It's Been 3 Months And 12 Days Since My XBOX Broke And Microsoft Still Won't Send Me A Box

Reader Dustin lives on a military base and Microsoft keeps telling him that they can’t fulfill his warranty because UPS doesn’t ship XBOXs back and forth from military bases. According to UPS, this isn’t true. Dustin tried escalating his complaint and got some apologies, but months went by and still no box arrived for his broken XBOX 360.

Fed up, he tried giving Microsoft another address (his friend’s), but still no box has arrived. He just wants his XBOX 360 repaired before the warranty is up.

Dustin wrote to us on Jan 10:

Hello, I’m writing you in hopes that something can get done about this issue. I bought an xbox 360 around September of 07 and lately its been freezing up. So I called Xbox up to get a repair. On December 27 the repair was placed and two weeks later I never got my box. So I called up Xbox to find out why my box isn’t here after a few CSR I was told that they would not ship to a military address.

I talked to a few supervisors and was told that military bases would not allow Xbox’s to be shipped. I called UPS as thats what Xbox uses to ship out everything and they said there was no such rule and that empty boxes get brought into the base all the time. A CSR said I would get a call back on Saturday so maybe that will solve my issue. I just really want to get my Xbox repaired and not have to go through all these hopes and loops just for them to fix my stuff.
-Dustin

We passed along some advice on escalating complaints and heard no more from Dustin until the following email arrived today:

Dear Consumerist,
A few months ago I sent an email about Xbox not being able to setup a repair for an unknown reason. You sent me suggestions on how to contact the higher ups, and within a few days I was contacted by Becky from the Xbox Escalation team. She has very kind and sorry about this issue Months passed by and still no word on why my address was not working with their system. Around March I got tired and just gave them a friends address. She put in the repair and everything seemed to work. Here I am 2-3 weeks later and still no box and the tracking number they provided is not valid. I don’t know why my address isn’t working or why my box isn’t getting here but all I’m trying to do is get my Xbox fixed before my warranty is up. Any suggestions on what to do next?

Thanks
Consumerist Reader,
Dustin

Well, Dustin. It seems to us that Microsoft isn’t living up to their manufacturer’s warranty. If you purchased the XBOX with a credit or debit card, call them first. Find out if they offer extended warranty coverage or a purchase protection plan. Explain that Microsoft is essentially denying you the ability to use the manufacturer’s warranty because you live on a military base.

If your credit card can’t help you out, you might want to try small claims court. File a case against Microsoft for breach of warranty. This is a “worse case” scenario, however, because filing a small claims case (while cheap) isn’t free.

For more information about small claims court and how to prepare your case, click here.

If you’re still willing to beg Microsoft for a shipping box, you should try launching an EECB on them. For more information about how to learn to launch your own EECB, click here.

We’ve been hearing a lot of similar complaints, Dustin, so you’re not alone out there. In fact, it might be a good time for people who are having this issue to start complaining formally to their state’s attorney general. To find your state’s attorney general, click here.

(Photo:dirtyblueshirt)

Comments

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  1. I call bull. There’s no way in Hell UPS would [or at least should] risk the PR disaster of appearing to not “support our troops” by refusing to ship to a military base, even if it takes some extra effort. And it’s not like MS has no influence, either. IMHO, both should be willing to do whatever it takes to serve our military personnel.

  2. doormat says:

    Email Steve Balmer. At MIX08 (video – 15 min. or so in: [sessions.visitmix.com]) he says he reads emails and fwds them to the appropriate department. I don’t care who you are, you don’t ignore an email from the CEO. Just remember to be polite. No one likes screaming angry internet people.

  3. fakezen says:

    Why does Microsoft hate freedom?

  4. SomeoneGNU says:

    Unless I’m mistaken aren’t there shipping limitations to shipping to APO/FPOs? (I’m assuming this is an APO)

    Quoting from here(google’d “shipping to apo”)
    [www.oconus.com]

    All packages must be sent via the U.S. Postal System. The post office also requires companies or individuals to hand deliver packages being sent to APO/FPO addresses. (This is one reason why many merchants won’t ship to APO/FPO addresses.)

  5. matsayz says:

    hey Dustin did you get it from AAFES? if you did get it from the BX and maybe used your STAR card you could do that angle.

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

    Even if there is some reason it can’t get shipped to military bases, is MS just saying “Sorry, if you are in the military, the warranty is invalid!”

  7. matsayz says:

    @SomeoneGNU: dude UPS/DHL/FEDEX are basically at every overseas base we have. it maybe be one dude in a shack but they’re there. usually you have to have the package sent to the actual bizness address then you have to walk your happy ass over thru the blazing heat from the sun to pick your shit up.

  8. BigBoat says:

    The over/under to a happy resolution on this problem is 12 hours. I’m taking under.

  9. warf0x0r says:

    worst console ever.

  10. satoru says:

    Ironcially I do want to get an xbox360 …. eventually. But the reliability or lack there of, of the console really doesn’t fill me with any confidence. The only way I’d be comfortable buying one, would be through Costco, since their own return policy if very generous and extremely hassle free in comparison to doing the warranty method.

