'Point fraud:' Pennsylvania man sues Microsoft for Xbox Live games' failure to load

All the major home video game consoles offer downloadable games and add-ons that can be bought from a Web-based store, directly through the user's console. But of the three major companies, Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft, only Sony assigns actual dollar values to its downloadable content. Both Microsoft and Nintendo work on points systems where users must first buy a specific amount of credits that are then spent on new content.

A class action lawsuit regarding this point-based method of payment has now been filed against Microsoft in the District court of Pennsylvania. The suit has been filed "on behalf of several million US customers exposed to point fraud, following fraud, breach of contract, negligence, unjust enrichment, and unfair business practices on the part of...Microsoft Corporation."

The allegation is that the Microsoft Points that users must purchase to then download games, videos, or bonus content, have been handled "fraudulently and negligently" since 2002.


Philadelphia-based attorney Samuel Lassoff filed the suit against Microsoft on his own behalf, which is a virtual repeat of what he did in 2006 with Google. At that time, Lassoff said he was "the victim of hundreds of dollars worth of fraudulent clicks," where his bill for Pay Per Click advertisements was artificially inflated.

This time, Lassoff says that he received an invoice which said that he bought and spent Microsoft Points on Xbox Live which he claims he had not. He then tried to call support and received no response. Finally, he went to his credit card company to appeal the charges, but ultimately had to go to court.

Lassoff accuses Microsoft of not warning Xbox Live users that they will be charged for "incomplete and/or partial downloads." All of his claims revolve around the fact that money was apparently taken and no goods or services were rendered.

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