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Microsoft Facing Class-Action Suit Over Xbox Live Points 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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Microsoft Facing Class-Action Suit Over Xbox Live Points

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  • Re:First Post! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lxs ( 131946 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:00AM (#30914702)

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

  • Re:First Post! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:02AM (#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.

  • by Degro ( 989442 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:06AM (#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.
  • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:11AM (#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.

  • by RoFLKOPTr ( 1294290 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:48AM (#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.

  • by GTarrant ( 726871 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:57AM (#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.

"An organization dries up if you don't challenge it with growth." -- Mark Shepherd, former President and CEO of Texas Instruments