Waste Not: Microsoft Wants To Ship Me A Free Microsoft Points Card

Recently, I acquired a WP7 device. You’ll be hearing all about that later. However, as this doesn’t relate to the platform itself, I feel it’s worth mentioning separately: Microsoft wants to ship me a Microsoft Points card. A free 4000 points card that I got as part of this promotional offer. It will be shipped via UPS Ground, over the course of 3-7 business days. Here’s my question: Why?

No, seriously. Why? Why are you shipping this to me? I’m simply incapable of believing that Microsoft, the company that, by most metrics, is the top software company in the world, and still a ruling leader in the tech industry as a whole, is incapable of editing whatever database is tied to my Live account to simply add the 4000 points immediately.

I’m incapable of believing this, largely because I know I can do this exact thing right here on Amazon. I’m hard-pressed to find the same option on Microsoft’s own website, however, so perhaps Amazon is doing something different from Microsoft, but given that you can add points on a 360 with a credit card number, it’s really curious as to why this is not possible online.

I suppose the argument could be made for being able to order a card for points for the purpose of gifting. And until we’ve made it to the 22nd century, there’s always going to be people who grew up without the internet that are more comfortable with physical items than digital codes and transfers. But Microsoft….why isn’t this an option? I’m not an eco-nut. I think it’s good to not waste stuff, but I’m pretty sure we’ll find a way to ruin everything anyways, so I’m not about to tie myself to a tree. Still. The thought that I’m going to get a box, an actual box that inside contains little more than a code that I’m going to come right back to your site to enter…it’s more than a little wasteful.

A person is going to go through a warehouse, grab a card from a shelf, put it in a box, put that box on a truck, drive that truck to an airport, put that box on a plane, fly that box to Atlanta, take that box off the plane, put it on another truck, drive that truck to my house, and leave that box on my doorstep so that I will know a number that can easily be emailed. Or even better, simply be applied to my account directly.

This is beyond wasteful, guys. Don’t do stuff like this.

Update: Adding insult to injury, the confirmation email for my order contains a link to my account’s “Downloads and Product Keys” page at the Microsoft Store online. Which says that Microsoft does have the infrastructure to support simple digital transfers of codes and such, that’s even directly tied to the exact store I’m buying from, yet chooses not to allow this option for Microsoft points.

Source: Microsoft Store

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