The worst customer service ever award goes to…

adapter.jpgMicrosoft. Seriously. My annoyance at being overcharged and told no we can’t let you return the Xbox 360 power adapter because our agent made a mistake wasn’t enough, it was when the 2nd supervisor (of 5 different representatives and 2 supervisors on the same issue) said to me “I have no way of verifying that you are telling the truth about the misquoted price,” that I lost it. She flatly refused to give me to a higher supervisor, so I found the highest fish on the food chain in her division of Microsoft and faxed him a letter about the situation.

At Microsoft, the customer service representatives are apparently trained to protect the interests of the company rather than provide customer service.

We didn’t know what one of these adapters should cost, so we asked the guy on the other end of the phone. If he’d told us $79 plus shipping, we would not have placed the order. He told us $18, twice. The don’t even sound alike, no matter what accent you use (his English was pristine, so that’s not even relevant). To read the letter I wrote to Robert Bach, President, Entertainment & Devices Division, Microsoft Corporation, click the more link.

November 29, 2007

Mr. Robert J. Bach, President Entertainment & Devices Division
Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052-6399


Dear Mr. Bach,

Before I file complaints with the BBB and the NY State Attorney General, I write to make you aware of an instance of extraordinarily poor customer service perpetrated by your Xbox 360 phone service line between November 24 and today. I take this step after 3 conversations on 3 days involving 3 different representatives and 2 supervisors to deal with what was essentially a miscommunication on the part of the first representative. In addition, there was an exchange of emails, initiated via the Xbox support website. The service request number is 1051116400.

My son, Timothy, age 18, received an Xbox 360 (ser# is 52407554405) as a gift last summer; gaming helps him to control a movement disorder he has had for the better part of 2 years. It was still wrapped and in the box when received, so when the power adapter split at the ribbing covering the connection of the wiring and the block, he called the service line to inquire. He was informed that the machine was no longer under warranty, but the representative quoted him the price of $18 for a replacement. My son asked him to repeat the price, which he did in very clear English. We now understand that that representative told us the wrong price, twice, because my credit card was charged $86.35 for the adapter.

As soon as we realized the discrepancy, we called the support line again and asked that, in light of the obvious misunderstanding, that we be allowed to either cancel the order if it had not yet been shipped, or be sent an authorized return for it. We were told that neither option was possible because the item is an accessory.

Your customer service representative misspoke. We have no desire to punish your company for his error, we understand humans make mistakes; however, we also have no desire to be financially punished for his error either. We are quite reasonably asking to return the device and receive credit for it, in light of the miscommunication. We were repeatedly told that this was not possible, that there was no one who could help us, that we could not speak to a higher level supervisor, that we were stuck with the $86-not-$18 adapter that has already been shipped to us (but has not arrived), and ultimately told I was lying about the entire situation. I assure you, I have no reason to be untruthful, if we had been told the correct price (which is $79 and shipping for $86.35), the order would not have been placed. It is just that simple.

We only want to be authorized to return the device when it arrives and be credited $86.35 for it.

Very truly yours,


Yet another reason I love, love, love Apple where customer service goes above and beyond expectations. Read here and here for my supporting evidence on that.

4 Responses to “The worst customer service ever award goes to…”

  1. Amy
    November 29, 2007 at 6:10 pm #

    Dell has really crappy customer service, too. I can’t believe the people you talked to on the phone actually spoke English as their first language. I’m sorry you had this terrible experience.

  2. Todd Porter
    November 29, 2007 at 7:10 pm #

    Next time get a PS or Nintendo and stay clear of anything Microsith.

    I hope you get a positive response.

  3. Patti Gibbons
    November 29, 2007 at 7:21 pm #

    haha, Todd, the thing was a gift (for which we were very thankful and couldn’t have afforded).


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