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When Microsoft is too incompetent to correct a billing mistake

I really hate it when people use the Internet as the primary means to resolve problems with companies they purchase from, but believe me when I say that this is a last resort, and I’m at my end.

I’ve had a Windows Phone developer account since the beginning. Seeing as how I was an employee of Microsoft at the time, why wouldn’t I be when they were picking up the tab? I’m still proud to be in that camp, and I love developing for Windows Phone.

However, there was a period of time where, as best I can tell, the same team ran the “AppHub” for both Windows Phone and Xbox Indie Games (or whatever it was called at the time). At some point, the two split. Since my WP apps are free, I don’t go to the site very often, but I did discover one day that they were split.

Go back to November, and I get a strange charge on my credit card from Microsoft, and it’s for the Xbox Indie Games subscription. Well that’s odd, considering I don’t have any interest in making Xbox games. I go to the Microsoft billing portal, and chat with some dude who doesn’t even understand the difference between Xbox Live Gold memberships and the Xbox Indie Games subscriptions. He says I should call Windows support, whatever that means, but gives me a phone number that just goes in prompt circles, and I get no human.

As a last ditch effort, I go to the forums for Xbox Indie Games, where a bunch of unhelpful people tell me that no one from Microsoft actually goes to the forums, and that I’m wasting my time. Awesome.

So I call up Citi and I dispute the charge. How does Microsoft respond to the investigation? With screen shots of their customer portal showing the charge. Well no kidding, I can see that on the billing portal myself. I still didn’t order the subscription.

I’ve responded to Citi, again saying I didn’t order this, but I’m worried that Microsoft is going to screw around with my Xbox Live membership (which I paid for several years in advance), or my Windows Phone developer account.

I love Microsoft, even when I have issues with some of its decisions, but this is maddening. I hate it when a company, and former employer, that I generally respect acts as a big dumb company that can’t do anything right.


Benjamin Roux said:

Hey Jeff,

I go exactly the same problem. They charged me a hundred bucks for the Xbox Indie Game stuff.

I tried to contact the support, I exchanged a couple emails with a guy from the support and one day, no reply.

I'm a little bit pissed off.

Try to send an email to:

I think I'm going to send an email per day until I get some answer.

# January 20, 2013 7:36 PM

David said:

Hi Jeff,

You remind me that I have been paying for that XBOX indie thing for 7-years and still have not had a chance to actually make an XBOX game :-(

I did write 2 lines of code to make the colors flash.


# January 25, 2013 8:02 AM
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