Thursday, 10 May 2012

Little rant: how Xbox LIVE will try to mug you in your own sitting room

Hamesucken. Wonderful word, it is from Scots law and refers to someone being assaulted in their own home. 


It nearly happened right here tonight, but luckily I think I managed to evade a serious mugging. 


Boy Two had nagged me for days about the new version of Minecraft for the Xbox and could he spend some of his birthday money on it. I put it off long enough and couldn't think of any reason why not so I set about getting it thinking it would be a quick trip to my usual online shop. 


However, it's only available as a download, through the Xbox. Tonight I sat down to make this happen and ended up feeling like I'd invited the Artful Dodger over to consider himself one of the family.


First, the only way to sign into Xbox LIVE (the bit that connects the box to the interwebs) is to use the log in for your Hotmail or Windows something account. That creeps me out a bit - given how we're supposed to be on our guard and all. But, hang on, Xbox belongs to Microsoft, doesn't it? I made a mental note to go back and change security settings and passwords. 


Then, you have to clickety click through screeds of ads for Xbox LIVE Gold. It appears to be a snip at £70 a year for the family version that gets you lots of stuff I either don't understand or seem to have already like films. Eventually the thing gets almost petulant and says "right, have it your way, go free, cheapskate".


So we find the game and opt to buy it. It costs 1600. Yup, 1600. That's 1600 magical Xbox points. Exchange rate 1000 points to £8.50 of our earth money. So we need to get ourselves a pocket full of points. And guess what? You can't buy 1600, just 1500 or 2000 and you can't cash 'em in. Ho hum. 


Faced with the prospect of laboriously posting my credit card details into the brain of this Xbox bandit, I opted to use Paypal because it's more secure, right?

Gulp. The machine swallowed up my log in and password saying "mine now". So now it was set up to shop and with a speed and ease that makes Amazon's one click system seem laborious we were 2000 points richer. 



We have 400 spare points languishing in a machine that is laughing at me, but Boy Two is happy. He's playing his new game that involves building houses and learning to look after yourself and survive in it. Obviously I could have saved him £17 and taught him survival techniques, like avoiding being mugged, and basic DIY but he didn't seem keen. 









2 comments:

  1. 'amazon's one click seem labourious' is a *must steal* ;) C has a leap pad thing that operates on credits, that you buy, obviously, and it makes me similarly ragey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These things make it just too easy to spend money - or for your money to get spent for you.

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