Xbox Customer Service Wranglin

So, I got what is probably even more deadly than the Red Ring of Death, the dreaded 80169D94 error. What is this error? Well, nobody seems to know at microsoft, but it seems that if you have bad credit card info, and you try to use the card too many times, your account will be locked out for fraud protection. This, I have learned on the internet, not from customer service. I have spent most of the weekend trying to deal with this only to hit brick wall after brick wall. I just recently out of frustration emailed the VP of Customer service, and got a speedy reply saying that she would escalate the issue for me.

Here is my story.

June 10th 80169d94 error occurred, I could not purchase any MS points on my card. My live account is Dr JonDanger

June 11th, tried again, same error. Called customer service and the rep told me that my account had incorrect billing info on it. So, she changed the billing info to be correct for my current address. I moved about 5 months earlier, and had neglected to update my billing info on my xbox account. Easy fix, after the info was updated, I tried to purchase again, got the same error. The CSR said my account was locked due to trying to use incorrect info too many times, to wait 24-48 hours and try again.

June 12th, I tried again, same error. Added a new credit card, same error, tried to add points from a card, same error. Called a new CSR rep, they confirmed that my account was indeed locked, and they would need to send it to the “escalation team” to fix it, so they could verify all of my info and get it unlocked for me. Said they should call back between 5pm CST and 10pm CST. She said she had seen this before and it was due to my purchasing of the 1 month for 1 dollar promo 4 times. (My card had been refunded for those transactions as they were cancelled by microsoft) There was a bug with the promo that let you buy the thing 4 or so times instead of just once. So, of course I did it, I wanted more awesome xbox live for cheap.

June 13th, CSR “escalation rep” called me at 2:30 pm CST, (not the 5-10pm I specified) so I was at work, and unable to do any of the fixes she requested. She then claimed that my account had been “banned” for some reason, but didn’t really go into details why. Apparently they can’t let you know what you get banned for, just that it happened. I find this odd, because I am still able to use all of my gold account features, except being able to purchase xbox points or add points to my account. Weird, I wanted to buy the “Rockstar Pass” for LA Noire at the discounted price, but I guess that isn’t going to happen now. There goes 5 bucks down the toilet. She suggested that I check my email for a message from the accounts team about a banning, to which I found none, in either my live ID email or my gmail account associated with it. I of course couldn’t do this while she was on the phone, because I was at work. She gave me 2 more options. To login to on another user’s account and go to the banning forums to see why the account was banned. I didn’t think of it on the phone, but I am able to use my account, so shouldn’t I just use that one? Why do I need a 2nd account to check the banning status of my 1st account? I can login on that one just fine. She also suggested emailing corporate with my issue as my 3rd option.

June 13th Called support again, as well as entered in a post about my account being banned on the forum. I went through the longest call, over an hour with absolutely no help whatsoever. The person had me delete my DRM management on my console, and wanted me to try directly connecting my xbox to the cable modem. This took no less than 20 minutes for her to come up with. All pointless stuff, I asked for an escalation, but I was not given one this time. The CSR was telling me that her computer was very slow, and it was taking a long time to load up the troubleshooting. (THAT I DIDN"T NEED) I don’t need troubleshooting at this point, I have been on the phone for a total of 3 hours now, without anything to show for it. I kept telling her that I knew what this issue pertained to, but I did not get any response, other than her supervisor asked me to post on the forums, which I did do based on the previous call’s advice. Which for someone with a banned account should be impossible (which I also explained to her) to do. I pleaded with her to send me to the billing dept, or a level 2 rep, but this was not going to happen. I hung up out of frustration without getting my open request.

I find it quite odd how the CSRs are very quick to sell out their colleagues, each time I called after the first time the reps talked about how the other reps totally missed something important and helped me the wrong way. They were very kind, but they kept talking about how this issue is different than what the last CSR said. This isn’t helpful, because it gives me the assumption that the people I am speaking with can’t help me, and that they don’t know the correct response to my issue. I have been a very loyal xbox customer, participated in some xbox live beta programs, and am a happy xbox live rewards member. This is all odd that I would be banned?

My hypothesis.
I noticed that my account was refunded the $4.24 that I spent on the xbox live 1month for 1 dollar subscription promotion. When I log on to my xbox, it seems like my account says that I have a 1 month xbox live gold. Is it possible that my money was refunded as I was ineligible for the promotion, but my account was not reset to its regular gold status? Also, I was not sent a “ban” email on either of my accounts, so I think my account may have slipped through the system in that respect. I am able to connect to live, play online, and do everything but put points on to my account via any credit/points card. I just want to speak to someone that can get the fraud alert off of my account, but that is proving more and more impossible.

Along with the emails to Xbox live corporate, I sent out an email service request as well. I am fighting this war Land/Sea/Air style.

What pisses me off is that this error is very clearly documented everywhere on the internet how to fix it. Update your credit card info (done) and then get someone from the credit/billing team to lift the fraud lock on your account. That is what every single blog I read about this says to do, but I cannot wade through customer service well enough to get to this point.

It took me about 45 min on the phone to get this one resolved and it took two calls.

That CSR scared the bejeezus out of me, talking about how I was “banned”. Which, I now understand isn’t actually that I am banned, but a note that some CSR put on the account as an explanation for my problems. The most recent call I made would not let me continue until I recieved a response on the banning forum. Which is idiotic, as my account is not locked/banned. So, no idea on where to go from there.

On PS3, hackers hack you to show you what a jerk Sony is. On Wii, hackers hack Nintendo but don’t do anything because they love Nintendo 64 games (and because Nintendo doesn’t really have much of your billing information, or any of it). On Xbox 360, Microsoft hacks you!

Here is the CAG thread for the promotion, full of woes

Seems like a lot of people get this fixed in under 15 minutes.

Well if you just call the CSR’s and tell them you are getting error 80169D94 on your console they should be able to fix it pretty fast. I am not sure why you are having such issues getting it fixed.

I say that, and then they say that they don’t know what that means, and give me the runaround.

So did you post to the ban forum? Because then people can link to the hilarious response and point out how awesome it is that Microsoft is snarky to people.

I just posted a question about my account there.

A corporate CSR got in touch with me personally (with a real phone number) and said that he would take care of my problem himself, and that he would talk to the billing team to get things resolved. (This was from my referral via the corporate email I sent out to the VP)

So, yeah, things are cooking, he assured me my account was not banned, and that they would love to compensate me for my troubles.

So, decent, if not timely response.

So, I contacted MS on Monday regarding the 80169D94 issue. He told me it would be resolved within 3 days and that I’d receive a confirmation e-mail stating so. It’s Friday morning and I still haven’t received the e-mail; I’m still unable to purchase anything on XBL. Is this a typical experience? Or have others had the issue resolved while on the phone with MS CS?