Oct 15, 2011

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The Best Way to Get a Refund for Hacked Xbox Live Accounts

The Best Way to Get a Refund for Hacked Xbox Live Accounts

Over the last month I’ve been hearing more and more about Xbox Live Accounts being hacked in order to purchase large amounts of points. It happened to me in September and it seems to be starting to spread with more outlets bringing attention to this issue. A good majority of people went through Microsoft to resolve their issue and get a refund for the purchases made. I’m here to tell you that going through Microsoft might not be the best way to get a refund.

From reading forum posts and comments all over the internet, it seems that many people are simply turning to Microsoft to resolve this issue;  however here are the problems with going through MS:

  • They lock you out of your account for at least 30 days. With increasing attacks it could take longer to resolve.
  • Receiving a refund isn’t guaranteed, it’s possible to only receive a partial refund.
  • You are only given a one month Gold account, even if the process takes longer than a month.
  • They have horrible customer service and you’ll spend more time on the phone than you’ll want to.
  • You could end up losing your gamertag along with all your content and will have to create a new account.

So what should you do instead of going through Microsoft? I suggest going through your bank or PayPal.  I went through my bank and the issue was resolved within a week. PayPal customer service claims their investigation process will also take a week. The best part about this is it was resolved quickly and I didn’t have to give up my Gamertag. Here’s what you’ll have to go through to get the charges refunded through your bank:

  • In most cases you’ll have to cancel your card or at least suspend it during the bank’s investigation.
  • You’ll receive a letter from the bank asking you to sign a statement officially stating that the charges weren’t from you or anyone you know.
  • If you canceled your card you won’t have to worry about contacting Microsoft in order to take the card off of your account.
  • Investigation process can take up to 10 business days but most likely it will be resolved in a week.
  • If the charges are refunded you’ll be notified via mail or email, and you will see the charges refunded on your next statement.

Going through PayPal seems like an easy process, though I’m not 100% clear on how the investigation process works. I was told by customer service that you simply contact PayPal, tell them about the charges and they will launch an immediate investigation. They also have buyer protection so really PayPal is the safest way to go if you want to have automatic payments on your XBL account.

Resolving the issue with your bank is your best bet to get your money back quickly. Dealing with a canceled card is well worth getting the issue resolved in a week. I only had $75 of charges on my account but there have been people who have had over $100 in charges before they were able to regain access to their account.

Dealing with Microsoft seems like the worse option. The only reason to go through Microsoft is if you want to have them to ban the hacker’s console, but really it’s not worth the hassle. Canceling your card isn’t the easiest thing to deal with, but in most cases they will send you a new card overnight. More importantly, going through the bank/PayPal you know you’ll get your money back and you won’t have to wait for Microsoft to look into the issue then wait for them to contact your bank to refund the charges.

How big of an issue is this for Microsoft? According to them it’s not a big issue, but if you talk to a customer service representative they will tell you that they’ve been hearing more and more issues like this over the past few months. The hacking is getting worse, so if you weren’t someone who was affected you should still call Microsoft and remove your credit card from your XBL account or at least change your password every month. As always you should monitor your charges, but also make sure you regularly check the email address associated with your XBL account so you can spot fraudulent charges as soon as they happen.

Again, this is based on my personal experience and after reading about other gamers who went through Microsoft, going through the bank is the best way to get a refund. If your account was hacked and you got the charges refunded, let us know how you resolved the issue in the comments below.