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Why I will never trust downloadable content again. XBX360

Gaming-ModuleGaming-Module Registered User regular
edited January 2008 in Games and Technology
The problem: I'm stuck with partial licenses on my Live Arcade downloads that are tied to my gamertag, but no longer tied to my new X-Box 360, which I transferred the tag to.

Background: This past July my X-Box 360 received the RRoD. I had purchased it March 2006 with a Circuit City Advantage Replacement Plan for $80, which was a big mistake - more on that in a minute.

When this happened I immediately took measures to ensure that my DLC (much of the Oblivion expansions and Castlevania Symphony of the Night) would be transferrable. I called 18004MYXBOX and started a claim, even before mailing my console to Circuit City for a replacement.

The only problem being that Circuit City, and I quote the numerous CSR's that I talked to, "is not equipped to replace or repair X-Box 360 consoles." Instead, they issue gift cards, which I had to wait for.

The gift card arrived in August. I was in no real hurry to get my replacement, so I waited until October. Unfortunately, my local Circuit City didn't have a unit in stock that was a non-Elite, so I purchased the replacement at Target and used the CC gift card for a cheap laptop. I outlined this possibility to the Live rep in July and she said it didn't matter.

Fast forward to Nov. 9. I call up to transfer the licenses and am told that that isn't necessary any longer, since they had so many issues with people transfering their gamertags to new 360's due to console failure. I took down the case number and a week or so later, ran a lan line from my router under the floor to my 360, retrieved my gamertag and redownloaded my content.

But it doesn't work unless I'm logged into my main gamertag and connected to the Internet. Basically, if for example my girlfriend wants to play Oblivion with all of the DLC, she has to log into my gamertag, because if she uses hers she won't have access, because the DLC is no longer tied to the hardware and, thus, every gamertag created on the machine.

Where we are now: After spending an hour on the phone with yet another Live rep who I had to explain the fundamentals of Live Arcade DLC, the difference between gamer score and Microsoft points and various other things that I cannot fucking believe these people aren't trained to know and understand off the top of their heads, a supervisor told me that he "could not process my request."

Because I did not purchase the replacement from Circuit City. It wasn't enough that if you go to www.ccaprotectionplan.com and type in my return ticket number, you are taken to a status page that shows the date that the claim was initiated, the model number, how much I paid, when the gift card was received, and my name, address, telephone number and various other bits of information that match that used when I registered my gamertag.

And now I'm done with DLC for good, at least through Microsoft and via the Internet. I don't know how I'm going to approach Wii's Virtual Console. All I know is that Nintendo has never screwed me like this, so I'm inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt here.

The last time something like this happened to me was during the PS1 days, where I went through FOUR PS1's, before selling the fucking thing and all of my games and calling it a day. Ever since then, I haven't bought a Sony console or even any of their other electronics.

I'm going to write a letter, but I'm not happy and I now have a negative experience that is going to essentially remove any impulse from the potential purchase of DLC.

Gaming-Module on
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    ShogunShogun Hair long; money long; me and broke wizards we don't get along Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Why didn't you send your console to microsoft for a *free* repair and then get the free gift card from Circuit City?

    Shogun on
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    Gaming-ModuleGaming-Module Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    This was before the three year warranty was implemented and you had to send CC your broken console "in exchange" for the gift card.

    Either way, I was ending up with a new unit from retail as my replacement.

    Gaming-Module on
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    ShogunShogun Hair long; money long; me and broke wizards we don't get along Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Your console died in July. New warranty arrived in August. You didn't get the gift card until August and you didn't even get a console until October. You still could've gotten your 360 fixed for free + that gift card.

    Edit: Actually according to what I'm looking at the new warranties hit early July.

    Shogun on
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    Gaming-ModuleGaming-Module Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    You're not understanding.

    You send Circuit City the 360, they verify that it is broken and keep it. Then they send you a gift card for the amount that you paid.

    Gaming-Module on
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    ShogunShogun Hair long; money long; me and broke wizards we don't get along Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    You're not understanding.

