Whew! Asking to speak to a supervisor can often be the beginning of a stressfull conversation. Fortunately tonight turned out well.
I got an email from XBOX Live today. It began:
Your subscription to Yearly subscription to Xbox Live is
scheduled to be automatically renewed on Friday, April 14, 2006…For this subscription you will be charged
$49.99 per year, plus applicable taxes. Unless you cancel your subscription
before it ends, you will automatically renew to the currently selected renewal
subscription type at the then current price…
I bought my XBOX, Christmas of 2004. I signed up for a free trial to XBOX Live but canceled it at the end of the trial. Don’t you hate it when a credit card is required to get something "Free"? They don’t charge you but they just put the onus on you to cancel and if you forget, you know what happens. You don’t want to give them your credit card number but if it’s something you really want to try, you don’t have a choice so you take a chance and give them your number. You know how excited you are when you first get your XBOX, of course you want to check out the online service.
Okay, so someone screwed up at XBOX Live. When I called this evening they had a record that my account was viewed the day before the 1-year subscription started, but no record of a cancellation. I never thought about it again until I received the email today. So I called. They don’t let you cancel through the web or email.
The person I spoke to was pleasant and said upfront she wouldn’t be able to refund my $50 when I asked but that she could go ahead and cancel the subscription (again) and put me through to a supervisor afterward. OK. After canceling, again she was very up front and told me I may have to wait but that she would be on hold with me and would check back in 5 minutes.
Well I only held for about 2 minutes and when she came back on she said "Good news. I’ve been authorized to refund you your money." Sweet.
I really didn’t want to be upset at Microsoft. I still have an XBOX 360 to buy and the new XBOX Live service to try. The main reason I’m not an XBOX subscribe is that David is only 7 and he doesn’t need more reason to play the XBOX more than he already does. I hear great things about the new service, the free downloads the game matching system and now there isn’t a bad experience with XBOX Live to give me pause about trying the service again one day.
Way to go Microsoft. I still think it’s cheesy that you require a credit card for a trial but the fact you send out an email prior to "automatically" renewing the service shows you’re not too evil and do care about your customers.