Users who suffered the ban have reported that they are suspended until, get this, December 31, 9999. That is quite the sentence, if we can say so ourselves.
The crime that we are dealing with, according to Microsoft, is that some users “illegitimately accessed Xbox LIVE Marketplace downloadable content.” In other words, they made off with it sans payment. The details on how the thefts occurred are not particularly known, but Microsoft’s position definitely is. The company, perhaps oddly, is keeping its cards close to its chest:
Of course, people are whining. There are a goodly number of posts in the Xbox forums from people who claim to have been banned improperly. Thread titles such as ‘wrongfully banned,’ and ‘account banned for no reason’ can be found in plenty.
Microsoft seems to be having none of it: “Please know that we are being very careful regarding these suspensions, and have clear evidence regarding each account issued a permanent suspension from the service.” The number of people banned is not known at this time.
Microsoft, ever ready for a cheeky remark, closed its posting on the issue with a ‘cheers!’ We promise that we are not making that up.