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Microsoft Mistakenly Sold Fallout 4 For Free On Xbox ( 260

On Thursday the $110 Deluxe Edition Bundle of Fallout 4 appeared in the Xbox store priced at $0.00. The Escapist reports that "The mistake went viral, and there's no telling how people were able to take advantage before the error was corrected..." An anonymous reader shares their report: If you grabbed Fallout 4 for free on Xbox One, it will be disappearing from your account... Microsoft has confirmed that any copies obtained due to the error will have their license revoked, and the games will disappear from the user's Xbox One library.
Now Microsoft is telling affected users that "your free download will no longer work. For the inconvenience we will deposit $10 by the end of June in your Microsoft Account."
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Microsoft Mistakenly Sold Fallout 4 For Free On Xbox

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  • Next, Windows 10? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 11, 2016 @09:45PM (#52297533)

    "Our offer of a free upgrade to Windows 10 was an error. Your license will be revoked and the OS will disappear from your PC. For the inconvenience we'll give you a $10 discount on the retail price of Windows 10."

  • Stupid thinking (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Mashiki ( 184564 )

    Hem...When Origin did something similar a couple of years back, they said they let those who picked up games keep them and tha's it. It's how iI got my copy of DA2, an don't regret it. On top of that they made more money off of me.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by chipschap ( 1444407 )

      Microsoft had no legal obligation to let people keep the free game, and those who obtained the game for free didn't have the legal expectation of being allowed to keep it.

      Of course, Microsoft could have been nice about it, and gained tremendous good will and positive public relations. But then again, that wouldn't be the Microsoft we all know and love. (I don't consider a $10 store credit being particularly nice about it.)

      • Re:Stupid thinking (Score:5, Informative)

        by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Saturday June 11, 2016 @10:12PM (#52297631)

        On the other hand, Microsoft would have had to pay Bethesda for the lost revenue, as it's not their game to give away for free even if they wanted to.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by WheezyJoe ( 1168567 )

          I think Microsoft could afford it. and wouldn't it be swell if mean old Microsoft said, "our bad you lucky freaks can keep your game and thanks for buying Xbox over that Sony thing" (and somewhere in Puget Sound, the body of a careless Microsoft employee is slowly picked-apart by the fishes). There, all's well, the universe made right. Would sure make me feel better about buying an Xbox. Instead, Microsoft exercises its DRM muscle to claw back those game licenses that it, entirely by its own mistake, le

          • True, it's a good point. They're basically doing what Amazon did, only with a bonus $10 ("no hard feeling!"). Companies with DRM don't eat the cost anymore; that's what customers are for.

            • Yep, you know, it's a thing. A business has got to make money, no problems. But smaller businesses that rely at least in part on the goodwill of their customers make exceptions on proper occasions. To make those exceptions, however, somebody with authority has to sign off on it. Finding someone with that kind of authority is easier in a small organization than a big one, let alone a huge one. And in a huge one, there is a magnified fear that any fuck-up, taking of responsibility, or bending of a rule will

        • If a US distributor gets a shipment of Russian vodka which he is supposed to sell for $10 a bottle and he accidentally sells it for $1 a bottle, then the distributor has to eat the loss. So does MS.

      • If you're a slick dealer then you know a $10 credit is very generous compared to how most pricing errors are handled with just a complete cancellation. I watched this event yesterday and most everyone expected a cancellation. Some went to the length of completing the download/install and disconnecting their xbox so they could play through without it being removed.
      • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

        Microsoft had no legal obligation to let people keep the free game, and those who obtained the game for free didn't have the legal expectation of being allowed to keep it.

        Depends on where you live, in quite a few cases where this would be the "stores error" you do get to keep the product with no strings attached, which happened during ye olde origin mess up. They could have eaten the cost , they could have given vouchers for 50% of the reail item, w hole bunch of things.

      • So it's OK if the GPL4 draft revokes all prior licenses. And people wonder why Linus removed the "later version" clause.
      • Microsoft had no legal obligation to let people keep the free game

        Does Microsoft still charge a subscription fee for access to this service? The reason I ask is that under contract law that could constitute a legal obligation. Three things required in a contract is offer, acceptance, and consideration. The first two have been met. The third one requires money to change hands which doesn't happen if it's free, but could be claimed if it was free but available from a service that otherwise needed a subscription.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        It's less clear in the UK. If a shop mis-prices something and you pay for it and walk out, they can't do anything about it. It's only because Microsoft sells you a licence that they can take it back.

