Returning Xbox One: A Kinect Saga

x1kinectI feel as if I am part of an alternate reality, wherein someone’s dreams of receiving unlimited Xbox Ones has impeded my own existence, creating a reality-based nightmare.

November 22nd brought forth a new born Xbox One into my console family. We shall call him 117, in relation to his serial number. He was a proud Xbox One, but unfortunately crippled: His attached Kinect was non-functional. Calling support a few days after lines cleared from a three hour wait time reassured poor boy 117 he would soon find a “Kinected” partner. Microsoft sent the replacement Kinect, I sent the broken one back… except the new Kinect was equally DOA.

Thus, 117 would need separated from myself, 117 an unfortunate circumstance of factory assembly which rendered his Kinect port borked. Dialing support instituted a later exchange – Peggle 2 was due on December 9th and a review needed to be completed – so I would have to call back to finalize this console shipment/exchange.

But, to my surprise, 264 entered my life that week. It was an unexpected pregnancy. Number 264 came wrapped in fresh retail bindings, still sealed with every accessory, manual, and cables. She was new from the factory, or so it is assumed. Her origins remain a mystery. Redialing support led to a confusing phone call of serial numbers, order IDs, and other items, but no record of 264 ever being shipped to me. I could have kept 264 and Microsoft would have never known.

In the end, 264 became my Xbox One. She worked, after all, and this was support’s solution to make everything cheery. The distressed 117 would take over 264’s box and sit… and sit… and sit. Microsoft never sent a promised return label. So I waited. Then I called. Then I waited (two more weeks).

(Somewhere in this mix I received a controller for Xbox One. Just a box with a bare controller. No record of shipment. Unrequested. No note, no return label. It’s sitting in my controller drawer now.)

It wasn’t until New Year’s Day when a number popped on my phone from Microsoft’s corporate office confirming they had finally sent me a return shipping label. Hooray! Mr. 117 can finally rest in peace, and off he went to Microsoft’s coffin unit.

Except not, because as of today. January 9th, 117 is coming back to me resurrected:


I want to make it clear: I do not blame the support people who have assisted me, all of them friendly and equally mystified as to how any of this has happened. The problem is they are powerless to stop the cycle of computerized ineptitude built into the back-end systems which house their tracking/repairs.

I am getting 117. It cannot be stopped. He is coming along with his partnering Kinect. Is he refurbished in retail packaging? It is just 117 and a Kinect? Who knows? No one, not even Microsoft’s phone team.

Oh, and they’re sending me another controller. Because, I guess. At least there’s a record of this one: