Xbox Live Class Action Lawyer Tells His Side

Xbox Live Class Action Lawyer Tells His Side

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Lawyer Jason Gibson, representing the plaintiffs in the class action suit against Microsoft over Xbox Live service outages, has spoken to MTV about the motivation behind the lawsuit and why his clients believe it's a "real issue."

Gibson said he was first contacted by plaintiff Shannon Smith, who had written to Microsoft about his difficulties connected to Xbox Live. He received no response from the company, but Xbox blogger Larry Hryb, better known as Major Nelson, posted a message acknowledging the problems and claiming corrections were being made. That message was followed up by an apology from Xbox Live General Manager Marc Whitten, who also promised a free game for all Xbox Live subscribers to make up for the inconvenience.

Prior to that apology, however, Smith and his co-plaintiffs Keith Kay and Orlando Perez had already contacted Gibson for help in suing for a partial refund of their $50 annual Xbox Live subscription fee. "When you have one person who is mad and they can't get a response, and they can't get their complaints addressed by a company like Microsoft, the only way to get their attention is in numbers," Gibson said. He also claimed that Microsoft must have known that Xbox Live would not be able to handle the Christmas strain, saying, "If they had not anticipated the sales, then they would not have put out that many units of the Xbox to begin with."

"They take the money for the subscriptions, but they don't make sure that the service is going to be there," he continued. "They kind of put the cart before the horse." According to Gibson, he has received more than 500 emails regarding the lawsuit, the vast majority of which supported the effort, and more than 50 people have joined in the suit since it was launched. He also said his clients aren't looking for a windfall with the lawsuit. "What they would like to see is Microsoft fix the problem," he said. "They'd like to be reimbursed for the money they spent when they haven't received the service, and hopefully it will make Microsoft do the right thing in the future."

"These are not guys looking to get rich," he added. "They are in the late 20s and 30s. They are college-educated. These are not young kids who just turned 18 and (want) to sue for the fun of it. This, to them, is a real issue."

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I hate that people couldn't log on as much as the next person, but this argument holds no weight nor makes any business sense.

Sure MS may have known they would sell a lot of units. But ramping up the entire information architecture just to handle an unknown and unpredictable spike in traffic is simply impractical. Look what happens to just about any site that gets a popular DIGG link. You can blame the site and say they knew their article would cause huge controversy or interest, but that hardly makes sense, does it?

What's more, this spike was certain to be temporary. You simply can't buy hundreds and hundreds of servers just to handle a one-month spike in traffic. People get a new 360. It's a novelty. They all want to connect at once. Then after a month traffic returns to an albeit heavier, but overall normal level. So you plan for the new expected normal levels, not the spike.

I have to side with MS on this one. They seemed to have handled this crisis well and are being respectful to their customers in the process.

My Steam isn't always working, so I want the $45 I spent on the Orange Box back.

In other words, this is ridiculous.

It's not at all ridiculous, if during that month they can't handle the load then refund people for that month. A company that has shown the best way to handle this is blizzard with WoW. If the WoW servers are down for a day, you get a day added on to your subscription time. If they didn't want their service to work for the month of December fine just don't charge me for it then.

Wow... They are suing for ABOUT $4.15 worth of downtime.

That is ridiculous.

[quote=Malygris]

"These are not guys looking to get rich," he added. "They are in the late 20s and 30s. They are college-educated. These are not young kids who just turned 18 and (want) to sue for the fun of it. This, to them, is a real issue."[quote]

Oh no, they're well adjusted level headed adults who feel they've been wronged by a terrible company that offered them happyness for 50$ a year, and then stole their babies and ate them.

west43rd:
What's more, this spike was certain to be temporary. You simply can't buy hundreds and hundreds of servers just to handle a one-month spike in traffic. People get a new 360. It's a novelty. They all want to connect at once. Then after a month traffic returns to an albeit heavier, but overall normal level. So you plan for the new expected normal levels, not the spike.

You should actually plan for the spike so when traffic returns to normal levels you've got an added layer of redundancy. "Oh no, one of the servers is down!" "Well, we're still only running at 50%, take your time replacing it"

These are the kind of retards that DONT READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE SERVICE because if you read through it, it will be in there about the service not beeing 100% there, no networking service can and ever will be.

Fucks sake i work for t-mobile (uk) and the ammount of retards that dont fucking read the t's and c's then come complaining is fucking ridicouls, This case holds no water what so ever.

I expect (on the basis of my extensively non-existent legal knowledge) that Microsoft will settle this thing in a fashion similar to Take Two's settlement of the San Andreas lawsuit: Offer a partial refund of the year's subscription fee for anyone who wants to be bothered claiming it, maybe a full refund to placate those die-hards who want to cancel their service completely, with maybe an alternative of 1000 Microsoft points. A few dozen malcontents claim their settlement, the lawyers get a nice payday and the whole thing blows over until the next gang of idiots with an overeager litigator decides they want to stand up for principle.

It's easy to say Microsoft should've anticipated and prepared for the holiday surge in Xbox Live traffic (largely because it's easy to hate Microsoft) but where is the line drawn? When do normal, reasonable technical difficulties become litigable issues? Unless actually negligence on Microsoft's part can be proven, which I very much doubt, I don't see how this case can go forward, nor do I think it should.

"These are not guys looking to get rich," he added. "They are in the late 20s and 30s. They are college-educated. These are not young kids who just turned 18 and (want) to sue for the fun of it. This, to them, is a real issue."

