Mystery Day: December 9th

Microsoft: fixing what wasn’t broken. And breaking it.

What do you think of the new Xbox site? I’m not a fan. It’s slow. It’s annoying. It’s slow. Going to your friends list is painful. Oh, and they broke my account settings. This is a known bug and there’s no timeline on a fix. Thanks for that. This meant that I had to call Xbox Support on the weekend to deal with something I thought I took care of back in August. In fact, I took care of it on August 30th. It was sometime mid-afternoon.


Remember when Microsoft announced the price increase for Live subscriptions? I knew mine was going to expire on December 9th so I figured, hey, might as well save a little bit of money. I was going to renew, anyway. Did you see the date of the announcement? Yup, same date that I paid for it. Obviously I’m wasn’t the only one since, I’m told, a lot of people are facing the same issue that I now have.

While playing Borderlands on the weekend with my brother, my Xbox told me ‘oh noes! Your sub runs out on December 9th and you better renew quick!’. Waitaminute here. That’s not right. I immediately head online to sort this out — My Xbox > Accounts > Membership Options > Upgrade/Manage Account — and here’s what I find.


I don’t know whose avatar they are using for the Glitch Guy, but I already wish to punch him. I knew I was in trouble off the top when, on the My Xbox page, I could see that it said “Your Account Summary: Service Unavailable”.


Boo. Calling Xbox Support at (800) 469-9269 was not off to a great start when I was disconnected twice. I learned the options and then learned that they also won’t let you skip their messages off the top. You know the ones. “Don’t forget that you can manage your account online!” lol. It’s like calling your ISP because their network is down and, while on hold, they tell you to check the status online. Third time’s a charm and I was connected to the very helpful and honest Nicole. The problem with honesty is that it’s not always what you want to hear.

Yes, the website is broken for a ton of accounts.
Yes, I likely paid for my renewal in August like my receipt says.
Yes, it should kick in December 9th when the old one expires.
Yes, lots of people that renewed early are getting all kinds of emails and messages that they shouldn’t be.
No, they don’t know when the site will be fixed. There are lots of bugs.
Seriously, it should be fine and here’s a case number in case things go awry.

There’s a reason I don’t feel this is good enough and it is particular to my situation. Try and stay with me here; there’s a lot going on. You cannot remove a credit card from Live without giving a new one. Removing it otherwise will cause me to lose my gamertag. Not cool! I wanted it removed to be able to move to pre-paid cards. Nicole told me that the easiest way to do that would be to let Live expire — which should happen for me December 9th, 2011 — drop to Silver for a little bit and then renew Gold with a pre-paid card. My credit card presently on file has expired. I switched banks and canned the old card. I’m going to be quite furious if they attempt to charge that card and I get hit with fees and have to deal with a bank I’m no longer dealing with for a reason. Not only is my console telling me to renew, I also have an email from November 9th that I somehow missed earlier.

< snip >

(Oops, forgot part 2 of the letter earlier. Nope, my payment information is totally not up to date. On purpose.)

Not good. I’m worried. There’s still a chance that all this will be fine and I’m stressing over nothing, but it’s rarely fun to deal with banks in a dispute and this should be easily avoided. Why can’t MS support people see my account? I can’t even see my purchase on the billing page (no screenshot since I’m not sharing that info). Someone, well, some computer database, somewhere sent me my receipt on August 30th. Why is that not showing up when I call Support? I can get no guarantees that they’d be willing to talk to my bank and I’m sure as hell not trusting them with my new credit card. That defeats the whole point of what I’m trying to do. There should be no further action required on my part and I hope to escalate this before December 9th to see if I can find a better solution for myself and others. We’ll see if @XboxSupport can further lend a hand! :)

Have any of you run into this, too?

9 thoughts on “Mystery Day: December 9th

      1. My friend just had this same issue with canceling her subscription. There’s no way to remove your credit card and she can’t cancel or unsubscribe online or on the Xbox. I don’t think you’ll have much more luck on the xbox. >.> Lame I know.

  1. Seriously, seriously weaksauce. The various friends-list cockups are baffling to me. At least they got the purchase history on the Marketplace back. It still doesn’t record DLC that comes on disc and you can conveniently purchase it again with space bucks. I’ve heard many a horror story on forums concerning letting Gold drop. When they can’t charge the on-file card they suspend the account until the issue is resolved. Resolved means paying the month they charged for and promising to play by their rules. I haven’t dealt with this myself, but you are supposed to call support, get your card taken off, drop to silver, then put in a time card. Something they claim they can’t do, but enough complaining allows for “special exceptions.” Are timecards vastly more expensive there? I’ve been wondering if codes bought in the U.S. would work.

    1. I can say for 100% certainty that US cards do not work in Canada. A kind fan emailed me a code ages ago and I had to let him know that it was not going through. I’m going to post about my twitter conversation with XboxSupport later, but I didn’t get any new information from that.

      What I am going to end up doing is completely backing down from not giving them my new credit card, input that before December 9th, and then raise holy hell if they charge me again. At least with the CC on file I will be able to further prove that, yes, I’m me and don’t you dare take my LadyGuardian gamertag away. And I’ve got a case number, this post, all my emails, and now my twitter chat to show that I was being completely proactive about this. It is likely that all this is for nothing and it will autorenew with what I already paid for. However, that does not change the ridiculousness that no one can check and let people know for sure.

  2. The new website is as real dissaster, like you mentioned a lot of links dont work. I mean we talking here about Microsoft one of the biggest companys in the world, then you asume when they update their website it will be running 99% error free…

    I had a similair problem a month ago when my Xbox 360 got the famous E74, wanned to claim warrenty and you have to do that trough their website these day. I had the console on my lap typing the serial over, but got a error that the serial didnt excisted in their database…. This pissed me off so bad that i just gave up after a few try’s, so i sold one of my two PSP’s and bought a X360 Slim.

    Maby you can contact Major Nelson about this issue??

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