Jeff can no longer play his two Xbox 360s online because Microsoft has banned him with no explanation. When he calls customer service, he says he’s accused of modding his consoles, which he insists he hasn’t.
Yet he’s guilty until proven innocent, and Microsoft isn’t willing to hear him out. He writes:
My console and my fiance’s console were caught up in the Mass Banning going on by Microsoft in their latest Pirate Witch Hunt. My fiance is a chef, and plays games like Viva Pinata, Arcade Games, and can’t figure out how to remove the battery pack, much less tear apart her system to “mod” anything.
I have purchased (2) Xbox 360 consoles (one for each of us), 68 games, several hundred dollars worth of Live content and DLC, another several hundred on disks that were scratched by faulty first gen consoles, a faulty 20 gig drive that Microsoft refused to warranty, and extra controllers / etc. All together I have dropped over $5200 supporting Microsoft, which I don’t have a problem with … what I DO take issue with is that yesterday we downloaded some content for the game Left 4 Dead and played it a bit, this morning I turned on my console and when I tried to log in, it stated my console was banned. What? The only “mod” I have ever done to my Xbox 360 was replace the crapped out 20 gig drive with an official 120 gig drive I purchased at Best Buy (I know, don’t hate on me for buying at Best Buy…) and that was almost 5 months ago. Of course I had a RRoD, but that was over a year ago (whic was another horror story all together).
Of course I tried to figure out what happened, but the outsourced “support” team refused to give me ANY information other than their investigations were very though. At one point a man who called himself “Charles” told me that it was my problem and I should learn to follow the rules, then hung up on me. I checked the Xbox Live Forums and while I am sure that some of the people posting in the Account Suspension and Player Feedback forum have probably done something to their consoles, I find if hard to believe that ALL of the people posting in there have modded their systems or whatever it is Microsoft has been flagging for.
One forum post shows exactly the type of sub-par support I experienced: A supposed Microsoft Support Rep named “StormShadow425” belittles a concerned customer and at one point tells him “But this is what you get back for tampering the console.”
Here is the thread if you are interested in seeing what type of support you can expect from Microsoft now.
As it will take several weeks for Microsoft to check my system / account / whatever black magic they do to determine if they made a mistake, I have pretty much written off any more Xbox Live and online gaming on my Xbox for a month at least, if ever. My fiance never actually played on Live, we would either System Link via Wireless to play Left 4 Dead with each other, of if a friend came over and we wanted to play 4-way split screen, or she would just play her little games, so not a big deal there. Our accounts were going to revert to Silver in February I think so not a big deal anyway. I think I am more angry with the spectacular terrible support Microsoft has, and the way they treat their customers… especially right before the Holiday season when people are looking to spend on gifts? I was considering picking up an Arcade bundle for my nephew, but I think I have pretty much crossed that off the list, ha ha! He will have to settle for a Nintendo DSi or possibly a PS3 now that they are cheaper.
Has anyone been banned by Xbox Live for accused modding and managed to get the ban lifted? Other than buying new consoles and starting new Xbox Live accounts, there must be some way for Jeff to get out of this mess.