Xbox 360 Breaks Down 5 Times In A Row, But Microsoft Refuses To Replace It

Greg writes in to tell us that on January 2nd, his Xbox 360 unit broke down for the fifth time—it lasted eleven days this time, setting a new record for Shortest Period of Functionality. In the past year, it’s been out of commission for over 12 weeks total. He’s now asking for a new or refurbished unit, or else a refund, but Microsoft is determined to keep him in an extended warranty repair cycle indefinitely and won’t negotiate. Surely by this point it’s just cheaper to replace the defective unit, isn’t it?

My family cannot play video games. My family cannot watch movies. My family cannot get anybody from Microsoft to help us. I bought the extended warranty for the system, bought the HDDVD add on, bought dozens of games and dozens of movies, bought a bunch of arcade games and videos from Live, but apparently our brand loyalty and investment in [Microsoft] products doesn’t mean what it used to.

Here’s a timeline of Greg’s Xbox 360 adventure from the past year:

1. He bought an Xbox 360 and an extended warranty in early 2007.  
2. It was defective, so he called 800-4-MY-XBOX and arranged to have it repaired.  
3. Three weeks later the console was returned in working order.  
4. It broke down again.  
5. Repeat steps 2 & 3.  
6. He bought the HD DVD player add-on and began buying HD DVD movies.  
7. It broke down a third time.  
8. Repeat steps 2 & 3.  
9. On November 28th 2007 it broke down a fourth time.  
10. “Paul” at Microsoft says, “that since this is my fourth broken xbox that a supervisor needs to talk to me so that I can get a new console instead of another refurbished one. Paul promised a callback between 5-8pm on the 29th. He recorded my new phone number and address.”  
11. Nobody calls.  
12. Greg calls Microsoft and talks to a woman who says Paul must have been from a different country, “perhaps Canada she thought,” and they do things differently there. She says her supervisor says no deal on the new Xbox. Greg discovers that his account has no record of his conversation with Paul or his new contact info. She says someone will call him back.  
13. Nobody calls him back.  
14. Greg calls again and speaks to “Kim,” who says a supervisor tried to call but Greg’s phone number was disconnected. There’s no record of his call from the day before or his new contact info.  
15. “Eventually” someone named “Jessica” contacts him and arranges for the fourth repair. He receives his Xbox 360 in working order “a few days before Christmas.”  
16. On January 2nd, it breaks down for the fifth time.  

Now Chris at Microsoft has told Greg that “it’s impossible” to get a new Xbox 360 console. Maybe what he really means is that it’s impossible for Greg to get a working one.

Update: Our esteemed TV-friendly editor Ben suggests you may have a case for demanding a replacement or refund under the federal lemon law, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (see more information on it here). You should check the fine print of your extended warranty and then see whether or not you can move forward on getting a new unit without Microsoft’s permission.

(Thanks to Greg)

(Photo: drdementox)

Comments

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  1. Caswell says:

    From reading other forums, it sounds as if the refurb cycle is something to avoid. Seems once you send your console in and start getting refurbs this is what you have to look forward to.

    I hate to do it, but I may just get a PRP on the 360 I bought from Best Buy after Christmas. Better to get a completely new unit than get into the refurb cycle.

  2. UpsetPanda says:

    @Caswell: I think that might be the best option as well…if I bought a 360, I think I would make sure that I could get a new one if mine failed, especially after the fifth time.

    I wonder though…why do people keep using their 360 as a catchall media system? I get that it plays HD, but even back with the old XBox, people were stuck without any DVD player when their console died – why do people think they can just replace a regular DVD player with a console that is first and foremost for playing games?

  3. mac-phisto says:

    good luck, man. all i can suggest is to call late at nite…i’ve had much better luck w/ their support line if i call after 10pm (ET). the one time i called in the afternoon, things didn’t work out so well.

    i’ve had to send my box back twice already & even though it works now, i get the rrod every time i turn it on. i have to power cycle it 3-6 times before it boots up. i just don’t want to send it back b/c i’m addicted.

  4. Ben Popken says:

    Lemon law, lemon law, lemon law. If an item is still broken after being repaired three times for the same defect, you’re entitled to a refund or a completely new one under federal lemon law.

  5. IrisMR says:

    How did this happen? the first Xbox was basically a tank, and now the 360 is a piece of s. It tempted me at first, but now I will never buy a Xbox 360 unless they redesign the whole shebang.

    Shame.

  6. mac-phisto says:

    @Ben Popken: yeah, but is it the same problem? my first 360 had an issue with the sound board/connectors. the drive was broken on my second one. the one i have now has a case of the rrods. if greg’s in the same position i’m in, he could be riding the repair loop indefinitely, no?

