The Big Box Project

Conor writes in to tell us about his “Big Box Project,” wherein he is trying to raise enough money to send a shipping container to Microsoft. And what will be in this shipping container? Conor’s broken Xbox. Yes, Conor is angry.

    This site is a result of my customer service experience with the Microsoft Xbox 360 support/repair team. My 360 failed for the second time in 6 months but this time the service has changed… without warning. According to their “highest tiered” phone agent, Microsoft has exercised their “right to change the terms and conditions” of my warranty without notification. Upon first failure I received an empty box in the mail to return the damaged goods in, shipping covered. This time the cost of shipping falls upon me and, apparently, there is no other option. I pressed and pressed and pleaded my case but I was assured there are no exceptions. Well, since they can’t help me out and cover the cost of an empty box, they are going to be receiving and returning the biggest damn box they have ever seen. I won’t spend 15 dollars but I’ll spend 15,000 dollars to prove my point and expose their conniving ways.

    The highlights of my conversation with the service agent are clearly laid out at the website mentioned above. Donations are much appreciated.

We’re not sure this is the best possible use of your “donation” money, but we have to give him credit for being creative. —MEGHANN MARCO

Big Box Project

Comments

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  1. levenhopper says:

    i mean, if he was shipping the box back on their dime, then maybe…MAYBE…it’d be funny. but all microsoft is going to do is going to throw away all the extra stuff, and take their sweet time to repair his xbox

  2. Uurp says:

    If he’s doing it instead for the publicity, it’s working.

  3. facted says:

    I agree with levenhopper. They’re going to take your box you shipped in, open it, take out the xbox and throw out the box. This isn’t a very bright idea if you ask me…

  4. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I called MS the other day, to have my replacement Xbox replaced (3 red lights…again). The first replacement happened around April, and I am currently in an extended warranty I purchased last month.

    The CSR said they would send me a pre-paid box…and they did. I’m bringing my 360 to UPS this weekend.

    Weird.

  5. This is ridiculously stupid, with all that money he can buy another working Xbox with an extended warranty, a PS3, a Nintendo Wii and a home theater system, this is just a way to waste money that could have went to a charitable organization.

  6. bluegus32 says:

    I disagree with those of you who say this is a waste of money. Clearly, this is not about money. At all. This is about Microsoft not standing by their product. This guy is trying to make a statement. If he is successful, he’ll end up on the evening news for it.

    Whether that makes a difference, I don’t know.

    But you do have to admire him for the statement he is trying to make. While not that eloquent, it certainly is artful. You’ve got to admit, he’s being a pro-active consumer. I, for one, applaud the effort.

    I’m curious as to how much he’s raised.

  7. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Reading the transcript of the convo, it is like I was dealing with a completely different company last week when I called Microsoft.

    The box they sent me is identical to the one they sent me for my first repair.

    Actually……..

    When I extended my warranty, I spoke to a CSR in North America, and he stated I’d have to pay for shipping for any future repairs (under my extended warranty).

    But the CSR who took my repair order was from an Indian call center. From this guy’s transcript, it sounds like he delt with North American reps. Perhaps you are more likely to get a box (or free shipping) call at late hours (so you get Indian CSRs).

  8. Asherah says:

    May I fabricate a story about a broken piece of technology and have strangers send me $$$ too? This is just plain silly.

  9. davere says:

    I’d take this a bit more seriously if he did some research on costs and had a money counter to see where things stand.

  10. d0x says:

    My friend had a 360 repaired the other day, he dropped it and it died. They sent him a shipping box so whats this guys deal?

  11. RandomHookup says:

    Maybe he can fill it will Best Buy gift cards at a penny a piece.

  12. Michael says:

    From the name he gave the project, I thought this would have something to do with big box stores.

  13. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Okay…so, lets say he ships his Xbox in a giant container, costing $300 to ship.

    What happens if MS just sends it back in a cardboard box? What is he going to do? Sue them for the return of the shipping container?

  14. xanax25mg says:

    >>bluegus32: if you think this is such a great idea, how much are you donating to this guy?

  15. phelander says:

    Hey, guy who’s doing this, the jerk store called, they’re out of jerks.

  16. bluegus32 says:

    xanax25mg: as I recall, I specifically said that I was applauding him.

    Isn’t that enough?

    :p

  17. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Another question:


    How much did this guy have to spend to register this site? I’m not savy on this sort of stuff, but I’d think that it cost some money.

  18. bluegus32 says:

    Phelander: what’s with all the animosity? The guy feels he got screwed and he’s trying to do something about it.

  19. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Phelander: what’s with all the animosity? The guy feels he got screwed and he’s trying to do something about it.

