Microsoft Has No Answer For Their Broken XBOX Live DRM Writes: Reader Kevin's XBOX 360 suffered the usual Red Ring of Death, so he sent it in to be repaired. He got back a different XBOX 360 with a different serial number. That would be no big deal, except Kevin has purchased a bunch of content through XBOX Live... content that is no longer fully functional due to Microsoft's broken DRM.

Here's a quick summary:

November 2007: Kevin's XBOX 360 is replaced, causing his content to lose full functionality. He calls Microsoft.

Microsoft keeps Kevin on the phone for an hour trying different methods of restoring functionality to his content. Nothing works. They say they will call him back in two weeks. They do not call him back, so he calls them. Microsoft makes him repeat the steps he tried the first time he called. They tell him they will call him back in two weeks. This cycle repeats twice more before Kevin gets a call from Frank at XBOX escalations. It's now the second week of January. Kevin periodically speaks to Frank. Frank has no answers for him.

February 7, 2008: Frank tells Kevin that there's nothing more he can do and, when Kevin asks when he can expect a resolution, Frank says "hopefully sometime in 2008."

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DTClown3751d ago (Edited 3751d ago )

I thought the general rule of thumb for 360 owners were to simply go out and buy another system every time theirs broke. I have seen them all post here time and time again doing just that. So just go and re-buy your downloads again. Problem solved.


You could INVEST in a system that is NOT fundamentally FLAWED which in turn flaws every other facet of the system. Short answer, go buy a PS3 and enjoy gaming.

cellypower3751d ago

This is a shame to the customer because MS wanted to come out first to beat sony.

rawd3751d ago

Agreed, the 360 could have been a great system if they had invested more time and money into R&D instead of rushing it out the door.

kevoncox3751d ago

It's a lie.
You can redown load the content for free as soon as you import your live user name... Geesh, i thought this was the Non fanboy zone?

Hatchetforce3751d ago

Yes the 360 could have been a great console if it was fully tested, had built in wireless, the ability to put any laptop SATA drive in it, had a Bluray drive, supported keyboard and mouse, had free network service, interfaced with a smaller handheld gaming unit (PSP), and would play MGS4.

Hatchetforce3751d ago


It isn't a lie. I am on my 4th 360 and I don't buy anything anymore. That isn't the way the DRM works. His isn't the first case either.



marinelife93751d ago

That's funny I've owned my PS3 for almost a year and a half and have never had the occasion to talk to someone in customer service. PS3 reps are kinda like Maytag men.

I should call them up just to give them something to do by answering the phone. Have no idea what the number is though.

natural07213751d ago

Just have them issue you free points to redownload everything with another account the same thing happenened to me a year ago. It took a while for them to do it but they gave me codes to put in my system so I could redownload evrything again. the codes gave me free points.the only thing is you have to make another account make it a gold account that gives you the month free trial then download everything again using the new account.then your games would work fine like when you first bough them.I don't understand why they didn't offer it to you they did to me.but I did give them hell when i talked to them.

DarkSniiper3751d ago

I have my forth being repaired or replaced at this time. Ever since I upgraded from the pro to the elite I have had DRM problems. Been 10 months now and still have DRM issues. Would I give up my Xbox 360 because of this, NO! It will get worked out in the end, just going to take some time though.

@natural0721 - they don't do that anymore, they did that for me the first time but shortly after that they stopped giving points.

lawman11083751d ago

I sent my 1st 360 in and it was repaired everything worked, when it failed AGAIN a year later they lost it and game me a rebuilt system but I have an Elite too so I use the old HD on the Elite anyway.

DeadIIIRed3751d ago

When I was having issues with my HDMI and PS3 I called up the support line. I'm just gunna say right now that they're idiots. All they did was tell me to call my TV's manufacturer. So I called Vizio and talked to some guy who helped me set up my PS3. It wasn't the TV at all.

God help us all if our PS3s start red ringing or something.

