It's been nearly two months since my Xbox Live account, The Game21xx, was hacked and suspended. This is not okay. Nearly two months' worth of the subscription I paid for has gone completely unutilized because Microsoft is taking its sweet time with the investigation of the hacking that took place on my account.
Oh, and I'm still out the $75 that was used to buy 6000 Microsoft Points. Also great.
But what should I expect from this kind of thing? Microsoft has my money. Of course they're going to take as long as they possibly can in order to avoid giving me my money back. Perhaps they're stalling until the end of the quarter to make their investors happy. I don't know, because no one will tell me a thing.
I've called them numerous times in order to attempt to expedite this investigation but, of course, the Customer Service department is curiously far removed from whatever division of Microsoft that handles the investigation of supposed hacks and once an account is sent over to that department, there is nothing CS can do. Of course, I can't contact the investigations department either.
So, my account is currently in a state of limbo and, as CS representatives told me numerous times, there's nothing I can do but wait until the investigation is over.
I've been an Xbox Live subscriber since 2006, shortly after getting my Xbox 360. Prior to now, I've never had a problem with the service. I've had intermittent problems with the console due to its absurdly high failure rates early in its life but other than that, I've been very happy with the Xbox 360.
This experience is doing quite the excellent job of making me forget all of the great times I've had with the console.
Two of the biggest games the 360 has this fall gaming season (and all year, to be quite honest), Forza Motorsport 4 and Gears of War 3 have been mostly inaccessible to me. I finished Gears of War 3 in single player instead of having the opportunity to finish it alongside my buddies online and I've largely missed out on the majority of the multiplayer action my friends have been engaged in since the game released. In Forza Motorsport 4, I can't access many of the game's best features such as its deep competitive multiplayer and Rivals mode so I pretty much just stopped playing it.
I asked CS reps about this. After all, if I'm paying for an online service, I should be able to access it within a reasonable time frame after being locked out of it.
A month and a half? Sorry. That's not reasonable by any stretch of the imagination.
But I digress. So, what's the solution CS gave me to tide me over until my account is reinstated? Create a new Xbox Live account and buy a couple months of service. Oh, and after I've paid again for the service I should've had access to in the first place, I can call them back and have them turn off auto-renew. What a deal!
I spend a lot of time talking up the Xbox 360 on forums and how much I enjoy it, in large part due to Xbox Live and this incident has really soured my opinion on the service, the console and Microsoft. I'm considering just being done with the console altogether. I don't play videogames now nearly as much as I have years prior and most of the gaming I do partake in is on the PC. Given how Microsoft has pretty much given up on producing or procuring exclusives for the 360 that aren't either Halo or made for Kinect and casual gamers, there's not much coming for the system that's interesting to me at this point.
After this fiasco, I probably won't bother to "re-up" on Xbox Live when it lapses next year. Multiplatform titles are better (and often cheaper) on the PC and the paltry list of 360 exclusives is only mildly interesting to me (at best) so why should I even bother? What if this happens again? I will, once again, be locked out of a service I've paid for, for an extended period of time and what's sad is that, at this point, I wouldn't put it past them.