Microsoft sued over Xbox Live points system

Pennsylvania man claims publisher defrauded him and others by charging for unused virtual currency.


Microsoft's system for selling content through Xbox Live is anything but straightforward. Rather than using real-world currency or an easily understood conversion rate, the publisher has adopted its own system, where 400 Microsoft points is equivalent to $5. Further, Microsoft sells point packs only in multiples of 400, often leaving gamers with excess points after purchasing content that they want.

Purchasing points has given at least one man a serious headache.
Purchasing points has given at least one man a serious headache.

This last point is the subject of a new class-action lawsuit, which was filed in the US District Court of Eastern Pennsylvania last week. The complaint alleges that Microsoft defrauded the class, which is led by Samuel Lassoff, by "collecting revenues for digital goods and services which were not provided." In particular, Lassoff's filing states that Microsoft contractually agreed to only charge for "the complete, whole, and or actual digital goods and services purchased."

Lassoff claims that Microsoft did not warn him, as well as the "hundreds" of others he believes are in a similar situation, of "point fraud due to incomplete and or partial downloads." He also notes in the filing that Microsoft did not offer any way to recover the unused points after he contacted customer support.

The complaint goes on to charge the publisher with negligence, unjust enrichment, and unfair business practices due to its pricing scheme for Microsoft points. Lassoff is seeking compensatory damages for the class, as well as interest and other damages as determined by the court.

"We haven’t seen the case so it’d be inappropriate to comment."

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