Microsoft Presents: UPS And The Case Of The Vanishing XBOX 360

Reader Daniel’s XBOX 360 went missing after he shipped it back to Microsoft via UPS. UPS did not give him a receipt. Now that they’ve lost the package, Microsoft won’t send Daniel a new XBOX 360 because he has insufficient proof that he shipped it in the first place. Daniel has a signed letter from the UPS manager stating that UPS did indeed pick up the package, but that’s not good enough.

July 5th – 360 kicks the bucket with the three red lights. I call Xbox, determine that its really broken, and get a person who helps me set up the repair order.

July 13 – Receive the box.

July 19 – I have the box all set up; I have the 360, sans faceplate and hard drive, in the Styrofoam padding and placed in the box. Box is sealed up with that awesome tape that came with the return box. Box is brought to Business and shipped via UPS. The unit was picked up by the driver, NO pickup receipt was given, and apparently the box was NOT scanned on pickup. I have been told that they do that at the distribution center to help the drivers work faster.

July 25 – I check on the status of my console, still says shipped to customer. So I check the tracking number, Billing info received, nothing else. I call UPS to verify that this is correct, and it it. I am told to wait one more day and to call back.

July 26 – I call UPS and I am told that since the package isn’t in my name, it is in Micrsoft’s and I have to contact them for further information. I call Xbox support and I am told that I have to call UPS because the xbox support doesn’t deal with this.

July 27 – I call MS again and I get someone who decides it’s a nice idea to help. So I am told that I need to have a “tracer” placed on the package and to wait for the results. I call Ups, and they happily do it for me. I am told to wait 5 business days to call back to check the status.

July 31 – I notice that the tracer is closed; package not found is shown on the UPS site. I call UPS and I am told to call Xbox. I call Xbox and I am told that they will search the repair center and to call back in another 5 business days.

August 2 – I call MS back and I am told that the repair center does not have the console and I am transferred to a supervisor because the support person I was talking with wasn’t able to handle this. I am transferred to a super, and she then decides to have a conference call with UPS. WE come to the conclusion that UPS must have the package and the UPS tech places a new tracer on it. I am told the UPS claim number of [redacted].

August 10 – I call MS back because the tracer is again finished but no package. I am told that the repair center does have it, and that I do not need to call in anymore.

August 12 – I call Xbox back because the website to check the repair status still shows it as “Box shipped to customer”. I am transferred to a different call center now apparently because the basic techs are unable to help. I am connected with Jeff, [redacted]. He says that he handled a case just like mine recently and that he would take care of this. And he also states that I was misinformed by the last tech and that they repair center does NOT have the console.

August 15 – I call Jeff back, and I leave a message asking about the status of my console and for him to call me back.

August 17 – I am contacted by Jeff. I am told that he is working with his superiors and that he will ship me out a console soon. And when he finalizes it, he will call me back and let me know.

August 21 – I am called by MS and I am told that in order for Jeff to get me a new console, I need the pickup receipt, which I told the techs from the start, I do not have.

August 22– I call UPS corporate offices and I ask for the Office of the Chief Operations Officer. I am transferred to a person who pulls up the shipping record and listens to me explain the whole ordeal for about the 11th time. He says that he will send out some corporate emails and he said that the account holder will be called by Friday, the 24th.

August 24 – I call back MS, and I ask how I would get any pickup information to Jeff. I am told to call in when I have it and they will give me the faxing information.

August 23 – I call UPS to ask if they called Microsoft, I am told that it will be done Monday evening.

August 28
– I call MS, and I ask about what is going on now. I am told that without written proof that UPS has my package, they refuse to do anything. I then ask is there a way to track down a console if it is used on Xbox Live, because if it was stolen they could possibly track that person down. I am told that even though they can ban the consoled by the serial number, they cannot track them down with that. I call UPS, I ask is there any way that I can prove that I sent the package. I am told that a written document from the business that I shipped the package from stating that the package was picked up by UPS will be sufficient to allow a claim to be approved.

August 29 – I call Microsoft now that I have the paper signed just like the helpful UPS support tech said. And I am told by Jeff that this is not sufficient for MS. And that I am to call UPS to handle it. So I call UPS support, get transferred to claims, and explain the entire story again to a new person. This person says that what I was told before is all a lie. That paper signed by the manager at the place it was picked up from is NOT sufficient enough. So I call UPS corporate again, and get connected to a new person yet again. This lady takes all the info down once more, and says I will be called tomorrow by her superiors so they can discuss whether my claim is legit.

