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Jon Hartley's blog

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Jon Hartley avatar 7:49 PM on 01.18.2008  (server time)
Friday Rant: "Gimme Free Stuff, Waaaahhh!"

Usually my rants get some props, but don't attract real disagreements, lively debate, or even a few well-placed flames. I have a feeling this one will change that, and that's okay. Why? Because many of you are bitching for no good reason.

You know what I'm talking about. Acting like whiny bitches when many of you are grown men (and possibly women)- "UNDERTOW?!?! But I don't WANT Undertow!!!" *kicking and screaming* "I want Microsoft points! I want a different game! I want free Xbox Live! WAAAAHHHHHH!"

Seriously. Most of us that did experience problems only had them intermittently and for a few weeks at worst. A 13-month subscription for a Gold membership is what, $50? So we're looking at less than $4 a month here, or a dollar per week.

You guys are bitching about paying a dollar or two for something that didn't work right?

Would you take a half-eaten candy bar back to the store if it didn't taste right? Would you demand a free value meal if McDonald's put onions on your dollar double cheeseburger? Perhaps you would write an angry letter if the toy your kid got in the very same McDonald's trip broke after a day or two. Hey, maybe you're That Guy who hounds his friend mercilessly after buying him a Pepsi at the gas station when he didn't have his wallet on him.

Or maybe you would even join a ridiculous class-action lawsuit to recoup your $2-3 in lost services.

What's that? It's not about the money? Oh, of course!

That's right, it's actually about the fact that merely not being able to get on Xbox Live ruined your day/week/life and now you must exact your revenge from the evil corporation that screwed you royally. I will admit that it's inconvenient to not be able to play a game online when you want, or to experience other problems as a result, such as not being able to play certain arcade games since you purchased them on a prior (broken) 360. But in no way is it a big enough deal to warrant the spectacular amount of bitching that I've witnessed here and elsewhere.

First of all, let's look at it from Microsoft's perspective. That's right, they have one! I will assume that you, dear reader, are able to concede the following points-

--Microsoft in no way wanted the problems to occur.

--Microsoft had people working their asses off to fix the problem once it did occur.

--Many people have very different opinions over what Microsoft should have done to "make things right". (View any thread on the topic and this is easy to see) Thus, it would be impossible to appease everyone with any reasonable gesture.

Let's also not forget that, as said lawsuit-happy idiots are about to find out, Microsoft has no legal obligation to keep the service working perfectly 365 days a year. Otherwise, Mediacom and other cable/internet companies would already be bankrupt. So legally, they had no reason to offer anything to make you ungrateful Xboxers happy.

Also, it is very, very unlikely that anyone is going to sell their Xbox 360 and buy a PS3 because their Live wasn't working for two weeks and they didn't get anything to make up for it. Logic tells us that anyone who cares that much about their Live access being down obviously really, really enjoys their Xbox 360. Maybe too much. So it's not as if they had to worry about losing a bunch of customers, and they didn't have significant pressure to offer anything from a PR standpoint.

In other words, their offer to extend anything- anything to make amends is a kind gesture indeed. The fact that they are offering 800 points to those who already bought the game is going a step further with it, and is a detail that most did not predict would be addressed when the free game was announced some time ago.

Yet, people are still pissed. Pissed because they're getting something for FREE that they don't like.

Well, boo fucking hoo. If you have nothing better to get fired up about than Live not working, or getting a "sucky" FREE game, you have a pretty good life. Although if you're that quick to bitch, you probably take that for granted, too.

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