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Xbox Live Messenger Has A Child Account Problem

The Xbox 360 Spring update came with a great new feature in the form of instant messaging. Problem is, a number of factors have combined to piss off a lot of paying Xbox Live users:

  • If you were under 18 when you created your Xbox Live account (and in some cases, a bug for even if you were over 18, since one guy is 49), your account is created as a “Child Account”.
  • The Windows Live Messenger feature cannot be used by Child Account.
  • If you created the Child Account at 17, and are now 18 or 19, there is absolutely no means for changing your account to an Adult Account.

So, if you were honest and gave your real age, and that age was under 18 at the time, you can’t use the most prominent feature of the update, and you have no means of showing that you are now over 18. Worse, why did Microsoft block this in the first place? Many Live Messenger users on the PC are under 18, since the Terms of Service only require you to be 13, so why block it on the Xbox?

Microsoft seemed to have forgotten that a significant percentage of gamers are these kids, especially on Xbox Live (have you ever heard them talking? Oy), and left out a huge portion of its userbase. Telling teenagers they can’t instant message is like telling an old person they can’t complain about society; it just doesn’t work. Microsoft’s Trixie has said they are working on a fix for the Fall update, but that’s pissing off a lot of kids (who, in case you haven’t heard, aren’t very patient).

What options do you have now? Basically none. You’d have to create a new Xbox Live account, which would cost you all your Gamerscore, and you’d have to pay the subscription for Xbox Live Gold all over again (if you have one). Microsoft didn’t test the Child Account feature properly, and didn’t consider IM usage by teens to be important, and definitely screwed the pooch on this one.
(via Digg)

May 11th, 2007 Posted by | Live, Messenger, Windows, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox Live | 16 comments

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  1. Not to mention you’d then have to re-purchase all paid content downloaded from the marketplace if you wanted to create a new xbox live account. This is ridiculous. They’d better get their act together soon…

    Comment by Myla | May 14, 2007

  2. Microsoft had seriously better get their act together after all all they have going for them is the fact that all the top games are on the 360. The console itself and the live service is totally flawed. The failure rate is much higher than the lying fools they are say it is. The console itself gets too hot and crashes frequently anyway. The live service uses P2P connections meaning any more players than 8 results in a laggy horible online experience escpecially with cameras enabled in the games that suport them. The fact that the live accounts dont automatically upate from child to adult is a insult and a pathetic effort on MS behalf. I mean how hard is it to make the system detect when someone becomes 18 you have to give over your DOB so it only has to look at this. I mean this is microsoft the people that can program a OS make other softare work but cant get the live system to update accounts to adult. The concept of the 360 and live is great on paper but the reality of it all is so shockingly badly implemented that it is redered useless. Which is a huge shame as Microsoft had a great idea with live but they just clearly dont have f****** clue what they are doing to make it all work. Microsoft get it all sorted or pack it in and sell live to someone who will make proper use of its potential in other words let Sony have it with their dedicated servers.

    Comment by Indy | May 17, 2007

  3. WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Matthew Dean | May 18, 2007

  4. Microsoft is in dipshit for this! I was on break on xbox360, and then i bought 12 mounth gold membership card (‘cus i heard about this messenger feature, so i would not have to use PC so often when playing.) So i Redeemed my card… and i seek the new feature to my hands, AND THEN! it jumped across the screen “you are teenager! you maggot cant handle the all mighty power of windows messenger! bow to me! as i am! the great! MICROSOFT PRODUCT!!!!*evil laugh*”

    Seriously!?!?! who evil minded guy would do thing like this!?!?!?

    Hope to see update in HASTE!!!!! And maybe they will put price tag on IM feature in next update? OH NO! hope they didnt get any ideas from that i just said!!! WE ARE ALL SCREWED UP!! Oh well. World sucks.

    Comment by Juuso | May 18, 2007

  5. these motherfuckers fucked with me on the ZUNE by not making it compatible with WINDOWS XP MEDIA CENTER 2004
    and now this bullshit
    WHAT THE FUCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    Comment by Raoul | May 20, 2007

  6. No-one is listening :(

    It is a complete fuck up on microsoft’s part (again, retards).

    The only way for us to get messenger up and working is for everyone to send hundreds of copies of cracked vista to bill gates. Also a riot or 2 wont go amiss. Oh, and set up our own illegal version of xbox live that works

    Being a hypocrit, we need to stop putting shit like this in sites like this and continually bombard microsoft with it.

    Comment by Annoyed Git | May 30, 2007

  7. yo this is a stff up and if microsoft would listen it would be great, there was no pror warning for me to not buy the xbox live 79.95 dollar gold membership if i was underage, now i have waste 80 dollars on something i cant use to its full advantage. please fix this bug or error as so many xbox livers are only teens and most likely are the biggest contributors to your income.

    please fix this


    Comment by josh | October 4, 2007

  8. Well, my little brother (16) heard about the messenger feature on the new update, and went out to the shops and bought himself an XBox Live Gold 12 Months card (£40/$80), a Messenger keypad adapter (£25/$50) for his controller and a hard drive (£65/$130) (for the Xbox live feature) with his birthday money, so in total, £130/$260 worth of kit, all to be told he cannot use it. PS3, here I come; suddenly you dont seem as comparitively expensive as throwing money down Microsoft’s throat to no avail.

    Comment by Logic | October 9, 2007

  9. I’m 18, yet Microsoft thinks I’m a child. Maybe if they introduced a child tariff as a compromise for the masses of key features that you cannot permit yourself to use (i.e $5 a month: yes, Xbox live is that USELESS as a “child”) then everyone would shut up, lol. Well done microsoft, some of the greatest technical and business minds on the planet, and they forgot the fact that people get older. I am wholly dissatisfied with this product and am also considering Sony’s, more appealing option.

    Comment by Dom | October 9, 2007

  10. P.S the rest of the service it great, such a shame its ruined by small technical blunders

    Comment by Dom | October 9, 2007

  11. Does anyone know if Microsoft is aware of this problem?

    Comment by Calen | October 11, 2007

  12. Geesh microsoft u bellends. i am nearly 15 and i use messenger on my computer to chat to my friends and now your saying im to young??????????????


    Comment by Pissed Off | October 14, 2007

  13. It’s pretty ridiculous.
    I called Microsoft about the problem and they said that it’s impossible to change your account from “Child” to “Adult”. I’m almost 19 now and I can’t see any advertisements on my dashboard, and this Messenger won’t work.
    I called them thinking it would be no problem to just update my account to Adult. But the lady was like “No the “Child Status” is permanent”. WTF??

    Comment by ZildjianUFO | October 15, 2007

  14. Im soooo fucking pissed at them, they better get a fucking update ready soon or im going to kill some one :@

    Comment by Steven | October 22, 2007

  15. I agree fully with what has been stated above. This is just plain dumb. I just turned 18 and thought, hey that messenger thing should work now…NOT! This thread started in may, it is now mid/late November… Can i get an update to fix this stupid issue?

    Comment by Trey | November 21, 2007

  16. Well I turned 18 a month ago and being the honest person I am I put my real age down whe I bought my 360 over a year ago and…well no Messenger!!! I rang them up and spoke to them for 80 min (NO JOKE)!!! I spoke to a microsoft xbox 360 help representive (help my arse) and he kept saying he couldn’t help and going off to find someone who could(putting me on hold). When he asked to put me on hold after about 50min I told him not to put me on hold so he puts his mic down and goes off (prob to get a coffee) and comes back 10 min later. He keeps telling me that notifaction of an update will be coming out soon and sends me to a website that told me there was a problem. (NO SH*T WHY THE F*CK DO YOU THINK I’M CALLING MORON!!!!) So I ask to talk to his boss and he gives me the same bullsh*t excuses so I tell them where to stick it and hang up. Teach them…something…anything because they can’t help me because they don’t know sh*t. Help centre my ars*. If microsoft reads this message do a survay of all the people who
    -use there original e-mail address they gave you
    -use there hotmail address as there main one (more then above)
    -make the motto longer (25 letters what a joke)
    -teach your help centers how to help
    -get your f*cking products all sorted out before bringing more crappy glitchy products out.

    I have played both xbox 360 and PS3 and PS3 has sh*t all glitches and others stupid problems whilst xbox has a f*cking truckload of them. The only thing that makes me use the xbox isn’t the price but the games!(halo 3, gears of war, assassins creed, oblivion,COD 4. awsome games SH*T PLATFORM)

    Please read my new mock series of novels each thicker then the bible that list all of the problems of microsoft and their affiliates.(not real series)

    Fix the fucking problems and add somewhere on the xbox dashboard a place to post problems.

    FIX IT

    Comment by Shanther | November 28, 2007

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