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Customer Loses Xbox 360 Artwork During Repair

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the customer-disservice dept.

Microsoft 330

An anonymous reader writes "The Consumerist is reporting that one unlucky individual had to send his Xbox 360 in for repairs. The catch is he had spent a great deal of time getting signatures and artwork on the outside of the console from notable members of the gaming industry. He specifically asked and even sent a letter along with his console requesting that the outside of the case be returned intact. When he got it back it was once again, plain white. Assuming that this is a genuine claim, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the missing/cleaned case Microsoft should at least apologize to the guy."

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He's an idiot (5, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608206)

If the signatures on the outside of the box were so valuable, he should have bought a brand new XBox rather than run the risk of having the "valuable" one stolen, damaged, or defaced.

As for the concept behind getting signatures in the first place, it may be cool to get XBox developers to sign an XBox, but what's the point of getting "notable members of the gaming industry" to sign a product that has a guaranteed maximum lifespan? Wouldn't taking a polaroid and having them sign that be a better way to preserve those memories?

Re:He's an idiot (5, Funny)

three333 (453814) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608232)

The "notable members of the gaming industry" presumably have a guaranteed maximum lifespan as well (medical advances not withstanding).

Besides, haven't polaroid stopped selling their instant cameras/film now?

Re:He's an idiot (2, Informative)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608270)

Re:He's an idiot (2, Informative)

cskrat (921721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608678)

I see $111.60 for ten packs of film (8-10 shots per pack) with a disclaimer regarding pending discontinuation.
Yeah they still sell them, but only until stock runs out.

Re:He's an idiot (3, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608280)

The "notable members of the gaming industry" presumably have a guaranteed maximum lifespan as well (medical advances not withstanding).

If you could go back in time and get the autograph of Leonardo da Vinci, would you have him scrawl it some paper or would you have him write it on a bale of hay? The value of an autograph is arguable, but the medium upon which it is recorded is important as well.

Re:He's an idiot (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608426)

would you have him scrawl it some paper or would you have him write it on a bale of hay?
What?.. Also, presumably he wanted his valuable one repaired so it wouldn't just be a worthless hulk. It would have been a good idea never to have played it in the first place.

Re:He's an idiot (4, Insightful)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608488)

Personally, I'd have him autograph one of his inventions. You know, like his now-obsolete flying machine.

Having an artist autograph their current chosen medium seems reasonable to me. Yes, the XBox 360 is going to be obsolete - but that won't mean that, retroactively, Red Vs Blue wasn't made on an XBox 360. That way you get both the autograph and a nice slice of history.

"Yessiree, this is an actual autograph by one of the creative minds behind Red Vs Blue! And even better, you're looking at a real XBox 360, just like the one Red Vs Blue was made on!"

Same argument goes for any game developer or designer, obviously.

Re:He's an idiot (4, Insightful)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608510)

The value of an autograph is arguable, but the medium upon which it is recorded is important as well.
Plastics have a lifespan of several hundred years, which is considerably longer than the paper on which autographs are signed. Longer than acid-free archival paper as well.

It's also longer than oil based paint used on the great paintings by the masters, which often sell for millions. Longer than the canvas used for those paintings as well.

Re:He's an idiot (1)

bluephone (200451) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608650)

There are oil based paintings many centuries old, and archival quality paper is designed to last at least a thousand years. We have papyrus scrolls several millennia old. Some plastics are thought to have similar life times.

Re:He's an idiot (3, Informative)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608694)

There are oil based paintings many centuries old
All those paintings have been restored and are stored in museums with perfect atmospheric conditions under very low lighting. They are also never handled in the way an Xbox would be. Ever seen an oil painting from the 19th century? They are always filled with cracks. They crack, chip, and fall apart with time.

Paper will last but it essentially turns to dust even when stored in perfect conditions. Quite a number of the dead sea scrolls could not be recovered because they were dust. An Xbox case will certainly last longer than 500 years given museum quality handling and storage.

Re:He's an idiot (4, Insightful)

ilikepi314 (1217898) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608236)

To me, an XBox is the equivalent of an engineer's "work of art". I see nothing wrong with getting authors to sign their books (paper doesn't last forever), or artists to sign their paintings (the paint does all sorts of nasty things over time), musicians sign CDs (don't let CDs near small children, or leave in sunlight), so the development team signing their final product (which is quite a marvel technologically, even if it may not be functional for 100 years) seems reasonable to me.

Now, on the issue of whether he should have sent it or not, you're probably right in that he should have kept that one and bought a new one. But maybe he couldn't afford a new one at the moment and made an unwise decision.

Re:He's an idiot (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608576)

A "work of art" [bbc.co.uk] for one person may be garbage to someone else.

Re:He's an idiot (4, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608664)

Engineering works of art don't break as often as an Xbox 360.

