A Year Without Spending – Day 3 – Full of a cold & Xbox Live

Xbox Live - Stick to top-up cards
Xbox Live - Stick to top-up cards

Well its day 3 of the Not Spending experiment, and I am full of a cold (hence the lack of a post yesterday. The upside (if you can call it that) is that I would be unable to go out and spend even if I wanted to!

So back to the No Spending experiment. I actually called Xbox Live yesterday to cancel my Gold Account. I tried to do this months ago as they where rebilling me automatically on a monthly basis to my credit card. The fact of the matter is, in over 2 years of Ownership and Membership to Xbox Live, I have probably played around 5 hours online. When you consider membership is £4.99 a month I have spent well over £120 for 5 hours of online play! So when I tried to cancel months ago, I realised that there is no way to take your card off file and stop the recurrent billing. I tried on the Xbox Live website, the Xbox itself, nothing. You can add new cards, but you can’t delete them or cancel your membership, Crafty Bastards!

So I finally bit the bullet and called the Mumbai call centre. What a nightmare. They have a terrible line for a start, and the Xbox recorded message has been voiced by the typical “you want fries with that” American diner accent. After fighting through the warnings and the voice Activated menus “Accounts & Billing!”, “Cancel”, “CANCEL” you reach possibly the worst phone line left in existence where you are asked if you will give consent to record the call by pressing 1. I didn’t want to consent and ignored pressing 1, to which I was cut off!!!!

I tried again, this time going through all the menus AND pressing 1, and I was cut off again. I finally made it through after around 5 times of shouting “CANCEL!!!!!”, much like the fonejacker flat line. The poor guy in Mumbai tried his entire repertoire of sales spiel to keep me as a customer,which I was having none of. After running around the houses over and over I finally managed to cancel the account.

And the lesson we learn from this? Well Microsoft aggressively try to keep their customers for one, and also the fact that they have no way of cancelling an account without calling and jumping through hoops suggests that they retain a great deal of customers through pure intimidation. After all, who wants to wrestle with a website, an xbox menu and 5 phone calls to cancel a £4.99 per month subscription, I mean what is £4.99 nowadays. But out of principle, I was determined to cancel the account and stop paying for what is  great service, but I never use. Besides, paying £60 a year for nothing is stupid. I can get 3 months of my Broadband for that price, and play better FPS games for free on the PC.

From now on I will stick to buying the pre paid Xbox live cards if I wish to use the service, or even buying the 24hr/week trial codes on eBay which are great value for a quick dabble online (mailed directly to you via email), although I’m not sure if they are legitimate from a Microsoft standpoint, they do work!

Next in the cross-hairs is the Cable TV and the Virgin Media package in general. I’m sure I can shave some extra £££’s a month off that package.

Now excuse me while I crawl into a corner and die of the cold, will hopefully post an update tomorrow, if I survive the night! 🙁

Tissues for the dying geek
Tissues for the dying geek

John Large

My name is John Large. I am a Web Developer, E-commerce site owner & all round geek. My areas of interest include hardware hacking, digital privacy & security, social media & computer hardware. I’m also a minimalist in the making, interested in the Tiny House movement & the experience economy along with a strong interest in sustainability & renewable energy. When I’m not tapping on a keyboard or swiping a smart phone I can be found sampling great coffee, travelling the world with my wife Vicki (who writes over at Let’s Talk Beauty) & generally trying to live my life as unconventionally as possible.

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