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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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  • by Brianech ( 791070 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:03AM (#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:Deja'vu (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Xest ( 935314 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:05AM (#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 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pla ( 258480 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:13AM (#30914758) Journal
    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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:48AM (#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:First Post! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @06:00AM (#30914932)

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

  • Re:Deja'vu (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dimeglio ( 456244 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @07:06AM (#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 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:08AM (#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.

  • by asc99c ( 938635 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:26AM (#30915688)

    Dammit our 60% VAT rate strikes again.

  • Re:Deja'vu (Score:4, Interesting)

    by njandtmp ( 1145297 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:52AM (#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 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jaraxle ( 1707 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:29AM (#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).


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