Re:He's an idiot (0, Troll)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608314)

This story was on Digg yesterday and was the final straw in me giving up with that stinking cesspool of a site and deleting the bookmark. This is such a non-story. Does he honestly believe that those who refurbish these things will read letters etc...? It's no doubt a production line type affair, and anyone but this whiny little bitch would say "Wow, they cleaned it as well. Excellent service!" But no, this pissy little bitch had his stupid vandalised console (some of which was derogatory about the 360) cleaned and sees fit to whine and blog about it looking for a free handout from Microsoft.

Get over yourself. I wonder if this guy had a plaster over a broken leg and had it signed if he'd be blogging about how the big nasty doctor removed it?

And sorry, there ARE no notable members of the gaming community outside of Sid Meier, Will Wright and, possibly, Gabe Newell.

It's an electrical device that'll be in the garbage in five years. It's not an autograph book. Honestly, this is one of the most asinine and pathetic "Wah wah, look at me, I've been wronged" stories I've ever read, and that category has a LOT of competition. Honestly, it's times like this I want to be able to reach through the screen, grab this whiny little bitch and shake them violently until they shut the fuck up.

I realise this is going to be modded down as a troll, and I really don't give a shit. Bullshit stories like this make me fucking angry. I hope if he has to send his console back, they piss all over it before sending it back to the ungrateful little shit.

Re:He's an idiot (2, Funny)

FlyingGuy (989135) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608454)

Dude! Don't hold back, tell us how you really feel!

Re:He's an idiot (-1, Troll)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608472)

LOL! It's just another in the endless stream of attention seeking crybaby malcontents whining about how they've been wronged in some fashion. Christ, I WISH the biggest thing I had to worry about was a clean Xbox 360! I have rent that's spiraling out of control and I can barely afford it, health issues etc... "Wah, wah, someone wiped some ink of my Xbox." Shut the fuck up and get some perspective.:)

And my earlier post is modded as a troll now. HURRAH! You mods are so predictable.

Re:He's an idiot (0, Redundant)

0kComputer (872064) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608600)

It's no doubt a production line type affair, and anyone but this whiny little bitch would say "Wow, they cleaned it as well. Excellent service!" But no, this pissy little bitch had his stupid vandalised console (some of which was derogatory about the 360) cleaned and sees fit to whine and blog about it looking for a free handout from Microsoft.

I agree with parent, this seems to be a production line type issue.

Re:He's an idiot (-1, Flamebait)

Freeside1 (1140901) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608324)

mod parent up
this is a fucking dumb article, about a fucking dumb person

Re:He's an idiot (4, Funny)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608350)

and your comment makes a /. trifecta.

Re:He's an idiot (5, Informative)

Tristanjh (1012277) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608342)

I found this comment on another sie reportingthe same story: All repairs and maint are done through a third party company, Jabil, in Renoysa, Mexico. They have a specific set of instructions that they follow assembly-line style, and one of the first steps in that is they scrub the unit down with rubbing alcohol and remove all stickers and so forth that are on it. Any letter with the console would have been disregarded since the workers don't speak English, and are much more concerned with keeping up with the mass amount of work to be done, because they can be fired very easily if they don't. Even in an unusual case like artwork and signatures, the workers have better job security just pushing it through like usual than stopping to ask.

Well that explains (-1, Flamebait)

Moryath (553296) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608606)

why they keep shipping me broken "repaired" xboxes.

Fucking mexicans.

Re:He's an idiot (2, Informative)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608734)

From TFA:

When his XBOX finally died, he contacted Microsoft to make sure that he could send the console in without having the exterior case replaced or damaged. Microsoft ensured him that his request would not be a problem.

Maybe he wasn't clear enough? Maybe he should've pointed out why he wanted that case?

Re:He's an idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22608754)

The micro$oft way.

Re:He's an idiot (3, Insightful)

nametaken (610866) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608368)

what's the point of getting "notable members of the gaming industry" to sign a product that has a guaranteed maximum lifespan? Wouldn't taking a polaroid and having them sign that be a better way to preserve those memories?

Seems a silly question. Let me ask you this, would you rather have an original Nintendo signed by the people who made Super Mario Bros., or a long-since faded polaroid picture of a Nintendo with scrawl covering the picture?

Re:He's an idiot (2, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608494)

That's an interesting question.

I actually have a signed copy of The C++ Programming Language [amazon.com] as well as a signed Polaroid of me and Bjarne at an old tradeshow. I also have a signed polaroid of me with merlyn.

The book is obsolete and deteriorating. The pictures look fine. The pictures are worth more to *me* than the signed book. Pictures can't be made obsolete because there is nothing in them that can be made obsolete.

Re:He's an idiot (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608548)

Seems a silly question. Let me ask you this, would you rather have an original Nintendo signed by the people who made Super Mario Bros., or a long-since faded polaroid picture of a Nintendo with scrawl covering the picture?

Given that I have polaroids nearly four decades old that are as good as new...

Re:He's an idiot (2, Insightful)

dissy (172727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608666)

what's the point of getting "notable members of the gaming industry" to sign a product that has a guaranteed maximum lifespan? Wouldn't taking a polaroid and having them sign that be a better way to preserve those memories?
Seems a silly question. Let me ask you this, would you rather have an original Nintendo signed by the people who made Super Mario Bros., or a long-since faded polaroid picture of a Nintendo with scrawl covering the picture?
Good point for sure. I would want the real NES with signatures.

