Gaming authorities like IGN have been announcing that people that didn’t pre-order an XBOX One would be able to line up for the launch party at Microsoft Stores and purchase a limited amount of consoles. You might have been excited enough to plan a full day of waiting in line at your local Microsoft Store and enjoy the party being put on. There will be a party starting at 10:00pm with games, prizes for the 50 first people in line and all kinds of gaming heaven, apparently.
If you didn’t pre-order an XBOX One console and you were planning on lining up at your Microsoft Store be warned, you may be in for a rude awakening if you wait for hours on end when midnight hits. What if you are the very first person in line that starts waiting when your Microsoft Store opens this morning 11/21/13? Well, even if you are the first person, you will not be able to purchase an XBOX One on launch day at Oak Park Mall at the Microsoft Store in Kansas.
Here is my experience as it has played out in the last three hours trying to be sure I could get an XBOX One. I took off 2 days of work to plan for this launch and make a day of it waiting in line at the Microsoft Store in my local mall, Oak Park in Overland Park, KS. Yesterday on 11/20/13 during my lunch hour I called the Microsoft Store locally and sat on hold for about 15 minutes to ask an employee questions about buying an XBOX One on launch day. My questions were:
- What time can we start lining up at the Microsoft Store?
- What happens when the mall closes?
- Can we bring chairs, tents, sleeping bags?
- Would we be allowed to have food?
The first associated I talked to on the phone during my launch hour named Devin wasn’t very sure about when I could line up. I was informed there was a launch party at 10:00pm and that the store would open then so I could plan to show up a little before that. I told her I was not interested in the launch party but when I could get in line to ensure my place to purchase a non pre-order XBOX One bundle and that I had taken two days off work to make sure I got one. After some confused answers, she put me on hold to ask someone else. After Devin came back she told me that I could line up when the mall opened. I asked her what would happen when the mall actually closed? Unsure she told that most likely mall security could escort me to the store for the line. I was confused because I expected to be in the line all day. I asked if I could bring chairs and she replied, “Well, I’m not sure but I guess you could as long as they are dorm room chairs and don’t take up much space.” After a few more exchanges I didn’t feel completely confident I had the exact information so my wife drove down to the mall in person to talk to a Microsoft Store associate.
My wife met with an associate by the name of Pia who was shocked that we even wanted to line up. We were told we wouldn’t need to line up that early but were told that if we wanted to we could line up when the Microsoft Store and the mall opened today November 21st, 2013. Pia told my wife that she couldn’t promise her she would be able to get an XBOX One console so that she should take a raincheck receipt to be sure she could get one later. My wife agreed and took the receipt getting some more answers about chairs, launch party and other things. My wife got information on bundles and accessories and felt like it was a lot of information so we had better double check on the information later on. Here’s a picture of the raincheck my wife received at 15:04 on 11/20/13:
After I got off work my wife and I drove to a Best Buy down the road to see if people were lining up yet and talk with store associated there. We were assured that if we lined up early enough we’d be able to get a non pre-order XBOX One unit as well as games, bundle, XBOX Live Gold & a warranty from GeekSquad. We were informed there will be two lines, one for pre-orders and one for non pre-orders and that we could expect anywhere from 15 – 30 extra units sold but could not be guaranteed. We were told we would be accommodated no matter what time we decided to line up.
We were already in the car driving around so we decided to drive the Microsoft Store at 11467 W 95th Street, Space 59 Overland Park, KS 66214 at Oak Park Mall. This was the Microsoft Store my wife went to earlier and got information on when we could line up.
After playing the XBOX One for awhile, looking at launch day titles I met up with a store associate that seemed incredibly smart, well informed and knowledgeable about the product. My associate was Logan whom I asked what time we could start lining up and how many consoles they had for non pre-orders. I was told that information couldn’t be told to me exactly on the number of units but then Logan gave me a defeated look and whispered to me, “Even if you line up and wait tomorrow you won’t be able to buy a launch day XBOX One.” I was dumbfounded, “What?!? I have read everywhere there are extra units for people that didn’t preorder the console.”
No XBOX Ones Available To Non Pre-Order Customers
Logan went on to disappointingly tell me that even if I were the first person in line I wouldn’t get a console that they were already all spoken for. I was asked if I wanted an XBOX One raincheck. I told him I had taken off work and I wanted an XBOX One no matter what. At this point he shrugged and said, sorry man, but I can give you a raincheck receipt. I agreed and got my own receipt as well. We talked a little while longer and we left not too long after. Here is a picture of the raincheck receipt for the XBOX One I received:
If you went online and looked at the Midnight Launch event for the Microsoft Store you’d be lead to believe you can line up and buy extra XBOX One units. There are repeated statements from the representative running the store page that you can buy non pre-order units but they can’t guarantee quantities. Here are a few examples below:
We’ve decided our only chance is to line up at a Best Buy that gave us clear instructions. If you are planning your entire afternoon, evening or day around waiting at the Microsoft Store in your local area I highly recommend you talk to multiple associated on the phone, in person and grill them about whether you’ll get an Xbox One or they have one available. It looks like no matter what I did after taking off two days of work and waiting in line I would have a been a very unhappy potential customer without an XBOX One. There are other confused customers as well like this one that posted on November 17th, 2013:
The bottom of Microsoft Store XBOX One raincheck receipts read, “Life is complicated. Technology shouldn’t be.” Well, I’ll tell you what, neither should customer service and I’m completely confused and annoyed with Microsoft Store at this point. Learn from my lesson, pre-order your console next decade! Good luck today!