Microsoft's head of policy and enforcement for Xbox Live, Stephen 'Stepto' Toulouse, has announced that a number of recent bans that have been handed down to an unknown number of users is being reversed due to a software error.
In order to apologize to those affected, Microsoft offering previously banned members three free months of Xbox Live and 1600 Microsoft Points ($20 USD). Users will not have to do anything in order to redeem the apology gift, as the company is in the process of reversing bans and doling the items to the appropriate accounts.
In a guest post on Larry 'Major Nelson' Hryb's blog, Toulouse noted that use of software for Xbox Live enforcement is used "very rarely."
"Recently, it was brought to our attention that a number of customers had concerns about the validity of a recent ban of their individual consoles, which they feel had been triggered inaccurately. In this case, the bans were related specifically to modded consoles," Toulouse explained. "I take these claims very seriously, and after an initial investigation we have confirmed that a handful of banned consoles did in-fact appear to not have been modified or tampered with."
A review is still underway at Microsoft regarding the source; however, Toulouse says it "appears to be a software issue, not an error on the part of the enforcement team's normal actions."
Toulouse states that those affected, which he called a "very small percentage of users," would have been banned between August 29 and September 9.
To test whether or not your ban has been lifted, users must simply attempt to reconnect to Xbox Live. Toulouse says that they know exactly which consoles were banned incorrectly. "If it cannot still connect, that console was not a part of this issue," he wrote.
Free gifts should be sent out to the primary account holder on the impacted console within a few business days.
Toulouse offered a sincere apology for the issue and assured that the Xbox Live enforcement team will investigate this issue and discontinue the software that was used during the aforementioned timeframe.