Amazon Fail

Xbox Elite Series 2 Amazon Epic Buy Turns into Amazon Epic Fail

I’ve been jonesing for a new Xbox Elite Series 2 controller since November 24th. I’ve been jonesing for it since I heard about it months ago. I’d held off on getting the Series 1 controller since hearing about the Series 2.

Having recent confirmation that the Series 2 would be compatible with the forthcoming Xbox Series X console, the time was nigh.

Last weekend, I searched the shelves of my local Target store, only to realize this isn’t the sort of hardware I’m going to be able to pickup from the likes of Target. I reluctantly checked Gamestop, but then realized I had come into an Amazon gift card recently, compliments of my mom, dad and Christmas.

So I went shopping the “aisles” of Amazon for a new Series 2. At a whopping $172.79, “that’s a spicy meatball!” Unperturbed, as I knew this was the price to pay for what many people consider to be the pinnacle of gaming hardware, I selected the item from the search results.

However, I am a bargain shopper, and I am not opposed to used products. So I checked the “New & Used from….” link that sits a couple of lines below the “add to cart” button because, hey, why not?

Lo and behold, what’s this I see? A “Used – Very Good” listing from Prime – Amazon Warehouse for $158.67 AND it is being offered with an additional 20% off (that’s -$31.73) from the “Amazon Warehouse,” making it a final pre-tax price of $126.94. If you are keeping track, that’s a whopping $46.00 off the new pricing for this device that grants the unyielding power of the gaming gods.

“Buy Now” please.

The wait is on. It’s a Tuesday. I have to wait until Thursday. Needless to say, it was a LONG 48 hours, while I watched the shipping updates as my product traveled from Florida, to Texas, and on to Arizona.

I arrived home from work on Thursday afternoon with a “package delivered” notification on my phone. Sure enough, there is my Amazon delivery on the doorstep. I am giddy as a child on Christmas morn’.

I eagerly bring my new toy inside, drop my work bag and place the package on the dining room table. Grabbing the first sharp object I can find (a steak knife), I slice through Amazon’s tough string-reinforced paper packing tape to free my new PUBG killing machine from its cardboard prison.

Angels and choirs sing “Hallelujah!”

Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller Box

Its in it’s original box, and the box is in pretty nice shape. (I’m a big believer in packaging preservation for this sort of thing.) The box is durable, heavy density cardboard: not the flimsy single-ply cardstock that standard Xbox controllers come packed in. These are made of a kind of heavy grade stuff that Samsung and Apple pack their phones in. So far, I am impressed.

At least the box was nice…

Amazon Inspected

The box sports an “Amazon Warehouse Inspected” label providing further assurances that this used product contained within has been checked out before being shipped to me.

I proceed to open the box, finding within the original storage case. Unzipping the case, I find inside the spare parts including original thumb-sticks and even the little foam wedge that the battery housing rests on inside the case to cushion it properly.

…But no charging stand, and no USB-C cable and power adapter. “What gives?,” I question.

Xbox Elite Series 1 Controller front

I turn over the device and examine its exterior. Minor scratches in the shoulder buttons, but otherwise, just needs a wiping down with some alcohol.

And then I realize. There is a battery door on the back that, when opened, CONTAINS NO BATTERIES.

You now realize, as I did, the problem. The Series 2 controller comes with a rechargeable battery pack and docks on purpose-designed charging dock.

Do my eyes deceive me? Just to be certain, I check the model # inside the battery cover. Model 1698. I am the proud owner of one Xbox Elite Series 1 controller, delivered in a Series 2 box.

Xbox Elite 2 Controller, Uh-Uh, Amazon Epic Fail

Xbox Elite Series 1 Controller Back

Buyer beware of wolves in sheeps clothing. Perhaps this isn’t the most “epic” of “epic fails” and, to Amazon’s credit, they apologized for the mistake and are gladly accepting it as a return. However, it calls into question Amazon’s inspection practices. What happened here could have easily happened to some unsuspecting and less knowledgeable consumer who would have would up overpaying for some used controller with a significantly lower value than what they paid for. What happened to cause this? My guess- some unscrupulous Amazon customer traded in a Series 1 controller in a Series 2 box and, not knowing any better, Amazon’s inspectors had no idea what they were looking at and slapped an “inspected” sticker on and threw it into inventory.

What fantastic luck I have.