Artificial Familiarity

Unsurprising: June credit card statement has $9.99 charge for Xbox Live. They were using the same trick as everybody who offers a free membership. Auto renewal. It’s only $10, but I can’t let people think it’s okay to start taking my money.

Frustrating: There is no way to disable auto renewal through the xbox or the website. It requires a call. Seems so primitive I’m surprised they didn’t demand I use a rotary phone.

Creepy: The girl on the phone tells me her father was born in Marquette, says she’s been here twice, and talks about the snow. Then she asks, “do you eat pasty pies?” A very regional food, but nobody around here calls them pasty pies. Just pasties. What just happened?

Conclusion: Got a refund and auto-renewal was turned off. Get the rest of July free because it’s already begun. The customer service experience was pleasant, but I would have been happier if I didn’t have to call in the first place.

Going back to creepy, what was up with the phone rep I got?

1. Odd coincidence that the phone rep knew of Marquette which is a fairly small and isolated city.

2. Microsoft has an internal matching service that matches phone reps based on customer location when possible.

3. Database brings up bs discussion topics for the phone reps to make customers feel more comfortable.

It got me thinking about how customer service systems work in larger corporations.

UPDATE: Nov 2, 2011

And now, the shocking conclusion to this story…

Microsoft didn’t actually refund my money. I had to file a chargeback through the credit card company.

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