    You send Circuit City the 360, they verify that it is broken and keep it. Then they send you a gift card for the amount that you paid.

    Ah I see. $80 for that?


    Ouch.

    Shogun on
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    Gaming-ModuleGaming-Module Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    When they sold it to me, I was supposed to be able to walk into any Circuit City and get a replacement.

    That was a nice lie.

    EDIT: Later on in the thread I'll discuss my Galciv 2 experience too. That one isn't quite as detailed, as I eventually just said "screw it" and shelved my useless copy of the game, pretending that it's just one more PC game in my collection that I'm choosing to let collect dust.

    Gaming-Module on
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    WoodroezWoodroez Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    My scenario was different, but the end result is the same...currently own Symphony of the Night, though you wouldn't know it if you got on my 360.

    Woodroez on
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    HarshLanguageHarshLanguage Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    This problem is just going to get worse, industry-wide. It's not just MS, they just happen to be at the forefront of selling gamers DLC via Marketplace. No company has bothered putting together a customer-friendly plan for transfer of purchased digital content. (If they have and I haven't heard about it, tell me.) When it can be partially transferred, like the 360 stuff, it still relies on Internet access and a specific account, which isn't ideal at all considering how consoles are used. And they knowingly skimp on customer service in this area, believing, usually correctly, that eventually we'll just give up if there's a problem they won't fix.

    Really, the state of ownership rights of digital content is a big freakin' mess, with us, the buyers, on the losing end. The sellers would like us to view our purchases as ephemeral, disposable, not worth worrying about. But when you can easily spend hundreds of dollars on content, that doesn't (or shouldn't) fly with consumers.

    HarshLanguage on
    QSwearing_trans_smooth_small.gif
    > turn on light

    Good start to the day. Pity it's going to be the worst one of your life. The light is now on.
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    devolvedevolve Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    So you can use your DLC, but you want to bitch because if someone else is on your console, who is not you, has to log in as you in order to use it?


    Isn't DLC attached to your gamertag and the hardware to begin with?


    This prevents piracy of DLC. Any other solution would give people the ability to essentially give other people their DLC.


    I can see where support told you that there wouldn't be a problem. Did you say to them, "yeah, my girlfriend wants to use my DLC but on her silver account, is that going to be a problem?" Because if you didn't, what would prompt them to think that anyone other than you was intending on using it.

    devolve on
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    DavorDavor Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Hey what about DLC over just the internet, if you should lose the installer/data files for any of the Oblivion DLC more then 3 or 4? days after buying it, you're SOL. I think steam is the only really quality system so far, and even it has it's issues.

    Davor on
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    Gaming-ModuleGaming-Module Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    devolve wrote: »
    So you can use your DLC, but you want to bitch because if someone else is on your console, who is not you, has to log in as you in order to use it?

    Isn't DLC attached to your gamertag and the hardware to begin with?

    This prevents piracy of DLC. Any other solution would give people the ability to essentially give other people their DLC.

    When you buy the content it is attached to the gamertag and system that it was purchased on.

    With the hardware half of the licensure, anyone can use the content on that hardware. Without it it is specific to that gamertag.

    It's like you and a member of your family/SO living under the same roof and purchasing two copies of every game that you play in common.

    Would you really do that?

    Gaming-Module on
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    ChildrenChildren Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    This, in my opinion, encorages piracy, not nessisarily for Xbox Live, where as far as I know piracy is not an option, but just the fact that companies don't treat really data like property.

    this quote sums it up:
    The sellers would like us to view our purchases as ephemeral, disposable, not worth worrying about.

    in other words, to treat it like it doesn't really count as owning something anyway. I'm not sure if I am communicating the connection between this and priracy very well, but I see a clear relationship.

    Children on
    360 tag: A Blue Mushroom
    skate, halo 3
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    Gaming-ModuleGaming-Module Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    No, I understand.

    If they don't consider it property from those standpoints, then how can anyone take them seriously when they complain about the theft of similar data on different mediums? Is ownership a one-way street?

    This is why there will always be boxed version of software sold at retail outlets.

