Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned, May Be Sued

September 12, 2008 -

Last week Dean Takahashi of VentureBeat penned an expose detailing how shoddy production practices emploted by Microsoft resulted in the Red Ring of Death fiasco for Xbox 360 console owners.

Moments ago Takahashi published an update to report that a QA tester who spoke to him on the record for the investigative report had been fired by Microsoft just days after its publication:

Robert Delaware was the only named Microsoft worker (a contract employee) who talked — without permission — to VentureBeat for our story last week on the Xbox 360 defects.

 

Microsoft had him fired on Wednesday. Delaware worked as a game tester at Microsoft but was employed by the temp agency Excell Data. He reported directly to a Microsoft manager, who told him he was being let go because of the VentureBeat article.

Takahashi reports that Delaware (left) may face litigation, presumably for violating a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) of some sort. Of his abrupt termination, Delaware told Takahashi:

I don’t regret it. I’ll fight it [if he is sued]. If they want to come after me, bring it on.

GP: Video games are fun, but the video game business most assuredly isn't fun and games. It's corporations and big money and the consumer is often hung out to dry. The RROD fiasco and EA's horrendous Spore DRM are but two noteworthy instances.

Microsoft may well try to make an example of Robert Delaware in order to intimidate the next guy from speaking up. However, the screwing that MS gave game consumers with the RROD exponentially outweighs whatever technicality Delaware may have violated. Let it go, MS.

...and now I have to end this rant in order to box up my third RROD Xbox 360 for shipment to rehab.


Comments

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

Gallagher can araç kiralama say all he wants, but I strongly rent a car believe it's due to his crappy leadership and E3 being a joke. ESA's Board of Directors need to find a way to get out rent a car of this horrid contract with this Bush cronie before there's no one left on the Board.

Btw, I think Atari and Midway will drop out too, but mostly travesti because  these guys have done nothing ttnet vitamin or little and need to start saving costs.

YES.

Now I don't have to get off my ass for the important shit anymore!

Whats next, ordering pizza from Xbox live?

Wait... I think that sounds like a good idea.

But I think voting should MAKE you get off your ass, and see outside or a second while you go vote. I mean, your picking the president of the United States of America for God's Sake... least you can do is drive down there and punch out a card.

 

Streisand Effect!

Poor guy. He loved his job, but the truth was more important. All this firing will do is give the report more publicity. GJ MS.

 

As for Delaware, I'm sure he can find game testing jobs elsewhere. Hopefully somewhere that doesn't try to hide ridiculous "secrets."

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

Isn't this classic whistleblowing, though? Isn't this guy protected? It seems to me that the whistle-blower rules and laws exist specifically to protect people from their employers when they blow the whistle on bad business behaviour and various forms of malfeasance, do they not?

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

Isn't there some sort of whistleblower laws he can use in his defense? Or do that only work if he had worked for the government? Microsoft does have a responsibility for shipping finished or nearly finished products on the market.
If they don't we have consumer organisations to take up the (good) fight.
 

I don't think anyone isn't aware of the RROD with Xbox 360; it is hardly news. This guy just confirms what we already expected: Microsoft only obligation seem to be for the botton line - not for their loyal customers.

 



 

 

 

 

 

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

As someone who went through 3 360s, I'm glad this guy said something.  He knew he'd get fired & even said in the article that he just wanted MS to do the right thing.  I gave up on the 360, and though I miss some great games, I'll never go through this kind of customer abuse again.  Shareholders are more important to please than consumers, apparently.  I'm literally shocked by how many people just continue to send their systems back and take another.  Truly sad IMO.

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

Now that the spam's been cleared away...

Microsoft and it's contractors were well within their rights to can this guy for speaking to the press. You can't fault them for that, it's kinda standard procedure for potential breach of contract like this. This guy isn't an idiot some people here want to make him out to be however, as he cleared expected that this was the likely outcome.

I doubt they're going to sue him though. There's just not anything they can really recoup, certainly not that will pay for their legal costs. Hell, it might have even been a bad idea for the HR rep at his firing to suggest he might be in legal trouble, as that could be construded as a threat on their that could cause problems for them on down the line.

