Microsoft admits to mistaken xbl bans

Head of policy and enforcement team apologizes, says “tiny set” of affected users will have access restored, receive free Gold subscription time and 1,600 MS points.

For years, Microsoft has permanently banned modded Xbox 360 consoles from using Xbox Live. However, a small handful of systems that found their way onto the banned list are having their permissions restored, the company confirmed today.

The Banhammer has a “reverse” setting after all.

In a post on Microsoft’s Major Nelson blog, Xbox Live policy and enforcement team head Stephen Toulouse announced that a number of recent bannings are being overturned on further review.

“We’re still conducting our review but the cause appears to be a software issue, not an error on the part of the enforcement team’s normal actions,” Toulouse said. “It’s very specific and occurred between August 29 and September 9, affecting a very small percentage of users.” Toulouse emphasized repeatedly that banning consoles is something his team takes seriously and stressed that the number of mistakenly banned systems was a “tiny set” of those axed from the service during that period.

As for those who found themselves on the banned list unjustly, Toulouse said they don’t need to take any action to restore their service, as they should already be able to connect to Xbox Live like normal. Additionally, they will automatically have their account credited in the coming days with 1,200 Microsoft points and three months of Xbox Live Gold.

“You have my assurance that we are investigating how this error occurred and have since discontinued use of the software that was used,” Toulouse said.

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Microsoft admits to mistaken xbl bans