On the morning of August 30th I noticed that my IM client was having trouble logging in to Windows Messenger. Seems the login credentials were wrong. So I went to the Windows Live site and tried to log in there. Hmmm. Maybe I had forgotten the password. So I reset it. When I checked my email for the confirmation message, I noticed a ton of receipts from XBox Live. Either I had sleepwalked and ordered up about $260 worth of Microsoft Points or somehow my account had been compromised.
I felt some panic at first, mostly for my XBox Live account. Was someone out there pretending to be me and hassling my online friends? Maybe they were dressing my avatar in sports clothes! I couldn’t log in to my account via my XBox. So I called up tech support and explained the situation. The guy immediately went into triage mode, calm but urgent. The patient had a few bullet holes, but this was nothing he hadn’t seen before.
It took about 15-20 minutes to give all the details. Fortunately the idiot hacker had left his email address behind. Even so, the guy told me that there was a backlog of investigations and it could be a month before I heard anything. During that time I couldn’t use my Xbox Live gamertag or my Windows Live ID. Fine. I had enough to keep me occupied on other consoles.
A month goes by and I don’t hear a word. Not even an automated email telling me that I had a case open with Microsoft. So I call them back up to see what is going on. Turns out my case was “not escalated properly” and nothing had been done at all. My case had just sat in a file, ignored. The tech told me we’d have to start over from the beginning. I tried not to completely lose my shit on this guy, which I managed to do. Although I did make it clear that I was disappointed with their performance. The tech told me he would add a note to fast track my case as it had been neglected for so long.
Fortunately, that worked. About a week later I received a call that I would receive an email within a week detailing the results of the investigation. Another week later I received a series of emails explaining how to get back online with my XBox Live Gamertag. I was also notified that I would receive a full refund for the charges made on my account. Additionally, Microsoft was giving me two free months of XBox Live. I was able to get back online with my original gamertag and found nothing amiss other than all my friends were gone. I’ll have to add them all back again.
So, other than the massive delay in processing the case, Microsoft set things right in a professional manner and I am pleased with the results.