Microsoft’s finally got me a little upset. All I wanted to do was change my Xbox Live gamertag (the nickname that is associated with my account). Apparently, this is hard for them to do, and as a result there’s a fee associated with it. All right, I’m willing to pay $0.99 to change my name…but they want 800 Microsoft Points for it.
This wasn’t unexpected. Microsoft has been using their fake currency for Zune Marketplace and Xbox-based downloads this whole time. The problem is this: I have 150 MP left over from a previous purchase (those sweet Oblivion expansions) and they’re just sitting in my account. But I have to buy these MP in increments of 500, 1000, or 2000, which really screws me over since I need a nice, round 650 MP. I’m therefore forced to spend $12.50 to buy 1000 MP, and I’ll have 350 MP (the equivalent of $4.38) just sitting in Microsoft’s hands.
So it costs $10 just to change a name. I can see why Microsoft would want to charge for this transaction – it’ll stress their servers and little kids would haphazardly move accounts for one reason or another. But $10 (or, more accurately, $12.50) seems very steep for such a simple request, and the stress involved with just handing the money to Microsoft should be enough to lower the price.
Also, why shouldn’t there be a slight discount in buying more points in bulk? Buying one 2000 MP “block” costs as much as buying four separate 500 MP “blocks.” Microsoft seems insistent that their currency is more reliable than the dollar, and is unwilling to cut the consumer a break. Not to mention that since they’re getting to hold on to my $4.38 until I can find something stupid to waste it on (or until I buy another massive block of points), they’re acting as a bank and could invest or relocate my funds at any moment. For that alone, I should be making interest or at least getting a discount by letting them hold on to more of my real money at once.
I think I’ll just keep my old gamertag.