Woot Motorola Xoom

Ready Cory H just dropped word that he's received an e-mail from Woot.com with some slightly troubling news, but also with a very cool resolution. Cory purchased a refurbished Motorola Xoom tablet from Woot last year. They've been sold off and on for deep discounts, and it's a pretty good deal. Only, it turns out that Motorola might not have properly refurbished them all -- mainly that user data from the previous owner might not have been erased. That's a pretty big whoopsie. 

In its own press release, Motorola says that 100 tablets out of a batch of 6,200 refurbished units might not have been wiped. Woot, in its e-mail, identifies them as having been available for purchase between Sept. 29, 2011 and Dec. 4, 2011. (For some context, Motorola has said it sold 1 million Xooms in 2011.)

Motorola's looking to get the unwiped Xooms back, will provide a pre-paid shipping box and rush your device back in three or four days. And they're sweetening the deal with a $100 American Express gift card, at least in Woot's version of the e-mail.

And Motorola hasn't forgotten about the 100 users who might have had their information sent on to new owners. For those who purchased and returned a Xoom between March and October 2011 at Amazon.com, Best Buy, BJ’s Wholesale, eBay, Office Max, Radio Shack, Sam’s Club, or Staples and a few other independent retailers, Motorola is offering a complimentary two-year membership of Experian’s ProtectMyID service.

All in all, it's a good response from Motorola (and Woot, too). Even if its only 100 tablets, someone's user data should be left behind on a refurbished model.

Read Motorola's full press release here, and we've got Woot's e-mail after the break.

Want to do a good deed and possibly get paid for it? As somebody who purchased a Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi tablet from Woot.com between September 29, 2011 and December 4, 2011, pay close attention to the rest of this email. There may be money – and good karma - in it for you.

Motorola Mobility has notified us that some of those tablets were not fully refurbished by Motorola. Specifically, Motorola may not have completely wiped previous user data off the devices.

Let's be clear here: only the original purchasers of these devices may have had their personal information compromised; Motorola is also addressing this issue with the original purchasers who may have been affected. At no point was your information as a Woot customer compromised.

So why is this your concern? Well, Motorola is nicely asking the Woot customers with the affected devices to return the devices to Motorola so that the refurbishment process can be completed. Of course, Motorola will also pay for all the necessary shipping, in the form of a pre-paid shipping box. Your newly reset Xoom will be back in your hands in about 3-4 business days. And so will a $100 American Express gift card for your trouble.

We encourage you to participate in this process by calling Motorola Customer Support at 1-800-734-5870, then selecting option 1 (tablets). Since not all of the Xooms sold by Woot are affected, Motorola will check your serial number to see if you need to return your device. You may also check online at www.motorola.com/xoomreturn. If your serial number is on the list, you're eligible to participate in the process and receive the $100 American Express gift card.

Before you send your Xoom to Motorola, be sure to back up your music, videos and photos, as Motorola's factory reset will erase all of that stuff. Any applications downloaded from the Android Market can be downloaded again when your device is returned. If you’ve paid for any Android Market applications, logging into your Gmail account will allow you to download them again for free.

Woot and Motorola thank you for participating in this voluntary program. We hope the $100 American Express gift card is worth your trouble. And we apologize for any confusion or inconvenience this may have caused. If you have comments or questions for the Woot team, please contact us at service@woot.com.


Reader comments

Motorola warns that some refurbished Xoom tablets might have old users' info


I got an e-mail about a Xoom that I purchased at launch and returned, telling me that some of my data may be compromised and offered me some identity theft service. Guess we know why now.

I completely nuked the device before I returned it so I'm not worried.

The xoom I received from woot had the previous user's data on it. GPS locale and everything. Of course, I unlocked it and wiped everything right away regardless :-)

I got my wife one for Christmas. She's completely addicted to it, but is willing to part with it for 3-4 days for that $100 gift card. All she uses it for is internet and email. Not a big deal at all.

