A few weeks ago, someone managed to get access to my Xbox Live gamertag, and charge nearly $130 to my account via Paypal. I might not have noticed except I saw the Paypal emails and knew for damn sure I hadn’t made any paypal payments in the last 7 days.
It took me a little work to find a billing history, but sure enough, my Xbox Live account had mad two big Microsoft-point buys and spent the resulting points on several games… All while I was nowhere near an Xbox.
Thanks to Microsoft’s “live” single-login concept, reporting this issue means my Xbox, Zune and Windows Phone are all kaput…
I called Microsoft; the rep said something along the lines of “it does appear to be unauthorized”. This is probably because it was done from a different console. “The money has already been refunded”, he told me.
I’m not 100% sure what Microsoft’s definition of a refund is, but my definition generally involves my bank account going back up again.
Xbox Live apparently takes 21+ days to investigate fraudulent use charges. Sod that, I filed a disputed charge claim with Paypal, who usually take 2-3 days.
My Xbox Live password was non-trivial (and a bitch to enter on the console, I can tell ya). My security answers weren’t guessable. I haven’t entered my gamertag any place on the web for anyone to sniff me typing or to steal…
Indeed, the only time I’ve ever typed those details in to a device that was not my Xbox was in the official Microsoft Windows 7 Phone Xbox Live app.
Which leaves me a little paranoid and, lacking any kind of follow up email or call from Microsoft, entirely in the dark. Paranoid + in dark = not great place to be.
For the duration of the investigation, my account is “locked”. Not my Xbox account. My Windows Live account.
My Windows 7 Phone can’t download updates to software, I have to uninstall them and reinstall them – until the lock goes away. I also can’t buy anything with my phone. Yay, Marketplace. Oh, including free software.
They also cancelled my Zune free trial, meaning I can’t listen to half my music collection, or any music on my phone. Woot! Plus, for some reason, my Zune on PCs can’t sync with each other, or my phone.
By the way … if you’re an Xbox Live user and you haven’t yet had to deal with monetary issues with Xbox, you should hop on over to billing dot microsoft dot com (providing a link here would be stupid). Tell me if that ain’t just the worst ever billing/support page?
Speaking of terrible pages … Xbox Live forums, anyone? ROFL! What a joke.