The Xbox Saga

 A few weeks ago, my cat broke my xbox.  He opened the disc tray and sat on it.  I went on Microsoft’s website and saw that my warranty included free repairs, so we mailed the console in.  Today, I got this email.  


Dear Jamie Stefko,

Our inspection of your console revealed evidence of damage (such as tampering or modification of the console), which is excluded from the Limited Warranty you accepted when you purchased and used your console. Therefore, Microsoft will not provide repair service to your console.

Tamper and modifications found may include the following:

  • Evidence of attempted console disassembly

  • Evidence of unauthorized repair

  • Tamper label removed, altered, or otherwise disturbed

  • Modifications to internal components

  • Modifications to software

  • Serial number mismatch

  • Damage caused by external events such as misuse, abuse, or negligence

  • Damage caused by use of non-Microsoft devices with the console

The console is being returned to you as-is (not repaired), along with any accessories you sent with it. If you were charged for a repair, your charges will be returned by check or credited back to you on your credit card. Please allow up to 4 weeks to receive your refund.


The Xbox Customer Service Team


And this is my angry response.  


Since I haven’t tampered with or modified my xbox, I can only assume that you’re accusing me of negligence.  

My cat opened the disc tray and put too much weight on it.  I think this is less the fault of my lack of a cat-proof xbox shrine, and more a problem with the sensitivity of the new eject buttons on the console.  It works for the PS3, but they don’t have a disc tray to break.  Also, I can’t imagine that simply repairing the tray would be that time consuming or difficult for you.  I tried to follow your rules, and I mailed my console in good faith, because I didn’t realize that a simple accident is enough to void your empty warranty.  Maybe you should mention that on your website.  Now the only choice you leave me to get it repaired even further invalidates your useless warranty, and you’ve wasted weeks of my time.  
I’ve heard about how terrible Microsoft was to work with–the word evil has been bandied around–but I’ve always had good experiences with my xbox.  When you came out with a new model, I updated.  I bought a Kinect.  I’ve never regretting supporting your company with my purchases before.  Now, I’ll have to seriously think about if I want to continue on with Microsoft when it comes time to move on to the next generation of console.  
Merry Christmas.  
~Jamie Stefko.  


About Jamie

Jamie Lackey lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and their cats. She has over 160 short fiction credits, and has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Escape Pod. She has a novella and two short story collections available from Air and Nothingness Press. In addition to writing, she spends her time reading, playing tabletop RPGs, baking, and hiking. You can find her online at

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