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Microsoft Facing Class-Action Suit Over Xbox Live Points

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the demo-suit-is-free dept.

Microsoft 107

An anonymous reader tips news that a lawyer in Pennsylvania has filed a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft, alleging that the company's handling of Xbox Live transactions is, in some cases, fraudulent. "Samuel Lassoff, of Horsham, PA, said an invoice he received earlier this month from Microsoft included charges for purchases he couldn't complete due to a balky download system — and he claimed it wasn't an accident. Microsoft 'engaged in a scheme to unjustly enrich itself through their fraudulent handling' of his account, Lassoff charged in papers filed earlier this week in US District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania. ... 'Microsoft breached that contract by collecting revenues for digital goods and services which were not provided,' Lassoff said in his lawsuit."

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First Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30914680)

...hopefully :D
sorry guys, i had to try at least once.

Re:First Post! (2, Insightful)

lxs (131946) | more than 4 years ago | (#30914702)

If you have to do it, at least do it under your own name.

Re:First Post! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30914714)

That is not a skill.

A skill is a first post (with first post in the comment or title) that gets modded to +5.

Re:First Post! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30914932)

Yes, but true, real skill is having the last post and being confident about that.

Re:First Post! (1)

Teufelsmuhle (849105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30915976)

Last post! I'm sure of it!

Deja'vu (0, Troll)

starbugs (1670420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30914684)

Microsoft doing something illegal, and then getting sued for it???

What is this world coming to.

I view Microsoft just like the protagonist in 'Fight Club' views the "major car manufacturer".
If cost of litigation is less than profit then Do It.

Re:Deja'vu (4, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30914722)

Yeah, except it's basically just a load of complete and utter bollocks from a serial ambulance chaser:

"As for Lassoff, he's no stranger to suing big tech companies and other organizations. Records show he sued Google in 2006, claiming the search ads he placed fell victim to click fraud. He also sued Bally's Casino in Atlantic City in 2005, claiming he was attacked by a drunken patron while sitting at a poker table."

The problem with his argument is that you can redownload content whenever you want to, so even if the download servers did fail for a couple of days, you'd still be able to download it after that. Despite having spent a small fortune on XBox Live, I've never had any problems accessing content I've bought. The issue is that his argument doesn't even really make sense- Microsoft would have nothing to gain by preventing users downloading content they've bought because it would mean those users wouldn't go on to buy any more content afterwards. It's not like DLC really costs them anything much to provide, it's not too far off being just pure profit, they're not just going to risk turning that away. Even if you do run into problems it's not like Microsoft support wont help either, when my original XBox 360 died through RROD they gave me 4200 points when I complained about my DLC not being tied to my replacement console anymore and then tied my content to my new console for me.

This story is about as stupid as the Visual Studio tabs one from the other day. Really, has it come to this? Slashdot is so desperate for anti-MS stories now that it really has resorted to just scraping the bottom of the barrel?

Re:Deja'vu (1)

ET3D (1169851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30914990)

Spent all his money on DLC, and now he's trying to get some back.

Before that he lost money in a casion, and wanted to get it back.

As for Google, I don't know how much money it's possible to lose on ads, but I'd love to find out.

Re:Deja'vu (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30915520)

When I bought google ads via their content network, their verbage explictly said something to the effect that we will put your ads on 'RELEVANT' sites. our ads got placed on turkish-language hip-hop sites, indian flash game sites, and everything in between. none of those things are by the remotest definition "relevant" to our business or our keywords. I estimate that we lost about $50k on this before we noticed just how much of a lying scam google adwords 'content' network is. Shame on us? Perhaps. But google deserves to be sued for every penny it made off of that sham service, since we explicitly shouldnt have had to check up on it since we had a contract where they agreed to put our ads on 'relevant' sites, something they were negligent in doing. if i were a lawyer or had the time, i'd sue them like crazy for that, since google's definition of 'relevance' failed any and all reasonable tests of the word. rather, it was clear that our ads were going anywhere and everywhere with no limits whatsoever.

Re:Deja'vu (1)

chentiangemalc (1710624) | more than 4 years ago | (#30915048)

couldn't have said it better myself

Re:Deja'vu (3, Interesting)

dimeglio (456244) | more than 4 years ago | (#30915228)

The point is not if this is an anti-Microsoft story, there are too many to count, but that he is standing up to demand justice vs a large corp. Remember that a good portion of the profits for the sale of any product goes to their legal department. In other words, you are financing both your defence and theirs if you sue them. Those EULA are so protective that they often go against legislated consumer rights and against, state, province or even federal law. People don't know and believe the company is actually entitled to all these obscene conditions.

That being said, Microsoft seems insists on retaining their bully image and some of us don't respond well to that. If at least they would innovate, at least there would be some pros once in a while.

Re:Deja'vu (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30915364)

but that he is standing up to demand money vs a large corp

Here, fixed it for you.

Re:Deja'vu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30915572)

the guy is a habitual ambulance chaser, suing everyone and anyone. nothing about this suit makes any sense apart from the guy trying to abuse a twisted court system to screw some money out of a large company.

Re:Deja'vu (2)

Vohar (1344259) | more than 4 years ago | (#30919072)

You're really bringing in a lot of things that have nothing to do with this case, such as the EULA and innovation. This story is about a guy who has a history of trying to sue large corporations over nothing. He's just after money, but you're talking like this is part of some sort of ideological war.

This guy doesn't care about Microsoft or Apple or Linux. He's just looking for a big payday.

Re:Deja'vu (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 4 years ago | (#30923774)

I don't know that anything you just said applies to this case at all.

Re:Deja'vu (0, Troll)

paragon1 (1395635) | more than 4 years ago | (#30915730)

Really, has it come to this? Slashdot is so desperate for anti-MS stories now that it really has resorted to just scraping the bottom of the barrel?

It's spelled M$.

