Bungie Unscrews Previously Screwed Gamer
March 7, 2008 682 Comments
Exactly one week ago today I told the story of Nathaniel. Nathaniel had an Xbox 360 upon which he collected signatures and custom artwork from notable members of the gaming community. When the console broke, he called Xbox support and explained the situation. The phone representative assured him the artwork and signatures would be safe and sound during the repair process, so Nathaniel hesitantly sent it on its way. When the console was returned to him, the case was clean. No artwork by Luke McKay, no Bungie signatures, no funny lines written by the Rooster Teeth Productions staff. Everything was gone. Because of the communication error between Microsoft’s phone support and their repair center, Nathaniel suffered a very tangible loss. People have speculated whether the case was “cleaned” or switched out. Perhaps Microsoft will uncover the truth during their investigation, perhaps not. The answer probably lies in one single employee and that employee only.
The same day the article was posted, I received two emails from Bungie employees (one from Lukems, the other from Frankie) expressing the desire to help fix the situation. Despite the fact that Bungie had absolutely nothing to do with what happened, they wanted to help make things right with Nathaniel. A large box packed full of Halo swag arrived on Nathaniel’s doorstep yesterday afternoon. It took Bungie six days total to gather numerous goodies, pack them up, ship it off, and have it arrive at his house. The quickness in which they responded is absolutely astounding. Bungie goes above and beyond with their fans each and every day, but this time they truly outdid themselves.
Included in the Halo swag bag were :
- Legendary Edition Helmet signed by most–if not all–of the studio staff
- Halo 3 Soundtrack (two disc) signed by Marty O’Donnel (with “DO NOT ERASE!” written under his name)
- Bungie Jacket
- Bungie T-Shirt
- Halo 3 Messenger Bag
- Two Halo 3 Limited Edition Wireless Controllers (one covenant, one human)
- Halo 3 Faceplate and Skins for Xbox 360
- Four McFarlane Action Figures (MC, EVA Spartan, Brute Chieftan, Jackal Sniper)
- Halo Actionclix Preview pack (Target exclusive sticker on the front)
- Halo Actionclix Game Pack 4
- Halo 3 Wall Graffix
- Halo 3: Ghosts of Onyx Novel
- Halo Graphic Novel
- Halo 3 Wristband
- Halo 3 Hackeysack
Nathaniel’s personal statement :
When I sent the information for this story off to bs angel, I had no idea how fast it would spread and how far it would reach. The amount of support from the gaming community as a whole has been extraordinary. As with virtually every hot story that hits the web, this story has been heavily debated almost everywhere it has appeared–from questions of validity to who should take the blame and much more. However, in reading peoples’ comments on the matter, I have found that the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
In cases like these, it is easy to question the motives of the party breaking the story. Sadly, we seem to live in a day and age where unscrupulous individuals are constantly looking for handouts from others. On the issue of my motives, I wish to be very clear. Although I was admittedly upset when I realized what had happened to my console after taking measures to protect it, I did not release this story for the purpose of exacting revenge on Microsoft. I have no intention of taking legal action–and I am quite alarmed at the number of people that have suggested I do so. I am not demanding that heads roll for this, and I never requested any sort of compensation. My goals for this story were simple: I wished to get the word out to the gaming community about situations like these and to make Microsoft aware of potential and/or actual issues with their service process(es). At this time, I feel that significant progress has been made to both ends, and I continue to await more information from Microsoft staff. It is my ultimate goal and sincere hope that we can find a way to prevent something like this from ever occurring again.
I would like to take the opportunity to throw out a few quick thank-yous.
To bs angel: Thank you for continuing to take such an active interest in my story. I greatly appreciate that you’ve not only taken the time to publish this but also have been willing to put forth the extra effort to alert me to and assist me in dealing with any pressing issues in the aftermath of this story’s release.
To my friends, of both the Internet and the real world: Thank you for your ongoing support, both in dealing with this story and with the challenges of everyday life. You guys are awesome.
And finally, to the staff of Bungie Studios:
I cannot thank you enough for the outpouring of support that you have lavished upon me in the aftermath of the release of my story. Long have I known of your dedication to your fans and community, but I find this single act of kindness mind boggling. Apart from the fact that a few of you had signatures adorning my console, you had no involvement in what occurred. As such, you have far surpassed any response I could have anticipated. I don’t think I could ever repay you for this.
Thank you all for what you have done for me. I wish each and every one of you continued success in your future endeavors.
P.S. Marty, I love the soundtrack, and I promise you that I will do as you’ve requested and not erase any of it.
Unfortunately there is not much of a Microsoft update at this time. John Porcaro (a marketing manager at Microsoft) contacted Nathaniel last Friday after Nathaniel’s previous attempts at correspondence went unanswered and had this to say: “We’re gamers ourselves, and we’re all pretty shocked that something like this happened… Apparently the consoles go through a wash-down process before they’re shipped back. You would think that someone would see the case and realize that it would be best to leave it be.” While they are working on rectifying the situation, Nathaniel has not heard back from them minus a few emails from M3 Sweat (Chief of Staff of the Windows Core Operating System Division) requesting more information (serial numbers before and after shipping, call reference number, and whether or not there has been any other response than the phone call last Friday). Microsoft’s closing sentiments were, “We’re really sorry this happened. There’s no way to replace what you had exactly, but we’re going to try to get you something similar, if not even more awesome.” Hopefully they will provide him with an update soon as a lack of communication is what caused this error to occur in the first place. I remain hopeful that they will get to the bottom of this and perhaps work to make some changes to improve overall customer satisfaction in regards to communication between their phone support, their repair center, and Microsoft themselves.