  7. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    It’s a known fact that the Xbox 360 hardware was poorly designed. Most of the hardware failures are due to overheating. There’s an aftermarket kit you can buy that helps the heatsink clamp down on the CPU/GPU better. That might help Greg get his 360 up and running. Just google around for “x-clamp mod”.

  8. rustyni says:

    I’m wondering….

    Whom did you purchase the extended warranty from? Microsoft automatically hooks you up with a one year manufacturer warranty that DOESN’T cover parts or labor (ie. you’re gonna pay). Depending on whom you bought the warranty from, after the manufacturer’s warranty runs out, your extended warranty from your retailer automatically kicks in, and I know for a fact Best Buy and Circuit City only offer replacement guarantees, as opposed to service plans.

  9. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    @JD: Considering the device and peripherals they bought advertise themselves as a catchall media system, perhaps it should actually do what it promises.

    It’s more space-efficent (and possibly more energy efficient having only one standby machine instead of 2 or 3 of them) and keeps clutter to a minimum.

    @Ben Popken: I’m pretty sure federal lemon laws don’t yet apply to video game consoles… but a state lemon law might apply to computers and is worth a try.

  10. Brine says:

    @Caswell:
    Re: Best Buy
    Agree 100%. When mine broke, I just got a brand new one at Best Buy, and since it was still under MS warranty, it didn’t even use up my PRP. I even got to keep my old hard drive.

  11. Geekybiker says:

    @IrisMR:

    Well they have redesigned the whole thing. You want a falcon board. look for a 175w rating for the power supply on the outside of the box. These should have a very low rate of failure.

  12. jtheletter says:

    @Ben Popken: He’ll probably have even less luck with this angle, MS will surely list 5 different failures and get out on a loophole.

    @JD: The xbox360, moreso than the original xbox, is designed to be a media center. It is not out of line to expect to use it like one. Besides, reading a DVD is less processor intensive than playing a game and the drive runs almost the same amount (depending on game caching) so really watching DVDs is LESS stressful on the system than playing games. Not to mention most movies are 2 hours but a gaming session might be many times that.

  13. Mike_ says:

    My 360 (launch unit) red-ringed on Saturday. I went looking for a new one with the Falcon motherboard and HDMI. I’ve heard they’re quieter and more reliable. I couldn’t find one (everyone was out of stock for some reason). When I checked Circuit City, I was amused to see their demo unit powered up in the display case with the Red Ring of Death flashing. Heh.

  14. edrift101 says:

    I actually skipped the whole X-Box 360 repair cycle and just fixed the RRoD myself. All it took was about $7 in parts (from Lowes) and about an hour of my time.

    Haven’t had a single problem since.

    That said, if I knew then, what I know now… I would have skipped this format war and just purchased a PSP or DS.

  15. Dibbler says:

    Mine was also a launch unit with the extended warranty and it finally died at the beginning of Dec. 07. I called Microsoft…they sent me the shipping box…I sent it in…a week later I get the package back from Microsoft with a brand new unit that was manufactured a couple weeks earlier. They also included a letter apologizing for the breakdown and they also included me a new unit so I could get back to gaming sooner and also included a card for a free month of Xbox Live. I thought they did a great job.

  16. Geekybiker says:

    @Dibbler: Dont be so sure its a new unit. Does it have HDMI? Apparently MS found a lot of the xenon model 360’s in storage this fall and had them taken apart and put together with the newer heatsink from the Zypher board. Those units were made in december (I got one as my last repair and it lasted mere hours)

    Okay maybe its a new unit, but its a xenon that’s been refurbished.

  17. UrbanKnight says:

    hmmm I’m about in the same boat, I’m working on my 6th unit at the moment. (sigh)

  18. EvilSwine says:

    I’m on my 5th 360 to date. First one bought in 2005 lasted 5 minutes broke, replacement shipped back was broken, third one lasted a year and a half broke was out of warranty. Purchased 4th one lasted 2 weeks broke. I love it when they say Microsoft doesn’t like to inconvenience its customers then tells you 3 to 6 weeks for replacement. Good times.

  19. STrRedWolf says:

    I’m with Ben on this one. The 360’s are broken from the factory if you have to get it replaced more than three times. Get a refund on it, and if they don’t play ball (which will be their usual choice) then sue.

  20. I just read an article saying that they when they get a broken 360 in they replace it with a “repaired” unit and just keep cycling them out. The article even said that MS is still finding stockpiles of launch units to send out as well.