    Gaming-Module on
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    ArcSynArcSyn Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I think smaller things, like the Oblivion extra content you were referring to, companies prefer to think of them in the same way they think of digital music. It's there and can technically be used by multiple people, but every individual person should have to buy their own copy.

    It would be nice if they gave a way to "unregister" a console and register a new one, similar to registering music in iTunes. This way you could unregister your old console (preventing piracy) and register the new one (allowing a household to all use the same DLC).

    ArcSyn on
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    Sci-Fi WasabiSci-Fi Wasabi Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Would this still happen if you kept the hard drive?

    Sci-Fi Wasabi on
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    HarshLanguageHarshLanguage Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    If they don't consider it property from those standpoints, then how can anyone take them seriously when they complain about the theft of similar data on different mediums? Is ownership a one-way street?

    As far as most companies are concerned, yes, absolutely, ownership is a one-way street. They'd love for us to re-buy all or part of our content occasionally, and through action or inaction they do what they can to bring that about. They have to be somewhat crafty about it, but anti-piracy measures are routinely being used as sales-generation measures these days. But the real culprit is the EULA, where we give away all our rights in return for something that isn't even a purchase, it's just a very limited license.

    Look, if MS wanted to, they could have built a system to "authorize" a new 360 hardware serial number for purchases, removing the old one at the same time. (It's what they do for Windows.) They didn't. They could choose to trust their customers, and put systems in place so that trust isn't abused. They don't. They could choose to err on the side of generosity (heaven forbid they give out a second copy of a $10 game!). They don't.
    This is why there will always be boxed version of software sold at retail outlets.

    Boxed games won't save you from this anymore. Product activation has appeared there, too. Look at the Bioshock debacle, where you have a limited # of installations, with customer service for installation problems being handled by the DRM company(!)... at least until the company goes out of business, at which point no one will be able to legally install the game.

    And I think Orange Box retail is purely Steam-activated, isn't it? Now, I generally trust Valve, because they've shown they know how to do digital property fairly well. But they're still lacking in many ways, like real ownership rights and customer service.

    HarshLanguage on
    QSwearing_trans_smooth_small.gif
    > turn on light

    Good start to the day. Pity it's going to be the worst one of your life. The light is now on.
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    PoochPooch Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Would this still happen if you kept the hard drive?

    If the problem he's referring to is the same one I had (which I think it is) then no, you need the original Xbox that the content was downloaded onto, and he got a replacement console instead.

    The rule is that a gamertag can download content onto two consoles for one price, however, on the second console, only the gamertag doing the downloading can play the full DLC, whereas any profile made on the first console can mooch off the downloader and play.

    I remember when they sent me a replacement last year, that they made me make a new Silver Account and then gave me however much money I spent, so I could downlaod all the stuff again with the new account, granting access to the full DLC for all profiles again.

    Pooch on
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    NovaRevNovaRev Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I currently have a similar problem; my 360 got the 3 red lights shortly after Halo 3 was released and I sent it in for repair. They repaired it instead of replacing it, so I got my original system back with licenses for downloaded content intact. Life was good until the damned thing broke again less than a week later. Now I have a replacement unit and none of my content works offline or on any other profiles/gamertags except my own anymore because I have lost the licenses that are tied to the specific console.

    The current solutions that they offer are: 1) delete and re-download the content using the gamertag that purchased it in the first place. If this does not work (which it doesn't), 2) call their phone support, which is what I will be doing on Monday. Unless they can resolve this for me in a relatively timely and painless manner, I will also be avoiding all downloadable content on the Live Marketplace in the future. I am dreading this phone call because of the horror stories that I have heard about support personnel who have no idea how the system works, multi-month waits for a solution that doesn't come, etc. but here's hoping that it goes well...

    There's a thread about this problem on the official 360 forums which has been running since shortly after the system launched and still gets daily posts. It can be found here for those that are interested.

    NovaRev on
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    JCRooksJCRooks Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    This is has been a recurring problem. Fortunately, it's been addressed. Contact support and they should be able to take care of you. What they can do is swap console IDs, which fixes the problem.

