Xbox Live user tries to sue Microsoft for $500 billion

Mike Halsey MVP
Aug 21, 2011
Updated • Aug 30, 2011

I just love stories like this and it is the silly season after all so here's a story to make you chuckle for the end of the weekend.  A man known as David Stebbins from Arkansas has filed a motion in Seattle against Microsoft claiming that they owe him half a billion dollars.

The claim comes from an attempt he made to change the terms of his Xbox live contract.  On May 6th this year he sent a message to Microsoft saying that he was "unilaterally amending the terms of service" of his contract.  His claim was that if Microsoft did not cancel his contract within 10 days it would have to accept his new terms.

In his new terms he introduced a "forfeit victory clause" in which Microsoft would have to pay him $500 billion dollars in damages in it didn't respond within 24 hours of the 'new' contract taking effect.

This is not the first time that Stebbings has tried to pull a fast one.  The Seattle PI, which broke the story, did a search on the US federal legal database and found "more than a dozen claims within the past year.  In some of them, he alleged discrimination by companies - including Walmart - that refused to hire him...Many of the cases were quickly dismissed."

His claim has very little chance of ever being heard by a court and I very much doubt that Microsoft's lawyers will be worried in the slightest.

When Seattle PI asked Stebbins why he was bothering, or words to that effect, he told them "My true goal is not to just harass, and it’s not just to get rich. My true goal is to level the playing field.  I’m trying to give employees, consumers, and generally, people who’ve been economically disadvantaged a new, powerful tool to protect themselves. Who needs to go crying to Congress for more workers’ rights and consumer protection laws?!  We can do it all ourselves! How’s that for a motive you can get behind?!”

Stebbins wouldn't be the first person on the planet to be fed up with big business, only two days ago I wrote an article here on gHacks asking if "Patent Tennis", the gentle art of companies slinging patent lawsuits back and forth that is slowly eroding consumer choice, hasn't already gone too far.  After the global economic downturn it's understandable that many people will be resentful of companies that make enormous profits when others are struggling to find work or pay the mortgage.

However while some might consider his attempt valiant, others would more likely consider him foolish, especially in a statement he made when asked if he would be submitting full documents to a court.  He scornfully replied that he "will not be presenting any exhibits in paper format. To do so would put an undue strain on my printer."

According to Seattle PI the Xbox Live contract doesn't say it can't be amended by a customer, though this is unlikely to get him anywhere.  Microsoft's lawyers normally have every angle covered, and then some (believe me, I've worked with them and they can be a right pain for this!)

Stebbins admitted though that it was probably unlikely that the expansive legal department at Microsoft HQ in Redmond would even have seen his claim, saying “I mean, think about it: When I mail these documents to Microsoft, they won’t go to any legal division; I arranged for the mailings to be picked up by the employee that just collects regular mail! It’s quite possible that these employees won’t understand the legal significance of these documents, and know that they’re required to respond.”

Via NeoWin


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  1. Some Dude said on March 19, 2023 at 11:42 am

    Are these articles AI generated?

    Now the duplicates are more obvious.

    1. boris said on March 19, 2023 at 11:48 pm

      This is below AI generated crap. It is copy of Microsoft Help website article without any relevant supporting text. Anyway you can find this information on many pages.

  2. Paul(us) said on March 20, 2023 at 1:32 am

    Yes, but why post the exact same article under a different title twice on the same day (19 march 2023), by two different writers?
    1.) Excel Keyboard Shortcuts by Trevor Monteiro.
    2.) 70+ Excel Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows by Priyanka Monteiro

    Why oh why?

    1. Clairvaux said on September 6, 2023 at 11:30 am

      Yeah. Tell me more about “Priyanka Monteiro”. I’m dying to know. Indian-Portuguese bot ?

  3. John G. said on August 18, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    Probably they will announce that the taskbar will be placed at top, right or left, at your will.

    Special event by they is a special crap for us.

  4. yanta said on August 18, 2023 at 11:59 pm

    If it’s Microsoft, don’t buy it.
    Better brands at better prices elsewhere.

  5. John G. said on August 20, 2023 at 4:22 am

    All new articles have zero count comments. :S

  6. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 7:48 am

    WTF? So, If I add one photo to 5 albums, will it count 5x on my storage?
    It does not make any sense… on google photos, we can add photo to multiple albums, and it does not generate any additional space usage

    I have O365 until end of this year, mostly for onedrive and probably will jump into google one

  7. St Albans Digital Printing Inc said on September 5, 2023 at 11:53 am

    Photo storage must be kept free because customers chose gadgets just for photos and photos only.

  8. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 12:47 pm

    What a nonsense. Does it mean that albums are de facto folders with copies of our pictures?

    1. GG said on September 6, 2023 at 8:24 am

      Sounds exactly like the poor coding Microsoft is known for in non-critical areas i.e. non Windows Core/Office Core.

      I imagine a manager gave an employee the task to create the album feature with hardly any time so they just copied the folder feature with some cosmetic changes.

      And now that they discovered what poor management results in do they go back and do the album feature properly?

      Nope, just charge the customer twice.

      Sounds like a go-getter that needs to be promoted for increasing sales and managing underlings “efficiently”, said the next layer of middle management.

  9. d3x said on September 5, 2023 at 7:33 pm

    When will those comments get fixed? Was every editor here replaced by AI and no one even works on this site?

  10. Scroogled said on September 5, 2023 at 10:47 pm

    Instead of a software company, Microsoft is now a fraud company.

  11. ard said on September 7, 2023 at 4:59 pm

    For me this is proof that Microsoft has a back-door option into all accounts in their cloud.
    quote “…… as the MSA key allowed the hacker group access to virtually any cloud account at Microsoft…..”

    so this MSA key which is available to MS officers can give access to all accounts in MS cloud.This is the backdoor that MS has into the cloud accounts. Lucky I never got any relevant files of mine in their (MS) cloud.

  12. Andy Prough said on September 7, 2023 at 6:52 pm

    >”Now You: what is your theory?”

    That someone handed an employee a briefcase full of cash and the employee allowed them access to all their accounts and systems.

    Anything that requires 5-10 different coincidences to happen is highly unlikely. Occam’s razor.

  13. TelV said on September 8, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    Good reason to never login to your precious machine with a Microsoft a/c a.k.a. as the cloud.

  14. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:23 pm

    The GAFAM are always very careless about our software automatically sending to them telemetry and crash dumps in our backs. It’s a reminder not to send them anything when it’s possible to opt out, and not to opt in, considering what they may contain. And there is irony in this carelessness biting them back, even if in that case they show that they are much more cautious when it’s their own data that is at stake.

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