Live Arcade, DLC, DRM and Replacement Consoles

Codehead

Distinguished Member
There have been a few threads recently about the problems with Marketplace content and replaced/refurbished/upgraded consoles. I thought I'd try to gather all the info in one place.

For those of you that don't know, content that is downloaded from the Live Marketplace is tied to your Gamertag AND the console that it is first downloaded to. This is the infamous DRM (Digital Rights Management) that prevents copying/piracy of paid-for content.

If you upgrade to an Elite or suffer the 3 reds 'o death and get a replacement console, you can re-download the content from the marketplace as Live knows that your gamertag has paid for the item.

However, the content will only work offline on the first console that it is downloaded to. In order to play your live arcade games or DLC on any console other than the first, you must be connected to XBL.

'Not a problem' you may say, 'I'm always on Live.'

Well,
* A few months back, just after I'd replaced my 1st broken 360, Live went down (server upgrade) for a day and a half. Guess what? No Live arcade games.
* I recently changed ISP and was off the net for a couple of days, again, no Live arcade games, no additional songs in GHII.
* If you take your Xbox away from home, no live arcade games, no DLC.
* If MS remove a game from the MarketPlace. Chances are, you'll no longer be able to play it, even though you have paid for it. (Pointed out by RottenFoxBreath)
* And finally, one day in the future, when MS releases a new console and shuts off live support for the 360, you'll lose all your paid for content.

I personally think this sucks. I know MS have to protect themselves against piracy, but this is too much. The consumer has rights too. With 360s failing as often as they do, many people will fall foul of this heavy handed protection scheme.

I have contacted MS support on numerous occasions to resolve this. They have a policy of refunding MSPoints to a temporary silver account, the temp account can then re-download the content, re-binding it to the current console in the process. However, getting those magic points is not easy. RottenFoxBreath has managed to do it more than once. I am still in the process.
 

Codehead

Distinguished Member
Here's a timeline of my dealings with XBox support (0800 5871102)

12/06/07 - 1st Call
Rang and explained that my console had died and been exchanged by the retailer, since then I hadn't been able to play DLC offline.
They said I had 5400 MSPoints on the account and that they would refund them to a temporary silver acount. That account would then be able to re-download the content and fix the problem.
They just needed scans of the receipts to prove the exchange had happened. I pointed out that the reciept had only got a couple of hand-written notes from the store, they didn't seem to mind.
They gave me a reference number and an email address to send the scans to.
I scanned the receipts and emailed them the next day.


03/07/07 - 2nd Call
I didn't hear back from MS so I rang again. This time I got referred to a supervisor. They promised to call me back.


13/07/07 - Callback from MS
The supervisor told me they had no record of my email and I should sent it again.
I sent a copy straight away, they gave me another ref number and promised another callback on Mon 16th after 1800.
They called back on the 17th at 1600, I wasn't in to take the call.


22/07/07 - 3rd Call
I chased them up and was promised a callback on 23/07 after 1800.


24/07/07 - 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th Calls
1100 - Rang to chase them up. They told me that the system was down and try again in an hour.
1245 - Rang again, "System still down, ring again in an hour."
1530 - Got through to a supervisor. Guess what? No record of my email! I re-sent and made them wait on the line. They got the mail and then declared that the reciept with hand-written notes wasn't enough proof of the exchange and there was nothing they could do. I did quite alot of shouting at this point, it didn't get me anywhere.
1830 - After a quick trip to Argos, I got a printout of the store's record of the exchange, scanned it and emailed it to MS. I rang again, but the escalation team ony work till 1800.


25/07/07 - 8th and 9th Calls
1250 - Rang again, system was down, try again later.
1710 - This time they told me that I would be getting an email with the points on shortly, or they would call me back 'soon'. I pointed out that I was going on holiday for two weeks. They assured me that it would all be sorted when I got back.


14/08/07 - 10th Call
Back from my Hols, no email, no callbacks. Rang to chase them up. They had no record of any of my emails, or the promise of refund. More shouting from me, re-sent the scans and got a new ref number. I told them that I would ring them in 2 days as the callback system is pointless.


