Microsoft Keeps Your Repaired XBox For 4 Months, Calls You A Thief For Wanting It Back

I have found the thief and its name is kitty

I have found the thief and its name is kitty

Microsoft hasn’t returned Tiffany’s XBox 360 for four months because they think she is a thief, even though she has her original receipt and a credit card statement proving that she is the console’s rightful owner. Microsoft repaired the XBox back in January and tried to return it via FedEx, but a shipping snafu landed the box back at Microsoft’s service center. Tiffany has called repeatedly. She even sent a letter to Microsoft’s legal department, after sending her receipt and statement, asking how else she could prove ownership. That was 22 days ago. She has yet to receive a response.

Tiffany writes:

I’m writing to you in hopes (just like Dustin at the military base, but possibly a little more desperate) that some day in the near future I can get my Xbox360 back.

I sent it to Microsoft to fix on January 5, 2008 and shipped it back to me on February 2, 2008; however, FedEx shipped it to my home address and I unfortunately couldn’t sign for it because I was stuck at work. I requested that FedEx change the delivery address to my work address, but they said they couldn’t without Microsoft’s permission. I asked FedEx to hold it at the shipping center but it accidentally got returned to Microsoft’s service center.

At that point, Microsoft had done no wrong, but this is where it starts to get frustratingly nightmarish. I contacted Microsoft who assured me that they would send the package back, this time to my work address where the package could be signed for during normal work hours; however, somewhere along the line, Microsoft decided I had stolen the Xbox from the original owner since it was suspicious that I was “opening two repair orders” in such a short time. Countless (I lost track after 10ish) phone calls were made to Microsoft customer support about my case in a fruitless battle to get them to send me my console back, but they kept dancing around the reason(s) they were refusing to send it back to me. Eventually, a customer service representative admitted that all along they were unauthorized and had no means to actually help me, so all the times they claimed a supervisor assigned to my case would contact me about my case were lies. They eventually coughed up an address to the Microsoft Legal Department and said if I sent a letter their way, they would help me out. She hinted that the reason corporate had put a hold on my console may be because they didn’t believe I was the original owner, despite the fact that I sent them a copy of my receipt and credit card statement as bona fide proof of purchase.

My coworker had suffered similar bad luck with his console repair and also had to write the legal department several letters before finally receiving his console back, so I felt like I finally had a chance to get my missing console returned to me. I sent a letter to the Microsoft Legal Department and CC’d a copy to the Vice President of Consumer Affairs at Microsoft 22 days ago begging for at least a response to my letter. Thus far, my e-mail inbox has remained vacant and my phone has not rung with news from Microsoft.

At this point, I’m quite at the end of my line and know that contacting customer support would just wring what little humanity I have left out of my soul. I noticed last week you posted about Dustin’s grief with Microsoft not sending him a box to ship his Xbox in for repairs and also provided some links to file a small claim and contact my attorney general. I’m wondering if you can assist me further in any way, or know of someone who can since you’ve mentioned that multitudes of people of submitted similar complaints. Being completely left in the dark as to why they won’t send my Xbox back to me after four months is making me more than a little crazy.



Looks like Alberto Gonzalez got a job with Microsoft. Your XBox may be transfered to Gitmo until it provides irrefutable proof of its owner’s true identity. Efforts to identify you will result in an extended and unchallengable sentence.

You can try going even higher, straight to the top, and emailing big, but reason apparently has no home at Microsoft.

Our advice to reader Dustin, who, after three months, still hadn’t received a shipping box, was to speak with his credit card company, consider small claims court, and to launch the mighty Executive Email Carpet Bomb. Tiffany wants even more, a customer service weapon so powerful, so effective, that it hides beyond our conception. For that, we’re going to turn this one over to you, our beloved and infallible Consumerists. Tiffany has reasoned, waited, begged, all without results. What should she do next?

PREVIOUSLY: It’s Been 3 Months And 12 Days Since My XBOX Broke And Microsoft Still Won’t Send Me A Box
(Photo: Jake of


Edit Your Comment

  1. dragon:ONE says:

    Small claims court FTW.

  2. karmaghost says:

    If none of the email-carpetbombs work, could she try filing some sort of criminal report against MS? I dunno, just throwing that out there.

  3. laserjobs says:

    Small Claims court and include 3 months of depreciation of lost playing time.

  4. IphtashuFitz says:

    Definitely small claims court. She already provided proof of ownership so they have zero legal reason for holding on to it. I’m willing to bet they’re also not actually trying to locate the “real owner” and it’s just sitting on a shelf somewhere.

  5. kifbox says:

    Kick Micro$haft to the curb and get yourself a PS3.

  6. Breetai says:

    Makes me glad I’ve got a PS3 and a Wii, but didn’t bother with Microsoft.

    I typed this from a pirated version of Windows, because M$ is too cheap to let me use my LEGIT version of Windows on both a laptop and a PC (the laptop came with Windows, was stolen, so I bought a custom PC and installed the Windows disc… only to find that M$ wouldn’t let me activate it).

  7. moe84 says:

    lol’soft proves once again how awesomely crap’tastic they are.

    Tiffany, if your lucky enough to get some sort of payment for this. Which I am sure once this hits a few hundred websites, and lol’soft realizes their screwed yet again. You should go buy a ps3 =) *cough*. The only thing you will probably get is your 360 back. Now, it may not be yours(long story behind that one) but at least you will have one.

    Good Luck!

  8. moe84 says:


    there are ways around that =)

  9. Captaffy says:

    Don’t buy a 360 people.

  10. ManiO says:

    This is all just a cover to try to hide the fact that they lost the unit.