-Gray17

-Gray17

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

 test

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

 @Anon stop fucking with my emotions, and grow up! On topic no he really should not have broke the NDA but I also can't blame him in a way, because MS runs a shitty quality control dept. and they need to be punished for it!

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

I stand by Microsoft on this and no the customer isn't always right, that's Wal-Mart's policy and not mine.

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

Thats very nice and all but if Microsoft is deliberately fudging over their customers with products they know are shotty then I'm pretty sure thats the opposite of what a comapny who would want to keep its customers happy would do.

 

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

From the stories 've heard it wasn't always Wal-Mart's policy (I can't vouch for today either).

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

Um...

What in the HELL happened to this thread?!

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

Calm down. Some dumbass tried to f**k up the thread, but he/she's gone now.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------ "Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither." -- Ben Franklin Game on, brothers and sisters.

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

That initial post was hours before it was cleared out. Gimme a break.

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

Ebaumsworld.

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

That place is STILL around? Last i heard of it was in, like, 2006.

Spam needs more lulz

I'm surprised he hasn't posted "Samus is Praegnent" yet.  That's a classic.

---
The Mammon Industry

---
Fangamer

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

Why did I get a feeling something like this will happen?

 

Both the RROD and the Anon spam.

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

Do I sense fanboys spamming like crazies here or what?

Its a shame the 360 had a 90% fail rate for 1-3 years the repairs over the the last year or or 2 have been meek at best they go the 60% fail rate dealt with but it still have a very high fail rate by todays standards... so while it dose a almost solid 3 bad out of  10 units now it still has a 1-2 or 1.5 units out of 10 hat are bad.

If MS didn't ignore the fail rate issue and didn't lock the HDD it would really be in the lead of its market but knock 30% off tis numbers and its kind pittfull...

 

I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
(in need of a bad overhaul)


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

Legally, Microsoft are on solid ground.

From a PR point of view, however, it's suicidal.

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

He may want to read his NDA, because if he was a game tester sometimes the only thing that is listed in the NDA is the software itself and not the hardware.

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

Does the ECA plan to support his legal defense, either from an amicus curiae standpoint, or directly through a fund-raiser?  I want to help him.

/suitvoice Yes, Microsoft can fire him, especially as a temp.  Temps aren't really even people, right?  And plus an NDA works really well, especially if you can a guy with info about how terribly your company has fucked customers.  Threatening him with a lawsuit is a great plan, too, because he's already shown he can be cowed by unethical legal weight.  Solid management all around.  Who's up for 18 holes tommorow, now that unpleasant business is behind us?

Bleh.  I hope he finds a new job.  I like a person who stands up for what is right and isn't afraid of the repercussions.  He had said he expected to be fired.

If there existed a class-action agaisnt Microsoft, he would be then covered under whistle blower laws.  I imagine, though, getting after warranty free repairs comes with anti-class action fine print.  The fuckers in legal know what they are doing.

Eh, I think it's just a threat to keep him quiet.  Time will tell.

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

Look at that, another reason for a consumer boycot of Microsoft products. At this point, Microsoft owes the consumer so many apologies that I doubt reconciliation is even possible within Steve Shithead Ballmer's lifetime. 

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

Another reason?  I thought we already knew about this reason a year or so ago.

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

Why does this QA tester think that he can speak about Microsoft's secrets without repercussions? I'm 100% sure his contract with Microsoft says you don't talk about your work without permission.

As bad as Microsoft has handled the RROD problem, it still doesn't mean Microsoft employees can go and talk about it to anyone. Ex-employees might be a different matter.

-- http://pixelantes.blogspot.com/

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

I'm pretty damn sure he fully expected repercussions. Hell, it says as much in the article linked to about him being fired:

(he fully knew the risk he was taking, based on multiple conversations I had with him about using his name).

He basically decided to deliberately call out Microsoft on the likely still existant problem of console updates included with retail games bricking the consoles. He did so fully knowing it could get his ass canned just for starters. This sort of thing happens when people get sick of working in a bad situation. They stop caring about the consequences to themselves and speak up.

