We read a lot of stories about companies doing boneheaded things but rarely do we read anything like what reader Nathanial sent in.
An avid gamer, Nathanial carried his XBOX 360 around to various events, collecting signatures and artwork from members of the gaming community. When his XBOX finally died, he contacted Microsoft to make sure that he could send the console in without having the exterior case replaced or damaged. Microsoft ensured him that his request would not be a problem.
Nathanial included (along with his XBOX) a letter explaining the markings on the case and requesting politely, but firmly, that he receive his original case back.
And he did.
Unfortunately, someone at Microsoft took it upon himself/herself to scrub the exterior of the box until the signatures were completely removed. This just seems spiteful. Trying to picture the person who thought that giving someone’s signed XBOX a bath was an awesome idea makes our brain hurt.
We read complaints for a living and can’t help but wonder why gamers given so little respect by the companies that make such exorbitant profits off of them. The complaints we get are insulting. From retailers who allow their employees to “check out” products before selling them as new, to consoles and games crippled with broken DRM, gamers are consistently treated like children, or worse, criminals by the companies that benefit from their loyalty.
(I say this purely from observation, as I’m not what anyone would call “a gamer.” The vast majority of video games give me motion sickness, to be perfectly frank. I’m quite fond of Lego Star Wars, however.)
Here’s the letter Nathanial sent in with his XBOX:
To whom it may concern:
Enclosed in this package you will find one Xbox 360 console, serial number 610537654806. I pre-ordered this machine months before the Xbox 360 launched, and I’ve been a proud owner ever since it arrived. Although the original warranty for my machine has expired some time ago, I still keep the sales receipt and original retail box.
I have taken this unit along with me on some of my travels over the past two years, and during that time I have acquired a number of signatures from notable members of the gaming community.
Among those signatures are several members of the Rooster Teeth Productions staff, certain members of the Xbox 360 team, and some of the staff from Bungie Studios. Those signatures are also joined by custom artwork by Rooster Teeth Comics artist and Halo fan artist Luke McKay. This console represents some special memories–of which I am quite fond–from the past two years of my life. As you can imagine, this particular unit has a great deal of sentimental value to me and is quite possibly of reasonable monetary value as well.
I am well aware that in many cases new replacement units have been returned to those who have sent their consoles for repairs. I would be displeased if this were to happen to me. When I put in the service request for my unit, the agent that took my call assured me that the same unit I have sent to you would be shipped back to me. If you must send a different unit back, please put my original case on the replacement unit. Having put the above information forward, it is logical to conclude that I would be most disappointed should I receive a different console with a plain white case in return.
Please take care in handling the case, as despite the fact that the ink is permanent and has had plenty of time to set, the possibility yet remains that it may be smudged.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Here’s how he received the box. The few marker smudges that Microsoft failed to eliminate are circled. You can read a more detailed description of the events here.
Another Gamer Screwed by Microsoft [Hawty McBloggy]