Before the Planet

This week's Planet Flashback takes us waaaaaaaayyyyy back to a time before Alien's Planet.  This was originally published on The Game Board site, but made it's way onto the Planet.  It was Written by Stress Fracture and is one of my favorite stories of all time.

Would You Like Fries With That Grief? by: Stress Fracture January 27, 2004

I want to tell you about a certain customer service encounter I had at an electronics and appliance super store. The name shall be withheld in order to protect the stores idiotic personnel. So I buy my X-Box from this place just north of Hades. I get persuaded to buy an extended warranty for the console and the two controllers. It's a two-year plan that allows you to return the console and/or controllers within that time frame and receive replacements free. "If I have trouble with the console, I can bring it back for a replacement?" "Yes" says the sales guy. "If the controllers are feeling loose due to wear, I can exchange them?" "Yes". It sounds unconditional doesn't it? So I signed up for what would turn out to be my organ donor card. Well everything was fine for a time. Then I started experiencing disc read errors with all my copies of games, although very intermittently. I read on the Ubisoft website that people were experiencing read errors while playing Ghost Recon. It was reported that the "Big M" was aware of a problem with earlier versions of the X-Box. It seems that the laser lens or mechanism was placed too far away from the game media. Certain newer games were giving playback errors because of this. Microsoft was aware of this and was taking steps to correct the problem. I proceeded to pack everything up and go to the store to get an exchange. I explained to the girl working on the other side of the counter my dilemma. She does a check of the contents and goes away. All of a sudden this guy grabs the box and proceeds to take it out and hook it up to a TV. I ask the girl what was going on. She told me that they had to check it out, it was standard procedure. I felt like I was in a post 9-11 airport security checkpoint awaiting my cavity search. McGilla puts in a copy of, dare I say it, Mech Assault and proceeds to play it. Now mind you my wife is really getting annoyed at this point because we're 20 minutes into this supposed simple warranty covered exchange. He comes over for confirmation on the problem, since he can't duplicate it. He finally tells me that they can't take it back unless the intermittent problem is exposed. I'm told that if I were to bring back the games that were screwing up in the machine, I would then get my exchange. My sweet little wife then demands to see a manager. Cue the "Mission Impossible" theme music. The manager goes back and forth between the carpeted-armed technician and us and I roll snake eyes. My wife spouts fire and says that we were not leaving until we got an exchange. It went back and forth between the technician, the sales girl, two managers, and us. Eventually, they agreed to the exchange, if we agreed to buy another extended warranty for the new console, since the current warranty was good for only one exchange. Well, the warrior Lucifer suddenly replaced my sweet angel next to me. Oh my! I think fear was suddenly all about us. Finally after much elevated conversation and a call to Microsoft, they agreed to exchange it and had the gall to ask if we wanted the extended warranty. I thought I was going to witness a murder, phew! It took us 45 minutes to get what was rightfully ours to begin with! ARRRGGGHHHH!!! I'm glad I had my Power Puff Girl at my side. Oh, I almost forgot. My friend, let's just call him my alter ego Golden Boy, went into the store at a different location and alas, the red carpet and pampering commenced. What's that sir? Your console is broken and you'd like a replacement? It's not a problem. They didn't even open the box in his presence. So it was said so it was done. "You don't need to see my warranty papers". "These are not the droids you're looking for". "I can go home with my new X-Box". I almost passed out when he told me that. Always remember a family that stresses together stays together.
I know it's long, but it is definitely a good read.  Thanks for taking this stroll down memory lane.