Wrongly Banned Xbox Live Users Welcomed Back With Gifts

A recent crackdown on modded consoles snared "a very small percentage" of Xbox Live users who had done nothing wrong, yet received comprehensive bans from Microsoft nonetheless. Xbox Live's top cop today apologised for the mistake and said these gamers would be reinstated immediately.

Stephen Toulouse, better known as "Stepto" to some, said the bans resulted from "a software issue, not an error on the part of the enforcement team's normal actions". That said, the enforcement team is investigating what exactly when wrong, to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Those who were wrongly banned will get three months of free Xbox Live Gold service, and 1600 Microsoft Points. All of this will be applied automatically, StepTo said. Those who were banned simply need to log back into Xbox Live.

"I'd like to take a moment to personally apologise for the inconvenience this has almost certainly caused to the affected customers," Stepto wrote. "You have my assurance that we are investigating how this error occurred and have since discontinued use of the software that was used."

A Guest Post from Stepto Regarding Console Suspensions [Major Nelson]


    That's a start, woulda been nice to say, had 2000 or so points for compensation. 1600 won't get you much... would've been nice to get some sort of big purchase out of it. But then to be realistic, they didn't actually HAVE to compensate anyone...

      And not only did they not have to compensate someone, they rectified their mistake asap.

        I'm seeing such comments showing up everywhere these days like as if big business need somebody to defend them. I get it, big business owes us nothing... even if they did something wrong or made a mistake. While it makes sense, reminding people will never improve a companies image. Just like reasonable signs of "No refunds" or "you break it you buy it" won't instantly boost my enjoyment of a convenience store.

          I just think the people who are on other websites that have been calling for a public lynching due to the lack of reward in the deal need a reality check.

            Well yes, such a reaction against a rectified mistake is considerably unwarranted... but this mistake was to accidentally BAN somebody piracy when they did nothing of the sort.

      Considering it's a paid service (assuming the banned people were Live subscribers), meaning those people lost access to a service for which they'd paid money for, I'd say MS DID have to compensate them.

      At least they did just admit they got it wrong and straightened it out. I'm sure that won't stop people launching lawsuits, though. God bless America.

      Might as well give him 1520 points... you just know he's going to end up with 80 points left.

    Aw man.. I wish I was wrongly banned. I still haven't touched my Xbox since May so I could've survived being banned for a while.

      If you haven't touched it since May then maybe you HAVE been wrongly banned and just don't know it :P

    Microsoft and software issues, folks. In other news, Treyarch have announced Call of Duty 9001: realistic bloody screen edition.

    Lol at 1600 points, just short of an amount that would get you anything good... How convenient, people might need to, you know, buy more...

    MS really google'd up this time.

      Um arcade games are either 800, or 1200 points, so basically 2 free games, or one decent sized one.

    xbox live 2 day outage = free arcade game

    Incorrect banning = 1600 points and three months of xbl gold

    So far the way Microsoft scale compensation with the wrongdoing/error/etc is better than Sony.

      How do you figure that?

        PSN outage; 3 weeks downtime (rough estimation), loss of personal information for 77 million users (with the added worry of identity theft)
        Compensation; 2 games that were bargain bin prices and a month of PS+ (with most benefits being from other companies)

        XBL 2 day outage; no access to XBL for 2 days
        Compensation; free game worth anywhere from $5-15

        Incorrect banning; a few days of no XBL access
        Compensation; 3 months of XBL gold and 1600 points.

        How do I figure that indeed...

        PSN outage lasted roughly three weeks combined with the loss of personal data that still has the potential for people so suffer from identity theft and will stay that way for the next few years at least and people got a choice of two games (roughly $20-30 dollars worth), only 30 days of access to the paid aspects of PSN

          Ahhh, ignored that last paragraph lol. I started ranting and instead surmised it into a few sentences but forgot about the rant I started :S damn lack of accounts and edit features.

          Except there have been no confirmed cases of anybody having had their identity stolen as a result of the PSN outage. And you forgot that Sony provided identity theft insurance as part of the compensation package. The free games Sony offered had a value of about $30-$35 each at the time (If you went LBP and Infamous).

          The 3 months of XBL Gold that MS provided those people basically lets them play online, which Sony lets people do for free anyway, so that's a pretty moot point in terms of comparing the respective value of compensation.

          And if you rate the value of the compensation dollar for dollar against the value of the service lost ($60-$70 not counting the identity theft insurance or PS Plus subscription vs nothing in the case of PSN, compared to $5-$15 or 1600 points vs something in the case of the XBL subs), Sony offered greater compensation for something which didn't cost anything in the first place.

            XBL is a far more solid service than PSN and has more people using it and like PS+ offers other services (hulu, Netflix etc) so not a moot point.

            A few days of down time and you get 1600 points ($24 est) and 3 months xbl gold which, again, like PS+ includes extra services and a more stable and larger online presence ($15 est). So 3-5 days = $39

            3 months downtime gets you $46 of games (LBP and Infamous can be had brand new in box for that much with free shipping, the welcome back package was digital thus cost sony less), 1 month of PS+ ($7 est) therefore 90 days = $53 + unknown amount for insurance (12 months only) and if no one needs that insurance or the id theft occurs AFTER the 12 months well...

            no confirmed cases... YET. Out of 77 million people the law of averages says someones going to be compromised at somewhere at sometime.

              I had my identity stolen, but the guy who uses it now posts everywhere as me. So, it's still unknown.

              Nevermind that. My identity was never stolen, it was all a joke. Ha ha.

    I was one of these wrongly banned users and was very frustrated about it as the people at Xbox would not believe me that I did nothing wrong.
    I have been unbanned now.
    Yet I have no compensation. I have no xbox live points or free live.
    Do I have to activate it or something?

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