Xbox Live Gamers Sue Microsoft For Faulty Service, Lawyer Speaks Out

When three Texas gamers couldn't get online to play Call of Duty 4 or Halo 3 on their Xbox 360s last December, they decided to sue.

In a class-action lawsuit filed January 4, gamers Keith Kay, Orlando Perez and Shannon Smith claim that they and millions of other users of Xbox Live users suffered damages in excess of $5 million.

What kind of person sues over their online gaming service not working? And why haven't Microsoft's announcements that they're fixing the problem not been enough? In his first interview with the press, the plaintiffs' lawyer, Jason Gibson, explained the gamers' side of things to MTV News.

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Meus Renaissance4663d ago (Edited 4663d ago )

I dont understand why people are reporting this as duplicate. The story here is not the actual lawsuit, but the lawyer's interview with MTV about the lawsuit. Wageslave in particular reporting it multiple times just to fail it, by using the same complaint twice by categorising it as Duplicate + Other. Oh well.

This quote surprised me. "If they had not anticipated the sales, then they would not have put out that many units of the Xbox to begin with." I'm keeping my eye on this lawsuit, sounds like it won't be quickly dismissed to say the least.

decapitator4663d ago

Meus, the people reporting this as a duplicate are those people who don't comprehend what this is and think this is a dupe. Is freaking interview dated for today which was done exclusively by MTV.

Feihc Retsam4663d ago

I won't be a blind loyal fanboy and defend Microsoft here. It's inexcusable. For the money they make annualy from xbox live (10M users... at LEAST $50 per year... yeah) They should have the MOST stable and kick a$$ online service in the world with the exception of the few mega monster MMORPGs out there...

All I want it some MS points for my troubles... I don't want a handpicked arcade title for free, I want some points to spend on xbox live as I choose... It's not like they are losing money directly form that. Sure, they would have tou cough up a bit of cash for the content providers when people use those MS points to buy their content, but I'd say they owe it to us

BrianC62344663d ago

I hate all these lawsuits lately but I can understand this one. Xbox Live isn't free. Why is it okay for something like this to not be available and customers just have to deal with it? Any other industry does this and they'd have huge legal problems. They'd have to reimburse a lot of money too. Microsoft either better solve this problem fast or make Xbox Live free. If the service is free nobody can really complain. When you pay to use the service though you should be able to use it when you want to.

drewdrakes4663d ago

Ya, i had live issues and i didnt like it anymore then any of you. But you know that Terms of Service you probably didnt read? It says that Microsoft owes you NOTHING. The service is given AS IS. happy with what you get.

BenzMoney4663d ago

"I'm keeping my eye on this lawsuit, sounds like it won't be quickly dismissed to say the least."

Yes it will. You see, there's something called the "Xbox Live Terms of Use"... This contract, to which all subscribers agree, expressly states that the XBOX Live service is provided "as-is", "with all faults" and "as available", and that Microsoft gives no express warranties, guarantees or conditions. It also limits liability to direct damages, up to an amount equal to one month's service fees.

Granted, disclaimers and limitations of liability are not always enforceable, but unexpected network outages and system overloads come with the 'digital' territory and most on-line agreements contain clauses addressing these issues.

I'd put my money on Microsoft's legal team over some coin attorney on this one. Seems pretty open/shut.

BrianC62344663d ago

You guys who keep bringing up the Xbox Live Terms of Service seem to miss the point. Maybe the lawsuit won't hold up in court. Who knows. But Microsoft already has a huge problem with the RROD issue. Now Xbox Live isn't working. And people have to pay for the service. This is a nightmare for the 360. If Microsoft is smart they'll look into making Xbox Live free or fix this major problem right now. People will put up with this kind of problem if the service is free. If they're paying for it though they expect to get something for their money.

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Afterburn4663d ago

Maybe that can cover the range of people that refuse to actually read the article before thay flame it to death.

