The entire situation is made even worse by the complete lack of transparency on Microsoft’s behalf. After hitting them with a barrage of questions about the restrictions, they came back to Kotaku with this carefully worded comment:
* Microsoft has taken an initiative in New Zealand to ensure people under the age of 18 cannot access mature content.
* We are working to limit access to content to the appropriate age group in New Zealand. This will take some time due to technical reasons.
* We are working to remove the ability for people under the age of 18 to add points until we can resolve this issue.
* People affected by this issue can be refunded via our customer call centre, which can be contacted through www.xbox.com/en-nz/support or on 0508 555 592.
Maybe it’s just me, but there doesn’t seem to be too much “initiative” involved in completely blacklisting every person with a child account on Xbox Live in an attempt to restrict mature content. In fact, it seems like a downright lazy attempt considering they’re not just blocking mature content, but family-friendly content as well.
Head on over to Kotaku to read a full account of the issue and Microsoft’s response. It’s a pretty atrocious way to treat your customers, even if they are Kiwis…