1. Xbox Live Support: Epic Fail

Xbox Live Support: Epic Fail

Xbox LIVE, for the most part, is a pretty decent online experience that can offer you hour upon hour of fun, adventure, and merciless teabaggings by random idiots. But what happens when you’re a Gold customer, who’s paying good money for a yearly service, and something goes wrong with your account, do Microsoft have your back? Well now, rather than have you continually wonder about the quality of service Microsoft provides, the cosmos saw fit to offer me an opportunity for some hands on experience - and these are my stories…


Day 1

11 am – I lay down fifty bucks at my local EB for a 3000 point Microsoft card. I’m buying it for the expressed purpose of writing a feature article based on Xbox LIVE Arcade games. The sun is shining and spirits are high.

12 pm – I free the Points card from its plastic prison (using a fricken hacksaw), I do the ‘lottery scratchy’ thing on the back, and I enter the code into my 360.

The card fails to redeem my points and an angry side bar pops up saying the following, “Can’t retrieve information from Xbox LIVE. Please try again later. Status code: 80169d94”

Unfazed, I attempt to redeem another ‘bonus’ Points card that I received for pre-ordering GTA IV. Curiously, this sucker works straight away and the Points happily appear in my account. Weird, perhaps my first attempt was just a network issue or some dyslexia on my part. Shrugging my shoulders I re-enter the 3000 point card code.

QUOTH THE XBOX, “Can’t retrieve information from Xbox LIVE. Please try again later. Status code: 80169d94”.

Hmmm, that’s mildly annoying. Next, I check to make sure all of my billing information is up to date and correct (clearly I’m running out of options and this is the best solution I can come up with).

While perusing Microsoft’s billing information website I notice that my details have an old address in there (I moved shanty recently, you see). I quickly fix that up so that it matches my current credit card address.

I log back in to Xbox Live and try my card code once again.

QUOTH THE XBOX, “Can’t retrieve information from Xbox LIVE. Please try again later. Status code: 80169d94”.

1:04 pm - Running out of ideas, I try to delete my trusty Xbox LIVE account ‘YermumsAWESOME’ (don’t ask, just roll with it) from my 360 and then attempt to retrieve a virginal version of it via Microsoft’s servers.

*One hour of utter boredom passes…*

2:04 pm - Waking up from an unplanned siesta, I log into LIVE with my fresh account and enter the 3000 points code one more time, confident that some sweet, sweet Xbox Live Arcade action will soon be mine.

QUOTH THE XBOX, “Can’t retrieve information from Xbox LIVE. Please try again later. Status code: 80169d94”.

Right. This is getting silly. I brew up some coffee and to get my favourite conversation hat on. Things are about to get interesting…

2:38 pm – I call Xbox LIVE support, select accounts and billing information, and get put on hold.. Pretty soon I get serenaded with some halfway decent Halo 2 music

*Two minutes later…*

2:40 pm - A Texan lady named Vanessa answers, welcomes me to the Support line, then asks my name. I tell her and then quickly explain the situation regarding the code.

“Alright sir, let me just check something”,*she checks something* “sorry about the wait...”

Halfway through saying,”that’s okay. Don’t mention it, Vanessa” - she hangs up on me.


2:45 pm – I call back my new friends at Microsoft, selected accounts and billing information, and get put on hold again. Understandably, the Halo music isn't nearly as rockin' the second time around.

*Three minutes pass…*

2:48 pm - Helbert picks up the bullhorn

I quickly run him through my error code problem.

“Okay sir, can I have your gamer tag?”, Helbert asks me.

"Sure mate”, I respond, “yer mum’s awesome"

Shocked silence on the line. “...uh sir?” Helbert asks timidly.

“YermumsAWESOME. That’s my Xbox live tag.” I explain. I then proceed to agonizingly spell out 'Y-e-r-m-u-m-s-A-W-E-S-O-M-E' - paying particular attention not to spell it the backward, American way (i.e 'Yer’moms’AWESOME').

Despite my no-nonsense demeanour, Helbert is unsure whether I’m taking the piss out of him, he says, “Uhh…Okay, I'm gonna have to put you on hold, for a second sir.”

Before I’m tossed back to the dial tone I decided to add the following, “I’m cool with being on hold, but please don't hang up on me like the last chick did.”

To his credit, Helbert seems a little shocked at this, “No sir, I won’t do that to you. We don't do that here.”

