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Irrational Explanations – Xbox 360 repair removes guy’s prized signatures

by Brandon on March 1st, 2008

I just got linked to this article via Neowin, about a guy who had an Xbox 360 for two years that had been signed by various Xbox, Bungie, and Rooster Teeth staff (and also had some cool custom artwork drawn on it).

He tried to arrange with the repair facility to have either the same console returned (after being repaired) or to have the case transferred to the replacement.  Of course he feared the worst, that he wouldn’t get the same console back.

Except that what happened did seem worse, as he got the same console back, but believes someone had wiped off all the signatures (with some smudges left that support this theory).

My first thought was not the same as most people’s, apparently.  If you look at the comments, they seem to all present theories like “Some jackass obviously stole his console and faked the smudges so he’d think it was gone forever.”

Come on people.  Why so cynical?  Remember the old adage, “Don’t attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.”  Or more appropriate, ignorance.

My theory?

Someone did their best to fulfill his wishes, and made sure he was set up to receive the same console back.  Things were looking good, until someone further down the line saw the console and assumed it was a refurb / repaired unit being sent to some random joe who sent in a different console.  They then decided in ignorance to “clean” the console according to their standard policy, removing any foreign markings that might not be welcomed by its new owner.

It’s just a theory, of course, but a plausible one I think.  One that doesn’t assume people are evil or that this was an act of malice, but simply an unfortunate mistake made out of ignorance.

I feel really bad for the guy, I know I’d be pissed in his place.  But at least it seems that Microsoft has contacted him personally.  I don’t know if they’ll be able to completely “fix” things, but I hope they’ll be able to do something for him – as whatever the explanation, the outcome really sucked.

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One Comment
  1. Eric permalink

    That’s what I assume happened too. Microsoft has done some dumb things intentionally but I doubt this is one of them. It really hurts the movement to get Microsoft to change policies when people make accusations like this over a likely honest mistake. Microsoft needs to make sure this doesn’t happen again and help fix this users problem but no need for people to make wild accusations over this.

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