Microsoft Spreads The Holiday Spirit By Telling Me To Donate Extra Xbox At Their Expense

Timothy wasn’t sure what to do when an extra Xbox360 landed on his doorstep, along with the one he had ordered for his girlfriend for Christmas. He figured Microsoft would recognize their mistake soon enough and send a packing slip for its return. But instead, he says he’s amazed at their response.

Timothy snagged a deal from the Microsoft Store over Thanksgiving on the Xbox360 with a Kinect included, and when it arrived, a double accompanied it. He figured they’d want it back, so he was surprised when he received the below email.

In the process of ensuring we shipped your order on time, we believe we may have inadvertently sent you a second Xbox 360 4 GB Console with Kinect. Because it was our error, we won’t be billing you for the duplicate.

In the spirit of the season, you might consider donating it to the charity of your choice. Regardless of what you decide, if you have any questions, just call our Customer Support line at 1-877-696-7786, and one of our agents will be happy to help you.

Thanks for shopping at Microsoft Store, and we wish you the happiest of holidays.

Timothy is going to pay it forward, writing, “It looks like I have a great donation to make now! Thanks, Microsoft, for making some random kid’s year!”


Edit Your Comment

  1. Marlin says:

    Childrens cancer ward at a local hospital?

  2. RickinStHelen says:

    I hate those heartless bastards . . . Oh, wait

  3. Phil Keeps It Real [Consumerist] says:

    Um, no!

  4. Costner says:

    Wow. This is not only a Win-Win, but a Win-Win-Win. Microsoft wins because they admitted the error and didn’t expect him to ship it back. Timothy wins because he gets to “pay it forward” to a deserving child or charity. The child or charity wins because they get an awesome holidy gift.

    This is awesome. What more needs to be said?

    • Cat says:

      Don’t forget the feel-good free publicity Microsoft is getting right here, right now.

      Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

      • Firethorn says:

        And the tax deduction for him and microsoft!

        • Costner says:

          Well technically only one of them could claim it… and I somehow doubt MS is writing this one off unless they planned to do this on a wide scale.

          Either way it is a nice gesture. I’m just glad Timothy seems to be paying it forward instead of putting it out on eBay like a lot people would do.

        • wrjohnston91283 says:

          He doesn’t get a tax deduction, as he has no basis. You’re limited to fair market value or basis, whatever is less. Microsoft can’t take the deduction since they did not donate it to a charity – they effectively sold if for $0.

    • Ihmhi says:

      They can’t make him ship it back anyway. It was unsolicited mail, so it’s his to keep.

      • hansolo247 says:

        Well, no, this isn’t UNsolicited…this was a clear-cut mistake, but I’m not sure of the legal precedent here…if there even is one.

      • mikebw says:

        It doesn’t matter if it was solicited or not. Anything you get in the mail becomes your property.

  5. BrightShopperGettingBrighter says:

    Putting the Kinect back into Kinectmas! Awesome story.

  6. NashuaConsumerist says:


    Microsoft….wow. Makes me hate them just a little less.

  7. Gonzfather says:

    “Modest and generous? Then why is he always waving giant $10 million checks over his head every time some…?”

    “Go ahead, Mom, finish the thought. Every time some children‚Äôs hospital needs funding?”

  8. deadandy says:

    Make sure you save that email and back it up in seven (preferably non-Microsoft) locations.

  9. VectorVictor says:

    I’m confused. As a frequent reader of Consumerist, I thought it was required to incessantly spam hate and vitriol against Microsoft?

    How the hell can I do that when *this* article is what they’re giving me to work with?!?!?

    • Cat says:

      A kinder, gentler Microsoft?

    • Applekid ‚îÄ‚îÄ‚î¨ Ôªø„Éé( „Çú-„Çú„Éé) says:

      Easy pickin’. Microsoft wants this donated to a charity so, thanks to the new EULA, that charity will not be able to sue Microsoft for any reason ever.

  10. Southern says:

    Well Microsoft probably knows they don’t have a leg to stand on. As the mistake was in shipping on their part, they probably couldn’t force him to send it back anyway.

    • ZachPA says:

      Yeah, they couldn’t force him to send it back, but they could demand that he part with it if they sent someone to his home to pick it up. It still *was* their property, and in most states, it would be a crime to withhold that property from its rightful owner. Pennsylvania, for one, calls it theft of property mislaid. In other words, the OP had knowledge that he had no right to it.

      That said, Microsoft did a very classy thing saying “We know we sent you an extra. It’s yours, but if you wanted to donate it to someone, that would be cool.”

      Also, it’s a good business decision. Microsoft gets to write off the cost of the unit anyway, and there is some likelihood that the ultimate owner will buy Live subscriptions.

  11. Ed says:

    Keep the one they sent that was extra.

    Donate the one you ordered.

    That way you get a tax deduction for what you paid.

    • failurate says:

      Or, donate the free one and claim the highest available retail price as the donation amount.

      • wrjohnston91283 says:

        Fair market value or basis, whatever is lower. He’s limited to his cost, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d have to prorate his cost across both units.

  12. LightningUsagi says:

    They’re probably trying to earn good kharma to balance out the scam they ran on me. lol (When I sent in my system for RROD replacement, they sent back an older model than what I had and refused to correct it.)

    • RogerX says:

      Not to be a jerk, but I’m assuming you mean “an older model” meaning a different motherboard revision, not as in “missing an HDMI port?” If so, you’re just whining.

  13. El_Fez says:

    On the other hand, you could donate it to the “Sweet! Free X-Box!” charity for when yours red-rings.

    • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

      Hate to break the news to you, but Microsoft “fixed” the RROD with the Xbox 360 that OP purchased…

      …by excluding red lights in the circle around the power button. Sure, he may end up with some R71 error or whatever will show up onscreen if he plays a bit too much, but Microsoft finally figured out how to end the RROD.

      • Fast Eddie Eats Bagels says:

        I still don’t understand why on this new xbox they would put the CPU and GPU on the same chip and same heatsink.

  14. Dave B. says:

    I’d hold on to it, they may change their mind and want it back in a few days.

  15. Riroon13 says:

    Check with They help with the Child’s Play charity that donates games and systems to children’s wards and hospitals.

  16. jeni1122 says:

    Wow, that is pretty cool. Good for Microsoft!

  17. some.nerd says:

    That’s cool… I had a similar experience when I got Child of Eden this past summer… I donated my second copy to a friend in need as well. GameStop can suck it.

  18. cparkin says:

    Good for MS’ PR but in the long run they don’t lose money on this because they’ll make money on the games that the recipient buys in the future.

    • tutleman says:

      Unless they donate those too. Say Timothy donates the Xbox to Child’s Play. Microsoft is one of the biggest sponsors of Child’s Play, donating about 10% of all money they recieved last year. It’s not unreasonable, then, that Microsoft could cover all the games that Timothy’s Xbox ever ends up playing.

  19. Coffee Fiend says:

    *Slow claps* Bravo, Microsoft. Bravo.

  20. dush says:

    Is charity covered in the mandatory binding arbitration clause?

  21. somegraphx says:

    I blame the OP

  22. zombie_batch says:

    Donate it to Child’s Play.

  23. Zer0.MediA says:

    This sounds suspicious…

  24. midwestkel says:

    I would be paying it forward to the highest bidder on eBay, AMIRITE? I know, I’m a jerk :(