Microsoft Finally Makes Things Right
March 21, 2008 168 Comments
Three weeks ago I told the tragic tale of Nathaniel, a passionate gamer whose custom Xbox 360 got “cleaned” during an extended stay at the Microsoft repair center. One week after that I told the heartwarming story of Bungie, a very generous gaming studio who went above and beyond for Nathaniel by sending him the best Halo 3-themed goody bag ever. Today brings the final chapter to his story, the part that many people doubted would ever happen.
Microsoft contacted Nathaniel the day the article was originally published to offer a brief apology and to let him know they were working on rectifying the situation. Unfortunately they have been oddly silent since then. They have not given him any updates on the investigation, nor have they said if they figured out exactly what happened to his case. They did send him a gigantic cardboard box though.
What exactly was in this mysterious box that Microsoft wanted him to enjoy? Not a letter or an answer as to why his artwork and autographs were erased, but instead plenty of other stuff to make up for their mistake. Included in Microsoft’s big box of goodies were:
- 1 Xbox 360 console (signed by original RT signers, new artwork by Luke McKay, signatures from Xbox 360 team, additional signatures from Bungie Staff)
- 1 Xbox 360 faceplate (signed by Bill Gates, among others)
- Devil May Cry 4
- Lost Odyssey
- Rainbow Six Vegas 2
- Gears of War
- Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom
- 2 ‘What’s Your Gamerscore?’ Bumperstickers
- Xbox 360 CD Wallet
- Signed picture of Bill Gates
Nathaniel’s personal statement :
While my story has come to what I am sure the average reader will conclude is a satisfactory close, I do not personally view this as its ultimate end. Don’t get me wrong: My overall mood about the packages I have received from Bungie and Microsoft is nothing short of ecstatic, but compensation was never my focus. The only thing I have specifically asked of Microsoft and the Xbox 360 team for is this particular case to be examined so that some change(s), whether small or broad, can be made to the service process to prevent the occurrence of any similar scenario. This remains my only request. I’m not asking for details, but if my story is leading to changes that should benefit current and future Xbox 360 owners, I would really like to know.
I do not think the people at Microsoft that have been working diligently on the XBox 360 project over the last several years are fools. There have been many lessons to be learned for all that have worked on the project at all levels, from the inception of the console until now. I am confident that this story–and the subsequent response that it has received from the gaming community as a whole–will reinforce the importance of keeping customer service and repair divisions well organized and in top form.
To those who have worked to put this package together for me, you have my gratitude. Thank you all for putting forth the time and effort to do this for me; this is indeed far “more awesome” than what I had before.
This story has shown itself to be a great lesson in the power of the Internet. It is with this observation that I must say to the gaming community at large, those who’ve shown their support and saved me much of the effort of spreading my story myself, you also have my gratitude. Without the actions of a great number of individuals who will forever remain unknown to me, my “cautionary tale” would not have reached nearly as many people. Thank you.
As Nathaniel’s story reaches its happy ending, I can’t help but wonder what happens to the rest of us. Will Microsoft work to improve its customer service? Will this story cause some changes to be made in regards to the communication breakdowns that occur between their phone support, their repair center, and Microsoft itself? Will I ever get back all my Arcade games that I lost access to when one of my consoles red ringed?! I suppose only time will tell. Until then, I will continue to ogle Nathaniel’s goodies with my green tinged eyes.