Posts Tagged ‘XBOX Live’


So… a couple of weeks ago it was time to pay for my Gold membership to XBOX Live, which allows me to talk and play with my friends online.  Pretty much the only reason I OWN an XBOX is the link I have to my pals back home.  As often as I can, my Minnesota guys Jake, Jeremy, Joe and I will log on to defend the Earth from the zombie Apocalypse.

It’s a rough job, but we can’t have those filthy zombies taking over now, can we?  And those damned monkeys!!

All right…the card on file was old so I put in my current information.  I then immediately went to the XBOX site online and paid for my year subscription.  After I did so, I immediately got an email notification telling me that I had overdrafted on my account.  I found this odd.  I had about a hundred bucks in there and the yearly charge is only [sorry, did I just say “only”?) $59.99.  Surely there must be some mistake.  I checked my account online and found that I had TWO charges for $59.99 pending.

You ever watch the news and hear one of the newscasters utter a phrase similar to, “Americans living paycheck to paycheck”?  That’s ME!  I generally have things pretty organized, and an unexpected sixty bucks throws a rather large wrench into the fray.

So right away I call the support line.  I talk to a gal and explain the situation.  She assures me that although the two charges are pending, only one of them will go through and the other would simply drop off and disappear.  I protested, but was pretty much at her mercy and she was rather insistent.    So I accepted her professional opinion and went on with my day.

We all know what happened next, right?

A couple of days later and sure enough – the two charges for $59.99 POSTED…and I got a $34 overdraft charge from the bank.

So this shit just pisses me off to no end.  I end up too frustrated to even call for several days, but yesterday I did so.  Jake, Jeremy and I were planning on playing last night and I wanted to be able to tell them the story about how I beat this injustice.  I called the customer line again and explained the situation to a new gal who was super nice.  She was empathizing and saying all the right shit – whatever.  What she WASN’T able to say was anything like, “I’ll refund the $59.99, take your membership down to just one year instead of two, and let’s see how we can compensate you for that overdraft charge, eh?”

Nothing like that.

She did pass me on to another fellow.  Again – super nice guy.  He assures me that he will resolve the situation.  Now, while the phrase “I will resolve the situation” theoretically sounds great, it is rather vague.  After the third time or so he utters that phrase, I ask him what that means.

“Does that mean you are going to refund my 59.99?”


Well that’s great, right?  What’s the problem?  Why have I wasted both MY time writing this and YOUR time reading this when clearly the situation is being resolved?

Well, after placing me on hold while he does his magic, he comes back and tells me that everything is on track to be resolved.

He has canceled my membership.  Within the next 24 hours I will be emailed a token of sorts that will be good for one year of a Gold Membership.


“Wait… you canceled my membership?”

“Yes, sir.”

“So I can’t get online now?”

“No, sir.  You will be emailed a token within 24 hours blah blah blah shutthefuckup”

“But I was going to play XBOX with The Guys tonight.  I can’t do that now.”

“No sir, but within 24 hours you we be emailed yabbadabbawhathefuck”

“Don’t you think it would have been a good idea to discuss canceling my membership with me before we do that?”

“Yes, sir.  But it was the only way to get you this credit.”


This is bullshit.  It’s the year Two Thousand and Fucking Eleven.  If your customer service representatives can’t refund 59.99 to an account and change that account from a two year membership to a one year membership WITHIN EIGHT CLICKS OF A COMPUTER MOUSE then you FUCKING FAIL.


All right.  So I’m screwed out of last night’s Zombie slaying with The Guys.  And let me tell you, that’s a real bummer.  They’re two thousand miles away.  They’ve got wives and kids which take up much of their lives (and rightly so).  If I get a chance to decapitate the undead with them, Goddammit, I’m taking it!  And this precious little time I SHOULD have with them gets pissed away by some billing goober.

Cut to earlier tonight (26 hours after the call).  I have no email containing a token.  I call customer service and once again get a really nice fuckin’ guy.  Nicest of the bunch yet.  I tell him the deal.

As it turns out, the guy who took care of me last night did NOTHING with my account.

I says…  I says…

I says the guy did NOTHING with my account.

