Note: What follows are real posts from Xbox Live users and the official responses from Microsoft employees. No names were changed to protect anybody. All misspellings and grammatical errors were preserved because it's funnier that way.
My favorite time of year has finally arrived: banning season. Watch Microsoft madly swing the banhammer and knock cheaters, pirates, and common trolls the hell off Xbox Live. It's fun!
And it's about time. After years of complaints, Microsoft recently took serious measures against the more offensive people running loose on their service. Users responded by flooding the Xbox forums, questioning why their accounts have been suspended or banned until the year 9999. But even better, XBLPET — the Xbox Live Policy Enforcement Team — decided to answer some of those inquiries…with extreme prejudice.
First off, we have someone banned just for being creepy.
DrNutterButterz: “My account has suspended until October 22, 2011 and i have no idea why or what i did. my account is DrNutterButterz.”
XBLPET Golf: “In the future, please refrain from placing content in your profile regarding sexually transmitted diseases that you may or may not have contracted. In addition to violating the Code of Conduct, it may cause issues in future interpersonal relationships to have that information public.”
Next, how about getting suspended for being too good at Gears of War 3?
jadjikillyouall: “I got suspened off from xbox live 9/23/11 or it was 9/24/11 at 7:18 am in the morning gamertag is jadjikillyouall. I was playing gears of war 3 for the past few days it came out. To get my guy up there in the ranks. Iam a lvl 62 already in gears 3. i was ranked 15 in the world in king of the hill. I was playing the game every day and got alot of people talking crap at me bc i was a high lvl and they were getting mad bc i was useing only the sawed off shotgun. And they told me that they were going to complain about my account and file complaints on it. I would like to know why i was suspended tag is jadjikillyouall.”
XBLPET Quebec: “So…just to repeat myself for bajillionth time (that’s a real number)…it doesn’t matter how many people complain about you. It all turns into one complaint that we review. What matters is that your profile was just slightly less offensive than the inside of a toilet stall in a gas station on the 5. Suspension stands.”
What will you do now, Microsoft? Ban me until the year 0000?
And of course, some people totally ask for it.
Mr M0DDER: “My account was banned for my gamertag being Mr M0DDER. This is an outrage! You were suppost to give me a chance to change my gamertag.”
XBLPET Golf: “Actually, the account was permanently suspended for, unsurprisingly, the proliferation of modifications on the service.”
Here's a surprisingly popular complaint: getting banned for tampering with Avatars.
Johny Knoxvile: “my account Johny Knoxvile was permanently suspended and when i went to check what the email said, it just told me the same thing that my xbox said to do. Xbox never sent me a verified reason why, and id like to know what it was suspended for.”
XBLPET Golf: “Lavender, while a perfect color on the flowers the hue is named for, is not an acceptable tone to have on one’s Xbox LIVE Avatar.”
If you're soliciting, maybe you should keep your fool mouth shut..
N3G4T1VE R3S1ST: “Hello I’m only 12 and my account was somehow banned when our Internet was down. But today i found out it really isnt banned because some1 was playing on it Saturday. So why am I banned and if im unbanned like it looks like then how do i get my account back? But really what did i do to get banned can some1 get my account back or unaban me please? the gt is N3G4T1VE R3S1ST.”
XBLPET Quebec: “N3G4T1VE R3S1ST was hit for solicitation (i.e. attempts to extract account information from other players and/or attempts to use the Xbox LIVE service for commercial purposes). I was just going to give you the info on your ban, but since your profile critique of MS was so scathing we looked a little further and hit the rest of your bad accounts…and your console.”
Finally, we have a few innocent mothers forced to politely ask Xbox Live to un-ban their sons’ accounts, completely unaware of what their little angels are up to.
\MuLTii RoBboZz’s mom: “My sons account MuLTii RoBboZz was suspended for a week last monday and we couldnt open our email to find out why. A week later it is still not up and running. I closely monitor my childrens online gameplay as they are only 10 and 13. I would like to know why this has happened as they have paid their subscription and have now lost out on a whole week of play, despite it being paid for.”
XBLPET Victor: “This account was suspended due to content in the Motto, Bio, Name and/or location fields which violated the following section of the Code of Conduct: Don’t create a Gamertag, profile content, or in-game content that other users may be offended by. This includes comments that look, sound like, stand for, hint at, abbreviate, or insinuate any of the following: profane words/phrases, topics or content of a sexual nature, hate speech (including but not limited to racial, ethnic, or religious slurs), illegal drugs/controlled substances, or illegal activities.”
And parents, teach your children not to cheat right in front of a cop.
VikingsSB28’s mom: My son’s x-box account vikingsSB28 was banned until the year 9999. The reason I believe it was banned is because several of his peers filed complaints. This peer group was told to do this by one peer who bullies my son and has caused him distress at school and also at home while playing x-box. The school is aware and I am now making you aware. Communications were blocked to this bully by my son which angered him and lead to this retaliation. Please re-activate my son’s account. Thanks for your time.“
XBLPET Golf: “You may be relieved to know that it was not peer-related complaint abuse for which the account was issued a permanent suspension. What may not come as a relief is that the account was found to be exploiting infection-style modifications in public matchmaking in Call of Duty: World at War by a member of the Xbox LIVE Policy and Enforcement Team. When they discovered the account with invulnerability and flying amongst the birds enabled, the XBLPET clipped their wings and removed the account’s access to the service. As the illegitimate behaviour was witnessed firsthand by our team, the validity of suspension is sound and thus it shall stand as is.”