    That said, it might take getting the right phone jockey. Hopefully as time goes on, the resolution of this problem should be a lot smoother.

    If you're still having problems, PM me and I'll try to expedite things. (As you may guess, I work in the games group at MS. While this is not my area of expertise, I do have some contacts I can try)

    BTW - I hate DRM.

    JCRooks on
    Xbox LIVE, Steam, Twitter, etc. ...
    Gamertag: Rooks
    - Don't add me, I'm at/near the friend limit :)

    Steam: JC_Rooks

    Twitter: http://twitter.com/JiunweiC

    I work on this: http://www.xbox.com
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    ZetxZetx 🐧 Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Re: DLC services

    Steam lets you download from any computer as long as you have your user/pass, but if your ID is logged in from another location, it'll kick the first connection off in favor of the second. (At least for multiplayer games, not sure about single player)

    So the user doesn't have to reactivate or any other nonsense with the company when they get a new computer/reformat/etc.

    [edit]

    I would imagine the same system could work for console games. I don't own any of the current gen consoles, but for multiplayer games you could easily use the same system of checking for duplicate logins (and for single player games, I guess you could force the game to call home or the user to login before playing, but that would probably raise some complaints about having to be online to use one's products and so on...)

    Zetx on
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    Gaming-ModuleGaming-Module Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I haven't really used any PC digital distro since getting screwed by Stardock with Galciv 2.

    For some reason, my original CD key that is printed on the sticker that came on the jewel case no longer works, and I cannot, for the life of me, get the usual login/pass combos to work or even get their "forgot password" autosender to send a temp login to any of the only three email accounts that I have.

    I got someone on the phone to email me a replacement key that didn't work either.

    Needless to say, I didn't both with Dark Avatar or any of the expansions and don't plan on buying any further Stardock products.

    This was a boxed version of the game bought at retail too, although Stardock treats retail copies with the same draconian DRM standards.
    JCRooks wrote: »
    Hope.

    You see. This is some class right here. I sent you a PM.

    Do you have a supervisor I can call so I can tell him who to thank for keeping me in the fold as a customer, because as things stood, I not only planned on no more DLC or live, but had also planned on no longer purchasing 360 games from retail, but rather getting them all second hand from people on CAG or from EBStop, so as not to register on any sales charts or contribute to the bottomlines of Microsoft or any third party partners.

    It sounds like a pithy reaction, but as a consumer, that's all I can really do - and make more of these threads. :D

    Gaming-Module on
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    ZetxZetx 🐧 Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Funny you mention DRM since Galciv 2 has no copy protection, too bad that doesn't do you any good since a cd-key's required for patches.

    Zetx on
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    Gaming-ModuleGaming-Module Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Zetx wrote: »
    Funny you mention DRM since Galciv 2 has no copy protection, too bad that doesn't do you any good since a cd-key's required for patches.

    Last time I checked, the license is still heavily restricted and it is a primarily digitally distributed software title.

    The license is non-transferable and is tied to a Stardock account that you create and an email address. I think I recall needing to be connected to the Internet to play too, for verification, but my memory is a bit fuzzy on that, so maybe I'm not remembering properly.

    Sure it doesn't have Starforce or anything like that, but it still has some of the weaknesses that digital distro currently has, as a whole.

    Gaming-Module on
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    corcorigancorcorigan Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Yeah, I gave up getting GC2 to work when I reinstalled Windows. Messy and awkward. I didn't really put a great deal of time into it tbh (rarely had access to computer anyway), but they still missed out on me buying their expansions...

    Valve seem to be the only people who have got this working properly and flawlessly. Give me a Windows pc and an internet connection and I can be happily playing HL2 in a little while with no issues. This is weird as Valve started it all off with Steam, and so everyone else should have copied them.

    corcorigan on
    Ad Astra Per Aspera
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    FyreWulffFyreWulff YouRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2007
    Honestly, my only problem with Steam is that you can't change the original email you signed up with.

