Xbox Live Marketplace Still Has DRM Troubles
So about eight months ago I had to send my Xbox 360 in for repair and they sent me back a refurbished console. Due to the crazy, crappy DRM scheme they have on the content you get from Xbox Live Marketplace (which includes Xbox Live Arcade games), that meant I had to jump through a bunch of hoops to get the games on my system to work correctly again.
Well, I just got my Xbox 360 back from my recent bout with the Red Ring of Death and guess what - they sent me another refurb.
Which, of course, means I get to go through the hoops a second time. That’s right - I get to create a second dummy Xbox Live Silver membership (because I can’t use the dummy account I created last time around), have them refund me points to that account, and then use that account to re-purchase everything. Again.
Net result is that I spent like an hour last night taking inventory of all of the Xbox Live Arcade games we’ve purchased, figuring out which account we originally bought them with, and determining the price for each game as listed in the Xbox Live Marketplace.
I then called Xbox Live Support and after explaining the situation to one of the representatives, he mentioned that I should just be able to go in with the account I purchased the games with, hit Xbox Live Arcade, and select the “re-download” option (without deleting the game from the hard drive first) and it should authorize the new console.
That doesn’t work.
The call got escalated to the supervisor, who spent time going through my account and my wife’s account and calculating up all of the things we’ve purchased. Problem there is that their history only goes back one year so they don’t actually have a visible record of what you purchased beyond that… so they argue with you when you tell them, say, that you bought one of the Xbox Live Gold packages at a retail outlet over a year ago (because you’ve renewed since then) and it came with a copy of Bankshot Billiards 2, and yes, you’d like to have that re-authorized on the console as well.
After all of that, they still came up with a different number of points that they owe me than I did. You know why? Because they use the number of points you originally spent on the game as a guide, not today’s prices. And prices have gone up, so now the game you paid 400 points for six months ago costs 800 points if you want to buy it today but they only want to give you the 400 points you originally paid. Obviously, that causes a little contention on the phone, but the best the supervisor can do is put a note in there that mentions your concern because…
…there’s a guy named Eric whose job it is, apparently, to call all of the people that this happens to and hash out the whole “Points After Repair” thing (yes, they have an actual name for it, which sort of tells you something). I get to argue with Eric about the difference in what they think they owe me and what they actually owe me, and that discussion will happen in “approximately five business days.”
And there it sits. A couple of hours of work and phone later and I’m hanging on for Eric to call me and give me points so I can re-purchase and re-download the games I already own so my console works like it should again. Awesome.