  11. This is exactly why I don’t ever want to get a 360, not only because of them breaking down left and right, but BECAUSE it’s microsoft’s problem they fail to fix it right away or at all.

  12. trujunglist says:

    It’s kind of sad that a console with some decently perty games sucks complete ass at playing the games. Biggest console disaster in history.

  13. zeekle says:

    Its not the biggest console disaster in history because theres always the sega saturn and the 3DO

    The biggest problem with these things is if one breaks it goes into the “refurb recycle” and you can never get out of that without just breaking down and buying a new one.

    I think thats why some people have not had any issues and others have had 5-10 replacements.

    Good luck on getting it to them and back.

  14. adamsummers says:

    @zeekle: True, but my 12 year old Saturn still flawlessly plays all of my games. I doubt my 360 will have that kind of lifespan.

  15. Quintus says:

    My Xbox didn’t get the “red ring of death” but it did keep overheating. And I knew about the problem so one night when I felt like it I called Xbox CS let them know my problem. The guy said they’d send a box so I could get it fixed. Box arrived in 3 days. Sent it in, it came back in 3 weeks, running smooth quiet, and cool.

    Nice, no hassle. Felt what it was like not to have an Xbox around for awhile which wasn’t bad.

    I didn’t have any problems what-so-ever.

    Thumbs up to my customer service experience with Microsoft. By the way, my Xbox360 wasn’t even in warrenty anymore.

  16. WNW says:

    I want an Xbox360 but I refuse to get one until MS can figure out how to build them properly.

    @adamsummers: I’m calling shenanigans. You would have had to replace the BIOS battery in that time at least once. That said, both of my Saturns both work great once I replaced the batteries :)

  17. Soldier_CLE says that Hideo Kojima has to make MGS till the day he dies! says:

    Microsoft: Most. Unpatriotic. Company. Ever.

  18. HeartBurnKid says:

    @zeekle: See, I think that the 360 has the Sega Saturn and the 3DO beat as far as “console disasters” go. The only real problem that the Saturn had was that it was underpowered for 3D, and the 3DO was just plain too expensive.

    I’d place the 360 somewhere between 3DO and Virtual Boy.

  19. Crrusher says:

    they shipped a box to me and i live on a military base.

  20. sleepydumbdude says:

    I know a guy who has waited over 2 months for a box. He called after 1 and they sent another. He just called again and escalated and had the choice between a wireless controller, universal remote or something else.

  21. Greenhippo33 says:

    Xbox is crazy I also live on a Military base (Ft. Stewart) and it took 3 phone calls and a month and a half to get my box and then the xbox they sent me the disc tray dosnt even work right I think they are just lazy for real too bad I love call of duty 4 too much :(

  22. newfenoix says:

    @SomeoneGNU: If he is stateside, there is no APO/FPO.

  23. dustincimino says:

    Im glad my story was posted. I do live stateside, South Dakota to be exact. I called AAFES and they said Its been too long since I have bought the XBOX so they wont take it back.

  24. wtrwlkr says:

    Complete BS. The CSR was either lazy or ignorant. I live on a military base in Japan and I got my shipping box from Microsoft 3 weeks after I called customer service, complete with UPS labels. The only problem I encountered was when I shipped the XBOX back. Since we don’t have UPS over here, I had to come out of pocket. I got my XBOX 3 weeks later only to have it RROD on me again.

  25. dustincimino says:

    @wtrwlkr
    Even after I got to the higher ups they said they can ship to military address but my address didnt work in their system. Its not an abnormal address if you type it into Google it shows up. Guess we will just wait to see what happens.

  26. wtrwlkr says:

    @ dustincimino

    Are you AE or AP? If you’re AP, it might work if the CSR puts in APO as your city name and CA as the state instead of AP. Not sure what the corresponding state is for AE. I think it might be NY. As as last resort, go to http://www.apobox.com. They assign you a state side address and when it’s recieved at that address they forward it to yours. They charge you shipping to send it to your APO address plus a small fee. Good luck man.

  27. Manok says:

    when I was deploying to Iraq for a second time, I asked Mircrosoft for a free XBOX 360 for my orderly room so my guys and gals would have something to do for down time. They told me to talk to a charity and they couldn’t help me. lol.

    Yes, I asked for a hand out, but damnit, it was for freedom and bored soldiers. Why microsoft? Why?

  28. UNSTOPPABLE says:

    @Manok: Maybe because they field about a million calls a day with various sob stories trying to scam fee stuff. There ARE plenty of charities taht deal with that kind of stuff.

  29. dustincimino says:

    @wtrwlkr
    I live stateside so I have a normal address like any of you guys. No apo or ae stuff thats only for overseas bases.

  30. matsayz says:

    the man is station in South Dakota…For gods sake give him an xbox!!!!!!

  31. logicalnoise says:

    from UPS.com:
    “4. Use proper labeling
    For timely and accurate delivery, keep these points in mind when labeling your package.

