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 Another Gamer Screwed by Microsoft

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PostSubject: Another Gamer Screwed by Microsoft   Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:59 pm

Originally found at: hawtymcbloggy.com

Another Gamer Screwed by Microsoft

February 28, 2008

Once upon a time there was a boy who loved video games. This boy bought an Xbox 360. Two years later it broke. The boy had no choice but to send it in for repairs. It was then that Microsoft decided to screw him over. A very big bend on over so we can give you the royal treatment sort of screwing. This is his story.

A passionate gamer by the name of Nathaniel purchased an Xbox 360 at launch. After working reliably for over two years, his faithful console companion finally kicked the bucket. It was then that he faced a major quandary. Should he send it in for repairs or attempt to fix it himself? The obvious answer would be send it in for repairs but Nathaniel’s 360 was not like yours and mine. Oh no, it was special. “Was” being the key word.



Nathaniel’s Xbox 360 was his trusty traveling companion. Throughout their joint adventures, Nathaniel acquired several signatures from notable members of the gaming community, all collected directly upon his console with permanent marker. Signatures from several members of the Rooster Teeth Productions staff shared space with signatures from members of the Xbox 360 team and also staff from Bungie Studios. He even had custom artwork by Rooster Teeth Comics artist and Halo fan artist Luke McKay on it.

This console adorned with things representing very special memories held great sentimental value to Nathaniel as you can imagine. Not even taking into account that it had monetary value as well, it was simply a console that he adored. That is why shipping it off to the repair center was not the easiest choice to make. But between that and trying to repair it himself, it was the better option. Taking it apart would have voided the warranty so if his attempts at fixing it had been unsuccessful, he would have been screwed. Unfortunately he still got screwed, but he didn’t know that would happen at this point.



Obviously concerned about his prized console’s case, he called Xbox support to discuss the possibility of getting a different 360 sent back to him and the importance that he get the same exact console and case back. He was assured his console would get repaired and they would ship the same console back to him. They gave him a reference number for the call and that was that.

Nathaniel carefully packaged his beloved 360 into the coffin, including this letter :

To whom it may concern:

Enclosed in this package you will find one Xbox 360 console, serial number 610537654806. I pre-ordered this machine months before the Xbox 360 launched, and I’ve been a proud owner ever since it arrived. Although the original warranty for my machine has expired some time ago, I still keep the sales receipt and original retail box.

I have taken this unit along with me on some of my travels over the past two years, and during that time I have acquired a number of signatures from notable members of the gaming community.

Among those signatures are several members of the Rooster Teeth Productions staff, certain members of the Xbox 360 team, and some of the staff from Bungie Studios. Those signatures are also joined by custom artwork by Rooster Teeth Comics artist and Halo fan artist Luke McKay. This console represents some special memories—of which I am quite fond—from the past two years of my life. As you can imagine, this particular unit has a great deal of sentimental value to me and is quite possibly of reasonable monetary value as well.

I am well aware that in many cases new replacement units have been returned to those who have sent their consoles for repairs. I would be displeased if this were to happen to me. When I put in the service request for my unit, the agent that took my call assured me that the same unit I have sent to you would be shipped back to me. If you must send a different unit back, please put my original case on the replacement unit. Having put the above information forward, it is logical to conclude that I would be most disappointed should I receive a different console with a plain white case in return.

Please take care in handling the case, as despite the fact that the ink is permanent and has had plenty of time to set, the possibility yet remains that it may be smudged.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


So he called beforehand and was told he would receive his exact console back. He also included a letter just to cover all his bases. I bet you think you know what happens next. If you were to guess that Microsoft sent him a different plain white console back, you would be wrong.

They sent him his Xbox 360 back. The front serial number and the back serial number match up exactly. So what is the problem then? Someone at the repair center took the time to clean his console case. Despite the fact that the repairs that needed to be done were inside the console, someone wiped down the outside of the case. Wiped it down so well in fact that all of the signatures and artwork are completely gone. All that is left are some smudges and the unmistakable purple-ish hue of diluted permanent ink.



Permanent marker does not rub off that easily. Someone put a lot of work into making sure they erased all of the rich history that was built up on that console. There were not scribbles all over it, there were signatures. And pictures. Is there any way you could see a picture of Master Chief and think it wasn’t there on purpose? I am at a loss to understand how an employee looked at that console and thought it would be a good idea to scrub off everything on it.

