Open Letter To Microsoft

August 25, 2010

Dear Microsoft:

Let me start this letter off by saying that I am by no means a Microsoft hater. I am (still) an especially big fan of your XBox Consoles. I bought the original, owned the 360, and will no doubt buy whatever you come out with next. My wife and I are XBox 360 Live Gold Members for crying out loud. However, I do have a suggestion; a bone to pick, if you will, in regards to a recent in my opinion avoidable experience. Allow me to describe.

After almost two years, our XBox 360 finally gave into what you call the Red Ring of Death. Heartbroken at first, some friends provided information on how to handle the situation. To my utter joy, when I called your support, they reassured me that my console was still covered under an extended warranty. The process was simple. More or less I take the console, put it in a box, affix the UPS shipping sticker you provided (you even provided me with free shipping!), and drop it off at UPS. The expectations were set and they were high! Two to three weeks later I would receive my repaired device.

As you know, that is not what happened. After three weeks, you returned my console to me in the same condition I sent it to you in. Broken. The accompanying letter you sent said the reason was that the console had been tampered with. Huhh? After a few phone calls over multiple days, several escalations, and a couple hours total on the telephone, we finally got to the bottom of what the “tampering” was all about. Stay with me Microsoft. This is where it gets weird.

IMG_9387

As you can see, there are two laser etched serial numbers on the back of the console. As you can see above, they both match. However, it turns out that there is a third serial number you’ve decided to locate underneath a trapped door on the front of the console. As you are aware, it’s a sticker. Yet, in my case, the number on the sticker doesn’t match the other two.

IMG_9390

Do you find anything about this a little off? First, why do you need three serial numbers? Second, why would you go to the trouble of ensuring the first two serial numbers are tamper proof and then make the third a STICKER? On top of that, when I talked to one of the your call center managers, he actually admitted you receive calls on this same issue all the time. Crazy amounts. Yet, you have denied the possibility this mixup could have happened on the assembly line during manufacturing or at inspection. You blamed me. You blamed the retailer. I actually had one of you suggest it might have been someone who snuck into my house and did it. You don’t know me very well, but believe me, that’s where I just about lost it.

Bottom line, this issue is still open; however, at this point you’ve seen fit to void my warranty. You win for now. I cave and will pay the $99.99 charge to have my XBox repaired out of warranty (which according to you means you’ll actually be sending me a refurbished model to replace my busted one). In the end, I say Caveat Emptor. Buyer Beware. You’d better believe when I receive my refurbished console that I will check the box to ensure all the serial numbers match.

Oh So Sincerely,

Owen

One Response to “Open Letter To Microsoft”

  1. Leah Bowser said

    Despite our shared history as Microsoft Office instructors, I will no longer spend money on any products produced by this company. They lost me with Windows Vista. I received a nice check from my Staples extended warranty plan after I sent a laptop, ravaged by Windows Vista, to be repaired. They promised me they would give the laptop a proper burial. I am now the proud owner of a Macbook Pro and a new Iphone 4. And, while Apple has it’s issues, I have found them much more willing to deal with those issues. Good luck with the refurb.

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