Giant Bomb News

144 Comments

Nasty Xbox.com Login Issue Identified, But There’s Good News

Clicking on "Try Demo" could get you more than you asked for.

Imagine if you were told something was free, but moments later found out you’d actually been charged $10 for the transaction. It’s an easy situation to imagine for an issue that currently exists at Xbox.com but won't soon enough.

If you’re a frequent user of Microsoft’s Xbox Live service, chances are that when you arrive at Xbox.com, you’re greeted by a dancing Avatar with paid-for clothing you said you’d never, ever buy--but then you saw Rocky stuff.

That’s not always the case, and for many, there’s an equal chance they’re not logged in.

If you don't have enough points in your account, you'll get saved from this story's heartbreak.

One of the more popular uses of Xbox.com is queueing up downloads through your phone, iPad or computer. Want to try out the latest Xbox Live Arcade release? Heard about a new game on the Indie Games marketplace? Queue it up, and have the Xbox 360 download it while you’re away. It’s brilliant, easy, and super useful.

Both sections offer free, playable demos, too, and that's where the problem comes in.

If you’re logged out of Xbox.com right now and click on “Try Demo,” of, say, Fruit Ninja Kinect, you’re then presented with a login screen. After typing in your Windows Live ID information, the bubbly Avatar appears. Soon, a pop-up window shows up, displaying a confirmation page to make sure everything's a-okay.

In the process of logging in, however, Xbox.com will mysteriously switch from “Try Demo” to “Buy Game.” One costs money, the other doesn't. It’s reasonable to wonder why one would just click “Confirm Purchase” without careful reading, except that “Confirm Purchase” is the same button that shows up when you want to download a trial version, too. “Confirm Purchase” is the generic term used on the site when approving a download in all cases.

Anyone who’s used to hitting “Confirm Purchase” for both paid and free content on XBL could reasonably click without a moment’s hesitation and suddenly find themselves with 800 (or more) Microsoft Points tossed out the door.

Giant Bomb user itsnottaken first alerted me to the issue, and I was able to verify it for myself. You should be able to make the same issue appear on your own account, and there’s a video captured by itsnottaken, as well.

Fortunately, Xbox.com users won’t have to worry about their aimless clicking for long. I contacted Microsoft about the issue yesterday, and have since been told the web team is working on a solution.

“We are aware of this issue and the team is actively working to resolve it,” said a Microsoft spokesperson over email. “We appreciate your patience and apologize for any inconvenience.”

It’s still an issue for the time being, though, so mind your mouse button.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
144 Comments
  • 144 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Posted by patrickklepek

Imagine if you were told something was free, but moments later found out you’d actually been charged $10 for the transaction. It’s an easy situation to imagine for an issue that currently exists at Xbox.com but won't soon enough.

If you’re a frequent user of Microsoft’s Xbox Live service, chances are that when you arrive at Xbox.com, you’re greeted by a dancing Avatar with paid-for clothing you said you’d never, ever buy--but then you saw Rocky stuff.

That’s not always the case, and for many, there’s an equal chance they’re not logged in.

If you don't have enough points in your account, you'll get saved from this story's heartbreak.

One of the more popular uses of Xbox.com is queueing up downloads through your phone, iPad or computer. Want to try out the latest Xbox Live Arcade release? Heard about a new game on the Indie Games marketplace? Queue it up, and have the Xbox 360 download it while you’re away. It’s brilliant, easy, and super useful.

Both sections offer free, playable demos, too, and that's where the problem comes in.

If you’re logged out of Xbox.com right now and click on “Try Demo,” of, say, Fruit Ninja Kinect, you’re then presented with a login screen. After typing in your Windows Live ID information, the bubbly Avatar appears. Soon, a pop-up window shows up, displaying a confirmation page to make sure everything's a-okay.

In the process of logging in, however, Xbox.com will mysteriously switch from “Try Demo” to “Buy Game.” One costs money, the other doesn't. It’s reasonable to wonder why one would just click “Confirm Purchase” without careful reading, except that “Confirm Purchase” is the same button that shows up when you want to download a trial version, too. “Confirm Purchase” is the generic term used on the site when approving a download in all cases.

Anyone who’s used to hitting “Confirm Purchase” for both paid and free content on XBL could reasonably click without a moment’s hesitation and suddenly find themselves with 800 (or more) Microsoft Points tossed out the door.

Giant Bomb user itsnottaken first alerted me to the issue, and I was able to verify it for myself. You should be able to make the same issue appear on your own account, and there’s a video captured by itsnottaken, as well.

Fortunately, Xbox.com users won’t have to worry about their aimless clicking for long. I contacted Microsoft about the issue yesterday, and have since been told the web team is working on a solution.

“We are aware of this issue and the team is actively working to resolve it,” said a Microsoft spokesperson over email. “We appreciate your patience and apologize for any inconvenience.”

It’s still an issue for the time being, though, so mind your mouse button.