    Problem is, what he is trying to do won’t do any good. He is asking other people to put in money for his idea, and the MOST that will happen is MS has to pay to ship a big box back to him. Probably the same ammount he pays in to ship to them. So it is a push.

  20. bluegus32 says:

    AlteredBeast: “Problem is, what he is trying to do won’t do any good.”

    So far it’s got all of us talking about it. So he’s already raised awareness. That’s automatically a good thing. He’s not the first guy to get screwed on XBOX 360 warranty issues.

    Microsoft is a major, major, major company and if they decide to screw you, there’s not much you can do. What are you gonna do? Report Microsoft to the BBB?

    Maybe this guy’s effort is off the mark a little but you have to applaud the creativity in trying to make a company accountable for its product.

    Suggestion for all of you: rather than taking a big fat dump on this guy’s idea, why don’t we try to give him constructive ideas on how to solve his problem?

  21. Sheik says:

    My guess is that he paid as much to register the website as it would cost to ship his XBox. I really don’t think this is gonna work. If XBox is sent out boxes to somebody chances are they will just sent his unit back to him in one of their small boxes. While I applaud this guy for taking a stand, it seems a bit futile to me. He is raising awareness though. To the fact that XBoxes break and Microsoft tries to screw you on the shipping. Sounds like hes preaching to the choir.

  22. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    So far it’s got all of us talking about it. So he’s already raised awareness. That’s automatically a good thing. He’s not the first guy to get screwed on XBOX 360 warranty issues.

    It isn’t something people are not aware of. At least, the internet folks like us, already know. And this idea/site of his just really reaches out to an audience who already know what is going on.

    Now, perhaps if the money was sent on something more public, that would get the attention of the main stream media, that would me more effective.

    Along the lines of a billboard, or something that could get on the nightly news.

  23. Meg Marco says:

    The things I do for you people.

    Eric writes:

    Dear Ms. Marco,

    It is imperative that you post in the comments pertaining to the latest
    entry on The Consumerist about the Big Box Project

    Phelander issued a classic Seinfeld line, and has yet to receive the
    other side of the joke from another poster.

    I would suggest, “Oh yeah phelander? Well, I talked to the jerk store,
    and you are their all-time best seller!”

  24. bluegus32 says:

    AlteredBeast: “Along the lines of a billboard, or something that could get on the nightly news.”

    Guy delivers one single broken XBOX 360 in a 400 square foot shipping cargo container.

    Somehow, I think that would make the news.

  25. Tick-Tock says:

    What a fucking idiot. Just pay for the damn shipping get your shit fixed and shut the fuck up.

  26. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    bluegus32…

    You may be right. If it is shipped in one of those containers you see at shipping yards, it would draw attention.

    But…that means he would have to pay for it in the first place, and ship it there, which will be very pricey.

    Then, as I mentioned, MS may not ship it back in that box. Then what? He sues? If they do, then he is still out far more money than MS is (for the purchase/rental of the container).

    I think I’d feel more comfortable, as davere said, with a target price and a running talley.

    The BEST thing would be if someone who had access to a large container, and a semi truck, voulenterred to help this guy.

  27. CaptainRoin says:

    ZING!

  28. bluegus32 says:

    AlteredBeast: Agreed.

    And for the record, no I’m not giving the guy a dime. He’s not going to raise much. In fact, one wonders what he’ll do if he raises, oh say, only $400?

    Hmmmmmmmm. What might he do with that money?

  29. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    If this guy wants to make some sort of statement, perhaps my story could help. Again, I put in my request for repair after he did, and had an experience NOTHING AT ALL like this guy. Free shipping, a box sent to me (cardboard!), and I didn’t have to ask for any of it.

    The discrepancy in how recent repairs are handled seems a bigger deal than if their policy just changed in general.

  30. mechanismatic says:

    bluegus32,

    Suggestion for all of you: rather than taking a big fat dump on this guy’s idea, why don’t we try to give him constructive ideas on how to solve his problem?

    I thought Jamaicanbwoydre’s suggestion was a constructive idea on how to solve his problem: with all that money he can buy another working Xbox with an extended warranty, a PS3, a Nintendo Wii and a home theater system, this is just a way to waste money that could have went to a charitable organization.

    Or maybe he could choose not to spend the money on any more Microsoft products. If he wanted to make a statement, maybe he could buy a bunch of PS3 or Nintendo Wii’s and donate them to children’s hospitals, thereby helping out Microsoft’s competition and donating to a good cause.

  31. Mujuboo says:

    I had a broken Xbox360, and sent it for repairs just after christmas. They didn’t send me a box to ship it to them, but paid for the return. They said any future problems they would pay for shipping. The thing that makes me call BS with this guy is the whole “we ship it back to you in your box” crap. They shipped it back in a different box, one with specially designed padding to hold the 360. i think this is just a great idea to try to raise some money..