Total time spent with this issue: 1 Month, 1 week, 4 days.

Daniel, it’s time for an EECB. Let Steve Ballmer know that your XBOX vanished and is hanging out with Amelia Earhart. Heck, let UPS know you’re not happy either. Any other advice for Daniel?



Edit Your Comment

  1. mandarin says:

    sounds like UPS pulled a fast one on you…

  2. MikeB says:

    Ahh, the Hardy Boys. I actually remember reading that book.

  3. cflury says:

    Should Microsoft replace your XBOX if someone walked into your house and stole it? How about if you misplaced it while on a trip? I want to sympathize with this guy but this is really his own fault for failing to carefully recorded each detail and letting a stranger take his console without a receipt.

  4. B says:

    I think that his beef should be with UPS for losing his package, and not with MS for not replacing the package that UPS lost. Go back to the UPS district manager, the guy who signed the paper saying the package was picked up, and get him to replace it.

  5. countdrak says:

    I have wondered about those return shipping lables. Merchants send out return shipping labels, what happens if the shipment gets lost.

    I usually scan the return shipping label so I can track stuff.

    I lost a whole suitcase while using GREYHOUND to ship it. Never got a refund or my claim money, because I lost my receipt! Apparently they can’t track it without a receipt.

  6. JustAGuy2 says:

    I agree, this is a UPS issue. Otherwise, it’s a great new business.

    1. Buy Xbox
    2. Call Microsoft, say XBox is broken
    3. Get box from Microsoft.
    4. DON’T ship console to Microsoft
    5. Get Microsoft to replace console you DIDN’T send
    6. Return console to store

    Result: Free XBox!

  7. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    Could he go the tried-and-true Consumerist method of suing UPS in small-claims court?

  8. Yourhero88 says:

    Agreed. This is UPS’s boner, not Microsoft’s (however, Microsoft can be blamed for some circular service)

    This is a good time to yell like a moron on the phone to whomever will listen at UPS, and use the word ‘lawsuit’ a lot, that seems to work.

  9. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    Yikes, invasion of the Franklins!

  10. Parting says:

    Well in this case it’s Microsoft who screwed the customer. They ship with UPS all the time, and probably have a preferential account.

    Microsoft could file a claim with UPS in seconds (they have their OWN UPS reps who work with Microsoft ONLY on tracking and problems): they would get money back from UPS and they could provide the customer with a new console within days.

    So even if the package has been lost by UPS, it’s entirely Microsoft’s fault for poor customer service.

  11. d0x says:

    This is Microsofts fault at all. How are they suppose to know if you are just trying to scam them or not?

    If UPS cant find the package its probably because someone knew what it was and took it. MS would know if the console was signed into XBL but how would they know it really wasnt you? Since last I checked ms cant trace IP’s to a persons address without a court order…which they would never be able to get in this case you would be SOL anyways.

    Time to file complaints against UPS and stick it to them, keep MS in the loop as well and let them know what is going on so at the very least you have a record and they can add the same info to your account.

  12. Parting says:

    @cflury: UPS drivers will seldom scan packages while picking up, they simply don’t have the time.

    UPS knows it, and I’m sure Microsoft knows it, they ship all the time with UPS.

  13. d0x says:

    @chouchou: MS cant just files claims on a $400 item unless its really determined to be lost which UPS doesnt seem to want to truly admit. Thats not how business works.

  14. Parting says:

    If Microsoft would CARE about customers, they would simply state in their contract with UPS, that driver HAS to scan every package.

  15. Jmarsh04 says:

    HALO 3 IS COMING! Did you see the diorama Stan Winston made? And the Todd McFarlane controllers? AND, you can pre-order it at 7-11! I totally CAN’T WAIT! Microsoft says it will be the BIGGEST ENTERTAINMENT LAUNCH EVER!!! AND I BELIEVE THEM! Oh, and did you see the AWESOME Mountain Dew bottles with Master Chief on them? They’re LIMITED EDITION, so get yours NOW! Gosh, I can’t imagine how many tens, if not HUNDREDS of millions Microsoft has pumped into this Halo marketing campaign. It’s so worth EVERY PENNY!!! A HERO WILL RISE. BELIEVE!!! Daniel, I hope you get your 360 situation sorted out by September 23. It would so totally SUCK if you couldn’t take part in one of the midnight launch parties FOR HALO 3!!!

    *end sarcasm*

  16. Parting says:

    @d0x: Seriously, Microsoft spends an arm and a leg on shipping with UPS, and chances of having their claim denied are slim to none.

    (I used to work for UPS, big accounts like Microsoft are pampered and adored by UPS)

  17. Yourhero88 says:

    @Franklin Comes Alive!: Everybody watch their cracker asses

  18. mishy says:

    While I agree that the fault lies with UPS, I think the person who paid for the shipping has to submit the claim. I don’t know the details about shipping the xbox back to Microsoft, but it sounds like Microsoft may have paid for it. If that is the case then Microsoft needs to file a claim with UPS.

    In my dealings with packages shipped to me that were lost by UPS or FedEx, I have called the shipping company and always been told they could start an investigation but could not compensate for my loss because their contract is with the person who paid for the shipping.

  19. bradanomics says:

    I would put everything that you wrote in the post and send the same email to both companies and put your contact information in there and plainly state what you expect from each company. Send each company an EECB and see if it will get you anywhere. This is for UPS and MS to sort out as MS is UPS’s customer, not you.

  20. ShadowFalls says:

    Well he would be partially to blame regarding the fact he didn’t get a receipt. He should have demanded one, it is important to do such for your own protection.

    In regards, it seems UPS doesn’t want to admit it is lost for some reason, it seems practically it has, but not in those exact words. Microsoft won’t do anything till UPS admits it was lost and processes its claim, so you David, need to get UPS to process the claim for Microsft that it is lost and they can then get Microsoft to send you a new console.

    As rules for a package being lost, it is quite clear, if you don’t know where it is, then it is lost. What Microsoft at this point is trying to do is not send David a new Xbox 360, and keep the insurance money for themselves allowing them to win twice. David needs to set his foot down, take it up to the top if you must. Take it to the news if you must, Microsoft does what it can to avoid bad PR.

  21. ltlbbynthn says:

    UPS Drivers MUST scan every package they pick up because they are timestamped. Whoever said they do it later was LYING. Drivers get in a lot of trouble for not scanning packages at the proper time, and supervisors are on their butts constantly looking for suspicious timescans. My mom drove for UPS for years, and drivers were getting disciplined all the time for fradulant scans.

    UPS owes you a new Xbox.

  22. JustinD2515 says:

    I’ll agree that the letter from the UPS manager should be enough proof, but the instruction did say that you needed to make sure you got a receipt from UPS. I definately wouldn’t have shipped it from my place of business. I’m not sending anything of value without dropping it off myself and making sure I have proof that I did.

  23. Trai_Dep says:

    LOVED the Hardy Boys!

  24. royco says:

    Sounds like my recent bought with Lenovo, wherein the customer service rep lied to me re: the proper return procedure, then when they ‘lost my package’ I was expected to just kiss my laptop and my money goodbye. This is the sort of stuff I would expect from Microsoft, but not Lenovo – boy did they show me a thing or two about what they’re capable of…

    Check out:


    for more details… Lenovo lied to me, stole my money and told me to go away.

    You sir have my utmost sympathy. Anyone have the number for MS Executive Relations?

  25. royco says:

    Sounds like my experience with Lenovo, wherein Lenovo lied to me re: the proper return procedure for a laptop leaving me high and dry with no laptop and no money:

    More Details: []

    Best of luck to you, you truly have my sympathies – does anyone have the phone # to MS executive relations?

  26. warf0x0r says:

    How can you NOT get a receipt or tracking number from UPS?!?

  27. Scuba Steve says:

    Damn I want to buy an xbox, but I really don’t want to worry about shipping and red rings of death. Oh well, maaybe the xbox 3 will have good Backwards compatibility.

  28. Geekybiker says:

    MS just tells you to drop the box off and everything is fine and dandy. Nobody tells you that you need a reciept, or offers either. More than likely an inside job at UPS. Guy at the store probably knew what it was, didnt scan it in, and took it home.

