Microsoft: We’ll Fix Your Damn Xbox

It freezes. It crashes. It gives you the red light of death. Well, you’re not alone. Microsoft has admitted it. Early Xbox 360s are defective and will be repaired free of charge...providing that you purchased yours before January 1, 2006.

“As part of our standard and ongoing process of analyzing repair data, we recently noticed a higher than usual number of units coming in for repair,” Microsoft told IGN in a prepared statement today. “Upon further investigation, it was further discovered that the bulk of the units were isolated to a group that was part of the initial manufacturing run of the console. Returns for repair are coming in for a variety reasons and it’s a higher rate than we are satisfied with.”

Well, good. I don’t personally have an Xbox 360, but if I did, I am sure that it would be broken. Every console I’ve ever purchased has broken–from NES to PS2. I can now open a PS2 and readjust the laser in 3 minutes flat. I’m like a NASCAR pit crew with that thing.

But I digress. If your box is broken, Microsoft will either repair the system or, if the problems cannot be fixed within two days, Microsoft will replace the old system with a new one. Anyone with a broken system can call 1-800-4MY-XBOX to speak with a customer service person. And, naturally, we’d like to know how that conversation goes.

Ahhh, sweet satisfaction.

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. …. No SHIT, Huh?

  2. d0x says:

    Microsoft seems to have good timing here, I sent this story into Dean Takahashi (mercury news and author) a couple weeks back as well as IGN who posted it on Sept 12th on ign xbox360. Now ill post it here for everyone to enjoy with a couple updates.
    —-

    “I’m hoping there is some way you can help me here. I have used up all my options and now I just feel the need to have my story told in hope that someone at Microsoft will read it and do something about it. Here is a copy of an email I sent to Xbox.com support after talking on the phone with a CSR and an incredibly rude supervisor.

    In December of 2005 a mere month after my purchase my Xbox 360 died, it would no longer properly display a picture on my HDTV so I called Microsoft and they issued a replacement. Fast forward to Sept 7 2006, my replacement 360 has just died. I have the 3 red blinking lights which seem to be VERY common if you check Xbox forums. I called Microsoft to see what they could do for me and I was informed by Merx it would cost me $150 to repair and he seemed very sad this was happening to me, of course it wasnt sincere. I told him very calmly that I would like to talk to a supervisor and that it wasnt his fault. He transfered me to Joy who was rude before I even said a word. She informed me it would cost me $139 to repair my console.

    I told Joy that the price of repair was too much. A $400 piece of hardware should not die in less then a year under normal use. I have kept it clean, it has never been shuffled around or anything, it has simply died. There is an obvious hardware defect here that Microsoft needs to address. Joy doesnt care.

    All I want is a replacement unit for a reasonable price. I own 17 Xbox 360 games and at $60 a piece that comes to $1020 in just games, I also have 2 extra wireless controllers, 1 wired controller, a wifi adapter, a memory card, a recharge base station, the recharge cable for the 360 and Xbox Live Gold. As you can see im what you would call an excellent customer.

    I have filed a complaint with the BBB but I also feel the need to send a last resort email to Xbox Support. If Microsoft cant help its customers why should I keep buying their products? As it is I have almost $3000 of useless games and hardware now. Please help me!”
    —-
    Now for the updates since my letter.

    On Sept 14 2006 Kinesha from Xbox support called me and left me a msg to call Microsoft back ASAP. I called and referenced my ticket # and was told I needed to be transfered to a supervisor. I was on hold for about 10 min when he came on and told me to hold again so I could talk to a women named Sarah. About 10 more min later Sarah came on.

    She told me she would be handling my complaint with the BBB. After about 10 min of me telling her how this situation was unfair she offered to discount the repair fee by 25%. I still didnt feel like this was good enough. I told her I would think about it and call back.

    Well today I was told about the free replacement if your console was made in 2005 so I called up MS and talked with the CSR. It sounded extremly busy there and I joked around with the guy cause you could tell he was stressed from the sudden influx of calls. It was so busy I could hear just about every operator there talking and trying to talk over everyone else. It was like the stock market in there.

    He is sending me a box via UPS which will arrive in 3 days, they will either replace or repair my 360 and send it back. Turn around time is estimate at 5 buisness days. After the repair was setup I wished the poor guy goodluck.

    The funny thing is they gave me an awfull lot of run around not even 2 weeks ago only to turn around and tell me it would be free. I win.

  3. tyler forsythe says:

    Just a quick tip you might want to update in the main post: According to here (http://arstechnica.com/journals/thumbs.ars/2006/9/22/5380) and other sources I’ve read (can’t remember them now) the free fixes are offered to those people who purchased an XBox360 that was _manufactured_ before Jan 1. So even if you bought later you may still be eligible. Something to look into if you’re on the cusp.

  4. tyler forsythe says:

    Confirmed here, http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=4263, with a statement from MS at the bottom.

  5. d0x says:

    The reason its listed as before Jan 1st is because a couple bugs were discovered in the way they were assembled. Those bugss were fixed right before Jan 1st.

    I doubt they will replace it even if your on the cusp because the reason for this almost recall was fixed by then. Trust me those MS CSR’s are ruthless.

  6. nysports says:

    They even gave me a free game for all the trouble (though I had to send the Xbox in twice, so maybe that’s why).

  7. LocalYokel says:

    I purchased my 360 on release day, and actually haven’t had any problems yet. I know that it is common for these consoles to have problems/die, so I feel like my console’s death is impending. I kind of wish it would fail right now so I could take advantage of this offer, instead of in a year when I’ll have no options but to buy a new one.

  8. Kat says:

    *sees “Microsoft” and “free of charge” in same article*

    Did Hell just freeze over?

  9. ajlak_68 says:

    I’m making the call right now. I purchased my X Box 360 on January 5th and it was manufactured on December 21st. I got the 3 Red Lights of Death the same day I bought Madden 07 on August 22nd. Half a dozen calls later they tell me I had to pay $139.90 to get it fixed because it was out of the extended 6 month warranty they issued on the first batch. The best part was that the refurbished unit I received immediately froze up on me as well. Wish me luck in getting a refund on it. I’ve been hemming and hawing because I decided I was going to sell the damn thing anyways, why would I want to support a company that puts out crap warrants it for 3 months and charges you $139.90 to fix it… plus between school and work I don’t really have time for it anymore.