    I bought my 360 in April of 07 and it’s been good to me though I use my original Xbox for a media center and I don’t play games on the 360 for more than a few hrs a month. I also use the original Xbox for DVDs.

  21. mercnet says:

    @IrisMR: The first xbox was not a tank! If you bought the first generation you got screwed over with the dvd player. I can’t remember the last time I played an xbox without getting a dirty disk error.

  22. m4ximusprim3 says:

    I got my elite about 4-5 months ago and everything has worked perfect (knocks on every peice of wood he can find)

  23. MisterE says:

    I had an Xbox360 that occasionally got the red ring of death. I finally traded it at Gamestop (at a loss). Too bad this guy just doesn’t dump it and switch to another platform. I hear PC’s have a lot of games….

  24. Dibbler says:

    @Geekybiker: The letter said it was a new unit. On the back it listed the manufacturing date as 11-24-2007 so I assume they can’t just put a new date on a refurbished unit. I bought a refurbished Zune and it has “Refurbished” stamped on just about every flat space they could find so I’m thinking they’d do the same here. It didn’t come with the HDMI port and looks just like a normal unit.

  25. mac-phisto says:

    @solareclipse2: i think it depends on the repair. when i sent my first box back, i got a different “repaired” unit (different serial), but when i sent the repaired unit back, i received the same one. i’m thinking that they use a triage method for repairs – once diagnosis is complete, if the repair can be performed in a short period of time, they repair & return. if it requires more detailed work, they replace with a different unit.

  26. parad0x360 says:

    @IrisMR: no retail units dont suffer from these same problems due to better cooling and a new cpu and gpu…however the refurbs are older and dont have the new hardware in them. buy one retail you are safe but if you send a 360 in until ms runs out of old units (pre july 2007) then you could get another dud.

    I would go through the same crap as you. I love my 360 and cant stand my PS3. Even if it constantly broke i would still use it as much as possible.

  27. Josh Smith says:

    Who did you pay for an extended Warranty?

    Microsoft has a 3 year on the 360 right now without paying a dime more.

    If you bought it(the warranty) from a store Best Buy for instance then take it in there and get it swapped for a new one. If they give you any hassle ask for a manager.

    I am on my 4th or 5th 360 but I haven’t been without one for a day since I purchased an extended warranty on the first one through best buy. Not that the breakdowns don’t bother me but I still have another years worth of trade ins at my local B&M so I deal.

    If all else fails email Major Nelson and politely state your case , ask him to get you in touch with someone who can help you.

  28. Zoom says:

    Be careful about buying the extended warranty from stores like Best Buy (and not for the usual reasons). If you have a lot of DRM’d content that you have purchased (videos, Live! Arcade games, Rock Band songs, etc), Microsoft has to perform some kind of transfer for you to be able to unlock that content on the new machine. I think it is also tied to your Gamertag, but you will only be able to use it if you are logged in as that person on the new XBox. This is an ongoing problem for them that they are struggling to resolve, and last I heard, they do it on a case by case basis. I’m not sure if it is possible to get this transfer if you swap out your unit for a new one outside of their warranty program.

  29. adamsummers says:

    I can attest to Greg’s problems with customer service losing his previous converstations, and not having his information on record. Nearly everytime that I’ve called 1-800-4-MY-XBOX, my previous case information seems to have “disappeared”. Their customer support line is embarassingly bad. You’re better off banging your head against the wall.

  30. Geekybiker says:

    @Dibbler:
    11-24-07 and no hdmi = remanufactured xenon board. Anything else made that late would have HDMI.

    It was never sold, so I suppose technically its new. Old stock new, but new.

  31. adamsummers says:

    @Zoom:

    I’ve been waiting nearly 6 months for them to reauthenticate my DRM’d games. Every time I’ve called, they tell me that someone has to call me back to perform the operation. After multiple attempts I just gave up. It wouldn’t have been so bad, but with the insanely sloppy Live service over the past few months, all of my downloaded games and content have been locked behind MS’s draconian DRM system.

  32. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    @MisterE: Exactly why I don’t have a next generation console…My Pc lets me play most of the good games on console, and most of them look and perform better on pc. Plus well I can do a lot more than just game on my pc.

  33. mac-phisto says:

    @Josh Smith: 3 years is only for the rrod. regular warranty for any other issues is 1 year (unless you live in europe – then i think it’s 2 years).

  34. octoSink says:

    Take’em to small claims court!

  35. Lazlo Nibble says:

    @adamsummers: Welcome to the wonderful new world of “no physical media”. Works great for music too, and soon will be available for movies as well.

  36. MrEvil says:

    @Ben Popken: Negative, the Magnusson-Moss warranty act does not state specifically how many repairs entitles you to a replacement product or refund. It only says you are entitled to replacement/refund after “a reasonable number of repair attempts” have been made. 3 Is the generally accepted number though, but the law itself is not specific. It also does not state that the replacement has to be new. Just a different product, however you do have the option for a refund under the law.

  37. sly100100 says:

    If he bought it with a credit card they might be able to help him get his refund or cover the cost of a new one.
    But if he paid cash I think he would be better off getting a new one and take the old one and sell it off for parts or even mod it or something.
    I personally love my playstation, would love to have the playstation 3 but for now my ps2 works just fine and I have had it for about 5 years.

  38. adamsummers says:

    @LazloNibble:
    Trust me, I’m well aware of the implications of DRM. Microsoft’s wouldn’t be so bad if they let me authenticate/deauthenticate my content at will. I’ve been much happier with the iTunes and Playstation Network models.

  39. cmcd14 says:

    Don’t know if this works everywhere. But my roommate had the same issue. Upon the third time it broke, he went to Meijer where he bought a new one. Meijer, unlike Best Buy, does not match up serial numbers on the XBox to serial numbers in the system. So he stuck his in the box and returned it for a refund. Now this may not work everywhere, but we as consumers are sick of getting the run around. Maybe if the companies just listened to a little Blue’s Traveler once in a while….

  40. world-inferno says:

    This is Greg, the 5 time loser…

    @rustyni: I bought the extended warranty from Microsoft ($30 I believe, then I actually renewed it early after the second repair). Then I found out that Microsoft extended it to 3 years… so I guess I’m good until 2011…

    @edrift101: I wouldn’t dare repair it myself. The last customer service guy kept asking me if I had installed a 3rd party cooler or had modified it in any way myself.

    @Geekybiker: I mentioned to them the problem seems to be solved with the new falcon chip and they refuse to “confirm or deny” the falcon chips existance.

    @STrRedWolf: Yup, that’s what it looks like I’m doing. I’m going down to file in small claims tomorrow. It’s $19 in Cambridge MA I believe.

    @UrbanKnight: 6th? My God…

  41. Maybe its time to move on to a console without such a massive failure rate, i.e. Sony PS3 or Nintendo Wii…

    I never understand brand loyalty. If I purchased something, after the second or third breakage (Depending), I’d be looking for a new company to go with.

  42. Brine says:

    @Zoom:
    The Best Buy I exchanged my broken 360 at let me swap my original hard drive (with all my data/games on it) with the new one, so I didn’t have to worry about getting my stuff reactivated. Of course, that was the second store I tried. The first store was not going to let me keep my old hard drive.

  43. clevershark says:

    I had a good laugh when Bill Gates said he could see a future where the Xbox360 was “the most reliable console”. Hopefully we’ll never know a dystopia in which things are so bad that all the other consoles are even less reliable than the 360…

  44. mac-phisto says:

    @Papa Midnight: it’s not about brand loyalty. i was a nintendo gamer long before i was running windows 2.1 on my first pc. xbox just has the best games right now. wii has some fun games, but nothing like what i play on the 360. & the ps3 doesn’t have a single game that appeals to me yet.

    @Brine: you are probably suffering from the DRM & don’t even notice. any content downloaded from XBL authenticates against your hard drive & your 360 box. did you buy any games off XBLA before you swapped consoles? if you did, disconnect your cat5 cable & try playing the game…guaranteed it won’t work. it’s not a huge issue, but as adamsummers pointed out, their connectivity hasn’t been all that great as of late & no XBL connection = no XBLA games that can’t be authenticated.

  45. thewriteguy says:

    A friend modded his 360 to keep it continuously cool by installing a water-cooling system to it (which runs on its own power supply, separate from the 360’x). He also keeps the side panels off.

    It is simply a lousily designed game console. Imagine a high performance sports car but that has a puny radiator that is incapable of cooling the engine properly.

  46. MrSnap says:

    This is a fairly typical story regarding the Xbox Live support. Microsoft really has no interest in consumer satisfaction, it’s all about sales numbers.

    The reliability of the console should make any consumer think hard before purchasing this device. Why go through all the trouble? Does Greg know that he also not only lost his console but his right to play his XBLA games offline? Or how about his right to play XBLA games with another profile so for example his wife likes to play Bejeweled 2. Oops, sorry honey, Microsoft took that away from us because of their console hardware failures.