Re:Deja'vu (4, Interesting)

njandtmp (1145297) | more than 4 years ago | (#30915884)

I can confirm that the Microsoft server do not always hold the content on their servers. I had bought a dozen or so songs from the Zune marketplace, then after an update I lost media rights to play these purchased songs. When I went to re-download the songs, they are no longer available on the Zune Marketplace. I called Customer Support (in India), and they are if course unable to assist. They blamed me for not backing up my license file. They sugested that I burn all my purchased songs to a CD for a backup. I tried to explain that was the reason why I purchased the Zune in the first place, to get rid of the CD media. So do not always assume this content is available to be downloaded again, which is a major issue with the XBOX, since you cant backup any of the content.

Re:Deja'vu (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#30916306)

It's possible that he was renting Videos on the marketplace, in which case if there were network issues for 24 hours he might not get the movie. Otherwise, I've never heard of an Xbox Live download failing and not being able to continue. Zune marketplace is different, even though they share a common payment system.

Re:Deja'vu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30917138)

You can't watch the movie until it is downloaded, and the 24 hour rental doesn't start until you've actually started watching.

Re:Deja'vu (2)

DanTheStone (1212500) | more than 4 years ago | (#30919300)

Your premise is wrong. You can start movies before they're finished downloading now.

Re:Deja'vu (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#30919318)

In that case, there's abosolutely no leg for this guy to stand on, not that he would have had much of one anyway.

Re:Deja'vu (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 4 years ago | (#30919880)

So what you're saying is you bought DRM'ed media and got burned? Holy shit, who would ever see that coming!?

Re:Deja'vu (1)

GasparGMSwordsman (753396) | more than 4 years ago | (#30919420)

The problem with his argument is that you can redownload content whenever you want to, so even if the download servers did fail for a couple of days, you'd still be able to download it after that.

I have no idea about this lawsuit or this guy. BUT your whole statement is that it does not matter if the download fails because you can just download it again. Well my question to you is, how many times does it have to fail before it matters?

Would your opinion change if the download failed twice in a row? How about four times? Ten times? Thirty times? How about if you were unable to download a purchase for three months?

How long would you try to download a purchase before you decided that it was no longer worth it and demand a refund?

The whole point of digital download systems is that you can access them RIGHT NOW. If I purchase something and I can't access it RIGHT NOW why should I not be given a refund so I can drive across town and purchase the same item? The system advertised a feature that it could not deliver on plain and simple. I can also say with absolute certainty that in my home State that MS would be required to refund the purchase in this case (both the software purchase and the MS points if done to buy the software).

Re:Deja'vu (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920900)

I'll clarify for you.

In around 1000 pieces of content downloaded by myself from Xbox live, big and small, only one has failed because of Microsoft's servers and that was the free DLC for The Saboteur, however I would guess it's because the game arrived a day early for me and the content wasn't up until release day, the next day, when it worked.

I have had a few fail because my connection has dropped, but it still doesn't matter, because it doesn't outright fail, it supports resuming and carries on where it left off.

Re:Deja'vu (1)

GasparGMSwordsman (753396) | more than 4 years ago | (#30921906)

FOR YOU!

That is the point, you have NO IDEA what happened to others. *I* have not had any bad experiences with XBOX Live either. (In fact I have not had a single download issue so far.) That does not mean *SOMEONE ELSE* might not. Mistakes happen and when they do they must be rectified. As someone who writes software for a living and manages a corporate network as well I can think of dozens of technical issues that could cause a loss or prevention of service. In each case MS would be responsible for rectifying the issue.

Mistakes happen all the time, errors happen all the time. The two issues that the case will deal with are. 1) Did the user experience unacceptable issues in the purchase/delivery process? 2) Did Microsoft do enough to rectify the situation?

Unless you have some other source of information other than TFA you have absolutely no way of judging this issue.

Here is an example of a mistake that happened to me involving XBOX Live. Four years ago MS had an error with there Live payment. They billed me for another year subscription. Something happened on there end and they both received payment from me AND SENT MY ZERO DOLLAR BILL TO A COLLECTIONS AGENCY. I spent a week arguing with Microsoft AND the collections agency. Finally I got them to talk to each other and read the balance owed on the account, $0.00 US. During the week I was unable to access Live, I was also hounded by the collections agency calling at all hours of the day for a week.

I would have been justified in suing MS for their actions. They caused a problem, did nothing to fix the problem, then did not admit fault. That is a very clear grounds for a successful lawsuit. Very simply, if this guy had a similar experience then he has grounds for a successful lawsuit.

Re:Deja'vu (2, Interesting)

pla (258480) | more than 4 years ago | (#30914758)

Microsoft doing something illegal, and then getting sued for it???

Sure, lets all get our kicks in while we can, but realize that this involves a much deeper issue than our hate for Microsoft.

How many times have you gotten some form of promo code for something free, only to have a hideous web site design (or even legitimate network problems) cause you to "redeem" that code without actually getting anything - And then of course the site refuses the code as "already used" when you try again? Personally, I'd put it at over half the time for me.

And this doesn't only include free material, either, though (so far) companies take a bit more care when you actually pay for the service/product in question... Case in point, just this week I tried to use a 60 minute card on a contractless cellphone (more for the time extension than the actual minutes), only to have it rejected for some ill-defined reason. Fortunately they have actual humans you can deal with, but clearly the motivation to just make it work right simply doesn't exist; they already have your money at that point.

Re:Deja'vu (2, Interesting)

jaraxle (1707) | more than 4 years ago | (#30916194)

However, as stated above, when you "redeem" your purchased Microsoft points on XBL to download something, if that download fails for whatever reason you can always start it again later.

If your internet connection goes down halfway through a download and doesn't come up until two days later, you can always go back to the XBL Marketplace, locate what you were downloading, and choose the option to download it again. WITHOUT paying more MS points for it. I really don't think MS can be held accountable for this, nor should they be.

While I enjoy kicking MS a bit as much as the next /.'er, this seems spurious at best. On top of that, how many people use XBL to download game addons/demos/videos/etc without any problems whatsoever? I highly doubt that poor download connections over XBL would be the fault of Microsoft in this case. I realize this is only anecdotal, but honestly some of the best download rates I've gotten are either from MS websites or over XBL (torrents notwithstanding).