However, I would also never ever mail that NES anywhere without the expectation that it will be lost forever. If it had any problems, I would buy a new one. The new one would be acceptable to mail in for repair, but not the signed collector one.

Yes, MS fucked up big time for lying to this poor guy.
However, while I wont go as far as to say he deserved it, he obviously did not care enough about his valued collector item to take care of it properly.

This is just how it goes when you turn something into a collectors item like that.
While MS deserves pretty much all of the blame for lying (claiming they could and would return the exact same unit intact) when that was not a promise they could keep, I just hope the guy turns this around into a positive and learns to take better care of his belongings.

For the standard slashdot car example:
There are a lot of people out there that enjoy buying older historic cars, restoring them, and possibly taking them to shows and what not.
However the ones that care about their investment do not drive that historic car around all the time like it was their only vehicle. Doing so puts needless extra wear on it, which lowers its over all value.

Re:He's an idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22608442)

That's insightful? How about this? Microsoft Xbox encourages child abuse:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=511346&in_page_id=1811&ct=5 [dailymail.co.uk]

Xbox fan pummelled toddler daughter to death after she knocked over his console ...

Re:He's an idiot (1, Flamebait)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608478)

Xbox fan pummelled toddler daughter to death after she knocked over his console ...

Darwin works in mysterious ways.

What was he thinking? (1)

bignetbuy (1105123) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608210)

Special treatment from a warranty repair center? He should be thankful to have received a working unit. Most of those types of centers are offshore -- meaning English probably isn't their first language.

Sucks to lose the artwork -- especially the signatures from Bungie folks. Using the Xbox 360 to hold the sigs when the failure rate for older 360s is still too high is begging for a huge pint of FAIL.

PS: FIRST POAST.

They should do MORE than apologize (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22608212)

Some vouchers for Vista would be just compensation.

Re:They should do MORE than apologize (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22608302)

No, that would be rubbing salt in the wound

Scrubbed? (1)

Izabael_DaJinn (1231856) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608216)

Sounds dubious to moi. To get those things perfectly white again after having been covered with permanent marker seems a little unrealistic. They must have accidentally swapped the cover or the story is nonsense. Either way, it's like duh.

Re:Scrubbed? (1)

weirdguy (1032140) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608256)

Really. I'm starting to think this guy is trying to get a free xbox..

Re:Scrubbed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22608272)

Sounds dubious to moi. To get those things perfectly white again after having been covered with permanent marker seems a little unrealistic. They must have accidentally swapped the cover or the story is nonsense. Either way, it's like duh.
Permanent marker comes off of metal and plastic very easily. Just spray some dry erase board cleaner, wait 10-20 seconds, and wipe it off. Not a trace of it left.

They didn't tell him... (5, Insightful)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608220)

...that it was an entirely new console.
I just can't decide if the old one was discarded or some repair guy decided that he really liked the case and kept it.

Re:They didn't tell him... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608224)

I just can't decide if the old one was discarded or some repair guy decided that he really liked the case and kept it.

... maybe he should keep an eye on ebay ...

Re:They didn't tell him... (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608240)

from TFA, he enclosed a photo with what appear to be smudges on the console from the signatures that said technician didn't finish scrubbing off.

Re:They didn't tell him... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22608358)

From my eyes, said smudges are not where artwork/signatures were in before photo.
Therefore, new xbox or new case.

I thought it was widely known that the machines are just swapped for a refurb.

Re:They didn't tell him... (5, Informative)

HAKdragon (193605) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608582)

If it was a new console, the serial numbers wouldn't match up.

Re:They didn't tell him... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22608594)

It's bad when commenters don't RTFA... but when moderators don't you know we're in trouble.

dur (3, Interesting)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608230)

maybe I'm missing something here but what repair could possibly justify the work of scrubbing signatures off of a gaming console? If somehow the repair did require that they not have ink/signatures on the case, why not take the case off, so the repairs, put the case back? For that matter, who thought it was easier/more efficient to take all that time to scrub it off when they could have used another case and returned this one?

Re:dur (-1, Flamebait)

excelblue (739986) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608242)

It seems like the repair person did it out of spite instead of having a genuine reason. For example, if you're not paid commission and you're a suffering motor repair tech who feels that the rich is responsible for all his problems, what would you do when you see someone drive in a Ferrari for repair? Wouldn't you kick it or something?

I think this is a similar case. Gamer gets screwed over because some employee is jealous.

Re:dur (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22608290)

If the employee is jealous, too fucking bad for him, it's no justification for screwing with customers' property.

Re:dur (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608294)

I was going to say that that would be a stupid thing for an employee to do but considering MS's repair track record, they don't seem to do any of the paperwork that would link employee x to bad service/fubared consoles. It's going to be as bad as gamers are willing to allow- the only thing that truely gets MS's attention is a decreasing marketshare which leads to a loss of cash. granted they only recently started making any cash off their consoles but that could change if they get any worse.

