How I Got My Xbox 360 250 GB Bundle with Kinect…and How The Microsoft Store Made My Christmas

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by Nindo Mom on December 3, 2010

My Hunt for the Xbox 360 with 250 GB Hard Drive

Eager to find an Xbox 360 (with 250 GB hard drive) with Kinect for my 10-year-old son this Christmas, it seems my search was to be thwarted at every turn.

Before Black Friday hit, Amazon.com had the Xbox I wanted in stock. (Even when they go out of stock on something, it never seems to last for long,  even on extremely popular items). But it just so happened that when I went to actually purchase my Xbox, they were out. Third-party sellers on Amazon had the Xbox in-stock, but at extremely inflated prices. So I continued my search.

I was relieved to finally locate an Xbox 360 with a 250 GB drive on The Microsoft Store website. Without delay I placed my order, then went to bed. The next morning, I had an email from Microsoft informing me that “your order is not available for immediate shipment,” along with a promise to keep me informed. I wasn’t sure how long it would take to be shipped, nor if it would happen before the holidays, so I was feeling a bit unsettled.

So just to be safe, I started searching the Internet some more. I found the Xbox again…or so I thought…on the Toys R Us website. Although I completed the order process, I realized a few days later that I hadn’t received the standard order confirmation by email. So I did some checking. Unfortunately, I discovered that my order had disappeared, and Toys R Us had no record of it. My card had also not been charged, they told me. I tried to reorder from their website, but the Xboxes were once again out of stock.

A few more days of searching the local stores and the Internet, and I found an Xbox “in stock” at the Sam’s Club membership warehouse. To make sure I didn’t miss out this time, I quickly applied online for a Sam’s Club membership, paid for it, and completed my online purchase of the Xbox–except that when I hit the “place order” button, I discovered that Sam’s Club did NOT have the Xbox, after all. Their website was lying, for lack of a better term. Their site said the item was out of stock and wouldn’t let me complete my purchase–yet when I backed up a couple of pages, they again claimed to have the Xbox in stock. Bait and switch, clear and simple. So now I have a Sam’s Club membership that I’ll be canceling as soon as I have a chance to deal with it….

What I ended up with….

Many hours of Internet perusal later, I now have TWO Xbox 250 GB Holiday Bundles and one Kinect Sensor Bar. One Holiday Bundle I got from Gamestop online, the other I got from Amazon quite a bit cheaper. The Kinect sensor bar, I ordered from Best Buy for in-store pickup, when it was still available. The extra bundle was an accident brought about by my placing an additional order because I thought the first would turn out to be out of stock, but didn’t. So I’ll either be returning the extra, or maybe putting it on Ebay….

Then, after so much hard work and countless hours of frustration, The Microsoft Store gave me an awesome surprise….

$150 Free Stuff from The Microsoft Store ! Whoo Hoo!

That’s right. Microsoft sent me an email telling me that because they couldn’t fulfill my order for the Xbox 360 250 GB Holiday Bundle before the holidays, they were canceling it. They were also giving me a voucher for $150 off my next purchase on their website as an apology for any inconvenience they caused me. No minimum purchase; no time limits.

Microsoft certainly catches it’s share of flack when they screw up; I wanted to make sure they got their due credit when they do something right. Although I had been truly frustrated during my initial experience with The Microsoft Store, their unsolicited gift has left a truly wonderful taste in my mouth.

OK, that’s a weird thing to say–but seriously, Microsoft made my Christmas. : )

Where is the Best Place to Buy the Xbox 360 with Kinect?

Typically, you won’t see video game consoles like the Xbox for a discounted price anywhere–at least, not for a long time after they’ve been released. You may find a particular store offering a short-term special deal like “get a free such-and-such with purchase of the Xbox 360 Console,” or some similar offer.

However, I have found Amazon.comto be the best place to purchase the Xbox 360 360, Kinect, and other accessories, both in terms of convenience and in terms of price–because Amazon.com doesn’t charge tax.

3 Reasons to consider buying your Xbox 360 with Kinect from Amazon

  • On a $299 system, you’d save $18 in tax over what you’d pay at a local store, assuming a six percent tax rate, since the store would have to charge you tax.
  • In addition, you can get free Super Saver shipping on the console since it exceeds the $25 minimum order for free shipping.
  • If you apply for the Amazon.com Rewards VISA card, you’ll also earn points on your Xbox purchased online from Amazon. (Plus, you get $30 back on your first purchase. Whoo Hoo!)

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