My best worse experience with Tech in the last two years. XBOX Live.

When my XBOX live accounts work, I love XBOX live. I used to buy movies on it – before they banned my credit card for life just because it expired.

I love almost everything about my XBOX Live experience except for their support, which completely sucks, and is without doubt, the worse I have ever experienced from a large company.

Yes – worse than my mortgage company, my water company, whatever.

XBOX Live is a great service – but they do not offer great service.

Once your credit card is expired, and Microsoft attempts to bill it and it fails, then that number is locked out – seemingly forever, according to the live “help desk”.

Then you start getting random email messages, like the one I got today:

This mail is confirmation that your subscription to Xbox Live 12 mo. Gold Membership has been cancelled on Thursday, April 03, 2008.

If you have questions about this cancellation, or if you want to reactivate your subscription, please go to or call Xbox Customer Support at 1 (800) 4MY-XBOX.

Canceled? WHICH account? I have several. Canceled? I canceled nothing.

I have NO CLUE what this email refers to.

Microsoft has no clue how to resolve credit card issues in XBOX Live – really – do a Google Search for it (30,800 hits).

I don’t have credit cards. I have one ATM card that works like a credit card. For me to change that number I need to change bank account numbers. Microsoft – why should I change bank account numbers, get a new ATM card, AND order new checks just because your software and/or operators cannot figure this shit out!

Credit Cards expire. So do debit cards. Deal with it, already. Really – just fucking deal with it. Work with me.

Search this blog, or the XBOX Live forums – you will see how long I have been fighting this idiocy.

And. I. Am. Just. About. To. Stop. Fighting.

And as an owner of three XBOX systems I think I am a customer worth keeping. But Microsoft has to do the work now. I’m tired of working to make sure I can give them money.

That’s just unacceptable.

Microsoft, you HAVE to know about this problem – I’ve talked to you about it for a year. Just fix it! Don’t just teach your Indian Tech Support to just tell me to “get a cash credit card at the grocery store”. That is bullshit. Teach your call center employees to help me.

Or lose me forever. You are on the brink. And right now, you are disappointing me.

And many others, if you believe in search results.

My number is right up there in the about box – call me. But only if you can fix your systems to use my completely valid debit card. The same one I can still use to buy Microsoft Points via the XBOX. I just can’t buy XBOX Live with it. Really. Your systems are that broken.

If you work at or for Microsoft and you can fix this, then please call me. PLEASE!


  1. That is nuts……………… I will be keeping an eye on my expiration date that is for sure.

  2. @RL – I know about the instructions – but once Live tries to bill an expired card it flags it as “bad” – forever, according to the XBOX Live support people. I can update my debit card and save it. Then I can buy Points, etc. But XBOX Live still rejects the card.

    This is an issue with the logic written into the XBOX Live billing system (or the lack of logic, I should say)

  3. @RL – I have. Many times. I’ve also had Support tell me twice that they have fixed this issue. Just to be perfectly clear – I can pay for anything MS (OneCare Live, MS Points, etc) with the debit card – but for whatever reason the XBOX Live system always flags my debit card as “banned”. Charges via the XBOX to buy MS Points work. But I cannot buy a subscription with the same card.

  4. Also, verbatim from update expiration date information. I quote (through the powers of copy/paste) “How do I update my credit card expiration date?
    To update your credit card expiration date, use one of the following methods:

    Sign in to the Billing and Account Management website.
    Under Your payment methods, click Edit payment method information.
    If you do not see Edit payment method information on the Billing home page, click your payment method, click Go to payment method information, and then click Edit payment method information.
    On the Edit payment method information page, enter the updated credit card expiration date, and then click Save.
    You will receive a “Your billing information has been updated” message if the expiration date has been updated successfully”

  5. Rob, Have you tried going to From there you can adjust your billing information including your credit card expiration date. I don’t know if this will resolve your problem, but you might want to give it a shot. You can also manage your billing for zune and live one care there as well. Let me know if it works.

  6. @Ike – I get your point. But I really am not complaining about XBOX Live at all – it’s the complete lack of competent support that has me annoyed!

    In any case, I know Microsoft has seen this post – they haven’t called me yet though 🙂

  7. The tone of your email might throw off the robots. Since half of it praises Xbox Live, it might read as an endorsement, and you’ll get ignored.

    I hope you have more luck than companies I have called out in the past.

    Ike’s last blog post..Awake and Aware

  8. Rob,

    That sounds like a crazy string of insane events. I can’t believe support told you to go get a cash credit card at the grocery store. Ha ha.

    Anyway, I hope you get this resolved. Must suck big time.

    Stu’s last blog post..5 Reasons I Hate Good Blogging