Xbox LIVE Rewards may have been a little overzealous this month…

People owed points from Microsoft through Xbox Live Rewards may be pleasantly surprised to discover that they’ve been given the points they were owed this month multiple times, resulting in a nicely inflated amount donated. As has been reported elsewhere, this seems liable to be an error, but I’m busy trying to get in contact with Microsoft to see what they have to say about the whole thing. The one thing that is clear is that it’s widespread.

Was this an error, or an unannounced gift? More importantly, will they be taking back the points if it’s the former? The one thing we really have to hope is that it isn’t the first sign of any accounts being hacked – though that a hacking collective would give people points without announcing they’ve done so strikes me as unlikely. As such, my money’s on a simple error on Microsoft’s part.

For now, it’s worth checking your account to see if they’ve been debited with points, but if they have, you might want to exercise a degree of caution before spending them – you never know if Microsoft will want to come to collect. My recommendation: note how much you’ve got, then don’t spend any of the extra, at least for a few days, or until Microsoft announce what exactly is going on. You don’t want Microsoft to take you into negative points if they decide to reclaim them, after all.

Edit: well, it was clearly an error, and Microsoft have begun reclaiming the points, though in an unusual way – anybody checking their bill will not see the points being removed at any point, but will instead find that Microsoft have dropped their balance somewhere in the past, meaning that account histories may show negative balances at points in the past. An… unusual approach, to say the least.


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August 2011
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