Nevers3751d ago (Edited 3751d ago )

I've got a refurb after an RRoD and you merely go thru your download history (far left tab), and re-download the purchased content. You don't have to pay again. Most of the info is already on your HDD so it usually only takes 5sec for each item to get I'm guessing the "copy-rights" coding. It's annoying if you've downloaded tons o' crap like me...but what isn't regarding the death of these consoles. This info should be an insert in all replacement consoles but it is not.

sonarus3751d ago

one thing i love about fanboys is loyalty. I have a ps3 and a 360 i generally dnt play my 360 that much anymore only game i really play on it is madden except for the occasional bioshock or mass effect rental and it has never crapped on me maybe its cus of lite usage i dunno. But i do knw if it ever did i wouldnt even consider buying another 1.

wallace10003751d ago

Unfortunately though for the PS3 it just doesn't have the games library, that is however my opinion. The games i have most recently purchase: Bioshock, Halo 3, Mass Effect. PS3 doesn't have anything that can touch those titles, especially Halo 3 online and Mass Effect for scfi RPG.

lonestarmt3751d ago (Edited 3751d ago )

I have to respectfully disagree. The PS3 very much does. Almost every game that is multi 360 only fans seem not to count it for a ps3 game. I also have to disagree call of duty 4 and warhawk are both far superior than halo 3 online and fall of man is a way better story than halo 3 in general. Uncharted, motorstorm, heavenly sword (although short), fall of man, and rachet and clank are fantastic games. There really is nothing else like mass effect, but thats why I have a PC :)

Lifendz3751d ago

How did MS fall so far so fast? I bought an Xbox last time around and, truth be told, played it more than my PS2. How the heck did they F it up so bad? And to be so cold to the consumers is crazy. Easy fix for this guy, send him a new console and credit him for every dime he spent on Xbox live.

Daishi3751d ago

I have to respectfully disagree with you as well. Given this is both only are opinions as we both enjoy different games. The part I'm disagreeing with is the part where you said COD4 has a better multiplayer. If you would have said single player I would have agreed but not MP. My main reason being that you can make videos and clips. Yes with certain tools you can do the same with COD4 but what would be the point. The deaths in COD4 don't even begin to touch Halo's with sticks, vehicles, needlers, beatdowns. So many crazy things happening at once. I loved COD4's MP at first but started to feel like I was just shooting at people until they died. Getting 7 kills with a single airstrike can only make you chuckle for so long. And where is the CO-OP? But everyone needs a break from Halo no matter how much you love it and it's great to see a game on par with it come out at the same time. And everyones argument now is PS3 will own 08, but IMHO that doesn't make Bioshock, Halo, and Mass Effect disapear. When people buy a new system this late in the consoles life they look for used games first and that's what Metal Gear will be going up against not Too Human or Fable, but then again that is just my opinion.

Kaneda3751d ago

"but IMHO that doesn't make Bioshock, Halo, and Mass Effect disapear"...

but PS3 and xbox 360 08 games will make 07 games outdated and lame.... (I try not to be a fanboy)

gno1019753750d ago (Edited 3750d ago )

This whole thing with the 360 is a 'total nightmare'. My second 360 is now faulty 6 days after the warranty expired. I've now got to pay £65 ($130) to have it repaired and the repair only comes with a 3 month warrantly. I read on another website about one guy has paid £65 3 times. How Microsoft have got away with this is a total mystery. I read in Edge magazine today that Microsoft rushed out the 360 and that it hadn't been tested properly before it was released. All in all though, consumer law in the UK doesn't seem to protect the consumer enough. All 360s should be recalled. I just know it's going to happen soon as more and more of them are becoming faulty (more than the quoted 40%). Microsoft have surprised me with their ignorance...

wallace10003750d ago

bubble for you. I stated my opinion then you stated yours and disagreed without being a tool or spewing fanboy garbage. This is how discussions should go on this site.

+ Show (16) more repliesLast reply 3750d ago
sak5003751d ago

He should write to Bill Gates.

SKullDugger3751d ago

Bill Gates knows whats going on he approved the org. launch the 360 is a flawed machine and the people who buy them and XBOX LIVE are losing money for nothing. If u own a 360 it will die someday and MS will replace it witha refurb. anf all your marketplace purchases will be lost, I think its a shame the way MS has treated their faithful consumers I feel bad for all of them.

robbo9183751d ago

I may not always agree with you but that was funny. Patriot27 it was a joking reference to the story on here recently about the kid that emailed Billy directly and got his problem solved FAST, then MS came out with a fluff story that ended with a definite comment to not email Billy. Yes anyone with brains knows that Billy didn't see the email himself, it was a funny comment though Sak.

cr33ping_death3751d ago

damn. ill be sending mine in for repair as soon as the box they send arrives. i hope they dont pull this sh!t on me.

blusoops3751d ago

It happens to ALL 360 owners that have purchased DLC on Live.