No. Of course you don’t…

2:52 pm – The hold music begins. (Mercifully, this music crackles and dies after a minute)

*Three minutes chug along…*

2:55 pm - Helbert's back in the hizzang, the Mc Hizzle, or whatever the cool kids are calling a ‘house’ these days.

“Okay, sir can I have your email?” he asks me.

I comply, “Sure, mate; ‘Your mums freakin awesome at windows live dotcom’

There’s more uncomfortable silence, and then “…uh.... okay, thank you sir. That is the ...uh... email address I have on your file here”.

Helbert taps away on his keyboard, presumably accessing my file, and then tells me the following, “Hmm this is an odd situation. The system says that your account is a fraud (betekend fraude, bedrieger) account”.

Refusing the burning urge to WTF, I tell Helbert that I own the account, Furthermore I haven’t had a single issue with my account up until now - it is NOT a fraud account. I also add, “I need this situation fixed.”

Helbert replies “I see, let me just put you on hold to check some records, again”.

2:57 pm – Put on hold, the Master Chief reappears and proceeds to rape my eardrum with his wailing cock rock. In a purely metaphorical sense.

*Three more minutes of my life disappear…*

3:00 pm - Helbert returns and for security purposes we waste time reconfirming my address, my credit card details, my phone number, the name of the first girl I ever kissed, my sexual turn ons, etc, etc. He asks me if I’ve changed my address in the system recently.

I explain that while I was trying to get the account working I noticed that I had an old address in my details, and so I updated it this morning. I explain to Helbert that I did this so that it'd line up with my new credit card billing address. I remind Helbert for the second time “This is not a fraud account”.

“Okay sir, let me just check some things” Helbert says. I notice the beginnings of uncertainty in his voice this time though.

3:03 pm - On hold again - Master Chief is back and he is rocking up an absolute storm on his guitar. I admire his dogged enthusiasm - but don't share it.

*Two minutes pass, I count the bricks on the wall…*

3:05 pm – Helbert saves me from the rock to say that he needs more time, can I hold longer. I tell him to do what he has to do – I can wait as long as it takes.

3:06 pm – As I’m put back on hold I suddenly recognise the burning urge to use the facilities. Being on a cordless telephone, I quickly calculate the time it’ll take for me to deliver the package.

Worst case scenario: if Helbert returns mid-dump and hears suspicious splashing noises, I’ll just tell him that I’m now in a really echoey room, feeding my pet goldfish… half a dozen rock cakes.

*Four minutes and one epic ‘speed poop’ later…*

3:10 pm – Helbert is back (right as the toilet audibly flushes… Dammit..) and he tells me that the situation has to be ‘escalated’.

The shorthand of the situation is this; for one reason or another the Xbox LIVE system up and decided that I’m a ‘fraudulent user’ and they need time to remove this security flag. Helbert assures me that he is going to ‘escalate’ this situation to his supervisor.

Now, at this point I’ve got to say that ‘Escalate’ sounds like a pretty good word. I’m about to climb the ladder.

3:11 pm – I get slapped on hold as Helbert talks to a bigger cheese than himself.

*Four minutes later go by*

3:15 pm - I’m still on hold. I’ve never been ‘escalated’ on a phone call before, but it's not nearly as immediate as an escalator in a shopping mall. It is however, just as annoying as being stuck in a shopping mall. When Helbert comes back, I may ask him if we can take the stairs next time, it may be quicker….

*Five more minutes of purgatory later...*

3:20 – Helbert returns and confirms that the account is now in fraud status and is locked down. Hurray for me. He says that he’ll request it to be fixed by the billing department. He confidently assures me that I can try to redeem my 3000 point card in four to six days

I imagine that four to six days is the standard amount of time Microsoft’s in house criminologists need to review my case. Hopefully they’ll determine that I don’t have the ‘brain pan of a stage coach tilter’ and then I’ll be granted the privilege of redeeming my expensive 3000 points card.

Helbert asks me if there’ll be anything else. “Man, I hope not” my inner monologue pipes up. Ignoring the hateful voices, I thank him for his help and he thanks me for my continued patience.

3:22 pm - Call ends. I decide to go wash my hands.


Call duration: 44 minutes

Time spent on hold: 26 minutes (59% of call)

Call duration Time to date: 44 minutes

Time spent on hold to date: 26 minutes

Time to Microsoft Points: 3 hours 22 minutes - and counting


Als dit jullie is bevallen zal ik binnenkort part 2 posten.

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