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Microsoft Entertainment Games

Customer Loses Xbox 360 Artwork During Repair 330

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the customer-disservice dept.
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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Customer Loses Xbox 360 Artwork During Repair

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  • He's an idiot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Saturday March 01, 2008 @01:31AM (#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?
    • by three333 (453814) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @01:37AM (#22608232) Homepage Journal
      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: (Score:2, Informative)

        by BadAnalogyGuy (945258)
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by cskrat (921721)
          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 (Score:5, Informative)

          by arodland (127775) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @04:35AM (#22608800)
          They still sell them, they just don't make them. They're selling off existing stock, which is expected to run out before the end of 2009.
        • by tsa (15680)
          Not for long. The factory here in Enschede will be closed down soon (next month or so).
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by BadAnalogyGuy (945258)
        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.
        • 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 (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ZorbaTHut (126196) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @02:55AM (#22608488) Homepage
          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 (Score:5, Insightful)

          by lena_10326 (1100441) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @02:59AM (#22608510) Homepage

          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.

          • by bluephone (200451)
            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 (Score:4, Informative)

              by lena_10326 (1100441) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @03:55AM (#22608694) Homepage

              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 (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ilikepi314 (1217898) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @01:37AM (#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 (Score:5, Informative)

      by Tristanjh (1012277) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @02:02AM (#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.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        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 (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Rocketship Underpant (804162) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @04:31AM (#22608778)
          Sounds like a Microsoft phone droid did his job, saying "yes, yes" to everything over the phone so he could close the support ticket in minimal time and keep his manager happy. And then the Mexican repair shop droid did his job, treating the Xbox just like all the others so as not to annoy the manager or otherwise engage in troublesome independent decision-making.

          Does anyone expect otherwise from Microsoft?

          • Re:He's an idiot (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Oktober Sunset (838224) <sdpage103NO@SPAMyahoo.co.uk> on Saturday March 01, 2008 @05:38AM (#22608950)
            does anyone expect otherwise from any big corporation?
            • I got good clothes ruined by careless mom-and-pop-style dry cleaners... ... I wouldn't expect a big corporation to show the same kind of negligence... ... yet I would never send good clothes to a big-corporation-style dry cleaners.
            • Re:He's an idiot (Score:4, Interesting)

              by 0x000000 (841725) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @10:01AM (#22609542)
              Yes, I do expect differently. My previous MacBook Pro had many stickers and signatures of people in the hacking community on it. These were prized possessions to me. It took hard work and dedication to going to all these different conferences and getting people to sign my laptop. When my laptop needed repairs to the LCD I explicitly asked to have them make sure that I got my original case back.

              Normally they would have pulled the LCD out, and stuck a new one on (case and all) but, by me asking, an Apple employee somewhere had to unscrew the new LCD from the new case and do the same to the old LCD. They then put the entire thing back together. I got my artwork back, without any problems what so ever!
            • Re:He's an idiot (Score:4, Insightful)

              by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Sunday March 02, 2008 @01:42AM (#22613902) Journal
              Does the fact that this is expected make it any less disgusting?

              No, seriously, are we that fucking complacent that we just accept bullshit just because it's a corporation???
    • Re:He's an idiot (Score:4, Insightful)

      by nametaken (610866) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @02:10AM (#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: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by BadAnalogyGuy (945258)
        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.
      • 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dissy (172727)

        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 prop

      • by pembo13 (770295)
        The original Nintendo wasn't known for not lasting 2 years
    • by Joce640k (829181) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @05:34AM (#22608934) Homepage
      Having a fancy box at a gaming conventions, etc. is cool (and he does go to them - that's where he got the signatures), having a few polaroids to show people isn't.

      But yes, he should have bought a new Xbox and switched the case. Expecting a mass-market repair center to spend extra time/money on you just because you painted your Xbox a different color is, ummm, "unrealistic".

    • by loganrapp (975327) <loganrapp.gmail@com> on Saturday March 01, 2008 @07:48AM (#22609236)
      Just buy a second case.


      You're intending to keep this for a long time, so for a couple of years you just have an empty case. When the XBOX 720 or whatever comes out, 360s will be a lot cheaper and you can put your old 360 in there or buy a new one to fill out the case.

      I haven't looked into it deeply, but I saw that custom clear cases were $50 or so. How much could a stock case really cost?

      Just poor planning, really. If you wanted to get signatures of all major developers and felt it important to preserve that, then, y'know, put that thing in a protective box and never open it.

