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Xbox Live & Game Pass Subscription Changes Announced

Xbox Live and Game Pass are about to receive significant changes to their subscription service, following a government investigation.

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Feedogg6115d ago

Good move from MS and hopefully others follow suit.

Magog115d ago

If anyone else is investigated by the government they probably will.

theindiearmy115d ago

This is a voluntary agreement. The regulator was looking into it to see if something should be done and MS is basically saying, "We agree that more can be done and here is what we're going to do." They have not been forced to do anything by the regulating group. Which is a lot more than others services. Netflix, ISPs, iCloud, cellular service providers, gyms, etc. etc. don't have a cut off. They will just keep taking your money.

Magog115d ago

@theindiearmy Regulators always work this way because it's their job to work with companies and they know it is faster and cheaper to get a company to agree to changes than to fight it out in court.

rippermcrip115d ago

@theindiearmy

Your comparison examples are not the same. I think the issue is with Microsoft, they sell for example a "12 month" subscription. If you're buying that, it shouldn't automatically continue afterwards. I believe that PSNow does the same thing, cause I got dinged by this same issue. I bought a 6 month subscription and then it auto-renewed monthly.

With Netflix, your internet, cell phone... I think everyone knows what they are getting when they sign up for service. You aren't buying a "12 month" subscription.

4Sh0w115d ago (Edited 115d ago )

Reading through that, I could swear just skimming over the TOS already had that stuff, except Im pretty sure Ive never seen anything about non-use leading to them stopping service, but honestly I just skimm those TOS's, as long as I understand the major points, I really dont read the fine, fine print.

Wretchedstain115d ago

Wont be long till we have food and water subscritption

Sitdown114d ago

@Wretchedstain
Where you have you been, we already do.

theindiearmy114d ago

@Magog, if regulators always work this way, then were are Sony and Nintendo with their changes? They are investigating all three, but it's only Microsoft that went to the regulators with the changes. Don't act like this is how the regulators work, otherwise all three would be involved with these changes. Microsoft is the one approaching the regulator about this change, not the other way around. Hence VOLUNTARY agreement.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 114d ago
VenomUK115d ago (Edited 115d ago )

The ‘big’ news is that Microsoft must make it clearer to new subscribers that the membership auto renews. Nowhere in the story does it mention that this is in the UK.

OneLove115d ago

That's amazing. Literally every subscription renews.

KillBill115d ago

I don't recall there being any doubt of that being stated when I signed up. It was clearly stated that it would auto-renew and that you would have to turn off auto-renewal for it not to. And then it gave you a link and description on how to turn off auto-renewal.

EvertonFC115d ago

It's a European law change

isarai115d ago

Sony has always done this with PS+. You can check when/if it auto renews since the PS3 and disable auto renew on the console.

NotoriousWhiz115d ago (Edited 115d ago )

This isn't about being able to check for renewal. That option already exists. This is about proactively notifying customers that their subscription is about to renew and providing instructions within that notification of how to cancel the subscription. Additionally, subscribers who aren't using the service will automatically have their subscription cancelled. This is big and every subscription service should do this.

XbladeTeddy115d ago

What do you mean good move from MS? They've been told to they haven't just done it.

Sephiroushin115d ago

Yea like MS was not forced; not yet but were under investigation so sooner than later they would have been torced and maybe they instead of agreeing with the 2 year would have been more like "if in 1 year somebody is not making use of the sub and getting charged you (MSFT) have to stop all charges related to the unused sub"

They were known to charge xbox banned accouts that were subbed for xbox live services even though said account was banned!

S2Killinit115d ago (Edited 115d ago )

Lol Apparently eleven people disagree with the facts. You need to praise MS regardless of what the article says ok?

StormSnooper115d ago (Edited 115d ago )

"good move from MS"? I don't get it. They've been told to fix their act up. What good move? Come on guys, stop it with the cult behavior.

frostypants115d ago

They're only doing it because they got busted for anti-consumer behavior. Not like they're doing this out of a sense of altruism.