    I would like to leave my Hotmail account behind forever. At least MS doesn't unregister them anymore, so I don't have to keep going back to keep it active to prevent someone from stealing my Steam account :|

    FyreWulff on
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    ZetxZetx 🐧 Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Zetx wrote: »
    Funny you mention DRM since Galciv 2 has no copy protection, too bad that doesn't do you any good since a cd-key's required for patches.

    Last time I checked, the license is still heavily restricted and it is a primarily digitally distributed software title.

    The license is non-transferable and is tied to a Stardock account that you create and an email address. I think I recall needing to be connected to the Internet to play too, for verification, but my memory is a bit fuzzy on that, so maybe I'm not remembering properly.

    Sure it doesn't have Starforce or anything like that, but it still has some of the weaknesses that digital distro currently has, as a whole.

    Oh. I never heard about what happened past the "no copy protection" thing. >_>
    FyreWulff wrote:
    Honestly, my only problem with Steam is that you can't change the original email you signed up with.

    Does the "Change Contact Email" button not work or does Steam use the original email for some other purpose as well? (File -> Settings -> Change Contact Email)

    I notice some of my friends login using an email address. I've always logged in using my username.

    Zetx on
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    FyreWulffFyreWulff YouRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2007
    yeah, that only changes the email they contact you with. I still have to log in using my hotmail address.

    Maybe in recent times you sign up with an username? I signed up the day it came out.

    FyreWulff on
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    ZetxZetx 🐧 Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Ah. I signed up in '05, the email thing is pretty weird since you would assume that either way, contacting and logging in, they'd want a user to have a unique email. :|

    Zetx on
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    Sci-Fi WasabiSci-Fi Wasabi Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    The email thing is getting fixed in the patch on Tuesday.

    Sci-Fi Wasabi on
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    EclecticGrooveEclecticGroove Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Zetx wrote: »
    Re: DLC services

    Steam lets you download from any computer as long as you have your user/pass, but if your ID is logged in from another location, it'll kick the first connection off in favor of the second. (At least for multiplayer games, not sure about single player)

    So the user doesn't have to reactivate or any other nonsense with the company when they get a new computer/reformat/etc.

    [edit]

    I would imagine the same system could work for console games. I don't own any of the current gen consoles, but for multiplayer games you could easily use the same system of checking for duplicate logins (and for single player games, I guess you could force the game to call home or the user to login before playing, but that would probably raise some complaints about having to be online to use one's products and so on...)

    This is fundamentally what Live does. The issue here is that people want to be able to move "content" from console A to console B and use it on any gamertag that could ever possibly log into the system offline or online.

    The only reason I see this as an issue is because, on a basic level, when you download something from live to your console it binds itself to your gamertag, and your unique console ID. In order to play that content one or the other needs to be present.
    When you switch consoles, the console ID obviously changes, so that criteria can never be met, leaving you only playing with your user/pass. This situation mimics the Steam example, where you can use the steam stuff so long as you are logged in.

    The big problem with the Live stuff is that they originally have that content locked to the console ID of the system you purchased it from, and that is on the server side, not just after you download it. Makes it kind of messy, but I think they are addressing that part lately, but I'm not sure if it will do any good for older content or not.

    EclecticGroove on
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    JCRooksJCRooks Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    JCRooks wrote: »
    Hope.

    You see. This is some class right here. I sent you a PM.

    Do you have a supervisor I can call so I can tell him who to thank for keeping me in the fold as a customer, because as things stood, I not only planned on no more DLC or live, but had also planned on no longer purchasing 360 games from retail, but rather getting them all second hand from people on CAG or from EBStop, so as not to register on any sales charts or contribute to the bottomlines of Microsoft or any third party partners.

    It sounds like a pithy reaction, but as a consumer, that's all I can really do - and make more of these threads. :D

    Heh, don't worry about it. I'm a Lead in QA. It's part of my job to take care of our customers. I hate crappy user experiences just like everyone else!

    Anyway, when I'm back in the office on Monday, I'll get things rolling the best I can.
    The big problem with the Live stuff is that they originally have that content locked to the console ID of the system you purchased it from, and that is on the server side, not just after you download it. Makes it kind of messy, but I think they are addressing that part lately, but I'm not sure if it will do any good for older content or not.

