Buyer Beware: My Microsoft/Xbox Woes

This post is a departure from the site’s usual content: a cautionary tale for anyone who has paid for a digital good.

Xbox Logo.


I previously owned an Xbox One. I paid for several digitally downloaded games (probably around $200-$300 in games total). I also signed up for Xbox Live. A few years ago I traded the console in to help toward a purchase of a Nintendo Switch (which we love!).

Last month, I saw announcements for the new Xbox Series X. The console claims backward compatibility with Xbox One games. This seemed like a perfect match – not only do I get my $200-$300 worth of Xbox One games, but I could play all of the great new titles too.


To view my Xbox One games, I attempted to login to my account. The account was created from the Xbox One Console enrollment into Xbox Live. Since I never login to the account, Microsoft noticed an anomalous sign-in to the account and prompted for another factor of authentication. Unfortunately, this was bound to an old phone number that I no longer use, and I couldn’t authenticate.

I called Microsoft’s help and they coached me to a process called ACSR, an account recovery process. ACSR did not help. ACSR prompted me for a serial number or console ID of my traded-in Xbox One console. I could not escalate with the phone rep. After I reached this terminal state, I tweeted Xbox Support which also went nowhere.

In Closing

I know I was not a perfect custodian of my account. I did not keep my account information updated. I did not print account recovery codes, although I’m unsure if they existed at the time.

I am fairly frustrated by the entire process and I hope others can learn from my experience.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s