OC_MurphysLaw4663d ago

This kind of crap pisses me off. Some dude playing games gets all butt hurt cause he has issues getting online for a week or two and now he thinks he is entitled to sue! You pay approx $4 per month for Live...GET OVER IT ALREADY! Stop b1tching, get a life outside of gaming already. Its completely ridiculous that this suit even got filed. Just wasting the courts time.

Zeff8214663d ago

All it does is give courage to others that want to sue over something so silly. I don't like the way Microsoft handled some of the issues, but its a service that relies on COMPUTER NETWORKING and we know how that goes.

christopher64534663d ago

You know, I agree with the core idea of your post (even though it is poorly expressed.)

Here's the deal, we pay little for the best gaming experience around. During this whole "Wah, I can't get online ordeal, I was affected maybe 36 hours. And the reality is MOST people experienced problems like mine. There was MAYBE 5% or less of people that had experienced long lasting problems.

I hope that the people who like this story, and agree with it know what SUMMARY JUDGEMENT is. If you don't, look it up. This frivolous lawsuit will get kicked at summary judgement.



Feihc Retsam4663d ago

I've had connection issues off and on since Christmas...
It seems like a Lawsuit is the only thing that will get Microsoft to compensate its members

Boon Tarkas4663d ago

Live was having issues for close to 5 weeks. It wasn't just a couple days. Try this sceneario on for size and see if you remain as arrogant: You drop 4 bills and get your kid a 360 for Christmas, and then he cant play his friends or anything that requires online service until almost the 2nd week of Jan.
If this was your phone or cable service you can rest assured it wouldn't not be allowed to founder for weeks on end.
I love my 360 but MS seriously dropped the ball as far as Live went, and only managed to rub salt in the wound by offering the pittance that is a free arcade game

athlon7704663d ago

It started for me right around Christmas with my blades on XBL not showing up. And when I cancelled the connection, I got my blades, but could not play any of the downloaded games or watch many of the videos I have because this is my 2nd 360 (sold my original to my son). It wasn't untill the 2nd week of January that I could sign in, but XBL will kick me off after 5min or so. And that is STILL happening to me as of this morning.

When I first heard about the lawsuit, I like you thought "what a wast of time, frigging sue happy people", but after reading the article, he brings up a very good point. You are paying for a service, and MS could not think far enough in advance to think they will sell a couple of 360's over the season and up the connection servers?

That made me re-think the lawsuit. Yes, everyone realizes that it is only $4.00 a month, but the point of the matter is this is a paid for service, MS is not taking our money and using it for upkeep on dedicated game serviers...the 360 is a p2p connection.

So yes, I agree with the lawsuit at this point in time, over 4 weeks worth of troubles is long enough!

OC_MurphysLaw4663d ago

"Live was having issues for close to 5 weeks. It wasn't just a couple days"...fine by was having issues for close to 5 weeks. 5 weeks were sometimes you could connect up and play...sometimes you couldn' was hit and miss for sure. And yes...I know it was frustrating especially for those who game alot on the system.

"You drop 4 bills and get your kid a 360 for Christmas, and then he cant play his friends or anything that requires online service until almost the 2nd week of Jan. " Well...what can I say to that except if you really did drop 4 bills at Xmas on the system then your first few months of Live would be FREE anyway given the free 3 month trial they give you when you sign up. Secondly...its not like they couldn't play games at all. Third item... So little johnny couldn't jump online for 5 weeks.... You make this out to be the end of the world...go teach the kid how to throw a baseball...don't get all pissed off that you cant baby sit the kid with the 360 for 24hrs a day and get your kid off his tush and see some sunlight, have him go outside and play with his friends.

My God, people act like this was the end of the world...Ok, ok you couldn't game online consistently for a while...there are OTHER things besides playing online you can do. I know its shocking....but there is this whole world outside your door you can go and explore.