  11. Americo says:

    @Dakota Courtois: Actually, she can make this into a full-blown court case.

    Also, people, she said she wants her 360 back. Stop telling her to get a PS3.

  12. giovonti says:

    Ya that’s BS. I agree, fight the man. In other words stop being stupid Sony fans, yer always on the prowl for the opportunity to boost the machine you purchased over the others. I only play my PS3 when my 360 is broken :)

  13. Shad0X says:

    one word: Sue them! Ok, that were 2 words, but if it was my console I would sue them… (If I could)

    I hope that MS at last apologizes for this stuff and gives her some stuff for free bcoz of all this stuff she has gone through.. :|(when she gets her 360 back)

  14. Ahsayuni says:

    LAWSUIT! I would be pissed if they were keeping my xbox 360 like that. This is ridiculoius!

  15. Clstirens has a Zune says:

    @moe84: Normally, I’d call you a fan-boy, but you are so right. Honestly, I would get a ps3 and rid myself of my 360 if not for the number of friends who have a 360 and live.

  16. sir_carrot says:

    Gah. I’m waiting for my 360 right now – it’s my second send back. When I got it back the first time, it red lighted five minutes into the first game.

    Here’s hoping it doesn’t get lost to the atmosphere in transit.

  17. swift_tiger says:

    i agree with small claims court.
    what the heck is microsoft’s deal. for being such a big company they sure do have customer service issues. they better give this girl some free shit when it’s all settled.

    although i’ve never had any problems, i might just write them some hate mail for being jerks.

  18. The Whaleman says:

    urgh for Microsoft’s legal department… but even more urgh for the fanboyism shown in the comments… it’s not like Sony is the perfect company either:


    Microsoft really messed this one up, and deserves nothing but bashing, but don’t claim Sony as the Holy Grail. Nobody’s perfect, and it’s fully possible MS is less perfect than Sony, but please take the pure fanboyism out of it and try to stay at least somewhat objective.

  19. swift_tiger says:

    @Breetai: ya man, just call them and say you had to dump your hard drive and re-install. and that you don’t know what’s going on. they’ll give you a code. it worked for me.

  20. WraithSama says:

    Indeed, a lawsuit should yield the desired results. After submitting your proof that you are the owner, their refusal to return the merchandise falls under the tort of conversion.

    Sweet, I remembered something from personal and business law class.

  21. nox says:

    I know the Intercooler was known to cause more damage to the 360 than help. I would have blurred that out of the pic.

  22. sir_eccles says:

    OMG she should totally write about it in her blog! That would show them!

  23. moe84 says:


    Fan boy? Far from it. Not owning the system. But statistically, your much better off with Sony. Less issues by far(there are some yea). Not to mention, the issues with their CS dept. Headache that Tiffany and anyone else should not have to deal with.

    Besides I have a 360 in my house. No Ps3.. so calling me a Sony fan boy = way off.


  24. shikaningen says:

    I wonder whether or not these service centers are explicitly instructed to misappropriate some percentage of 360s sent in for free repairs in order to diminish the impact of that one-billion-dollar plus warranty coverage extension, citing to the shafted customer some bogus reason like “ummm… you stole it?”.

    Somehow, that wouldn’t surprise me at all. And somehow, I don’t think Microsoft has thought it’s cunning plan all the way through.

    Actually, all joking aside, it’s quite ingenious: if the percentage of customers to whom you do this is small enough, it won’t receive much media attention and put off too many would-be customers from buying 360s. The financial department probably did the numbers and ultimately concluded that even though there were a bit of risk in this move it would ultimately be more financially advantageous than embracing scruples.

    Microsoft is a terrible company and their XBox360 is something I wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole.

  25. Sailorcancer says:

    Good luck Tiff. M$ has enough money to make you “disappear” from the Earth. Better get a new 360, and this time buy a extended store warrenty.

  26. ceokhan says:

    I smell a civil lawsuit!

  27. moe84 says:

    “Microsoft is a terrible company and their XBox360 is something I wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole.”

    When it comes to consoles I have to agree completely. But not when it comes to an OS. Best in the world imo. Even Vista.. thats right.. I said it!!!!
    (and I am not joking)

  28. bibalasvegas says:

    If you’re gonna make a console that breaks a lot you should make sure your customer service is the best! I don’t own either console but what I’ve heard about the 360 (games aside of course!) hasn’t been good. On the other hand people have told me that their experiences (if any) with sony customer service have been good.

  29. ph15h says:

    Quick, who’s John Mayer’s Microsoft Counter-part… Umm…

    “Hey, Dave Matthews here. I have a missing Xbox 360. It’s like you guys want to see what’s on my hard drive or something. Email me back.”

    OS support> 360 Support.

  30. FightOnTrojans says:

    @moe84: Duck quickly!

  31. Buran says:

    Seriously, isn’t this some form of theft? What about reporting it stolen? They have the property and refuse to return it despite proof of ownership. Maybe a police report, followed (as suggested by others) by a lawsuit, might do something?

    Maybe call your local PD and see what they have to say. They should be happy to talk to you for a few minutes, and it’d cost you nothing.

  32. Maged says:

    @nox: That’s just a stock photo. Always look for this at the bottom of articles:
    (Photo: Jake of

  33. richcreamerybutter says:

    Lest we forget, FedEx is an enabler as well. Fuck them and their policy not to allow a change of shipping address. Fuck their constant refusal to hold at the shipping center in Manhattan for a Brooklyn address, even though no one knows how the fuck to get to the Maspeth office.

  34. tehFluffz says:

    Wow, that often?

