Microsoft CSR Changes Your Identity, Preventing You From Getting Your Xbox

Bryan Carroll can’t pick up his repaired Xbox because Microsoft printed his name on the address label as “Brian Dyranerool.” After he scheduled a repair with a CSR in India, Bryan was assured that he would receive a shipping box within 3-5 days. After 6 days had passed, he contacted an apologetic supervisor who said she would simply email him a shipping label and send out a free wireless controller for his wasted time and trouble. However, the name on his shipping label read, “Brian Dryanerool.” He contacted Microsoft about the error and was told that the problem was corrected. The good news is that Bryan’s Xbox was repaired and shipped swiftly to a UPS customer center. The bad news is that his box was addressed to “Brian Dryanerool,” and he was not allowed to pick up the repaired Xbox. Bryan describes his saga inside:

About 6 weeks ago my xbox 360 console suddenly started making some disturbing noises, and shortly thereafter (5 minutes) could no longer read any discs. I called xbox support that night, got through the “super cool” automation, and finally was connected to their wonderful Indian call center. The guy on the phone told me he’d send me a box, I’d send my xbox in, they’d send it back, all would take about 2 – 3 weeks. Pretty standard, I wasn’t thrilled but not discouraged. I travel for business and was taking vacation for the weekend in between so I’d only really be missing my console for a couple of days.

Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be that simple. Despite having been told I’d have the box in 3 – 5 business days, it wasn’t until the 3rd business day I was able to get a tracking number, where status remained “Billing Information Received from Sender” through business days, 4, 5, and now 6. So I called back to explain to them that the box wasn’t on it’s way. Someone had messed up, and instead of waiting, could I please just get a shipping label emailed to me so I could drop it off myself at the UPS store down the street.

I spoke to a supervisor on this call who apologized immensely for the trouble, explaining that she didn’t know why it would have taken so long. She emailed me the shipping label, and then offered for my trouble, to expedite the entire order and to send me a free wireless controller. Sweet! This made me feel much better about the whole situation. Now I would have my shipping label, my xbox would probably still get there around the same time, AND I was getting a free wireless controller.

Well, everything was not right in the world of Microsoft. When I finally received the shipping label via email later that day (after the UPS store had closed) I noticed that they had completely botched my name. As you can tell from my email, my name is spelled Bryan Carroll. Somehow this got transcribed by our call center friends as “Brian Dryanerool”. I guess I see how phonetically that could have worked. Maybe. I figured this would probably be a big problem for me in the future, so I called back to Microsoft, and asked them to correct it. They went ahead and did this. Then I asked if I could have a new shipping label. They said it wasn’t necessary, as I was just sending it in, and that since it had been corrected, the return label would be correct.

Great. I was set. I dropped my console off the next day at the UPS store and then watched the tracking number. All was going smoothly. UPS performed fabulously and got it in there in just a few days. Microsoft then took 4 business days to repair the unit and “shipped it back to me on Tuesday”. In reality, they told UPS about it on Tuesday, and then played the same game as before where they don’t actually give the box to UPS to ship, until Thursday. But, finally, Thursday night, it shipped out, with an expected delivery day of next Tuesday (2 days ago).

Well FINALLY I thought, it was out of the handles of the people at Microsoft so nothing else could go wrong.

As I mentioned, I travel for business, and am not home during the week. I come home Thursday nights. UPS delivers to my house around 3. They came Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, as expected, and because it required a signature, I would have to pick it up at the UPS center. Not a problem, I was expecting this. Unfortunately, because an ID is required to pick up the package, I am out of luck. Why you ask? Because I do not have an ID for Brian Dryanerool.

So I called up Microsoft again, this time using your handy Hardball: How to Control Customer Service Reps. I followed the steps, immediately got to a supervisor, and then went back and forth with him for about 45 minutes. I initially had in mind to settle for nothing less than $350 worth of Microsoft gift cards to go and purchase a new system with and just be done with the whole thing. But on 2nd thought, I figured that was a bit unreasonable, and asked that they contact UPS and inform them that the information for that tracking number was wrong, and to give them the correct information so that I could pick it up. The guy would not help in any way. He said it was against their policy to intercept a package, would not read to me what the policy was that would not allow him to do this, and said that my only option was to wait for UPS to send it back to the repair center, where they would put the correct shipping information on it, and then send it back to me. Based on what I’ve seen so far from this whole interaction, I’m guessing this will tack an extra 2 – 3 weeks on this.

To make matters worse, at the end of my final call, I asked whether or not the free controller was going to be included in the current box, or if it was being sent separately. He told me that nobody had ever documented a free controller, that it was impossible for someone to have offered this to me, and that I wasn’t getting one.