    * Always include the receiver´s ZIP Code with the complete address. For international shipments, include a contact name, telephone number, and postal code.
    * Make every effort to obtain a street address. If you do use a P.O. Box address, the recipient´s telephone number must be included on the label. A package addressed to a P.O. Box may experience delays and will not be covered by any UPS Service Guarantee. An Address Correction charge also will apply. Army Post Office (APO) and Fleet Post Office (FPO) addresses are not accepted by UPS.”
    MS isn’t lying he should send his xbox home and then get it RMA’d or get MS an actual address for teh base to ship via UPS.

  32. gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

    you can always email the big guy

  33. logicalnoise says:

    UPS doesn’t chip to APOs it’s on their website neither does Fedex. If other soldiers have gotten boxes they may actually have gotten street addresses for your base.

  34. logicalnoise says:

    UPS doesn’t ship to APOs it’s on their website:
    [www.ups.com]

    item 4 at the end of the second paragraph.
    try a real address or have a friend/family member do it.

  35. dustincimino says:

    @logicalnoise:
    Read my comments
    I live stateside

  36. SalmaGalo says:

    Comment on It’s Been 3 Months And 12 Days Since My XBOX Broke And Microsoft Still Won’t Send Me A Box I have an APO address and I’m having the same problem. I called
    explained my situation and they said no problem a box is on the way. Two
    months passed and no box, I called back to find out what was going on.
    The man I spoke with said they don’t send boxes to APO addresses, so I
    had to box it up myself; tape the repair reference number to the side of
    the console and send it in. I commented on why they didn’t call me back
    to inform me of that and he said they just wait for you to check on the
    status. This was followed by a long discussion about mailing
    instructions during which I was assured that they would have no problem
    shipping via the US Postal Service. So I boxed it up, made 3 copies of
    the reference number along with specific mailing instructions on what to
    do, and what not to do (like send it via UPS). Taped a copy directly on
    the console, put another copy inside the box and taped a copy to the
    outside of the box. I sent it in December 2007. When following up I was
    told the repair was completed at the service center in Texas in one day;
    and was shipped back on Feb 15th. I never got it. After another month
    passed I called back to try and find out any information as to the
    whereabouts of my xbox 360. They told me to wait, I informed them that
    over a month had already passed and I asked what would be a reasonable
    time to wait before taking action? They told me to try calling back in
    five days and could not comment on what was reasonable. This was after
    spending nearly 3Hrs on the phone and no I’m not exaggerating almost
    every phone call has taken over an hour with the exception of two that
    came in around 40 minutes. However I honestly didn’t start timing them
    until after the 3 hour phone call. A couple more phone calls later I was
    informed that my xbox 360 at the service center. Again how come no one
    called to inform me of this? They then informed me that I could not use
    my APO address and had to provide them with another address, again why
    am I being told this now, and why was I told it would not be a problem
    earlier? I gave them a California address to a place that I will have to
    pay to forward the box to my APO address. I was not happy about that,
    but I was assured it would be shipped right away. Two weeks passed
    during which I got two phone calls. The first one I was not home to
    receive but the man left a message saying he was just checking to see if
    I received my xbox360. The second one was during the wee hours of the
    morning and got me out of bed. It was a lady who apologized for waking
    me up as she thought I was in California and quickly tried to end the
    phone call. I asked her to hang on and give me the reason she called,
    she said she was just calling to check and see if the box came OK. I
    said I still had not received it and asked if she could provide me with
    a tracking number. She then informed me that it had not yet been sent
    out and then ceased to be polite. I hung up and went back to bed. I
    called back a day later and talked with a man who informed me that as of
    April 12 my account was being handled personally by a manager, Franco
    Meteous (SP-?) and at the end of this 77minute 13 second phone call,
    spending much of my time on hold(seems to be the norm) I was told he had
    already left for the day, so I then asked if he could send a memo or
    email to Franco Meteous requesting he get back to me with a tracking
    number. He said that would not be a problem. Two more days passed and I
    called back requesting to speak with Franco Meteous. The rep said I
    should just wait and they will contact me when it is sent. I informed
    him that I have been waiting 6 months now, how much longer do I have to
    wait? He then offered to let me speak with another manager. I waited on
    hold another 40 minutes and then got to speak to the manager. I asked
    him if he could promise me a date that they would have my xbox shipped
    by? He told me no. I asked him if he thought that was reasonable, and
    was it reasonable that I have been waiting in process more than 6 months
    now for this repair service cycle to complete? He said I understand your
    frustration, and suggested I try calling back in another week. It is now
    May 2008, I can say that I have been unable to use this $450 game system
    for the majority of the time that I have owned it. Most of the 16 games
    I purchased for it have never been played and new versions are already
    being released. 6 months on the calendar, 5 or 6 different repair center
    reference numbers, more than 12Hrs on the phone and still no xbox360.
    Apparently Microsoft and I have some real different ideas about customer
    service and acceptable cycle times. Just wait five more days and call
    back…how sad.

    Brandon Price