Tempist3751d ago

I think I'm going to pull my PS3 harddrive from the unit and give it a hug as well as the PS3 itself.

+1 for the PSN

shelbygt333751d ago

I had a RROD about 5 months ago, got a new one back, and all of my stuff plays just fine (games, couple TV shows, some videos, etc). I've never once had an issue. I'm always connected to Live, though, so maybe that's it.

Kleptic3750d ago

I think some are missing how this works...

the problems is occuring when you purchase XBL content with one system and a certain account...the DRM for XBL works by being attatched to your account AND your system (not just the HDD, something internally is coined to it as well)...

the RROD issue leaves everyone up in the air until they get their system back...because the RROD thing is 'so complex', and MS won't tell people exactly what causes it (apparently there are over 70 things that commonly occur in a 360 to make it pop) don't know what system you are getting back...

so...if your DLC works (and this is the purchased stuff...not demos or any free stuff) got the same 360 back...they fixed whatever was wrong internally, and sent the same system back...if it doesn't work, as in the case of this article, you were given a different 360 than what you owned before...because some RROD issues allow the system's internals to be repaird; you sometimes get your original equipment back...but some RROD problems result in a pile of absolute garbage...and in it goes...resulting in you getting a brand new, or refurbished 360 of equal specs...

and that is where the problems occur...DLC is then gimped because, even though its already on your HDD and you are using the same account, its not coined to the correct system...that is what all this is about, and its been going on for months now...It is utterly ridiculous that some are claiming this to be a lie...that is the very definition of a blind fanboy...

what MS did was made a closed service that is very good at keeping people from steeling just so happens their system pops so much that their paying customers are the people getting fired at...It is a shame, I have never seen screwing at this scale in the electronics industry...possibly ever...

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 3750d ago
tk3751d ago

Sheesh.. this is even worse that most of us thought. I thought they could just refund you points, and you could repurchase. But I guess then some would misuse the system and just send the console back to get the same points back and just buy something else, send it back, get refunded, buy something else etc etc.

Difficult one to fix if the DRM depends on code in the XB360 itself. Removing dependency on the console itself would mean the content can get swapped - for example - I buy ten items, you buy ten items, and after a month we just swap hard disks and we both get double the value.

Now they are linked to the actual console - but with the RRoD you don't get the same console - hence the keys won't work.

This problem is a biggie - as MS has a simple painful choice. Give you points, and risk you doing the same thing and getting free replacement over a period of three years, getting new content every time. Or breaking the DRM. Both options suck. For them anyway. Just shows you - get things ready before you start selling it.

Proxy3751d ago

I honestly appreciated your explination of the situation. A bubble for you.

Perhaps they could get your live ID, and your current DRM, and then have a system which would reprogram (if you will) your DLC so that it will work on your NEW DRM.

Also, does anyone know if PS3 could potentially have the same problem? What is my PS3 MAC address changes?

season0073751d ago

Here's an answer for your PS3.

Most of the games for PS3 downloadable on PSN is available up to if you have a friend got a game, use his username and password, download it you go, you get the game on your PS3 too. It also solves any potential problem relates to hardware key code.

For the more expensive game like Warhawk, i believe it is not the same case, but if it does happen, since it is not a widespread problem like the xbox360 does(<1% vs >10% failure hardware), and i believe most of the cases for the <1% is going to fix your console instead of recycling refurbished consoles. Thus, there won't be a problem for it as well.

I hope this answers your questions =)

NightVyper3750d ago

season have you tried that?? i have heard every thing is tied into the user name and tho you can to 5 different consoles you are still using your user info to get them. I know for a fact tho that if i play a game on one ps3 and download to another that it takes 24 hour for the license to be released.

IE i have two PS3s i download warhawk on both, if use warhawk on PS3 A i have to wait 24 before I can use it on PS3 B. that is how sony protects their DLC.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 3750d ago
JohnRico3751d ago

File a complaint with the BBB. That seems to get Microsofts attention

Hatchetforce3751d ago

BBB doesn't do any good. They are not a government agency. You have to file with the Consumer Protection Agency which is part of the FTC - Federal Trade Commission.