Cancelling an Xbox Live Gold Subscription

Like so many people (over 20 million?) I decided to take advantage of a free 30-day trial for Xbox Live Gold. The process was simple enough:

  1. input code.
  2. input credit card details.
  3. after some amount of time less than 30 days remove credit card details so I wouldn’t be charged for a service I didn’t really use.

Actually that last step is not entirely true. For some reason Microsoft require you to call them up in order to cancel your subscription. What sense does this make? It’s not like the guy on the other end of the line even tried to keep me on the gold package or sell me something else. Why not just a “Cancel Subscription” button somewhere?

I am stumped. This just doesn’t seem to make any sense to me. At no point did someone try to check what accounts I was using to pay for the service but I had to wait in a telephone queue to stop money from coming out of those accounts. Do they, perhaps, expect to catch thieves with an online gaming addiction who suddenly have a change of heart and need to call someone to confess their crime? Doubtful. If anything this scheme probably costs money. A cost that must be included when deciding the subscription price.

I guess this rant doesn’t have much of a point, except to say that the Xbox Live pricing schemes are a little frustrating and probably not marketed in the best possible way – you have to pay to be able to pay for another service, hence no BBC iPlayer.

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