Black Xbox

Consumer wins claim against Microsoft

A Consumer NZ member who took tech giant Microsoft to the Disputes Tribunal over a faulty Xbox has won a $480 refund.

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The Xbox gaming console, bought in 2014 from failed electronics retailer Dick Smith, stopped working last year. But when our member contacted the manufacturer, Microsoft, he was told the product was out of warranty and the only option was to pay for it to be repaired.

Dissatisfied with the company’s response, he filed a claim in the Disputes Tribunal.

The tribunal referee found in his favour, noting the Consumer Guarantees Act required goods to be of acceptable quality. “It is clear that an Xbox would be expected to operate for longer than 3 years and one that has failed to do this cannot be considered of acceptable quality,” the referee said.

The tribunal considered the man was entitled to a refund because the faulty Xbox had no market value. Under the act, consumers are entitled to claim compensation from the manufacturer for the amount a product has dropped in value as a result of a manufacturing fault. In this case, the loss in value was total.

Michael Brick, Microsoft New Zealand’s legal and corporate affairs director, said the company was unaware of the tribunal hearing and didn’t attend. However, Microsoft had complied with the tribunal’s order and refunded the $480.