    I’m not going to post here and start a flame war about competing platforms but I will say this. If you do your own research you’ll see that other platforms have better downloadable content DRM. You’ll find that their failure rates are much, much lower than 30%. You’ll find that even though there aren’t as many games available, many of them are of high quality and to me quality is greater than quantity.

    Disclaimer: I own all current generation home consoles and handheld portables.

  47. Brine says:

    @mac-phisto: I replaced my console about a year ago, and I have unplugged the cable since then, and the XBLA games I downloaded prior to the failure still work fine. Who knows? *shrug*

  48. SaraAB87 says:

    This is exactly why I do not own any new-gen consoles right now. That and there are no games that appeal to me on the consoles. Welcome to the world of digital downloadable content that is not yours even if you pay for it, I refuse to pay for anything that has to be digitally downloaded. I definitely wouldn’t consider downloading anything to an Xbox360 if I owned one considering its high failure rate.

    I own a PSP and a DS however and I am pretty sure with the PSP if you do choose to pay for digitally downloaded content you can either back up the memory stick to your computer or the download is tied to your PSN account so you can redownload it any time. I know I have heard of people downloading the game Beats multiple times without paying more than once for it. Either way if your system fails you are not out all the stuff you paid for.

  49. mac-phisto says:

    @Brine: well then you just suck b/c i can only play geometry wars when i’m signed into XBL. :*(

  50. KingPsyz says:

    I can confirm that PSN saves your downloaded content to your PSN id.

  51. adamsummers says:

    The PSN model is pretty nice. It’s linked to your login, so on the off chance your console dies, you can download it again. It does give you a 5 console download limit (which some people have been taking advantage of). If you do go through 5 consoles, you can simply call Sony, and deauthenticate the previous machines. To me, that seems like a fair compromise.

  52. @mac-phisto: All I’m saying is if I bought a console and it failed 2 or 3 times on me, I don’t care how good a game is if it’s going to not be playable, I’m moving to another brand.

  53. KingPsyz says:

    I like that if you delete something it’s still queued in your shopping cart and you can just re-download it.

    I wish they offered TV and Movie DLs but I think they’re waiting until they can do so in 1080p and the US broadband infrastructure will keep that from taking hold anytime soon.

    I’d rather not pay for a service that so far is always on and has better customer service in regards to DL content than to pay $50/yr for spotty service and locked content.

    It’s like paying apple rent on owning an iPod and iTunes every year.

    I keep hearing about how awesome Live is but I don’t see the benifits over PSN. Having IM isn’t all that important to me and you do get an ingame alert when you have a friend come online so I don’t get that argument either. I also hear the multi media center thing thrown around, and PS3 does the same thing. I can view pictures, movies/videos, listen to music all from the PS3 wirelessly to any computer in my network.

    The price difference is also negligible right now, considering the added features in the PS3 it seems a lot more future-proof (and in cases of hardware failure current-proof). I guess if you really like MP shooters than that’s a good reason to own one but other than that I don’t see any real strong exclusives that garner thhe kind of brand loyalty that can forgive massive failure. Having to go through 5 or 6 consoles in a year is ludicris.

    Now with UT3 on PS3 and with K&M support for those so inclined, Crysis (which takes a minimum of a $900 PC to run in that platform) rumored, Resistance 2, Haze, Killzone 2, ect on the way if you really love shooters there’s not much reason to stand by a company who knowingly left it’s consumer base in the cold with a rushed to market product.

    The 360 had a lot of things right, but when the machine itself can’t be reliable nothing else matters much.

  54. lostalaska says:

    I’m waiting for my 3rd 360 to come back from repairs in less than a year.

    Microsoft is in for a rude awakening in another year when the initial 3 year warranty begins to run out for the early adopters of the 360. When people who have been through five 360’s have their sixth die on them after the warranty runs out and Microsoft’s only solution is to either pay for it to be repaired or buy a new one there is going to be a huge swell of angry consumers.

    Giving us a 3 year “extended” warranty is only putting off the fact that their first iteration of their hardware was fundamentally flawed and having each 360 die within 4 months of purchase or refurb shows that they haven’t really fixed the problem at best they’ve only put a temporary patch on it. Microsoft is shooting themselves in the foot since all they are managing to do with this hardware fiasco is to alienate many of their biggest fans (i.e. early adopters)

  55. jaycha2 says:

    I had excellent customer service with MS on this. My unit broke twice, they replaced it both the times with a NEW unit. They were really nice and customer centric (which is getting rare).
    The turnaround time was also really quick. 1 Week at the most.

