Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Whining gets you free stuff

I started thinking about this a few weeks ago, when the article about the guy that sent his xbox to be repaired and lost all his signatures and custom artwork on it. I had been talking about how complaining on the Internet has become the easiest way possible to get free stuff in the real world. In the example of the guy that sent back his xbox - would you trust a semi-valuable non-replaceable item to a huge box-shop? The 360 repair technique is a difficult thing, because of how semi-unique the condition is currently. I've had plenty of irreplaceable items such as signed books, baseball cards and photographs over time.

If he wanted to continue to use his 360 instead of having to replace it and make the other case a complete collector's item that he left on a shelf, he was going to have to send it in for repair. That isn't to say that any level of risk would be associated with it. The folks that do the repair aren't going to really be looking at what the note said that he sent with it, or really any promises that were made. I wouldn't be surprised if that case isn't sitting off to the side where someone replaced it with a stock case because they liked the artwork.

And we get to the current news that Bungie is going to do "something special" for this guy because he lost the signatures and case, and happened to whine about it on the Interwebs. Everyone feels good. How many folks do you think are going to do something special to their xbox now before they send it off in hopes of getting something cool and free?

Now we get to where this one gets interesting to me personally - I blogged months ago about how I felt that the Live Search Club service was really just a scam, because I got tagged as being a cheater on the service. I chalked up the experience as a growing opportunity and went on my merry way. I still believe that Microsoft could save themselves millions by just requiring that the players pay S&H for the products that they win. It would keep the folks just looking for a fast buck from trying to cheat as much, and it would help to speed up the processing time for the requests. That said, I relegated that I was not going to see any of the rewards that I had signed up for.

Then last week, out of the blue, I get a package from Microsoft. Much to my surprise, it was a copy of Kameo: Elements of Power from Live Search Club. Taking as a win that I actually got something from the time and effort spent on the service, I'm relatively pleased. The next day, I end up getting "Project Gotham Racing 3" in the mail from Live Search Club. Now, I was supposed to get these rewards in mid-October, and it was early December that I was told I was getting nothing. Now it's March and I mysteriously get 2 rewards, after a spike in my blog shows that people were sure interested in my "Club Live Scam" blog entry. While I didn't get everything, I sure can't complain about getting something at this point.

And, I can claim myself as one of the masses that whined on the Internet and got free stuff.


Christy said...

I dunno... I think you have a right to complain MORE now. In December, they said they thought you cheated, and therefore you weren't getting anything. You accepted that and moved on, annoying but not a huge deal. Well, now they've sent you two things, which obviously means you're not a cheater, or they wouldn't send you jack crap.... so now where are the rest of the rewards that you earned? And if they're not going to send them, where is your points refund? A refund of points is what's supposed to happen if the chosen reward is unavailable.... so you should be getting one or the other.
Guess you need to whine more ;)

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