    • Re:He's an idiot (Score:4, Informative)

      by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @10:09AM (#22609562) Homepage Journal
      I totally agree, sending it back was stupid. Microsoft shouldn't have been liable for any 'additional value' add-ons. Most of the time you just get a replacement stock box out of the refurb stack, and they send yours off for repair to add to the stack ( or the trash heap ) and never even look at it when its still attached to your name.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Darundal (891860)
      Yeah, because everyone has $279-$449 just lying around.
  • by calebt3 (1098475) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @01:33AM (#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.
  • dur (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wizardforce (1005805) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @01:37AM (#22608230) Journal
    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?
    • 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, w
    • It's not that hard - marker on acrylic comes off with a bit of rubbing alcohol pretty easily. And there's a perfectly good reason - I have it on good authority that policy is to restore repaired consoles to a "like new" condition, because most people prefer it that way.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by neumayr (819083)
      I guess a lot XBoxes that get sent in for repair have paint or stickers covering the case in a way that decreases airflow, causing it to overheat.
      As another poster pointed out, the consoles are repaired by badly paid assembly line workers, who're supposed to blindly follow instructions. Assembly line workers usually lack education, so the instructions must be kept simple - instead of 'remove any paint/stickers obstructing airflow', it probably says 'remove any paint/stickers'.
      In most cases, removing paint
  • by EdIII (1114411) * on Saturday March 01, 2008 @01:45AM (#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.
    • by ZorbaTHut (126196) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @01:56AM (#22608318) Homepage
      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.

      • by mpe (36238)
        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."

        Also you as a customer cannot possibly be expected to the internal structure and politics of any corporation they are dealing with.
        In some places it's actually the law that if a corporation agrees something
      • How far does it go? I mean say they determine the unit is beyond repair and just give him a new one - does the customer really expect the repair people to take the case off the old unit and put it on the new unit?

        In the end they fixed his xbox - thats what their job is.

        Plus I'm sure in the eula/support agreement it states somewhere that their responsibility during repair is to restore the unit to its original factory condition - which means bye bye artwork.

        And for the CSR that told this guy his artwork woul
        • by ZorbaTHut (126196)
          No. I expect them to look at the piece of paper saying "do not under any circumstances damage the artwork on this case" and call him up to ask him what he wants to do. Unless it's easier to just move the case, in which case, yeah, they probably should do that. (It's quite possible it would have just been easier to replace the case.)

          And yeah, I agree, they should have just said "we can't guarantee anything". That at least would have been honest. But they didn't.
        • by mpe (36238)
          Plus I'm sure in the eula/support agreement it states somewhere that their responsibility during repair is to restore the unit to its original factory condition - which means bye bye artwork.

          The customer's negotiated agreement supercedes any "eula/support agreement". If this were not the case then the entire economy of any country daft enough write its contract law any other way would collapse in a very short order.

          And for the CSR that told this guy his artwork would be preserved probably thought he was
      • 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 th
        • by ZorbaTHut (126196)
          He does explicitly mention the ink, however, as well as the signatures. I agree that he didn't explicitly say "oh yeah please don't erase the case art" in the letter but, depending on what the phone conversation was like, the letter shouldn't technically have been necessary at all.

          At best, that's a loophole.
    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @02:16AM (#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.
  • by Aqua OS X (458522) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @01:51AM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      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.
      • by _xeno_ (155264)

        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 custo

        • But unless the person you talk to on the phone is the exact same person who's going to open the package and do the repair work (which it won't be, ever...) then don't expect things like this to work out.

          As for putting a special piece of paper in the box with instructions on it? Not very realistic either.

      • by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @04:04AM (#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.
    • 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 n
      • by mpe (36238)
        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."

        In which case they are specifically requesting a replacement.

        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 effe
  • Pretty common... (Score:4, Informative)

    by KyoMamoru (985449) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @01:54AM (#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.
    • by Chandon Seldon (43083) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @02:20AM (#22608400) Homepage

      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.

    • by belmolis (702863)

      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.

    • by johannesg (664142)
      Really? What happens if you bring in your car for repairs: do you also get another one back? One that is "comparable" by some nebulous standard?
    • by mpe (36238)
      Anytime you send something into service/repair for -any- company, regardless of what industry they are, you waive rights to that current hardware.

