the silver doesn’t come off, just a little too much and the numbers rub off? It’s a design defect that MS needs to fix.

  46. Krack Of Dawn says:

    This happened to me about 8 months ago and I sat on the phone with an xbox rep for about an hour with both of us trying to think of different possible solutions, which he then typed into the computer to check if it was an active code. Although the guy was very eager to help me, we couldnt figure anything out. I went back to the game crazy and thankfully the manager was familiar with me and returned it. The latest card I purchased had a cardboard rip-away segment that revealed the code. Much less danger of damaging things.

  47. Spartan1308™ says:

    I’ve had a couple scratch cards for Xbox and 360 and never had a problem. People would just scam them all the time if they gave out codes from the customer service line. Don’t be a retard, don’t scratch so hard.

  48. cleverlymadeup says:

    @snwbrder0721: how is it THEIR fault that YOU ruined the product?

    look at this statement:

    I scratched the card too hard and now it’s ruined

    where in that statement is ANY mention of someone other than you, THERE ISN’T

    take a hammer to your ipod or iphone, see if apple will return it then, they won’t, so i guess their policy for that is bad too

    take some personal responsibility and own up to what YOU did and stop blaming someone else

  49. WuVT says:

    Same thing happened to me – I scratched the code off, making the card worthless. To my surprise AMAZON replaced the card with no questions asked. I applaud their customer service department. Microsoft’s customer service needs to take a lesson from amazon. I have heard that BestBuy will also refuse to refund/exchange overly scratched cards. Looks like amazon is the only company with good customer service.

  50. Gigith says:

    If some moron throws his Wii mote into his TV and breaks them both I don’t give a crap.

    If someone breaks anything they own for any reason I don’t care. The issue here isn’t that the cards red ring, the issue here is that some morons go crazy with a penny.

  51. SoccerHawk says:

    Ive had the same problem, I got home with my new gold membership card ready to play with my friends, looked around for something to scratch it with and there were these scissors right next to me. That didn’t turn out so well, over half of the numbers were illegible by the time I realized that I was scratching them off. After several calls to the store and to Microsoft, I discovered I needed to go back to the store, spend more money, waste more time, just to connect my xbox to my Internet to play with my friends.

  52. Apple's very own fanboys...GIZZZZZMODOOOOOOO says:

    Same crap happens to me with the last few cards I had. (When CC had their amazing buy 2 XBL accessories get $20 bucks off = Buy 1 get 1 free deal) The same thing rub to had and it scratches OFF the printed text. I am no stranger to the 3 hrs to get that shit resolved. Stay on the phoen and they will help you out. Just hang in there, and or just purchase them with a debit card; is my best advice.

  53. Apple's very own fanboys...GIZZZZZMODOOOOOOO says:

    @cleverlymadeup: Dude, Your comparison is vastly flawed: taking a hammer to an ipod? Come on its not like we are taking high grade sand paper to scratch this off, it is a coin or a finger nail. For years scratch off games have been able to have been scratched off and the numbers are still there why can’t we get the same level of scratch-ability?

    @lordargent: It takes hardly any pressure at all i assure you. Less and an ounce.

  54. Cry0tek says:

    Had this exact same thing happen to me, but from a 1 month free card I got in compensation for my 2nd RROD. I didnt even bother to call in and ask for another.

  55. TwoDaysOld says:

    Ive worked for customer support and we didnt have anything to identify the code in our system. The only thing we were trained to do was to tell them to go back to where they got the card from, which wouldnt help in this case, and try and get another one off them. If the retailer thought it was used on the customers account they could phone in and we could say that the customer did not use it on their account but we couldnt prove it wasnt sold to someone then scratched and returned. My opinion was to have the person who sold you the card scratch it off for you in the store when you buy it.

  56. cleverlymadeup says:

    @AnOffDutyNinja: it’s the EXACT same thing, the only difference is the cost of the item in question

    why not try looking at what is being said instead of the objects being used, i could do this with $2 scratch lotto cards with the exact same results

    so my comparison is very correct and unflawed, you’re just looking at the cost not the actions in question

    tho i’d be more than willing to hear your response on how my example is flawed, i will ask you actually provide more than “it is flawed” and “cause i said so” in your proof of the flaws in my example

  57. matthewvl says:

    I’m the original person in question and let me assure you I used nothing more than a FINGERNAIL. Doing a google search will easily show that the flaw is in the card, not in my zealousness to scratch hardly. I don’t think it can be considered my fault a crummy product didn’t work in my favor. The problem became bad enough that they changed the format of the card, but I got an older one. Like everybody else on these forums, we’ve all scratched off tons of crap, from mcdonalds monopoly, various other gift cards to lotto tickets. I don’t think I’m exactly a beginner at this.