    On a more serious note, I do believe that they might’ve lost it.
    I mean really, do you think they just hold on to a broken consoles they think are stolen forever?, sounds way too silly.

    My advice?, sue for the money you lost and the console back and get a decent PC, which is where most 360 exclusives end up with superior versions.

  35. moe84 says:


    *pokes head above monitor*
    Damn red dot fly. shoo shoo

  36. CanaryWundaboy says:

    Phone them up and tell them you’re suing them.

  37. TSlade says:

    I’ve had similar (maybe worse actually) situations with a few mail order/ebay items. I actually had a situation where ebay froze my account and wouldn’t let me do anything until I jumped through a few hoops that would’ve taken weeks to complete (waiting for mail to come in). The bottom line? Be a pest. A really, really angry pest. I never realized, before the ebay thing, how yelling/demanding supervisors/threatening legal action could solve problems.

  38. Quilt says:

    Wow. How many horror stories about Microsoft’s customer service are there? The BreakBox 360 is causing a lot of trouble.

  39. Tibeerius says:

    Time for Tiffany to go nuclear and file a complaint with the Washington State Attorney General’s office.
    Safeguarding consumers

    Unresponsive Companies tend to change thier tune real fast when they get contacted by the AGs office following up on a complaint from someone they’ve been screwing with. She might also want to contact the AG’s office in her home state. Even a big company like Microsoft isn’t going to blow them off.

  40. snakepliskin says:

    Oh no! No way it gets back in time for gtaiv!

  41. Primate says:

    I hate to say it, but I bet if she takes them to court the xbox mysteriously disappears and then they’ll ask her to prove they have hers.

  42. moe84 says:


    That is probably Tiffany’s best bet.

    “Phone them up and tell them you’re suing them.” this could work. But, with out having taken the necessary steps to do so, given the ok. This could backfire. Don’t threaten a corporate company w/o being ready to open fire imo

  43. moe84 says:


    If Tiffany has email confirmation saying that they received her xbox, fixed it. And sent it back.. That is all she needs. IF lol’soft actually does this sort of thing. Besides a confirmation from FedEx that yes they tried to deliver it to her. No they couldnt. Yes they sent the item back to lol’soft, yes they received it.. would probably work as well.

  44. Heyyou27 says:

    I thought my experience with Microsoft customer service was bad.

  45. Tibeerius says:

    @Primate: Of course, if she has retained the tracking numbers from the shipping label supplied with her coffin and from the failed delivery attempt…which should be done as a matter of course in these situations…then that argument will not score points with the judge.

  46. mths says:

    Nice to see that MS has sunk to a new low.

  47. Tibeerius says:

    @moe84: Yeah….threatening to sue them probably won’t work because they won’t believe you. I work cust service for a major CE company (which will remain unamed for sake of my job), unless the lawyer calls or we get served papers threats to sue are not taken seriously. OTOH, calls and letters from a State AG’s investigator get prompt attention and things that were impossible suddenly become possible. If I were her I’d try the route of emailing Bill Gates or Ballmer, if that did not get results I would contact the AG’s Office in WA and my home state and file complaints against Microsoft….i’m sure they’ll at minimum cough her XB360 up just to make the whole thing go away.

  48. MissTic says:

    Has she tried these guys?

  49. GearheadGeek says:

    @moe84: Ummm… XP, maybe. Vista, no. Microsoft only gets it right every 2nd time. Windows 3.1 was okay in its day. 95 was prettier but had issues. 98 was decent (particularly “SE” which was basically a major service pack.) ME was a monstrous joke. XP is quite solid (there’s a reason that corporate and experienced consumer users aren’t switching just yet.) I’ll wait until the first full service pack but I’m thinking Vista is the new ME.

  50. STrRedWolf says:

    I’m with MissTic. EECB the Xbox guys first, then Bill Gates AND Steve Ballmer (Steve runs Microsoft now, Gates is just Chairman of the Board as of this year). If that doesn’t help, contact your credit card company for a charge-back, your Attorney General for theft of the XBox, and a lawyer for a civil suit.

  51. EmilioBuono says:

    ahhhhhh hahahahahha

    she got screwed over…



    microsoft never ceases to amaze me!

  52. I hope the kitty, if convicted, gets a fair sentence.
    One of the things I hate the most is a criminal feline but you know, sometimes they cant help it <3

  53. After 2 months I would of bought a arcade 360 & figured it out later.

  54. akashhhhh says:

    I don’t understand how this even happens.

  55. blkpaladin says:

    There are a couple of extreme things you can do. Contact the Police for one but since it across state lines the FBI may have to get involved. Because if the person had proff it is there’s. Microsoft is in the wrong and legally it can be considered theft on their part because the console is not theirs.
    Since Microsoft is considered a entity you can name it as the culprit. I did something simular to a shady loan company but in small claims court I name the company as the defendent and a few months latter I was few of their “loan”.

  56. Bog says:

    Here’s the URL for the Ministry of Complaints for Washington, the home of Microsoft. They look in to everything eventually.


  57. brettt says:

    Chargeback on your credit card. The credit card company will give you your money back, and you will either get your XBOX or keep your money.

    I suppose when your card company takes back the money and demands to speak with them they will realize you obviously bought it.

  58. AmericaTheBrave says:

    Sue them in small claims court and you will win with no questions asked. Microsoft will call you to settle the night before the court date.

    Sue them for:

    A) the full cost of the system at the time you purchased it.

    B) any repair fee you paid microsoft

    C) any shipping fee you paid

    D) any time lost on Xbox live

    E) pain and suffering for time lost because of this

    If it were me, I would sue for something in the $2500 range.