So now I feel completely stranded, am about 60% sure I’m never going to see my xbox again, at least not in the next month, and am not even getting that free controller I was so excited about.

We really feel for you, Bryan. You exhibited the patience of a saint, did all the right things, and they still came up short. We are baffled as to why Microsoft couldn’t contact UPS to correct this confusion. The next time you are scheduled to receive the package, you may want to consider receiving it at home since your UPS driver probably knows you, and would not be so strict about a typo. Ok, a huge typo. Unless UPS is willing to try to reship it to your house, you will probably just have to wait until Microsoft can reship it with the correct label. But don’t feel as though Microsoft has left you empty handed because when it comes to tragic comedy, Microsoft never disappoints. At least with plot elements of a mistaken identity, an exotic Asian location, and your mysterious doppelganger “Mr. Dryanerool,” you now at least have the elements of a ready-made thriller you can sell to Hollywood and make enough money to buy a new Xbox.

(Photo: milkham)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Concerned_Citizen says:

    At this point why wait, take them to small claims court. It will probably be faster.

  2. cuddles71 says:

    Agreed, Concerned. Personally, I don’t see HOW they can be having this many screw-ups! You’d think somebody at Microsoft would notice after this much time!

  3. jeskimo says:

    Ask Microsoft to send it by FedEx next time. We know those package- ninja’s won’t ask for an ID.

  4. missdona says:

    I know it’s kind of fraudulent, but… you call UPS, present yourself as “Brian Dryanerool” and ask permission for your roommate “Bryan Carroll” to pick up the package.

    My husband and I have different last names and he picks up packages for me if I give his name to UPS.

  5. EricaKane says:

    I think the MS policy of “not intercepting” packages is reasonable. You open yourself up to a lot of scammers trying to divert packages if you allow MS reps to do it.

  6. sardonumspa says:

    I’d go down to UPS and try to pick it up anyway. The address on your ID matched the address they tried to deliver it to, yes?

    After all, when the UPS driver leaves packages outside my door all of the time, he has no idea that I am the person who lives there; he is only concerned with the address. I am sure that the UPS agent will find the name butchering amusing.

    Bring the delivery notice that they left on your door; you should be fine.

  7. CyberSkull says:

    Digg it!

  8. dragonfire81 says:

    And this folks, in a nutshell, is the problem with outsourced customer service.

  9. bobblack555 says:

    CSR’s in India. What did you expect?

  10. @dragonfire81: Exactly. Globalization’s fine, but only if it makes things more convenient, not if it ends up costing you and XBox.

  11. @The Count of Monte Fisto: “an XBox.”

    Of course, this could have been avoided entirely had OP wised up and bought a PS3.

  12. t0fu says:

    glad to see the fanboys made it out

  13. It’s not an outsourcing problem. It’s a problem, yet again, with Microsoft’s completely inadequate customer service process. They appear to have nothing in place for resolving out-of-the-ordinary issues or procedures. These sort of things would happen even if they had customer service in-house. Although I think the process problems would probably get recognized faster.

    This same thing has played out so many times. Any time there’s something unusual about the service request (e.g. that dude’s autographed 360 that got wiped clean), Microsoft f***s up. It’s almost guaranteed.

  14. jtheletter says:

    @The Count of Monte Fisto: Yes, thank you, because there have been no failures with the PS3. The PS3 also plays every game ever made, including every exclusive release for any other console. How is Halo 3 on the PS3 by the way?
    Also how’s the PS3 online system? What’s that, delayed again? Jeeze maybe the console doesn’t offer everything to everyone. MAYBE people have preferences and requirements that can’t be solved by buying a different product entirely. Maybe if you’re an idiot fanboy who has nothing to add to the conversation other than “what’s good for me is good for the rest of the world” should think twice and not post. Could someone find me a PS3/360/wii fanboy with a peanut allergy so I can show them why my PBJ sandwich is clearly a better choice than their sandwich of choice and how could they possibly not enjoy it??
    Seriously. Your arguments are that dumb, all fanboys, any product, ever.
    Get over yourselves, multiple products serve multiple needs. There is no Omega console.

  15. Amelia Subverxin says:

    My experience with UPS was completely different. A friend used the UPS store to ship a care package to my sister in California, but before it got there, my sister quit her job and came home. The package was eventually returned to the UPS store and they called the friend to come in and pick it up. But since I worked in the same neighborhood, the friend asked if I could go and retrieve the package. I wasn’t asked for any kind of ID, and I clearly wasn’t the recipient or the sender, but they gave the package to me without a hassle.

  16. warf0x0r says:

    Worst console ever!!!