  58. eastx says:

    I scratched too hard once and ruined the code… Best Buy was kind enough to let me return the card with my receipt.

  59. depressed person says:

    Hey, Yea I work for them and the only reason we can not is because we don’t have that kind of system to look it up. The other number doesn’t help us any and it is “Microsoft Policy” that we can not reimburse or exchange but to refer you to the retailer. If we gave it to you then Microsoft told us to do nothing and apoligize for it.

  60. josh924 says:

    I scratched off most of a code from a 1250 points card with a scissors. I was pissed at first that there was nothing anyone could do about it, but in retrospect, it was my fault for using scissors in the first place. However, I’ve noticed that, even when I gently scratch the code off with a coin, I still manage to scratch a little bit of the ink off (though not enough to make the numbers or letters unreadable). I’m sure its just my imagination, but it almost feels like they’ve made the codes even easier to scratch off accidentally.

  61. lestat730 says:

    I’ve always just used the credit card for Live service/points.. never have had a problem doing that. I can see why cards might be a better choice for some people, in that case this article serves as a good warning to be gentle. It surprises me though because I would think that these cards would be made at least as well as lottery scratch off tickets and people go to town on those things.

  62. thammuz says:

    My brother had done the same thing, scratched off his Xbox Live card too hard (well, more exactly with a knife). So, my mom and him went back to Best Buy, and they replaced it for him; with the cashier scratching it off for him with a penny.

  63. oanda says:

    This is not entirely true. I had the same problem but Microsoft helped me no problem. I gave them all the numbers I could see and they filled in the blanks fo rme.

  64. eelmonger says:

    I don’t know if I’d recommend bruteforcing it. If the codes are letters and numbers that’s 1,679,616 possible combinations for four missing numbers, unless you can kinda see what they are. If it’s just numbers it comes down to a more manageable but still insane 10,000.

    My advice would be to just write it off. Those numbers are there for security purposes, so I’m not sure what Microsoft could do in these situations without exposing themselves to tons of fraud. And from the rest of the comments it sounds like their trying to stop stuff like this from happening by moving away from the scratch off method.

  65. Apple's very own fanboys...GIZZZZZMODOOOOOOO says:

    @cleverlymadeup: It is flawed due to the fact you are saying to take a hammer to the ipod; and presumably whack it to turn it on or switch songs, Am I right? How much force would you use to turn the dial or hold the wheel down to power down, not much I suppose, but you don’t need a hammer to do that. I do not own an ipod, but I am fairly sure in the instruction manual they explain how to use it. Possibly saying; run finger over scroll wheel to switch tracks.

    On the back of the card it states: to scratch off to reveal code.

    When I scratched off my card I did NOT use a piece of sand paper. I did NOT use a knife, nor an industrial sander. I used a dime, and what I thought seemed to be a reasonable amount of pressure.

    When you scratched off that $2 ticket did you use a piece of sand paper to reveal what you had? Come on use some logic here, no you wouldn’t. You would use a coin or your finger nail presumably, with a reasonable amount of force.

    I have worked in customer service before but to tell the customer: Sorry, F You go buy more of our stuff. Isn’t good customer service. This can be remedied by several different packaging and manufacturing options. Such as making the like credit cards how they are raised and placing the in a covered envelope. just as an example.

  66. Apple's very own fanboys...GIZZZZZMODOOOOOOO says:

    The best thing to do is to use a pre-paid credit card for XBL points and subscriptions

  67. cleverlymadeup says:

    @AnOffDutyNinja: ok let’s learn some english here, it’s called subject verb and object

    I (the subject of the sentence) scratched (verb) my xbox card (object) too hard (action against object)

    then my example

    I (the subject of the sentence) hit (verb) my ipod (object) with a hammer (action against the object)

    both the same sentence with the words changed, but they both have the same meaning, therefore they two sentences are similar

    also in both cases it’s no one’s fault but your own, not microsofts or apple’s, them refunding you for ANYTHING is them being nice and taking pity on your dumb ass

    ok say you have a $2 scratch ticket, you win $1000 on the ticket but you’ve scratched off the validation code with your figner or coin, they WON’T give you the $1000 and will tell you tough luck

    so thank you for this nice little lesson in english, please learn the language before you try and be smart cause someone will show you how much you have yet to learn about the language

  68. Player2 says:

    @cleverlymadeup: When you have to attack someone on a totally unrelated subject is when you know you’ve lost the debate.