This lawsuit is ridiculous! You were damaged? HOW? How are you damaged? You couldn't play video games online for 5 weeks? Well reality is you could set up private matches you just couldn't do online match making...the other functions of live were really was the matchmaking / ranked games that were jacked up. And yes I get pay $4 a month to play and this is a service offered by MS that you pay for. And MS makes a lot of money off of it so since they do we need to sue them to get them to fix it and know its not acceptable, blah, blah, blah. News flash...MS has fixed it, MS was working on it when it hit and it took longer than I am sure EVERYONE wanted including MS. Anyway the important piece out of all of this garbage is that NOBODY was really damaged at all. It was an inconvenience sure...but no real damages were had by ANYONE during all of this. Therefore this lawsuit is frivolous and just an attempt to try and milk a big company out of money period!

AAACE54663d ago

I understand people get mad about something not working when it should, but this type of thing could lead to something bigger!

If every gamer tried to sue for every 360 that R-Rodded or had problems connecting to Live. Or every Ps2 owner sued for receiving the Disc read error problem... It could ultimately lead to no game consoles at all, because companies would be scared to release a console - and have people sue them!

I can see people trying to get something free for the problem, or even getting the problem fixed for free. But trying to get large sums of money will only hurt the gamer in the end.

I know there is some fanboy who hates MS is saying something negative right now. But if MS got sued and decided to drop consoles altogether, that would be less competition in the industry. I view the 360 as the ps2... The Ps2 was a great console with lots of games, but it had hardware problems cause they tried to do something new. The 360 is pretty much in the same boat.

Basically what i'm saying is, Gamers shouldn't let greed and hate, overpower their better judgement. I got irritated when Live started acting up on me, but things like that happen from time to time! I'm sure people have had problems with their computer, car, ipod, or something else, have periods where they aren't working right. But everyone doesn't go crazy and try to sue!

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Zeff8214663d ago (Edited 4663d ago )

How can not being able to play a game constitute a 5 million dollar payout? This is what Americans are becoming, money grubbing whores. That's what this is all about. I spent at least 5 hours through December trying to recover my account on a new 360. I can see how someone would complain about getting at least a month free.

EDIT: After reading the replies, I get it, I understand now. My last sentence above is essentially what this lawsuit is about, getting redeemed for the month of bad/no service.

Fisher3394663d ago

well for example let's say,

xbl has 5 million people on in dec. and for a 1/4 of a month they couldn't log on. xbl cost like $4 a month so every person deserves a $1 back.

now considering xbl has way more than 5million people M$ should be happy he's only asking for $5mill.

rawg4663d ago

The $5M amount is probably the punitive damages part of the lawsuit and it's really not that much if you think about it.

Quick primer: the law allows for individuals to sue companies for two types of awards: 1) individual damages, which in this case would be a few dollars per individual - something that MS could easily ignore and 2) punitive damages (punitive = punish) to ensure that large companies don't just ignore individual consumers, hence the $5M amount.

The punitive damages amount is usually designed to offset the money that a company makes as result of their harmful behavior. It's intended to negate the financial incentive that a large company would have for screwing their customers for profit, otherwise they would never change.

In this case, using a rough back of the napkin calculation (10M users * $50/year / 365 days), MS makes about $1.4M per day from XBOX live customers so this lawsuit only takes away about 3-4 days worth of XBOX Live revenue from MS, even though the service has been unavailable for much longer.

It will likely cost MS much more than $5M to increase XBOX Live capacity for all of the additional users, so in fact, they are better off financially if they just ignored their customers and paid off the lawsuit. Of course, MS will fix the problem anyway to avoid negative publicity but they also know that if they don't fix the problem, there will be bigger lawsuits in the future that may actually affect their bottom line.

Dukester1014663d ago

"This kind of junk lawsuit is what makes us lawyers look bad. It also makes the country look sue-happy and too quick to file suit."

That statement couldnt be anymore true. It's a waste of time/money, makes lawyers look bad, and more importantly the country. The justice system in this country is f'd up... it all went downhill after the McDonalds coffee incident.

Zeff8214663d ago (Edited 4663d ago )

How can any company expect to provide any kind of service if for one or two weeks it doesn't perform as well as it has over the last few years, they are getting sued for millions of dollars?

Come to think of it though, this lawsuit is more or less a refund to each member for the Month of December, which isn't really harsh.