Despite the fact that Nathaniel called beforehand and got assurances that everything would be ok, despite the fact that he included a very detailed and clear letter with his console, despite the fact that it was no fault of his own that his console broke in the first place, Nathaniel is just another gamer to get screwed over by Microsoft in a rather unique way. My brain simply can’t understand how an error of this magnitude happened. I do hope they take the time to make this right. But what are the chances of that, right?

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PostSubject: Bungie to Rectify Fan's Wiped 360   Fri Mar 07, 2008 6:01 pm

Found at: next-gen.biz

Halo house Bungie tells Next-Gen that it is working on something super-secret to rectify a situation that saw the Xbox 360 repair service wipe the nostalgia from one fan's console.

You can't say that Bungie doesn't look out for its fans.

The Next-Gen blog posted a story recently about an Xbox fan whose Xbox 360 had been signed by key Halo and Xbox figures over the course of about two years. That Xbox 360 encountered the dreaded Red Ring of Death, and the Xbox fan, "Nathaniel," had to send it in for service.

And even though a service rep assured him on the phone that the signatures would be intact upon return of the console (and the fact that he included a letter clearly stating the console's importance), the Xbox 360 came back wiped virtually clean, with just a few black smudges left from the ink that adorned the console.

But now Bungie is ready to take action.

"Something is already 'afoot' within Bungie to help our community member in need," Bungie community director Brian Jarrard told Next-Gen on Monday. "Our team and the community as a whole is rallying to help fix this unfortunate situation. It’s been awesome to see such an outpouring of sympathy and support from our community. We can't replace the exact item that was lost but, but we should come very close."

Jarrard is still keeping Bungie's plans under wraps but one can imagine what kind of consolation prize a studio of Bungie's influence and financial stature could provide.

"I think when it’s all said and done, justice will prevail," said Jarrard.

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PostSubject: Re: Another Gamer Screwed by Microsoft   Sat Mar 08, 2008 6:19 pm

Found at: hawtymcbloggy.com

Bungie Unscrews Previously Screwed Gamer

Exactly one week ago today I told the story of Nathaniel. Nathaniel had an Xbox 360 upon which he collected signatures and custom artwork from notable members of the gaming community. When the console broke, he called Xbox support and explained the situation. The phone representative assured him the artwork and signatures would be safe and sound during the repair process so Nathaniel hesitantly sent it on its way. When the console was returned to him, the case was clean. No artwork by Luke McKay, no Bungie signatures, no funny lines written by the Rooster Teeth Productions staff. Everything was gone. Because of the communication error between Microsoft’s phone support and their repair center, Nathaniel suffered a very tangible loss. People have speculated whether the case was “cleaned” or switched out. Perhaps Microsoft will uncover the truth during their investigation, perhaps not. The answer probably lies in one single employee and that employee only.

The same day the article was posted, I received two emails from Bungie employees (one from Lukems, the other from Frankie) expressing the desire to help fix the situation. Despite the fact that Bungie had absolutely nothing to do with what happened, they wanted to help make things right with Nathaniel. A large box packed full of Halo swag arrived on Nathaniel’s doorstep yesterday afternoon. It took Bungie six days total to gather numerous goodies, pack them up, ship it off, and have it arrive at his house. The quickness in which they responded is absolutely astounding. Bungie goes above and beyond with their fans each and every day, but this time they truly outdid themselves.







Included in the Halo swag bag were :

* Legendary Edition Helmet signed by most–if not all–of the studio staff
* Halo 3 Soundtrack (two disc) signed by Marty O’Donnel (with “DO NOT ERASE!” written under his name)
* Bungie Jacket
* Bungie T-Shirt
* Halo 3 Messenger Bag
* Two Halo 3 Limited Edition Wireless Controllers (one covenant, one human)
* Halo 3 Faceplate and Skins for Xbox 360
* Four McFarlane Action Figures (MC, EVA Spartan, Brute Chieftan, Jackal Sniper)
* Halo Actionclix Preview pack (Target exclusive sticker on the front)
* Halo Actionclix Game Pack 4
* Halo 3 Wall Graffix
* Halo 3: Ghosts of Onyx Novel
* Halo Graphic Novel
* Halo 3 Wristband
* Halo 3 Hackeysack