  32. bluegus32 says:

    Mujuboo: Good point. I think the guy is working under a basic mis-assumption. If he sends them a cargo container, they’re still gonna send his 360 back in a different box. And then they’ll probably hit him with an injunctive order from the court ordering him to remove his big-ass cargo container.

    The fact that he feels he “trapped” a customer service rep into stating that they’ll ship it back to him in the same container he sent is rather silly. It’s not like there’s a legal requirement that once a customer service rep says something like that, that the company is bound by it.

    Ultimately, I think the guy’s effort is futile.

    But at least I’ve had fun. And, really, that’s all that matters.

  33. thereviewer says:

    I’m with it. I think it is a good plan, and I think a metal shipping container, would be awesome.

  34. csnoke says:

    I’m really amazed how many people think this idea is NOT funny. To me it’s hilarious, but to many.. he’s being a dick/ass/douche. I don’t get it.

    Either way, I doubt he’ll raise that much money.. it hit digg and truth me told he’ll need the amunt of money he raises just to pay his bandwidth charges this month.

  35. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I’m really amazed how many people think this idea is NOT funny. To me it’s hilarious, but to many.. he’s being a dick/ass/douche. I don’t get it.

    I don’t find it either. He seems to be missdirecting his frustration. He could have just created a website that kept a tally of everyone’d dead 360s…or something….this is just not a good idea. Too many things can go wrong.

    Also…if his site becomes well known, and he DOES buy a cargo container, then I’m sure someone at MS will be expecting the damn thing.

  36. Thain says:

    What gets me is the fact that, unless the terms of a warranty explicitly say so, no technology company is responsible for covering thipping of your product to their facility. In fact, the vast majority of tech companies will NOT cover shipping from you to them. If you buy a laptop, chances are good that you’ll be footing half of the shipping bill if it ever needs repairs.

    The story is fishy, anyway, since it seems like Microsoft would have a set policy in place, whether you are speaking to someone in India or someone in America, and I am really not familiar with the standard warranty policy on the Xbox 360, but, like I said, unless the warranty promises either a box or coverage of shipping costs, this guy really doesn’t have a leg to stand on with his complaints.

    Maybe I’m just not feeling very sympathetic because MSI’s motherboard warranty policy requires me to actually cover shipping BOTH WAYS once the motherboard is in its 3rd year (and they charge $35 dollars for return shipping). Caveat emptor, and always read the warranty policies.

  37. Thain says:

    And, of course, I notice just a moment too late that I’m not holding companies accountable for “thipping” charges. Talk about your thtupid mithtake.

  38. I think its funny as hell. He does have the rep stating that they’ll ship it back to him in the box that it comes in. He’s going to need a hell of a lot of peanuts though.

    If I donated to anything, I’d do it. Too bad I don’t donate.

  39. Daytonna says:

    For the record, to ship whole cars accross the country generally only runs in the few thousand dollar range. If he was seriously going to spent 15K on a shipping container we are talking a freight train box car size steel container, and that sure as hell would make the news.

  40. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Thain…you are dith-picable!

  41. bluegus32 says:

    Guys, he just posted a dollar counter on the site. He somehow got $147 so far.

    Color me surprised.

  42. lincolnparadox says:


    Why doesn’t he just start a class action lawsuit? That would make the news too, and probably change things a bit more that what will eventually be a quickly-forgotten, human interest piece.

  43. Scazza says:

    ANYONE who has a faulty XBOX360 should call 1-800-4MY-XBOX and MAKE SURE YOU GET AN AMERICAN CALL CENTER.

    The Indian call center is NOT AUTHORIZED to pre-paid ship for repairs. I have a ton of friends who have tried.

    Call during daytime hours on a weekday and you should get through to them. They will almost ALWAYS ship you a box, I have had friends who bought launch day, and this month (as in, out of warranty now) have been given free replacments AND free shipping.

    As for the shipping container idea, I agree with Altered Beast, its kinda a waste and a dumb idea imo. As the guy is taking money away from others to pay for something that is meaningless. There are much better ways to get your message across.

  44. KesCaesar says:

    Quick note: Gateway did this to me. They used to ship pre-paid boxes, but now, (as I was told by a call-center goon in Jacksonville, FL), they don’t. Even though my warantee was in effect, and they did not alert me that they wished to change their terms. I think that date-of-purchase should grandfather one into whatever the warantee/repair arrangements were at the time.
    That being said, this is ridiculous. He should just ask his friends, (who, no doubt, come over to play occasionally), for $5/each. Then he could easily afford the shipping.