    Hope you get you issue resolved quickly

  56. DamThatRiver says:

    This is why I haven’t bothered to purchase a 360 – there are some games I’d like to check out. However, I’ve got got an early model PS2 and an SNES from 1993 and both still work great to this day. I just can’t see myself buying a console that will crap out in a year or or less, especially with all the complaints I’ve heard about how Microsoft deals with broken 360s.

  57. KingPsyz says:

    Right, and if they think they won’t remember this whole thing when the XBOX1080 or whatever the fuck it’s gonna be called is released they’re in for a rude awakening.

    Look what happened to Sega, they were a market powerhouse and now they’re relegated to making software titles for everyone else.

    Unfortunately, MS, normally a software company, farms out all it’s titles. Meaning if they tank on the XBOX brand there’s no fall back for the gaming divsion in ol’ Redmond.

  58. SaraAB87 says:

    Sony probably has the digital download model down the best which is surprising but anyhow. Even with Nintendo there is no guarantee you will get your downloaded virtual console games back, and you will most likely loose at least your save files from it. You cannot save your games to SD cards either because the system does not allow it. From what I hear Wii systems have been failing too from overheating and GPU problems (a lot of people are getting spots and squares on the screen much like a low quality youtube vid).

    The Sony model makes sense though, a lot of people are replacing their old PSP with a PSP slim so this is necessary unless they want to piss off their customers, which is something Sony really shouldn’t be doing at this point. It makes sense to give a little bit of leway so that if customers choose to pay for a digital download there is assurance that they will not lose it, at least Sony is showing some customer service on this front.

  59. Takdun says:

    This is going to sound retarded but it worked for me. I had a problem with some xbox stuff, was tired of the run around I was getting from normal xbox live support. I wrote both Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates email address as well as the xbox live support and not even 8 hours later I had a phone call from executive Xbox support and my issue taken care of within a week.

  60. smirkette says:

    I was leaning towards an Xbox 360 for my next gen gaming console, but I just can’t do it when years after the console release they are not only still having hardware issues, but haven’t sufficiently beefed up their customer service to deal with it.

  61. goodkitty says:

    @PSN: kingpsyz: It’s hurting them now. I love games, and I have a Wii and a PS3, but no XBox. I simply won’t buy one until I stop hearing these RRoD horror stories, or the ‘fixed’ Elite model or whatever they are come down to a reasonable price (don’t ask me what reasonable was for the PS3 ;).

    Until then (and because the selection for the Wii stinks, and the PS3 I never use as a game console because its selection is even worse) I am making due with an old video card and PC games. Except I figure I can’t play the new Microshaft stuff anyway because I don’t have DX10/Vista. This is SOP for an overlarge monopoly. They really, REALLY don’t seem to want my money. Perhaps because they get it anyway the more everything you buy/use has some form of Windows on it.

  62. arachnophilia says:

    @goodkitty: the new “premium” ones are much better.

    for those reading that are thinking of getting a new xbox, make sure you’re getting the falcon chip ones. they’ll have the HDMI slot in the back, and the label will say “175 W” on the box. they run ALOT cooler, and are a lot less likely to get the RRoD.

    there’s supposed to be a new version coming out soon (or maybe out already) that’s even better.

    i’m not sure i’d say it’s a lousy designed system, but the case and the cooling system are quite idiotic designs.

  63. Caswell says:

    @Josh Smith:

    The three year warranty is only for the “three red rings” errors. Other faults, like DREs and drives scratching discs, aren’t covered.

    I’ll admit I’m on the fence about getting an extended warranty, since you’re now essentially buying an extended warranty on the DVD drive. If I do get one, I know it won’t be through MS though.

  64. banmojo says:

    I sold my 360 last week for more than what I paid for it. Now I’m going to wait until the q4 version is available and go with that instead. Till then I have my Wii to play with (let’s all play with our Wiis :^)

  65. jeep23 says:

    This is for real folks, I sent my 360 in with the dreaded red ring and just got the returned system back after 3 weeks last night. I had it opened for 10 minutes and got the red ring of death!!! They sent me a faulty replacement!! Don’t buy one in you haven’t yet, they are crap. If you have one already hopefully someone will do something on behalf of the consumer and recall all xbox 360s and demand microsoft refund our money. This is criminal…….

  66. tstimmell says:

    I’m on my 5th 360 myself. I had to replace it 4 times in the last year, three of which happened between September and December. One replacement lasted less than 1 month, the other less than 2 weeks. They’ve started sending me “free gifts” which are a 1 month of Xbox Live Gold. In case you wondering, that’s less than a $5 dollar value considering that a subscription is $50 per year.

