After Microsoft recently announced that they would be shutting down the Xbox Fitness service on the Xbox One console, official Microsoft support and social media employees assured fans who had recently purchased downloadable content (DLC) for it that they would be refunding purchases that were made within 30 days of the closure announcement and that for further refunds, they would need to contact Microsoft directly.
Two months later, it appears that Microsoft has rethought their refund strategy and is now refunding all Xbox Fitness purchases ever made to all users.
Last week, I personally noticed several random deposits in my Microsoft account that amounted to around AU$350. Each deposit was given an expiry date (about a year after the deposit was made) and the only reference information listed was “Xbox Live Rewards”. At first I assumed there had been either some sort of error or I had won some random Xbox Live Rewards competition (the points-earning system of that program is extremely convoluted and complex afterall). After thinking about all of my Xbox Fitness DLC purchases over the past few years though, I realised that these deposits could likely be refunds due to the closure of Xbox Fitness.
Upon re-checking the support page for Xbox Fitness this morning after talking to a friend who just heard about what was happening, I noticed that it had been updated to reflect the new refunds which were now being distribute to everyone. Here’s the new information:
Customers who purchased Xbox Fitness content will be eligible to receive a credit into their Microsoft account equivalent to the content amount they purchased. Credits will be deposited directly to their Microsoft account and can be used to make purchases in the Xbox and Windows Stores. Credits will vary for each customer. Your credit will be for an equivalent amount to your purchases in Xbox Fitness – i.e., if you bought a $12 workout video you will receive a $12 credit.
The page goes on to mention that the credit will expire one year after it is deposited and all users should have received their refunds within 90 days from the end of June 2016.
This afternoon, numerous Xbox Fitness users received either an email or an Xbox Message about their refund but many also haven’t. I still haven’t received any official communication concerning my refund from over a week ago for example. In short, if you’ve ever made an Xbox Fitness purchase, it’s a good idea to log into your Microsoft account on the Microsoft or Xbox website right now and check your balance on the left-side menu. You could be in for a nice surprise.
So What Happens Now?
- Right now, Xbox Fitness is still functional on Xbox One. No DLC can be purchased anymore but any content already bought can be used until June 30th 2017.
- A variety of workouts are available to use for free for Xbox Live Gold members as part of a “Free with Gold” promotion. These will be available until December 15th 2016. Users who happen to have purchased these freebies outright for download on their console will still be able to use them until June 30th.
- Xbox Fitness will cease all functionality on July 1st 2017 and it, along with all related content, will be removed from the Windows Store.
As someone who uses Xbox Fitness every day, the closure of the program will definitely create a hole in my schedule come July 1st 2017 and I’m hoping Microsoft manages to launch some sort of replacement app or game for the Xbox One console. The crew behind the fantastic Mossa workouts have already announced that they’re working with Microsoft to re-release their workouts. These will likely be DVDs and digital video downloads instead of a game with leaderboards, tracking, and scoring though.
Are you disappointed by the closure of Xbox Fitness and have you received your refund yet? Share your experience with us in the comments below.
Further reading: Kinect, Microsoft, Video Games, Xbox, Xbox Fitness, Xbox One