Re:dur (1)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608498)

I would love the opportunity to work on a Ferrari, speakign as someone who jsut replaced a strut on a Ford Windstar I would be more likely to kick someone who drove in one of those POS vans for me to repair then a miracle of engineering Ferrari. Not to mention that mechanics who go around not treating customer cars with respect don't last as mechanics in a respectable shop and certainly not anywhere that would repair a high end sports car.

Re:dur (1)

penguin_dance (536599) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608424)

I wonder if it wasn't just substituted. Back in the day I took my Commodore 64 in for repairs. The just took mine and gave me another refurbished system. That's probably what happened here, unless he can see it's the same serial You can't tell anything from the photos to verify that's the same case which has just been scrubbed. Personally, I don't know why he would ship this off--if you've got something that's valuable (at least to you) you don't ship it off to Norman Numbnuts at the repair shop. In fact, why would you even use that machine for playing? Buy another and put this one on a shelf.

Usually such things are only valued as the price of the machine, so if he got a working machine back, that's likely all they'll be liable for.

Can't believe Agents (5, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608260)

I really feel for this guy. I really do.

However, you can never rely on an agent for anything. They really can say anything, and generally are not held accountable. You have to go up to supervisor level and above, get employee identification information, and to some extent, get a written letter of intent from the company.

It's like asking the sales guy for technical information on how stuff works. Bad Idea. Go to tech support to talk to the guy instead.

That being said, it seems pretty clear from the article that somebody at Microsoft may have been mean and spiteful to "wash" the case. I say that only since we do not know what processes go on inside. It may be possible that multiple people are responsible for the repair, and the person taking the unit out the box and reading the letter just lacked the appropriate standing or ability to communicate anything down the line. The person that washed the case, may have been simply doing his job, and may have even had reservations about doing it. That employee may have had nobody to talk to either, or even the time and the "empowerment" to do so. It is entirely possible that the whole operation is so big, that expecting this kind of interdepartmental communication and cooperation is just unreasonable, and a little naive.

That is what I believe. That kind of operation must be so huge, given the volume, that for the systems and policies to be implemented to track this incident from its creation to its conclusion is just too costly of an undertaking. You would have to believe that they could create a RMA and from the very beginning include dynamic handling instructions that would be passed throughout the entire process. Most business fail at this already.

If anybody is truly responsible, it is the agent for making that representation in the first place. That agent, by their representations, implied that such abilities do exist.

Of course it would be interesting to know if there are policies in place to retain cases and artwork. On the surface, it is easy to condemn M$ overall for this, but there are just too many unknowns in the story.

Re:Can't believe Agents (5, Insightful)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608318)

No, it's easy to condemn MS in general, even without the unknowns.

Someone asked a specific question of a customer service representative. That representative gave a clear and unambiguous answer. Either that answer was incorrect, or a serious mistake was made internally.

It doesn't matter which of those was the case. If you bring a car to an auto shop, and they rip out your engine, do you let them get away with "oh well someone made a mistake"? "Our customer service representative wasn't authorized to make that promise"? "Our company's just too big man, there's nothing you can do about it! These things just happen."

Fuck that.

Microsoft support screwed up. I don't know what section they screwed it up in, but I honestly don't care. The details don't matter. Microsoft support screwed up and should take responsibility - figuring out where the mistake was made is their problem.

Re:Can't believe Agents (1)

caliburngreywolf (1218464) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608662)

Eh. some people call in a million times until they get the answer they want to hear. Then, when after 20 "no sir" they are shocked and dismayed that the one "I think so" from the fresh-out-of-training kidn that made their day...was in error.... and expect the company to live up to the one "maybe" instead of the 20 emphatic "no" answers. People complain about agents giving inconsistant answers, but those same people call in multiple times until they get the answer they want to hear.

Re:Can't believe Agents (4, Insightful)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608760)

Honestly? It's still the company's fault. If the company says "yes we can do this" then it means they should do it, I don't care if it was person #1 or person #20.

If you ask me to sign a contract, and I say no, and you ask another 20 times and I finally sign it, am I exempt from it because you asked me a lot? Not in the least. Same deal here. If the company said they'd do X, and they didn't do X, I don't see any excuses.

(I don't actually know if they did say so. But I'm assuming that they did.)

Re:Can't believe Agents (1)

Televiper2000 (1145415) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608340)

I'm picturing the same chain of events. Some technician is charged with the responsibility of making sure the cases are put out for shipping in pristine "like-new" condition. It's also possible that the technician and even their manager didn't expect their cleaning solution (probably 99% alcohol) to able to clean the marker off the case. In my experience it certainly will, especially if Microsoft put some real quality into their packaging. My theory... technician meant to do some standard cleaning, the marker smudged unexpectedly and in the end it seemed easier just to clean properly than leave a mess.