~jaraxle

Re:Deja'vu (1)

Custard Horse (1527495) | more than 4 years ago | (#30916418)

It's a fly in the ointment that MS has to suffer such claims from some underhand, money-grabbing cock-jockey. Generally XBL works very well.

If your broadband cannot sustain large downloads how can MS be at fault? It's like Captain Hook complaining to Cherry that only one side of his keyboard works. If you have crap broadband complain to your ISP or MOVE CLOSER to an exchange.

Hopefully, MS will decide to take this case on and crush the lawyers and hapless patsy that is their client. And ban them all from XBL. Bastards.

Re:Deja'vu (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#30919808)

Hopefully, MS will decide to take this case on and crush the lawyers and hapless patsy that is their client. And ban them all from XBL. Bastards.

The last thing we want is for this douche-nozzle to have a legitimate complaint and win a lawsuit. Let him get laughed out of court, but don't give him more fodder.

Re:Deja'vu (1)

n0tWorthy (796556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30919390)

Kind of like the "free" digital copy of Harry Potter that comes with the latest Blue-Ray? The download sits at 0% forever on Windows 7 x64 and their site states they only support XP. Now that I have "redeemed" my code I can't use it on an old XP laptop that would at least be a supported OS. Big media are asshats.

Re:Deja'vu (2, Funny)

starbugs (1670420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30914780)

Next time starbugs RTFA. :)

--Note to self: stop talking to yourself.

Logic can be applied in more cases (1)

nicc777 (614519) | more than 4 years ago | (#30914686)

How about the so called "enterprise" software you buy for an arm and a leg. When there are serious bugs, can you not also apply the same logic, specifically "collecting revenues for digital goods and services which were not provided" - assuming your expectation was "working" and "secure" software as promised... Mmmm...

Re:Logic can be applied in more cases (1)

chrish (4714) | more than 4 years ago | (#30916050)

Quite often "enterprise" software is bought with a service level agreement and/or support agreement; if there are problems, or it goes down, the company you bought it from is on the hook for fixing it ASAP and sometimes has to pay penalties.

I'm too lazy to read this guy's claims, but if I spend XBox points on something, I can re-download it later, can't I? It says right on the screen that there are no returns, but I've never had a problem actually getting the download.

Frankly, I'm more annoyed by MS's refusal to open up the hard drive on the 360 so we can install whatever drive we want (you know, like you can on the PS3). I'd love to drop a bigger drive in mine, but there's no way I'm paying for their 120GB drive... I can get a 320GB 7200 rpm drive for less.

Never attribute to malice (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 4 years ago | (#30914694)

that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

But they still have a duty to correct their mistakes.

Re:Never attribute to malice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30914730)

Good luck with that. Trying to contact support of a company the size of Microsoft is an exercise in futility; they'll stall you with automated replies till the end of time. It's probably easier to just file lawsuit.

Re:Never attribute to malice (3, Informative)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#30914820)

Except it sounds like this is neither malice, stupidity or a mistake. It's hard to determine what the actual complaint is, but from the Facebook page (I won't dignify it with a link since that's the guy's whole intention, but it's called "Microsoft Point Fraud Class Action Lawsuit"):

"Defendant Microsoft Corporation received and retained money paid by Plaintiffs in response to incomplete and or partial downloads of digital goods and services and refused refund of same."

That implies a massive misunderstanding of the system. Points aren't a bank that you can pay into and extract money from at will, they're more like a gift card you can redeem at some future date, and neither does MS make any guarantees about the date of redemption, instead they allow you to re-download your content at any time. That means if your initial download fails to complete, or you can't download because the download system is "balky", you just try again later (and honestly, the only time I've ever had problems with downloads on Live is during dash updates, when it can be a bit flaky for the first few hours as everyone's getting the same download at the same time - more likely if he's having continual problems downloading it's his connection rather than the download system that is "balky"). Either way, once you've spent your points it's up to you to download your content.

As someone else already said, once MS has your money they have no real interest in not delivering the downloads, all that will do is risk deterring customers from making future purchases (compared to the frankly tiny cost of providing the download). I'm all for giving big companies short shrift when they step out of line, and god knows MS have made some major misteps in the past, but this just looks like a case of a slimy lawyer either trying to hit it big by suing $RANDOM_BIG_TECH_COMPANY, or at the very least trying to get his face and name all over the internet.

Re:Never attribute to malice (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 4 years ago | (#30915020)

Oooh but it is connected... It is all connected in one huge web of conspiracy. Either that or he's off his meds again.

Re:Never attribute to malice (1)

GasparGMSwordsman (753396) | more than 4 years ago | (#30919222)

When you agree to a purchase both the seller and purchaser have certain legal obligations. In this case, Microsoft, selling the MS points has an obligation to ensure that the system works reasonably well. I've never had problems, however, if MS failed to ensure that their system worked at a minimum standard then they would reasonably be required to refund the real dollars this guy handed over. This is a very simple legal principle and common sense.

The crux of the case depends on what problems this guy faced and what was MS's response. If he was repeatedly denied adequate service followed by MS refusing to correct the issue or refund him, then he should have a very strong case.

Something doesn't sound right (4, Interesting)

Brianech (791070) | more than 4 years ago | (#30914718)

He blames a "balky download system" but when you buy something on xbox live. It doesn't not matter if the download completes. The item is tied to your account when you buy it, and you can download it and redownload it whenever you want. As the article points out this lawyer also seems a little shady (suing a Casino because a drunk attacked him).

One thing the article did mention that I liked was that MS is considering doing away with points. I know I always have an odd number of points on my account because of so many different denominations of DLC prices. Thats one thing I like about my PS3, it charges my credit card directly OR I can chose to add a certain amount of money to my account. Not trying to incite a flamewar between PS3/360, I have both and love them both for different reasons.

Re:Something doesn't sound right (4, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30914744)

I'd actually be quite sad if they did away with the points system. It ensures costings are roughly fair across all regions as it's effectively a global currency, bought for fairly balanced local prices.

