Can’t download some rented movies from the store anymore, and microsoft support


Just a little rant.

So, my daughter wanted to download ‘A Star is Born’ from the Microsoft Store to watch on her laptop during a flight. She rented it through the Movies & TV app, just like we’ve done this for flights in our family for many years now. Rent a movie, download it and watch it on the plane, just like MS advertises it on their site

Now, after the purchase there was no option to download the movie, only to stream. This has never been the case in the past, so I dug around and after a while called MS support to see what’s up. After maybe 15 minutes, including a remote help session using LogMeIn (why is MS support using LogMeIn?), I was told that this particular movie is a stream only movie, no option to download it. So I asked to get my money refunded.

So another 15 minutes to get connected to billing for the refund, and another 15 minutes with them to go over why I want a refund, him asking his supervisor and all. Finally he says the refund is being processed and I should see it in a few days, so after 40+minutes I’m thinking it’s all good.

Oh no, now he goes into a just one more thing. ‘Did you know that Microsoft Edge is the fastest and best browser…’ That’s when I lost it and told him to just not piss me off anymore.

So just wondering, has anybody ever had this before that you can only stream a movie from the MS Store, not download it? This is totally new to me.

Comments (20)

20 responses to “Can’t download some rented movies from the store anymore, and microsoft support”

  1. Vladimir Carli

    sorry man, but for what reason are you buying movies from the microsoft store? You are basically asking for trouble...


  2. Paul Thurrott

    Interesting. No, I don't believe I've ever seen this.

    Are you in the US?

    • Alexander Rothacker

      In reply to paul-thurrott:
      Yes, I'm in the US. Support made it sound like this is to be expected for some movie rentals, but I had never seen it before and according to my daughter there was no warning or indication before the purchase was finalized.

      • Paul Thurrott

        In reply to earlster:

        I wonder if this is just related to how rentals work. When you rent a movie, you have to watch it from the device you used to rent it, I believe. So if you choose streaming or download then, that's your only option. (I believe. Unless this has changed since I last tried it.)

  3. waethorn

    Why does Microsoft still have a video store, again? I mean, they killed off their music store....

    • Lauren Glenn

      In reply to Waethorn:

      Probably for the XBOX One, I guess. To me, it's really the only good way to watch any kind of DRM video since iTunes video performance is horrible and places like Amazon usually want an online connection .... although they used to have an offline version where you downloaded a WMV but I think they abandoned that.

  4. jimchamplin

    Seriously? MS support is using a third party remote app? I suppose the truth is that it's not actually Microsoft, but a cheap outsourced support company.

    I know... distinction without a difference. If they represent Microsoft, they should use the (IMO superior) tools that are built into Windows.

    • ponsaelius

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      Most of the big brands offshore their first line support to the cheapest parts of the planet like India.

      The companies they outsource to will have their internal tools and don't necessarily have the software licenses that actual Microsoft staff have. They are usually trained only in the specific business area they support, have no specific Microsoft training or knowledge. Most of these companies work for multiple brands and their staff look at their job as a short term call centre job. The brands like to keep the illusion you are talking to them but the "customer contact" business is huge.

      I have worked in a first line outsourcer, in my case it was the UK, but most are now going for ever cheaper solutions.

    • provision l-3

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      I don't know the particulars for Microsoft but I know a bit about outsourced support. There is no way MS relies on their outsourced companies for tools other than maybe a data connection and telephony infrastructure. So if they are using LogMeIn it is because that is what Microsoft has opted to use vs. what the company you are talking to has a license for. I am also guessing that they are using it over their own solution for specific reasons (Integration with CRM, specific security features ...).

  5. Finley

    The attempt to advertise a web browser that they are currently working on replacing would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic.

  6. Lauren Glenn

    I'd rather just rent a disc at the Redbox to avoid this whole thing. But that's a shame since you can only really rent videos to download from Microsoft's servers for a Windows laptop since iTunes can't figure out how to properly use graphics acceleration on rented media on a Windows machine.

    Best way to avoid it all is to just rent the discs and drop them off at a Redbox where you land.

  7. lethalleigh

    I'm not defending MS but perhaps the movie is restricted in some way by the studio. This may not be the fault of MS at all.

  8. earlster


    We didn't have any need to rent and download a movie since I wrote the original post. However, we are currently prepping for a trip with a loooong flight and this time I made sure to check in on this process. This is what I found out:

    When in the store and selecting the 'Rent' button you are redirected to a confirmation screen, and that screen either has a radio button selection for 'Download', vs. 'Streaming'. Or, it doesn't, which means streaming only (but without specifically stating it). IMHO, this is still some pretty confusing UI by MS.