Microsoft may offer compensation for recent Xbox Live outages

No one like it when services go offline, especially Xbox Live, which requires you to purchase a subscription (opens in new tab) in order to really take advantage of online and multiplayer features offered by the Xbox One. Microsoft's Larry Hryb has revealed on Reddit that the Xbox team at Microsoft have been made aware of the request to offer compensation for when Xbox Live is down.

"I've taken some of the more thoughtful comments and shared them with a few folks on the Xbox team to make them aware of this request. That's about all I've got right now - but when I am back in the office I am going to stop by and chat 1:1 with some folks about this as well."

The console has experienced issues in the last couple of weeks that has seen some significant downtime, something paying customers should be disappointed by. Implementing a system that automatically offers some kind of compensation when Xbox Live goes down could help alleviate some of the bad press when subscribers flock to social media.

How would you like to see Microsoft handle Xbox Live outage, aside from addressing issues as quickly as possible?

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Only logical to compensate when there is an outage given it's a paid subscription and that PlayStation gave a 1 day credit from their outage. And the Xbox live one is way worse
  • Yea exactly, if Xbox live was out for 3 days, they should add an absolute minimum of 3 days to your account. +1 day for compensation ideally.
  • It is not fair to just "compensate" with 1/1. You do purchase this service to use it whenever you feel to do so and not when Microsoft manages to get the servers running.  I think 1h outtage should give 1 free day, one day of outtage should give 1 free week etc. 
  • 1 day for a 1 hr outtage is a bit much. Try that with say your ISP and see how far you get.
  • >1 day for a 1 hr outtage is a bit much. Try that with say your ISP and see how far you get. I have, I have 0 tolarance for when my ISP (comcast) goes down, and over the last year they have gone down 5-6 times at least, Even if it's gone for an HOUR, I call them up and normally get a credit for 1 day (under $1 but, I get it)
  • Actually, this is something I've done many times... with both Comcast and Verizon... you just have to ask, though (and that often involves being on the phone for longer than the outage was)... you don't get automatically compensated when there's an outage. That said, if there were to be some form of automatic compensation that did not require calling support, etc., then I'd say maybe half a day or a few hours at least per hour of downtime. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • Count yourself as the lucky few then. I'm sure you've heard the horror stories of even simple big names ISP customer service woes. I live in an area monopolized by a single broadband provider. For me, this has never happened even in all different manor of outtages. Partly because it's a this or nothing else scenario. It's this provider, or dial up, and they know that. Unfortunately xbl is a similar scenario, albeit MS is much more customer friendly. You either buy live, or don't play multiplayer. They hold the chips when it comes to compensation.
  • For best results, as hard as it can be when dealing with them over the phone, try to sound as reasonable and level-headed as you can. All they hear all day is people whining and getting irate. It's a breath of fresh air for them to hear someone being calm and collected. Also, throwing compliments their way, and maybe even a bit of non-sarcastic humor will go a long way to have the person actually *want* to go to the effort to help you out. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • I like that you assume I'm not a level-headed calm person when calling my ISP. Some providers have much stricter guidelines for if/when they compensate.
  • You're so naive lol!
  • 1:1 is one on one with leadership. Not an indication of what the compensation is. If that is what you meant...
  • I didn't get that when the PSN went down for a consecutive 23 days a few years ago.  All I got were the choice of several games for free, all of which I already owned.
  • I remember that, it was way longer than 23 days though wasn't it? I had whatever the latest SOCOM game was and never bothered getting around to playing it online in the end because of those issues. I seem to remember it being a lot longer, right after the big hack they suffered.
  • 23 days, he got it.  I just got my code for a free copy of LBP for the PS3 last week, lol.  MS should follow Sony's suit and give us a code for a free copy of Forza Motorsport 2 for the 360 to make up for this outage.
  • Lol if they had a digital copy prepared(besides the dlc being mia on mp) would prefer the necessary paid dlc for pgr3/4(for achievement completion)
  • I remember that my lad uses PlayStation he was given games of choice from store plus £10 credit
  • When the Wii U came out the batteries in the game pad in the 1st batch shipped were duds(the circuit thats supposed to protect the battery from fully discharging failed) so I received $30 eshop credit because of how close to the holidays
  • Ah, that's right, per the Wikipedia article link above.  They gave us a few games back then at the time, and last week's extra free game was from the class action lawsuit settlement about it.
  • Oh shut up you babies. XBL costs $0.16 per day.
  • And?
  • My access is still down for multiplayer games... :-/
  • Not for PC
  • hahaha...with avatar props I guess. Bioresearch & Games.
  • Credit on xbox live services per day (the time it's been down) would go a long way to be honest. However it would be tricky to implement but not impossible :).
  • If the subscriber is part of the rewards programme, they should be credited with a pre determined amount of credits per day eg. 500 Credits for each day affected by an outage. For subscribers not in the rewards programme, the equivalent monetary value of those pre determined credits should be credit to their Microsoft account. The option to choose either would be positive. Also the ability to use your Microsoft account to pay for subscriptions would also help. I don't think 'free' avatar items or wallpapers/backgrounds will quell the disappointment felt by loyal gamers during an outage.
