Mom blames Microsoft for her kid's $1700 Xbox Live bill

Mom blames Microsoft for her kid’s $1700 Xbox Live bill.

[newsimage][/newsimage]Microsoft has parental control tools build into its Xbox Live online gaming subscription service so kids won’t go hog wild charging a bunch of downloadable content on mom or dad’s credit card, but that’s just not good enough for one UK woman.

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Holy crap, I’m well beyond 11, and I do everything in my power not do have my credit card info attached to my xbox live account. I but xbox live cards and points card when I find them onsale in stores.

Sometimes I feel a little bad when someone gets a huge cell phone roaming bill, but this is different. I don’t think MS owes her anything. She put in the credit card info, didn’t check out what parental controls were available, and her kid bought 1700 dollars worth of product.

Sorry but I disagree with the author, MS also has responsibility to NOT store credit card information on gaming system accounts that are highly used by children and teenagers. The credit card security on Live with this respect is a pathetic joke.

I sympathize to a degree because I think MS’s policies in this respect are shoddy and dishonest and its geared to take advantage of non-techies etc… Reminds me of iTunes…except every time I buy something off iTunes is prompts me for a password.

I was shocked the 2nd time I bought something on XBOX Live and found it still had my credit card saved and displayed on my screen and ready to take payment ! I couldn’t believe they saved it on my XBOX / profile. Anyone using my XBOX can get to this information… ridiculous.

She paid for an annual membership once. The default setting on Live should be to NOT save CC information but its geared to take advantage of people. At least require a password any time the credit card is used!!
I am sorry but is is NOT reasonable to expect non-technical parents to think of things like “parental control” when they are making a one time payment for a membership. Its a video game system and the last thing a parent should have to worry about is an online store having access the CC she used once for a membership. MS certainly needs to clean up the mess of a system. The parental control security is a joke. The credit card should not be tied to profiles that don’t require a password to access EVERY time!

I do think she is to blame as well and don’t think they should refund her. But I do think MS should change the Live store policies big time !

I agree with ivid. There should be much more security involved in this type of situation. At the least, default to requiring CC details and password for every purchase and only turn that off for those that are mature and tech savvy enough to understand what they are doing.


Actually you guys convinced me to change my opinion. Microsoft should give the option to not store the credit card information (like most respectable websites). I forgot they don’t give that option. I suppose if they did I wouldn’t make such an effort to buy cards for everything so I don’t have to give them my CC info.

You guys make some good points. Thanks for helping me see it from a less “techy” point of view. It has been so long since I started an Xbox live account, that I didn’t realize it wasn’t obvious that it was storing your account information. Perhaps some sort of additional safeguard is warranted in that respect.

YES I’m now a "convert’ as well!

It’s no different on other gaming platforms, which is one of the big reasons why I never entered my CC info on my PS3.

I agree 110% with wconeybeer. It’s the responsibility of the mother to monitor what her son is doing online, including the DLC he’s purchasing.

This issue is similar to the problems Apple is having with children buying virtual goods through in-app purchases. At least Apple requires a password to be entered if one has not been in the past 15 minutes – Microsoft does not require any authentication when purchasing content using a credit card. This means that if a parent allows a child to use their credit card to pay for their Xbox Live membership, then it can also be used to buy other things in the future without the parent’s consent.

As an adult, I have my own credit card and don’t mind Microsoft storing my credit card information, simply because I do purchase things on a fairly regular basis – but parents probably do not realize that Microsoft will store a credit card and associate it with an account, allowing future purchases to be made without any authorization.

Does it ask for confirmation that you are about to purchase something? I’m sure it has a price next to whatever it is he’s buying. Even though he’s 11 years old, you would think he is aware that these downloads cost money, and someone is going to have to pay for it. It sounds to me like his mom believes her child can do no wrong, and he knows it. I’m sure he would do the same thing again if given the chance. I’d like to see what he spent $1,700 on. I’m sure that would be entertaining.

Has anyone actually contacted Microsoft to have a credit card removed from an account? You have to use the telephone to contact a live person. NO! You cannot use email or any other means. You have to speak with a real live Microsoft representative! I spent an hour, yes a real one hour, mostly on hold of course, waiting to speak to the correct person, before finally getting my information removed.
Oh and too bad about any charges. You can contact your bank.
Thanks a bunch Microsoft!!!

when my son orders anything on xbox live i always get an email confirming the transaction. Its very convenient having my credit card info stored so that i’m not manually entering it in when he buys points,maps etc. Although if he was doing it without permission it wouldn’t be appropriate ; but then again those confirmation emails prevent that. I was able to remove a credit card through the website, but it was a secondary one, not the initial one i used to register with. I’m regretting missing daddy o deals offer last week of a 12 month subscription for around $39, as we’re paying $10/month. Kiddo ordered porn off cable tv before, but i didnt expect the cable company to pay it. I dont think he realized the movies would be listed on the monthly bill.


Of course…It’s always “someone” else fault. Send little Pugsley out to the outside world & get some fresh air & excercise. You can’t fix STUPID!

The mother can’t really supervise 24 hours, the son fraudulently used the CC card for his purpose coz Microsoft make it “1-click” for payments.

Sounds to me everything works perfectly as intended by MS :slight_smile:

[QUOTE=Im a PC;2574569]It’s no different on other gaming platforms, which is one of the big reasons why I never entered my CC info on my PS3.

I agree 110% with wconeybeer. It’s the responsibility of the mother to monitor what her son is doing online, including the DLC he’s purchasing.[/QUOTE]

But one thing that worries me very much is when big companies like MS and Sony start to think themselves righteous to push DLC-ONLY games - you get at first a ‘cheap’ knock off to add the real content later - and then EVERYONE will be lost…

Wow, I came back here expecting everyone to have flamed my post but I see most of you agree with my POV. 'Sniff… you guys are awesome :wink:

Nak_Muay, to make the matters more confusing MS uses a points system so a download may cost 700 MS points instead of $10 for example. And there is tons of absolute worthless CRAP for sale on Live, it boggles my mind. Alot of it is “cheap” (10, 20, 50 MS points). But it adds up.

Even though I think MS needs to clean this up, I’m sure that if the kid knew enough to ask mom to enter her CC number for the 1st membership payment, he knew enough every time he got prompted to download something. Seems to me alot of chores should be in store for this kid.
I too would love to see the list of things that ran up this bill.