Xbox Live Dies Because I Used Prepaid Card While On Auto-Renewal Plan

Nathan tried to save some money on his Xbox Live subscription by buying a prepaid $50 card to avoid having to pay the recently increased annual fee of $60. While he did so, he failed to replace his expired credit card on file with a valid card.

The Microsoftbots did not like this plan, and kept trying to bill him $60. When Nathan called customer service he was told that he had to pay the $60 or his account would be canceled. The CSR also said he’d have to forfeit his prepaid subscription.

He writes:

I subscribe to Xbox Live Gold, an online feature of the Xbox 360 entertainment console. I have been a continued member of the service since November,
2005.

In November 2010, I received email notification that my subscription to the service would be auto-renewed to my credit card on file for $59.99.

The credit card on file had expired and been canceled during the summer of 2010. The annual service fee for Xbox Live Gold had been $49.99, which I had agreed to auto-renew to in December 2009. Seeing as the price increase had gone up, I purchased a pre-paid 1 Year subscription card to Xbox Live Gold from a local Costco store. I applied this code to my account in the middle of December, 2010. Evidently, Xbox Live tried to bill my expired credit card for the auto-renew fee of $59.99 and was unsuccessful. I put the new pre-paid card into my account and the Xbox Live billing account page I have showed my subscription being credited an additional year.

In the end of December and through January, 2011, I continued to receive email notifications from Microsoft saying that I had a balance due for $59.99.

I contacted Xbox Live billing on 1/17/2011 to see if the situation could be straightened out.

I was first told by a CSR that my account had to be billed $59.99 or my account would be canceled within days. When asked what would happened to my pre-paid card that I applied to my account, the CSR said it would be forfeited.

Nathan escalated his complaint and got the same answer from a supervisor, who added that he had to pay for two years upfront if he wanted to continue his service.

If you subscribe to Xbox Live, how do you handle your payments?