    Yup, it's messy (which is why I hate DRM). If you go through the normal repair process, the console ID switching is supposed to be done automatically. Now if you go through alternate channels, I'm not exactly sure what the policy is. However I do know that they can switch console IDs over the phone.

    It is a very crappy scenario that customers can lose their functionality because of a hardware issue, which is due to no fault of their own. This situation has been complained about many times (often by actual Microsofties!), which is why we're starting to see some progress. I have my fingers crossed.

    JCRooks on
    Xbox LIVE, Steam, Twitter, etc. ...
    Gamertag: Rooks
    - Don't add me, I'm at/near the friend limit :)

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    DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Nintendo's solution, if anyone is wondering, is that they take your console for repairs and transfer all of the stuff to the new console that they'll send you, which is why as soon as you open the box, you'll see a big piece of paper that says, essentially, "If this thing breaks, don't take it back to the store; call Nintendo, dammit!"

    I could have sworn the X360 had a similar disclaimer, come to think of it.

    Daedalus on
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    ChewyWafflesChewyWaffles Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I haven't read the entire thread, but companies are wanting their cake and eating it too. They want to treat their IP as if they were both licenses and a sale depending on the situation: it's a "license" when it comes to copyright (don't make a backup of that game, you pirate), but try and get a replacement disc should you lose it or break it. Oh, no sir, it's a physical sale then.

    ChewyWaffles on
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    ChewyWafflesChewyWaffles Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Daedalus wrote: »
    I could have sworn the X360 had a similar disclaimer, come to think of it.

    I'm pretty sure it didn't.

    ChewyWaffles on
    mwf2sig.jpg
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    DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Daedalus wrote: »
    I could have sworn the X360 had a similar disclaimer, come to think of it.

    I'm pretty sure it didn't.

    Well, I only bought it a week or so ago and I've already thrown out all the packaging, so I can't really check.

    Daedalus on
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    Death of RatsDeath of Rats Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    So what happens if I buy a 120gb HD for the 360? Transferring the stuff from my current 20gb HD will allow me to continue to use all my DLC, right? Just as long as I don't get a different console, right?

    Death of Rats on
    No I don't.
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    OhtsamOhtsam Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    So what happens if I buy a 120gb HD for the 360? Transferring the stuff from my current 20gb HD will allow me to continue to use all my DLC, right? Just as long as I don't get a different console, right?

    yup the console id is stored on the console itself

    Ohtsam on
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    Death of RatsDeath of Rats Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Now what if I take my 360's Hd over to a friends house to play some Rock Band... will my DLC not work if they don't have an internet connection? Should I instead bring my whole console?

    Death of Rats on
    No I don't.
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    OhtsamOhtsam Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Now what if I take my 360's Hd over to a friends house to play some Rock Band... will my DLC not work if they don't have an internet connection? Should I instead bring my whole console?

    I think you have to be online in that case so yes you'll probably want to bring the whole console

    Ohtsam on
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    RookieRookie Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Now what if I take my 360's Hd over to a friends house to play some Rock Band... will my DLC not work if they don't have an internet connection? Should I instead bring my whole console?


    You will have to bring your console and HD for your DLC to work. I basically had the same thing happen to my xbox, but when I was getting mine replaced from the store I bought it, I decided to just pay the difference and get an elite. Now I can't play any of the XBLA games I bought on that old console unless I'm connected to Xbox Live. The worst part is I bought the Foo Fighters Pack and downloaded the Boss Pack on my old console, so I can't even play those songs unless I'm connected to Xbox Live.

    I spent an hour and a half on the phone with Microsoft and basically what it came down to what that it's my fault for upgrading to an elite and if I hadn't done that, there wouldn't be a problem. Because it is still technically working on the old console. Then, I asked to speak to a supervisor the guy I was talking to said he wouldn't even take my call, and I know that usually they have to let you speak to a supervisor if you demanded it. After I told him I wanted to speak to one anyways, he told me there wasn't even one there and generally just started being rude.

    Rookie on
    TheRizzle.png
    PSN: TheSuperVillain
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