Godmars290115d ago (Edited 115d ago )

"Good move" that they're not going keep doing something they shouldn't have been doing in the first place?

Honestly, this is literally my first bone with MS and Xbox: made the mistake of buying an OG Xbox under a subscription deal, and while continuing to take my money for it, pretended that they couldn't cancel much less had control over it. Finally ended up canceling the card it was on and of course THEN they money owed, knew all about and could end the sub, so of course after all that BS I've been sour of them ever since.

Given what they tried with always online, what Game Pass represents, that they still use subs as a form of manipulation, not seeing anything to change my mind.

BISHOP-BRASIL115d ago

Are you joking? Good move? Dude, auto-renewal have no real reason to even be an option, yet they are doing everything they can to keep this bullshit!!! And I mean that for MS, Sony or whoever else (heck, they all do it these days).

If the company sells me 12 months of a service, well than you guys keep it working for 12 months and that's it! That's what I agreed you to charge me for, no? We shouldn't have to fumble with settings and opt out of anything, it shouldn't matter if I was active in the service for the last minute of the time which I conscientiously paid for or if had not touched the thing for months, it shouldn't matter which form of payment I used... Just don't charge me without my informed consent, is pretty basic shit.

If they want to notify us as the subscription is expiring soon than fine, by all means, we can buy more if we are so inclined, but any form of auto-renewal is wrong and should be illegal (which is why they need to cover their ass now for "accidental renewals" - i.e. people cathching on to the scam - to be refunded). Heck, Sony is even worse there, I always turn off auto renewal and yet every time I manually renew my PS+ subscription the auto-renewal checkbox turns itself back on again! Like WTF are you doing? Didn't I just said no to this.

At the end of the day those are just gaming (music, streaming, what have you) services, not some public utility, there's no logic in assuming implied consent as if their service was essential, nor are they bound by the public regulations utilities are to even do that legally in the first place! In fact, announcing something as a timed deal and than proceed to unilaterally extend it forever and charge us for it, doesn't matter what the fine print of a non-binding TOS or EULA say, is at the very least quite scammy, at worst it's straight up credit card fraud.

Now let's hope the government actually makes not just MS but everyone else using this shitty excuse of a business practice eventually REMOVE auto-renewal, not just make it clearer it exists nor just the opt-out more conveniently placed... Maybe put an opt-in in place if people are actually interested, but at the very least the opt-out strategy should be gone for good, if they want to charge you ad infinitum and you are ok with it, that's fine, but it should at least require an express agreement on that term alone, instead of being part of some en bloc policy.

Sephiroushin115d ago

Well said... i dont understand, banks or phone companies etc cant do it why the heck entertainment companies can get away with it?

If they want options, well they can do it just like that; having an options that you need to check mark were you agree to being charged on a monthly basis were they can offer a discount if they want for auto renewal....

This 2 years of being charged before stipping is still bs!

Risky_24115d ago

While I agree that this practice should be banned, you consented to it when signing up for the service as it's clearly stated before you finish the process. So you ranting on about them charging you without consent after the term is false. You agreed to be charged after the fact from the begining when you signed up.

Godmars290114d ago

Need to talk about limiting what mobile games can access for "free" games. Specifically access to emails and contact history.

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 114d ago
CaptainHenry916115d ago (Edited 115d ago )

I thought it was going to be a price increase. I'm hoping Microsoft would wait on that for the next few years before the price is $30 a month.

Witchcraft115d ago ShowReplies(6)
darthv72115d ago

"I thought it was going to be a price increase." disappointed are we? We know you (and a few others) have been proclaiming a price increase for a while now but just let it go. When it happens... it happens. No need to keep hope alive.

CaptainHenry916115d ago

The title of the article sounded like they increase the price. That's the only reason I mentioned it

darksky115d ago

Of course they will increase prices once they have everyone dependant on it. At the moment people can rely on physical media for their gaming needs but in the future when that has been eliminated, people will have no choice but to pay what MS wants.

