Microsoft Facing Yet Another Lawsuit


Microsoft has been hit with another class action lawsuit, this one over Xbox Live outages that occurred during the Christmas season.

Filed by the Gibson Law Firm on behalf of plaintiffs Shannon Smith, Keith Kay and Orlando Perez, the suit claims Microsoft breached its contract with Xbox Live subscribers by “failing to allow Plaintiffs to sign on or use XBOX [sic] Live; failing to provide Plaintiffs with the full features paid for, including, but not limited to, “match-making” and “account recovery;” and failing to provide uninterrupted service to online gamers.” The suit, which also alleges breach of warranty and negligent misrepresentation, claims damages to the Plaintiffs “including expenses associated with XBOX Live memberships.”

In its statement of facts, the lawsuit reads, “In December 2007, XBOX Live crashed and prevented Plaintiffs around the world from accessing online play for several weeks. XBOX Live is Microsoft’s gaming membership that provides gamers to access Microsoft’s servers for online gaming. XBOX Live continues to deny subscribers access and has even issued apologies for their failure to correct server problems. Over eight (8) million gamers worldwide subscribe to XBOX Live.”

“Specifically, interruptions in game-play kicked many Plaintiffs offline of XBOX Live and displayed messages such as “Server Error.” Other Plaintiffs have been unable [to] sign into XBOX Live at all or use the advertised features such as “match-make” or “account recovery,” despite paying for these services in their yearly subscription dues,” it continues. “Many Plaintiffs purchased new subscriptions specifically to play online during the holidays. In the last three months of 2007, Microsoft sold over four (4) million XBOX console units. This increase in console purchases led to a substantial increase in XBOX Live subscriptions. Microsoft knew the increase in subscriptions would increase game-play on its servers yet failed to provide adequate access and service to XBOX Live and its subscribers.”

The suit comes on the heels of Microsoft’s apology for “intermittent” service issues with Xbox Live during the holidays. In that statement, Microsoft claimed the Xbox Live service was never completely offline at any given time, but also announced it would be offering a free Xbox Live Arcade game download as a token of thanks for their customers’ loyalty. The full text of the class action lawsuit against Microsoft is available here. (PDF format)

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