EB Games Australia & Microsoft Are Happy After All?

xbox360left.jpgYesterday we received a chat transcript that contained comments from a someone in "high position within the EB organisation". According to the log, EB Games Australia had been left with millions of dollars worth of defective consoles.

The SMH managed to get in contact with Steve Wilson, chief executive for EB Games. According to Wilson, the rumour is nothing more than that - a rumour - a fact we did stress as a possibility in the original post.

Microsoft's reluctance to comment on the issue did not help quell doubts, and continues to fuel my concerns that something is amiss. If there was no substance to the rumour, there's no reason to be silent about it.

You'll note that the SMH story has no comment from MS either.

I'd hate to think that such a situation existed between the two companies, so it's good to hear that things aren't as serious as we were led to believe. I'd still like Microsoft to clarify the matter, as the issue remains one-sided.

Oh - one final twist to the story comes from an email I received recently from a former EB Games employee. It's readable in all its glory after the jump.

I previously worked for EB Games in various Brisbane stores for a period of 3 years. One thing that has always guaranteed returning customers was the 7 day returns policy. The problem with this was it wasn't always strictly 7 days. Many times I returned items (including consoles) outside of the 7 day period. With consoles, they had a policy that if it became defective within the first 30 days they would accept a return and give the customer a replacement.

When Xbox consoles are returned, Microsoft requires an Return Authorisation (RA) number. However we never got these numbers, and just replaced consoles with new ones. The defective console would then be sent back to EB head office and presumably dealt with there.

I would not be surprised if EB has been accumulating defective Xbox 360's and are trying to get an enormous refund. In my opinion, EB may only have themselves to blame.

Make of it what you will, folks


Comments

    Isn't the usual Microsoft response rumors that they don't comment on them? So why is it so alarming and important that they haven't commented on it.

    As it stands I hardly think the issue is one-sided at all. The management at EB have themselves confirmed this with a rather firm statement. Any more is just pushing for a conspiracy theory.

    You dug a hole for yourselves running with a story based on rumor, now you're trying to distance youselves from any blame with a quiet update.

    Microsoft have a policy of "no comment" you can't use that to strengthen your claims and then use it as a get out of jail free card aswell.

    You screwed up, just admit it guys.

    And thats why employees at ANY company need training...

    evne I know to call Xbox on the retailers line whilst the customer is in the store to get an RA number...

    Dan - can you honestly tell me that you expect the standard of reporting from blogs to be flawless? 99.99999% of what's put up on blogs is rumour.

    what logan did was perfectly fine, as far as blogging was concerned.

    if it were a traditional media publication, it would be a different story.

    I assure you this is no rumour...

    As far as im concerned, people who come to the website to bash the editors for stating *rumors* to be true is just sad... simply sad... i dont see you writing a blog and calling for confirmation

    @sad

    What the hell is your point?

    I don't have my own site but if i did i'd fact check my story before i posted it and if i was unable to get any hard facts i'd CLEARLY STATE that it was an unsubstantiated rumor and NOT try to reinforce the story by implying that a "no comment" from MS backs up their claims when we all know that it is MS's stanard responce.

    When i comment on a story it is either my OPINION stated as such or it is what i believe to be FACT and is supported by a source/s.

    Anyway chill out, i'm not making that big a deal of this i just think that when somebody writes a story that could potentially harm a company/person that a new story that put's the record straight should be posted rather than a quiet update to original post that could easily be overlooked by anybody that has already read it.

    Hello Dan,

    Just wanted to clear this up:

    1) The original story does state that it could be a rumour, so I'm not sure why you're under the impression that it didn't. Feel free to check.

    2) I've received new information since the original story was posted that things are still not right between MS and EB, or at the very least, EB is not telling us everything. Right now I'm putting the pieces together, but don't be surprised when the bomb drops in the next few weeks.

    The reason the record hasn't been "set straight" is because it's not straight.

