Monday, April 19, 2010

Beating Microsoft's Xbox Live Payment System

I have 2 boys.  Both have Xbox Live accounts.  The $7.99/mo fee drives me crazy.  I usually watch for the on-line deals that get me 13 months for $30, but I don't always keep up with it.

Have you ever used  It's pretty infuriating.  You cannot remove a credit card from the account.  So, if your irresponsible teenage boys decide they want that new Halo map pack you're pretty much screwed unless they fear the HAMMER (visualize my clenched fist raised in the air).

I, however, have found a work around!

It requires a PayPal account or a credit card that gives you temporary numbers to shop online with.  Login to your M$ billing site and add a new credit card with your PayPal plugin.  For safety's sake make it a 1-time use card.

Now delete your "real" credit card from the account.  Add your 12+1 Xbox Live card if that's what you came to do and then jump over to PayPal's site and void the new card.  Now your kids have 13 months of Xbox Live but there's no valid card on file so they can't purchase anything new without your help.  You also won't be automatically charged $7.99/mo in 14 months ;)

I'm sure a similar thing can be done with iTunes, World of Warcraft, etc.  iTunes and World of Warcraft have purchasable cards to add credits/time to the account.  There's really no need for a valid card on file.  You'd think they'd give parents tighter control, but face it; there's no upside in them fixing it.  They want your kids to buy stuff :)

No comments:

Post a Comment