Those of you that have been reading my blog will probably already know that I was the victim of a hacked account which resulted in me losing 5,040 points. You’ll also know that when I initially contacted Xbox Support they didn’t do a great deal, having given my account back within a day and returned 0 points or any explanation. At the second escalation, they did give me 1 month free Gold account as well as 1,000 points. That, however, was still short of the 5,040 that I lost and there had been no explanation from Microsoft of why I wasn’t getting my points back.
So, I had to once again phone in and have them re-escalate my problem. I was once again told I would not be able to use my account whilst they investigated it again. Yet once again I had access to my XBL account all through the weekend right up until now. That made me somewhat dubious as to whether they would actually do anything or whether I would once again be left with another phone call to make.
Well, I can happily confirm that this morning I received an email from Xbox Live support. In that email were two codes, one for 100 points and one for 4,000 points. That means that in total I have now received 5,100 points and 1 month of xbox live gold status. That does mean that technically I’m ahead, but let’s be honest, the extra 60 points and 1 month of gold is hardly something to party about, especially not when you consider the fact that in order to get to this point I’ve had to re-escalate my problem 3 times.
This is the sort of thing that annoys customers. We don’t phone in because we love to complain, we phone in because we feel that we have been wronged. It is then up to the company to act on that complaint and their actions in turn affect how the customer feels about them. To me, with this hacking issue being around for over 2 years, Microsoft should really have a procedure in place for dealing with this sort of thing. They should be able to quickly check to see which Xbox was used to access the points, and then see if there is any way the two could be linked. I understand that there may be some people who try to con Microsoft and that they need to be certain, but that’s what the 25 days turn around is for. Don’t rush through the checking, give a customer back his account within a few hours, without actually fixing the entire problem. That to me just sounds like somebody in the investigations team got in to work on Monday morning, couldn’t be bothered to do the work so they happily just pushed the “fixed” button and did nothing.
I do have a number of recommendations that they could use to improve their system:
- Set up some sort of procedure so that those working in the investigation team actually have a step by step check list.
- Bring out some sort of online system to check the status of your issue. This way I don’t have to keep phoning in to see the status of my current problem. I could log in, see perhaps that the investigation team has started looking at my issue, and perhaps even an estimated time left.
- Make the investigations team accountable. Assign somebody to each issue, so that the customer can see who is looking at their issue. Give the customer a chance to rate ever single person that handled their case. For example, two of the women I spoke to at XBL support were great, and they knew what they were doing, the other was terrible. I would happily give the first two a rating of 9 or 10 out of 10, but instead I have to lower their rating because of the other person. Similarly, the first person from the investigation team who clearly did nothing would easily get 1 (and would be lucky to even get that 1 out of 10) whilst perhaps the last person to look into it would get a better rating.
- There should be a more thorough investigation. I know I changed my passwords when I first heard about the EA hack. EA also sent an email to all of its customers asking them all to change their passwords because they had been hacked. Microsoft elected to do nothing. They could have done the same thing, they could have forced everybody to change their password. However, there is also the issue of how exactly old RRODed 360s can also be used to control somebody’s account. If somebody returns a 360 to have it repaired, and you give them a different 360 (which I believe is the case for most people who have had a 360 RROD on them) then the system should note this, and should automatically transfer the DRM to the new serial number as well as completely disassociate the old serial number with the gamertag.
- The final, and to me probably the easiest way to fix the hacking is that they should also be looking into this policy that allows people to buy DLC and sell it onto somebody else. Why even allow somebody to buy a million fifa packs for them to sell in the market place? It is highly unlikely anybody is going to do this for a legit reason. I mean I’m not going to buy one of those packs short of it being cheaper than getting it through EA, and if somebody is buying them from EA, it is highly unlikely they would sell them at a discount, unless they’re not responsible for the money being used to pay for them in the first place. Why is it so hard for me to transfer my legitimately purchased games from one RRODed 360 to a new one, but at the same time for it to be so easy for somebody to sell these FIFA packs?
Still I suppose every cloud has a silver lining. I can now go back to online gaming without worrying that my account will be blocked by Microsoft halfway through a game. I now have a few months to decide just whether I will be extending my Gold account or whether I just sell the 360 and move onto a PS3. Sure they got hacked, but they came out and admitted it. They set about fixing their system, and they compensated their gamers for it. Yes people had to “struggle” through a month or so of no online gaming but then Xbox has had XBL issues in the past that have reduced online game play and they gave their customers an average-at-best XBLA game, that some already had. Once the online for PS3 was back up Sony gave people the right to download any game they wanted, on top of other compensation. Not to mention the fact that multiplayer is free on the PS3….