Xbox Error 8016A04B: Live Gold Online-Code is region-specific!

IT problems really piss me off and this one was no exception.

I recently purchased a 12 months Xbox Live Gold Online-Code from the German Amazon website. I was planning to give the code to my brother but his Xbox Live ID’s region is set to Hungary (he lives in Romania but Romania is not available on Xbox) and it didn’t work.

He tried to enter the code from Romania on the Xbox directly and also in the website but he got this error.

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My brother researched the error code 8016a04b on Xbox Error & Status-Codes and came across this explanation:

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Overview

If you see error code 8016a04b when you redeem a prepaid code on Xbox Live, the prepaid code that you’re trying to use doesn’t match the country or region of your account.

Error code and message

Error code 8016a04b contains the following message:

Can’t retrieve information from Xbox Live. Try again later.
Status code 8016a04b

Problem

If you see this message and error code, it means the prepaid code that you’re trying to use doesn’t match the country or region of your account.

Solutions

Solution 1: Confirm the location where your prepaid account was purchased.

The prepaid code that you’re trying to use doesn’t match your account region. Some prepaid codes can only be used in select regions. Confirm that your account region matches the region where the prepaid code was purchased.

I tried to enter the code with my brother’s Live ID here in Germany, since the code was purchased here, but I also got an error with code Xbos-0x8016A04B.

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Also looking on the http://support.xbox.com/xbox-live-status it appears that there was a problem with the Prepaid-Codes Service but that was not the cause of this issue. His ID’s region is still set to Hungary and I tried to find a way to switch his account region to Germany unsuccessfully.

This information is not written on the German Amazon or on the Xbox website and Amazon refused to refund the price I paid for the Online-Code. Amazon kindly offered to show me how to retrieve the code from the website, even though I wrote to them that the code doesn’t work so I obviously could retrieve the code, and also sent me the contact details of the Xbox Support. Jeez, thanks a lot for your help! Not!

I then entered the same code purchased in Germany with my Live ID which has the region set to Germany and it works!

We had exactly the same problem last year too but then I ordered a Code Card also from the German Amazon website and my brother could use it successfully in Romania with his Live ID still set to Hungary.

So just to sum it up, it seems that the Code Card is valid all over Europe, compared to the Online Code which is only valid in the country/region where it was bought in. If you don’t want to pay for a code which you can’t use:

  • either purchase the Online Code from the region where your Xbox Live ID is set to
  • or try to set your Xbox Live ID’s region to the region where the Online Code was purchased (we couldn’t find a way to change my brother’s ID’s region though See links below!!!)
  • or order the Code Card which is valid for Europe (if you live in Europe)

Update: You can change the region of your Xbox ID, see links below (Warning! See the limitations section in the links before migrating the account! You are allowed to migrate your gamertag only once in 3 months!!!):

Update 2: when changing the region of the gamertag, the ip address is verified and compared to the region you want to set it to! It won’t allow you to set the region if it doesn’t match to the region of your ip address.

Update 3: I ordered a paper Prepaid Code Card from Amazon Germany and this one doesn’t work with my brother’s gamertag (region in Romania) either. We get error code Xbos1005. I am frustrated and completely out of ideas!

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