What is approximately $7.50 going to cost Microsoft?

Here’s the story, and I fully admit I’m being petty at this point, but this is the result of systematic “don’t trust anything,” and “the customer did something wrong,” approach that means I spend large chunks of of my days dealing with customer service reps rather than, you know, getting things done.

I’m not always right, fully admit to this and am fine being called on it, but in this case it would be nice to be treated as a 15+ year Xbox/Xbox One/Gold customer and not as someone who’s trying to scam a company I’ve done business with since the early 90’s (you have no idea how many MS licenses I’ve sold/purchased with computers,) out of $7.50.

A while back I purchased a brand spanking new Xbox Series X, order fulfilled by GameStop. When it arrived it came with a card with a code for 14 days of Game Pass Ultimate.

Currently one month of Game Pass Ultimate is $15 so that makes this valued at slightly less than $7.50, but was part of the advertising and selling points. New, sealed box, card with code never shown to anyone or posted on Twitter. The code had been used when I attempted to redeem it.

My first contact with Microsoft they requested I talk to GameStop and have them “investigate” as since the order had not come from Microsoft, somehow GameStop would know. Yeah, this worked out about as well as you would expect and after a quick back and forth with GameStop they gave up because guess who sold them the Xbox? Microsoft. This took about 20 minutes of a Microsoft CSR’s time, and probably two minutes of GameStop’s CSRs to come to the conclusion that the MS CSR was wasting time.

My second contact involved a CSR taking an inordinate amount of time to research what to do and bring in a manager. Near the end of the chat support (about 22 minutes in, I set a timer,) I was asked to upload a photo of the card with the case number on it as well as the receipt for the system. The instructions were “upload a picture of the card with the case number on it”

I sent in a photo of the front and back of the card and used what I could to put the case number on it, that being duh duh duh – a photo editing software.

This was rejected for “security” purposes because, I guess, I could have downloaded a picture of the card and by defacing the card with a sharpie or something that would be visible I would somehow prove I actually had the card in my possession.

Now, the receipt is an email, and the card is a slick gray and green card, and believe it or not some of us don’t have sharpies sitting around capable of writing on slick cards. Finding a non-crayon these days is an effort.

You know physical security, and not that I could just download the image, print it out, and then write on the printout, photograph it. You know nobody would think of that.

I didn’t have a sharpie, pencil doesn’t show up, my pens blend in, and I didn’t have time as I had things not pursuing $8 to do and passing half an hour at this point in total trying to get my $7.50 I was thinking of quitting. I also had no idea what was expected on this receipt still as it’s an email… screenshot, print out and write a case number on it, no clue.

We’re at 42 minutes of MS chat support, at about $14 an hour according to Indeed, so at the current point assuming all things are equal, we’re at $9.42 spent by Microsoft thus far in estimated wages to deal with a $7.50 issue and it’s still not resolved.

So, going back to this today/tonight and going to attempt to get it resolved now that I’ve got a loaner sharpie and a felt tip pen from work on loan.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts