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Customer Review

1,209 of 1,326 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prepaid Is Better, December 19, 2006
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
To start off, I'd like to say that X-Box Live is amazing and worth every penny. Online gaming is incredibly fun and quite a good way to pass time.

That aside, there are downsides to X-Box Live that can be avoided through prepaid cards. Number one, you always run the risk that unwarranted transactions will be made if your credit card information is stored on your X-Box 360 system. It may not happen all that often, but it's best to avoid it all together.

The biggest reason to buy prepaid Xbox Live card is the renewal process that happens when you don't use one. If you order X-Box Live through your system, it'll renew every time your subscription runs out. This wouldn't be a problem except that it's not that easy to cancel. Instead of canceling through your system, you have to go through the hassle of actually calling X-Box Live support. Even then, depending on the representative you get, you may be hassled to keep your subscription because they really don't want you to cancel it. I'm guessing that's part of their job to convince you to keep it, but it still is frustrating to the person that is trying to cancel it.

You'll have to go through this process every time you want to cancel if you don't use a prepaid card. Is that hassle really worth it? I don't think so. Therefore, avoid all of the problems by simply buying a prepaid card. You won't be sorry.

UPDATE: (3/6/2011): I updated this review about a year ago pointing out that you could disable the subscription on X-Box Live's website. As of this update, they've taken that feature away again. I'm guessing Microsoft must have seen a major increase on people who canceled their subscription, thus now forcing you to call their customer service hot-line again to cancel. Even if they add it back, just save yourself the hassle and get a prepaid card. You never have to worry about dealing with customer service that will try their hardest to get you to stay on as a recurring customer. Amazon also gives great deals throughout the year. You could save yourself $20 to $30 sometimes just by checking to see if Amazon has these prepaid cards on sale. What's not to love about that?
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Tracked by 13 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 56 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 1, 2008 5:27:56 PM PDT
Chris K. says:
I completely agree. I just had to cancel my renewing subscription on my credit card (made through the XBOX console itself) and the phone call was a nightmare. Much better to have more control over your subscription using these cards.

Posted on Nov 10, 2009 11:38:06 PM PST
Wedase says:
I would like to agree also so the more people who tell it the less should do it. It is really a headache when you store your numbers on their server and want to stop. I bought a 13 month Xbox 360 Live 12 Month Gold Card plus 1 Month Bonus last Christmas because I was going month to month to see if it was a good place for the kids.
It really makes me angry when I have to track someone down in customer service in a service oriented company. I tried it again this past month because I let my little guy try his own account for a month and again I almost got stuck but I didn't call this time, I figured it out and got my numbers out so it wouldn't keep billing me. It costs $6.99 for the first month then goes to $7.99 for consecutive months so these cards are the way to go and now Amazon is offering them digitally which is even better.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2009 5:14:35 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 21, 2009 5:16:35 AM PST
John Bell says:
It is possible to cancel auto renewal over the web:
- Sign in to and go to the My Account section.
- Click the Membership level link on the left.
- You'll see a page that has your Membership level, and the end date. Under that, you'll see your "Automatic Renewal" status.
- If it reads ON you can click the ON link and you'll be brought to next page that will let you switch it on or off.
- Make your selection, then click next.
- You'll be returned to your Membership level page, where you can confirm your selection.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2010 12:42:53 AM PST
mjc0961 says:
Yes, this is true. You can now cancel auto-renew on the web. However, you couldn't when this review was written.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 31, 2010 8:43:15 AM PDT
dannomite says:
Yes, you can turn-off auto-renew, however, it gets turned back on again the next time you enter an XBL membership card. Annoying.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 6, 2010 7:19:13 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 7, 2010 8:17:38 AM PDT]

Posted on Nov 29, 2010 5:19:20 PM PST
semore butts says:
you can go to and sign in with your profile and choose not to renew, even if it isnt close to expiring. Although buying online from MS, even online email codes from amazon, is pretty much always more expensive than the prepaid card from amazon and places that sell it for cheaper.

Ive noticed alot of games, even SP only games like ME2 and FO:NV, come with a 10 discount fot the 12 month live card. If anyone is buying a game look out for the special offers.

Posted on Jan 13, 2011 3:03:05 PM PST
I had to call in early January 2011. They have taken away the option to disable auto-renew through the website. They say, "To cancel your Xbox LIVE membership or to change your auto renewal status, please call Xbox Support".

I agree that prepaid cards are far preferable.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2011 8:36:33 AM PST
Chopblock says:
Yeah, they switched it back to forcing you to deal with their horrible customer service to turn off auto-renew. This is getting to be too much hassle, maybe it's time to get rid of the 360 and buy a PS3.

Posted on Mar 6, 2011 10:23:18 AM PST
Jacob says:
actually my 360 came with a 1 month membership and when it was about to expire it popped up that said: Your Subscription Is About To Expire. Would You Like To Automaticlly Renew It? but I agree Pre-Paid is better we worked hours trying to renew my xbox live account b4 it expired then i remembered: PRE PAID CARDS
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J. Gable

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