Microsoft Accuses Gamer Of Tampering With Xbox, Tamper-Proof Sticker Says Otherwise

Reader Jeff writes in with yet another tale of Xbox woe: After sending in his third Xbox 360 for a third Red Ring of Death, he was surprised to receive a package from Microsoft only seven days later. “I figured Microsoft was so efficient and concerned about their loyal customers that the quickly delivered me another 360,” says Jeff. That’s not what happened.

Instead of repairing or replacing his console, Microsoft sent Jeff a letter informing him that his console was not repaired because it had been tampered with. Jeff called Xbox customer support and was told that his tampering had voided his limited and extended warranties, and that a supervisor wouldn’t be available to speak with him for at least a few days. In the meantime, Jeff took his Xbox to a friend who runs a video game store. The friend showed Jeff how Xbox checks for tampering by removing the faceplate and inspecting the holographic “Microsoft” sticker; if the sticker is removed, the word “VOID” appears. Jeff’s friend also told him that his store would buy back Jeff’s console, meaning that in their assessment, the seal had not been broken. Here’s a picture of the sticker in question:

A little smudged, but obviously intact. Jeff talked to a higher-up CSR using the executive customer service number that we posted, but it was no use: “It was his impression that I tampered with the Xbox due to the smudged seal . . . I was also told by him that if I didn’t do then someone I know did. (Yeah, probably my wife or 14 month old daughter- they are big into ‘modding’).” If Jeff purchased his Xbox with a credit card, he might try initiating a chargeback or using his card’s buyer protection program, but the sadder issue remains: “I was an unabashed Microsoft supporter. I have no interest in “modding,” don’t know how to “mod” and don’t care find out. I didn’t even know that seal existed before my buddy showed me. All in all, I am out almost $600 on a broken seven month old Elite (which I bought brand new in a sealed box). Their crappy product fails and I get blamed for it.”