Anjon's forum posts
My first post was asking why I was banned, to which they said "Cheating", which wasn't even what the original email said ("exploiting and abusing glitches"). They also deleted that post from the forum. The second post I made was "Can you give me more details on how I was cheating? Also, if you can't provide me with the information I need, please get me in touch with someone who can." To which their reply was a kind of ambiguous "This forum is strictly for asking why and the duration for a ban, not to debate validity. The suspension will stand as issued." They completely ignored the part where I asked to speak to someone higher up personally. I made a third post asking, specifically, to speak to someone higher up, preferably over the phone, which gave me another automated email blowing me off.
My attempts at getting someone on the phone haven't worked either, because, according to the reps, there simply isn't anyone at any of the call centers who can access information on bans and suspensions. Of the three reps I spoke to, they all gave me the same response, "The forum is the only way to contact the enforcement team". Also, in the forum guidelines, they mention that the enforcement team isn't under obligation to actually respond to any of the questions given to them. The whole thing looks kind of shady to me, but maybe I'm just bitter. There's no direct email for the enforcement staff, their call centers can't direct me to anyone, and they refuse to answer my requests via the forums.
The roadblocks in place seem pretty damn strong at Microsoft for this kind of thing. Also, before anyone mentions "threaten legal action", that happens to be one of their "Do this and get deleted" bulletpoints in the FAQ. Also I'm not made of lawyer money.
I did manage to find a workaround that would give me back the time I'm losing from the suspension, so that's great. Big thanks to some extremely helpful chaps for that. Also, I found out some interesting things about online passes and DLC, unless this is just another weird Namco/TTT2 thing. I have two accounts on my 360, and the online pass for TTT2 works for both of them. The preorder DLC works on both as well, which seems really weird. I distinctly remember people getting upset because online passes were strictly tied to accounts, so family members couldn't play online using their own accounts without purchasing a new pass. In any case, I've been getting my Tekken fix using my spare account and I didn't lose my preorder stuff, and I was still able to play online (didn't have to re-pass).
Overall, I think this is probably the best this situation could have gone given the circumstances. I get my time back, I'm still playing Tekken, and my suspension isn't really that long, though it's still possible that I'll be flagged for cheating again when I get back on. Somehow, I'm not too worried about that anymore since I've only got about two months of Gold left anyway, and no intention of buying more.
So yeah, I guess that's my update. Thanks again for all the advice guys. I really appreciate it, even though things didn't go over too well.
So it seems like my ban isn't permanent or actually even that long. If left alone, it lifts 10/13/12. That seems pretty lenient for the crime of potentially stealing an entire add-ons' worth of DLC. Also, that happens to be the same week that the DLC actually starts rolling out legit. So maybe Microsoft knows about the bug after all? I still haven't gotten a full response from the enforcers, and customer service basically said that the forum is the only avenue for this kind of problem.
Edit: Just had a strangely emotional conversation with a kindly Xbox Live customer service rep who basically told me that I was indeed unjustly banned from the service, and that there's nothing I can do about it. To make matters worse, the infraction I was flagged for was so ambiguous that even after my ban is lifted, I'll likely be re-banned until it becomes permanent. The forum to contact the enforcement team has refused to address my questions and said that there are no ways to get accounts unbanned. I'm not sure if that's true, but I'm all out of ideas. Until I can actually get in touch with someone who can help me, I guess I have no choice but to avoid Live and go back to PSN.
Okay, hold on, I think my tone is getting lost here. Let me bring it down to Earth for a bit. I'm not on any kind of crusade and I'm not going to threaten anyone with lawsuits if that's what you're thinking. I'm not going to try and take Microsoft to court or anything if they refuse to unban me. I'll just be really sad about it. I just think this whole situation is really uncool and I've heard a lot of bad stories about people never getting unbanned, so I wanted a little reassurance and advice. Yeah, I'm going to do as much as I can to get the ban lifted, but I not raging over it. Just disheartened. That being said, the advice you guys have been giving me has all been extremely helpful. Really appreciate it. I just don't want you guys to think I'm going to turn this into a Kotaku article or something.
