Go Easy On Tapping The 'A' Button If You're Getting An Xbox 360 Demo

Jonathan wishes his trigger finger wasn’t so itchy, because while going on an Xbox 360 free demo downloading binge he accidentally bought a game.

He complained that the Xbox Marketplace interface makes it too easy to accidentally purchase the full game of Hitman: Blood Money when you’re intending to buy the demo.

He writes:

So go to the Demo section. Demos are free. I’m scrolling down the Demo list. When you find a game you want in the free Game Demo section, you hit A once to be taken to it’s game page where there is a list stating Get Demo, All Downloads and Rate. The cursor is automatically on Get Demo, so you hit A again, where you’re taken to a confirm download page, where it shows where the demo will be saved to, the size of the download, the price (free) and some other options, like Cancel or Change Storage Device. On this screen, Confirm Download is automatically highlighted.

So getting a download is basically a “click A three times” process.

I’m in the All Demos section and have selected about 9 demos to download. I get to a game called Hitman: Blood Money, and hit A on it. Being that it’s the demo section, and seeing as the process for the last 9 demos and all of my Xbox life has been hitting A three times, I’m in that routine and before I can realize what I’ve done, I see I’ve just bought Hitman: Blood Money for $29.99. I wasn’t just hitting the button blindly, but I guess my finger moved faster than I read to realize something was dirty and different here.

Hitman, and a few other games, have full game downloads available on Xbox Live. And Microsoft sells them in two sections; one in a full Xbox on Demand section, and the other in the DEMO section. Not only is it in the free demo section, but it is the first, highlighted option to make accidental purchases a breeze. Instead of Get Demo being first like all the others, it’s Buy It Now.

So, in the free demo section, I end up buying a game for $29.99 because Microsoft does a swap of buttons. To make matters crazier, I had removed my credit card from my account months ago. My Live subscription is set until 2012, and I buy points cards for purchases. Somehow it reappeared, so this should have never been possible in the first place.

I contacted Microsoft on Twitter and nothing. I emailed Microsoft and was told to call. I called Microsoft, and the representative seemed nice. He asked for all my info, and I explained what was going on. He told me the item was non-refundable. I told him that I know Xbox can track the activity on the systems and see I haven’t played it. That I also do not have, and will never have, any Achievements unlocked for this game, which Microsoft can also check, because I do not want it. That it was purchased on accident because Microsoft throws in and auto-highlights a Buy Now button in the free demo section. Told him that I was a gold member, who buys things often on Xbox live, and just want to be refunded.

He told me it is not possible to do a refund.

He then told me it is like a game in the store. Once you buy it, you can’t refund it. I told him in the store I can return anything I’ve bought if I haven’t used it, and he then switched his story to “Well, you already own the intellectual rights so you can’t return it. It’s licensing.”

On extremely rare occasions, Microsoft has actually given refunds on accidental purchases. Too bad it wasn’t Jonathan’s dog who bought the game.