    You’ll win. Stop wasting your time trying to talk to them like they are adults. A lawsuit will get their attention quickly.

    Just do a Google search for “your county small claims court” and you’ll find out all you need to know.

  59. Zakuen says:

    Buying a 360 Arcade in the meantime is no good. They’ll screw you on any DLC content you have since you won’t be able to move it over. (Contrary to some reports, there’s only specific situations where they’ll do it.. ). And given the choice right now I wouldn’t want to give MS more money at this point anyways. If I didn’t have such a big game library for the 360 I’d have switched to PS3 as well, but its not always an option.

  60. salguod_senrab says:

    I was just checking to see if Microsoft is registered in New York (for various reasons it’s difficult or impossible to sue a fully out-of-state corporation in small claims court). As I thought, they are registered as a foreign corporation; they are probably so registered in almost every state.

    Their CEO, however, is apparently “Steve Ballmar”

    DOS Process (Address to which DOS will mail process if accepted on behalf of the entity)
    80 STATE ST
    ALBANY, NEW YORK, 12207-2543

    Chairman or Chief Executive Officer
    REDMOND, WASHINGTON, 98052-6399


  61. Buran says:

    @richcreamerybutter: FedEx is perfectly capable of doing address changes but I think the shipper has to do it. Or was that UPS? I forget. It’s been a while since I’ve had to do anything like that.

  62. ShirtNinja says:

    Honestly, I think the best course of action would be to launch an EECB and give that a week. Failing that, write your AG and the AG in Washington State. After a week of waiting on that, take them to small claims for the price of the unit, the accessories and the games you purchased for the console.

    She has proof of purchase (two forms!) and I’m sure she printed out tracking info from FedEx that shows it was delivered to her home address and couldn’t be signed for. She can prove she works at the 2nd address she gave them for delivery. It would pretty much be open-and-shut.

    Good luck, Tiffany.

  63. mferrari says:

    @laserjobs: If you own any good games that can be punishable by death.
    Mine broke half way through BioShock.

  64. Ess says:

    People. Stop telling her to contact the police. The police have actual crimes to worry about. This isn’t theft unless someone at Microsoft intended to wrongfully deprive her of her property.

    It is a customer service issue and there is likely a civil cause of action. This is not a crime.

  65. Scuba Steve says:

    I know that customer service reps aren’t supposed to claim “Yeah we’re up to our knees in incompetence over here!” but if I was handling this ladies claim I would have given her the CEO’s name, address, and email and basically apologized for all the stupid people the company employs.

    //I’m gonna hate when my 360 breaks.

  66. Sugaray says:

    MS had better compensate her for EVERY DAY she has had to go without her 360.

    A new Elite setup with her choice of 6 brand new games sounds fair to me.FREE OF CHARGE AND SENT OUT IMMEDIATELY to the young lady.

  67. You know, when my 360 was sent back from repair after a RRoD it said it required signature but the FedEx guy forged my own signature and left it sitting in front of our home. You know, it’s a weird feeling to be tracking a package online, see it arrive at your home while you are at work and then see your signature show up on the tracking information when you haven’t seen the box, FedEx guy or anything. Kind of hacked me up.

  68. neoraul20 says:

    Microsoft doesn’t care!!

  69. Atilla_the_Nun says:

    MS should send her a new 360 with the latest chipset, two years of free live, and a free 720 whenever that comes out. They’re the kind of company that would do that kind of thing when they made a mistake. I mean they botched a lot of stuff (RROD, DRM, etc) but they always make it up one way or another. Sony and Nintendo don’t respond the same way.

  70. mechanabeshin says:

    Seriously, file a suit in small claims court. Find Microsoft’s agent for service of process in your state (maybe at the sec. of state’s web page), and serve your complaint to them there. Also serve a copy to their legal department.

    If they don’t show, request a default judgment (be sure to ask for any fee you can reasonably imagine, including repair costs, sales tax, stamps, shipping, etc.).

    With your default judgment, go see an attorney. He will sue to compel compliance and collect his attorney’s fees and costs from Microsoft.

  71. CharlieInSeattle says:

    I would have file suit the minute they told me to contact legal.

  72. CharlieInSeattle says:

    @Adam In Texas: You should have filed a police report, signing someone’s name is a felony, it’s called forgery.

  73. @Zakuen:
    Good point. After my 2nd 360 died it took 6 months for them to reset my permissions. But hey that only matters is you are not going to be connected. I’m always conncected.

  74. DarkCode says:

    Reason #1283723 why getting a gaming computer is just better than a 360.

  75. DaoKaioshin says:

    She might want to file a police report, just as a matter of procedure.

  76. Loki_Monster says:

    Small claims court! Conversion is the first cause of action that comes to mind, but there are others. Check your state’s case law, becase you may be able to recoup punitive damages if you can prove conversion, especially if you make them cough up through discovery all of the other similar complaints.

    However, check the small print regarding the terms and conditions applicable to the repair. You may only have the right to arbitrate any claim.

  77. Solarion says:

    Remember, Peter Moore stated that the hardware failure rate for the 360 was well within the industry standard. LOL.

    Now that lying crook pos is at EA where he belongs; with the rest of the lying crooks.

  78. davedionne says:

    Before you go off trying to sue MicroSoft in small claims court, they have to have an address in the jurisdiction of the Small Claim court. Which means you would have to take a trip to their corportate offices in Washington state. Call you Small Claims Court Clerk…. Just my 2 cents…..

