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.”|
|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)