I don't know that it was spiteful (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608384)

Probably was just bad communication. So I'm guessing under normal procedure, you don't necessairily get your old Xbox 360 back. They may send you a different one they reconditioned (or perhaps a new one if that isn't available). That way if your problem ends up being something that takes longer to fix, or ends up being something unfixable, you aren't sitting around waiting for a long time as they figure that out.

Now that'd be pretty normal procedure for returns. Quite often when I've had to return something, I've gotten a different unit returned to me. They recieve the part, verify that it is defective, that the warranty does cover it, and then ship out a replacement so I don't have to wait. The one I sent in then gets sent over to the repair shop to look at and they do with it whatever they wish to. I'm happy since I have my item back quickly. In fact some companies even allow for cross ship. eVGA will allow you to buy enhanced warranties so that they'll ship you out a card, then once you get it you ship the old one back. Cuts down on your downtime that way.

So, I'm guessing that is MS's normal procedure. Now in this case, they got it noted that the guy wanted his orignal box back and said "no problem, we can do that." However, the reason he did, or maybe even that he did, never got sent down the line. So it goes to repairs, gets fixed, and then there's some guy who's job it is to clean them up and make them look nice. He hasn't been told this picture is supposed to stay, for all he know somebody's kid was scribbling on it. His job is to clean up the boxes, which he does.

The shipping department then gets the box back from repairs, matches it up to go back to the original owner since they have instructions to that effect, and he gets his unfortunately cleaned 360.

I really doubt that anyone would have done this out of spite. All other MS conspiracy theories aside, they LOVE the Red vs Blue guys. They've had them do promotions for launches and so on. This isn't a case of a Tux penguin or something that might go against their corporate culture, this is something that is supportive of MS all the way.

I'd just bet on bad communication in trying to do something that isn't normal procedure.

Re:I don't know that it was spiteful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22608628)

you don't necessairily get your old Xbox 360 back.

If they don't give you the same one (or one with the harddrive swapped and the internal serial numbers and crypto keys duplicated) then you lose all the downloaded stuff you paid for.

Re:I don't know that it was spiteful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22608696)

I think the repair center is in Texas, and has a lot of non-native English speakers working there who may not have been able to fully understand a written work order saying that the case should be left as-is.

Also, please don't take this as being racist in any way, it's just that people who don't natively speak a language probably don't have a good chance of being able to read it well.

XBox 360 Strikes Again (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22608268)

If Microsoft would take the time to make a reliable console rather than going for quick bucks with that pile of garbage that dies so much (and worse, still not really fixed when you get it "repaired", you just get another console), this wouldn't be a problem.

I ask you as I've asked so many in the past: why do people reward Microsoft for producing a horribly defective console? Them replacing it with yet another defective one doesn't count for anything -- what if some car company had a car that broke down most of the time and just told people to bring that car in when it failed (instead of a recall) and worse, just replaced the car with an identical one that had the same problem? Shit would hit the fan, that's what would happen.

Microsoft deserves to be punished for this, but everyone just shrugs their shoulders because it's Microsoft. It's insane.

Anonymous Coward because I'll be modded down by hordes of Microsoft loyalists, I'm sure.

MS doesn't repair your Xbox 360 for you... (5, Informative)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608278)

... they repair it for someone else.

FYI, if you mail-in your 360 for "repairs" your going to get a previously refurbished 360. MS does this in order to accelerate turnaround. Moreover, what you get back could very well be an older model that is more prone to failure.

Re:MS doesn't repair your Xbox 360 for you... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22608346)

Actually, according to the article, he talked to them beforehand and got their word he would get his original case back.

And he did, the odd part is not that he got back someone else's case, but that he got his own case back scrubbed clean.

Someone specifically knew he wanted the same case, and they scrubbed all the stuff away before giving it back. It sounds malicious.

Re:MS doesn't repair your Xbox 360 for you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22608450)

Bullshit. Look at the old case and the new one. You can tell through simple visual comparison (not super detective work necessary) that they did not return him the same case. Look at the "clean" case [photobucket.com] and compare it to the signed case [photobucket.com] .

Notice anything there? The smudge on the clean case does not correspond to an ink space on the signed one. Not even fucking close. So, this isn't some idle smudge from cleaning off the case. Not to mention the fact that the case was so perfectly cleaned for everything except this spot. He is foolish to think he would/could get back the same case with a fast turn-around and short of his circumstantial proof he has no evidence they actually cleaned his case.

Even if he says the serial #s match this is not necessarily proof. How hard do you think it would be for them to provide a case with matching serials? Not too hard. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they had a method for doing this if it made tracking systems easier. This whole story stinks and not because something bad happened to him. Instead it stinks because the people who started "reporting" it (if reporting is what we call blogs these days), are friends (or friends of friends). So, he obviously is coming from some unbiased source.

Sorry, I call bullshit on this. I would like someone to show me a case where they return the exact system to you. Even Nintendo made a point to tell me to make sure all data I wanted was off my original, faulty Wii when I shipped it back. So I did and guess what I got back a different system. Of course, this one has worked perfectly since they sent it. Guess what else? It was someone elses refurb and surely someone has my refurb.