  79. theczardictates says:

    @davedionne: IANAL but I think you are completely wrong on this. At least in CA, you can sue in Small Claims Court if *any of* yourself, the person/company you are suing, or the place the offence took place are within the jurisdiction of the court in question. I know because I’ve done it.

    Moral: don’t get your legal advice from prison house lawyers or random blog comment posters (including me).

  80. anonsupport says:

    I haven’t been with MS support (OS division) for over a year now, but assuming nothing has changed Steve Ballmer’s office address was We would occasionally get kudos from him when someone helped out someone important. Not sure if his address was in the consumerist EECB list of not. Send him a message – keep it as short as possible – and hopefully you’ll hear something from his office.

  81. akatsuki says:

    Small claims court. Takes a bit of time, but once you have a judgment (which will happen cause they won’t show) you should get it back.

  82. The Brain says:

    I call BS. There’s something left out of this story. Like a boyfriend who might have reported it stolen with the claim that it was his.

    Everyone is always quick to blame MS. Why don’t you get their side of the story before you slam them.

  83. Buran says:

    @Ess: Taking someone’s property and not returning it is indeed theft and yes, it is a crime. Try stealing an xbox from the local electronics store and see how fast you get thrown in jail.

  84. Replica23 says:


  85. Sanveann says:

    @The Brain: You sure seem to have a thing for Microsoft. Ever other comment you make seems to be standing up for them.

  86. Welp, you get what you pay for.

  87. Orionsaint says:

    I did my 3 months of RLD Hell. They kept sending me a broken 360. Till eventually they sent me a working 360. So I feel for ya. I know what you’re going through.

  88. Disneyfan69 says:

    And see THIS is why the extra $40 for the Best Buy Warranty is WELL WORTH the cost…. It breaks, I drop it off and leave the store with a new one. Much easier than this crap.

  89. VeritasVierge says:

    Contact your local State Attorney General’s office and file a claim through them explaining the situation and your proof of purchase. I just had a similar nightmare situation with Beast Buy and I got my HDTV replaced (they wouldn’t repair it because the parts were more expensive than the unit but they wouldn’t “believe” it was mine either so kept it).

    A quick call from the AG along with video proof I supplied to them and the AG made them replace my HDTV real quick.

  90. Xephos says:


    So that means you play your PS3 alot then, lol!

  91. BrandonAbell says:

    It’s not theft (which requires a nefarious intent), it’s conversion. This is both a civil and criminal matter, but it’s much easier to take the civil approach. Also, if I recall, the person you’re suing in small claims court doesn’t have to have a physical address in the jurisdiction of the court, they just have to do business in the jurisdiction.

  92. ohiomensch says:

    @GearheadGeek: I just had my laptop in to my local computer geek for a minor repair. I asked him about taking off Vista and putting on XP. He laughed and told me that it currently was 50% of his business.

  93. latinogamer says:

    Here is a quick fix, GET A PS3.

  94. natedawg414 says:

    Same thing is with my friend he hasn’t seen his 360 in 3 months but I able send mine off and got it back in less than 2 weeks.

  95. elocanth says:

    “Get a PS3” is not an answer, people. You’re also not clever or insightful for saying that.

  96. grangerfx says:

    NEVER NEVER NEVER buy an XBox 360 or anything else from Microsoft. The console should not have broke in the first place. Microsoft has so many broken console being shipped to stores, returned from stores, shipped to customers and returned from customers over and over and over and over again it is no wonder that this kind of crap keeps happening. They obviously don’t care. Be smart. Keep your money or buy a Wii or PS3.

  97. BroWren says:

    Come on guys, give Microsoft a break. Maybe they’re just trying to find one that actually works?

    Actually, “Get a PS3” is an answer – when a product has an abysmal return rate, and the company that produces it shows so little concern for the welfare of their customers – the ones that their product failed, no less – going with a competitor instead is not only a good answer, but the right answer. Continuing to reward MS with software purchases is only going to encourage them to treat their customers badly.

  98. pantsonfire says:

    If your in California, not only does the business not have to be in your jurisdiction, you can also serve them via certified mail (return receipt requested) as per Code of Civil Procedure sections 415.40 and 416.10. IANAL but it has worked for me a couple of times.

  99. Breetai says:

    @moe84: Notice I said I typed this from a pirated version of Windows. :)

  100. pantsonfire says:

    Above should read, “If you’re in California.” Unfortunately, I am an idiot.

  101. DarkFestim says:

    Sounds a bit extreme, but plee the fifth. Nor shall any person be deprived of life, liberty, or PROPERTY. If you really want to, you can fight this and take it to the Supreme Court. No matter how great MS’s lawyers may be, in front of the Supreme Court, they look at facts. You have PROOF that it is your Xbox and they are DEPRIVING you your PROPERTY. Send a god damn message to corporate that way, I’m sure the crappy customer support would stop then. And this really would work. I’m sure if you conversed with your lawyer his jaw would drop in a heartbeat.

  102. Osi says:

    If Tiffany was serious .. she would file a police report for theft of property. This is a clear cut case. Microsoft stole her property, and need to be held accountable.

    This is really simple … common sense really …

  103. Help me out here…

  104. jp182 says:

    @The Whaleman: While I agree, I think the PS3 comments make sense in that it doesn’t seem worth it to bother with the 360 and the only way to play most games that are released on the 360 is to get a PS3 and play it on that. Shizz, if they put the same games out for the Wii; I’d say get a Wii but such is life.

  105. Take 2…

    Help me out here…if she doesn’t live in WA state, how is small claims court going to help? Sure, she’ll win, but how does she collect? An attorney would charge more than the a new xBox will cost. And I can just see MS corporate now – “Sure, you won, now try and collect.”

