microsoft reminded me this week why i hate them so much. We got an Xbox for Christmas. A few weeks ago the kids wanted to download some call of duty maps, so i tried to buy 800 points through the web site. No luck. I couldn't add my credit card (kept getting 'invalid credit card #' error) and it would give me an error if I tried to use paypal. However I was able to buy the points through the console using paypal.
This week the free month of xbox live gold ran out. I tried to renew for a year on the web site but got an error that they couldn't process my paypal transaction (again). I then tried to add my credit card, no luck, still thinks the # is invalid. So I called tech support. the first guy I spoke to was no help (after 20 minutes or so). He was able to add my credit card, but then I got a "could not process" error. He gave up and told me he would 'have his boss e-mail me.' I told him that it was insane that they couldn't simply charge me for $60 for a year of Xbox live via the phone. He then sent my call to another tech support agent.
The 2nd agent was helpful and seemed to know what he was doing, it turns out for some reason my Windows Live account got corrupted and would not allow me to use it to buy anything anymore. He had no idea why this was, but he couldn't fix it. So....he had to have me create a new Windows Live account, meaning we could no longer use our old gamer tag. Here too we ran into problems as Xbox Live still refuses to accept my credit card (a Visa from a large bank). However, we were able to process a payment using Paypal. For my troubles he had me buy a month, then added another 12 months on for $30. So at least we're up and running now, and fortunately the kids hadn't done much with the old gamer tag (they can still use it to log in, but can't use it to access xbox live).
Anyway, just another freaking reminder of what a PITA it is to deal with Microsoft.
(i should add - i found numerous discussions in the microsoft xbox forums from folks with the same exact issues i had, in all cases the resolution was 'call customer support'). I spent almost an hour on the phone getting this thing resolved.