  29. hinten says:

    I don’t understand how anyone would give anything to a shipper and not get a receipt and/or tracking number. Doesn’t matter if the package label is pre-printed by Microsoft or Joe Schmeh’s Bargain Bagels.

    SCUBA STEVE: Why would some UPS horror story influence your purchase at the local Target store one way or another?

  30. BrockBrockman says:

    I’m pretty sure it takes 2 seconds for UPS to scan in a package. Not sure, though, but those magic brown computer notepad thingies seem pretty useful.

    I just did a similar return for a cell phone using USPS, brought it up to the window, and that was it. No scanning – it was all about the trusting the system. The same for virtually every piece of mail I send out. But, that’s USPS, not UPS, I don’t know if there’s a good correlation there.

    But why would a UPS guy want to steal a broken Xbox?

  31. SilverStar95 says:

    @cflury: 3 posts to blaming the OP!

    Unfortunately, I’m not surprised it was so fast.

  32. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    I’ve never had to ship back an xbox, but i’ve had to do similar things with my Dish Network receivers. Dish ships me a box and shipping info, I put the receiver in, put the label with the info on and take it to the UPS store, where it gets a real shipping label put on. The info Dish sends, though, has the eventual tracking number for the final label. Not sure if xbox returns work the same way, but I’ve always written this number down before dropping off my receivers so I can track them.

  33. Buran says:

    As for the picture… I’d love one of those wooden runabouts. James Bond blew one up really nicely in one of the Pierce Brosnan films.

  34. royco says:

    Ack, sorry for the double post back there you guys!

  35. Buran says:

    @BrockBrockman: I don’t trust USPS because their tracking can’t find a cat in a paper bag.

    I was shocked when I actually got a piece of mail back for which I’d forgotten the apartment number. Their usual incompetence at finding packages I ship (until they’re already delivered, in which case it no longer matters) meant I was expecting the envelope to wind up in Timbuktu.

  36. GearheadGeek says:

    shipping company personnel aren’t the devil, they’re just not exactly in business to take care of you. They move LOTS of packages, some of them by throwing them at someone’s house from a distance (see videos on the topic this site) but over time I’ve seen people in my own workplaces do amazingly stupid things too. I think it’s more accurate to say that shipping company personnel are, with respect to an individual package that doesn’t appear to be “in their system,” APATHY incarnate. If you can’t show evidence that you ever shipped anything, they’re just not going to be much help.

    In this case and in the one cited by Royco, I think PART of the responsibility is definitely on the part of the consumer. (Royco freely admits that he bears some responsibility for the problem.) Life has fewer nasty surprises if you just assume everyone you’re dealing with isn’t too bright and make an effort to CYA.

  37. GearheadGeek says:

    Interesting… the site swears my post exists but I can’t SEE it. Hmph!

  38. nursetim says:

    Should of bought a Wii.
    (Disclosure: I do not own one nor am I a fanboi, just adding a little snark)

  39. North Antara says:
  40. funkadelica says:

    The moral of this story, boys and girls, is NEVER EVER USE UPS. Just don’t. I’ve personally seen worse than this from them (think $2,500 item BLATANTLY stolen by a “holiday driver” and UPS’s acknowledgment that the driver was at fault but – of course – they refused to approve the claim.)

    Really, UPS is the DEVIL.

  41. dbeahn says:

    Time to launch an Executive E-mail Carpet Bomb (EECB) at UPS if you ask me…

  42. LordMaim says:

    This is absolutely a UPS issue. Though as has been said, it is the consumer’s to a certain extent for not receiving a pickup receipt. Personally, if I were shipping back a piece of hardware as expensive as an Xbox 360, I’d drop it off and make sure of getting a receipt at the station.

  43. Jonn says:

    September 1st: The ATM wanted me to feed it a kitten.

    At least this isn’t MS’s fault.

  44. coopjust says:

    Hey Daniel,

    I honestly sympathize with you as another Xbox 360 owner with a botched repair. While I didn’t get my Xbox lost by UPS/Microsoft, I DID spend over 40 hours on the phone with Xbox, and went through 7 refurbs before Microsoft gave me a new one.