    @Logan Booker

    No i read your original story just fine, i think you didn't read mine so well.

    My point was that you used MS's no comment as a way of reinforcing the rumor when we all know it is a standard responce for them not to comment, then when EB Games chief executive Steve Wilson came out and said that the rumor was "99 percent bullshit" you suggested that your misunderstanding was MS's fault for not commenting.

    As far as your upcoming bombshell goes i'll say this, if you find proof that EB Australia has anywhere near $10 million worth of broken 360's (25,000 units) i'll eat my hat and upload the video to Youtube as long as you write a proper retraction if you're wrong.

    Still waiting for your bombshell or apology.

    @Dan: I'm glad you are. Though I won't be posting an apology. Kotaku is about rumour and gossip, as well as news. It's all in the blog's description in the top-left corner if there's any confusion.

    Plus, I'm still 100% convinced there is/was something going on between EB and Microsoft. Unfortunately, both companies are very good at covering their tracks.

    Don't you believe nothing is amiss, because it most certainly is - as I commented on the original story, I took a 24 month extended warranty from EB on a 360 Pro purchased in October 06.

    With my Microsoft warranty running out just two weeks ago, my 360 has developed a "2 red light" overheating issue in the last week or so (no 3 year RROD warranty for me, yet - could be that it's just hot - even though I am giving it between 6-12 hours to cool down, and produces the same result of failing after 5-10 minutes at night, and below room temperature). Knowing that I had my extended warranty, I contacted EB.

    Their response: They are refunding all current extended warranties for the 360, and will no longer replace a failing 360 with a new one. The reason given was this: EB and MS have been or are involved in LEGAL ACTION over the 360. I don't think the EB employee was meant to tell me this, much like the customer who was told by an EB Manager that EB actually do have some 14,000 odd failed units on hand - maybe not $10 million worth, but it's getting there!). It was also acknowledged that there are no 360s in stock, and they would not be getting more for at least 2 weeks.

    They have offered to refund me $85 and replace my console with another "secondhand" (which I gather means another piece of crap that used to be broken) console with a 12 month warranty. I am obviously not satisfied with that, and I am at this stage looking at all my options.

    Don't get me wrong, I love the Xbox - Loved Bioshock, Gears of War, Mass Effect, NHL 07, etc. It was great fun to play, especially when I had a trial gold membership and got to play NHL online, as well as the Halo series. Great fun, no doubt. However, the overwhelming reliability issues have made me question whether I would even accept a new one. I know for certain that I will never own another Xbox product, and I am not likely to invest in more games for the system, whether or not I replace my console.

    Today I had major problems with EB Games and Microsoft. I too purchased it from EB Games on the day of release 23.3.06 and bought their extended 2 year warranty. Yesterday the machine had major graphic problems with most of the colour being bright green. I phoned microsoft about it and the machine literally died whilst I was on the phone to them. I told them I had the 2 year warranty with EB Games and they told me to take it back to them. When I did, I got the same story as Adam only I had a choice of getting my $85 refund OR a pre-owned xbox 360. I was absolutely furious but obviously had no choice but to take a pre-owned. Microsoft were going to charge me $132 for them to look at it. Who knows how much it would have been for parts etc. Anyway we got to keep our original hard drive and put it in the exchanged xbox 360. It still annoys me that basically EB Games extended warranties are worth nothing now as they told me they are nul and void and are not allowed to replace broken ones with new ones (which is what we were told at the time of original purchase). They will only give me a 12 month warranty with this pre-owned one. WHAT DO YOU DO!

    Actually my local EB Games store manager confirmed this IS true. As a result he has actively discouraged me from buying an xbox 360 and is rearranging the store so that it has the worst section of showroom.

    Regardless of how EB did it, i.e. if they saved them up for a big refund MS shouldn't be s stupid as to annoy them. They stock competing products and if they have problems with MS why should they promote them over the other consoles who don't have as many problems?

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