This is a bit of a rant, and everything you need to know is in the title alone… but it’s also an accurate account of my experience of trying to give a company money – so should you wish to avoid this particular trap (and gloat that you hopefully haven’t fallen into it), then please, peruse my tale of woe and heed the warning well!
Points Mean Prizes
Xbox 360 points are used to buy games, add-ons, and extra gubbins which you can download right away via the Xbox Marketplace (kind of like the Android Market or iTunes App Store). You can’t just pay cash on your credit card (except, I think, for outright purchased retail Xbox 360 games which you can DL to your hard drive), instead you have to spend real money buying points and then spend those points on actual games/content/digital film rentals or whatever.
The entire system is a bit meh.
Anyways, my Xbox gamer account (OpenR3dux) was created in the UK, and I wanted to pick up some points the other day so I could buy the Resident Evil 5 Untold Stories bundle, and the Shetboy and I could get our zombie whuppin’ on. So, I go along to a local electronics/games/music store and pick up a 1500 point card for $27AUD, which is more than I need as the expansion is only 960 points (but it’s not like you can buy 960 points). Ho-hum – 1500 points it is…
I get a card, head home, peel off the back strip to get my 25 digit point-redemption code, enter it into the 360, and it tells me to get stuffed: Invalid code.
I try to redeem the code online through the web interface, and it tells me to sling my hook again: Invalid code.
I call Xbox technical support and fight my way through a bewildering array of options (is this a support query? or maybe an account query?), they make me listen to five minutes of spiel unrelated to anything I want assistance with, and then drop my call.
I call Xbox technical support again, go through the options, and finally manage to get through to a customer representative in India (or at least with an Indian accent) called “John”. English is not John’s first language, and I have to spell out my entire name, address and postcode phonetically A for Alpha, B for Bravo style…
I then have to provide my 25 digit redemption code phonetically. Twice. Because John is a bit mutton and stuffs it up the first time even though we’re crawling through the details at a glacial pace in my best BBC voice. Finally, John manages to identify the problem: As those with keen eyes might have already spotted in the title – Microsoft Xbox 360 points are region specific.
I can’t take the points card back to the shop because its opened, and I doubt they’d believe me when I say I haven’t redeemed the code, so I get riffing with John about how we can resolve this issue:
– You can see that the code is valid, just not for this region, so can you invalidate this code (i.e. set it redeemed), and you credit me 1500 Microsoft points?
– Can you invalidate this code and give me a new UK code which I can actually use?
– Is there anything you can do?
– I recommend that you create a new, Australian GamerCard/account and use the points with that.
WTF?! Part of the fun of having a GamerCard is that when you play games and do certain things you get achievements, which then contribute to your GamerScore, and while this bears no correlation to your penis size, IQ or your skill as a gamer – it does give some indication and record of what you’ve played and what you’ve managed to achieve in terms of game progress. I’m not creating a new account, and that’s all there is to it.
The (still unredeemed) card will go in a box to be used for Christmas presents (but only for people with AU region GamerCards), and I will not be buying Xbox points cards again: Instead, I had to buy the points directly through the Xbox on my credit card and that went through instantly with no issues. Which is what I should have done in the first place.
The problem with a post like this is that no-one will ever find it until it’s too late, and by this stage they too have gone through the automated voice-message wrangler and spelt out every letter of every word and code to a disinterested and underpaid help rep as well.
S for Sierra, U for Uniform, C for Charlie, K for Kilo, S for Sierra…