Georgia Man Launches Class Action Suit Against Microsoft

Georgia Man Launches Class Action Suit Against Microsoft

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Georgia resident Francisco Garcia has launched a class action suit against Microsoft, alleging the company's creation and automatic renewal of his son's Xbox Live account without his consent is consumer fraud.

According to Garcia, his debit card was used by his son Silvario in October 2005 to purchase a one-year subscription to Xbox Live at a cost of $49.99. At the end of that year, Microsoft automatically renewed his subscription for another year, for the same fee. The charge resulted in Garcia's account being overdrawn, incurring a $35 penalty. Microsoft has since refunded the $49.99 renewal fee, but would not cover the bank's overdraft charge.

Garcia contends that by accepting the subscription from a minor and then renewing it without express consent, the company "fraudulently induced a contractual relationship for Xbox Live services." He is seeking unspecified damages, and has asked the court to expand the case to include all Georgia Xbox Live customers who are similarly oblivious to the state of their finances.

The suit was originally filed in August in Georgia state court, but Microsoft filed a motion in September to have the matter moved to federal court and has since asked the court to dismiss the case entirely, claiming it has proof that Silvario Garcia lied about his age by claiming to be at least 18 when he subscribed to Xbox Live.

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Can someone just sue out the concept of Xbox Live entirely? The servers are made and maintained by PLAYERS, and much of the online stuff like trailers and demos can be gotten off a site like FilePlanet FREE....why are people forced to pay for this $&*!??

I support the lawsuit, at any rate.

People do not pay for demos and trailers. Those can be accessed for free whether you have Gold or Silver. The only thing you really get with Gold is online play, which I'm fine with personally. I understand a lot of people dislike the idea of having to pay to play online, but you gotta make money to pay for all that storage and servers somehow, and advertising on Xbox 360 Dashboard is quite limited.

My big issue is why a father, a family man, is being over drawn by an order of $50. I don't know about anyone else, but my old man always has more cash than that in his bank account. It's part of being a responsible adult. I hope that man doesn't get fired from his job any time soon.

But even so, any sort of subscription you should double-check and make sure that you won't automatically be charged again later. I learned that system long ago. Though, at the same time, I felt cheated when I had to learn it the hard way, so at the same time I feel Microsoft should've made it more obvious.

I don't think the man is going to win, and don't think he should. It's actually not Microsoft's fault that he was overdrawn, as a full grown adult with a family should have more cash than that anyway. He should contact his bank about that if anything. Meanwhile, Microsoft needs to put up an option or disclaimer warning people that it may automatically renew a subscription.

Wouldn't the son be the fraudulent party for misrepresenting his age and agreeing to an automatic renewal of the service? You have to agree to specific terms (including consenting to automatic renewal) and affirm that you are at least 18 years old and have reached the age of majority in your area to sign up for the service. If these steps aren't good enough then what can the company reasonably be expected to do? Also, by using his father's debit card without permission he was effectively stealing, he owes his father money, Microsoft doesn't.

Katana314:
I support the lawsuit, at any rate.

Do you have any reason for this beyond a dislike of Microsoft?

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Is that Tom Selleck on the right?

Arbre:
Is that Tom Selleck on the right?

To my knowledge, Tom Selleck was not in the movie Deliverance.

@ccesarano: Your comments about him being a "family" man, who should have more than 50 dollars in his checking account, are lame.

A. He may have more cash, he just may not keep it all holed up in a non/low-interest bearing checking account. Personally, I'm not a "family" guy, but my expenses are well over a grand per month, and I only keep 100 dollars in my checking account at any given time, only moving more funds over when, say, I need to write a rent check. I think you'd be an idiot to do otherwise.

B. He may not have more cash, so I guess he should apologize for having a son, and not being middle-to-upper class.

On-Topic: This is definitely not Microsoft's fault, as the kid was the one being fraudulent. I'd guess the click-through agreement states that the subscription will be automatically renewed if actions to prevent it weren't taken. The legality and enforceability of those (click-through agreements) are always questionable, but they haven't been struck down yet (that I know of), and I don't think this will be the case that does it.

At least they were nice enough to give the money back for the subscription, but I don't see how it is possible they owe him the bank fee. Dude sounds pretty litigious to me. (Thus completing the irony circle by insulting the guy for a different reason after defending different slander, all of which simply says more about us, than it does about Mr. Garcia.)

Arbre:
Is that Tom Selleck on the right?

Jon Voight.

With Burt Reynolds behind him and Ned Beatty just barely peeking in on the left. Not sure who the fourth guy is, and IMDB would be cheating.

The general consensus that I've seen on various forums is that this is a complete non-starter, but can anyone offer an informed legal opinion about it? Sometimes common sense and legality seem to be taking different buses in opposite directions.

Soooo stupid, the judge should have just laughed at him and then held him for contempt. Crappy parenting does not constitute a lawsuit against [insert bad corporation here].

Both sides have something to work with. The kid lied about being 18. But Microsoft is dancing on a fine line of legality. They produce a product that is primarily designed for minors. Having legally binding contracts at every turn is not exactly practical. It will be a difficult one to call. I would think the courts will be more likely to take action if a large number of people join the lawsuit. Otherwise it will get thrown out.

Antari:
They produce a product that is primarily designed for minors

So, are all gaming devices aimed at minors? I'd like to know how you came to your conclusion.

VanityGirl:

Antari:
They produce a product that is primarily designed for minors

So, are all gaming devices aimed at minors? I'd like to know how you came to your conclusion.

Thats why I said primarily and not entirely. While the games & gaming devices for a system can be geared to any age group the system and basis idea for the system is usually for kids. And in the case of XboxLive; Families ... which usually involve kids.

 

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