Nathaniel’s personal statement :

When I sent the information for this story off to bs angel, I had no idea how fast it would spread and how far it would reach. The amount of support from the gaming community as a whole has been extraordinary. As with virtually every hot story that hits the web, this story has been heavily debated almost everywhere it has appeared–from questions of validity to who should take the blame and much more. However, in reading peoples’ comments on the matter, I have found that the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

In cases like these, it is easy to question the motives of the party breaking the story. Sadly, we seem to live in a day and age where unscrupulous individuals are constantly looking for handouts from others. On the issue of my motives, I wish to be very clear. Although I was admittedly upset when I realized what had happened to my console after taking measures to protect it, I did not release this story for the purpose of exacting revenge on Microsoft. I have no intention of taking legal action–and I am quite alarmed at the number of people that have suggested I do so. I am not demanding that heads roll for this, and I never requested any sort of compensation. My goals for this story were simple: I wished to get the word out to the gaming community about situations like these and to make Microsoft aware of potential and/or actual issues with their service process(es). At this time, I feel that significant progress has been made to both ends, and I continue to await more information from Microsoft staff. It is my ultimate goal and sincere hope that we can find a way to prevent something like this from ever occurring again.

I would like to take the opportunity to throw out a few quick thank-yous.

To bs angel: Thank you for continuing to take such an active interest in my story. I greatly appreciate that you’ve not only taken the time to publish this but also have been willing to put forth the extra effort to alert me to and assist me in dealing with any pressing issues in the aftermath of this story’s release.

To my friends, of both the Internet and the real world: Thank you for your ongoing support, both in dealing with this story and with the challenges of everyday life. You guys are awesome.

And finally, to the staff of Bungie Studios:

I cannot thank you enough for the outpouring of support that you have lavished upon me in the aftermath of the release of my story. Long have I known of your dedication to your fans and community, but I find this single act of kindness mind boggling. Apart from the fact that a few of you had signatures adorning my console, you had no involvement in what occurred. As such, you have far surpassed any response I could have anticipated. I don’t think I could ever repay you for this.

Thank you all for what you have done for me. I wish each and every one of you continued success in your future endeavors.

P.S. Marty, I love the soundtrack, and I promise you that I will do as you’ve requested and not erase any of it.






Unfortunately there is not much of a Microsoft update at this time. John Porcaro (a marketing manager at Microsoft) contacted Nathaniel last Friday after Nathaniel’s previous attempts at correspondence went unanswered and had this to say, “We’re gamers ourselves, and we’re all pretty shocked that something like this happened… Apparently the consoles go through a wash-down process before they’re shipped back. You would think that someone would see the case and realize that it would be best to leave it be.” While they are working on rectifying the situation, Nathaniel has not heard back from them minus a few emails from M3 Sweat (Chief of Staff of the Windows Core Operating System Division) requesting more information (serial numbers before and after shipping, call reference number, and whether or not there has been any other response than the phone call last Friday). Microsoft’s closing sentiments were, “We’re really sorry this happened. There’s no way to replace what you had exactly, but we’re going to try to get you something similar, if not even more awesome.” Hopefully they will provide him with an update soon as a lack of communication is what caused this error to occur in the first place. I remain hopeful that they will get to the bottom of this and perhaps work to make some changes to improve overall customer satisfaction in regards to communication between their phone support, their repair center, and Microsoft themselves.

*If you are thinking about making up a fake story in an attempt to score some free swag, don’t do it. Nathaniel had numerous people to back up his story, from personal mutual friends to people who actually signed his box to Xbox MVPs he knows in real life. He also saved all of his correspondence with Microsoft and reference numbers from the phone calls. His story could be verified. If you make one up, yours cannot and you will not get away with it. So don’t try.

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PostSubject: Re: Another Gamer Screwed by Microsoft   Sun Mar 16, 2008 6:52 am

woow I would fell like torchoing the place if they did that to me lol that must be sooo irritating. Thanks For putting all of that work into the last few posts to tell us that. Microsoft can they actually make a console that is unbreakable by most. I doubt it. Lets hope that they dont "scrub" anymore consoles clean lol

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