        That's why I try to avoid buying licences.

    • by Calydor ( 739835 )

      Conversely, Origin offered Bejeweled 3 as an 'on the house' thing at one point. I downloaded it, played it, put it away.

      Some time later, reinstalled Origin, went to re-download Bejeweled 3 because I felt like playing it for a bit, and was told I didn't own that game. Too bad, so sad, give us money.

      • Interesting, I have On the House games from Origin, and I had installed and uninstalled them and reinstalled a few, and not ONCE did they say I didn't own the game, I have never payed for any of my 20 or so games on Origin, and all of them are still available for me to download.
  • by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Saturday June 11, 2016 @10:09PM (#52297623) Homepage Journal

    What would happen if they sell a game for the wrong nonzero price? Can they later force you to "un-buy" that game and repurchase it at the correct price?

    Here's a hypothetical situation.

    Suppose Microsoft chooses two test subsets of customers and sells the game for two different prices: BasePrice and BasePrice+$5. They do this for a time, and it gives them a differential of games sold versus price.

    If the differential reward is higher at the lower price, they stop selling at the higher price and list the lower price for all buyers from then on.

    However, if the differential reward is higher, they un-purchase the games at the lower price with the excuse that "it was listed at the wrong price, you have to repurchase at the correct price".

    Hmmmm... I think I've discovered a new way to increase market liquidity!

    (Any economist should agree that increasing market liquidity is a good thing!)

    • Yes, they can. The legal ability for a company to fix mistaken online prices after the fact was established early on.

      If the mistake is a small one, they will often opt to skip the PR hit and let the mistake stand but they do have the legal right to fix thins.

      It is much clearer with physical products. They will usually find and fix problem before a physical product ships. In most cases the give the buyer the option to choose to pay the correct price or cancel the order. With games, because the game it tied t

  • by MeNeXT ( 200840 ) on Saturday June 11, 2016 @10:35PM (#52297719)

    A long, long time ago I had to install Windows 95 for a friend so I purchased a copy on floppies because at the time he had no CD reader. To keep the story short when installing the 15thof 25 disks the install would fail. I went back to the store and they replaced it. Again at the 15th disk it failed. I returned to the store and they tested another one of their sets on a system in the store. It failed at the 15th disk. Since it was software it was not refundable and I would have to wait until a new batch came in.

    Another time at a different store I purchased Myst on a CD or DVD. The game failed after a couple of day at a specific place. The disc was in perfect condition and in was within the first week. I tried to get a replacement at the store and was told that since it was opened that there is nothing they could do.

    On another occasion I bought a game for a console. The packaging was in English with one little note in fine print on the back of the bock that this was the French version. The store would not accept an exchange since the package was opened. I was standing behind a French client who bought an English version which he assumed contained the French language as well. I tried to explain that it was not clearly indicated on the packaging nor in the in-store advertising. I exchanged my copy with the other client and left.

    I have other examples where it was my tough luck.

    Now we have an "error" on the clients side and we are told that the license will be revoked? The clients paid the advertised price for their license it should be their license to keep. Was the free Windows 10 upgrade a mistake too? Will this be revoked?

    • I think what's going on here is that Microsoft is willing to exercise their legal rights (regarding accidentally misadvertized prices, etc.) but back in the day you didn't choose exercise yours (the store had a legal requirement that what stores sell is fit for purpose, etc., which you didn't ensure they upheld).

    • I have other examples where it was my tough luck.

      Your error is that you live in a country with no consumer protection laws. Each one of your cases above would have ended very differently in places like Australia. "Not Refundable" Is not something that is valid for goods which are not properly described or not in working order. I remember fondly returning a CD which had just been released that day which wouldn't play one track. I expected the worst when I brought it in because this was the height of rampant music piracy. But after telling the clerk that on

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        Your error is that you live in a country with no consumer protection laws.

        How should someone who discovers such an error correct it, legally?

        • Move to a Australia :-). The beaches are nicer here too which is a plus, just watch for the dangerous animals (all of them).

          But you raise a very critical point. The legal avenues for you as an individual to entice change are few and far between, especially in a country where the political landscape is locked into two parties which are both in the pockets of corporations.

    • Another time at a different store I purchased Myst on a CD or DVD. The game failed after a couple of day at a specific place. The disc was in perfect condition and in was within the first week. I tried to get a replacement at the store and was told that since it was opened that there is nothing they could do.

      They lied to you.

      Me, I bought Myst on a Friday, played it the whole way through over the weekend (with a friend), and then returned it on Monday for a full refund. :-P

    • by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Sunday June 12, 2016 @06:41AM (#52298713)

      Was the free Windows 10 upgrade a mistake too?

      It was heavily advertised as free, so obviously not a mistake. Is everyone on Slashdot autistic? unable to understand empathy, or subjective logic.

      The obvious mistake was a mistake. The obvious non-mistake wasn't a mistake. How is that confusing to hundreds here?

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        It was heavily advertised as free, so obviously not a mistake.

        Even if Windows 10 is free, its users aren't.

        Is everyone on Slashdot autistic?

        Not everyone, but I have noticed that blatant displays of stereotypically autistic understanding get moderated up.

    • Was the free Windows 10 upgrade a mistake too?

      Yes, but not because it was free.

      Will this be revoked?

      One can hope

  • If this happened in a physical store, the cashier would call a supervisor. The customer may get the product for free, but the issue would immediately be remedied so that it would not be exploited. In this case, the customer decided to call over other customers with the full realization that it was likely a mistake. A mistake that would only be noticed by the retailer through abnormal sales patterns or by someone reporting it, i.e. after the fact. Even though the customers were being dishonest, they were st

    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      That's if the cashier catches it. More than likely they're just scanning by things. Once in a while, they get things wrong in either direction. Every time I go to get a bucket of paint at one of my local Home Depots, it scans up for $21 while it should be $18, this has been happening for at least the last 6 months and every time, a manager comes and I explain it and they call the paint department and I get the bucket of paint for $18. On the other hand I've gotten things that were cheaper than what they wer

    • You've clearly never worked retail. The cashier would call his friends to quickly "buy" up all the copies. This actually happens. Things get entered with a missed placed decimal. The difference here, the merchandise is virtual so you never really own it, and because they can force the return, they do.
  • A tangible asset mismarked on the shelves at a physical store would except if a few conditions be required to be sold at the lower of the 2 prices. Not sure how that applies to virtual assets sold in an online market place.

    Quoting California B&P Code, 12024.2.

    (a) It is unlawful for any person, at the time of sale of a commodity, to do any of the following:

    (1) Charge an amount greater than the price, or to compute an amount greater than a true extension of a price per unit, that is then advertised, posted, marked, displayed, or quoted for that commodity.

      (2) Charge an amount greater than the lowest price posted on the commodity itself or on a shelf tag that corresponds to the commodity, notwithstanding any limitation of the time period for which the posted price is in effect.
    (b) A violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars ($25) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not exceeding one year, or by both, if the violation is willful or grossly negligent, or when the overcharge is more than one dollar ($1).

      (c) A violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100) when the overcharge is one dollar ($1) or less.

      (d) As used in subdivisions (b) and (c), "overcharge" means the amount by which the charge for a commodity exceeds a price that is advertised, posted, marked, displayed, or quoted to that consumer for that commodity at the time of sale.

      (e) Except as provided in subdivision (f), for purposes of this section, when more than one price for the same commodity is advertised, posted, marked, displayed, or quoted, the person offering the commodity for sale shall charge the lowest of those prices.

      (f) Pricing may be subject to a condition of sale, such as membership in a retailer-sponsored club, the purchase of a minimum quantity, or the purchase of multiples of the same item, provided that the condition is conspicuously posted in the same location as the price.

    • by kwerle ( 39371 )

      As a Californian, I wonder if a software license (generally a license to use, not own) works the same way.

      It'll be interesting to see how it plays out in the courts.

    • I don't see how that law applies. Microsoft didn't charge more than the list price of $0. Therefore it violated none of those laws.

      At no point in that law do I see anything requiring the company to sell a product for its listed price, only requiring that it not charge more than its listed price.

  • Their mistake; their loss.

    This is straight-up false advertising.

    • This is a straight up price mistake - and an honest one at that - which was taken advantage of though quick action and social networking.

      Honestly - it happens all the time - the decimal in the wrong place, keying error, a product page that is used for testing goes live before it's supposed to - it happens. Some places will honor their mistakes up to a point ("the first 100 people" or "one per order") but it's up to the merchant. I have no doubt that there is language in the EULA that allows them to correct

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