Oh, Microsoft. Do you EVER stop failing?

I had a little free time tonight, so I thought I’d (finally) download the expansion to Fallout 3 (which, by the way, isn’t available any other way). Turns out, I don’t have enough Microsoft magic script to do so, I I tried to buy more, both on the XBox itself and on the XBox Live web site.

Cryptic error messages ensued, followed by a frustrating call with idiot tech support people with a tenuous at best grasp of English. The links are true. It’s some goofball, poorly implemented halfwit “fraud prevention” thing. What’s absurd, btw, is that you can only get this information from Google; the web site gave no error message at all (“try again later”), and the XBox itself gave only a bit more data: “Can’t retrieve information from Xbox LIVE. Please try again later. Status code: 80169d94.”

That opaque message is the money shot. Apparently, my account is locked now because the info on my XBox live account itself — entered long ago on a free trial — did not match the information provided on my credit card (which was accurate and complete). That’s all well and good (though, I note, they had no difficulty automatically renewing my membership back in October); calling them ought to make this right.

Oh no. No, no, no.

As the Google search told me, they’re not actually able to fix this on the phone. They have a “process” and require “escalation.” Someone will call me within 72 hours, and after that it’ll take 5 to 10 business days to process the unlock.

Whatever, boneheads. I think I’ll watch something on my AppleTV instead. 100% FAIL.

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