    In my experience with MS I’ve noticed one thing. When you call the 800 number, the first individual you get is invariably almost completely useless. If you call again within a short period of time from the same number you’ll get upgraded to someone who knows what they are doing.

    I also have not ever been able to convince them to cross ship me a new unit. I’ve just had to live with the fact that I’ll be out of an Xbox for 3-4 weeks each time.

    Also, like the individual in the story, I’ve not been able to convince them to send me a new unit. As a matter of fact, even if you had held out for a newer architecture, if that breaks you’re very likely to get a launch console as a replacement. I repeat, even if you held out for a later model, your likely replacement will be a launch console.

  67. menks says:

    You know, thats really funny! I sent in my xbox 360 in for issues related to the built-in dvd rom and they decided that it would just be easier to send me a new console, yet they aren’t allowed to do that..

  68. Jordan Lund says:

    First – The Lemon Law doesn’t apply because they aren’t “fixing” the same Xbox over and over again, they keep sending replacement Xboxes.

    Here’s my story… I bought a 360 on launch day, it red ringed 2 years later after hooking up the chatpad. I recorded the serial number and manufacture date and sent my bad unit in. Replacement shows up with a new serial number and a different manufacture date.

    New one works fine.

    My suspicion is that the people going through machine after machine have an environment that’s killing the boxes. Either they’re putting them on carpet (and blocking the vent holes) or putting it in an enclosed cabinet or putting them too close to other heat generating devices.

  69. holmesck31 says:

    Greg, I know what you are going through, I am on my fourth xbox 360 myself and I demanded a new one as well, microsoft did tell me from the get go that its impossible to get a new xbox but this is rediculous, all they ever do is send me one that breaks down and they renew my warranty, all my warranty guarentees is that they are all pieces of crap. I feel for you brother

  70. Dick.Blake says:

    When a friend’s “Box” broke, he sent it in for repair and kept getting the run-around as to when he would receive it. Eventually he called and spoke to someone and made lots of comments about buying a PS3 now that they’re cheaper…. sent him a brand-new unit in 3 business days.

    Regarding Microsoft repairs or using a PRP from Best Buy, I was under the impression that you always retain your HDD because of the DRM content. If Best Buy won’t go along with that then go to a different location that will… especially since you didn’t NEED to buy a PRP from them in the first place with Microsoft’s 3-year warranty.

  71. world-inferno says:

    @Jordan Lund: That’s great that they sent YOU a new unit. They sent ME a couple refurbs and they’ve “repaired” those refurbs a couple times now.

    My suspicion is that your assumptions make you look foolish. My 360 sits by itself on it’s own table with maximum ventilation, not “on the carpet”.

  72. tigertom53 says:

    well mine broke down 2 years latter with the ring of death and the replaced mine with a new one in less then two weeks am not sure what going on with your situation…..

  73. 3fiddyz says:

    I am not an American, so I am not sure what the US consumer laws are, but it begs the question, why hasn’t the 360 been subject to a recall? With so many units failing multiple times, surely that is grounds for a government mandated recall to fix all the problems?

    I personally don’t have a 360 and would now never consider purchasing one because of the all these known hardware problems.

  74. EndlessMike says:

    @Papa Midnight:

    Your point would be valid if the machine was out of warranty. Since it’s not, why not continue to take advantage of it? It’s not really brand loyalty when they’re spending more than you are on it.

  75. world-inferno says:

    @tigertom53: wow… they REFUSE to give me a new one. They do clean the refurbs and try to make ‘em look new… I wonder if you really got a new one?

  76. whatBox says:

    This has got to be the most hilarious subject i have ever seen! People talking about how many times their xbox broke down and how they replaced it.
    Did you really forget how unacceptable the idea of a breaking down console is?
    Come on people, WAKE UP!

  77. arekthorn says:

    @Jordan Lund:

    wrong.

    my xbox (same serial #) has been repaired and sent back TWICE

  78. syl1985 says:

    Faulty xbox 360s fetch a nice price on ebay (at least in AU) so I would sell it one there rather than to a store and buy a new one.