The only people he's trying to convince with that line are his own plaintiffs.

This case is an embarrassment to gamers.

What they should do is refund the money and just give these retards a lifetime ban from xbox live.

Echolocating:

"These are not guys looking to get rich," he added. "They are in the late 20s and 30s. They are college-educated. These are not young kids who just turned 18 and (want) to sue for the fun of it. This, to them, is a real issue."

The only people he's trying to convince with that line are his own plaintiffs.

This case is an embarrassment to gamers.

My thoughts right there! It seems that they are either a bit stuck up. Or their motives are a little childish to me.

He says most of the people he has received emails from support the issue. Then I think I need to send an email.

I want my TWO DOOOLLLAAARS!

Pirate Brahm:
I want my TWO DOOOLLLAAARS!

$2? HA! They're suing for like $5M, there are what? 10M subscribers?

Prepare for your $0.50!

I am all for these people sueing MS, and not because of any evil empire stuff either. Everything on the 360 is tied to the XBOX LIVE profile, game saves, downloaded content, achievments, everything. So here was my situation. I forgot my Memory card at home, and attempted to download my profile on my brother's box. It partially downloaded, and then cut out saying XBOX Live was unavailable. I logged into a guest profile ((loosing all stats and rank advancement I would normally get for playing HALO 3)) and then went home. I tried to play on my XBOX 360. Nothing. I could log into live or anything like that, and I couldn't even sign my profile INTO live because it had partially downloaded so therefore my profile on my memory card was no longer valid.

So...not only could I not sign into LIve, but I couldn't access my saves and my achievments, what's worse, any saves or achivments earned while offline, would not carry over once my profile did come back.

Oh and Live was offline all Saturday BEFORE Christmas as well. I assumed to update their servers to get ready FOR Christmas.

And no one expects servers to be up 24/7, but then again, whom among the XBOX community would be able to play 24/7?

Crosis101:
I am all for these people sueing MS, and not because of any evil empire stuff either. Everything on the 360 is tied to the XBOX LIVE profile, game saves, downloaded content, achievments, everything. So here was my situation. I forgot my Memory card at home, and attempted to download my profile on my brother's box. It partially downloaded, and then cut out saying XBOX Live was unavailable. I logged into a guest profile ((loosing all stats and rank advancement I would normally get for playing HALO 3)) and then went home. I tried to play on my XBOX 360. Nothing. I could log into live or anything like that, and I couldn't even sign my profile INTO live because it had partially downloaded so therefore my profile on my memory card was no longer valid.

So...not only could I not sign into LIve, but I couldn't access my saves and my achievments, what's worse, any saves or achivments earned while offline, would not carry over once my profile did come back.

Oh and Live was offline all Saturday BEFORE Christmas as well. I assumed to update their servers to get ready FOR Christmas.

And no one expects servers to be up 24/7, but then again, whom among the XBOX community would be able to play 24/7?

Oh boo hoo. You sound like you're going to cut yourself because of all that.

Yeah seriously, the problem sounds more like you got a cut, and started pouring salt in it, then poking it with a stick. The WORST thing you can do is port your profile to a different Xbox. Seriously, my friend did it and lost all of his acheivments after porting back.
The Xbox is still a computer people, albeit one that is harder to regain information on.
If you prick it, it will bleed, ALOT!

Most stupid people to fill up our little green and blue planet. Shoot 'em all i say, so that the rest of us can get on with our lives.

Hey, the servers went down less than a week after I got my 360 back after sending it in for repairs. Did I complain? Only a little. And by a little I mean one outburst of "Son of a bitch!" Then, I did the craziest thing...I played a game off-line.

thebobmaster:
Hey, the servers went down less than a week after I got my 360 back after sending it in for repairs. Did I complain? Only a little. And by a little I mean one outburst of "Son of a bitch!" Then, I did the craziest thing...I played a game off-line.

What is this playing off-line you speak of?

Xbox Live being down was a mild annoyance. Yes, Microsoft could have credited paying Gold users for an extra two weeks of service, but the free game is a nice bonus to all members (paying or not). It's a $10 game, and a good one too, so I'm satisfied.

Crosis101:
I forgot my Memory card at home, and attempted to download my profile on my brother's box. ... and then went home. I tried to play on my XBOX 360. Nothing. I could log into live or anything like that, and I couldn't even sign my profile INTO live because it had partially downloaded so therefore my profile on my memory card was no longer valid.

You may not have read the details on what doing a 'restore' actually does - restoring your profile is a bad idea. Unless you won't be able to get to your profile again (lost memory card, failed HDD), you don't want to do it - it makes any other copies of your profile, and any games saved using them them, completely invalid. Your saves and profile were hosed the second you started it.

At $50 a year, works out to just over 19 cents a day. While they're suing microsoft for not being able to play their game, might ass well sue tire companies when their tires blow, depriving them the use of their car, or the cable company whenever cable goes out, or hey, the time power was out for however long it was, be sure to get that pro-rated as well. Egads people! Get a life. As much as we would all like everything to work perfectly all the time, everytime, it's just not going to happen.
So figure a week without the game is what.. $1.33 and Microsoft is offering a $10 game free of charge. If you want fair, get ready ro pay Microsoft back the $8.67 they OVERPAID you in compensation. Oh, one more thing. Good luck in paying your lawyer with the settlement of $1.33

 

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