The guy on the phone apologizes profusely.  He let’s me know that he’s put my case into the URGENT queue.

He says that I should get my 59.99 refund in about three days.

He says that my Gold Membership token should arrive in about three days.

An URGENT case takes three fuckin’ days?

So now I’m put in a position where…

….damn, I’m finding it so hard to even type the words here…

I might have to …

READ A BOOK or something!!

Fuck, Fuck, Fuck you XBOX,


P.S.  By the way, nothing about my 34 bucks?


This is Tyler.tyler

Tyler is nine years old and is the eldest son of Erin and Joe [Joe previously seen here]:


While playing Nazi zombies with Joe and the guys on XBOX live over the last few months I would frequently hear Joe say things like, “Hey Ty, wanna’ grab me a snack?” followed soon by, “Heeey, thanks, buddy!”  So we knew Tyler was watching his father play this incredibly violent video game – but it’s cool, Tyler’s a bright kid and isn’t going to be emotionally scarred by what he sees.

There are certain phrases that we get used to using while slaying the undead.  If we have a gun (the shotgun, for example) that is no longer effective, most of us will say, “I’m going to the box!” [The “box” is where we can trade and purchase other guns].  When Joe is done with his gun, his method of saying “I’m going to the box” is frequently “I’m going to get rid of this shotgun”.  When we play a game where things go awry, we all die super early, and we get sent back to the main menu, Joe will often let out a basic statement: “That sucked”.  Matter of factly.

A big part of the game is making sure you have the proper guns (My favorite is the MG42 – it’s AWESOME!).  The gun box distributes our weaponry randomly (I think?  We haven’t found a way to get the weapons we need on demand).  Anyway, when Joe gets a gun that he likes and the kid is nearby we will hear, “Look what I got, Ty!”

So Tyler got an XBOX 360 of his own in his room apparently, and I shot up some zombies with him yesterday.

I spent a healthy portion of my time laughing.

It was just Tyler and I as opposed to the ideal 4 person team.  We played the new board, “Der Riese” a few times.  The first time we played that we didn’t get past round three I heard:

Tyler [matter of factly]:  That sucked.

It’s almost as if he was the Pinnochio to Joe’s Geppetto.  It was ridiculous!  There was more.

Tyler:  I’m gonna’ get rid of this BAR [machine gun].

Now Tyler has a little brother Mason.  No, he didn’t ask Mason to get him a snack…yet, but I did hear:

Tyler:  Hey Ma[son], look what I got!  It’s the Browning.

We didn’t get farther than round eleven yesterday, but I need to get to at least round thirteen with him.  Somehow he and Jeremy got to round 12 and they both had friggin’ sniper rifles.  I must do better than Jeremy.  Tyler – we’re going to hit round 20, darnit.


The Cat’s in the Cradle with the PPSH,


This is Joe.


Joe is angry and it’s not entirely my fault.  You see, the Call of Duty: World at War NAZI ZOMBIES game only allows four players to be in a game at the same time.  That sucks.

I just want to make one thing perfectly clear:  My ideal team is Kevin, Jake, Jeremy and Joe.  Ray is obviously next on the list, but a big part of the enjoyment for me is connecting with my guys back home.  Ray is a very good friend of mine.  He is Latin and have long hair.  I see Ray every day, so that explains why his doesn’t make the Dream Team. 

So two nights ago I get a text from Joe suggesting we play at 9:30pm (Minnesota time).  I happily agree and log on right on the button.  As it turns out, two OTHER players that Joe is friends with but I have never met are in an XBOX party with him.  I join the party and the game begins.  The interesting thing about the XBOX parties is that you can have a large number of people in the “party” while you are all playing in different games.  This is important to remember for later.

It’s ALSO important to know that since Jake, Jeremy, Joe, Ray and I are now spectacularly good at this game and as a result a single game can last for an hour and a half to two hours.  Of course, just a minute or two into my game with Joe and two strangers Jeremy and Jake log on.

So here’s my dilemma: 

* stay in the game with Joe and his two friends who I don’t know and who HARDLY TALK ANYWAY (communication is VITAL in this game – we’re fighting zombie hordes for crying out loud!)