    My advice to you:
    -The BBB is Microsoft’s bitch. They pretend that MS is resolving your complaint, and then close the complaint as “company made every reasonable effort to resolve”.
    -The Federal Trade Comission and the Washington State attorney general are not MSs bitch. Complain to them and CC all correspondence to Microsoft.
    -Send a fax to MS; one for Kathy Cole (BBB contact), and a bunch to related Xbox Executives.
    -If the above doesn’t help, keep all your documentation from the above and take them to small claims court.
    -DO NOT complain against the repair center or the Xbox Call center; complain against Microsoft at 1 Microsoft Way. It is where your complaint will ultimately end up.
    -Try to get escalated to Xbox Elite support (no, not the SKU). They have more bargaining power, are personally reachable, and email you with updates.

    What did I get in the end? A brand new Xbox, a wireless headset, and a (forced) apology from Microsoft that came with my letter. (Thanks, Washington AG Office!)

  45. shor0814 says:

    “August 10 – I call MS back because the tracer is again finished but no package. I am told that the repair center does have it, and that I do not need to call in anymore.”

    This call puts the ball back into Microsoft’s court. There had to be something to make the CS representative think the package was there.

    If Microsoft paid for the shipping, they need to do the legwork and find the box, I doubt they get the same CS agents that us mere mortals do.

  46. MrEvil says:

    Whenever I return my service parts to IBM I always take them to either Office Depot or UPS Store. Either location can scan the packages and provide a drop-off receipt. Any place that’s a UPS shipping location should be able to do this for you. The Drop off receipt shows the tracking numbers of all items dropped off, and since they were scanned in the UPS retail shipping system it’s pretty well proof you left it with the shipping center.

  47. STrRedWolf says:

    My guess is to contact a lawyer about your options. UPS and Microsoft are both lying, and one of them basically stole your XBox. While I’m tempted to say “file a police report” a lawyer would know better.

  48. Go back to where the snowball started rolling downhill!

    He left it at a UPS/Mail Boxes Etc store without getting any receipt. Major screw up as these little Mom and Pop stores are all franchise operations and he is NOT actually dealing with UPS, even tho it is called the UPS Store.

    If you are even in one and are dropping off something that is prepaid back to the company you must insist that the store prints out a receipt showing the item dropped off. If they are busy the 1 or 2 clerks won’t want to bother and if there is a line, as there often is, then likely the customer won’t want to bother waiting.

    He may get it replaced due to bad publicity for the company but no one ‘owes him’ one for his initial mistake.

    ALSO FYI: if you are actually paying to ship something via UPS from a UPS Store be very aware that the package is automatically insured for $100 BUT if it is lost the money is paid to the STORE, as they are really the shipper, not YOU, whether or not they pass it on to you can be entirely up to how honest they are.

  49. cflury says:

    @chouchou: That is crap. Microsoft is at no fault here.

  50. cflury says:

    @chouchou: Get out of here Sony Fanboy. This is not a forum for video game company debate, it is a forum for consumer issues. So take your “It’s all Microsoft’s fault for even believing they can make a game system” attitude out of here and come back when you have some constructive consumer advice.

    Legally Microsoft has no responsibility here as they claim to never have had possession of the product. Just because they could give this kid a free 360 does not mean they should. The kid needs to take care of his own issues by talking with UPS to work out a resolution. If that does not work and he does not have any proof he is out of luck.

    Sorry man, but the good news is that now they are cheaper and you did not send off your HD so a replacement will only cost $279.99 and if you order through target and sign up for a target card you can take another 10% off that bring the price down to around $250.

  51. bostoneric says:

    I received the 3 rings of death, called M$…
    about a week later I received this….

    (picture of my warranty return box)

    now to me it looks like somebody was checking for a xbox to steal…

    well with the box arriving like that I called M$ and told them I’d rather warranty my xbox @ eb then send it to you…… oh and I managed to score a new HDMI premium rather then wait 4-6 weeks for M$ to return me a refurb’d xbox!

  52. somegirrl says:

    UPS is absolute crap. I am surprised that Microsoft doesnt ship with Fedex. Someone within UPS probably stole it, as im sure they commonly do. You might as well take it as a loss, and next time be more careful. Though that suggestion from justaguy2 up there sounds pretty cool. Do what you can to get corporates attention, but dont plan on getting whats due to you, seriously.