  • +1
  • I third this! And if they do offer some avatar items, backgrounds or cheap-ass game I'll be more than happy to ride into Redmond and let them know where they can stick them. Who cares about the avatar, really? It's one of those things I dont understand why they're focusing on again all of a sudden. Would be time better spent on implementing a family sharing library and other things they discussed at launch (4k video for example!) Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • At first I read that as 4K gaming and thought "no chance" but I see you mean video playback. I agree that avatars or backgrounds aren't a suitable form of compensation. Some credit added to my store account would be fine by me. I didn't notice the recent outages but if it was one of the few times I got around to playing I would have been annoyed.
  • Sadly 4k video is no go with preexisting units due to lack of hdmi2.0 or hdcp2.2
  • Would love a $5-10 credit on my Xbox account towards games/WP apps, etc. Those are always usefull and welcome in anyway about it. :)
  • "LegendaryFOGGY   If the subscriber is part of the rewards programme, they should be credited with a pre determined amount of credits per day eg. 500 Credits for each day affected by an outage." +1
  • "experienced issues in the last couple of weeks" Meh. It's experienced issues since the release of the Xbox One some years back. Up until that point the XBL service was top notch - since then there has been issues at least monthly, oftentimes even more often. And as the Xbox One won't even let you access YOUR digitally purchased games while "offline" outages are much worse than it ever was on the 360. Not being able to watch Netflix on the 360 wasn't ideal, but there were workarounds (launch the app on your smart TV, tablet, website etc) - not being able to play GTAV's story mode for days on end... No comparison. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • Of course you can access your offline games while actually being 'offline'.  Just turn on the offline mode in settings. This should be an automatic thing though.  If the servers can't be reached for a period, offline mode gets turned on.
  • Which is weird why isn't even automatic in the first place, it's seems it should be a common logic that offline should be activated when you are disconnected from Xbox Live if handshake fails. Sent from Windows 95
  • Yeah, I've never understood why "offline mode" needs to be activated by the user. I'm sure lots of people think it's unusable... very strange design decision.
  • Which I kinda noticed that these days we have more Xbox Live outtages than years back. Xbox Live was a best gaming console service out there which is one of its big selling points, especially that PSN before suffered with tons of server issues. I'm really concerned that Xbox Live becoming like the PSN of old. Even PSN is getting better these days as I heard. Sent from Windows 95
  • Lol yeah the switch to azure has made xbl least ideal. But no worse then the service outages on wp marketplace
  • Xbox live failed on me yesterday when I was playing forza 6 online. I was on the final lap and I was second place.... I disconnected :-\
  • Well I blame that to the change to how they connect to fm xb1 gen. Servers which their reasoning wasn't good enough an excuse to make the change but not clearly document the change & the workaround needed
  • Just give free days of gold. Amount of days the service was down + 1 day for compensation
  • Yes I agree with that same plus day comp. I have 360 plus XB1. I've been a live gold member for nearly 8 years all enjoyable, problem's only started since XB1, My son has PlayStation, I always used to say you can't beat XBL now it's like role reversal there's always a problem, I turn on, I get status alert you know the rest, all I want is when I decide Togo on my console be able to what ever I want. Not end up turning off because I can't be bothered waiting, I just want the service I pay for & have done for years.
  • One huge step they could do, and the outages would be of much less disruption, would be to set the affected consoles to go into 'offline mode' if the live service isn't reachable for x minutes. To be denied playing single player offline games I've paid for if there is an outage just makes me mad. Yes yes, I can enable it manually, but it should be an automatic response to the Live services being down or degraded like happened last week.
  • It would have to come back on automatically too of course
  • Looks like we need an Xbox update to have this (unfortunate) feature especially when it comes to outtages. I didn't even knew that it wasn't automatic which is kinda doesn't make sense not to switch to Offline mode automatically when you actually went offline. Sent from Windows 95
  • We'll they really should compensate for that; every company should do that. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10, from my firmware-less AT&T 950. :-]
  • It doesn't affect just Xbox Live and playing games though.  There are still some apps that require you to sign into your Live account in order to access them.  The apps I use for streaming video are Netflix, YouTube, Twitch, and Amazon.  I didn't try all of them, but I did try YouTube and couldn't get in without signing into my Live account first.  I have other methods of using these apps, but still.  Something that is touted to be the center of your entertainment hub not working properly is pretty concerning.
  • Lol cant even use tv tuner
  • I would prefer a free indie game of my choice as compensation.
  • On a somewhat side got to love the ass clowns at UbiSoft. They can't get Rainbow Six to run properly on their servers. Game is a mess. So what is their solutions? Run The Division on the exact same servers. That company is ran by monkeys.
