Microsoft XBox Live Billing Practices

11:28 AM Posted by GloryBug

Does Microsoft XBox Live engage in Shifty Billing Practices?

One of the sucky things about having Fibro and CEBV is that it makes it very difficult to be organized. I used to be massively OCD- I knew my bank balance to the penny on any given day, planned grocery shopping and menu planning a month in advance, had all of my Christmas presents purchased AND wrapped by the summer before. Luckily, I didn't have the constant hand-washing type. Any drawbacks I might have had were overshadowed by my extreme organization.

After having Fibro and CEBV, not so much. What I'm left with is the need to have all labels on all products in my house (including pantry, medicine cabinet, fridge and freezer, cds, books) facing forward. Like most Fibro sufferers, my short-term memory is for shit. Meaning, that I often give out my phone number from 10 years ago instead of the one I've had for 6 years. Or my previous address. Or the ones from Santa Barbara from 18 years ago. Somehow I store information, I just don't have access to it until at least a year later. That sucks.

What is my point? Well, in researching the crack-head billing that VvonV has gotten from Virgin Mobile (that's going to be a separate entry), I realized that I have been charged all kinds of fees from Microsoft XBox Live. Years ago, I would have noticed the same day I was charged, since I was on top of every bill or speck of dust that appeared.

As it stands, I realize that over the last 3 months, I have been charged over $125 in billing from Microsoft XBox Live. It started on 7/15 with an $49.99 charge, and follows with 7 more charges in the amounts of either $6.25 or $12.50. I did not authorize any of these charges.

I have purchased other Microsoft downloads, to which I submitted my credit card info. I signed my son up for XBox live, under the impression it was free. Since my son has no access to my credit card, I'm guessing Microsoft used my CC info from my previous orders in order to process these charges.

I'm also going to guess that while my son was playing his XBox, he was presented with options of further game-playing, and that he clicked 'yes' to those, not knowing (how could he.. or me?) that they were not free, and would be charged to my credit card. And that they were automatically charged to my stored CC information. That's my guess now, anyway.

Obviously, I am going to contest these charges. It seems crazy that a game geared towards children should allow them to charge things to their parent's CC.

Solutions? I think having a password would be helpful. That would mean that when XBox tries to solicit a child into racking up charges, their parent would have to punch in a password agreeing to those charges, since the are the ones paying for it. Alternately, if they would send an email confirming a supposed 'charge', it would alert the parent that a charge has been made, so they don't discover it by accident 3 months later.

Just last month I had to contest a 900 charge on my phone bill. Seems that my youngest son was playing RuneScape, and someone came on and promised him some great weapon if only he would call 'x' number. Well, that 'X' number somehow captured our telephone number, and charged my ATT phone account two charges of 9.95. For nothing, as my son obviously was not given what was promised. He is too young to understand that people generally suck and are exploitive. Contacting ATT, I was able to reverse the charges, as their check showed that the number called was not a business, it was a number capture site. We were lucky it was reversed, and that it was only for $20 and not $200 or $2000.

So- I'm not liking the charges from XBox, and am now going to have to talk to my son about them- even though I can't find any info online about how to contest them, or even what they are for.

The practice of businesses stopping sending 'real' invoices or statements out gets hyped by how they are saving so many trees, but that's really worthless if they don't send email invoices or statements. I am an 'out of the closet' treehugger, yet I disagree with not getting a paper or email invoice or statement.

Virgin Wireless is guilty of this as well. I only found out about these charges by researching excessive Virgin charges, which I didn't see because my credit union has stopped sending paper statements.

Whatever happened to just running an honest business?

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