My Xbox 360 Didn't Break Often Enough

Xbox 360 owners like to compare horror stories about how often their console has broken down, but few can top the tale of Joseph, the man so unlucky that his refurbished Xbox 360 didn’t break down once until its three-year red ring of death warranty lapsed.

Each time a 360 gives up the ghost to the RROD, the warranty rolls over. But now that we’re more than four years past the launch date, folks with the rare 360s that were built to last are starting to have to spring for repairs or replacements out-of pocket.

Joseph is one such soul, and here is his story:

I camped out for an Xbox 360 on its release day long before we all knew the thing was a ticking time bomb. I was extremely happy with the purchase and went home to unbox the thing. upon opening it I went to show it off to my father who was home at the time. He asked me why it smelled burnt… That should have been an indication of what was to come.

Two months later my Xbox started to freeze up and I called Microsoft who immediately had me send it out and replaced it with a refurbished unit. Odd that it was refurbished so early in the lifespan of the console. Well here we are 3 years and 6 months later and their refurbished unit bites the big one with the red rings of death. Talk about a system that must have a built in timer to die. My console was 6 months out of warranty and thus would cost me 50% of the entire cost of a new Xbox 360 to fix. Of course for that money they would throw in a single year of warranty as if to entice me. What really gets me down is that tonight I went to target and bought a 1 year prepaid subscription card for Xbox live. The Xbox lasted long enough for me to input the code and activate the subscription before it decided to red ring on me. I called to try and get my $49 refunded but of course they will not help at all for a prepaid card.

So, Consumerist, what are my options in a situation where I have a prepaid card from Target that is entirely useless to me at this point? Do I just write off this money and take it as lesson learned or is there some way to recoup my losses?

Online forums say Microsoft charges between $100 and $140 for repairs — about the same price you can snag a used 360 on Amazon.

If Joseph decides to bail on the system, his best bet seems to be to contact Target and beg for a refund.

What would you do in Joseph’s situation?