1. Xbox Live Support: Epic Fail - Part 4 (Slot)

Xbox Live Support: Epic Fail - Part 4 (Slot)

Hier is 'ie dan! Na honderden aanvragen, tien dreigmails een een aantal spam mails naar mij toegestuurd staat vanaf nu Part 4 - en tevens het slot - van Xbox Live Support: Epic Fail online! Hoe zal het aflopen?

Episode 4: A New Hope...

By the time three weeks have passed and the living room clock has struck nine, I am mentally and physically prepared for the task before me. It’s been thirty days, twenty two hours, and four minutes since I first tried to redeem my Microsoft Points card. It’s a full months worth of frustration that may hopefully end today.

During my journey I’ve spent over an hour on hold, I’ve tangled with four Microsoft Support representatives, and even tangoed with one Microsoft Support supervisor (yes, he was man – and yes, I was being metaphorical). I’m sick and tired of the fighting but, if needs be, there’s still plenty of fight left in me.

On top of all these shenanigans, my mind has begun playing tricks on me and the Xbox 360 has been acting very bizarrely. The other day when I was dusting in the room I felt the tiny hairs on my neck stand on end. Sure enough, when I turned around the Xbox was already turned on – it’s single green eye staring up into mine. Watching. Waiting. Mocking me.

A sane person could easily argue that my cat (Mr Meowgi) just likes to sit on the Xbox controller (thereby powering the Xbox up) but as the days go by I’m beginning to suspect that this is a convenient excuse for a more sinister and paranormal force.

Today is the day I try to redeem my Microsoft Points card for the very last time. If it fails to redeem, I plan to end the demon box with a stake and a mallet, bury it in the backyard, and then I’ll call in a priest to exorcise the TV cabinet.

It’s nine o’clock. Game time.

In a misguided attempt to take the Xbox by surprise, I jump out into the room with my feet at shoulder width apart - quick draw stance...

As my eyes adjust to the gloom, my mind quickly registers two things; the Xbox is powered on and, to my growing horror, so is the television. Startled by my sudden appearance, Meowgi-San bolts from his preferred spot on the couch like a bullet from a gun. The Xbox controller, the TV remote, and the air conditioner remote fly out from under his furry arse and tumble across the floor.

Amidst the remote chaos the air conditioning unit switches on and the controller analog stick receives a dislocating bump in the crash. Instantaneously, the Xbox awakens from its dark screensaver slumber, and a beam of blinding cathode light flares across the room toward me, like the murderous eye of Sauron.

Finishing the feline equivalent of a burnout, Mr Meowgi finds purchase on the slippery linoleum and skitters past my legs, which are now frozen into position. During his crazed escape he inadvertently upsets a plastic bag that has been sitting on a nearby bookshelf (ironically, this is the EB bag that originally carried the accursed Microsoft Points Card into my house).

A deafening silence fills the room. I stare at the Xbox. He stares back.

After a full minute, the plastic bag is snagged by the low whistling wind of the air conditioner and it slowly bounces between the Xbox and I - like some ghastly, non-biodegradable tumbleweed.

Getting a hold of myself, I realise that the Xbox 360 is a (relatively) inanimate object - which would make it 'my move' in this particular showdown. I tell myself that “it is all in my head” and, with amazing false confidence, I “John Wayne” strut over to the controller, scoop it up, and enter in the Microsoft Points code...

QUOTH THE XBOX: “Your Microsoft Points have been added to your account

Without a single moments delay, I quickly change Braid and Bionic Commando Rearmed from GIMPED TRIAL VERSIONS to AWESOME FULL VERSIONS and I spend the rest of the day happily playing the hell out of them.

When my wife returns from work, a full eight hours later, she finds me asleep on the couch with a faint smile on my face, a faded Microsoft Card that has been shredded into a thousand pieces, and a purring cat sitting atop a nearby Xbox controller.



Overall call duration: 1 hour, 39 minutes

Time spent talking to humans: 29 minutes

Time spent listening to hold music: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Time to Microsoft Points: 30 days, 22 hours, 4 minutes.

Customer service grade: FAIL


So, let’s recap the story. I got denied the ability for buying goods on Xbox LIVE because my credit card details included an address that didn’t match up my Xbox LIVE account. This was a crime heinous enough for the sirens to start blaring at Microsoft HQ and for them to brand me as a fraud (for my protection, kids).

To solve this problem – and prove to the big M that I wasn’t hiding in an undisclosed location, wearing something from the Hamburgler Spring collection, fraudulently using somebody else’s LIVE account – I had to take it upon myself to call up and waste my time chatting with the polite, yet useless automatons, at Xbox support.

Even though I could prove my identity on every occasion, answer all questions flawlessly, and jump through every hoop provided – I still had to wait a mind-boggling month and a bit for some genius at Microsoft to get up off his arse, waddle over to a computer, type in “YermumsAWESOME’, and switch the dial away from “User is a criminal, possibly related to Satan” over to the other setting “Situation: Peachy, smoke if you’ve got ‘em”.

30 days, 22 hours and 4 minutes. Un-freaking-believable. Hell, the big cheese upstairs knocked out the whole of existence in only seven days, plus commercials. All Microsoft had to do was unflag a flag.

While I’m suitably pissed with the geniuses at Microsoft customer support, I bear no ill will towards my Xbox 360 (although I no longer trust it to be alone with pets and small children). Rather than rant on how messed up this whole debacle was, I’ll just leave it here for your own edification, dear reader. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that this experience has branded the following impressions into my brain:

First, it’s ruined the soundtrack to Halo for me, forever. Every time I hear that beautiful-yet-haunting Gregorian chanting of a Halo game I feel so angry I could punch an orphan in the neck.

Second of all, I’ve learned that toilet arrangements should be taken care of PRIOR to calling any support line.

Last of all, I realize now that Xbox customer care representatives, while effectively useless and grossly misleading with any guarantees they’ll make to you, are faultlessly pleasant individuals - even that chick that hung up on me for no reason.

Eind goed, al goed...

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