It is so easy to rag on MS, but seriously this is not the cause or the set of people to get behind. They are ignoring relatively clear visual proof and then crapping on anyone who shows where they are obviously wrong. (One post even shows apparently missing physical damage on the "clean" case. Seriously, this guy is blowing shit out of his ass and was stupid for believing a face-less rep and sending something so valuable to strangers for repair. (Future note for people with cases like this. Protect your shit. I don't think a clear coat would cause any dmg to the system and it would help seal the permanent marker to the case. Go whine to people who care.)

Re:MS doesn't repair your Xbox 360 for you... (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608466)

I wonder if it's malice or just standard procedure. Here's a possible scenario: the customer service rep was asked to make sure that he received the original Xbox 360 back and not a refurbished one. So the tech support guy said "sure" and marked that in the repair order. And, just as requested, he in fact got the original Xbox 360 back.

Now, since the default is to refurbish the Xbox 360s, it would make sense that part of the standard repair would be to clean the case. It's entirely possible that the customer service rep had no idea that the case would be cleaned. In hindsight, it makes perfect sense for part of the standard refurbishing process to include cleaning the case. But I'd never have thought of that.

So the breakdown occurred because the customer service rep didn't indicate that the case shouldn't be cleaned. Not out of malice, but because he had no idea that he should even do so in the first place.

Then the repair center took the Xbox 360 and ran it through the standard checklist. Since there was no indication that they shouldn't clean the case, they cleaned it as normal. They then sent it back to the shipping center, who then looks up the repair order and sees that the Xbox 360 is earmarked for a certain customer and ships it out.

No malice required: just lack a simple lack of knowledge.

On an offtopic note: is the parent post I'm responding to coming up with an apparent starting score of -2 to anyone else? It apparently had a starting score of -1 for some reason, then was modded up at least twice to reach 0. That seems... broken.

Re:MS doesn't repair your Xbox 360 for you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22608542)

Thank you, captain redundant [slashdot.org] . It also helps that you're wrong [slashdot.org] . If you wouldn't mind, those of us capable of researching the article would appreciate it if you never post again.

Re:MS doesn't repair your Xbox 360 for you... (1)

caliburngreywolf (1218464) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608686)

I doubth the first person he asked said "I promise they won't clean it". He probably kept calling until he found someone who would say what he wanted to hear. I've worked in the biz, happens all the time. idiot calls in time and time again, gets the same answer. finally calls in and gets the answer he likes, then screams "broken verbal contract" when the first dozen calls he made gave the correct answer and the last call gave the wrong, desired answer.

Re:MS doesn't repair your Xbox 360 for you... (3, Insightful)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608730)

General rule of dealing with humanity:

Never ascribe to malice what could as easily be caused by incompetence, stupidity, or forgetfulness.

This is true in dealing with large corporations, and it is extra true in marriage.

Which isn't surprising (2, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608410)

That is SOP for every shop I've ever dealt with for exchanges. In 99.999% of cases what the customer wants is a working replacement as fast as possible. They don't care if it is their unit, they care that it is a working unit that arrives quickly.

In fact with some premium support packages, it is explicit. For example at work we contract with MPC to provide our computers. Part of that is we get good support. Something breaks, I send them an e-mail saying "This part on this serial number is broken, I want a new one." They then send me a replacement, via next day air. I install it and get it working, then send them back the old one (which they pay shipping for) when I've got time. Net effect is we get computer fixed for people much faster. I don't care that it isn't the same motherboard or RAM or whatever that was in there before. It just needs to be one that is the same model and thus does the same job.

A case like this is very unusual. Most people are made the happiest by the fastest turnaround in getting a fixed part, which often means giving them a part you already fixed.

Re:MS doesn't repair your Xbox 360 for you... (1)

Raideen (975130) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608436)

I would have to imagine that any company that operates on a large scale does that. Put it on the bench, test it for some common issues, and if it can't be easily repaired, take the whole unit apart and send each part out for batch testing. Others then make complete refurb units from the tested, working parts. In this case, they probably sent back a completely different refurb unit. Even in the picture where he shows the smudges, he circles a smudge where there was no signature before. They probably don't even care about the "ruined" chassis. If multiple component failure and major chassis damage aren't common, they're going to end-up with spare chassis. The signed chassis is probably on its way to a recycling facility or a dump.

Re:MS doesn't repair your Xbox 360 for you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22608538)

According to the article he actually contacted MS before sending it to make sure he would get his console back.

"he contacted Microsoft to make sure that he could send the console in without having the exterior case replaced or damaged. Microsoft ensured him that his request would not be a problem"

Re:MS doesn't repair your Xbox 360 for you... (1)

elmuhfuh (942644) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608614)

this isnt true. ive mailed off a 360 for redring and it came back as the same one i sent in. either that or the refurbished one they sent me back and the same year old xtreme firmware flashed to it.

RMA (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22608288)

Um, when you RMA computer components you never get _your_ part back, you get some refurbished part that's the same model. Why should an xbox be any different?

That's terrible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22608296)

Oh the trials and tribulations of Dorkville.