    Or research the errors code and see if you can’t fix it yourself like the old xboxes… but I am a tech

  79. STiMonSTAR says:

    They, Microsoft, never give out ‘new’ units or SKUs, just refurbished units with replacement motherboards or your old unit back with a cleared cache. The warranty process may be tiring, but you eventually get past the Indian Customer Service department (the 1.800.4MYXBOX phone number) and transferred over to American Tech/Customer Support. In my case I was transferred to them after my fourth failure; three RROD and one freezing issue. At this point they usually offer you one of their greatest hits titles, a LIVE! Vision camera, or a memory unit along with a new motherboard unit. I’ve been through 7 failures on my release unit and have purchased a new unit with the Falcon MB.
    If Greg is really on his fifth failure he should be demanding that his case be escalated to American Customer Service. He’ll get a case representative who actually takes ownership of Greg’s ‘issues’ and any future problems that may arise.
    For those of you that have already received refurbished units, if you haven’t already noticed, you can’t play any of your arcade titles offline (signed out of LIVE!) any more. That’s something worth making a stink about, DRM at its worst.

  80. Clackers says:

    I’ve had to send mine in 9 times. I’m not joking here! Once for a dodgy refurb that gave me the RROD but the rest were for faulty DVD drives, howling fans and Graphical glitches. I definitely wont be buying another early release console from MS. Their DRM is a joke and needs to properly addressed.

  81. HellblazerUSA says:

    I’m currently waiting for my second console to come back from repairs- even though I have a sneaking suspicion that the problem hasn’t been fixed. It spent less than a day at the repair center, for an RROD error and they’re shipping it back to me.
    I recently had an interview published over at 8BitJoystick.com and if my suspicions are correct, you can expect a follow-up!

  82. geologymule says:

    I feel his pain, I’m in the same boat. My fourth 360 will be here in a few days. Last one lasted through 30 min of GHIII, and 1 movie on the HDDVD player. Thankfully I have World of Warcraft to keep me occupied.

  83. Benstein says:

    I got a new 360 when mine died for the 3rd time. I found the MS tech support people very nice. No problems at all on my latest one and I have had it for about 9 months.

  84. Android8675 says:

    Remember if you want a PRP from Best Buy, I think legally they have to sell you one as long as you’re still under the original manufacturers warranty. I know the store I frequent will tell customers that you have to buy a PRP within 14 days of purchase, but I’ve gotten a warranty added to a unit that was 6 months old, just have to talk to the right people. Get a copy of your receipt from the Customer Service desk, take it to a CSR, and have them ring up a warranty for you.

    Not too hard. Might get Geek Squad to ring it up, those guys are paid more than the rest of the store and handle service stuff anyways. Talk to a manager if you have too. Ask for a business card. only managers carry em.

  85. OMGWTFBBQATTACK says:

    I have beat that record of Functionality after getting it repaired with a 2 day total of working order. Until I got the E74 error message. This would become the fifth time I sent it in. My xbox was shipped out yesterday, in fact. Making Microsoft just the coolest ever. Greg, I feel for you man. I hate Microsoft with a burning passion, whence earlier I wouldn’t touch a Nintendo or Sony product in fear of electronic shock because of what a Microsoft junkie I was. They lost millions of loyal fans ,at least, in the processes of their repairs. Only upside, FREE STUFF. I got a free Play and Charge Kit and a free Live Cam. This is worth absolutely nothing to me, so if you are watching this Microsoft, stop it. Just stop it.

  86. BugMeNot2 says:

    the lucky thing is that if you’re in the UK, you automatically have an addition 2 years on warranty due to your statuatory rights; which dictate that if a product is deemed to not be fit for purpose – which no expert would deny about launch 360s – then the manufacturer is legally obliged to replace the product or refund it (IIRC)

  87. CaptainDurty says:

    I baught a 360 right after they came out and it lasted for a while untill a few months ago. junk. i baught a ps3 and it runs perfectly and smooooooth. its quiet and if you touch it it wont break. i play games online for free. i would like my 360 to be fixed but i dont want to get it back just to have to send it back. for as much as these things cost they should be able to stand up to a few hours a day of gameplay. i have a super nintendo that i have had since they came out and it works. 6 times sending it back to get it fixed is stupid.

  88. HawkWolf says:

    I just had to repair my xbox for the E74 ‘red light of death’. Guess what happened TWO DAYS after I received it back:

    red ring of death.

    That’s a joke.

  89. Anonymous says:

    i got a 360 elite around the same time halo 3 came out, a week later it broke. did the whole calling thing and they said they would send the shipping box to fix it and it will take a maximum of 3 weeks to have returned to me.

    that was in early october i believe when i sent it off.

    i finally got it back about a week before christmas with a letter that pretty much said we werent able to fix the old one so we sent you a new one.

    im just wondering why it took them close to 3 months to figure out that they could not fix it and to send me a new one.

    the new one would only play in black and white and freeze up for quite a while until one day it stopped, ive had no problems since.