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Xbox Support Staff Say They Were Fired After Posting About Their Jobs On Kotaku

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 Xbox Support Staff Say They Were Fired After Posting About Their Jobs On Kotaku
Unread 2 years agoclass of '04 - away - #1
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Da Ill One|M 3804 heat pts3804 space
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If you do customer support for Microsoft, don't post about it on this website. You'll probably lose your job.

Over the past week, I've been in touch with two former Xbox support staff. Both people, who asked that we not use their names, say they were fired for writing comments about their jobs on Kotaku. One was let go last week, the other around a month ago.

In other words, be careful what you write on the Internet.
By now the stories are familiar: teens getting suspended for writing dumb things on Twitter; employees scolded for Facebook albums filled with bongs and whiskey. But how often does someone get let go for posting a comment on an Internet news article?

Last Friday, a person who we'll call Bob was told to call his manager at Alpine Access, the work-from-home company that employed him. (Alpine handles tech support for the Xbox 360.) His manager asked if he had ever heard of a website called Kotaku. Yes, Bob said—he had.

"[The manager] then continued on about how someone that was higher up at Microsoft found the comment I left on the news article," Bob said in an e-mail to me. "I was then reminded that we aren't allowed to speak about the company, or anything related to it on social media sites or any related sorts... I ended up apologizing for leaving the comment."

I reached out to Alpine Access for comment and was directed to a spokeswoman for Sykes, the company that owns Alpine.

"We do have confidentiality agreements with our clients," the spokeswoman said, noting that she couldn't comment on the specifics of this situation. "And so we do expect our employees to abide by those confidentiality agreements."

Bob's manager said he would be suspended from work until Monday as they investigated the issue. On Monday, Bob got another call. He was fired.

Here's the comment Bob made on Kotaku, in response to an article about Xbox support pranksters. (His comment has since been deleted.)


[pic - click to view]



"I believe this entire thing was taken a little too far," Bob told me. "I understand that it can make Microsoft look bad with an employee talking bad about their customers. But what I was saying wasn't as bad as they are making it seem."

The second former Xbox support staff, who we'll call Frank, has a similar, but completely separate story. Frank also worked for Alpine Access. A couple of months ago, he was asked to get on a conference call with three Alpine executives, who accused him of stealing from Microsoft by generating codes that give out free time on Xbox Live's premium Gold Membership.

But Frank says he didn't steal a thing.

"They told me they were going to find proof and press charges against me," Frank said in an e-mail to me. So he asked: if they found no proof, would he get his job back?

"Another person who was on the phone spoke up and said that's not the reason I was being fired," Frank said. "And that regardless of whether I'm innocent or not, they will never rehire me again because of the comments I made on Kotaku. They claimed the reason they're firing me is because I broke the non-disclosure agreement I signed when they hired me. This agreement stated that I'm not allowed to tell anyone I work for Microsoft or Xbox."

Here's the comment Frank was fired for:


[pic - click to view]



"In all honesty, if I was an employer and my employee wrote something like that about a product I was trying to sell, I could see myself firing them too," Frank said. "I'm upset about losing my job, but I understand where they're coming from."

While I've blacked out both Bob and Frank's usernames here (at their request), neither ex-Alpine employee used a Kotaku handle that was connected to their real names. We don't know how Microsoft connected their Kotaku comments with their identities. Yet another compelling reason to be very, very paranoid about what you do and say online.

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2 peeps gave props to Da Ill One LaRy BLanco (01-09-2013) , hot topic  (01-09-2013)

18 comments for "Xbox Support Staff Say They Were Fired After Posting About Their Jobs On Kotaku"

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Unread 2 years agoclass of '11 - away - #2
Jesszman 2200 heat pts2200 space
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idiots
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '10 - away - #3
Hovi Bryant 257 heat pts257 space
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Moral of the story? Don't be an idiot.
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '10 - away - #4
Quick SR Son 2 heat pts space
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Pretty Much. Sucks they lost their jobs, but its their own damn fault.
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '08 - away - #5
LaRy BLanco 476 heat pts476 space
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good for those f*ggots

M$ Support<<<<<<
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '05 - away - #6
HiRolliN 104 heat pts104 space
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dude knew the consequences of posting those messages and went and didn't it anywayz lol fu*king moron.
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '04 - away - #7
EGO 54 heat pts54 space
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They deserve it, especially if they really did violate the NDA. Especially the "Frank" guy. You simply don't denounce the company you're working for in a public forum.

This is a lot different from getting fired for personal life stuff on Facebook. If I get fired for showing that I drink alcohol on my profile, that's some grade A bullsh*t (and a big reason I have shied away from using social networks altogether). But yea, these dudes were just stupid.
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '07 - away - #8
r.burgundy 14 heat pts14 space
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word.how hard is it to not post about your job
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '09 - away - #9
WMYakballzWM 4 heat pts space
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yea that buying a xbox rent a center style is the stupidest thing you could ever do... paying 2 times as much as it costs becasue of all the interest.
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '12 - away - #10
Just BizNis 44 heat pts44 space
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AuthenticMade said:
I dunno maybe im reading it wrong....but this definitely almost implies that they have aliens working at MS.....I just felt like the point of this article was to tell us something else
Lmao

Yeah. You're reading it wrong

It's: Both people say they were fired for writing comments about their jobs on Kotaku. (These people asked us to not use their names, btw.)
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '12 - away - #11
Techniec 4 heat pts space
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God Kotaku why would you hang there place is awfull. They deserv to get fired.
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '07 - away - #12
Jae_Mike 14 heat pts14 space
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freedom of speech violation
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '04 - away - #13
Krypt 3 heat pts space
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Techniec said:
God Kotaku why would you hang there place is awfull. They deserv to get fired.
*awfull

*deserve

anyway, they both were extremely stupid and got what they deserved.
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '12 - away - #14
Nest 18 heat pts18 space
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A lot of people would be fired if their bosses knew about BX.
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '04 - away - #15
Da Ill One|M 3804 heat pts3804 space
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Jae_Mike said:
freedom of speech violation
There's no freedom of speech when you sign an NDA...
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '10 - away - #16
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Narlee
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Another reason i hate xbox and microsoft... if you put out a sh*tty product dont be mad if a employee calls you on it. It should have been vetted and if the vetting process says its a sh*tty product, improve it
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '09 - away - #17
ultimaforce 4 heat pts space
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I wonder how they found out who they were though.
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Unread 2 years agoclass of '05 - away - #18
HiRolliN 104 heat pts104 space
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ultimaforce said:
I wonder how they found out who they were though.
im pretty sure it wouldnt be hard for there I.T. department to reverse track the IP address. especially if they posted the comments from inside the company and not an out side line.

Last edited by HiRolliN; 01-10-2013 at 02:37 PM..
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