Monday, 12 February 2007

Xbox Live "kills off" accounts after 60 days.

(Reminder, read from the bottom up for new people, sorry!)

It seems that I might have found an answer to one of my problems.
Xbox Live forums post.

Any Xbox Live 1 account which is cancelled will "expire" in 60 days to be unrecoverable, even if you have the right recovery information or not.
I don't have 100% confirmation from Microsoft at this point however I have of course made that phone call to them, no luck in retreiving the account using the right information.

I was considering purchasing an Xbox 1 just to see if perhaps my old account can only be recovered on an Xbox 1 but I'm hesitant to blow 100$ on a gamble.

I am still having trouble getting a response from Trevin Chow, I was hesitant to bring up his name too much as I don't want people hassled over this too much, however it seems impossible to contact the guy for information (if he's even the right guy!) so screw it - that's his name, blog here and here he appears to be a lead programmer for the Windows Live team, I was hoping he might have some info for me.

To summarise, I now have not 1 or 2 but 3 gripes with Windows Live / Xbox Live etc.

  1. Linking accounts from Xbox Live accounts to Windows Live / accounts - is fixed, you can't change the linked account
  2. Old Xbox Live accounts Expire after 60 days, never to be recovered even by the original owner
  3. accounts based off of address's can't have the primary mail address changed.

The locking out of the old Xbox accounts is just silly! I mean in the case of hotmail, if you let your email address "expire" they delete it, they refuse to accept more email but you can always re-open it, it lays there dormant for you.
The way it's configured for Xbox Live there will be a heap of dormant accounts for no reason, seems badly designed to me.

Oh, I did get a response from MajorNelson, albeit a small one but he did advise he'd relay my query about expiring accounts to the billing team, jolly good show indeed.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Not dead and some feedback.

After emailing / submitting and generally hassling across the internet for a response, I've received 2 comments at the end of the main blog.

Brian has written:

"Thanks for taking the time to comment on your recommendations the Windows Live ID service. We have discussed pain points around having multiple IDs, and merging, renaming, and transfering them, and are considering them for future releases.

I'll try to make sure we keep the needs of advanced users in mind in our planning.

I also meant to add, that I don't necessarily speak on behalf of the team, which is why my answer was vague. I'm just a passionate developer and user."

It's good to receive some feedback, unfortunately due to work commitments I haven't had time to really hunt around for more people to contact about this.

I have again contacted Microsoft support who after realising my question can't be easily solved (I can't recover my Xbox 1 gamertag, without an Xbox 1) they decided I need to phone support (I've done so already)

I'm hesitant to purchase an Xbox 360, attempt to register my own tag which is unused only to find the system won't allow me to recover it, besides - still can't attach it to the right id.

This is also being now discussed on the forums here:

I am also in the process of again trying to contact a couple of people I've not received responses from.
I'd really like to think they are in a position to lead me to the right person to ask or they themselves answer.
As soon as I hear anything from anyone - I'll let people know via the blog.

If anyone else has any comments or questions feel free to email me or leave comments, I beleive anonymous posting is enabled - the more people trying to find who can look at this, the better.

Friday, 2 February 2007

Similar but not.

So here's the second update.

This fellow here
Is also having issues with Xbox Live.
I figure since his problem is simila why not plug it.

To summarise what's happening for him and many other Xbox Live users is the following
Xbox live identify you by both mac (serial#?) address and gamertag.
When your Xbox 360 breaks down (and sorry to troll but it WILL break down) your purchased legimately Xbox Live content doesn't work properly on your newly replaced Xbox 360.

An Easy solution to this would (at the database level) simply be to get your gamertag, associate it with a new serial number (link / bind - your choice or terminology) and off you go- Xbox Live thinks you're the real deal (as it should, you're a genuine paying customer)
Sadly, at the moment - not the case.

Ultimately this i s not the same as my problem at all but it is a case of Microsoft having users have to cock around for a while to fix things where updating a single field on a table should (theoretically) fix their problem.

Go check out his site as he's written it up far better than I can.

I wish I had the same problems - but since I'm such a fuss/whiner - I refuse to sign up to Xbox Live and buy an X360 until I can get the gamertag I used to have. (preferably under the id I'd prefer to use!)

Time will tell