Microsoft to offer Xbox Live Gold refunds after making Netflix and Hulu access free

xboxliveiosiconSo you paid for a $60/year Xbox Live Gold membership just to watch Netflix, ESPN or Hulu Plus, and now Microsoft is making those apps (and others) available to everyone, without a paid membership. And now you’re stuck paying for something that new users get for free?

Nope, turns out that’s not the case. As reported by Neowin, an Xbox Live FAQ outlines a new refund policy that will kick in when the apps come out from behind the paywall in June.

Once the Xbox One and Xbox 360 system updates become available in June, Xbox Live Gold members who purchased a paid membership before that day can cancel and receive a pro-rata refund of any unused remaining days between the date of cancellation and the date their paid Gold membership ends. Cancellation and pro-rata refund requests must be made by August 31, 2014 and require six to eight weeks for processing. Free or trial Gold memberships are not eligible for a refund. To request your pro-rata refund, please click http://support.xbox.com/contact-us after the system updates become available in June.

The decision to offer refunds could help the company avoid a backlash from longtime Xbox Live Gold users.  Microsoft’s move to make Netflix and Hulu Plus available as part of its free plan was essentially forced by the widespread availability of those apps on other devices. Users also have to pay separately for those services.

  • Ryan Haggart

    Won’t you still need a Gold account to play online games? How many people have an Xbox just for Hulu and Netflix? Does this effect anyone?

    • Noelle

      it affects me. My brother has a gold account, he plays online, I had a trial gold for awhile, but had too many issues with cancelling to keep doing trials when they were available. I never played online with people, when I game, I game with me, Myself, and I. However, I used it mainly just to watch anime on Netflix (not that I would anymore, haha, Netflix pretty much sucks now.) and I know too many people who have/had gold accounts just for netflix and hulu. :p

      • Ryan Haggart

        Thanks for sharing. I was hoping to understand this better; do you and your brother share an Xbox? Do you have your own? If not did you buy the Xbox so you can use these apps, or just to play with yourself and watch anime? Why does Netflix “pretty much suck, now”? I really like the new content they are putting out like house of cards, and I know too many people who agree with me. If you care to watch these apps, why not spend the extra 30 bucks and get an Apple TV or Amazon TV instead of the 60 a year to use gold for anime. Or hang out with you brother and watch the shows on his accounts.

        • J.P. Gillies

          I bought an xbox 360 4gb 4 years ago to play some games and get rid of cable. I did this for two years but decided to purchase an Apple TV to avoid the 60 bucks per year. I have taken a look at the apps xbox has now and it’s extensive. I have been putting off a next gen gaming system but I may purchase xbox one now.

  • J Dizzle Is the Shizzle

    ‘Bout time Microsoft made this move. How could they possibly justify charging people to watch Netflix and Hulu, when it can be done for free on other devices. Microsoft just saw an opportunity to charge the consumers extra for another company’s product.
    Hell, we already are paying for Internet & the Netflix subscription. So why should there be one more fee?
    I’m glad Microsoft finally made this move, now I can cancel my Gold subscription in June. I really don’t do a lot of online gaming. Mainly just used the Netflix & Internet Explorer apps. Now if Microsoft would make the Internet Explorer app work without Gold, then I’d be set.