It's much easier for them to set a global price in terms of MS points and sell the points depending on local currency than to constantly try and update the price of every piece of content. You'd end up with a situation like with Steam where people in the UK can be charged as much as 200% of elsewhere. Right now it isn't perfect with MS points, but it is much more fair than most other systems from iTunes to Steam in terms of pricing.

Re:Something doesn't sound right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30914966)

with Steam where people in the UK can be charged as much as 200% of elsewhere.

We call them taxes you insensitive clod!

Re:Something doesn't sound right (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#30915054)

I completely agree. It also cuts out those nasty transaction fees, which means in theory more profit can go to the devs, and lower price games are possible.

Re:Something doesn't sound right (3, Informative)

nutshell42 (557890) | more than 4 years ago | (#30915096)

Why should the prices for points use better exchange rates than those for the goods themselves?

Just checked:

  • Amazon.de, 2100 points for 28EUR means 1.9ct per point.
  • Amazon.com, 1600 points for $19.64, i.e. 1.2ct per point.

That's steam exchange rates. Also notice how you can't really buy equal amounts of points (at least I didn't see them on the first pages of results) to muddy the waters.

The fair way to handle the issue would be to set the price for one region then do, let's say weekly, automatic conversions into other currencies (with respective taxes, etc.).

All we need is some kind of electronic computation machine that can do it for us. Perhaps somebody could hack one together. Imho vacuum tubes look promising.

Re:Something doesn't sound right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30915372)

Did you figure in VAT on the DE purchases? I'll be you anything that's what the difference is between US and Euro pricing :)

Re:Something doesn't sound right (3, Interesting)

asc99c (938635) | more than 4 years ago | (#30915688)

Dammit our 60% VAT rate strikes again.

Re:Something doesn't sound right (1)

IndieKid (1061106) | more than 4 years ago | (#30915782)

2100 points for 28EUR minus 19% VAT (28/1.19) is 23.53EUR or ~33.11USD: 33.11 / 2100 = 1.58ct per point

Still quite a lot higher (~32%) than 1.2ct per point.

Re:Something doesn't sound right (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30923686)

That would be the same with Steam as well so his claim that it's inline with Steam is still valid.

Re:Something doesn't sound right (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 4 years ago | (#30916408)

I did a comparison on here a little while ago between MS, eBay and Amazon.

No one in their right mind would use anything other than eBay in the UK to buy points.

Re:Something doesn't sound right (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30916562)

Right, because calculating a CurrencyValue multiplier for each item rather than just in the Points item is the sort of simple rote mechanical operation that computers totally suck at.

What's that, you say? It's infinitesimally less work and very slightly more convenient for Microsoft to sell Points? Well, bully for them. That they choose to do so speaks volumes for how they view their customers though. Hint: "Screw you, and your little dog too" about sums it up.

Re:Something doesn't sound right (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30923652)

They have to constantly update costs anyway for price fluctuations and tax changes. Everything they claim would be a hassle is being done. The data just doesn't show on the front-end.

People do pay more as can be seen here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Points

The prices do fluctuate because points in the UK did cost more compared to the US upon my last investigation. So MS probably only changes the price when the pound comes more in line with the dollar but they're happy when exchange rate has a bigger gap.

Also I don't like the idea of Microsoft (or Nintendo) earning free money via spare points interest from millions of people.

Re:Something doesn't sound right (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#30914832)

I'll be all for the switch from points to money (for transparency reasons, although I might have a shock when I see what real money I'm spending!) so long as it doesn't continue to store credit card details on the system and instead perhaps allows you to "charge up" an account with money or make one-off transactions without retaining card details. It was a major PITA getting a previous card removed from my system (it wasn't my card, I borrowed it to make a payment for live and they retained the details which made me feel a bit uneasy - I believe you can now remove these via the website, which is still an additional hoop to jump through, but at the time even that wasn't possible).

Re:Something doesn't sound right (1)

Deltaspectre (796409) | more than 4 years ago | (#30927562)

I'm not sure I understand, you want a way to "charge up" your account with money, so you can buy points (and likely not in increments that align with the amount of money you charged the account up with), so that you can buy content (which again, likely doesn't align with the amount of points you're able to buy)?

Re:Something doesn't sound right (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30914894)

Personally I don't mind the points system at all, it means I'm able to use prepaid cards instead of handing them my credit card information. Never mind the fact that I don't actually have a credit card (they aren't as common outside of the US).

Leftover points don't really bother me. Eventually something cool will come along to spend them on. Of course, Microsoft prefers it if you spend your last 100 points on silly picture packs and then buy a completely new set of points when the next Dragon Age expansion comes along, but I'll just leave the 100 points sitting in my account and put them towards the expansion as well.

As for the original topic, I dislike Microsoft's general business practices as much as the next guy, but they seem pretty okay when it comes to the points thing. A while ago they had an offer where I could buy Braid at a discount, but (presumably due to a bug) I was charged full price. I hadn't actually noticed that I was overcharged though. Still, a few weeks later, I received an email with an apology and the points were refunded, without any action or complaint from my part. I thought that was very decent of them, and honestly I've started buying more arcade games from them since then.

Re:Something doesn't sound right (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30916872)

>they [credit cards] aren't as common outside of the US

Really? I haven't used cash in years, I've had the same $40 in my wallet for 2 years.

Re:Something doesn't sound right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30917198)

We use debit cards.

Re:Something doesn't sound right (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30918256)

Oh I thought you guys used cash. I actually canceled my debit card, they are just a terrible idea in the US. They do nothing for you credit score and if your PIN gets compromised it can be a PITA to recover your money.

Re:Something doesn't sound right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30918262)

In north america, you can use debit cards anywhere you use can use credit cards. You don't need a credit cards to buy points on XBL or things from the the PSN store.

Also, you can buy pre-paid cards for PSN in stores.

Re:Something doesn't sound right (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#30918652)

Personally I don't mind the points system at all, it means I'm able to use prepaid cards instead of handing them my credit card information. Never mind the fact that I don't actually have a credit card (they aren't as common outside of the US).

