Be careful when purchasing Xbox gift cards—don’t email—@xboxsupport

In short, I’ve learned to look for “digital code” or “digital download” rather than looking for an emailed code. Here’s why:

For Christmas this year I had received a Vanilla Visa Gift Card.

What I wanted was an Xbox Gift Card.

Today, I went to Microsoft Store to use the Visa Gift Card to purchase an Xbox Gift Card.


I searched the store for “$50 xbox gift card” and found an Email a Gift Card option. I followed the link, made the purchase, and waited for my emailed code. Instead, all I received was the confirmation email that the purchase had been made.


After waiting a few minutes and not receiving the code via email, I grew impatient and went to the support page. The contact us window reported 1800 minutes until I could speak to someone (that’s 30 hours). It said I would be about 220 in queue via chat, so I selected that option. I waited and waited. It froze at 87 and staid there for about 40 minutes. At that point, I tweeted Xbox Support and never heard back.

I then called to speak to someone and only had to wait about 5 minutes. But she couldn’t help me because I had not received an order number in the confirmation email. So, she transferred me to “billing” who then told me after another 5 minute wait that she could not refund me. I asked her to honor the email that I did receive, which stated that a refund was possible. She also confirmed for me that the email was sent to the correct address, but I had to insist that I never received it. She told me she would ask her supervisor if they could refund it but she suggested it would not be possible (under-promise). She put me on hold for about 3 minutes to come back and report that the supervisor did refund me (over-deliver).

Now I must wait 3-5 business days for the funds to be returned to my Visa Gift Card.

I should have been more careful to select a digital download option on the Microsoft Store site, but Microsoft failed me in that the email should have gone out and I did not receive it. Never again.