  45. He says:

    Rather than big, he should just ship a heavy box. Like made of metal. Or one of those heavy duty shipping containers that they use to ship the bigass SGI servers to conventions.

    bluegus32: the current amount is on his page as an image: http://www.thebigboxproject.com/boxstatusnew.gif

  46. bloodr says:

    This sounds like a scam to me. I don’t understand how sending a big box to Microsoft is going to do anything to solve his problem. Like previous posters have noted, a class action lawsuit seems more effective.

    I’d also like to point out that Sony makes you pay for shipping on defective products under warranty. I’ve had my Slimline PS2 replaced 3 times since I bought it, but no one seems to pay any attention to that. Really, I have to think this is based on hatred for Microsoft rather a legit complain.

  47. peterbuys says:

    until I got to the bottom of the message, I did not understand that all this was based on a reps promise that they would send the xbox back to him in the SAME box he sent it to them in.

    It should be in the first paragraph of the story.

    I seriously doubt microsoft would return the shipping container. They can always claim it was not packed properly and subtitute a box that has proper foam pieces in it.

    If someone sent me a shipping container I would use it as a storage building.

  48. Frank Grimes says:

    First…the kids a tool. Second, its not $15K (never knew working for a container shipping company would come in handy). If he’s really that motivated to move a 20′ dry container from LA to Tokyo (is it made in Japan?) it would only be $915.00 USD plus 120K Japanese Yen. Granted this is from the Port of LA to the Port in Tokyo. He would also have to hire a freight forwarder to help with the customs paperwork and a Japanese customs broker/ freight forwarder overseas. None of who would want to help this kid. He’d also have to hire a trucking firm in Tokyo or wherever the box is going (the FF could also handle). All these other services would add up to at least a few thousand dollars, probably more and most of these companies are loathe to work with individual (private individuals) shippers because they don’t have a clue and don’t want the possibility of huge customs fines if the paperwork (which is rather massive) isn’t in order. I would place a pretty solid bet that the box would never get out of the Port of LA or Tokyo if it did get on the ship and would get seized. People tend to get nervous if you use a 20′ box to ship one tiny item, hello dirty bomb.

  49. ryanbmoore says:

    Frank – with all of your “container shipping company” knowledge why don’t you help him out?
    To everyone else – if you haven’t gone to his website – take a moment to read it and the transcript. MS CSR states over and over again that the new policy is to ship the Xbox back in the “exact same box” it was received in. The point he is trying to make is that by saving $4.95 they are going to be hit with storage fees for a CONTAINER, and the cost to ship the CONTAINER back to him Ridiculous? Of course it is. Impractical? Absolutely. Madness? No sheer genius. All the talk about costing companies money because of poor business or terrible customer service and the ways in which to do it on this site so that you as the customer can get what you want, and this kid comes up with noting less than the ultimate corporate punishment and all he gets is flogged. Please . . . he’s being a good customer and simply demonstrating the corporate idiocy that has filtered down to the lowest level. Good on him.

  50. mechanismatic says:

    That’s it! This is all a plot to get the ignorant internet user to fund terrorism!

  51. DutchFlat says:

    This stupid bastard deserves all that he asked for. What an ass. HEY! He bought a Micrsoft product, and he’s upset that he got screwed? He’s like the idiots who say, “WOW! I’m buying a Zune! I’ve been waiting YEARS for this! Oh Goodie, I get to buy a MICROSFOT player!” If the guy was stupid enough to buy a Microsoft product when there are so many other good alternatives, he has no right to complain. This guy is a jerkoff.

  52. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    SCAZZA

    ANYONE who has a faulty XBOX360 should call 1-800-4MY-XBOX and MAKE SURE YOU GET AN AMERICAN CALL CENTER.

    The Indian call center is NOT AUTHORIZED to pre-paid ship for repairs. I have a ton of friends who have tried. “

    As I posted before, my situation was completely the opposite. The guy who I bought my extended warranty from (a North American CSR) said I’d have to pay for shipping if I need a repair. When I called and got India, the CSR sent me a pre-paid box. I didn’t even have to ask for it.

  53. canuckistan says:

    Oh man,

    Is this stupid. You bet. Is it also fantastically great? Yes, it is that indeed.

    But he did pay money for a Microsoft product, so I guess I can’t have too much sympathy for him. When will people learn, you can”t polish a turd, no matter how much video memory it has, or what “Home Pro Enterprise Corporate Edition” it is.

    But, I’d love to see the spin Microsoft comes with when he delivers a truck full of broken X-Boxen to the Repair centre.

  54. rutski says:

    I pissed and moaned enough that they sent me the shipping box for free a couple of weeks ago. They also told me that I was responsible for 100% of repair bill. When I pushed, it went to 75%. When I pushed more it went to 50%. Always, always, always ask to speak to the agent’s supervisor. If you’re polite and keep up with your demands they will crack. There’s too much world domination out there for them to be wasting phone time with a slug like me….