Gamers Stationed Abroad Can't Buy Live Console Subscriptions

Nick is stationed in Germany with the U.S. Air Force. After a long day of serving his country, he likes to play Xbox. But online play is difficult for military gamers serving abroad because of the way that payment systems at Microsoft and Sony are set up. For those whose credit card billing address is their APO address, the system just won’t accept their addresses and go through. Can’t anyone help the fine, brave gamers of the military?

Nick called our phone tipline about the situation, and here’s a slightly edited transcript of what he had to say.

Right now, military members can’t use their credit cards to buy either Microsoft or PlayStation points, or even memberships if they have a credit card related to an APO address. An APO address is given to military members–it’s basically a U.S. address so we can get things shipped to us here at stateside prices. The ZIP code for the APO address is actually sometimes recognized as a New York ZIP code.

I know this isn’t a big tip or anything like that, but a lot of military members could use the help. We’re trying to get a campaign going to get Microsoft and PlayStation to accept APO addresses on their credit card recognition screen. Right now, the only way military members can get access to Xbox points for memberships is if the PX has the membership or points cards, but those run out a lot, especially in small bases like mine.

I’m not actually allowed to use my military persuasion for anything commercial, but this is really important to a lot of us guys, especially up in Com because we’re a whole bunch of nerds. And it’s a big thing for us to get online and play Xbox or PlayStation all night.

I’ve been trying to contact Xbox. I’ve called customer support many times, and they have way for people to have the Xbox repaired through APO addresses, but there’s no way for us to actually get any membership, points, things like that to connect with our friends back home.