16/08/07 - 11th Call
This time there was a note on my records that the new proof had been accepted and it would take 4-5 days for MS to authorise the points refund.


28/08/07 - Callback from MS
My wife took the call from a helpdesk advisor who explained that they don't refund points anymore. However, if I recovered my Gamertag, that would fix all the problems. I recovered it 4 times with no effect.


29/08/07 - 12th Call
Called back, shouted lots and got a new ref number (the 4th one so far) and got my call escalated to the 'R' team. They promised to ring me back within 48hrs.

Watch this space...
 

FlawlessAbyss

Active Member
I've just bought an Elite, plugged it in and recovered profile and redownloaded games, then just tested and it worked, so reformated the old drive and sold the old 360. My fault for not reading, but I thought Apple with iTunes were paranoid, this beats them hands down. I've also noticed that they keep all Credit Card information used - Why is that necessary

Rant over.
 

rikki2ks

Active Member
Didn't someone post on here the other day that this had been fixed?

He said he'd just deleted them and re-downlaoded and they all worked offline?

I may be wrong but I'm sure I read it like 2 days ago?
 

SCL411

Active Member
Didn't someone post on here the other day that this had been fixed?

He said he'd just deleted them and re-downlaoded and they all worked offline?

I may be wrong but I'm sure I read it like 2 days ago?


Unfortunately, this has been ongoing since the first red rings of death well over a year ago. There is no real fix for this at the moment and the way MS are dragging their feet over the issue it doesn't look like there will be.

It's possible that the poster you refer to may have had a refurbed unit back from MS support. They have recently started doing something at their end that allows these "fixed"/refurb units to redownload and reauthorise at the same time. For those of us who have either bought a replacement for a cacked up 360 or who have upgraded to the Elite, MS extend no such solution. Instead they expect you to go through the nonsense that Codehead described above. Then it's somewhat of a lottery as to whether or not you will have any success.

Codehead - thanks for going to the trouble of writing this up. The more users or potential users who know about this mess, the better.

Mods, any chance of making this a sticky for a while? :lease:
 

Codehead

Distinguished Member
Codehead - thanks for going to the trouble of writing this up. The more users or potential users who know about this mess, the better.

No problem, I'll keep the saga of my weekly shouting matches with the helpdesk updated.
 

Codehead

Distinguished Member
The 48 hour window for my callback has just passed. :(

Guess I'll be ringing them again then. :mad:
 

Codehead

Distinguished Member
Rang after work today.

They asked who my ISP was. :confused::rolleyes:

Then he said that the Microsoft techs were going to 'adjust my console serial number' so that the content would work offline. He couldn't give me a timeframe for completion or an idea of when the request went in.

To be fair, the helpdesk monkey didn't have a clue. I asked for a complaints department and he gave me his supervisor's email. :rolleyes:

Starting to lose the will to live with this now.
 

SeattleStokie

Active Member
Then he said that the Microsoft techs were going to 'adjust my console serial number' so that the content would work offline. He couldn't give me a timeframe for completion or an idea of when the request went in.
Any further news on this?

I called MS support on Saturday regarding this issue and they basically said that there was no way I'd be able to play downloaded arcade games on my elite when offline if I'd downloaded them originally on a premium

It really is a complete mess and MS need to sort something out :mad:
 

Earlyflash

Well-known Member
Well, don't take 'No' for an answer. Clearly there *is* a way, just seems that a lot of the helpdesk staff don't know about it.

Keep escalating and complaining.
 

Scapegoat

Well-known Member
Didn't someone post on here the other day that this had been fixed?

He said he'd just deleted them and re-downlaoded and they all worked offline?

I may be wrong but I'm sure I read it like 2 days ago?

It could have been me. I posted a comment along those lines. However Codehead tried (as did some other friends in a smilar pickle) and it didn't work for them.

I stated on another thread that I had some 'issues' with whole process and was in communcition with a manager in the customer services section at the time, so I can only guess that they did something with the console serial number and my account at their end to fox it.
 

