Change Xbox Live Gamertag, Lose EA Gun Club Privileges

Jason is a longtime member of Electronics Arts’ Gun Club, a rewards program that gives special perks and previews to fans of EA games. A few months ago, he had to change his Xbox Live gamertag because of a complaint about it. We won’t print the tag, but it wasn’t anything offensive or vulgar, and he got to keep the same tag by adding “The” to the beginning of it. Simple enough. The problem is that changing your gamertag severs the tie between your Live account and your Gun Club account forever. Oddly, no one at EA knows how to deal with this situation.

I have a problem with EA’s support system that doesn’t seem to have a way of fixing itself and I’m hoping you folks can help out. I’ve had an Xbox 360 for 4 years now and ever since EA came out with their “Gun Club” I’ve been a member. The Gun Club basically rewards you with in game freebies/early access to demos/beta invites based on the EA games you play.

About 5 months ago XBox Live made me change (notice I said change and not delete/recreate) my gamer tag from “[redacted]” because someone found it offensive. I was able to rename my gamertag to “The[redacted]” (I called them up to confirm I wouldn’t get in trouble and they were ok with it.). Now, since most of this information is in a database somewhere, you think that changing the name of my online persona is just changing the name field of my entry; Evidently not in EA’s eyes.

The problem lies with the fact that my Gun Club account is tied to my old account – and even though my account name changed, it doesn’t see my renamed account. So that means anytime I fire up my Xbox any new rewards/challenges I accomplish that are on the gun club site are basically ignored. I have an open ticket with EA for several weeks now and even though it was escalated, they can’t solve the problem. I tried to create a new account and tie my updated gamertag to it, but their system told me it was already attached to a different EA account.

The last person I talked to on the phone said that “I have to call Xbox to get them to allow me to use my old gamertag again.” Even after I told him that the only thing that changed for my account was the name, he said their system can’t handle a gamertag update, because what they would have to do it delete my Gun Club entry (effectively rendering anything I’ve paid for useless – e.g. Cerberus Network for Mass Effect 2 ). The rep also said that the escalation team said this was an issue they couldn’t fix because I would lose all of my online personas/user states for any EA game I’ve played (Bad Company, Bad Company 2, Mass Effect 2, Battlefield 3, Battlefield Heroes to name a few).

As a programmer I work with databases all the time, and I find it hard to believe that they simply can’t just update a pointer to reference my updated gamertag without me losing any data on their end. Hopefully you can help out this gamer as I’ve all but exhausted the contacts over there.