Tonight, just before I started writing this, I contacted Xbox Live Customer Support. When I tried to transfer the contents of my 20 Gig Xbox 360 hard drive to my new 120 Gig hard drive, I accidentally formatted the drive and lost ALL my data. Yep, all those hours in Dead Rising gone.
So I went through the long
process of re-downloading all of my XBLA games and such, when I realized that Hexic HD was not on my list of games to re-download. This is because Hexic HD comes pre-loaded on every console, so it's not linked to my XBL account.
Some googlin' informed me that I could get a free Hexic HD download code, but to do so I'd have to face... XBOX LIVE CUSTOMER SUPPORT!!
I went through the usual bullshit; waiting ten minutes, telling some stranger where I live and my personal e-mail address, waiting ten minutes, being transferred from one department to another, having my case promoted from one low-level "agent" to another slightly higher-level "agent." About a half an hour into my phone call [which lasted a total forty-five minutes] something bizarre happened.
One low-level guy [my third "agent," Ivan] was about to give me my reference number. I was scrambling for a pen and paper, and while he waiting he asked me, "So what kind of games do you like to play on Xbox Live?"
Alarmed by the question, I wondered if "Ivan" was trying to determine if I was truly
the account owner (as I'd confirmed a dozen times) by looking at my gamertag history.
I yelled "I'M READY FOR THAT REFERENCE NUMBER NOW!" and he gave me it. He then repeated the question. Spooked, I wracked my brains trying to remember what I'd played lately, for (I thought) if I lied surely Ivan would know and foil my "case."
I said "Uh, Rock Band!" Ivan said "Oh I love that game! I like to play the, the drums." "...So do I," I responded, slowly calming down.
Ivan transferred me to the next level of support, and while waiting I realized what had just happened.
Microsoft has a horrible (and well earned) customer support record. They must be trying to improve their image with revisions to their support "agent" policies. But this changed support experience wasn't any better;
I was asked for my phone number and address five
times because apparently they don't have computer networks in India with which to tie my information to my call. I was even asked for the last four digits of my credit card info once, and my gamertag at least three times.
No, XBL support has not gotten any more efficient, but they've gotten friendlier. Every time I was transferred from one agent to the next I was given a formal introduction like:
"Connor ...thank you very much for holding... this is Amy [bullshit, I know your name is not american!]"
"Thank you for helping Connor, Ivan. Hello Connor I am Amy and I will be helping you today."
They now have scripted conversations between each other, not just with you, and if I could understand their accents a little better I'm sure this change would have me feeling a little less frustrated with whatever issue I was having.
So while Microsoft may not be investing in larger, faster call centers (or American ones), or improving support efficiency in the slightest [forty-five fucking minutes!], at least they are trying to make me less pissed off by giving me a friend to talk to while I wait.
Sorry if the writing got less coherent as the c-blog went on, I'm writing this pretty late and as soon as this happened I wanted to write about it.