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)