Welcome to Microsoft Support - Part 1

Well, I've had quite a go-around with the fine folks at Microsoft regarding my son's XBOX repair and XBox Live Account over the past week. It has been extremely frustrating and almost comical at times to the point where I said to myself I HAVE to write about this. It will ultimately be therapeutic, so here goes.

Ben's xbox, which he purchased with his own money was giving him a strange problem. When he started it up every time, he would get a grey filminess to the screen. We determined that to fix it on our good TV, he had to unplug and then re-plug in the yellow video plug. This didn't seem right to me, so I sent the unit back to MS for repair a few weeks ago.

Last week, the unit showed up at our house with a free 30 day trial of XBox Live. This came despite my complaints that we should receive a year free for our trouble, but hey, that's better than nothing. The trial is redeemed in the form of a gift card that has a 25 digit redemption code.

So Ben goes on to try and redeem the code. No Joy. It blocks him from redeeming the code because he needs a parental account. I go on and redeem the code for him only to discover that because I was logged in as the parent account, MY gamer tag/avatar was granted the rights to the 30 day trial. No Joy.

This was not a good moment for Father and Son. Knowing that a call to MS Support was in my future, (and we all love MicroSoft support, right?), I gritted my teeth and dialed them up.

Enter "guy from India #1" or GFA1 as I'll refer to him.

"Hello, thank you for calling XBox Support, may I please have your Last Name, First Name, Address, E-Mail, Social Security Number, Date of Birth, XBox Serial Number, Model Number, Software Version, Firmware version, Warranty date, Gamer Tag ID and password, favorite snack food, Visa Card number, License Plate number, and political affiliation."

It wasn't as bad as all that, but sure came close.

"OK, thank you for all of that information Mr. Landwehr, I hope I can assist you with your problem today. What seems to be the problem?" says GFI1

"I seem to have registered the 30 day gold membership to the wrong account, much to my son's dismay" I say, trying to relay the sense of urgency that I have a very upset 12 year old I'm trying to deal with.

Not sensing the urgency, GFI1 then proceeds to reiterate the problem I just described to him and asks, "Is that a fair description of the problem, Mr. Landwehr?"

Yes, it's pretty much how I just described it to you, I'm thinking as I start to get highly annoyed.

"OK Mr. Landwehr what is the 25 digit code you're truing to redeem?"

I start the long litany of numbers and letters.

"Bravo, Tango, George, 2, 3 dash Delta, Yankee, Justice, 7, 3 dash Michael, Sunshine, Football, Yankee, 4, dash Flipper, Robot, Car, 6, 1, dash Bravo, Ice, Dixie, 5, Golfer." I painfully read to him.

GFI1, then reads them back to me using the correct military terms for all of my letters, which takes another minute of my life away forever.

He then informs me that it may be 24-48 hours before this number can be switched over, which is almost unfathomable to me in this day of modern computing.

Before he can carry this transaction out however he needs to "escalate the problem" to his support manager, who I'll call "guy from india #2" or GFI2.

"Before I transfer you Mr. Landwehr, is there anything else I can do for you today?" GFI1 asks.

Yes, frankly there are a couple of things:

1. Stop calling me Mr. Landwehr, like you care, know or respect me. The fact that you're transferring me proves otherwise.

2. You can fix my problem, like I called you to do.

He doesn't do either of these things, but does carry through on transferring me to GFI2, so I'll give him that much. Not before he annoys me on hold for 2 minutes while I listen to a commercial about the great benefits of an XBox Live subscription, including 24/7 support. The blood begins to boil at this point.

GFI2, starts out by saying "Hello Mr. Landwehr, thank you for being so patient. Before I can process this transaction, I need a little information." He then proceeds to ask for:

My Last Name, First Name, Address, E-Mail, Social Security Number, Date of Birth, XBox Serial Number, Model Number, Software Version, Firmware version, Warranty date, Gamer Tag ID and password, favorite snack food, Visa Card number, License Plate number, and political affiliation.


I ramble painfully through all of it again and he then asks what the 25 digit code was that I was trying to redeem.

I thought I'd given that once already, but I must have been mistaken. It was so long ago, I forget.

This time I'm a bit edgier with my military terms as I read off the 25 digit code:

"Bothersome, Tedious, Grating, 2, 3 dash Dumb, Yapping, Joyless, 7, 3, dash Migraine, Stupid, Flawed, Yapper, 4, dash Futile, Rude, Condescending, 6, 1, dash, Bonehead, Idiot, Demeaning, 5, Gomer."

It wasn't all that bad, but it was certainly what was on my mind.

So he continues to pepper me with questions and calm reassurance that my problem is his biggest concern. He then finishes up with what he called "expectation setting" by telling me that it could take between 5 and 10 days before the transaction could be processed.

"Hey, GFI1 just told me 24 to 48 hours, what's with that?" I thought to myself and politely relayed to GFI2.

"I'm sorry Mr. Landwehr for the mis-information from our previous analyst. It will take 5-10 days for this."

He's calling me Mr. Landwehr again...

"Fine." I answer.

"Before I hang up, is there anything more I can do for you today?" he asks.

No, I'm pretty much fried. I just want a nap.

Check back sometime this week for part 2 to the saga, because reliving this saga has made me so I need a nap.

Blogging off for now...


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