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Lawyer Explains Xbox Class Action Suit

  Class Action  -   POSTED: 2008/01/21 14:54

According to lawyer Jason Gibson, the class-action lawsuit filed against Microsoft as a result of Xbox Live's service problems isn't some kind of get-rich-quick scheme, it's an action meant to draw attention to a "serious issue."

Gibson filed the suit on behalf of Keith Kay, Orlando Perez and Shannon Smith, who became incensed when Xbox Live's service was plagued with connectivity issues over the holidays. Smith contacted Microsoft in December in an attempt to determine the cause of the outage, but got in touch with Gibson when he received no response.

As Gibson explained to MTV, the class action suit is a valid way for disgruntled Live subscribers to be heard: "When you have one person who is mad and they can't get a response, and they can't get their complaints addressed by a company like Microsoft, the only way to get their attention is in numbers." According to Gibson, more than 50 people have joined Kay, Perez, and Smith in the suit.

Microsoft has already acknowledged the issues with Live and vowed to recompense subscribers for the outage with a free Xbox Live Arcade game, but Gibson says that the company should have seen these problems coming.

"If they had not anticipated the sales, then they would not have put out that many units of the Xbox to begin with," says Gibson. "They take the money for the subscriptions, but they don't make sure that the service is going to be there."

Though many have suggested that the suit is just an attempt to pick Microsoft's deep pockets, Gibson says he doesn't expect the plaintiffs "to get a windfall or anything like that." What they really want is for Microsoft to "fix the problem. They'd like to be reimbursed for the money they spent when they haven't received the service, and hopefully it will make Microsoft do the right thing in the future."

I agree that Microsoft owes me, and every other Live subscriber, for the amount of time I was paying for Live but unable to access it, but why is this suit continuing forward? Microsoft has already publicly admitted that Live is having problems and promised to make good with subscribers-- a move they made before the suit was filed --so if Gibson is being sincere about his clients' motivations, the suit would seem to serve no further purpose.


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