Xbox Live Cancels Year-Long Prepaid Account, Demands Another Year's Subscription To Reactivate

Xbox Live has struck again, this time by screwing up the auto-renewal on a customer’s account and ruining the prepaid annual membership he activated just three months ago.

Nicholas writes:

I love gaming. I’ve been a happy go lucky gamer for as long as I can remember, but I have been deeply saddened by recent events. My Xbox Live account subscription was nearing its end in December of 2008. I do not like auto renewal services so I use prepaid cards. My account ended on 12/27/2008 and I activated a 12 month + 1 month prepaid card on 12/30/2008. I set my account status to not auto renew; however, the auto renewal took place anyway and on 3/2/2008 my account was cancelled because the credit card on file was expired. I didn’t think this would be a problem since I had used a prepaid card. After providing the ‘secret answer’ to my account’s ‘secret question’ many times to Xbox Live support, I have been told that I can take one of the following options:

  • Pay $54.11 to have my account reinstated and have 22 months of service (12 from the auto renew and the 10 remaining from the prepaid card)
  • Have the $54.11 waived and be denied the remaining months on my prepaid card as they are tied to the account that would remain cancelled.

This just does not at all seem reasonable. I do not want an entire year’s worth of extra service, but the only alternative is to lose 9 months of service that I have already paid for! What should I do in this situation?

We suppose you could take them to small claims for failing to provide the membership you’ve already paid for and activated, but we think you should continue your fight to get this straightened out. Check out this post for contact info of Microsoft executives.

You should also report them to your Attorney General’s office—the more complaints AGs receive about Microsoft’s abysmal Xbox customer service, the more inclined they may be to do something about the company’s screw-you approach to its customers.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.