Class Action Lawsuit Accuses Microsoft Of Double-Billing Xbox Live Subscriptions

Microsoft must defend its Xbox Live billing policies in a class action lawsuit filed this week in Indiana. Plaintiff Ryan Graves says he was double-charged for a subscription under "vague and onerous terms of use" for the console service membership.

Graves says that his Xbox Live subscription lapsed when he didn't update his credit card information; when he renewed the account later with a new card, Microsoft billed him for a new sub and the one that had expired, reports Gamasutra.

Graves, in his court complaint, says he was told the billing was "not a mistake," and that he would receive a two-year subscription to Xbox Live. Graves said basically, fuck that, he didn't order any two-year subscription. And so now this is going to court.

Graves wants the full panoply of damages, from restitution, to statutory, and up into the stratosphere of punitive awards on grounds of unjust enrichment, breach of contract and other torts. He also wants Microsoft to cease and desist from this conduct going forward.

Class Action Suit Accuses Microsoft Of Double-Billing Customers For Xbox Live [Gamasutra]

You can contact Owen Good, the author of this post, at [email protected]. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.


    so instead of him just accepting his 2 year subscription for like $100, he is spending thousands suing Microsoft.....

      1. Go to court paying thousands for $100
      2. Win court for possibly 50x the amount
      3. ???
      4. Profit

    Microsoft are complete pricks when it comes to the Xbox Live gold service.
    It's so complicated to end the service and even then sometimes they continue billing.

    Just thought I'd add to the list of things Xbox live are bad at...billing issues, customer service etc

    So because of his mistakes he's going to spend time and money suing Microsoft?

    Smart boy.

      Microsoft is billing him for his old subscription (which he had already paid with his old card) as well as the new subscription that he purchased with his new card. Microsoft then refused to undo the charges.

      Yep, sure looks like he fucked things up.

        No, he didn't pay for the sub on his old card, as he hadn't update the credit card details.

        Its a pretty common case, card expires, people don't update it, not realising that they have a subsciption

          I guess what's unclear to me is that when it says the old subscription lapsed does that mean it actually expired i.e. his 12 or 24 months or whatever ran out? Or when they say it lapsed do they mean that his access was cut off because his card was no longer valid?

          The way I see it, if he had a subscription but his card expired so they couldn't bill him, then they're entitled to bill him for the remainder of that subscription, provided they continue to provide the service. If they cut off the service I don't see how they can justify continuing to bill him i.e. expecting him to hold up his side of the bargain when they had also stopped providing their side.

          But if the old subscription hasn't expired yet and he's got remaining time on it then they shouldn't be billing him for a new subscription if the old one is still active. Gaaaahh, this whole article is just confusing. Clarity, please!

            Microsoft does not allow people to use LIVE Gold Subscriptions on any kind of 'pay later' system. They want your money first... it is 'pay-as-you-go'.
            If he had a Gold Subscription, he paid for a specific period of time in a lump sum. If he left his card info on his account and allowed them to 'auto-renew' then at the end of that time period Microsoft would then take money to pay for another period of time into the future.

            If he had Gold, he'd already paid for it. The most he should pay is for more time into the future... any 'Gold' he had leading up to the present had to have been paid for previously... that is just how their system works. To say that they charged him for the 'previous year' is saying 'he paid twice for the same year of service'...

            Therefore, Microsoft screwed him over.

      What mistake did he make? His subscription lapsed, he then renewed it later and got billed for 2 subscriptions (the old one he was renewing and a new one).

      So Microsoft are billing him for 2 subscriptions when he only has 1. How is that his mistake rather than Microsoft either (a) making a mistake at their end or (b) just blantantly screwing him?

      No. When I sold my 360 the only way of cancelling my subscription was to cancel my credit card. MS refused to stop charging it, no matter how many phone calls I made.

    Never had a problem myself, it seems a bit rough, but it also seems to be due to him not updating his credit card details when it came time to pay the bill. If he had of had valid credit card info, then it wouldn't of happened

      When you come to the end of your Gold Status and it auto-charges to continue your subscription you aren't paying for the previous year... you're paying for the next year continuing forward into the future...

      So if his credit card info wasn't up to date what should have happened was the auto-payment they tried to take failed so then his Gold should have downgraded to Silver. Then when he added updated card info to upgrade back to Gold it should charge him for the next year coming in the future...

      At no point should he have to pay for a 'previous' year. Their system doesn't allow for that.

      They shafted him hard. It's not his fault.

    This is why you use a pre-paid card kids, to avoid all this drama.

      How does it avoid anything, you're still on Live :S

    This happend to a mate of mine. It was crazy. I just rung him up and told him he isnt alone!!

    Something similar once occurred to me. We cancelled renewal from my wife's account (couldn't afford to renew for a year that particular week) and bought a month when the gold lapsed. We got charged for a month, which reactivated the renewal, and then got charged for a year as well.

    So... we were a bit strapped for a week, but I sucked it up. While inconvenient, it's not like they didn't provide the service.

    Nowhere near as bad as the time Pizza Hut ran my card twice by mistake and effectively stole $37 from me. Took me over a week to get the money back.

      Ah, see that's what I was looking for in my comment above - I wasn't clear on whether or not they continued to provide the service after his card expired. If they provided the service and are just billing him retrospectively for services already provided then it's fair enough.

    Hell I paid 8.25 for 500 Live Points to buy some DLC for Dirt3... They charged $2.00 extra, for god knows what. Anyone got any ideas?

    This sort of happened to me, used a prepaid card to get a years sub, auto renewal turned off. Later added my card to buy some points and discover a few months later they have turned auto renew on some how and billed me for another year.
    F**k you M$. I hate you with the fiery passion of a thousand suns.

      lol yeah its one of the nasty little traps, but I think its mentioned somewhere in the fine print

    I was wishing this guy luck, and thinking he might have a chance.

    Then I saw he wants a C&D on Microsoft being dicks with money.

    ...Not gunna happen.

    Honestly, based on my experience with Microsoft, I'm betting they've accidentally double charged him, and due to their, to put it bluntly, extremely poor quality and power lacking customer service representitives, he was unable to speak with anyone capable of issuing a refund. Instead they've just said too bad just have some extra Gold. So causing a pointless lawsuit wasting the time of Microsoft and this Owen guy when all he wants is his cash back! I've had dramas with them too, and I hope he gets awarded some insanely inflated cash reimbursement!

    I canceled my account, they billed me another month by mistake, after a call to complain they canceled my gold subscription and never paid me back.

    I hope more lawsuits pop up after this to really screw Microsoft - xbox live is a shit service.

    Just a question.
    I have a visa debit card that allows me to use my own money. would they still charge for an extra year if there is no money on that account?

    people... this is a CLASS ACTION suit. if this, or something similar has happened to you, you will be able to join the suit at no cost to you!

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