Microsoft Points Draw Class Action Suit - InformationWeek
Infrastructure // PC & Servers
01:03 PM

Microsoft Points Draw Class Action Suit

Attorney says Xbox Live customers aren't getting what they pay for when they use Microsoft's virtual currency.

A Philadelphia-area attorney has filed a class action suit against Microsoft, claiming the software maker ripped him off after he bought points that were supposed to allow him to make purchases over the online Xbox Live Marketplace.

Samuel Lassoff, of Horsham, PA, said an invoice he received earlier this month from Microsoft included charges for purchases he couldn't complete due to a balky download system—and he claimed it wasn't an accident.

Microsoft "engaged in a scheme to unjustly enrich itself through their fraudulent handling" of his account, Lassoff charged in papers filed earlier this week in U.S. District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania.

Microsoft allows customers to buy games and other downloadable media from its Xbox Live Marketplace with "Microsoft Points" that users must purchase with real currency, typically through a credit or debit card.

But Lassoff claimed he and at least "hundreds" of other Xbox Live users have been overcharged. "Microsoft breached that contract by collecting revenues for digital goods and services which were not provided," Lassoff said in his lawsuit.

Microsoft's Points system has drawn separate criticisms from other corners—to the point where the company is considering scrapping it altogether. Microsoft Xbox product manager Aaron Greenberg told G4TV this week that it might do away with the points system and move to direct cash purchases on Xbox Live Marketplace.

The problem: Microsoft sells points in batches that frequently don't correspond to the number required to buy particular items, meaning customers often have leftover points—which they paid for—that they can't use. "We never intended to mislead people," Greenberg said.

Microsoft has also been hit with complaints that the Xbox Live Marketplace isn't secure, and that users have had their accounts hacked and Microsoft Points stolen.

As for Lassoff, he's no stranger to suing big tech companies and other organizations. Records show he sued Google in 2006, claiming the search ads he placed fell victim to click fraud. He also sued Bally's Casino in Atlantic City in 2005, claiming he was attacked by a drunken patron while sitting at a poker table.

Lassoff didn't immediate respond to a call seeking comment. Microsoft has yet to file a formal response in the case.

Still shackling your workers to a standard company PC? It's time to let employees bring their own devices onto your network.Download the latest all-digital issue of InformationWeek. (Registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Digital Transformation Myths & Truths
Transformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll