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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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January 4, 2008 3:36 PM

Xbox Live holiday outages prompts class action lawsuit

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft's Xbox Live network suffered some outages over the holidays, and the company yesterday offered subscribers a free arcade download as an apology. But that wasn't enough for three Texans, who this afternoon filed a class action lawsuit against the company, alleging breach of contract.

The complaint describes the December outages -- chronicled on blogs and elsewhere -- that kept people from "accessing online play for several weeks. ... Xbox Live continues to deny subscribers access and has even issued apologies for their failure to correct server problems."

Interruptions in play kicked "many Plaintiffs offline" and "displayed messages such as 'Server Error.' " Others could not get online or use match making and account recovery features "despite paying for these services in their yearly subscription dues. Many Plaintiffs purchased new subscriptions specifically to play online during the holidays."

The complaint alleges that Microsoft knew increased holiday Xbox sales would lead to a bump in Xbox Live subscriptions and game-play on its servers, but the company "failed to provide adequate access and service to XBOX Live and its subscribers."

The outages in December, the plaintiffs allege, constitute a breach of the Xbox Live subscription contract. Xbox Live users pay $30 to $50 a year for access to the gaming network.

Here's a nine-page PDF of the complaint. I've asked Microsoft to comment.

Update, 5 p.m.: Via email from a Microsoft spokesman: "Microsoft only recently learned of the lawsuit, so we are not in a position to comment at this time."

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Posted by Publicbulldog

5:52 PM, Jan 04, 2008

If it was the work of hackers then good luck Texans.
If Microsoft can't prove it was hackers causing the problems ,I might just join myself

Posted by x

6:25 PM, Jan 04, 2008

Wow, a class action lawsuit over not being able to play an online game? These people really need to get a life!

Posted by Jeff

6:31 PM, Jan 04, 2008

What a bunch of worthless Microsoft haters. Why don't you file a lawsuit when your power, cable or satellite tv goes out! That's right, because it's not Microsoft!

Posted by Greg71

6:49 PM, Jan 04, 2008

Are you kidding me? These people can't find anything better to do than to file a class action lawsuit because they were unable to login to XBOX Live? I bet filing that lawsuit was the first time they step foot out of their home in days if they are that obsessed with playing video games. Speaking of class action lawsuit.. I'm filing one soon as well because Dominoes didn't deliver my pizza in 30 minutes or less.. Who's with me?

Posted by MS_Neutral

7:30 PM, Jan 04, 2008

Maybe it's time to revert back to "pistols at dawn." Frivolous lawsuits really tick me off. Hope they lose and are out some big bucks for legal fees.

Posted by Geroge28

8:02 PM, Jan 04, 2008

If your power goes out, you don't have to pay for power because you can't use it. If your cable goes out, you can call and get credit for the time it was disconnected. If xbox live goes down, you still pay for a service you can't use.

Wouldn't you complain if you couldn't use your cell phone for a week but still had to pay for the service without compensation?

Posted by Hahahahahaaaaa

8:08 PM, Jan 04, 2008

ROFL!!!! I find it funny, hope they win. That is what bill gets for charging people to get on LIVE.When it is free on other more reliable online gaming networks. Matter of fact I think MS should be sued for charging for online game play or RROD. Maybe if it was free the Texans wouldnt have a case.

Posted by the uniballer

8:18 PM, Jan 04, 2008

this is so f-ing stupid. i think they are just looking for some free money. like they say, everyone's middle name is "Sue" these days.

Posted by Bigrc2

8:20 PM, Jan 04, 2008

Heres the deal!! When you spend right around $1,000 for a gaming system to play some of the best games to be played online!! You expect to have great service!! Also coming from one of the biggest softwear manufacturers in the world! You think that they would have their stuff together! But its quit obvious they dont have a clue!! MICROSOFT SUCKS!!!!

Posted by Zment

8:29 PM, Jan 04, 2008

play WoW this is nothing new and i highly doubt their will be a law suit that goes through, though XBLA is promising a free arcade game something better would of prolly made up for the crappy connections over the holiday, like 2weeks free.

Posted by David

8:32 PM, Jan 04, 2008

Things happen folks, try just leaving MS alone and ask for a free month. Big whooping deal! Lets sue MS cause we dont have anything better to do with ourselves! MS has made your life better so just shut-up!

Posted by Mykidsdad

8:40 PM, Jan 04, 2008

A class action lawsuit over the inability to access Xbox 360 Live? At a subscription cost of about $50.00 per year that us roughly .14 cents a day.. How much are they asking for.. If you ask me they shouldn't get anymore than what they lost. Microsoft should give them a check for no more than ..98 cents which would cover an entire week they weren't able to access the Live service.

Posted by Steve519

8:45 PM, Jan 04, 2008

Xbox live down is nothing, this is what you guys should be worried about,

(its a local site too)

here is an excerpt from the post "Currently through Social Engineering and other actual cracking techniques (I won't call it hacking, these guys are just following steps) there are people out there stealing accounts right now!"

Posted by Scott

9:45 PM, Jan 04, 2008

Law suit, law suit, and we are suppose to feel sorry for you that you lost a few weeks of service? Try living in another country when freedom is lost and blood is shed. Get your priorities straight and grow up.

Posted by lazy

10:10 PM, Jan 04, 2008

The thing is that the only way to get a corporations attention is to sue them or at least threaten to sue them. The fact that we have to file a law suit to get the problem resolved shows that $ is all we care about. They should have fixed the problem long ago.

Posted by fixed that for ya

10:31 PM, Jan 04, 2008

The complaint alleges that Microsoft *k*new increased holiday

Posted by John

10:56 PM, Jan 04, 2008

I think that they should give every complainant a free month of XBOX LIVE service. And that would be generous. I think that if you're out a day, you're due a day added on. Nothing more, nothing less.

Posted by Dude

12:03 AM, Jan 05, 2008

Hey! If i could get my foot on on Microsofts wallet. Id do it too :D. they need to make a game called "Monopoly, Microsoft Edition"

Posted by F

1:20 AM, Jan 05, 2008

the costumers are paying for Gold membership the be able to play online.

They were paying for something they couldn't access.

It's not like it was Free Online gaming, it's subscription based.

I support them.

Posted by VegasKiller

7:51 AM, Jan 05, 2008

I think MS just needs to give these guys there money back for the outage. Figure it out 13.7cents per day @ 21 days.That comes out to a grand toal of $2.88. HMMMMM, I hope they lose eveything for something like this. That is the problem today. Don't get your way Sue someone and get whatever you can.
XBL 4-ever

Posted by Cem Aykan

9:40 AM, Jan 05, 2008

Hey guys,

I am tracking each day(every 10 minutes) the status of xbox live, and creating
statisical images, this shows the biig picture on how "live" xbox-live actually is :)

Also these statistics are available for the public

Posted by Anonymous

10:01 AM, Jan 05, 2008



Posted by myrrlyn

10:06 AM, Jan 05, 2008

that is insane. of course, coming from texans, that is less surprising (i apologize if this offends anyone, im just thinking of bush rite now), but it is still really stupid

Posted by Microshaft Exbox

10:19 AM, Jan 05, 2008

@Jeff: When my power goes out, it's usually due to severe storms or equipment failure, and it's almost always back online in a few hours. Same with cable TV. If the electric or cable company oversold its service to the point where it was essentially offline for 3 weeks, you'd better believe there would be lawsuits. And rightfully so.

Microsoft has been in the Xbox Live business for 5 years, and they've been running massive online networks for much longer. They knew how many Xboxes they were going to sell this season, and they didn't do anything about it. They simply oversold the service.

It's a simple formula: Don't take money from people you can't serve, and don't fail to serve the people who have already paid. They should have refused new users until they had the capacity to accommodate them. Instead, with dollar signs in their eyes, they let the onslaught of new users run the entire system into the ground.

Posted by DXZeke

10:51 AM, Jan 05, 2008

as posted by Hahahahaha
"ROFL!!!! I find it funny, hope they win. That is what bill gets for charging people to get on LIVE.When it is free on other more reliable online gaming networks. Matter of fact I think MS should be sued for charging for online game play or RROD. Maybe if it was free the Texans wouldnt have a case."

The Playstation newtwork isn't any more reliable. Anyone remember the issues with MLB the Show 08 for the PS3. It took 6 months to get the game even remotely stable.

A free network doesn't mean better. You still have absurd amounts of lag with other games on the PSNetwork.

It's nice that it's free, but free doesn't mean better.

At least Microsoft is going to give it's Gold Members something for the outage... let them fix their problems first before people start going SUE happy over not being able to play a frikkin game online.

We've paid for a service that says in the fine print can be stopped at any point. This is the internet. Sites do have PROBLEMS.

I hope this stupid lawsuit gets tossed out.

Posted by Pamar

10:14 PM, Jan 05, 2008

MS already stated that x-box live was never completely down and it never was i was always able to connect just couldnt play one game and that was cod4 and if you spent 50 bucks for the year and it was only down for like 2 weeks so u lost maybe 2 bucks over that period of time and to the guy said "When you spend right around $1,000 for a gaming system to play some of the best games to be played online!! " huh i only spent $400 seems like you got ripped off

Posted by Three Sevenths

7:16 AM, Jan 06, 2008

In that filing, it claims that all users have a similar oppinion as those people (who need to get a life). I'm a Live member and honestly, some server downtime is fine with me. It shouldn't happen, but I'm not going to sue them just because it did. I don't think that complaint should be mentioning the entire Live community. Do they even know if people in Japan, India, Russia, etc. had the same problem?

Posted by x

7:32 AM, Jan 06, 2008

Well, at least the lawyers will make some money.

Posted by mikeinmwailukee

2:13 PM, Jan 06, 2008

They do file lawsuits against the cable company. The phone company has been hit before two. Anyone remember Ameritech? Ha.

Posted by Get Real

4:46 PM, Jan 06, 2008

Wow, look at all the M$ lovers on here - do you all work for bill or what??? Typically when the cabel or power goes out, it doesnt effect 8+ million customers for several weeks - it lasts a couple of hours tops. If you people spent a few minutes doing some research instead of posting baseless garbage you would know that the phone, elec, cable co's do get sued for poor service ALL THE TIME!

For those of you who are thinking of buying an xbox 360, get a PS3 instead, their online service works, and its FREE!

Posted by Aethryl

9:08 PM, Jan 06, 2008

Wow, maybe I should sue blizzard because sometimes the world of warcraft servers go down? Gah what a buncha idiots, hope Microsoft files a counter-suit and they have to eat the legal fees.

Posted by publicpoodle

9:35 PM, Jan 06, 2008

..."98 cents."
Yeah, but spread .98 cents amongst 2 million xbox live subscribers and you've lost yourself a couple of million dollars.

Posted by joejoe

9:42 PM, Jan 06, 2008

When you pay for a service... and especially when a huge corporation such as MS is providing the service, certain expectations need to be met if not exceeded. MS has provided a lame excuse... We all know that everyone at MS is intelligent enough to know that the holiday season would obviously bring an onslaught of new live customers. Toss me a free month, legit reasoning and an appology and I am satisfied.

Posted by Sloth

9:52 PM, Jan 06, 2008

Also worth mentioning...
Playing games isn't the only thing being effected. Imagine renting a film and then having to wait 3-4 days to watch it?
It has taken me 3 days to download a single video. Usually you can watch within the hour as the film downloads the the HDD.
In regards to the, "GET A LIFE" comments...
Piss off. LIVE is much more than gaming. It is a means of communication. I use LIVE as a way of talking to friends over seas. Playing with my brother in Iraq...
7 days of issues can really screw things up.
Welcome to 2008... year of the geek. (Think 30 Rocks, Scrubs, Chuck..)
Now I am off the attempt to play video games with my brother. (Who lives 2000 miles away.)

Posted by Oliver Klozoff

5:22 AM, Jan 07, 2008


A bunch of simpering idiots caught unaware by overloaded servers were today taken by ambulance to local hospitals in various locations around the U.S. The idiots were all suffering from mental breakdowns brought on by online game server failures and overloading at various Microsoft data centers around the country.

"I was just playing my game and, um, it just suddenly locked up on me!" ranted Mike Hunt of Birdflip, Arkansas, "and those Microsoft bastards wouldn't even answer the phone when I called! I was, like, FREAKING OUT and they wouldn't answer the phone! It was horrible and I pee'd my pants because I was on the phone for so long. They deliberately WOULDN'T ANSWER!" After being sedated, a Microsoft Xbox 360 controller was pried from his left hand. Mr. Hunt is recovering slowly at Rapeme Medical Center outside of Little Rock where he was airlifted after the local medical clinic facilities in his hometown of Birdflip proved inadequate to the task.

It is unclear whether Mr. Hunt's medical insurance will cover the cost of the air ambulance service. Quoting Mr. Hunt's attorney, Don I. Cheatem, "We'll sue Microsoft for the air ambulance costs too. The devils in Redmond won't get away with this. It's just a simple computer game and now my client is in the hospital. Microsoft should be ashamed of themselves. I've seen these kinds of products before. Remember the Erector Set? All those little kids who skinned their knuckles when their screwdrivers slipped during kit assembly? Right! We got those A.C. Gilbert bastards too! Imagine the nerve of those people suggesting in court that fun science, physics and chemistry education could ever take precedence over the preservation of perfect 9 year old knuckles."

When pressed further, both Mr. Cheatem and fellow attorney Ramy Olbutt engaged in the class action law suit being assembled in Little Rock, stated for the record that online gamers are "very delicate beings and after long sessions at the computer when they should actually be outside getting fresh air or at least focusing their eyes on objects more than 18" away for a few minutes, things can get kind of tense. Microsoft knows this and must be forced to take steps to protect itself from all of the simpering weak-minded idiots and all of the scheming, calculating con artists. The best way to do that is to make every product perfect.

We just don't understand why Microsoft refuses to do that." Microsoft lawyers were unavailable for comment. However, a long-time receptionist at Microsoft's central administration stated confidentially that, "These dizzy morons are all on crack if they think they're going to get a quick settlement and get paid off to shut up. Our lawyers will wrap these jack-offs up with briefs, warrants, affidavits, hearings, examinations for discovery and every piece of legal paperwork imaginable for the next ten years. If I was one of those morons I might just consider dropping this whole thing and stop buying or playing Microsoft products. It will take money out of Microsoft's pockets, keep money in the morons' pockets, and they can try their luck with other games and servers offered by other companies. GEEZ, what's the big deal? Those morons have just bought into a world of stress and aggravation. It's just not worth it."

Posted by Melfice

9:02 AM, Jan 07, 2008

Class-action lawsuit?
This means they represent a big group of people, if I understand correctly. (Not familiar with legal terms, let alone in English (Dutch being first language))

I can't seem to recall my opinion being asked on this matter.

Can I sue them for misrepresenting me? =P

But seriously... this is just insanity. Yes, they lost a few dollars for not being able to go online. Too bad.
Stuff like that will happen, no matter what. Technology isn't fail-proof. There's going to be glitches, errors, you name it.

Posted by JonathanSalemBaskin

9:56 AM, Jan 07, 2008

A Lawsuit? How inane! I just think it was stupid brand marketing to sell a bunch of online-enabled consoles and then act surprised when people tried to connect to the Live service. In fact, it was a missed opportunity, and one that isn't rectified by a free arcade game download. When will the gurus at Microsoft realize that branding has more to do with experience -- how things work, fixing them when they don't -- than expensive ads and image? I've written a bit about this at DIM BULB if you'd like to check it out:

Posted by going to sue someone

2:03 PM, Jan 07, 2008

I guess they never read the contract.

You can recover from the Microsoft Parties only direct damages up to an amount equal to your Service fee for one month. You cannot recover any other damages, including consequential, lost profits, special, indirect or incidental damages.
This limitation applies to:
-claims for breach of contract, breach of warranty, guarantee or condition, strict liability, negligence, or other tort to the extent permitted by applicable law.

I don't think this suit will go far.

Posted by Ryan

9:19 PM, Jan 08, 2008

If I remember correctly, a class-action suit is merely a consolidation of multiple lawsuits in order to simplify the proceedings. I don't believe 3 knucklehead Texans can file a class-action suit nor can they simply sue on behalf of everyone else. Even if multiple suits were granted class-action status, there would be a period of time for opt-in notices to go out to all those who are potential members of the class. This is gonna take a while, assuming it doesn't immediately get thrown out.

Service is not guaranteed.

Relevant clauses are 16-18.

Posted by xbox 360

10:28 AM, Jan 10, 2008

read the terms of use before u file a stupid lawsuit.

We provide the Service "as-is," "with all faults" and "as available." The Microsoft Parties give no express warranties, guarantees or conditions. You may have additional consumer rights under your local laws that this contract cannot change. To the extent permitted by law, we exclude the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, workmanlike effort and non-infringement.

You can recover from the Microsoft Parties only direct damages up to an amount equal to your Service fee for one month. You cannot recover any other damages, including consequential, lost profits, special, indirect or incidental damages.
This limitation applies to:
-any matter related to the Service,
-any matter related to content (including code) on third party Internet sites, third party programs or third party conduct,
-any matter related to viruses or other disabling features that affect your access to or use of the Service,
-any matter related to incompatibility between the Service and other services, software and hardware,
-any matter related to delays or failures you may have in initiating, conducting or completing any transmissions or transactions in connection with the Service in an accurate or timely manner, and
-claims for breach of contract, breach of warranty, guarantee or condition, strict liability, negligence, or other tort to the extent permitted by applicable law.
It also applies even if:
-this remedy does not fully compensate you for any losses, or fails of its essential purpose; or
-Microsoft knew or should have known about the possibility of damages.
Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitation or exclusion may not apply to you. They also may not apply to you because your province or country may not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental, consequential or other damages.

translation u r not getting any compensation

Posted by NWjames76

9:40 AM, Jan 30, 2008

So your saying I can start a service online that costs 50 bucks, get a bunch of suckers to buy it, then turn around and shut it off all because its in the contract that they didn't read?

Yeah I'm sure you'd go real far with that.

Posted by Oliver Klozoff

4:39 PM, Feb 15, 2008

As long as you have a clause stating that "By using this service you acknowledge that you have read, understood and agree to be bound by the terms of service"

Then yeah, you can do whatever the hell you want as long as it's in the contract that the customer agreed to.

Posted by Larry Wall

9:39 PM, Apr 22, 2008

think it time that someone files a class action suit against Nvavida for providing faulty software (drivers) to their end users for the hardware they sell. They provide little or no support and continue to provide faulty drivers for their hardware.
If anyone out there has legal expertise would like to assist, I am sure many end users would sign the necessary documents
Please feel free to contact me at
Larry Wal

Posted by joseloco

6:41 PM, May 24, 2008

Im having same issues with xbox live I bought a subscription card from walmart and the account was accidently creadted as a childs acount so im unable to play EA Games I called microsoft about this issue they told me that because it was prepaid card they cant change the account upgrade it to adult account etc. Im very pissed off at microsoft about this issue terrible customer support. after reading this Id like to know how to start my own class action lawsuit agaisnt them. Basically i have to go pay 50 dollars for a new card instead of them changing the account or giving me a new accout with the same amount of time i paid for 1 year. please contact me if you have any information on this issue of a class action lawsuit microsoft support and problems have gone to the dumps im tired of microsoft cant someone create something better with less hassle and not as high priced this company is a theif.

Posted by teroofe

4:20 PM, Aug 12, 2008

my question is why hasn't anyone brought a class action lawsuite for the system being defective, i am on my second system repair. Insteand of repairing it, they keep sending me out someone elses used system and thier problems. And it is now at the point when you call the xbox CS to complain they don't even care anymore.

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