Nightmare Customer Service Experience with Microsoft after Xbox Live Account Hacking
Edit: My gamertag is dmaul1114
On October 25th, 2011 I received an automated e-mail from Xbox that was in Russian. I knew something had to be wrong, so I used Google Translate to read the e-mail. It was an e-mail confirming my account had been successfully migrated to Russia. I was also missing 1200 points that had been used to purchase ďRiftĒ from the Russian marketplace. So while I didnít have any FIFA related content or achievements added to my account, I knew Iíd fallen victim to this recent round of account thefts that had been in the news.
I called Microsoftís Customer Support immediately upon receiving the e-mail to report the unauthorized access, and they took down my information and started the investigation. I was informed it could take up to three weeks to get the account back. That deadline came and went, and I received an e-mail with a free 1-month Xbox Live code in late November, with a form message noting there was a delay with the investigation. By late December I had still heard nothing, and then I got another form e-mail with a free 1-month Xbox Live code.
I called the phone support again and they were unable to provide me with any information, explaining that they have no direct line of communications with the investigations team. As such, I decided to file a report with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) as I had been without a paid service over two months. Additionally, with the account locked while under investigation, I really couldnít even play offline on the profile, as I was told Iíd lose any achievements or game saves generated offline when recovering the migrated account back at the end of the investigation. The BBB complaint was filed on December 28, 2011 and processed by the BBB on January 3, 2012.
I again heard nothing from Microsoft for a few weeks, but finally got a phone call from an Exceptions Analyst from Microsoftís corporate office in response to the BBB complaint on January 23, 2012. He got more info from me and promised to follow up on the case and make sure it got taken care of. He was very helpful and did indeed get things moving. On Jan. 26 I got an e-mail in Russian saying my 12-month Xbox Live subscription had been canceled, and on Jan. 27 I got another e-mail in Russian confirming my account had been migrated to the US. Later in the day on the on the 27th, I got e-mails confirming the investigation was completed, my 1200 points had been refunded, and instructions on how to change my Windows Live ID password and recover the account to my console.
So I thought my 3+ month ordeal was over. But then I noticed another e-mail from Xbox--this one stating that my profile was permanently banned for a code of conduct violation. At this point I was majorly annoyed that theyíd give me my account back, and leave a ban on it for something the hacker must have done while in control of my account. So I called up phone support and they told me it was an issue for the Xbox Live Policy Enforcement Team (XBLPET), and to post in the Suspensions forum area in the Xbox.com Support Forums as thatís the only way to reach them.
So I followed their advice and posted in that forum. A few hours later I received a form e-mail response telling me that if I felt the violation happened while the account was compromised that I needed to call phone support and file another Unauthorized Access Claim to get it looked at, and that the ban would remain in place unless that claim could be substantiated.
At this point I was very frustrated from getting the run around, but I did call and file the complaint. I also decided to call the Exceptions Analyst on Monday when he was back in the office and see if he could find out what was going on. I placed that call, and he informed me that the notes showed that the XBLPET had ruled the violation happened when I was in control of the account. I asked what the violation was for, and he stated it said it was for attempting to steal other accounts. At this point Iím livid, and explained to him that I have never done anything of the sort, and itís obvious that the hacker gained control of my account before I was aware of it and reported it, and must have been using the stolen account to try to steal other accounts as a way to cover his tracks.
As these hackings are apparently happening from the account thieves obtaining usersí Windows Live IDs and passwords somehow, there would be no suspicious activity on the account until they migrated it to Russia, as thatís the first action that would have generated a physical record since they had obtained my log-in information somehow.
The Exceptions Analyst says he believed me, and that XBLPET sometimes make mistakes and are currently very overworked with all these hackings going on. So he forwards all this info on to them and asks them to look at the case again. He calls me back a day later and tells me the XBLPET team got back to him and said the ban is staying in place. They didnít give him any details and says he canít get any more info as they keep the XBLPET team isolated even from other units in the Xbox division. He apologizes profusely but says thereís nothing more he can do and the ban will stand.
So now, after being locked out of my account for over 3 months while it was migrated to Russia and being investigated, Iím now permanently banned from ever getting the account back online. And thus I lose the licenses for all my purchased Xbox Live Arcade titles, all my DLC, and canít access any of my game saves unless I just want to play offline on this banned Gamertag. Thus I cannot import my Mass Effect 1/2 characters into Mass Effect 3 if I want to play the online modes with my existing characters.
All because the XBLPET canít put two-and-two together and realize that attempted theft of other accounts from my account, which was CONFIRMED as stolen by a Russian hacker and returned to me (along with my points refunded) by the investigations team, were committed by said hacker before I was aware that my account had been compromised and called Customer Support to start the investigation.
Iím a 30 something, college professor who lives in the US, not a Russian hacker stealing Xbox Live accounts! This is all info they have and can easily verify. Yet they refuse to unban my account simply because thereís no official record of suspicious activity before I called them after the account was migrated. The hacker had my log-in info, so they have no way of knowing the exact point when the account was taken over, and thus they are just blame me for anything that happened prior to my starting the investigation. And it gets permanently banned due to their zero tolerance policy.
What kind of customer service is it to not give the customer the benefit of the doubt in such a simple case as this? Are account thieves reporting their own accounts stolen, going so far as to file Better Business Bureau complaints to try to get them back? Am I omnipresent so that I can be hacking accounts from Russia while living and working in the US? Itís just baffling that Microsoft can treat a loyal customer this way. The 360 was the only console Iíve owned most of this generation, and Iíve spent a great deal of money on the hardware (two consoles since the first got the RROD outside of the 3-year warranty), X-box live memberships, X-box live points and games. Iíve never had any suspensions or other disciplinary action on my account prior to this debacle.
Yet when Iím victimized by a hacker, I get the run around on getting the account back and then get accused of being a hacker myself when all logic and reason clearly illustrates that the violations which got my account banned were committed by whoever stole my account.
At this point, I donít even want any compensation from Microsoft. I donít even want my account back. After being treated so poorly, Iíll never spend another dime of my money on a Microsoft product. In fact Iíve already traded in the 360 and switched to PS3. Iím simply sharing my story in the hopes it will get some publicity and put some much deserved negative PR on Microsoft in hopes that they at least change their practices so other gamers arenít treated as poorly as I have been.
|Comments (Total Comments: 69)|
|dmaul1114 - 02-01-2012, 09:17 PM|
|Kaiser499 - 02-01-2012, 09:30 PM|
|daringone - 02-02-2012, 10:03 AM|
|EdRyder - 02-02-2012, 11:22 AM|
|dmaul1114 - 02-02-2012, 02:19 PM|
|rikolaw - 02-02-2012, 04:19 PM|
|muumuu - 02-02-2012, 05:46 PM|
|drkshr - 02-02-2012, 06:06 PM|
|Freemason - 02-03-2012, 12:39 AM|
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