  69. nffcnnr says:

    TRY THIS: instead of scratching the silver stuff off with your fingernail, coin, or other metal object try “lifting” the silver off with a piece of Scotch tape. Simply apply Scotch tape to the silver area, and pull off carefully at an acute angle (don’t pull the tape straight up, but closer to parallel with the surface of the card). This works great on plastic cards, especially if you apply the tape to the silver area and then apply some pressure to make sure the silver adheres to the sticky side of the tape. If these cards are made of cardboard, you may want to cut the tape so it’s just large enough to cover the silver. Otherwise, you may rip off to much material and mess up the numbers anyway. Hope this helps!

  70. johnperkins21 says:

    @cleverlymadeup: Dude, how many people have to tell you that they used reasonable force to scratch the thing off before you realize it’s a defect? I’ve scratched hundreds of lottery tickets, McDonald’s style Monopoly pieces, gift cards, etc. This cheap cardboard MS Points card is the first I’ve ever had an issue with. You hear the same thing from many other people, and you still think it’s us?

    Go out and buy one of these cards, and scratch it off with a penny. Even with knowing the issues this card has (which I didn’t before trying to scratch), you’ll still probably rub off at least a small amount of the code.

    If it happens to one person, maybe they’ve screwed it up. Almost half of the comments here are from people it has happened to, and the others are ones who haven’t used this particular style of card from MS. It’s simply defective.

    And to relate to your lame iPod correlation, if what I consider reasonable force to click a button (the same force I’d used on other similar products mind you) shatters the thing in my hand, it’s a defect. If I hammer the button down in a drunken stupor, then I’m an idiot. But if hundreds of people are shattering the device in their hands with just the force of their thumb, there’s something wrong.

  71. C4WDeX says:

    I may be late on this, but this whole article is completely wrong in some aspects.

    I for one, accidentally scratched too hard once and ruined my XBL code. However, I called Microsoft and they instructed me to write the RMA number they gave me on both sides of the card with a Sharpie and bring it back to the store I purchased it from.

    Sure enough, I walked out with a new card.

  72. deal1992 says:

    @C4WDeX: Sorry,
    I had the same thing happen. I have never had this happen before either. After an hour and a half on the phone all MS told me was y7ou could try to guess different combinations or take it back to the store. No RMA and they told me the serial number on the card did no good. I have a real issue with this because the real product here isn’t some card. The product we are paying for is a 12 month subscription. Of which MS gave me zero service. So if you buy a car and the dealer gives you a one of a kind glass key that is wrapped in are hard to open plastic shell that can only be opened with scissors or a pair of pliers and the key breaks the car is useless and the manufacture has no liability. When someone pays for a service the company has the legal obligation to provide the service for the term it promises. I paid for 12 + 1 month of Gold Live and I call after I can’t read 7 characters on their card and am told sorry. I am sorry for rubbing too hard, but MS definitely has some liability here. For them to have hundreds or thousands of people with this and tell them to go buy another card after hours on the phone sounds like they are dodging their legal obligation to provide the service for the price we paid for that service. From what I can tell there is the blank card and then a wax coating and the letters are printed on that then the silver scratch off is applied on that. Where a lotto ticket has the letters printed on the cardboard. So if you scratch any of the wax away part of the code will be gone too. I went and check some of my other cards from MS and noticed part of those codes had come off with a penny. Yet a=another defective item from MS. Like the racing wheel that smokes and the Halo3 deluxe DVD’s that are scratched out of the metal case.

  73. MagusTheSecond says:

    I had this same problem, I scratched off but 3 numbers and the xbox guy told me to go to the store where I bought it and he would tell the employee the code. I went and he said he wouldn’t give the guy the code. Luckily for me the employee at the video store refunded my card.