SeattleStokie

Active Member
Hmm... I think I'll return my Elite to Game and get a refund and stick to my original Premium that I was going to trade in - being unable to play content that I've downloaded and paid for when I can't connect to Live (eg if my internet connection is off, Live is down or when Live gets discontinued in x years time) is just unacceptable. :mad:
 

RidleyDeckard

Well-known Member
My problem with their response you just need to be online to play, is that that doesn't work for any additional profiles on your console. My wife loves playing certain arcade titles, but once I got a replacement console, all the games were trials for her until we got the points refunded from M$.

It really is a crazy system and I don't want to have to go through it all again if I update to either an Elite or a 120Gb hard drive.
 

SCL411

Active Member
With risk of sounding like a one trick pony, I would strongly recommend (again) anyone affected by this to take a look at this thread on the official Xbox website. It's been going for over a year now and gives a good indication of MS's attitude to this problem.

http://forums.xbox.com/15209968/ShowPost.aspx

The last 10-15 pages are quite interesting!

Sorry Codehead, don't mean to hijack your thread!!
 

Codehead

Distinguished Member
No Problem SCL, I'm glad the issue is getting an airing.

At the mo' I'm trying to find a decent place to address a complaint to. The supervisor at the call center won't do anything and I can't find a general xbox complaints dept.
 

RidleyDeckard

Well-known Member
With risk of sounding like a one trick pony, I would strongly recommend (again) anyone affected by this to take a look at this thread on the official Xbox website. It's been going for over a year now and gives a good indication of MS's attitude to this problem.

http://forums.xbox.com/15209968/ShowPost.aspx

Wow! That's one long thread!!!
 

Earlyflash

Well-known Member
What I find amazing is that out of all of those people affected by this, not a single person has had the balls to take Microsoft to court over this. Should this be a problem for me (my 360 is fine), I'd be in Small Claims court pretty quickly, especially given the terrible customer service over the telephone.

What I'd suggest right now is that people put their specific complaints in writing to Microsoft VPs in the UK. When you don't get a reasonable response, put them in Small Claims court (it's only £10).

One of a few things will happen:
It'll get their attention, and you'll get a human talking to you and it'll get resolved.
They will not turn up in court (you win)
They turn up and the court case goes against you (you are £10 out of pocket).

It'll get some publicity no matter what.

Codehead, if you want to complain by letter try (From Companies House):

MICROSOFT LIMITED
MICROSOFT CAMPUS
THAMES VALLEY PARK
READING
BERKSHIRE RG6 1WG

The Microsoft UK MD is Gordon Frazer (from here http://www.microsoft.com/uk/press/executives/default.mspx).

You could also try:
Neil Thompson
who is:
Senior Regional Director, Northern & Eastern Europe, Home and Entertainment Division, Microsoft Corporation
Cheers,
EF
 

Paranoid

Active Member
Official word from MS-UK just recently (from ceesar) on the xbox forums is that if your console goes into repair and you receive a replacement, the license should be automatically transferred to the new console now :smashin:.

For people upgrading to elites it`s a different story since MS feel that the people who are purchasing to upgrade their old console are in the minority and bulk of the elite buyers will be first timers. Their official word on the upgrading to elite was "You'll be able to use the content when your purchasing Profile is connected to Xbox Live". Seems their hell bent on not allowing upgraders to transfer the licenses and I`m sure people, including myself will be put off upgrading to the elite.

Source: http://forums.xbox.com/1/15238046/ShowPost.aspx#15238046
 

RottenFox

Distinguished Member
well,"Richard" from customer support is currently getting an earbashing from me,and is about to "sort" something out,to help me.
they are still owe me points for games,etc,for a "test" they made me carry out.
im sick of this,and of the sheer apparent lack of "service",in customer service.
 

SeattleStokie

Active Member
I've lost internet connection thanks to the ineptitude of Sky broadband and is probably gonna be a couple of weeks before I get re-connected, so I'm now experiencing the problems that Microsofts DRM implemetation causes.

This means that all arcade games I downloaded on my original 360 that broke can't be played as full games on either the 360 that MS sent as a replacement (back in Feb/Mar) or my new Elite - they're now 'trials' :mad:

It also means that I can't continue to play games that I've downloaded content for. For example, last night I decided I fancied a quick thrape at Test Drive Unlimited to complete some of the missing challenges, but found I couldn't start my profile because the 360 couldn't connect to Live to verify the downloaded content.

I've a support call logged with MS to hopefully transfer my rights to the replacement console, but it goes to show how the current situation is screwed up if there is no connection to Live for some reason
 

Codehead

Distinguished Member
Hmm, been away for a while, but did use the time to pen a snot-o-gram to MS and will send it to the address kindly provided by EarlyFlash.

I'll update this thread if I get anything back.
 

SCL411

Active Member
I'd be interested to hear the reply you get Codehead, if you get one that is!

Sorry, I know this is slightly off topic but I really despair at the MS support line. I called them today to find out if I am ever going to receive my data migration kit (which was ordered on 24th August) and was repeatedly told the same thing, "sorry but we don't have any at this time". No amount of stressing that it was ordered nearly a month ago or that others have got theirs made any difference.

You get naff service when you try to get points back and now this. You would have thought that the world's richest company (?) would be able to invest a little more to get to an acceptable level of support or, heaven forbid, release a reliable product to begin with!!

One last thing before we swing this thread back on topic but why oh why does MS insist on putting UK callers through to a call centre staffed by people who do not speak English as their first language? Please don't get me wrong, these folks do a superb job of communicating in a second language (something that I could not do ) but trying to explain anything is so difficult especially when you realise that the support tech has not really understood you and your conversation has strayed off the support tech's script.
 

Moogle

Distinguished Member
One last thing before we swing this thread back on topic but why oh why does MS insist on putting UK callers through to a call centre staffed by people who do not speak English as their first language? Please don't get me wrong, these folks do a superb job of communicating in a second language (something that I could not do ) but trying to explain anything is so difficult especially when you realise that the support tech has not really understood you and your conversation has strayed off the support tech's script.

Because it's cheaper for MS. That's why so many other companies do the same.
 

SHPanda

Active Member
I've had a bit of a weird time with Live Arcade titles.

Basically I've had 6 360s now, my first was replaced by Microsoft, the rest I've exchanged in store, this time I took it back paid an extra £20 and got an Elite.

Anyway I decided to phone up Microsoft to claim an MS points refund, the guy said he could do anything, to which I replied well that's unfair, I spent £50 (I didn't and infact I know longer own the game, but he didn't need to know that) on games such as Crackdown, I then spent a further 1200 MS points on the DLC, but if I'm not connected to LIVE that game becomes nothing more than a coaster as far as I'm concerned. So he spoke to his superior and gave me a reference number, and said that they'd be phoning me later in the week to sort it out/issue the points refund, I'm thinking he was just fobbing me off, but we'll see.

I turned on my Elite with the ethernet cable unplugged today to check that all my arcade titles were still trials, however I'd noticed the ones I'd played on over the past few days while connected to LIVE were full versions. Seemed a bit strange, this had never happened on any of my previous 360s, the only thing I'd done differently was I had set my locale to United States to use my US Silver Account earlier in the week, and had forgotten to change it back to UK, so possibly this is helpfull in making games the full versions, I'm in the middle of testing this myself so I'll let you know when I'm done.

But my real problem comes when I got to play any Sega Arcade Game, whenever I go to play it, it sees it as a trial, even when I'm connected to LIVE, so I tried deleting and redownloading, it still didn't fix it. So I booted up the game and on the menu it said unlock the full version, so I selected that and did so that way instead of deleting the trial and redownloading through marketplace. Anyway this did fix it, although only while the games was running, as soon as I went back to the dashboard the game became a trial again. So this is something I'll be phoning up M$ about tomorrow, because it's a complete joke, the fact their DRM makes me unable to play my games offline is bad enough, but for me to have to redownload it everytime I want to play it when I'm online is just a step too far.
 

The latest video from AVForums

AVForums Movies Podcast: Streaming Theatrical Releases And The Future Of Cinema
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

Sky reveals content lineup for 2022
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Panasonic TVs now feature Apple TV+
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Magico announces Titan 15 subwoofer
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Ajax Systems adds UK Socket to expand smart home options
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Best TVs of 2021 - Editor's Choice Awards
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom