Update: I’m not sure when the policy was changed (within the last 12-24 months probably) but you can now change your XBOX Live account region on the XBOX website. You are allowed to change your region once every 3 months.
Note that some content you previously bought in your original region may not transfer to your new region. Details are on the XBOX website.
Recently when trying to buy items on the XBOX Live marketplace my credit card started getting denied. In an effort to determine why this was happening, I visited Microsoft’s billing site. In doing so I discovered that it is impossible to change your billing country on that site. In fact during a telephone call to XBOX Live Support I was informed that the only way I could change my country was to create an entirely new XBOX Live Gamertag.
I originally signed up for XBOX Live back in 2002 when I lived in New Zealand. Subsequently I immigrated to Australia and in 2006 I bought an XBOX 360. Since I had been paying for XBOX live since 2002, when I signed in to my 360 with my existing Gamertag I was allocated a Gold XBOX Live Account.
At some point in the last two years I switched the credit card I was using for XBOX Live to a new credit card issued by my Australian bank. I probably updated my billing details via the account management blade on the XBOX. Using this new card I continued to buy game content in the Live marketplace. Everything was going fine until last week when it all stopped working.
So, after my conversation with XBOX Live Support it appears that my only options are to:
- Get a new Gamertag, which will stop me from using content tied to my existing Gamertag and reset my Gamerscore to zero!
- Buy Microsoft Points at brick and mortar retail stores.
- Use my old NZ credit card (which is difficult to pay now that I live in Australia).
None of these options are particularly appealing. In the end this whole experience has made me bitter and twisted about XBOX Live.