xbox live

A Personal Encounter with Xbox Live Support

Earlier this month I needed to cancel my Xbox Live subscription, but it wasn’t as simple as just pressing a button. Why? Because I completely forgot that my Xbox Live account was hooked up to my PayPal account and programmed for auto-renewal. And after being out of town for a couple of weeks, most of the time without internet, I came back to the nasty surprise of $59.99 charge.

There are a couple of reasons I wanted to cancel my Xbox Live subscription. First of all, I don’t use it enough, because in the last year I’ve transitioned to playing most of my games on the computer. Secondly, the next generation is coming out soon, and I’m not planning on buying an Xbox One. And finally, that $60 could be going towards other, better purchases right now.

But no matter the reasons, I was stuck with a year’s worth of Xbox Live that I didn’t want. So I called customer support. I was hoping for, but not expecting to receive a full refund of the $60. My call was picked up immediately, not waiting on hold at all, by a polite voice on the other side of the line. I explained my situation to the Xbox Live representative with my fingers crossed.

Our conversation lasted five or ten minutes, during which the majority of time the Xbox Live representative, let’s call him Mark, was looking up things on his computer. Instead of putting me on hold while he looked something up, he engaged me in conversation, something that I’ve never experienced before on a customer service call. Before I knew it me and Mark were trading stories about work and school, with an occasional interruption when he had to ask me a question about my service. I was actually having a decent time drinking my morning coffee and talking to this Xbox guy.

In the end Mark was able to give me a 100% refund, and not six weeks in the future, but a mere 15 minutes. Apparently Microsoft looks at things like your Gamerscore and length of membership. I had enough of both of that, even though my subscription had renewed almost a month earlier (and had been used by my roommates for Netflix while I was out of town) this wasn’t a problem at all, and I wouldn’t be charged for it.

Mark offered me six months of Xbox Live for less than the price of a three month subscription. Of course, I know that this is Microsoft trying to rope me into giving them just a little bit more of money, and because I didn’t really need it I declined. But I appreciated the gesture, and I was even happier that Mark wasn’t pushy about trying to get me to reconsider and sign back up for Xbox Live.

I count myself lucky if a call to normal customer service is at least bearable. But my personal encounter with Xbox Live support was actually enjoyable. Ten minutes after I called I had $59.99 back in my account and the enjoyment of a conversation with Mark. Say what you will about Microsoft, or Xbox Live’s support, they treated me better than I could have ever imagined. Thank you Microsoft, Xbox Live, and especially “Mark” for the pain and hassle free refund!