Microsoft reverses recent Xbox Live bans

A number of people who were recently banned by Microsoft from its Xbox Live console gaming service have now had those bans reversed. Microsoft's Major Nelson web site has more info about this situation which first occurred between August 29 and September 9. Stephen Toulouse, the head of Xbox Live's Policy and Enforcement team, said that at the time the people who were affected by the bans were thought to have modded Xbox 360 consoles which Microsoft doesn't allow on Xbox Live.

However, after the people who were banned expressed their concerns about Microsoft's actions, Toulouse said, " ... after an initial investigation we have confirmed that a handful of banned consoles did in-fact appear to not have been modified or tampered with. We’re still conducting our review but the cause appears to be a software issue, not an error on the part of the enforcement team’s normal actions." Toulouse said that the bans only affected a small percentage of Xbox Live's total users.

Toulouse personally apologized to those affected by the erroneous Xbox Live bans, saying, "You have my assurance that we are investigating how this error occurred and have since discontinued use of the software that was used." He added that the people who had their bans reversed will also receive compensation. Specifically he said, " ... we will issue the primary account holder on the impacted console a credit for three months of Xbox LIVE Gold and 1600 Microsoft points." The total price for both items amounts to about $45 ($25 for the three Xbox Live Gold months and $20 in Microsoft points).

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