      Actually this is generally not the case. Becuase the "law of the land" considers that the specific machine in question is and continues to be the customer's personal property. Unless they have agreed otherwise. Even such an agreement is unlikely to protect the company if they enguage in theft or vandalism...
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Good point, but even isopropil alcohol will remove most if not all brands of "permanent" markers. And to be honest, I think it's much more likely they use a mixture of isopropilene and water, to clean these boxes, rather than acetone.
  • ...he probably got someone else's broken Xbox360.
  • 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, bu
  • 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
  • by saladpuncher (633633) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @03:57AM (#22608712) Homepage
    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.
    • by Renderer of Evil (604742) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @05:38AM (#22608952) Homepage
      It would be better if Sony jumped on this and gave him a PS3, signed by Bono, The Pope, and bunch of other A-List celebrities. That's called a PR coup.
    • This sucks, but I think the guy was being a bit naive personally. If he went to a small time local repair shop and got this treatment I'd be more surprised. When you're dealing with a system that is made to handle a high volume of requests you can't expect personally-tailored service - that would be much too expensive for a company to maintain.

      Probably the issue tracking system and everything else down the line lacks the ability to account for personal requests: You send in a broken box, they send back a
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by S.O.B. (136083)

        This sucks, but I think the guy was being a bit naive personally. If he went to a small time local repair shop and got this treatment I'd be more surprised. When you're dealing with a system that is made to handle a high volume of requests you can't expect personally-tailored service - that would be much too expensive for a company to maintain.

        Probably the issue tracking system and everything else down the line lacks the ability to account for personal requests: You send in a broken box, they send back a f

    • by mr_lizard13 (882373) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @07:29AM (#22609198)
      ...they should give him a free HD-DVD drive
    • Honestly, does no one RTFA?

      there are slight smudges where there used to be signatures. It's not a new case, They just cleaned it. Thus, finding the "old" case is not the issue, this is completely irreversible and the only option is to give some sort of recompensation.
  • I would have bought a new 360, switched the cases (unless this voids any warranty... ugh), sent the broken 360 in, then switched them back and return the extra 360.
  • by Joce640k (829181) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @05:29AM (#22608916) Homepage
    It's as simple as that.

    The whole idea of sending a customized anything to a central repair place screams out for a "whatcouldpossiblygowrong" tag. The box may be special to you, but it isn't to them. You can't expect major manufacturers to spend extra time/money on you just because you decided to paint your box a different color. The world doesn't work that way.

    Buy a new Xbox, swap the innards. Xbox all fixed.

    • by gregorio (520049)

      The whole idea of sending a customized anything to a central repair place screams out for a "whatcouldpossiblygowrong" tag. The box may be special to you, but it isn't to them. You can't expect major manufacturers to spend extra time/money on you just because you decided to paint your box a different color. The world doesn't work that way.
      Even better: he could have gotten a case from a defective Xbox at eBay and replaced them before sending to the repair shop.
  • I'm not surprised (Score:4, Informative)

    by jeremyp (130771) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @05:55AM (#22608996) Homepage Journal
    The linked article itself contains a link with a photograph of the other side if the X-Box [photobucket.com] on it. Two choice comments written on the box stand out:

    Don't put too much ink on me, I might overheat
    and

    360? More like three shitsty!
    Why is anybody surprised that Microsoft decided not to preserve his "artwork"?
  • by dario_moreno (263767) * on Saturday March 01, 2008 @07:18AM (#22609178) Homepage Journal
    100 people died in Iraq, 20 000 Africans died of Aids, 20 species went extinct, 10 millions of tons of CO2 were emitted, BUT THEY ERASED GRAFFITI ON AN XBOX !! where is the FBI when needed ?
  • by 26199 (577806) * on Saturday March 01, 2008 @09:44AM (#22609492) Homepage

    This is unfortunate ... but perhaps an opportunity to discuss how to write for results.

    Actions that you are requesting need to be immediately obvious.

    The rest of the letter can be junk. The first few lines should have said "please do not clean or replace my XBOX cover", probably in bold.

    You can't expect people to read a story. (In this case even a clear letter probably wouldn't have helped, but it certainly wouldn't have hurt).

  • by quakeaddict (94195) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @10:44AM (#22609710)
    ...and the guy said it was one of a kind.

    damn
  • by magus_melchior (262681) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @01:22PM (#22610434) Journal
    He didn't buy a new Xbox because he couldn't afford one (or wanted to keep the stats on his old box), and switching cases with a new box would have voided the warranty on both— this is not something you'd want to do on a shoestring budget. He's not a Comic Book Store Guy-type collector, so he didn't get two boxes to begin with (which would've made the signed box CSR-proof).

    That said, surely he heard of all the RRoD horror stories, so perhaps working toward a second box should have been in his plans?

    If there's written evidence from Microsoft that promised him they wouldn't touch the signatures, there's no doubt that they are liable. It'll be quite a bit harder to prove without that.

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