I really don’t like Microsoft Points. The idea behind it is so stupid. Really.
Is there anything wrong with using regular currency? All other major online stores use actual real currency.
With Microsoft Points, you really have to calculate points to cents, to know if you’re really getting what you want.
Here’s an excerpt where Paul Thurrott is really hating the Microsoft Points infrastructure in his Zune 2 review:
"Hey, at least that cost is calculated in US dollars. Figuring out the cost of individual tracks and albums on Zune Marketplace is as confusing as ever because Microsoft is employing the same micro-payment system that they use on Xbox Live Marketplace. Here’s how it works: Basically, you can’t buy an individual song on Zune as you can via iTunes. Instead, you must purchase something called Microsoft Points, which come in packages of 400 ($5), 1200 ($15), 2000 ($25), and 4000 ($50) points. Because the points are abstracted from the actual amount you’re spending, it’s often unclear what the heck is going on. The cost of an individual song is 79 Microsoft Points (MP), or roughly 99 cents. But since you don’t purchase MP in 79 point increments, you’ll always have extra left over. That’s a little gift you’re giving Microsoft, I guess, on top of the loan you already gave them when you purchased a MP package. It’s a stupid, stupid system.
Albums are worse. REM’s latest album is $12.99 on iTunes, but its 1000 MP on Zune. What the frick is 1000 MP? Thanks to various online converters (here’s a good one), I can discover that 1000 MP is $12.50. So it’s a bit cheaper than at iTunes. But why do I have to do math to make a purchase like this? Math is hard!
With the understanding that no amount of complaining on my part is ever going to change this, Microsoft really needs to rethink the whole MP system. It’s horrible, because it hides the true cost of things, makes you put money into Microsoft’s pockets up front, and then is built to ensure you’ll never be able to spend all of it. This is not consumer friendly. I’m curious that it’s even legal as currently implemented." – Paul Thurrott
Obviously, he HATES Microsoft Points. It’s too confusing, a waste of time, and it’s just plain stupid.
Like, how many points = 1 cent? How many = 4 cents?
The answers are: 1 point = 1 cent. 3 points = 4 cents. Does that make sense? No.
I read one of my comments, and this sounded interesting:
"Microsoft Points will not go away – nor should they. It would be too difficult for Microsoft to keep changing the prices to match exchange rates that change daily. In addition, not using Microsoft Points would mean that people would have to purchase with a credit card, and Microsoft is charged for every single credit card transaction. Rather than dealing with multiple credit card transactions, and their associated fees, and driving the price point of the Zune platform up even further, Microsoft is keeping costs down by allowing us to make one credit card transaction that provides for enough points to make multiple purchases without dealing with the credit card companies." – Jeff Ferguson
He does have a point. I think.
But this sounds like hard work for Microsoft, not the consumer. Microsoft is a company, they’re suppose to handle these kind of things.
Instead, they’re dumping the hassle onto the consumers. That’s not very nice. MOST people hate the MS Points system.
If other online stores can do regular credit card transactions, why can’t Microsoft? If other online stores can use regular currency, why not Microsoft? That’s what I’d like to know.
I also happen to use prepaid cards a lot. Just buy one at a store, enter the code on the computer, and there you have it. No credit card transactions took place. That also works for iTunes cards as well.
So the point is, is that Microsoft Point is a dumb system. It’s confusing, it’s annoying, it’s hard to convert, those extra cents/points stay in Microsoft for a long time, and it’s a hassle.
People are not happy with MS Points, and Microsoft should get rid of them, fast.