Leftover points don't really bother me. Eventually something cool will come along to spend them on. Of course, Microsoft prefers it if you spend your last 100 points on silly picture packs and then buy a completely new set of points when the next Dragon Age expansion comes along, but I'll just leave the 100 points sitting in my account and put them towards the expansion as well.

As for the original topic, I dislike Microsoft's general business practices as much as the next guy, but they seem pretty okay when it comes to the points thing. A while ago they had an offer where I could buy Braid at a discount, but (presumably due to a bug) I was charged full price. I hadn't actually noticed that I was overcharged though. Still, a few weeks later, I received an email with an apology and the points were refunded, without any action or complaint from my part. I thought that was very decent of them, and honestly I've started buying more arcade games from them since then.

Exactly.

I use points cards (I'm in Canada, and I do have a credit card). Why? Because I never pay full price for a points card! I always buy them when they're 10=25+% off, which is just "free" money. So I get the items at a bigger discount that way. Hell, I've had friends in the US complain loudly about paying for points, then acquiesce when I say that you can buy them at Amazon where they'll send you a code for the download. They acquiesced because the game was the discount of the week, and Amazon charges full price. The "spare" points left over after buying the game meant he could buy something else later, and he spent less than paying Amazon for just the game.

Right now I have a somewhat high balance, and am choosing what to really spend it on - it's hard, and I know I have a pile of points cards (as with Xbox live subscription cards - why pay full price?), and I do give them to friends as presents.

I guess the only way to make people happy is those who would've paid full price get to be billed full price on their credit cards, and those who want points have to buy prepaid cards. Inevitably there's at least a week every month or so where they're on sale at some retailer (online or B&M).

My best deal yet would've been getting an xbox live membership card on "clearance" because it was for the original Xbox, and EBGames thought they didn't work on the Xbox360.

Re:Something doesn't sound right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30920762)

Selling gamer points is kind of like owning a mint, and MS benefits from the digital http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seignorage [wikipedia.org] . It's very similar to the effects of gift cards; you've paid X up front, and MS has issued a LOT of points, so they've got these huge bank accounts full of money making them interest, which would otherwise have been in their users' bank accounts making the users interest. (A third parallel would be paypal, which is earning interest on every positive balance paypal account). The quantity and in/out flow rate also means that MS is earning better rates overall than the users would from their savings accounts. (They can put large chunks of it into longer term investments, just like a bank would, and keep some portion more liquid for paying game companies. And the game company payments are likely on a schedule, not instant, so MS can probably still get decent interest on that portion too).

Like with gift cards, portions of the balance go unspent for a long time, possibly forever. If your 360 breaks and you don't replace it, you don't get the money back. If MS shuts down the entire thing, you don't get the money back (though there would be lawsuits...).

MS goes a step further by obfuscating both ends of the transaction; you buy points in oddly priced blocks and spend points in oddly priced blocks. This is so that you never have close to "exact change" and therefore always have an unspent balance. If you don't spend it right away, that benefits MS. If you do try to spend it right away, you probably have to buy another block of points, which benefits MS. With a gift card, you may spend a little more than the card's value to use up the whole card, but at least you CAN do that, because you can cover the difference with an exact amount of cash. With game points, well, consider an example case where points are sold in $7 blocks but spent in $6 blocks; you'll have another $1 left over every time until you've bought 6 blocks. If you don't buy many things, that'll take a long time, over which time MS will be making interest on unspent points (which will average $2-$3 worth over that timespan). If a few million gamers are doing it that way...

If there's any price inflation over time, MS again benefits from your unspent balance; they got one point block worth of real money from you plus maybe some interest plus whatever profit is built in to the purchases, but you only get some slightly smaller fraction worth of game out of it. Inflation might be hard to notice, since it'd be in the form of new game content being only slightly more expensive than old; it also might come in sudden jumps, like a hot new Must Have game coming out and it's more expensive and maybe that seems justified, but then later everyone else raises their prices too...

Re:Something doesn't sound right (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30915424)

I know I always have an odd number of points on my account because of so many different denominations of DLC prices.

Wouldn't you be just as likely to have an even number of points? I suppose you could have started out with an odd number of points, and bought only things costing an even number of points, so that your remaining points were always odd.

Re:Something doesn't sound right (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30923510)

I think the guy, in my opinion, is an ambulance chaser but I also dislike the points system that both Microsoft and Nintendo employ. I want to just pay the *exact* price for my software.

By using points, you end up with left over points, millions of people do this and all those pennies add up to free interest money for MS with no benefit to the consumer as the 360 is by far the most expensive system to get full use out of it.

By using points they can make it appear as if every country pays the same where as in reality each country pays a different price per point. They can raise prices in numerous markets without it being reflected easily to most consumers.

Points, to most people, have no value. Most people would be more upset to see $50 sitting in their account for which they can't use for anything but MS software. But in points format it means less so it's a bit more acceptable.

If I sell my system how do I get my spare points back? Why should I have to ask when I don't need to beg Amazon.com or Play.com to give me my money back if I close my account.

The article on Edge ( http://www.edge-online.com/news/microsoft-points-never-intended-to-mislead-people%E2%80%9D [edge-online.com] ) has Aaron Greenberg saying 200 points is 200 points. That's not entirely true. In the US it may be $5.00 and it may be $10.00 to someone else.

He then states:

"There's more technical complexities to being able to put local prices in," he added. "You have to do that for every product in every country and you then have to deal with currency fluctuations.

That is a load of crap because they still have to manage costs for all countries and factor in tax for those countries that charge them. Somewhere there has to be a database of costs per points at MS. How can it be hard to pull through that currency amount to the front-end rather than a numerical value which, when someone buys those points, a system has to calculate their cost anyway.

Sony can manage this while giving away their online services for free. I can't believe people are dumb enough to buy into the points scam.

XBox Live points is definitly a game (5, Insightful)

Degro (989442) | more than 4 years ago | (#30914728)

Microsoft perpetually holds between $5-10 of my money, and has for a couple years now. Every time I want to purchase some DLC it's pretty much always the case that my current points pool is short of the price by 100-400 points. Of course they don't sell 100 points - you have to buy 500 or 1000 (I forget the exact amounts offered). I'm sure I'm far from the only one in this situation. It's almost like a superman scam. I wonder how much in total of unredeemed cash they sit on each month.

Re:XBox Live points is definitly a game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30914760)

not cash! points! the difference is that in most country holding cash without being a bank (with all the benefit and obligations that it implies) it's nigh illegal.

Re:XBox Live points is definitly a game (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#30914890)

Except where the theory falls down is, once they've got your cash, they don't care if you spend the points or not. It's not like they're providing a physical product and get some kind of real world benefit in holding onto your money while delaying the delivery of that product as long as possible.

Also, with purchases as low as 80 points, you can, if you really want, redeem all your points down to something paltry like 40 points easily - depending on how much you spent on the original points that's something like half a dollar (according to a quick Google around). Even if they managed to scam every last person on Live (around 20 million according to the news reports before Christmas), that's only $10m, spare change to a corporation like MS. I don't think they'd risk exposing themselves to a lawsuit for scamming users (not to mention scaring customers away from a very lucrative system) for a return that's probably less than their yearly paperclip spend. This is MS - they only scam users for $billions, not $millions, silly!

Re:XBox Live points is definitly a game (3, Informative)

BlackHawk-666 (560896) | more than 4 years ago | (#30915778)

Actually corporations like Microsoft do this all the time. By hanging onto small amounts of cash from their customers they can place this into overnight funds on the money market or other investments. You'd be surprised how much cash you could make if you had $20,000,000 on the overnight money market. It's quite legal, so there is no problem with that.

http://www.bankofcanada.ca/en/rates/monmrt.html [bankofcanada.ca]

Re:XBox Live points is definitly a game (1)

emanem (1356033) | more than 4 years ago | (#30916764)

Indeed it is a lot.
Overnight money market is not only legal, but them more money you lend the more high the perceived interest rate is.

Re:XBox Live points is definitly a game (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#30915056)

What's a superman scam? Google isn't helpful.

Re:XBox Live points is definitly a game (1)

wjsteele (255130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30915084)

Go see "Office Space."

Bill

Re:XBox Live points is definitly a game (1)

ch0rlt0n (1515291) | more than 4 years ago | (#30915128)

Wow, I think your question's serious, but your .sig suggests it might be sarcasm and I'm a fool for taking it seriously... um. I guess it's a reference to Superman III and Richard Pryor's scheme to skim off the fractions of a penny from everyone's salaries still held in the payroll computer. Either that or Clark Kent has been trying to sell a famous London bridge to an American. He "has a friend" who can arrange transport.

Re:XBox Live points is definitly a game (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#30915154)

http://www.google.com/search?q=superman+scam&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:unofficial&client=iceweasel-a [google.com]

I'm serious. Only scam in the top ten is getting lonely WoW players to fall for you then scamming their items. Actually looking closer I see the Superman III thing is indeed there, but it was nonobvious when I was skimming.

The office space thing makes sense though.

Re:XBox Live points is definitly a game (1)

ch0rlt0n (1515291) | more than 4 years ago | (#30915214)

Aaargh! Why has slashdot removed all the carriage returns from the post?!

Pssst... (2, Informative)

hoboroadie (1726896) | more than 4 years ago | (#30916348)

Go to your posting prefs, and switch from HTML to plain text mode.

Re:XBox Live points is definitly a game (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#30915350)

Here you go [wired.com] courtesy of your old pal da feet. Basically from the looks of it it is pulling a Richard Pryor in Superman 3 and skimming a little amount from a whole assload of folks, thus making you rich.

Problem is we are talking MSFT here, and this kind of scam probably wouldn't pay their bar tab. It also makes no sense as they don't care if you spend the points now, next week, or next year, as the bandwidth they are using to provide you the content isn't squat.

Re:XBox Live points is definitly a game (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#30915068)

I wonder how much you saved in transaction fees by maintaining a credit balance.

Re:XBox Live points is definitly a game (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#30915194)

I wonder how much you saved in transaction fees by maintaining a credit balance.

With a credit card? Nothing. Microsoft was the one who saved. I'd happily put 50 cent items on my credit card, but the merchants are the ones who pay around 30 cents plus a percentage of the transaction amount just to process the payment.

And for those who don't pay their balance in full, how much did they lose by paying interest on the amount that Microsoft now gets to make interest on?

Re:XBox Live points is definitly a game (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30915396)

With a credit card? Nothing. Microsoft was the one who saved. I'd happily put 50 cent items on my credit card, but the merchants are the ones who pay around 30 cents plus a percentage of the transaction amount just to process the payment.

You've got some numbers wrong.
Let me fix it for you:

With a credit card? Nothing. Microsoft was the one who saved. I'd happily put 80 cent items plus a percentage of the transaction amount just to process the payment on my credit card, but the merchants are the ones who pay around 0 cents.

Re:XBox Live points is definitly a game (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#30927510)

If that's your credit card deal, you're getting royally screwed. As a consumer, when I buy a $5 item on my credit card, I pay $5. The merchant I'm buying from pays a per-transaction fixed fee plus a percentage. The only time I pay more than the price of the item(s) purchased is if I don't pay off the balance.

Re:XBox Live points is definitly a game (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930850)

Again, you go thinking the merchant actually pays for that.
He'll just take your $5 item, add the per-transaction fee plus percentage to it and YOU'll pay it.
They don't explicitely inform you of this, but it's all calculated into the price.

Re:XBox Live points is definitly a game (0)

Logical Zebra (1423045) | more than 4 years ago | (#30916268)

This is my biggest problem with XBOX Live and the Wii Store. It should be handled like the PlayStation Store, where everything has an actual value and I am free to pay the exact purchase price (as long as it is above $5).

Re:XBox Live points is definitly a game (1)

berwiki (989827) | more than 4 years ago | (#30916458)

I wonder how much in total of unredeemed cash they sit on each month.

.... while collecting interest on that money.