  53. nowrap says:

    Late November:
    Xbox 360 breaks. They quickly sent out a box (or coffin as I’ve seen some refer to it as) and due to the holidays and my moving to a new city I decided to wait on sending it back.

    December 18:
    I called Xbox to give them my new address and to confirm that this was the address I wanted my repaired Xbox sent to.

    December 21:
    My Xbox 360 was received in McAllen, Texas.

    December 26:
    Repair status was changed to “Device shipped to customer.”

    December 27:
    FedEx tracking number provided by Microsoft shows delivery for December 28. However, the destination was to my old address, four hours away.

    I immediately called Xbox and made them aware of the situation. Here are a few of the initial responses:

    1) Call FedEx, once the package is shipped it is no longer the responsibility of Xbox

    I immediately disagreed with this response, but to play along I called FedEx and just as I guessed they won’t let just anyone re-route a shipment. Two different FedEx representatives told me that the company that sent the package would have the ability to change the address, “all they have to do is call us.” Trying to get it through to the Xbox customer reps. that to FedEx I merely appear as some random Joe Schmoe that wants a free Xbox wasn’t working.

    2) Have a neighbor pickup the package

    Are you kidding me?

    After several hours and two supervisors later this is the final answer that I got:

    3) We cannot authorize a re-route or change of address once the package has been shipped

    According to Xbox my only option is FedEx will try and deliver the package three times. If after three attempts it’s not signed for they will send it back to Texas and then and only then will it get sent to my correct address. My problem with this is that:

    1) Xbox is making absolutely no attempt to fix this in an expedient and courteous manner. Instead they shirk the responsibility to the consumer, which in this case has been wronged because of THEIR mistake. They HAVE the capability to fix this, FedEx said it themselves. Xbox chooses not to and that is simply unacceptable.

    2) They could authorize a re-route but have a policy against it due to liability. Well who’s liable if some jackass signs for my package? Is Xbox going to give me a new one? Or am I just out $400?

    3) If Xbox can’t (won’t, let’s be honest) authorize a re-route, couldn’t they at the very least let FedEx know it’s being delivered to the wrong location so it could be sent back immediately to McAllen, Texas?

    After this experience I’m rather turned off to Xbox. There was no resolution to this situation whatsoever. And frankly, it didn’t seem to be a big deal to them. I’m disappointed that none of the customer support supervisors have the ability to authorize or override in certain situations, or even seem willing to help. Honestly, what good are they then? I asked for different numbers and people to talk to and they say that they are the last line and the highest support. That’s pathetic.

  54. xboxgrewlegs says:

    It is very surprising to me that another individual has experienced the same frustration that I have expereinced. Console rendered “the ring of death” so I sent it back to Microsoft in McAllen, Texas. My son’s X-Box 360 was stolen from UPS. UPS admitted to me that the console was stolen from their facility. I was fed the same crap about getting Microsoft to initiate a trace. Microsoft refuses to work with me. I did get a trace started, but no resolution. The blame has been put on me…the consumer. Any advice?

  55. nowrap says:

    My Xbox 360 was delivered today and signed for by someone. It sucks, I can see it right there on FedEx’s site, the signature that looks nothing like mine and the name is wrong.

    XBOXGREWLEGS, have you already tried contacting Microsoft Corporate, specifically their complaints department? They say you can only reach them via regular mail, but if you’re persistent about speaking with someone they’ll give you an email address to one of their VP’s that you can try.

    I emailed them last Friday and and was contacted by an Xbox Escalations rep today. To be honest, I’m not sure what he’ll provide, but I’m hoping for more help than the abysmal customer support reps. We’ll see how this goes.

  56. flanders123 says:

    Same story with me, I’ll keep it short.

    My particular UPS store would not give me a receipt when sending my broken XBox 360…that should have been the red flag for me, but I just shrugged it off and naively left the store. That was March, it is now June, and my xbox has disappeared.

    I had same abysmal experience with customer service, with the same end result: No UPS receipt, no dice.

    Today I’ve decided to punt and get my $99 bucks refunded…its almost like free money at this point, since its been gone so long :-) And although my bung hole hurts (I guess this is what Brown can do for me), I feel sort of relieved its over.

    This debacle + HD-DVD collapse + MGS 4 = PS3 for me. See my craigslist posting for gently used 360 games and accessories.