Class Action Against Microsoft for XBox Points Fraud: I Wish This Lawsuit Were Real

Sadly, it turns out the news that a class action law suit had been filed against XBox, challenging XBox Live’s Microsoft Points system, is not quite as satisfying as early reports had suggested:

This week attorney/gamer/and frequent plaintiff Samuel Lassoff filed a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft for “fraud, breach of contract, negligence, unjust enrichment, and unfair business practices . . .” The plaintiff/attorney appears to be the only member of the class.

It is widely reported that the lawsuit concerns Microsoft’s points system, which Microsoft uses for online purchases. The system has been problematic because the “points don’t correspond to real-world dollars, and often you’re left stuck with unused points.”

Unfortunately, nothing in the complaint discusses this problem.

The actual lawsuit seems to allege merely the loss of “15 attorney hours over several days” trying to deal with the Microsoft support staff. While the suit itself may be pretty silly, I do think the amount of time claimed in damages is extremely plausible. Every time I have ever had to call the XBox hotline, I have been told that “their system is down” and I need to call back in a few hours. Repeat ad nausea.

As for the case everyone hoped this lawsuit was actually about: Essentially, for downloadable content XBox Live, real world currencies are not allowed. Instead, you use your national currency to purchase Microsoft Points, which in turn can purchase items online. (And, oh, don’t even think about trying to buy Points for an account registered to a different country than you are physically residing in. Take my word for it, it’s next to impossible to do so without setting up some off-shore accounts in the Caymans.) Unfortunately, Microsoft only allows to purchase points in pre-set packs — and those packs are always just under or just over the actual number of points you need, assuring that you will likely never be able to achieve a 0 balance thereafter.

In other XBox 360 lawsuit related news, a Plaintiff in the Northern District of California has issued a subpoena on Bill Gates for a lawsuit brought regarding the XBox’s infamous Red Ring of Death:

The subpoena instructs Gates to bring “documents pertaining to the true and relative number of actual Xbox 360 units that have been fixed by Microsoft over the past 3 years.” Estavillo is also seeking statistical data showing the true number of Xbox 360s that experienced the RROD (or other break-downs) and data on the actual number of people banned from Xbox Live for “piracy” over the period of 11/28/2008 through 11/28/2009.

-Susan

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