Buy points 500 at at time, use 400 at a time (3, Insightful)

GTarrant (726871) | more than 4 years ago | (#30916514)

I don't mind that they sell points instead of using money directly - in fact, because you can buy "Points Cards" at various brick-and-mortar or online retailers (rather than buying points directly through the Xbox) it isn't that uncommon to see cards carrying $20 worth of points on sale for $15 or less. This couldn't really happen if the system was simply a dollar-for-dollar transaction.

The thing that bugs me is that most of the content on the Xbox Live Marketplace - at least in the way of games - costs something that is a multiple of $5. A Live Arcade game might be $5 or $10 (which is 400 or 800 points, respectively, unless the points are bought at a discount), while an Xbox or Xbox360 game for download might be 1600 ($20) or more. In essence, 400 points = $5.

However, when you buy points, you buy them in multiples...of 500. If you only want a single 400-point game, you have to buy 500 points, and have 100 points left over (and 100 points may as well be 0, unless you're buying an item for your avatar, or perhaps some video downloads, or you're gonna buy more points).

Please, MS, sell the points in multiples of $5. I know that selling them 500 at a time means people have leftovers and that's money in your bank, though, so it's not going to happen.

Re:Buy points 500 at at time, use 400 at a time (1)

Hellpop (451893) | more than 4 years ago | (#30918746)

Hot dogs and buns, anyone?

Seriously, Cable and satellite have you paying a month ahead for service. Cell service doesn't charge you per use anymore, you generally pay for a package for a specified time frame. They all earn interest on your money. Anything that gives you a rebate instead of just lowering the price, they make interest. Hell, employers who give you a raise in June, but you don't get the money until October are doing it too.

Move along... no conspiracy here, just old, well established business practices. You'd sit on the money and take interest too.

Re:Buy points 500 at at time, use 400 at a time (1)

EdelFactor19 (732765) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926910)

that its 'old' doesn't make it "well established". it means you are content with being ripped off and being jacked up for them to earn interest. just because they are ripping you off doesn't make it right.

key difference is that in those scenarios you are billed for the service provided. They don't bill you 1000 extra and say you'll have use the remainder of the funds on us as well. its like a credit card bill but in reverse... imagine that.

Re:XBox Live points is definitly a game (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 4 years ago | (#30917320)

This is routine practice for many types of services. My VOIP provider only accepts advance payments and it's most popular for mobile phone contracts. It saves transaction costs and makes the system a lot simpler. It isn't any different from stores offering gift vouchers.

How many people till it qualifies as class action? (2)

initialE (758110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30914814)

Seems to be a rare case when someone can't download from Live - Microsoft collects money and provides a premium service with reliable uptime in this case. How on earth did he decide it's Microsoft's fault his internet is shitty?

Re:How many people till it qualifies as class acti (1)

kainewynd2 (821530) | more than 4 years ago | (#30917858)

I agree.

Certainly, when the class action papers come in, I'm spitting on them and sending then to his mother's house.

Vexatious litigtion? (1)

mcbridematt (544099) | more than 4 years ago | (#30914834)

Did this guy even bother writing to MS?

RTFA's

Oh, this guy must be a lawyer. Or someone representing himself.

Screw Resolving Things "Peacefully"... (5, Insightful)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 4 years ago | (#30914892)

Let's just SUE 'EM!

The article makes no mention of Mr. Lassoff's experience when he contacted the Xbox Live support line, and I would expect that if it were less than expedient, that would be a major part of this lawsuit. I have a feeling that he didn't contact them at all, and instead is going straight to suing them. Now don't get me wrong... I absolutely despise the points system due to the fact that the point packs are not proportional to item costs, and that IS intentionally misleading... but it is not fraudulent or illegal, and the points system itself is not what the lawsuit is about.

Quoted FTA:

As for Lassoff, he's no stranger to suing big tech companies and other organizations. Records show he sued Google in 2006, claiming the search ads he placed fell victim to click fraud. He also sued Bally's Casino in Atlantic City in 2005, claiming he was attacked by a drunken patron while sitting at a poker table.

Google is known for their strict policies regarding click fraud, and they are very good at detecting it and very good at not charging the victims and not paying the perpetrators when it happens. This man must be afraid of phones or something, because a simple phone call should have resolved that issue as well. And as for the casino incident..... suing the casino because a patron attacked you? Are you fucking kidding me?

If this class action suit isn't thrown right the fuck out of court, what little hope I have left for our nation's judicial system will be lost.

Re:Screw Resolving Things "Peacefully"... (1)

EdelFactor19 (732765) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926858)

not a patron, a drunken patron. i dont know, but i would hope that is the only reason he is able to sue them (along with and in addition to the drunken patron himself).

not that strange. if you leave a bar and drive home drunk and hit someone the bar is usually sued..

let the case speak for itself, whether its actually valid or not i dont know, and I'd agree with you if he didn't contact support, but if he did I have no sympathy for them. Companies seem to love to not resolve problems these days. Took me 4 months to get a refund from AT&T for a cable bill they charged me for a month that was over a full month after I had cancelled service and turned in my equipment.

I mentioned this in another reply, just becuase they are good at it doesnt mean they didn't make an error. I'm not saying they made one and that I believe him, all i'm saying is that their reputation doesn't matter. what matters is whether they made an error or not. Thats the part the court determines (and that's the part where it seems the judicial system seems to be lost at times in)

i dont get why it matters to you, if he didn't attempt to contact them he's going to end up losing the case and probably have to pay their lawyers attourneys fees which is far more of a punishment than having the case "thrown out"... that's whats needed, I'm not going to speculate about issues we don't even know about, theres plenty to speculate about with the parts we do know

Re:Screw Resolving Things "Peacefully"... (1)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 4 years ago | (#30927204)

and I'd agree with you if he didn't contact support, but if he did I have no sympathy for them.

