Grandfathered Zune Pass accounts getting their 10 free songs randomly killed off?

We have had a tip from a reader suggesting that grandfathered Zune Pass accounts are having their credit for 10 free songs randomly stopped, and once they are stopped there is no way to restart it. It is also not an issue Microsoft is looking to fix.

Old Zune Pass users who paid $14,99 received credits worth 10 DRM-free songs, making the subscription effectively only $4,99.  When Microsoft changed to Xbox Music Pass the subscription became cheaper, at $9,99, but the 10 free songs fell away.  Users were however able to continue to hang onto their Zune Pass subscription and enjoy the benefits it offered.

There now appears to be a random bug affecting only a small number of users, which causes them not to receive their 10 free credits, and Microsoft support is saying very clearly this is a non-reversible issue which Microsoft is not intending to fix.

See a transcript of the conversation of our tipster with support after the break.

Support.: I see you have the old Zune Pass and your credits have stopped showing up.

Christopher S: That is correct

Christopher S: My February credits disappeared before I could use them Christopher S: And I currently have no credits Christopher S: even though it’s a new month

Support.: I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is in a minute here, I’m going to have the Microsoft points to cover your 10 songs in place.

Support.: The bad news is we have been seeing this issue appearing in increasing numbers. Since this pass has been unavailable for some time, we are no longer able to correct this issue when it appears. The best thing we can do at this point is switch you to the $9.99 plan. That plan works exactly the same with the exception that it does not have free credits for songs you can keep even if you stop the pass.

Christopher S: Is Microsoft trying to phase out the plan

Support.: Not really. It seems more like the system is trying to phase out the plan and Microsoft is saying they are unable to fix the issue.

Christopher S: I mean, it is Microsoft’s system. How come they aren’t able to control it?

Support.: I’m really not sure. The only communication I received on this issue is that it is not going to be fixed. Outside of that, it’s all speculation.

Christopher S: I appreciate your honesty and appreciate your help. And I’m not blaming you personally, but I don’t think Microsoft’s answer to this problem is satisfactory.

Support.: You’re not alone in that. I don’t like having to have this conversation, especially when I don’t have a satisfactory explanation beyond "This is how it is, and that’s that." It’s bad news to get, it’s bad news to give, and it’s definitely not making customers happy.

Christopher S: Is Microsoft going to address this publicly apart from case-by-case via support

Support.: I don’t know at this point. So far, it’s still only affecting a small percentage of grandfathered accounts, so it’s been case by case.

Christopher S: If it’s a small percentage, I feel like Microsoft should be able to work on the affected accounts especially considering we are still paying for the subscription.

Support.: I agree. From my perspective, it would be better to find a fix for the issue than alienate or upset any percentage of customers. I think you would agree with that.

Christopher S: What would it require from me and other users for Microsoft to investigate the issue and try to fix it?

Support.: I would recommend using both the feedback link in the Zune software, as well as posting your concern in the public forums.

Christopher S: So if I didn’t go with the 9.99/99.90 plan, I would still be on the $149.90 plan but getting the same service as a 99.90 plan

Support.: Yes. It would be like throwing $5 away every month.

Christopher S: Is there any indication that this bug/glitch/error would correct itself and I’d be receiving my song credits every month?

Support.: No. We have had a firm answer that they will not restart once they drop.

Christopher S: Just out of curiosity, do you have a rough number or percent of users that have run into this problem?

Support.: Not at all. I get 3-4 cases a week, which considering how many users we have really is next to nothing, but that’s hardly comforting to say to someone it’s happening to.

Support.: I would say it’s in the same probability of shark attacks or lightning strikes. Not too many people are affected, but those that are see it as 100%.

Well, we are a pretty public forum.  Have any of our readers been affected by this issue, and do you think Microsoft should be dealing better with this bug? Let us know below.

Thanks Christopher for the tip.