Xbox 360 Technical Support (GRR)

I understand that a company as large as Microsoft requires a very large technical support staff.  I can understand that putting their technical support centers in India is more cost-effective for them.  I can understand that, since the centers are in India, they are more likely to use scripts and automatic emails to get over the language barrier.  I understand all of this, and  yet I am furious at their ineptitude.

Me while emailing and phoning Xbox tech support

Me while emailing and phoning Xbox tech support

Four days ago (Saturday), I bought a replacement black wireless Xbox 360 controller for Lindsey, as she had spilled nail polish and ginger ale over her previous controller.  This replacement controller came in a special bundle.  For an additional $10, I was able to acquire a game disc called the “Xbox Live Arcade Game Pack”, which included, playable from the disc, Bomberman Live, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2, and Lumines Live.  A download code for Ms. Pac-Man was also included as part of the deal.  In case I have not been specific enough, only Ms. Pac-Man was downloadable, the other three games were on the disc, playable from the disc, and not downloadable whatsoever.  I specify because this little fact is important later on.  I was excited about this pack.  I enjoyed the demos for Geometry Wars and Lumines, but the lion’s share of my excitement stemmed from my decades-long love of Bomberman.  What can I say?  I’m Middle-Eastern.  Blowing stuff up must be in my blood.

Right.  We now come to the problem which created the need for technical support.  The download code for Ms. Pac-Man worked, and Geometry Wars and Lumines could be played off the disc, but Bomberman Live would not play.  When I first tried loading it, I was greeted with a dialog informing me that an update was available for the game.  I chose to download the update, as I usually do.  I was then greeted with a new dialog that said the update could not be found, and that I should contact Xbox support.  I was then told that I would need to “re-download the game package” and was sent directly to the Xbox Live Marketplace, where I would be charged the full 800 points to purchase Bomberman Live, regardless of the fact that I had the full version on a disc.  I quickly went to the support website and submit a request for assistance via email, detailing my issue in much the same way as I have done here for you.  All of the major points were included, so there could be no confusion as to what my problem was.

Sunday comes along and I receive a reply to my support request via email:

Hello Christopher,

Thank you for contacting Microsoft online support for XBOX. I am July and I will be helping you today with this issue.

I am sorry to hear that you are having trouble with your Xbox Live Account. In order to isolate what is causing the problem and to give you the correct steps to resolve the issue, please provide us with more specific details.

  • Type of account subscription (Silver or Gold)
  • The type of connection you are using (direct modem, router, wireless, gateway, Windows ICS)
  • The phase where the Xbox Live Connection test fails (Network Adapter, Wireless Network, IP Address, DNS, MTU, ICMP, Xbox LIVE, NAT)
  • The exact error message that you are encountering
  • Please include other details that can help identify the issue.

We look forward to hearing from you again and helping you resolve your problem.

To expedite service, please provide Service Request Number 1120205162.

Thank you for visiting Xbox.com. If you should have future questions on Xbox products or services, please be sure to revisit our Web site as we are continually adding information to enhance our service.

Best Regards,

July

Microsoft XBOX Support Services

http://support.microsoft.com/

As you can see, this has no relevance to my issue whatsoever, and is obviously a canned response.  My reply:

Good morning,

I am not having a problem with my Xbox Live connection.  I gave the
problem details in my original submission.  I purchased a new wireless
controller for my 360, and it came bundled with the Xbox Live Arcade
game pack, which included Geometry Wars 2, Bomberman Live, Lumines
Live, and a download code for Ms. Pac-Man.  The download code worked,
and so far, Geometry Wars 2 and Lumines Live work.  However, when I
load Bomberman Live, it requires an update.  I am then told that the
update can not be found, or that I have to re-download the entire
game.  I want to play Bomberman Live, since I paid for it, and I love
Bomberman.  Please make that happen.

I had already fully explained the situation in my original submission, so this brief reminder seemed appropriate.  I hoped this would have been sufficient to get them back on track and fix my issue.  Let’s read their next response (received on Tuesday) and see if they’ve managed to pull it together:

Hello Christopher,

Thank you for using XBOX Customer Support online! I am Jenice and I will be helping you today with this issue.

As I understand that when you try to download an update on your Xbox 360 console, the auto-update stops during the download and you do not receive an error message. Please be assured that I will do my best to help you resolve the issue.

Also, you may experience one of the following:

. The auto-update fails. You receive a connectivity error message, but when you test your connection to Xbox Live, you do not receive an error message.

. After you download an auto-update for a game, you receive a message that states that you must download the same auto-update.

. After you download an auto-update, you cannot connect to Xbox Live. Additionally, you cannot access functions that you could previously access.

Here are some things that you can try to resolve the issue or to determine what the cause is.

1.  If you experience the first or second symptom that is listed in the “Symptoms” section, use a direct connection to download the auto-update. For more information about how to set up a direct connection, visit the website: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/Support online/connecttolive/xbox360/connectionmethods/modem.htm

Note: This method applies to auto-updates for games and for the Xbox Dashboard.

2.  If you experience all the symptoms that are listed in the “Symptoms” section, delete the game data.

Warning: When you delete game data, you lose any saved game information.

Note: Copy the saved game data to a separate memory source so that you can restore the data if this step does not resolve the issue.

To delete game data, follow these steps:

a. Sign in by using your gamertag.

b. Move to the System section.

c. Select Memory, and then press the A button.

d. Select Hard Drive, and then press the A button.

e. Select Games, and then press the A button.

f. Select the profile that you want to view, and then press the A button.

g. On the Select Game screen, select the game for which the update will not download, and then press the Y button.

h. On the Game screen, press the A button to delete the game.

Note: The Delete option is the only option that is available on the Game screen.

i. On the Delete Item screen, select Yes, and then press the A button to confirm the deletion.

j. Press the B button four times to return to the System section.

k. Start the game, and then sign in to Xbox Live to download the update again.

If you need to reply to this e-mail, please reply ‘with history’ (include any previous e-mail) or reference to Service Request Number 1120205162 so we can expedite our service to you.

Thank you for visiting Xbox.com. If you should have future questions on Xbox products or services, please be sure to revisit our Web site as we are continually adding information to enhance our service.

Best Regards,

Jenice

Microsoft XBOX Support Services

http://support.microsoft.com/

Failure, again, to comprehend the simplest of explanations.  I reply thusly, having become slightly frustrated:

PLEASE READ MY EMAIL AND ANSWER INSTEAD OF CONTINUOUSLY SENDING
PRE-WRITTEN RESPONSES THAT HAVE NO RELEVANCE TO MY ISSUE:

“Good morning,

I am not having a problem with my Xbox Live connection.  I gave the
problem details in my original submission.  I purchased a new wireless
controller for my 360, and it came bundled with the Xbox Live Arcade
game pack, which included Geometry Wars 2, Bomberman Live, Lumines
Live, and a download code for Ms. Pac-Man.  The download code worked,
and so far, Geometry Wars 2 and Lumines Live work.  However, when I
load Bomberman Live, it requires an update.  I am then told that the
update can not be found, or that I have to re-download the entire
game.  I want to play Bomberman Live, since I paid for it, and I love
Bomberman.  Please make that happen.”

IT’S NOT THAT HARD!

At this point, I had given up on their ability to understand written language, so I decided that, perhaps, a more personal attempt should be made.  Yesterday, after sending my reply, I called Xbox support directly.  After I made my way through their interminable voice activated menu system (which I loathe, incidentally), I was greeted by “Jason,” and we were underway.  After explaining my issue to him (three times) in bits and pieces (due to his constant interruptions) he asked for my name and my Xbox Live gamertag.  Spelling my name for him took approximately five minutes, as I had to keep correcting his mistakes as he repeated it back to me.  My gamertag took an additional two or three minutes, as it is a whopping seven letters long, and well beyond his difficulty level, apparently.  At this point, his script told him to clarify the issue once more.  As he was explaining the issue, I again had to correct his mistakes and set the record straight, since apparently the first three explanations weren’t sufficient.  Eventually, we get to the troubleshooting point, and, as I was at work and not near my Xbox, he claimed he would not be able to help me, and asked me to call back later.  That cost me close to 45 minutes of my day.

I called back when I got home and spoke with “Brian.”  I explained my situation again (this time only twice) and awaited assistance.  My name and gamertag had already been recorded, apparently, so I was not required to suffer through such an ordeal again, thankfully.  I did have quite a hard time with this call, however, because of their hold system.  For some reason, during the hour long call, whenever I was put on hold I was not treated to smooth listening hold music, but dozens of technical support conversations all at once.  Needless to say, it was discomforting.  About 40 minutes in, the hold “noise” suddenly changed to the smooth listening music I had expected.  Approximately 30 seconds later, they corrected their apparent mistake and returned me to the cacophony that had been previously assaulting my senses.  I eventually was told that I would be given a download code for Bomberman Live, but that a higher level of support would have to give me the code.  He connected me with the higher level of support, “Aaron,” who proceeded to inform me (eventually, after more hold music and questions) that I would receive a callback from support in “48-72 hours” with a resolution to this issue.  Frustrated, I decided to accept this and end the call.  I now await the return call that will, ideally, give me download codes for not only Bomberman Live, but Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 and Lumines Live, in case the same issue should arise with those games at a future date.

Now, some would think that this would be the end of the story.  I certainly did.  Unfortunately, we are quite mistaken.  Mere hours after my phone call ended, I received this third email from Xbox support:

Hello Christopher,

Thank you for contacting Microsoft online support for XBOX. I am Rio and I will be helping you today with this issue.

I understand that you are unable to access a downloaded content that you purchased from the Xbox live Marketplace.

My apologies for the inconvenience that you are having right now but rest assured that we will extend our resources to the full extent in order for us to help you regarding this concern.

Sometimes, you may not be able to access or use downloadable game content because the content has become corrupted.

Here are some things that you can try to resolve the issue:

  1. Delete the downloadable content, and then download the content again. To delete downloadable game content that is corrupted, follow these steps:

a.       Sign in to Xbox LIVE by using your Gamertag.

b.      In the Xbox Dashboard, select System, and then press the A button.

c.       Select Memory, and then press the A button.

d.      On the Storage Devices screen, select Hard Drive, and then press the A button.

e.       On the Hard Drive screen, select Games, and then press the A button.

f.        On the Games screen, select the game title that you want, and then press the A button.

g.       On the individual game screen, select the downloadable content that you want to delete, and then press the A button.

h.       On the content screen, press the A button to delete the content.

Note Delete is the only option that is available on this screen.

i.         On the Delete Item screen, select Yes, and then press the A button to confirm the action.

j.        On the individual game screen, press the B button four times to return to the System section.

k.      Start the game that you want. Then, sign in to Xbox LIVE to download the game content again.

To download previously purchased or previously downloaded content, use one of the following methods.

Download from the Xbox 360 console.

1.                  Attach the hard drive or the memory unit to your Xbox 360 console.

2.                  Turn on your Xbox 360 console.

3.                  Sign in to Xbox LIVE by using the gamer profile that originally downloaded the content.

4.                  Press the Xbox 360 Guide button, and then go to the Settings area. Select Account Management, and then select Download History.

5.                  Select the content item, and then select Download Again to download the item.

6.                  Repeat step 5 for each item in your download history that you want to recover.

Download from Xbox.com

1.                  Visit the following Xbox LIVE Web Marketplace Web site to access the My Account area:

http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/myAccount/PurchaseHistory.aspx

2.                  Select each item that you want to download, and then click Add to Queue. The selected items will automatically appear in the console’s Active Downloads area of the console on which you are currently signed in to Xbox LIVE.

2. Clear the system cache.

To clear the Xbox 360 Hard Drive cache, follow these steps:

1. Reattach the Xbox Hard Drive.

2. Locate the System section of the Xbox 360 Dashboard.

3. Select Memory, and then press the Y button to view the device options screen.

4. On the Xbox 360 Controller, press the following items in this sequence:

  • X button
  • X button
  • Left bumper
  • Right bumper
  • X button
  • X button

5. When you are prompted to confirm system maintenance, select Yes by pressing the A button.

Should you need to reply to this e-mail, please reply ‘with history’ (include any previous e-mail) or reference to Service Request Number 1120205162 so we can expedite our service to you.

Thank you for visiting Xbox.com. If you should have future questions on Xbox products or services, please be sure to revisit our Web site as we are continually adding information to enhance our service.

Best Regards,

Rio

Microsoft XBOX Support Services

http://support.microsoft.com/

The point was missed yet again, unsurprisingly.  My reply requested that they stop sending me incompetent emails, as I had phoned tech support and received some modicum of understanding from their end.  We shall see what comes next.

All I wanted to do was play some fucking Bomberman Live.

-[insert revolutionary thinking here]

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