  • @missionsparta....Whole heartedly agree! And I now have low expectations for Ghost Recon Wildlands. Ubisoft has been dropping the ball since AC unity, but they still somehow managed to collect my money with no issues...hmmm
  • Reimburse the full year. Pretty much guarantee there'll hardly be any outages then.
  • How about say you have the 12 month live at lets say 59.99 value, for every day its down you get the days dollar value refunded to your account.
  • Anyone saying free games or money as compensation are out of touch. The service is 59.99/yr or a little over 0.16 a day. Now if they give you a day that's 16 theoretical cents they don't collect, but you are still going to pay for the service in general, a win/win. A free game or even cash compensation, would be actual money they would have to take from their coffers with no guarantee they would recoup. Considering the scope of xbl, that would be very dumb business practice.
  • Peoples' sense of entitlement is ridiculous, especially on this site ("Where is my official W10M release?!?! I paid you my hard earned $50 for my Lumia 520 6 years ago... I demand it now!!") After the 3+ week 2011 PSN outage and the Christmas 2006 XBL outage, this recent outage feels trivial to me.  On top of which, it's just XBL... it's not exactly a life necessity, like electricity or water service.
  • What you say is correct, I just want my live service, & what ever the down time replaced +day as loyalty thankyou before subscription renewal, I'm not after screwing or destroying the service as some people seem to want to go, I JUST WANT RELIABLE XBL SERVICE BACK AS ONCE WAS.
  • Compensation let's your customers know there is still a good service that stands behind their product and still value you as a customer. Far be it for me to judge what any one else's opinion of that should be, but lets not get carried away. I dont expect the next 2 years of live free, etc. Give us choices that cater to how this had affected us as individuals. For example, the hardcore gamer my choose a game, DLC for a game, or a voucher for a discount on a game. Others may want, say X amount for music on groove, or a free digital movie. It doesn't have to out way weigh what the outage caused, but should show the loyal paying gold subscribers that if, and when this happens again; MS isn't just sitting with hands folded saying well we got paid anyway. I've owned every Xbox made, and PS with exception of PS4. I've had live for 9 yrs and am paid til 2019. I am a loyal customer...the bigger question I pose is how loyal you are to me
  • Compensation only makes sense now that a lot of games people are playing rely on Xbox live to function.
  • It's a hassle when u come home from work or running errands and can't get online to play games that's the reason I payed for a whole year subscription. So I can play...... Some kind of compensation should b given and no, no avatars or anything like that.
  • I have been on xbox live for over a decade and I haven't renewed this year due to the outages and work schedule. I guess my timing was just horrid whenever I would get online they were having issues. I hope that get it fixed because currently my xbx1 is a miracast and tuner box mostly.
  • I wish they would treat it like their Azure services. Set a threshold for downtime and any breach of that corresponds to a tiered refund/credit for service. If you have an Azure Virtual Machine that is available less than 99.95% of the possible time in that billing period, you get 10% of that monthly cost back. Less than 99% is 20% refunded.
  • They should offer Bing reward points. It will introduce some to the Bing rewards program and entice them to use it. With those points they can be used for Xbox live credits. Then show people how they can get more credits by just using Bing. Win win since you can choose how to use those credits and Microsoft gains more active Bing users. Just a thought.
  • Give three free games for golden subscribers, Microsoft.
  • I don't care about the couple bucks of compensation. Make it so I can sign in without a connection and play offline. That is by far the most frustrating aspect for me.
  • Give a free gaming PC to everyone :P at least they'll be able to play offline games :P
  • Not on w10 they won't
  • Kamesh go play on your mummies nexus, you never have anything constructive to say, ever that I have seen.
  • Actually, you know what, Now Microsoft should buy twitter or facebook to keep the Xbox Servers stable and minimum outage, since for every service Microsoft offers, they have to buy a company to make it better, so that clearly makes sense :P LOL.
  • I'd would be good with an week of live. But there are some people that could be refunded for every year they've been an live member and still not be happy with it.
  • I experienced this outage. I spent around four hours last Saturday morning waiting to receive a text message from Microsoft that live was back up and that I could finally sign into my account and play something. It was very frustrating how long it took for the issue to be resolved. I found very little press coverage about the issue and wondered why. I'll be watching for the outcome of this conversation Mr. Hyrb is having about the matter.
  •   having a week of sale games (like Christmas) or a discount on selected digital games from selected dates would be a win win situation. Game time!  
  • The first four words in this article made me giggle a bit "No one like it" love it
  • Haha I was just thinking about adding a complaint about this subject on xbox feedback website yesterday. Kind of ironic. It would be niece if they do something like that thought some of us do pay alot to have Xbox Live.
  • Way back in the early days of the 360 they gifted a free Arcade game (Undertow, IIRC) when the servers went down for a few days over Christmas. Wouldn't hurt to do the same now.
  • I can safely say that my life is so full of other things to do (work, DIY, grandkids, degree, reading, etc), that if XBL is down, I can find something else to do.
  • Strange...I've played every day for the last month and never experienced any issues.