Xbox Live Gamers Ganked By Expired Email Addresses

Xbox Live Gamers Ganked By Expired Email Addresses

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A handful of Xbox 360 owners have been left out in the cold by a design flaw in Xbox Live which has resulted in the accidental deletion of Gamertags and any Achievements that were attached to them.

The trouble occurs when email accounts used to set up Xbox Live Gold memberships expire, as sometimes happens with accounts on free webmail services like Hotmail: If they're not used for anything else, they'll automatically be shut down after a set period of time. Unfortunately for some Xbox 360 owners, when Windows Live ID email addresses expire, they don't go quietly and they don't go alone: Not only is the email address deleted, but so is the Gamertag associated with it along with any and all Achievements the user may have earned over the life of the account.

The problem has been confirmed by a Microsoft customer service rep, who said, "The only alternative is to set up a new Gamertag with your preferred email address." There is no way around the problem, she said, adding that any Achievement points built up on lost accounts cannot be transferred. GamesIndustry has also confirmed the problem "with a relatively small percentage of users" and noted that while it doesn't prevent players from going online with a Silver membership, it will prevent them from upgrading to a Gold account, "effectively blocking any ongoing online multiplayer activity - one of the facets which made the service so popular in the first place." The problem can be identified by the appearance of error code "8015d080" when attempting to make a new subscription.

There may yet be hope for a resolution: Copies of user profiles are stored on local Xbox 360 hard drives and Microsoft has released a statement saying it doesn't have any comment to make at this time beyond the fact that it is "investigating the issue," giving some small measure of hope to optimists like me that long-time Live gamers who lost their Gamertags won't be permanently screwed.

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Well I better have set up something to have forward to my hotmail address or else it is buy buy gamertag.

Dammit and I just deleted my other gamertag too.

EDIT: Actually you know what would make me use my hotmail more? If I could have my e-mail forwarded to my phone. They are still charging for that feature which really sucks like yahoo. The reason I rely on g-mail is because their use of pop3 and Imap are free that I can use for both my cell phone and outlook.

Yahoo charges for outlook usage. As does Microsoft and it is for their own program! When the heck can a guy get some seemless working technology to make my life easier and not have 10 different e-mail addresses.

Well I better use hotmail more often than.

As a developer myself, I'm both shocked and unsurprised that this happened.

I also use a hotmail account for my XBL account and never use it for anything else, and a while ago I figured I better log into it once in a while just to make sure it doesn't die and I can't get access to my account. So I'm shocked that this was obvious to me and not on the radar of the devs who created it.

Yet I'm also unsurprised that it occurred. I can easily see this as an bug that gets filed and then ignored from release to release as more sexy or urgent features need addressing. Eventually it falls so low on the radar that nobody is noticing it anymore. I'm sure articles like this one will bump it up a few priority levels.

Shouldn't they just advise everyone to sign up to the monthly 360 newsletter so their accounts are not deleted?

Well, sounds like Microsoft to me....Get you to use a Microsoft email account...that they know you'll never check...then have it tied to your gamertag, then it expires, whoops, you just lost it and any live time you might have. Buy more please and start a new one.

But I haven't access mine (Besides XBL) in literally months...maybe even a year or so. I've had no problems...what gives?

They should just add an option to change your email. Or at least allow you talk to a representative, tell them why you need it changed and whatnot.

is this also possible on ps3? or only 360

I use an email address on Hotmail primarily for correspondence with corporations and keep my Gmail account for personal correspondence and email I actually care about. The Hotmail gets checked once a week, the Gmail four times a day.

I think therein lies the problem---MS has an outdated, obsolete email platform and it's not a priority for them to make it competitive. They need to get with the program if they're ever going to make Windows Live competitive with Google's suite of web apps. Sometimes I wonder if MS has turned their strategic initiatives over to an orangutan since they seem perfectly content to let Google, Mozilla, Apple, and OpenOffice.org take big bites out of their market share. I wonder if the Justice Department scared them off.

l Ancient l:
is this also possible on ps3? or only 360

I suppose it's possible but, as far as I know, you can link any email address to your PSN account, meaning you can sign up with the email address you use the most

 

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