Microsoft Lock Out Hacked 360 User After Three Month Wait

Update: It looks like this particular situation has been resolved, presumably a result of the media. The author states that his account was banned due to an old RROD’d machine being fixed and used to hack other accounts, and Microsoft are sending him a brand new machine.


I’ve lost track of the number of articles and blogs we’ve done on this – it must be approaching ten – but we’re not SuperDuperMegaGamer and thus nothing appears to change over in Redmond; the coverage from major sites on this whole ‘Xbox hacking’ thing just isn’t there.

– ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW –

Hopefully, then, this latest story might pick up a bit of traction, I know that the likes of Kotaku have been given the nod.  Until then, here’s the sorry story of a “30 something, college professor” that found himself permanently banned from his Xbox 360 Gamertag after suffering three months of having no access after his account was hacked.

Now, it’s worth pointing out that at no stage does the author blame Xbox for the security issue – the truth is that no-one really knows how all this is happening – this is clearly just a finger pointed squarely at the way he was handled by customer services, and the rather incredulous ending that just beggars belief.

The blog doesn’t make for happy reading.  The episode starts in October when the individual’s 360 account was compromised and migrated to Russia, and yet despite filing an immediate contact with Microsoft, nothing had been done by December apart from some empty offers of (pointless) one month Xbox Live Gold vouchers.

[drop2]After filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau at the end of last year (which was processed on the third of January) Microsoft called him back, on the 23rd.  Over the next few days things finally started moving, and his account was gradually returned to its rightful owner.

“Later in the day on the on the 27th,” said dmaul1114, “I got e-mails confirming the investigation was completed, my 1200 points had been refunded, and instructions on how to change my Windows Live ID password and recover the account to my console.”

But that wasn’t the end of it, by a long way.  “Then I noticed another e-mail from Xbox,” he continued, “this one stating that my profile was permanently banned for a code of conduct violation.”  Upon calling Microsoft, he was told that this was now a matter for the Xbox Live Policy Enforcement Team, and was instructed to post in the relevant forum on Xbox.com.

Ultimately, after a few more calls, dmaul1114 was told the notes showed that the XBLPET had ruled the violation happened when he was in control of the account. “I asked what the violation was for,” he said, “and he stated it said it was for attempting to steal other accounts.”  Incredible, right?

After this, the gates remained shut.  The ban stays, and he’s lost all his licensed for purchased Arcade titles, all his DLC and his game saves, unless he just wants to play offline.  “Thus I cannot import my Mass Effect 1/2 characters into Mass Effect 3 if I want to play the online modes with my existing characters,” he says, by way of an example.

“What kind of customer service is it to not give the customer the benefit of the doubt in such a simple case as this?” he asks. “Are account thieves reporting their own accounts stolen, going so far as to file Better Business Bureau complaints to try to get them back? Am I omnipresent so that I can be hacking accounts from Russia while living and working in the US?”

“It’s just baffling that Microsoft can treat a loyal customer this way.”

He’s responded further on NeoGAF.  The chap sounds like a reasoned individual and one remaining remarkably calm given the situation.  “I’m glad my story is getting some exposure,” he says.  “I really don’t care about getting the account back as I just can’t support MS after this experience. I just hope this gets some buzz and causes them to handle any similar cases in the future properly.”

Hopefully, if enough coverage is made of this, Microsoft will be finally pushed into some decent security for their system – but more interestingly, some customer service. Three months might be the exception, but it’s just simply not good enough – not to mention the ban at the end of it all…

– PAGE CONTINUES BELOW –

35 Comments

  1. I’m thinking that my card details are never going on my xbox until MS come up with some solution to this problem.

    • I’m going to be removing my card details off of my xbox the next time I use it.

  2. Come on what do people expect? The American gaming press have been protecting and nurturing a home grown console for years.

    RROD was downplayed massively and the Ps3 kicked around in the mud for years by Joystiq kotaku and the like.

    • Oh how I love the Internet. PSN gets hacked, and headline news for 3 months yet NO actual victims.

      Xbox hacked, REAL victims, media turns a blind eye…

      Where is the justice in that?

      • It’s been going on for years, almost every games website will trash anything Sony/PSN/PS3/PSP/Vita related, just like how they jump on anything bad and just don’t let up about it for weeks/months/years, like the PSN going down last year, the leap year clock thing, YLOD, Haze, ripping on and downplaying/giving undeserving low scores to PS exclusives, all these fabricated comparisons between 360 and PS3 versions of games. Yet when something bad like this involves, Microsoft/Xbox/XBL/Xbox exclusives, idiots from IGN, Edge, Destructoid etc just stick their fingers in their ears and shout ‘la la la la la la! I can’t hear you!!’ I just don’t understand this hive-minded mentality that makes so many people praise MS/Xbox over anything and despise everything Sony/PlayStation for no reason whatsoever. It really is stupid.

      • Oh yes there were real actual victims of the PSN hack, including me and my bank account (900 euros in 3 days, entirely refunded by the CC company). Credit card numbers as well as verification codes are in the open, on various torrents and FTP accounts.

        Now I agree that the XBL hack, which is undoubtedly real, is incredibly and shamefully downplayed by the medias at large. Microsoft won’t able to ignore the issue forever, and the way they’re dealing with it right now is absolutely disguting.

      • No offence Kaminari, but it’s more likely your CC was compromised through other means and the timing happen to coincide. The banks have all stated that they did not see a rise in fraud as a result of the PSN hack. Verification numbers weren’t stored on the PSN servers and CC details were encrypted. You might want to blame Sony for your experience but I think you’d need to look elsewhere.

      • Yep, with Jesse here, I’ve not heard of a single person who’s Credit Card was affected by the hack. Not saying it wasn’t hackers, just saying it’s more likely something else is to blame. Plus, at least it all got refunded, plenty of people affected by this Xbox issue haven’t had that.
        I agree with you though, it’s absolutely disgusting the way Microsoft are handling the situation, burying their heads in the sand and hoping the problem will disappear.

      • @Kaminari

        There were no creditcard details taken in the PSN hack, nor passwords (only hashes).

        You have been sucked in by the sensational media reporting of the incident, where rabid reporters foaming at the mouth, frustrated by the patchy details by Sony, simply filled in the blanks by making stuff up.

        If you havd your card hacked, it was from somewhere else. The card companies have already stated that there was no rise in fraud after the PSN hack, infact even right after it, and the rabid dog media were telling everyone to cancel their cards, they were telling people not to, as they knew the full story.

      • @Kaminari

        There were no creditcard details taken in the PSN hack, nor passwords (only hashes).

        You have been sucked in by the sensational media reporting of the incident, where rabid reporters foaming at the mouth, frustrated by the patchy details by Sony, simply filled in the blanks by making stuff up.

        If you have your card hacked, it was from somewhere else. The card companies have already stated that there was no rise in fraud after the PSN hack, infact even right after it, and the rabid dog media were telling everyone to cancel their cards, they were telling people not to, as they knew the full story.

  3. PS3 FTW, I say.

  4. Microsoft continually anger me … and I don’t even have an XBOX! They just seem like a normal money grabbing, back-stabbing corporation who are hiding behind the whole “All American Business” bullshit. To be honest they are no different from any other company, the don’t give a damn about anyone except people who give them money.

  5. That is pretty damn poor.

  6. How unfortunate for that guy. During my short stint at Playstation Customer Service a couple of years back I saw how PS customers would be treated for fraudulent claims such as these. A dedicated Playstation Network team would look in to these issues and after going through quite a thorough security check they would return the account.
    So, on top of what actually happened to that guy in the end, I’m shocked it took so long for anyone to even take notice.
    Very unfortunate, and very unprofessional for an international company.
    Although naturally I’m basing this on my experience and I haven’t been through Microsoft support, so that could be an isolated issue.

  7. Poor guy, he has a lot more patience than I have.
    Hopefully this exposure will lead to some meaningful action from Microsoft.
    Or failing that Sony could step in and give him a PS3!

    • “Or failing that Sony could step in and give him a PS3!” now that would be a nice PR coup!

  8. That’s just disgraceful! They definitely need to shake up their customer service if this is the norm, and need to bloody do something about security as well.
    I recently put my card details onto PSN as I have a measure of trust with them again, I think I’ll hold off awhile with my 360 until I’m sure they take my trust seriously.

    • still trying to get my card off xbox

  9. Not a very nice way to be treated after all that, hope he get’s it sorted.

  10. They’re both shit!

    • If you’re referring to Sony, I would argue that they did a better job than Microsoft is currently doing. After all, at least Sony ended up acknowledging the problem, rather than ignoring it and hoping it went away.

Comments are now closed for this post.