-Gray17

-Gray17

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

Odd though, of the 2 launch 360s I have, neither have failed me, it is odd to see how all the americans seem to be getting this RROD, I thought it was like the BSOD on PC's just an imaginary propaganda tool created by people who don't like the system,,, I kid I kid, but still it is odd to see Americans complaining about the RROD when it is almost unheard of here in Britain.

As for the guy? He broke contract, you don't do that, no matter what your beliefs are, if you wanted to go out and tell everyone, you should not have signed it in the first place, heck you shouldn't be involved if you are going to do stuff like that, it is admirable that he wants people to know the full truth about what was going on, but lets face it, we already were quite aware of the situation at M$ (you don't need Grissom to figure it out!) The clarification of the fact is helpful, but seriously, it was a pointless cause to go for in the first place, don't consider me defending M$, I am no fan of their practices when it comes to dealing with people who they don't like, or even people they do, but I'll be damned if they don't have the best games out there with the best damn platform to play them on.

Your soul is a tasty refreshing treat to ones such as I

chick chick chick chick chickeeeeen lay a little egg for meeeeee!

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

I thought it was like the BSOD on PC's just an imaginary propaganda tool created by people who don't like the system

1) The blue screen of death was very real, not a propaganda tool. Microsoft just managed to improve windows 2k and later to the point where it didn't show up nearly so often anymore.

2) It was launched first in America, so a large percentage of the defective early ones probably ended up here.

-Gray17

-Gray17

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

Is it just me, or are some X-Box users as bad as Mac Fan Bois? If its a piece of crap, take it back to the seller and demand a refund, or file a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft.

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

 You can't get refunds on the 360 by taking it back to where you bought it.

 

That said, Microsoft has spent a lot of money trying to correct this. And it's not that big a deal if you get it. Extremely lame, but not that bad. Make a phone call, get a box, get a new 360. Took me 6 days from when I made the call to be playing Xbox again. It sounds like it's worse for some people, and it is really lame, but it's not that bad. As much as you gotta hate Microsoft for this problem, you have to admire all they've done to try and fix it. It's cost them over a billion.

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

"Woah, Chief.

Microsoft didn't fix th problem. They didn't fix it at all. Let me give you an example of what they did.

I sell a video game. about 30% of the video games I am selling have major scratches that prevent them from playing, however, I cleaned the scrathes out. They are still there, but since they are clean the laser on your system will not have any problem reading the game and it will work fine. For about a month, then a natual build-up of dust and such will make the sratches visible to the naked eye and the laser will not be able to penetrate debris to read the data.  You return the video game to me and I give you another disc with the same problem as the last. I clean up the game you gave me and put back in the pile to ship back out to gamers who want my product still despite the reputation it has of being messed up.

Nothing is fixed, the problem remains, and I still make a profit selling the systems by recycling the busted ones over and over again and only worrying about shipping fees that I will make back with my online service fees plus buckets of cash extra.

"

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

True, it IS commendable on how much they have done to try and fix it, but the fact remains that there are still QUITE a few people out there who are on their 4th, 5th, or even 6th xbox. O_O That, and the fact that their customer service...is lacking. My xbox cracked my discs, and microcrap wouldn't replace them. D=

Still, I suppose it is better than back when the xbox first came out where almost 60% of xboxes in some country were being sent back...xD

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

 QUIT SNITCHIN'

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

Oh, shut it. That culture's like a double-edged sword.

For all the good people out there that speak up: Keep on snitchin'.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------ "Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither." -- Ben Franklin Game on, brothers and sisters.

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

Snitches get stitches. 

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

*facepalm*

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

I agree, NDA means you can't talk about this stuff.  Really sucks but thats the legal situation.

HOWEVER I do think he should be treated with respect.  He may have broken his NDA but dude he did it for a good reason.  Microsoft should know better.  I don't know him but he has earned a lot of respect from me.