  17. missdona says:

    @Pixelantes Anonymous:

    I disagree. This particular case is an outsourcing problem. No rational native English speaker would misconstrue Carroll for Dryanerool.

  18. @bobblack555:
    I expect them to be able to understand and speak UNDERSTANDABLE English.

  19. howie_in_az says:

    It’s this kind of stuff that makes me wary of buying a 360 and missing out on Bioshock et al.

  20. @missdona: The misspelling is, but the way the problem is getting handled is not.

    The real problem is not that some minimum wage flunkie misspelled the name. That could happen to anyone, incl. english speaking reps.

    The real problem is that once it happened, nobody appeared to have any interest in fixing the name in the system or helping Bryan get his 360. It’s obvious Microsoft has no “exception” process that kicks in when things go south. That’s the real problem.

  21. John Gardner says:

    When i got my 360 shipped back to me after a RRoD, they had my name incorrectly spelled as well. Thankfully my company’s shipping department figured out who it was.

    “There’s no ‘John Garpner’ here, i guess we’ll just ship this back!”

  22. MrEvil says:

    I feel for Bryan, but his last name is pretty difficult to completely butcher the way Mumbai did it.

    My last name has a silent “h” in it and despite my best efforts to use the phoenetic alphabet and even write it clearly as I possibly can in block letters. It still gets royally butchered at every turn. I have been able to cash checks despite the bizzarre mispelling without so much as a throat clearing from my Credit Union. Surprising that UPS won’t just hand over a box considering the first name and address match but the last name is the result of some ham-handed Indian randomly pressing his palms to the keyboard.

  23. detraya says:

    this exact same thing happened to me ( well, parts of it, and it turned out allot better for me.)

    when i got my xbox back, the name on the package was Tigdott instead of Pigott. the ups guy just laughed about it and handed it over. heres a picture of the label. []

  24. portus says:

    Do what I did in college: Get a fake ID for ‘Brian Dyranerool’ with your address…;-)

  25. pfeng says:

    I can see swapping “i” for “y” in Bryan — but Dyranerool?

    Microsoft handled this badly all the way around. Sloppy, rude, and no interest in correcting their mistake — FAIL.

  26. hejustlaughs says:

    my name is danny and my label said dabbt, I can see swapping one letter but seriously they couldn’t catch dabbt? My last name was way off too.

  27. Tzepish says:

    I can’t wait for the blame-the-victim crowd on this one… “Why is this guy trying to steal Brian Dyranerool’s XBox?”

  28. This could easily be avoided in the future by spelling out your name letter by letter to the representetive.

  29. Imakeholesinu says:

    Can you possibly call UPS as Brian D. and ask to have them ship it one more time?

    But then again I guess getting your Xbox 360 isn’t worth being charged with mail fraud for impersonating a person who doesn’t really exist.

  30. clevershark says:

    Sometimes I wonder if there’s one Xbox360 customer out there whose box has never experienced the dreaded RRoD.

    On a more relevant note, though — my name, though short, is quite unusual in the English-speaking world. I’ve stopped keeping track of the times in which stuff has been shipped or sent to me with my name misspelled, even when the request to have stuff sent to me was submitted either via an electronic form or in writing (People and businesses who take payment via Paypal are egregious examples of this). When they see the name, for some strange reason they ASSUME THAT I MISSPELL MY OWN NAME. So they “correct” it.

    After about the hundredth time I just started assuming that whoever I was dealing with was an idiot and that it would be more difficult to get the matter fixed than just live with it.

  31. missdona says:

    @clevershark: I get often get an extra n in Dona and my husband, Brian gets Bryan, Byron and my personal favorite, Brain.

  32. Krobar says:

    @clevershark: I have a common first name, with an unusual spelling, and the same happens for me all the time as well.

  33. FLConsumer says:

    @clevershark: I know of only one person who claims they’ve never sent their XBox 360 back. Not a gamer myself, so not all that familiar with the system except for 4 out of 5 friends who these systems complaining that theirs died.

  34. Baron Von Crogs says:

    I really think everyone who calls up these support lines need to record their conversations (with permission of course). So many times someone will tell you “Oh we’ll do xyz” and when you call to follow up there are no notes in the file and no notes = it never happened.

  35. adamsummers says:


    I did exactly that, that was probably the only reason I got any results.

  36. Klink says:

    Well it’s obvious, you just have to get a legal name-change. Duh.

  37. Smashville says:

    Is it cheaper to go to small claims court or get a fake ID? You should be Brian McLovin Dyranerool.

    More importantly, shouldn’t UPS accept an ID with the same address? Boo, UPS. Boo.