ThatsGaming115d ago

To be fair, EVERY company will try and milk gamers if they think they can get away with it.

neutralgamer1992115d ago

Captain

I believe when the content starts rolling out on regular basis that the price would be $29.99 per month with a 6 months agreement in place. And for the amount of content I think that is a very fair price because of how many IP's and studios Microsoft now controls

It cannot and it will not survive at $10 a month that is just being unrealistic as a gamer. If you are someone who plays a lot of games and then $30 a month gets you a lot of games if you're someone like me who only buys games that I am interested in than I would like that option to be just as viable and available to me

We should not push it to the extreme on either side both digital subscriptions and physical media can survive together

The only thing I dislike about this whole thing is the fact now gamers are expecting these companies to acquire big multi-billion dollar publishers. Everyone freaked out then Microsoft paid 7.5 billion dollars for Bethesda and now they are paying almost 70 billion dollars think about that for a second

Zhipp115d ago

$30 a month will never be worth it for a subscription service no matter how much content it has. An individual can only consume so much media, and very few gamers play enough to justify paying that much every month.

King_Noctis115d ago

If they raise the price, the headline would implies that.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 115d ago
Petebloodyonion115d ago

More clarification is always better but it's sad that again, like usual, these kinds of logical changes happen after receiving heat from federal organizations or backlash from customers.

Father__Merrin115d ago

I'm certain you can disable auto renew but I'm sure on Xbox anyhows you have to log into a browser and can't do it on the console

ApocalypseShadow115d ago

It's good the government have stepped in and corrected this auto renew thing.

I'll tell you though, it happened with me when I used to subscribe to Plus. When I got a PS4 at Target, they gave me a Plus subscription for $25 and I got free games as well like Until Dawn and the Last of Us. But I turned OFF auto renew. The following year, I got Plus for S40. Auto renew turned ON without my knowing it. Since I had a CC on the account, it auto renewed for $60 before I could add a Plus Card for $40 for the 3rd year. I called Sony Customer Service up and they said when you renew your subscription, it turns ON the auto renew. I told them No. If I turn it OFF, it should stay OFF. I want a refund because I'm paying for a sale of Plus for $40 and I have my redemption code. They refunded me my money. After that, I pulled my card off the account for awhile until I started buying VR games. But I gave up Plus for the discounts because of flash sales and games lowering in price. I didn't care for online or the free games as I mostly played single player and the games I buy.

I don't know if Microsoft's is the same way when you add money to renew and it turns on. But this should be standard across the board that it asks you to renew and press a button or it stops until you do.

Father__Merrin115d ago

Yes I remember when I had PS4 it did auto renew when ever you re subbed

MrChow666115d ago

Same, I got charged for plus after turning it off in the past.
Cancelling auto renew on xboxsx after 1 month of gp ultimate trial was easy

John_McClane115d ago

You can turn it off in the console settings.

ApocalypseShadow114d ago (Edited 114d ago )

You're not understanding it. When you renew it turns **ON** again. That shouldn't be. I didn't ask for it to be on again. And I shouldn't have to keep looking if I manually turned it off myself. If you don't have a CC connected it won't auto renew. Why should it if there is a CC connected when you turn it off? It automatically switches against your manual shut off. If you turn your house lights off manually and pay your bill before going on vacation but the power company turns them all back on because you paid your bill and you get a bill when you get back, does that make sense? No.

What would fix all this is a notification of auto renew at the end of your subscription that pops up on the console. Then it asks "YES or NO." You press a button for either one. Done. You're notified and there isn't any questionable software changes or needing to call customer service.

Crows90115d ago

This isn't unique to Microsoft. It's almost standard practice to sneak in the auto renewal in all types of subscription services...it happens absolutely everywhere. The solution is and has always been simple on the consumer side.

Checkbox to auto renew. Otherwise it's set automatically to OFF.

MrChow666115d ago

Everybody is taking advantage of this shitty method

Kavorklestein115d ago

Can confirm.
I used to work for Netflix. I definitely refunded everyone who was getting billed with no activity in the last _______ months too.
I got fired for it actually.

Glad to not work there any longer, tho I did love some of the perks and benefits.

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