Anyone find it odd that all these really big game industry entities are being exposed for their terrible business tactics?  Its like anyone with a passion for games and clean business are being punished.

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

Certainly is a really big turn off for anyone that does have a passion for games, enough talent to be productive, and enough motivation to get things done.

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

Now if we could just get someone like that for the oil companies, energy companies, government....

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

Microsoft should have the right to fire this guy but not sue him. Freedom of Speech trumps a contract and since the government has to get involved in this when it comes to a lawsuit it violates the First Amendment at it's core. Government can't get involved in anything that tampers Free Speech.

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

*sigh*

The First Amendment does not apply here as it's a NON-GOVERNMENT organization that would sue him.  If Microsoft chooses to go after this guy, he's boned.

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

My 360 didn't red ring, the audio and video just degraded and died this week. I sent it in yesterday. I commend him for speaking out on the subject.

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

 

haha i had the same exact thing happen last week. the graphics, mainly the lighting it seems, go haywire and it looks like shit, then when you try to restart it, you get nothing.

i sent mine in, as it was still under warranty, and they just shipped me out a new console, which is slated to be at my home on the 17th.  i guess thats something that cant be fixed, or takes to long to fix so theyll send me a new one, and refurbish that one for the next person.  hey you might even get mine! haha

 

but even through all this, im still going to stay loyal.  there flipping the bill, and technology breaks. o fucking well. and while they did rush it to win the market, which oddly wii is in the lead?!?!, it was worth it. they got the jump on sony.  now sony costs more, and has few exclusives with enough pull to get me to buy one. ratchet & clank, GT5, and resistance. but compared to Gears, Halo, Forza, Ninja Gaiden, DOA and Too Human all top those, and anything else is shared. the only thing they have is free online, but only CoD 4 is any good for that, and id rather pay to play that AND halo 3 online on the same system. oh well

my dad went through 3 ps2s, same problem each time, and it wasnt until the slim one that it didnt keep breaking. and didnt ps3s randomly catch fire? are all the MS haters just gonna overlook that?

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

Every tester, and aspiring tester, should have these two rules memorized on Day One:

#1: Don't break your NDA.

#2: If you do break your NDA, don't break it on the Internet. 

Say what you want about free speech, but the reality is that it's a sure-fire way to lose your job and quite possibly sink your career.

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

Free Speech doesn't mean you're free to say whatever you want at any time, and I don't get why people think it is.

 

You can't yell at a plane terminal "I HAVE A BOMB". it's a federal crime to ever say, even in jest, with the exception of citing the law like I am, "I am going to murder the president of the unite states".

 

NDAs are just a more minor version of such things. They are the WILLFUL and CONSENTING voidance of free speech, to whatever the NDA is in regards.

 

This guy broke his NDA and should have been fired. That said, I can't hold it too much against him.

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

The First Amendment, particulary freedom of speech, only applies to the government limiting the people's right to free speech.

There is no such protection for private individuals, companies, or residences. 

Thus, if you are in Wal-Mart and they don't want you to say banana they can enforce that within their property by making you leave. 

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

More people should read your words.

In the US, you have free speech. You can pretty much say what you want, when you want, but you do not have freedom from consequences of your speech with respect to the government. An NDA is something that you have to sign yourself in order to accept that a private company can restrict your speech a little further.

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

NDAs are designed to keep things like "new, unreleased projects" and other such secrets safe. NDAs, as proven before, can not keep people from working at a rival company or telling about past issues.

A company is well in their right to fire a temp at any time or moment, yet this is clearly a huge shot in the foot by Microsoft, verifying Mr. Delaware's claims and making it worse for Microsoft. I'm sure EASpouse (or her husband) would have had penalties up the yinyang for some silly interpretation of the NDA if they found out who she was in the first days of that story.

Re: Xbox 360 Tester Who Spoke on Record about RROD Gets Canned,

Having worked at MS and manu other places as a contractor and signing many NDAs, they actually can keep you from talking about past issues even after something is released, its all about the sunset clause in that case. I have at least one NDA from there that i am technically still under because it had no sunset clause, and that was years ago.

 
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