Why Can't Microsoft Help Get This Guy's Stolen Xbox Live Account Back?

Erik has been patiently trying to get his stolen Xbox Live account back for a month and a half now, but all Microsoft has done to help is lie and fail to follow up on phone calls or emails. Oh, and there was that one point where they sent “how to get your account back” instructions to the person who had stolen the account, which sort of defeated the point.

Erik’s college roommate sent us the following letter:

I am writing this tip on behalf of my roommate, Erik.

Around a month and half ago (8/07/2009) his account was stolen on Xbox Live. He called Microsoft Support and asked for Accounts & Billing and they transferred him to someone that knew how to help. They verified that he was definitely, without doubt, the original owner. They asked for his contact email address and he gave them his primary email. They also said that the investigation team will get on this issue right away and it would be available again within the month (at the latest). Well, it has been a month and seventeen days since the time this email was written and nothing has happened that allowed him to get the account back. They said they would be calling him once a week to let him know the status of the investigation. He only got a call the week after and the week following that one. The last time they called they said that the investigation team is still working and that the account should be available at the end of August/early September.

Erik is a very patient guy and doesn’t get angry over these types of things at all. He waited patiently until September 14th and called. Microsoft told Erik, after he asked if the message had been sent, that an email had been dispatched to the contact information on his Live passport. So Erik asked where the email was sent to and they said it was sent to an email that had the name “Chris” in it. It sounds like the person took control of his Live account and changed the contact information before MS locked the account down. They also did not change any of the information back to what it should be. So basically, MS sent the directions of how to recover his Live passport and gamertag to the hacker that stole his account in the first place.

So after MS figured out they made a mistake, they said the contact information had definitely been set back to Erik and that within 5 days an email would be sent to him and the investigative team would call him to inform that his gamer tag could be recovered again. He waited out the 5 days without a call or email and called back (9/19). When he called them they apologized for not calling within 5 days and that he would definitely receive a call within 2 days. Three days later (9/22), no call or email. So, he called back. An hour on the phone, he used the prompt to speak to accounts and billing once again, they verified it was him, again, and he explained the situation, yet again. They gave him a case number but no extension to call. So, he would have to call and wait the 10 minutes it takes to talk to intelligent life at MS and let them look up the case. Every time he calls MS it takes 5 minutes for the operator to read the case’s notes. So, he talked to this guy and was told that they have no way of knowing what the investigation team is doing or what the status of the investigation is. He was very sorry that he was not able to help any further. So, he told the guy thanks and that it isn’t anything personal but he would like to speak to his supervisor. So, he after a 15-min wait to speak to one, he was connected. The original operator signaled that he was no longer going to participate and that William was on the line. William, the “supervisor”, had a very heavy (Indian? Middle eastern?) accent and it was insanely difficult to understand what he was saying. Erik asked to speak with the investigation team, but the supervisor said that could not happen as they do not speak with the public. So Erik asked to speak with the supervisor’s boss and he said that could not happen either. He does not take phone calls… So, Erik asked how this was going to be fixed and the supervisor said he doesn’t know and he has no idea when the investigation will finish. Just to wait.

The person that stole the account charged $125 in MS Points to his CC, which he canceled immediately. Definitely 800 pts of those went to changing the gamer tag. Get this, the person even started a new prestige on his COD5 account. He was on his 4th and was content with keeping it like that until Modern Warfare 2 came out but I guess that isn’t going to happen. Microsoft reimbursed him $75 of the $125 after the first call but he has yet to be reimbursed for the rest. Erik wasn’t told whether or not he would even be able to get his original gamer tag back.

Erik no longer has any idea what to do. He has done everything they asked and they have done pretty much nothing they said they would. Hopefully, Consumerist can see how this situation is frustrating. Especially when one can’t talk to the team that is “investigating” the account that one “own’s”.

Erik has been a faithful Xbox player and account holder for almost 8 years now and is doubting Microsoft’s loyalty to their customers.

What do you think should have happened in this situation? What would you guys have done in this situation? What do you think Microsoft can do to make this better?

We suggest, in fine college freshman style, that Erik copy your letter and personalize it so that it comes from him, and then EECB these Microsoft email addresses and any others he can find. On of our commenters on that post had success with those addresses. Another commenter also suggests Erik contact MajorNelson on Twitter, who may be able to help or point Erik to someone who can.

(Photo: w?odi)