    This doesn’t end well, I’m afraid…

  106. newfenoix says:

    @Ess: WRONG! It is a crime because they are refusing to return the property.

  107. AryzonaBay says:

    I would say – get the attention of Major Nelson. Don’t know if it will help or not but he’s the most visible face of Xbox and if he sees this story he might be able to help sort it out.

  108. fenderfuel08 says:

    This problem has an easy fix. Sue them.

    You have been too kind just sending them polite letters and phone calls. They have your property that you bought with your own money and won’t cooperate to give it back.

    Sue them.

  109. sickofthis says:

    @Ess: Thank you for posting that. I was about to, and you saved me the trouble.

  110. sickofthis says:

    @DarkFestim: Thank you for posting the dumbest comment in Consumerist history.

  111. JamminJonah says:

    Small claims court might be the route to go – but also contacting the better business bureau may not hurt, I’m assuming that Microsoft is a member.


    I’m not sure that filing a police report would be the first thing to come to mind but perhaps that would get the ball rolling.

    IMHO when the right people hear about it the situation will be corrected. Microsoft is an extremely large company. I’m not trying to defend them here, merely explain that customer service woes at such a mammoth company often get lost in the bureaucracy. So, while there is an excuse for this, it’s not an acceptable one.

  112. rusgreim says:

    My 360 needed repair about the same time as Tiffany’s and I sent my xbox into be repaired, BUT…

    When you call in to the repair line and they set you up the SPECIFICALLY TELL YOU tha the xbox can ONLY be shipped to the address on the account (I have LIVE) and there is abslutely NO exception to this.

    While MS needs to get their crap in gear and get ther 360 back to her, Tiffany should have LISTENED to the repair line whn they told her they could not ship it to a work address or any other. To call FedEx and request a change in delivery address just raised all sorts of red flags. Thats not MS’s fault.

  113. moe84 says:

    ^ ^
    $ $
    | |
    | |
    | |

    Is what his face would look like if he looked like symbols on a keyboard!

  114. moe84 says:


    boo, looked better when I was typing it… /sigh

  115. warf0x0r says:

    Worst console ever.

  116. MykalBloom says:



  117. hawk_eye says:

    Hello there, I am new to commenting here, but have been reading for quite some time. First and foremost let me say that I am sorry for my grammar in advance. My point of view on the whole thing (as well as other comments) is from a perspective that some of you may or may not have ever had. I am big into electronics, and consumerism in general. At the same time I currently work for a very large business in electronics and have worked for several in the past. I will not speak the name of my current employer due to privacy policies they have. I can see where everybody is coming from and can understand the reason most people assume that if you get screwed by a company the best thing you should do is call to their customer support line (If they have one) and scream, yell, cuss, demand things etc. Let me say that this does indeed get you places sometimes, however you would be better off to go about it differently. Most people assume that if you call in and get up to a supervisor level that you will get what you want with enough yelling, well say for example the level one rep you spoke with as well as the supervisor wants to help you very much and is personally willing to do what you want. In this scenario we are going to assume that they work for “Big Mart”, and the big wigs of “Big Mart” do not like it when their employees play around with their money. They have policies that prevent all of their reps from just doing what you want, no matter how much you curse etc, the only thing you are going to get in this scenario is upsetting the rep you speak with (who is just another person like you and I trying to do a job). Granted most of the places you speak to are outsourced and it requires a lot of patients in order to keep from yelling at them trying to get them to even understand english, however there are many places based right here in the states. Lets go back now to places I have worked, being big into consumer electronics I have went from company to company trying to find one that actually allows their employees to treat their customers well, I have worked in places that do, as well as places that do now. Assuming that “Big Mart” is one of the places that do not allow their reps to make a free will decision to help their customer we can compare them to Microsoft AND Sony in this case (trust me, both of these companies have their good and bad parts). Now lets assume that “Big Mart” has your “extreme game console” in for repairs and will not ship it to you because they think you are not the owner. At first you call, get a rep that is at least understanding the situation but tell you that they can’t just sent it out without authorization. You start to get upset and speak with a supervisor on duty, they again tell you “sorry, we cant do this”. At this point any natural human being would start to get frustrated but this is also the vital point of how you succeed. Kindly ask them for the specific reason as to why they cant send your “extreme gaming system” back from “Big Mart’s” repair center. Take careful notes about what he/she says and most important, do not start yelling, cursing etc. Now before we go further, you may ask why I keep suggesting that you don’t scream, curse and throw things as you are wanting so badly to do. Well my reason is simple, it is for your protection as well as your AND the rep’s better. Making threats over the phone CAN be enforced through law, I will admit that I do not know the specifics of this, but trust me, it can be enforced. Now you are most likely thinking, well cursing is not a threat… Well, no it isn’t, but it can very easily be misconstrued as one. OK on to the next step, once you take careful notes of the reasons they will not send your system back kindly and calmly ask them what you need to do in order to fulfill your end of the deal in order to get it sent back. Again, take careful notes. At this point you want to ask the supervisor to note your conversation in their system (if they have a customer department they will have a log system). At this point you want to do as they request, to a reasonable extent and call back. Once you call back explain that you have done everything the supervisor has requested and it should be noted in their system and you want your system back. Here is the tricky part, they may or may not send it back, for the lady in this letter she still did not get it back. Here is where you want to save any documentation you have, have them email/fax you any form of documentation requesting verification info from you so you will have ammunition to put in your gun. Again, I cannot stress enough that screaming over the phone is not going to help you, do not turn into an ass (this method I am describing has helped me in the past with getting things done through questionable companies I made a mistake to deal with).

