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maina donaldson a pragmatist's blog

Recently, while getting fired up for a family Rockband session, our XBox died. Red ring of death. Put down the guitar controller - the third one nonetheless - first one got its strum bar stuck, second one had a miscalibrated tilt sensor - and go through the routine... call, ship, wait. We'd only done it three times in the last two years, so yes, we know the routine.

Two weeks later (life without an XBox isn't all that bad, really - did you know there's a whole world outside the front door) the box shows up on our doorstep (...get the guitars ready). Together with a letter that said that we had tampered with our XBox and they won't fix it, so here, have your brick back. WTF?  Given that none of us have a need to, care to, or even know how to "tamper" with our XBox, the only explanation I can come up with is that this is a machine that had been previously opened by Microsoft's repair engineers. This cannot really be happening, right?

Several hours (days) on the phone with patient, but completely unempowered customer service personnel we know now that there allegedly is a broken seal behind the faceplate, as evidenced by some photograph - now attached to our file. So with the engineer's remote help (as we've never done it before) we take off the faceplate and have a look. Nothing. Not the minutest crack. WTF?  I guess this is how Microsoft's mitigates the rising cost of supporting their extension of warranty to 3 years. By refusing to fix them.

So as it stands right now we have a nice-looking brick, a useless (with or without the Xbox) HD DVD player, an extensive library of games, and a bunch of ugly plastic instruments sitting around our living room. Anyone interested? The PS 3 is starting to look really good....

UPDATE:  My well-connected colleague Chris Williams  set some things in motion and some well-meaning Microsoft folks made it happen. Customer Service reps suddenly became very helpful (it was like magic) and we were asked to send our box in again.  I'm happy to report that we have now received a replacement box and a month of XBox Live for "our troubles".   Thank you Chris, and especially Brian from Microsoft!  

Rock on!

Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2008 10:40 AM Stuff | Back to top

Comments on this post: XBox 360 "Quality" and "Support" - not! (or: WTF?)

# re: XBox 360 "Quality" and "Support" - not! (or: WTF?)
Requesting Gravatar...
If this was indeed "fraud", then why would Microsoft themselves provide you with a method of verifying that YOU are actually correct? Yes, I do think the situation was unfairly handled, but blatantly accusing them of fraud seems a little over-the-top.
Left by David Brown on Apr 29, 2008 1:49 PM

# re: XBox 360 "Quality" and "Support" - not! (or: WTF?)
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Because they did not provide us with a method of verifying anything. They are stating a "fact", are not willing to share any evidence, and are essentially refusing to fulfill warranty.

If not fraudulent, then it's incredibly STUPID on Microsoft's part to alienate customers like that in this day and age of self-publishing. so here it is for everyone to read... a record of XBox 360 failures.

Left by maina on Apr 29, 2008 2:02 PM

# re: XBox 360 "Quality" and "Support" - not! (or: WTF?)
Requesting Gravatar...
Fraud's a pretty strong word, but it does have a way of getting people's attention. ;)

Check your inbox (or your spam filter.)
Left by Blogus Maximus on Apr 29, 2008 4:52 PM

# re: XBox 360 "Quality" and "Support" - not! (or: WTF?)
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That is garbage. I have had similar problems when dealing with them. We've sent 3 back in 2 years. Maybe you hit the magic mark and they are trying to get rid of you? Our DVD drive is starting to fail now. I wonder if I'll get the "tampered" excuse because it's my #4.
Left by Scott Kuhl on May 01, 2008 5:36 PM

# re: XBox 360 "Quality" and "Support" - not! (or: WTF?)
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I have now had the letter from hell. They said they would call me back and they have to tell me that they will call me back to verify why its been tampered with. Its an elite and its 3 month sold and I have not opened it.
How crap are MS.
Left by CRX69 on Apr 27, 2009 10:02 AM

# re: XBox 360 "Quality" and "Support" - not! (or: WTF?)
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Me too. Just recieved my 4 month old 360 today after 8 days away with that letter. To top it off it was sent away with an intermittent "open tray" fault and has come back completely bricked. Not a happy bunny I can tell you. Damn you Microsoft.
Left by SteveeD on Apr 29, 2009 10:21 AM

# re: XBox 360 "Quality" and "Support" - not! (or: WTF?)
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Left by Write My Paper on Jun 28, 2011 2:56 AM

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