Your credit card issuer has this little thing called a "Claims Department." This department researches cases of "fraud" and when they determine that there was a fraudulent charge to your card, they can file what is called a "chargeback." These chargebacks will refund you the full amount that you were fraudulently charged in addition to any interest accrued on the purchase, and also charge the merchant a fee of usually $35. So if Mr. Lassoff did contact Microsoft, and they weren't willing to refund him without much trouble, then the proper response to that is to file a claim with his credit card issuer... not file a class-action lawsuit.

i dont get why it matters to you

Sorry, I guess I mistook Slashdot for a discussion forum. Why are these comment posting thingies here?

The lesson here is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30914934)

When ripping people off, make sure they're not lawyers. You wouldn't like the result.

Well, I dislike Microsoft. (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 4 years ago | (#30915648)

But this is a tempest in a teapot. Broken downloads mean nothing.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30916362)

I don't think he's going to get much of anywhere...it states in the Xbox Live TOS that content is not guaranteed or warranted in any shape or form, so if you completed the transaction and started the download, but due to whatever issue you were not able to complete it, they are not held responsible. In addition, they aren't responsible for bad content that renders a game or console unusable, though when you think about it this is a bit backwards, since they generally won't allow DLC unless they approve it...

I think the Points system is pretty useful for adding extra value to a game for usually reasonable prices. I haven't personally bought any points, since I can't seem to justify it with my wife, but I think it makes sense. Granted, I also think that M$ is nothing short of a monopoly, that they overcharge for all their products because they know most users don't have a choice or don't know the difference, and their opposition to open source is appalling.

Sue the Hotdog and Hotdog Bun Industry (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30916698)

Hotdogs come in packs of 8 and Hotdog Bun come in pack of 6, its a scam.

Re:Sue the Hotdog and Hotdog Bun Industry (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#30929360)

Hotdogs come in packs of 8 and Hotdog Bun come in pack of 6, its a scam.

Only if you're stupid enough to fall for it, smart people just buy a loaf of multi-use bread and have done with.

I hate Microsoft points... (1)

kainewynd2 (821530) | more than 4 years ago | (#30917840)

...but are they illegal? No. You are purchasing a digital form of currency--it's like an exchange rate that remains static despite economic flux.

Get over it.

Re:I hate Microsoft points... (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30923744)

They aren't illegal but it's a dodgy business practice with zero benefit to the consumer but loads of benefits for the business.

Assuming it even goes to trial (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#30918670)

If this goes to trial and I were a lawyer for Microsoft, I would just produce a list of the number of users who were able to successfully download the product in question within a 48 hour window. There is a really good chance that number is >1. If what the article says is true and the plaintiff is whining about the entire download system as a whole, I'd just produce a list of the number of successful downloads in that same 48 hour period that frames the time the plaintiff is charging he had a problem in.

It seems like this guy is destined for failure.

I always thought the issue with Microsoft's Live service was the whole "point" scheme in the first place. I've read complaints about the system being setup in a way so that people are often left with a few extra points laying around. For example a game might cost 8 points. Microsoft will only sell points in increments of 5 or 10. FWIW - I'm not an Xbox360 owner. I bought a PS3, the system where every game is really $1 more expensive than the listed price because Sony tacks on an extra $1 to the price. It seems like no console is perfect these days.

Re:Assuming it even goes to trial (1)

EdelFactor19 (732765) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926692)

If this goes to trial and I were a lawyer for Microsoft, I would just produce a list of the number of users who were able to successfully download the product in question within a 48 hour window. There is a really good chance that number is >1. If what the article says is true and the plaintiff is whining about the entire download system as a whole, I'd just produce a list of the number of successful downloads in that same 48 hour period that frames the time the plaintiff is charging he had a problem in.

While i don't think the first paragraph point you talk about is that part being contested there is a MAJOR problem with your logic. You are generating a list in the wrong direction. Whether it works for 1 person or 1 million people is irrelevant in the validity of his claim. If it's not working with any consistency for anyone there is a problem. All that list does is exclude people from the class.

If I were his lawyer (and also was contesting that issue (which I'm not on both counts) ) I'd draw up a list of the number of users who over a period of 48 hours have been UNABLE to download the content (or whatever is deemed to be a 'reasonable amount of time'). If that list has at least 1 member in it, which he suggests he might be in, then MS is liable for something and has a problem they need to rectify. Whether the list is big enough that they settle it individually, or a class is formed is up to people who know that stuff... but thats the only list that really matters.

Whether you provided service or not is not an issue of character or credibility, its not an issue of opinion, its an issue of fact. The service is either provided or it isn't, and each transaction's fulfillment has no impact on one another. If my someone charges you for service and doesn't provide it to you, YOU are the one entitled to recourse, those who have been provided it are not. The fact that no one else had a problem doesn't make it OK for them to rip off you (or someone else), and doesn't prove or disapprove that you did/didn't have a problem.

glad to see it (1)

EdelFactor19 (732765) | more than 4 years ago | (#30926188)

I think it's utterly attrocious that they get to make a fake currency, force people to buy it in absurd bundled quantities basically force you to waste money. The only legal tender in this country is USD last time I checked. Forcing me to buy your funny money seems pretty much by definition an anticompetitive and fraudulent practice done solely on the premise of making a profit on unused points and forcing us to buy something we wouldn't with our "leftover" otherwise unusable cash, or to give them a few more dollars so as to have enough to make a similar non desired purcahse..

all of which are tactics of a horrible business model. If you seriously depend upon these profits that are created by forcing your clients to either waste money or buy something they don't want then you have a horrible business and should reconsider your product. Frankly I would consider you uninvestable, you aren't creating profit from value.

At least on the wii, 100 points is 1 dollar and you can buy them at the 100 point interval.. MS seeks to confuse people by selling at bizzarre rates that don't align with anything they sell. most (not all) items are sold for multiples of 400; while points are acquired in multiples of 500. and of course there is no reverse transaction and they can terminate the system whenever they want.

The lawsuit from the article doesnt appear to be about the failed downloads per see... but the whole 'hassle' of having content transferred seems to be a bit of BS as well. Tie the content to the user ID and dont let user ID's be signed in from more than one place at a time.. not that complicated. If you can't handle this then you shouldn't be in the business of selling DLC.

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