* quit this game early on, join Jake and Jeremy in a game and call Ray in.

Well, I chose the latter.  I told the everybody I was leaving their game, too, but they didn’t respond!  Two minutes into the NEW game where I had THREE friends (as opposed to just one) I hear “Hey, did somebody leave?”  Sorry, buddy, but I don’t know you.

Now, this wasn’t a COMPLETELY shitty move on my part to leave Joe in a game with two players.  Heck, Jake, Ray and I made it to round 26 without a fourth!  Within ten minutes Joe and his partners had logged off.  They just gave up.  The rest of us had a blast!

Yesterday Jake, Jeremy and I got the above picture of Joe sent to us along with the following text message:

“No more playing with that Antonio Banderras knockoff, you bastards!  Whores!  Spaniard lovers!  Vlad and Mauve [Joe’s two friends that I don’t know] are impossible to play with”

I need to point out that being left out of a game with reliable friends has happened to me also!  I agree, it is very frustrating.  I had logged on just a couple of minutes late and they plugged one of Joe’s friends into my spot.  I decided to have a little fun with it, though.  I joined the party so I could talk with all of them and I listened carefully.  I really wanted the game to end so that maybe somebody would drop out and I could join.  Whenever somebody needed cover to go out into the danger zone I told them that I would cover them.  It’s just another voice, you know?  They didn’t realize that I wasn’t in the game so they would run out thinking they were safe.  I would hear “HEY!  WHOSE COVERING ERIC?!?!”  Well, nobody was covering Eric.  Or, “Somebody cover the staircase, I’ve got to reload” and I would reply, “Got it!”

I didn’t have the staircase.  It’s important that somebody cover the staircase.

Sadly my attempt at sabotage didn’t work.  That game went on for EVER and I think I logged off.

Anyway, the bottom line here Joe, is that if you want in the game you’ve got to ignore those guys that I don’t give a shit about.  If we have my ideal team of four then I won’t have any need to holler over to Ray to join us.

The Great Communicator,



If that’s not a sign that the Zombie levels deserve their own pack then I don’t know what is.  XBOX Live crashed on a THURSDAY, people!


Ready for round 2,


Can you think of any group more terrifying than the Nazis?  How about Zombies?  Or what if – GASP! – you encountered NAZI ZOMBIES?!


Call of Duty: World at War (which I own on the XBOX 360) has done something very good.  In addition to the regular game there are three maps where you and up to three other people can fight off hordes of the Hitler-loving undead as well as zombies of the Imperial Japanese Army.  These zombie maps are TOP NOTCH!

I’m extremely happy when the guys log on to XBOX live and we shoot the shit – and a significant number of zombies.  To give you a visual, here is a look at the guys:



This is the best picture I could get of Joe.  He is actually just off to the right (a good friend of his is to the left).  Joe is the best player of all of us (although Jeremy has a higher point total as of today).  The frustrating part about playing with Joe is that he will happily finish off a zombie that you have been working on in order to get the big points for himself.



Jake has great strategy, but like Joe he seems to enjoy pissing off Jeremy and I by horning in on our zombie action.  Listen guys:  We all have our own windows with Zombies approaching – keep to your OWN!



Jeremy is a pleasure to play with.  He stays focused and will generally help out the team by using his earned points to open doors for all of us – even though Jake and Joe usually have more points.

And here’s ME:


So – the zombie levels are AWESOME!  The only problem is that there are only 3 zombie levels in the game.  You see, technically the zombie levels are just an add-on to the main game.  The thing is:  The zombie levels are SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE REAL GAME!  So this a cry out to Activision:

Put out a new map pack STRICTLY for ZOMBIE action!  At least six new maps!  And if possible, please make it so more than four people can play at a time.  We have to make more room for Ray.

The flamethrower looks awesome, but in later levels is rather useless.

The flamethrower looks awesome, but in later levels is rather useless.

Every few rounds you will be attacked by Dogs from Hell! Do NOT be caught alone - group up in a corner and fight together.
Every few rounds you will be attacked by Dogs from Hell! Do NOT be caught alone – group up in a corner and fight together.

Killing them Loudly,