Staff
Edited by M3rlin

Finally!

Also: Interesting story. Good to know!

Posted by Mijati

Thought this was going to be related to the "Fifa Hackings" but still interesting anyway.

Edited by thramp

Really great work, Patrick.

Edited by Branthog

PROJECT TEN DOLLAR

Posted by Hurricrane

The inner conspiracy theorist says that this is just another way MS is trying to dick people out of money.

My logical side hates the identical form letter that all companies send out about tech problems.

Edited by Branthog
@thramp said:

Really great work, Patrick.

Indeed. Why, with those incredible skills to read an email and follow a couple steps on a website to reproduce a simple problem and then write a story about it, he's bound to have that Pulitzer in no time!
 
(Not ragging on Patrick, here. There's just nothing extraordinary about the work that went into this, even though it's interesting.)
Posted by Swoxx

@Branthog said:

PROJECT TEN DOLLAR

Kudos

Posted by plainplease

thanks for the diligence. super patrick saves the games once again

Posted by Branthog
@Swoxx said:

@Branthog said:

PROJECT TEN DOLLAR

Kudos

Thank you. It's probably going to be the wittiest thing I'll have said all month.
Posted by Vexxan

Microsoft's probably making some cash on this "bug". 

Edited by caramelatonin

Happened to me too. I "bought" Xotic on launch day. Imagine the surprise. And the disappointment.

Posted by FritzDude

Oh look, It's Patrick writing something about Xbox live again.

Posted by ALavaPenguin

Oh interesting!

Posted by limecloud

Dick move, Microsoft.

Posted by Branthog
@FritzDude said:

Oh look, It's Patrick writing something about Xbox live again.

Wait, what does that mean? Xbox Live is kind of a big deal. It's not like Patrick is writing a five age dissertation on the artistic merit of an indie game masterpiece about postpartum depression and the joys of woman-hood.
Posted by SuperSambo

@FritzDude said:

Oh look, It's Patrick writing something about Xbox live again.

Then it shouldn't be so messed up?

Posted by Mcfart

How would Patrick write about the joys of woman-hood....unless there's something I don't know!?

Posted by coribald

GET STEPTOE ON THE LINE.

Edited by KaneRobot

"you’re greeted by a dancing Avatar with paid-for clothing you said you’d never, ever buy--but then you saw Rocky stuff."

Hah. I bought like 12 bucks worth of Rocky avatar gear, and if people don't like it they can go fuck right off. It's Rocky avatar gear, you're supposed to buy it. You too can have an avatar that looks like Drago.

Nice job itsnottaken & Patrick.

Posted by Curufinwe

If you don't have enough points in your account, you'll get saved from this story's heartbreak.

Keep as few MS Points in your account as possible so that if you get FIFA hacked they won't be able to buy anything. Obviously, having a live credit card attached to your Xbox Live account is even more dangerous.

Posted by jred250

Great job Patrick!

Posted by Humanity

Kinect should ask you to mime opening a wallet when you purchase stuff

Posted by CharlesAlanRatliff

Luckily I only have about 56 Microsoft Points!

Posted by Wunder_

@Gibbous: What's wrong with it?

Posted by louiedog

@Gibbous said:

God, the writing is just tortuous. Patrick, please take a class.

If you find fault with his writing you should probably explain why. You just come off as an insulting dick otherwise.

Posted by CyleMoore

Damn and I was hoping it would be porn. That would be way funnier.

Posted by UltimAXE

I assume that they won't be offering any refunds, which is pretty messed up.

Posted by Branthog
@louiedog said:

@Gibbous said:

God, the writing is just tortuous. Patrick, please take a class.

If you find fault with his writing you should probably explain why. You just come off as an insulting dick otherwise.

Only thing I can guess is maybe the length? I don't want to nit-pick -- and I'm way wordier than about 95% of the people who ever post around here, myself --- but damn, that's a long post to say "If you click on a demo on xbox.com, you might accidentally end up buying the demo, instead."  
 
Really, though, that's about the point where it starts to seem we're piling on Patrick and there's plenty other reasons to do that beside this piddly one. :P
Posted by Gamer_152

I guess at least they're trying to fix it.

Moderator
Posted by RobertOrri

Sounds similar to what happens with my phone carrier's website. If I punch in the wrong password when adding a charge to my phone on their site, it defaults back to an expensive package while prompting me again.

Seems like companies are never in a hurry to fix these sorts of "bugs".

Posted by Jayzilla

man, so many issues with xbox live. Fortunately, I haven't turned my 360 on since I played LA Noire. Looks like it will stay that way for a bit. MY PC has been my main gaming rig now for over a year and I just realized it.

Posted by Grilledcheez

Glad I don't use xbox.com...or my xbox at all lately.

Edited by bybeach

@Gibbous said:

God, the writing is just tortuous. Patrick, please take a class.