    OK, I know this is long and you are dead by now, but we are almost finished. At this point you want to try not to contact the place again making repeated calls which will get logged over and over in their system, the people you would be talking to most likely are not even allowed to do anything other than what the head of the company allows, and they do not want to loose their job to do it for one of the 100 people they talk to in a day. Once you have gathered all of your resources and done everything on your end that they ask you will want to call a lawyer. Schedule an appointment with him and take into his office any documentation you can get your hands on (including credit card statements, receipts etc.) and explain that you are looking to file a law suit against “Big Mart” and have him contact the companies legal department on your behalf expressing that you are considering filing a law suit. Explain to him that you would really like to just get your system or your money back but also express that seeing as how you have had to go to him in order to get what is yours back you would also like to have them pay your lawyers fees. Next you wait it out a bit and see if they work with you, seeing as how you have them cornered with documentation both in your records AND their internal system there is not much they can say. If they fail to give you your property back and pay any expenses to a certain degree that you have had to go through to get to this point, go ahead and take them to court. Your lawyer can at this point request records from their internal system to be printed and brought into the court room. Now at this point you will be glad you were not an ass to the rep you spoke with, because if they decided to note in the system that you were making threats, were abusive etc. it is only going to hurt you in front of the judge. If the judge sees that their own system shows that you were trying everything you can to work with them, he would be out of his mind to not rule in your favor. This next part is up to you – seeing as how you have had to go as far as going into court, you may want to consider pushing for more than lawyer fees and your equipment back. Dont ask for anything irrational, but who’s to say you cant get an easy two grand from “Big Mart’s” huge penny bank for your troubles. Once again, if you played it cool from the beginning and have done everything you can to legally prove that you are not to blame for any of this and the company is holding your property refusing to give it up, then you should be a penguin in the ice.

    Sorry for such a huge post, but I really feel that I should share my thoughts with people, regardless of how I may get flamed over this. Having previously worked for SEVERAL businesses like this in my time, even being a supervisor at a few, as well as having my fair share of bad experiences as the consumer, I have found that this method usually works the best.

    One final note is more of an opinion – do not be a huge fanboy of any one company/manufacturer. They all have their ups and downs. An excellent company can go down hill when ownership is transfered and they outsource. Every company can also have their flukes, even if everything else they make is golden. Blindly buying up anything you can just because it has “Sony” or “Microsoft” printed on it will only result in you eventually getting burned if you do not do some research.

    Thank you for reading if you have made it this far, and may the force be with you in your venture to get your Xbox back.

  118. What if Microsoft has mistakenly sent it out to another customer who is not replying to Microsoft’s requests to send it back to them so they can return it to Tiffany? It makes sense that they’re being so vague with her about sending it back to her…Who knows. I’m in China for a year while my 360 and Wii are back home in Hawaii but I willingly parted with them and KNEW that I wouldn’t see ’em for a very long time. Good luck, Tif!!

  119. unravel says:

    I’d agree with you if it wasn’t for the fact that I don’t know what she was told when she made the initial call (and if you heard this from a real person, as opposed to a recording, you’ve got to keep in mind that there are often huge differences in things people at call centers will say, and you DON’T know what she was told). The fact that she contacted Microsoft after the console had been sent back to them, requested it be delivered to her work address, and was told it could be done (either by someone working the repair line, or above them) should have stopped the problem before it started. They could have told her it wasn’t possible, or they could have taken steps to confirm her identity. Instead, they said one thing, and failed to follow through.

  120. KRUZ8ER says:

    @The Brain: I totally agree. The fact is it was shipped back to her and normally fed ex leaves a notice of next ship date and or pick up times available at fed ex’s HQ.

    IMO there has to be something missing from this story and im sure in time the full truth will come out, whether it be all MS fault or a problem on Tiffany’s end which in this case I believe may be the problem.

  121. RattyAssMullet says:

    Let’s just get Bungie on the case! She’ll have her system back in no time, and THEN some!

    Shit, it really pays to be a 360 owner with a problem.

  122. dweebster says:

    @Buran: It certainly seems to be theft. I don’t know if the mail fraud statutes have any bearing on Fed-X, but there must be something in Fed-X’s terms saying you can’t use their service to defraud people.

    At the least, M$ owes you your system back in full working order, as well as an extension of your warranty for the time they have misappropriated it, as well as compensation for the time you were unable to use it. Perhaps you can get a rental rate from Blockbuster or Rent-a-center for the period of time they have held it since the initial delivery attempt.

    I don’t know where you live, but check and see if perhaps there’s a Microsoft corporate center nearby (not too far out of your way). For instance, in the Silicon Valley area Microsoft has a corporate campus WITH an employee store inside. I’d gather all my documents, drive over and walk right up to the receptionist and demand to speak to someone with some authority. Refuse to leave until you get someone wearing a fancy suit to sit down with you and discuss their theft. The resolution you seek is IMMEDIATE replacement of your system with a brand new one out of their store, AND something appropriate to compensate you for the loss of use and distress and expenses they’ve cost you by stealing your system. Be nice but firm.

    Another thing you might consider is filing a police report with the police in the area where you shipped your system to. It will probably help to have that report if you need to take the bastards to court – (major hassle, I’d go for a sit-down with an executive person first) – if they’re too brain-dead to figure out Microsoft fucked-up royally here and needs to come clean, then take ’em to small claims along with a list of your damages and the police report. Once you have an amount – send the sheriff over to the nearest Microsoft location to collect your money from their cash register).