Does anyone know the specifics of the compromised information. I never had a Xoom, but am curious as a (private) seller of used Android hardware. My impression is that doing a factory reset clears all user data. Is there any data left over after a factory reset? If not, did users really return their Xooms without performing a simple factory reset?

I was one of the lucky recipients of a previously-enjoyed Woot Xoom. Mine had a few shots of the previous owner's family and a quick video walkthrough of their living room. The Web history showed a bunch of job interview stuff...so I would imagine this was more of a "oops, can't pay the morgage this month" return vs a hardware service issue. A simple factory reset would have eliminated all of that information...and it did, once I showed enough people at the office just how important doing that is.

Still, had the case been that it was defective to the point that data could not be wiped before shipping it off, it should absolutely be up to Motorola to perform a factory reset regardless. Oh well, RMA submitted, just waiting for the shipping box and gift card to show up. Thanks again Woot!

Add Costco to the list of places offering the 2 year ProtectMyID service. I purchased/returned my Xoom there and got the notification email a few weeks about about the oopsies.

What kind of loser buys a Xoom, uses it, and then returns it without erasing the personal info? I say these idiots deserve to have their identities stolen and used in some ugly scam..

Not everyone is tech savvy, I'm sure you wouldn't want your Sister's, Mother's, Grandmother's, personal info used in an "ugly scam" just because they didn't go on the forums to find out about wiping the device before returning it...... Or maybe you would....

Tech savvy? Try literate. I know my relatives are safe.

Why would you worry about my sister, mother and grandmother though? Is my brother less likely to be technologically challenged? Why is that?

I don't have a brother. Those are the immediate family members that come to mind for me that don't have a full understanding of tech. And look up the word "literate" in a dictionary.

You look it up, I'm using it appropriately as a hyperbole.

I bet those same people who "didn't wipe" maniacally shred every letter they get in the snailmail before they recycle it...

It's too bad Toshiba wasn't as on the ball with their foul-up on the refurbed Thrives as Moto is being with this deal. +1 to Moto, Thanks to Woot, -1 to Toshiba.

This is such a crock. I received the email today to. I called Motorola who didn't know anything about it until they escalated the call three times. After almost 90 minutes on hold I found someone that knew about the issue. They validated my MAC address was one of the ones that had a problem and that I could get the credit card rebate.

Well, this is where things get crazy. When I got the Xoom it had tons of data on it from a previous user including logins to GMail accounts and other things. On top of this, the device had a bad line of pixels down the center of the LCD. I called Motorola and let them know of both issues. Once I did, they walked me through a full wipe of the device (which I had done on my own anyway). They then had me send the device in to be repaired.

The Xoom was repaired and came back in a week, completely rewiped at the repair center. It worked great and I handed it over to my wife. She loves it and rarely uses her laptop anymore. Loaded it with music, apps, photos etc. She even OTA to Ice Cream Sandwich and likes that EVEN MORE.

So, after I talk to the rep today, even though they had tickets in their system explaining what had happened and the repair actions, they REFUSED to send me the gift card unless I was willing to mail back the Xoom to them again and let them factory wipe it. Even though it had already been done.

The woman on the phone was a real jerk. She had no managers and her boss was only for administrative purposes, not allowed to make decisions. She didn't care anything about the fact that the work had already been done. In fact, she only just read about the "promotion" when I called and she looked it up. Suffice it to say, I am not getting my $100 card.

I then asked for the mailing address for Motorola Corporate offices and she became very annoyed and didn't want to read it off slow enough for me to write it down. According to her, her name was Belinda and she has a badge ID of 23284. She was shocked I would write a letter.

Normally I would let this go, but she was so insolent and such a jerk that I am actually going to write a letter to Motorola. Will I hear back? Probably not, but it can't hurt.

Oh and both my wife and nephew are due for new phones on Verizon. They were going to each get Razr Maxxes. Instead, they are getting Galaxy Nexus phones. When I told the woman on the phone, she didn't care and told me that's my decision. She didn't care that I wouldn't buy two new devices from them.

They are almost as bad as Ocean Marketing.