Well, I actually love TTT2, despite its flaws on the 360. I didn't think this glitch would be a big deal. In fact, I feel kind of bad because I told others that they probably wouldn't get banned for it, since it wasn't something done illegally. On PSN, I was just under the impression that a game that didn't work (Third Strike Online in my case) should probably be eligible for a refund. But hey, apparently they're working on a really late patch to fix all the jank in that game, so maybe I will have the last laugh after all.
@Anjon: You seem to have a lot of issues with games..... suspicious....
Yesss... that's a little strange to have problems with both Sony and MS over games. Red flag?
That doesn't mean I shouldn't fight, right? If I just do nothing, then nothing gets done, but if I do something, then something might get done. That's the way I see it anyway. There's no harm in trying. I might not get this ban overturned, but I'll damn sure try. And if I fail, I'll at least make sure that someone at Microsoft feels really shitty about it.
@handlas: Yup, I went through the whole forum business, which is pretty damn convoluted, because being banned from Xbox Live also means being banned from the forum, an issue that they openly admit. They straight up tell you that you need to create a new account in order to access the forum and ask about your banned one. Except that message is posted in the forum, so I had to make a new account to even see it. Still, I'm trying to keep a cool head here. Haven't received a response yet either. I'll probably call back tomorrow and see if there's anyone else would can help me.
@Snail: I was actually of the same mindset. I thought it was dumb to pay for the service Xbox Live was providing when PSN was just as good, and also free. Unfortunately, I ended up with some PSN horror stories of my own which sent me back to Xbox Live. Really though, I think it's the player base that makes Live the dominant force in America. I have a whole lot more friends on Xbox Live than I do on PSN.
@Napalm: I also seek reimbursement when the internet goes down. Time is money, literally. (Almost joking). Seriously though, I've always had kind of a phobia of companies ripping me off and getting away with it. I think I got it from my dad. Now I always have to "stand up for my rights" when I think I'm being slighted. On the reverse, I think most gamers are too lax with defending their rights.
I was joking for the most part, though I did express my concerns to them. I don't think I was too aggressive in my email, though I did try to speak as a normal human would in order to get a human response (most of the replies on the forum are canned responses).
It's awesome that you were able to get a response from PSN (eventually). I'm hoping I could just get a hold of someone on the phone and explain myself. Unfortunately, Xbox Live conduct enforcement doesn't seem to have a customer service center. I tried calling earlier and they just referred me to the forum. They directly said that they have no customer service reps to help in my situation, but I'm sure there's someone I can talk to who knows what's going on.
Without creating a huge game-specific discussion here, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 has a potentially game-breaking bug where corrupted save data will reset to a previous or new auto-save and enable all of the game's DLC in the process, because Namco decided it'd be real cool to hide the unlock code for the DLC in the save data or something (I'm guessing at some point in development the DLC was just normal unlockable content). I have no mods or hacks in my 360, nor have I ever used them, yet I encountered the bug and ended up with the DLC, and now I'm banned for "Abusing exploits and/or glitches". As far as I can tell, this problem only happens on the 360. It's kind of sad because the 360 version of the game already has a host of issues making it kind of inferior, and now this happens.
Due to a misunderstanding on Microsoft's part (mistaking a game-breaking bug for hacking), I've been banned from Xbox Live. Of course, since I haven't done anything wrong, and since I don't like the idea of companies having the right to essentially steal from innocent customers, I'm going to fight to get unbanned and possibly reimbursed my time lost. What are the odds that I'll actually win this fight, though? Is this some David vs Goliath situation where I'll need the power of God to help me out, or are Microsoft actually pretty understanding dudes who'll totally hear me out and recognize their mistake? I've never heard of anyone actually getting a ban revoked before, but Microsoft is run by humans, right? Compassionate human beings with real, living, beating hearts... right?
I was suspicious of that game's release around the same time they started talking about making a Dreamcast version (which was also canceled, whodathunkit?). At any case, they've waited too long. Better fighting games have come out in Skullgirls, Persona 4 Arena, and TTT2, and a better cheesecake fighting game had come out in Dead or Alive 5. They should just release it on steam where it could at least have a chance to survive as a novelty PC fighting game (and dirty mod haven).