This is the whole reason for the preface trilogy thing. Sorry if you hated them. This is the megaton announcement, BTW, if you care. The countdown from yesterday was unrelated.
So, in order to get your games playable offline again, you have to go through about 30-40 hoops to get the ball rolling.
After calling "Max" if you have lost a loved one due to the RROD, do the following to retrieve your points.
LOUDLY say XBOX LIVE, then say, 360.
Listen to Max's smug assertions about your equipment, then retort with CUSTOMER SUPPORT
"Technical support", "Tech Support" and "Customer service" all seem to forward out to overseas operators for some reason, but saying CUSTOMER SUPPORT always seemed to get me someone who spoke english all throughout their primary education. YMMV.
CUSTOMER SUPPORT was always a 30 second or less hold time for me, so it's also recommended for expediency's sake.
PLAY DUMB ABOUT THIS NEXT PART!
You need to tell them that your games are not playable offline.
Explain to them that you had a refurb'd box sent to you from the return center and now all your XBLA games don't work. Tell them you don't go online regularly, but now none of your games work.
They'll try to tell you to go online, but play dumb and persist that you rarely use the online service. Won't matter if you're gold or not, just hammer home that you don't use the online service much and that the 360 mainly is played offline.
They'll open up a case for you and get you a reference number.
Now the waiting game begins. This takes about 2-3 weeks, again, YMMV. I started this about May 30th and it wasn't until June 14th that I finally got someone to elevate this to a senior admin person.
Get ready to wait.
When you finally get it elevated to someone who will help you, they're currently testing a new fix that will allow you to redownload the games with an earmarked (by them) profile to allow games to be redownloaded without a new profile attached. They tried it with me and I had 4 of my 18 games work properly after this and it was totally random which ones worked and which didn't.
Ones that did work without repurchase:
Lumines Live Base Pack
TMNT: The Arcade Game
So, with this in hand, I pressed them about getting the rest of my points refunded. Texas Holdem, Lumines Advance Pack, and Lumines: Heavenly Star being notable downloads I wanted looked into since I had gotten those at a discounted rate and really didn't care to have to shell out again for them.
I had to spend 1 hour and 18 minutes on the phone with an Admin Support tech who had me redownload EVERY XBLA game I had purchased to see if this "fix" was functional. Since a large margin of them did not work, I told them I wanted at least a partial refund of my points. We settled on a refund of 5250 points, and they would be sent to me in a series of codes over the phone sometime in the next few days.
Cut to today.
I get a call from the Phillippines (that's what the caller ID said...) where they issued me 4 MS points codes worth a total of 8300 points.
I asked for 5250, I got 8300.
That's $65 and $103.75 respectively.
They had apparently decided to refund me everything I had ever purchased, whether it was discounted or not back to me. Video rentals, picture packs (I paid for Entourage Picture Packs? Okay!), the free South Park HD episode, Texas Hold'em giveaway, everything. So, if you're going through this, it takes an excruciatingly long time and is very annoying to follow up on every fucking day, but totally worth it as your persistence can result in MS giving you back more than you've put in.
And as a bonus, the previously 4 mentioned "working" games now work perfectly offline. As time rolls on, MS hopes to have this work for everyone on all games, so the refunded points may be a thing of the past soon.
(begin 30 minute going away/death sequences)