  123. dweebster says:

    @LarryFabulous: Then Microsoft says “we ‘lost’ your system – here’s a new one to replace it.”

    Geez, glad I only have a Wii and PS2, Microsoft really seems to hate their customers.

  124. jetman56 says:


    You can’t blame FedEx for not correcting the OP’s address. I am a FedEx Ground contractor/driver, BTW. It is Microsoft’s policy to request a “Direct Signature” with all XBox returns. As a FedEx driver, I must obtain a signature from someone at the delivery address. I cannot have a neighbor sign or leave the package without a signature like I can for most residential deliveries. Unfortunately, with so many people working, this means that many “Direct Sign” packages get returned to the shipper. Even the recipient cannot call have the delivery address changed; any change of address request must originate from the shipper. This “service” is what the shipper (in this case, Microsoft) wants and pays a premium for. Sucks for the poor customer who doesn’t get their package though. At FedEx we are have to do what the shipper tells us to – they’re the ones paying us to deliver the package.

    As for the package being returned to Microsoft, although I can’t speak directly to the OP’s situation, I can say that in general a package is held for several days after the third delivery attempt before being returned to the shipper. I would speculate, then, that Microsoft failed to notify FedEx as to the change of address in a timely manner, causing the package to be returned.

    As far as the XBox’s are concerned, I can tell you that a lot of them must have quality control problems, judging from the many, many I have delivered recently…

  125. mythago says:

    Your state probably has an informational web site about how to file a small-claims action against a Washington corporation. Microsoft sells Xboxes in your state, therefore you can sue them.

  126. Buran says:

    @BaysideWrestling: You can arrange with the court to have the sheriff seize property of deadbeat defendants who ignore judgments against them. As in, sheriff goes down to the cash register at the company store and takes money out of it to satisfy the judgment.

  127. clintec says:

    I agree with the Executive e-mail barage…
    Here are some likely candidates I’d include in your quest…

    Bill Gates (Chairman)– []

    Steve Balmer (CEO) — []

    Robert Bach (President of Entertainment Devision) — []

    Chris Liddell (CFO) — []

    Brad Smith (Senior VP, Corporate Legal) — []

    Kevin Turner (COO) — []

    Hank Vigil (Senior VP, Consumer Strategy) — []

    I would think that you should hopefully get a response from this group. I’m not 100% on their e-mail addresses, but I think you will find them embedded in the link as Bill’s is… and I think Brad Smith’s is


  128. sgreene says:

    Mine has been broken for 2 months and I’m still waiting for a box after 4 calls and 3 emails. They are complete idiots and I’m getting tired of their – “call us back in a week if you don’t hear from us” or “Email us in 72 hours if you don’t get a response”. What is THAT!?

  129. Plasmafire says:

    Sue them for Libel and Slander too, don’t forget pain and suffering… after all Xbox withdrawl is suffering too.

    Go for a half mil that ought to get their attention.

  130. Tibeerius says:


    “…normally fed ex leaves a notice of next ship date and or pick up times available at fed ex’s HQ.”

    If your FedEx driver is doing his job, you mean. In one case I ran the tracking # I had been sent by the shipper and found they had supposedly made thier second delivery attempt without leaving a notice either time. Fortunately I found out before it was too late so I could have it held at the depot.

  131. Lord_Adriel says:

    Just go through the proper legal channels and file suit. The minute that drops on a rep’s desk they’ll send it to you in no time. A case like this would be a pr nightmare, and Microsoft is too cheap to actually go to court for something like this. Not to mention too squeamish to deal with the bad press a court case like this would bring. You don’t have much to worry about, just file a suit and you’ll be fine.

  132. mmichii says:

    i know people have said this before but i had my own nightmarish experience with the red ring of death.

    i just recently purchased a PS3 and i will never look back. i know xbox live blah blah blah but really is it worth playing with such a poorly built piece of crap?

    MS must pay people off because the 360 isn’t even in the same league with PS3 in terms of quality and execution.

    I’m sorry tiffany but i wouldn’t waste your time because your 360 will doa on you again and again and again

    just my two cents

  133. elf6c says:

    Wii FTW!!

  134. zibby says:

    Maybe they’re assuming they will need to fix the Xbox before putting the game in there.

  135. Ess says:

    @newfenoix: No. Actually, I believe ’tis you that are wrong.

    In the state of Washington, it is an absolute defense to a charge of theft where:

    “The property or service was appropriated openly and avowedly under a claim of title made in good faith, even though the claim be untenable”
    RCW 9A.56.020(2)(a).

    In other words, Microsoft has to be more than wrong about Tiffany’s Xbox. They have to be knowingly depriving her of it in bad faith. There is no evidence of that.

    Who do you suppose the Police should arrest for this “crime?” Steve Ballmer? Joe Schmo Customer Service Rep? Jane Schmo legal department representative? Clippy? Give me a break.

  136. Trencher says:

    @latinogamer: Ya because at this rate she might get her 360 back about the same time the PS3 gets a XMB “in game” and Home is released.

  137. mblitch says:

    Instead of just Microsoft’s legal department, send a letter to the registered agent for Microsoft in your state (usually found on the state’s Secretary of State website), explain the situation, and state that a small claims suit will be filed if the item is not returned or a full refund for the purchase price is given within 14 business days. If no response, then file suit and send the summons to the registered agent (as the corporation is required to maintain in order to accept legal documents). I doubt the company wants to send a lawyer to deal with the issue or have a judgment against them.

    I had an issue with Dell rebates years ago and all I did was send a letter to the registered agent outlining my intended actions if they did not pay. I was overnighted a check in the full amount withing days of receipt.