Changes in Xbox Live DRM

gaming, xbox comments edit

I got my fourth Xbox (the results of the third repair) and steeled myself for the hoop-jumping madness that is the digital rights management system on Xbox Live.

In my two previous bouts with this, the process has been basically:

  1. Create a brand new Xbox Live Silver account.
  2. Delete all your stuff.  Try to re-download it because that’s supposed to re-authorize the console.  It doesn’t work for me.
  3. Call in for “points after repair.”  (Get codes from Microsoft that you can redeem for points.)
  4. Apply those points to the Xbox Live Silver account.
  5. Re-purchase and re-download all of your stuff.

They must have been getting people abusing the system (like getting the points and buying different things) because the process has changed.  My understanding of the new process is:

  1. Call in to get points after repair, as before.
  2. Explain to the new technician what you mean by “points after repair” and why you want it.  (For me, it’s because my account can play the content still but it won’t work for any other profiles on the machine unless I’m logged in, so my wife is screwed if I take my profile and go play at a friend’s house.)
  3. The technician will ask you if you’ve tried deleting and re-downloading the content.  Try it and find that it doesn’t work.
  4. The technician will escalate the call to a supervisor who will ask you if you’ve tried deleting and re-downloading the content. Somehow the result of the earlier trial hasn’t changed in the last three minutes.
  5. The supervisor will give you a new reference number and schedule a call for a few days hence to get a resolution.
  6. Before the scheduled call, another technician will call you and ask you if you’ve tried deleting and re-downloading the content. Because they didn’t, like, write that down or anything.  Explain the results of the previous attempt and that you’re waiting for the call.  The technician will tell you to keep waiting for that scheduled call.
  7. The scheduled call occurs and the technician on the other end will ask you if you’ve tried deleting and re-downloading the content. Sigh.
  8. The issue will be escalated again, this time to someone who supposedly can do something about it.  In two to four weeks, you’ll get a call with a resolution.
  9. When you get the call, you’ll delete all of your content and re-download it through the Xbox Live Marketplace tab, under the area called something like “Previously Downloaded Content.”  The resolution is, basically, that someone flipped a bit in a database somewhere so that this time when you re-download, it will not just re-download but also re-authorize your console for the content.

I am not all the way through this process.  I am currently on step eight, waiting my two-to-four weeks to get the call that says someone flipped the bit and I can re-authorize my console.

I’m not sure the new process is better.  I can see that it would stop the folks abusing the system, which I think is good, but I think it’s pretty crappy that I’ve gotta sit for weeks waiting for this to happen. There has got to be a better way.