Some criticism justifies itself, though ppl. seem too prone to it. This though has me mystified. I read this article and it was crystal clear to me and followed a logic. X does not equal X when X is coupled with y (non-x-box dl), though y should not be a valid factor. How the hell is that confusing?

Posted by Terranova

I wonder how long it will take them to refund the points back on to peoples accounts, while it's good they are trying to fix the issue it really shouldn't happen in the first place or at least have a different button prompt for paid and non paid for content.

Posted by TeenageJesusSuperstar

Nice story but did you really need six paragraphs before you got to what the actual problem was? Don't treat us like kids Pat, trim the fat!

Posted by TripMasterMunky

@TeenageJesusSuperstar said:

Nice story but did you really need six paragraphs before you got to what the actual problem was? Don't treat us like kids Pat, trim the fat!

Agreed. Who cares really.

Posted by Djangosix

and now we know. thanks giant bomb!!

Posted by SomeDeliCook

Who wants to bet Microsoft won't refund everyone their points and instead offer them a free XBLA game (from horrible selection of 2 games everyone already has)

Posted by Lurkero

@Gibbous said:

God, the writing is just tortuous. Patrick, please take a class.

Care to elaborate? Otherwise you just seem like a complaining jerk.

@TeenageJesusSuperstar said:

Nice story but did you really need six paragraphs before you got to what the actual problem was? Don't treat us like kids Pat, trim the fat!

See? Not so hard when you actually mention what you are complaining about. I would hardly consider those "paragraphs" in the traditional sense, but I can see where you are coming from. Patrick tried to set up the situation, and if you are in a hurry or just want a quick read using about 220 words before the main point could be irritating.

Posted by RageKage14

Good thing this didn't happen on PS3, or Patrick would be vehemently tearing into Sony. Microsoft seems to get a pass from him.

Posted by FreakAche

@RageKage14 said:

Good thing this didn't happen on PS3, or Patrick would be vehemently tearing into Sony. Microsoft seems to get a pass from him.

Because saying, "Hey! Microsoft is stealing your money" definitely qualifies as a "pass".

Posted by RageKage14

@FreakAche said:

@RageKage14 said:

Good thing this didn't happen on PS3, or Patrick would be vehemently tearing into Sony. Microsoft seems to get a pass from him.

Because saying, "Hey! Microsoft is stealing your money" definitely qualifies as a "pass".

He says it so flippantly, wheras if it were PS3 he would be full of rage. Look at the disparity between his stories about Xbox Live getting hacked and PS3 getting hacked. He was like "Meh, Xbox Live possibly got hacked, check your login stuff" and then for PSN he was all "Sony doesn't care about their userbase by letting this happen! What an evil company!"

This headline is "Nasty Xbox Live login issue, but there's good news!", deflecting the severity of what happened within the headline itself. If it were Sony, the headline would probably be "How Sony is stealing your money" or something inflammatory towards Sony.

Posted by Stubee
@RageKage14

Good thing this didn't happen on PS3, or Patrick would be vehemently tearing into Sony. Microsoft seems to get a pass from him.

Grow up
Posted by 234r2we232

Guys. I sent a message to Microsoft on Twitter. This should all be cleared up within the hour.

Posted by RageKage14

@Stubee said:

@RageKage14

Good thing this didn't happen on PS3, or Patrick would be vehemently tearing into Sony. Microsoft seems to get a pass from him.

Grow up

Quite an adult reply.

Posted by Vigorousjammer

wait... so what's the good news, then?

Posted by RVonE

@RageKage14 said:

Good thing this didn't happen on PS3, or Patrick would be vehemently tearing into Sony. Microsoft seems to get a pass from him.

So this is still a thing? 2012 y'all!

Posted by jozzy

@louiedog said:

@Gibbous said:

God, the writing is just tortuous. Patrick, please take a class.

If you find fault with his writing you should probably explain why. You just come off as an insulting dick otherwise.

I have to admit I am not a native english speaker, but I had quite a bit of trouble making sense of the opening paragraphs.

Imagine if you were told something was free, but moments later found out you’d actually been charged $10 for the transaction. It’s an easy situation to imagine for an issue that currently exists at Xbox.com but won't soon enough.

If you’re a frequent user of Microsoft’s Xbox Live service, chances are that when you arrive at Xbox.com, you’re greeted by a dancing Avatar with paid-for clothing you said you’d never, ever buy--but then you saw Rocky stuff.

That’s not always the case, and for many, there’s an equal chance they’re not logged in.

I had to read the "It's easy to imagine" sentence a couple of times to make sense of it. I still don't get what the sentence "That’s not always the case, and for many, there’s an equal chance they’re not logged in." means in this context. Not ripping on Patrick, but I honestly had trouble reading this article.

Posted by RageKage14

@RVonE said:

@RageKage14 said:

Good thing this didn't happen on PS3, or Patrick would be vehemently tearing into Sony. Microsoft seems to get a pass from him.

So this is still a thing? 2012 y'all!

Well, it's still happening, so...

  • 144 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3