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BT Broadband UK Customers Suffer Xbox Game Pass Billing Errors

Friday, Jan 26th, 2024 (1:46 pm) - Score 1,360
xbox_game_console_streaming

Internet, phone and TV provider BT (EE) has long bundled Xbox Game Passes on some of their broadband packages, particularly full fibre (FTTP) plans, which until recently often included a free 6-12 month subscription to the online gaming service. But some customers now complain the ISP has charged them for the service, without their knowledge or consent.

According to the BBC News, affected customers have been sporadically complaining about the problem on BT’s Community Forum for several months, although the issues experienced do seem to vary. For example, some customers complain about being charged for an Xbox Game Pass that they never asked for, activated or wanted. Meanwhile, others claim to have activated the free game pass on their package, only to later find they were being charged for it (while still within the free period).

NOTE: After any free periods have expired, the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate usually costs £10 a month via BT or EE, which is a little cheaper than the market price (£12). But once enabled, the pass adopts an auto-renewal, so you have to cancel it manually to stop future charges.

In other cases, BT’s customers have reported being able to use the free pass for a month or two, only to then find it gone from their Xbox accounts before they’ve even come close to finishing the free period (this is despite the pass and discount still being applied to their BT bills).

Suffice to say, we’ve seen quite a few different complaints about billing and application of the Xbox Game Pass to BT’s customer accounts. The broadband provider does seem to be aware of this, at least about some of the issues.

A spokesperson for BT said:

“We’re very sorry that the customers mentioned in this article have had Xbox Game Pass Ultimate added to their account without their knowledge. We recommend that all of our customers remain vigilant and if they notice changes to their account that are suspicious, to contact us as soon as possible to report this.

We will support and guide them on how to take steps to ensure their account is secure.”

The situation is eerily reminiscent of the recent problems at Virgin Media, where some customers found themselves having to battle phantom Netflix bills (here). Indeed, we’ve often seen problems occur when third-party subscription services are bundled, usually alongside a discounted period of use, with broadband packages from ISPs.

Resolving such issues can be tricky, as it may involve broadband providers having to navigate different layers of responsibility between different companies, with different rules and separate accounts. Meanwhile, BT’s response above appears to allude to a security concern with customer accounts and billing, although at present only one of the individual complaints we’ve seen appears to have been hacked.

Finally, one of BT’s own support workers has allegedly suggested that the issue of Xbox passes being randomly enabled on accounts reflects a known problem between BT and Microsoft, which could indicate more of an administrative bug.

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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10 Responses
  1. Avatar photo ShouldChangePasswordsMoreOften says:

    Happened to me in December. I assumed at the time that my MyBT account was breached, as it had an old password that would have been used on other sites with known breaches, but whilst support were helpful and immediately credited the amount, they didn’t imply it was a systems error, and were quite happy to allow me to believe it was due to a breach.

    Gave me the kick up the bum to finally change my old password on other sites, though.

  2. Avatar photo Fibre Scriber says:

    Not only the post office, get it wrong then!

    1. Avatar photo Cheesemp says:

      No they all do. Computers amplify human error. The problem with post office is they willfully buried the raised issues (tried to get guy who raised them fired) and continued to prosecute even when aware. That’s a human problem.

    2. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

      @Cheesemp

      The old acronym GIGO holds as true today as it did 40 years ago.

    3. Avatar photo Fibre Scriber says:

      The Post Office debacle is in a different order of magnitude i concur, with some of the investigators still believing to this day the Postmasters are at fault. Agree with @Cheesemp, Computer Systems are designed and programmed by humans, so mistakes do happen, some to a greater or lesser extent than others. In this case, although some have been charged wrongly, others seem to be getting the service for free. Hopefully this will get sorted quickly to those who have been charged in error.

  3. Avatar photo Granger says:

    I am still getting game pass for free even though it has expired (and I am not paying for it) on my BT account.

    1. Avatar photo Bill says:

      I’d check your subscription expiry date on the MS website, not with BT but I think mine glitched at one point.

    2. Avatar photo Jason says:

      Funny… .one finished after 6 instead of the promised 12 months – took them ages to sort out the issue (of course Microsoft and BT blamed each other)… Luckily the guys on the message board knew what to do and restarted another 12 months subscription for me 🙂

    3. Avatar photo THATisCuckoo says:

      Xbox Ultimate is only £2 on certain sites for a month – and 12 months comes in at £24,99. So it’s not costing them enough to care anyway

  4. Avatar photo Danny b says:

    Happend to me too , what the article doesn’t mention is there is no actual way for the customer to use this Xbox game pass even if they wanted too… Now that I’ve actually told bt I’d like to subscribe for game pass as I didn’t know by offered this I have now been charged for the game pass I asked for and the one I didn’t ask for

Comments are closed

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