Pretty common... (4, Informative)

KyoMamoru (985449) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608304)

Anytime you send something into service/repair for -any- company, regardless of what industry they are, you waive rights to that current hardware. As long as you get something that is comparable back to it, there's very little that you can do legally, since sending it to the Repair center means acceptance of all of the stipulations.

Re:Pretty common... (3, Insightful)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608400)

Many of the companies with service centers would like that to be true, but that doesn't mean that it is. As always, in the *only way* to know your legal standing in a case like this is to talk to a lawyer.

If that were true in this case then it would make it *utterly* obvious that someone at Microsoft was ethically at fault. If such an agreement were assumed then the letter included in the case indicated a lack of acceptance of that arrangement - in which case doing anything other than shipping it back untouched would be obviously unacceptable.

Re:Pretty common... (1)

belmolis (702863) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608408)

This is definitely not true unless you are informed that you will not receive the original unit back and agree to this. There may be some companies that have people sign a form agreeing to such conditions when they send a unit in for repair, but many don't. In that case, they are obligated to return the original unit. In the absence of an agreement to the contrary, the company doesn't get to set a policy unilaterally. Such transactions are governed by law.

Re:Pretty common... (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608476)

Um no.

I worked for a company that produced some of the first consumer NAS devices with media server capability and we were told that we could be sued if we stole, deleted or corrupted the customer's data on the hard drives. We backed them up before we did anything and if needed we gave them new hard drives. What is said in public about stipulations this and that is for show, the companies know that in some cases it only takes one pissed customer to ruin them.

Re:Pretty common... (1)

KyoMamoru (985449) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608740)

Places I've worked with such policies: [You're giving up rights to effectively everything the moment you leave/send the item.] 1. Best Buy. 2. Sprint. 3. Various Small Businesses.

Open Source Artwork? (1)

infonography (566403) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608310)

If it's not Microsoft IP then it doesn't get out of the building.

Personally I would give a half eaten French Fry and all the change I can find in couches in teh lounge at Caltech for the identity of the person who clean off that artwork.

BTW, the French Fry came that way. ( I got if off RMS)

Is scrubbing the case standard procedure? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608364)

From a 'repair' standpoint, most repair people I've dealt with wouldn't bother to clean the case regardless of any internal repairs done to this machine.

The article failed to mention what was wrong with the unit specifically and yes, it makes a difference.

I have to wonder if "cleaning the case" is part of standard operating procedure.

This doesn't seem right somehow.

Re:Is scrubbing the case standard procedure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22608412)

Standard procedure is to put new cases onto refurbished hardware. That way, the outside looks brand new, because it is.

Old cases are discarded or recycled.

Re:Is scrubbing the case standard procedure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22608428)

I don't think it's too far fetched. I've never worked in a repair place, but is it possible cleaning the machines is automated?

It's probably some kind of value added crap. "We fixed your X-Box, and while we were at it, we cleaned off the pen marks your little brother drew on it." 99.9999% of the time, cleaning the outside of the case would be a nice touch.

Re:Is scrubbing the case standard procedure? (1)

KillzoneNET (958068) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608430)

Microsoft's return service isn't a repair job but more of a "turn in your old unit, get back a new one" deal. What you get back is a system that is not originally yours. You may get back saves but the old system is probably refurbished/discarded for potential profit.

Honestly the guy should of just bought a new system.

Sorry But... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22608380)

He should have paid for the repairs out of his own pocket and located an authorized local service center, where he could carry in the XBOX for service. Maybe Microsoft XBOX repairs don't work this way, but if it meant so much to me, then I would have done everything possible to make sure that I found a certified local technician who would do things my way, even if it meant paying for the needed repairs instead of having the machine repaired free through the warranty.

Sometimes things that suck just happen and the problem can't be fixed.

I love some of the comments about markers (1)

AsmordeanX (615669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608414)

I love some of the comments about permanent markers. Apparently those people have no idea what acetone (nail polish remover / paint thinner) does to a Jiffy. Permanent markers are about as permanent as a fart when it comes to that stuff.

school of life (-1, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608420)

rule number one, assume everyone is a fucking retard. this guy set himself up for an epic fail letting this thing out of his sight. He needs to have a big cup of harden the fuck up and realise his precious signatures are gone, and get on with life.

Re:school of life (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608508)

save your mod points for the gnaa trolls you morons.

Adding insult to injury (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608444)

...he probably got someone else's broken Xbox360.

Re:Adding insult to injury (1)

supernova_hq (1014429) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608522)

And someone else probably got his broken Xbox360.
Just imagine the other guy: "What is with all these marks on my case?!?"

ack backwards the title is (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608468)

Must...stop...playing...xbox...and...get...sleep...

Hanlon's Razor says... (1)

ShinySteelRobot (674078) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608504)

Sometimes electronic components (such as Xboxes I presume) get a bit scuffed during the repair process. There's probably some quality control guy in the outsourced MS Xbox repair center whose job is to "clean up" any newly-repaired Xbox before the box is shipped back to the owner. A quick wipe with an acetone-soaked rag will remove any permanent ink, paint, etc. in a jiffy. Sure it's stupid to clean the exterior for an obviously intentionally-decorated case, but hey, he was just doing his job.

"Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity." -- Hanlon's Razor [wikipedia.org]

Acetone? You must be kidding.. (1)

cheros (223479) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608682)

Acetone dissolves ABS based plastics (which is what 99% of the plastic of computer cases is based on).

Anyone touching the outer casing with acetone is prone to make a mess of it. Anything BUT acetone is fine. If you're trying to remove sticky labels , lighter fuel is the thing to use (basically very clean petrol - anyone amy idea how they get it this clean) - also excellent to zap chewing gum stains.

Disclaimer: no expert on flammable liquids but damn well on plastic..

Imagine this with your computer (1)

malfist (1152363) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608520)

For those of you who say that it's not really M$'s fault or let M$ off the hook, imagine if you sent your PC with it's side windows and lights and organized cables into a company for repairs. Now imagine that you get back a potentially older PC, more prone to failure in a solid beige case. What would you do?

Am I the only one that thinks that ... (1)

Sepiraph (1162995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608530)

if the specific Xbox was valuable to you, why would you risk even sending in it for repair in the first place. Personally I'd rather spend the $ and get another one versus having the risk of getting the original unit damaged, stolen, or lost.

Applying common sense and Murphy's Law can really save you a lot of headache and grief in life.

Finally a quality story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22608556)

Bravissimo, a quality story that makes me come back and ask for more.

Re:Finally a quality story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22608610)

No shit.

News for losers, stuff that doesn't matter...

Jesus Christ (2, Informative)

fat bastard of doom (1187649) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608580)

Not to be a dick, but generally when you send something for warranty work you are 1) not guaranteed to get the exact same item back. When discussing the legal aspects of a situation like this, it is generally a type of bailment known as a mutuum. Essentially, you are not guaranteed the return of the exact system that you sent in, in the same way that if you borrow a cigarette from a friend and pay him back, he might reasonably expect that you replace his Marlboro Red with a Marlboro Red and not a Camel, but he knows not to expect the return of the exact same cigarette. Also, you can consider a neighbor borrowing sugar from you. The exact wording of the warranty contract will determine whether this is the case. 2) often advised in the wording to the warranty that any aftermarket enhancements will not be returned to you. In this case things like faceplates, stickers, and such. When sending in systems for warranty repair you are generally advised not to send any memory cards, cabling, or controllers, or you will not get them back. When dealing with warranty work with cellular phones, often you are asked to remove your battery, battery cover, and faceplate, because you will not get it back. Without having a copy of the warranty contract in front of me, I have no way of knowing, but chances are this guy doesn't have a leg to stand on.

autograph cover (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608604)

It seems like now would be a good time to introduce my patent protected book cover for the Xbox 360.

It consists of a few plastic panels that clip over the box making it appear as natural as possible. But you can snap them off to protect your artwork when traveling or sending the system off for repair.

Actually, I don't have a patent but I had this going since the Atari 64 so I claim prior art on anyone wanting to block people from making them. I originally made the so it would be easy to hide the artwork of my kid sister's hours alone with a marker (that was actually only 10 minutes but she was fast) when I was watching her. Then I found that making them for other things and putting my own art on them so I could switch them out when I wanted to give it a different look. They are easy to make, and you can find the materials at most hardware and craft stores. A heat gun and a element out of an old electric hear makes molding it a cake. Careful though, heating it too much can cause bubbles and sags.

I love postits. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22608616)

He should have put a post-it DIRECTLY ON the box, outlining his preferences. Still, that would not have been a guarantee. Sometimes low-tech solutions are the best.

Sweet! (1)

Ristol (745640) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608630)

Looks like some lucky guy who sends in his xbox for repairs is gonna get a refurbished one with a really cool case!

This is too easy! (5, Insightful)

saladpuncher (633633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608712)

Come on marketing and PR department of Redmond, even I know the answer to this one and I haven't ever taken a class in marketing or sucking up.
1. Issue a statement of apology explaining that you will get to the bottom of the problem.
2. Go ahead and look for the Xbox (but secretly you know this is futile and the box is next to the Ark or was really cleaned).
3. Contact the complaining customer and ask him what signatures were on the Xbox.
4. Contact the artists that signed the box. Make a big PR festival out of it! Have Bill Gates (or heck...anyone famous will do) take a brand new Xbox to each artist and have them sign it.
5. Send the Xbox back to the kid. No wait, have Bill Gates deliver it in person. Film the whole thing and put it on youtube, etc.
6. PR disaster averted and gold stars for everyone.

The media would eat this up and the free publicity would be worth its weight in cheetos.

Of course this probably could have been avoided... (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608752)

If Microsoft didn't base the 360's thermal design on the EZ-Bake Oven.

The biggest issue here is the MS quality. (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 6 years ago | (#22608774)

The real problem is that Microsoft has released the Windows version of a gaming console. No amount of service can make up for that.
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