My UPS Driver Feels My Xbox Red Ring Of Death Pain

Oscar says a UPS driver scrawled the pictured note with on the box containing his refurbished Xbox 360. As a middleman between irritated gamers and Microsoft’s repair/refurbishing machine, the driver no doubt has much experience in swapping out dead consoles for refurbished units. And as the note reveals, he has his share of hands-on heartbreak with the notorious Red Ring of Death.

The note reads:

“I hope this one last(s) you. I’m on my 4th Xbox in just under 5 years. … Tear.

Love, UPS

Oscar says he received a new Xbox 360 rather than the standard refurbished unit.

“It has been working fine… so far,” he writes, noting he has had three 360′s keel over via the RROD.

Comments

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  1. PlumeNoir - Thank you? No problem! says:

    That’s kinda funny.

    I know when I have sent mine in a few times for RRoD, the UPS people knew exactly what I had, based on the box (when MS would send you the box to return it). They pointed over and there were about 11 of the white boxes stacked up.

  2. davidsco says:

    Why do people continue to buy Xbox’s??? It seems like ALL of them have a problem. What a piece of junk

    • wiggie2gone says:

      Cause when it works its fun to play.

    • brianisthegreatest says:

      You’re right! Everyone should get pcs for gaming. =]

    • MerlynNY says:

      Cause my PS3 and Wii are collecting dust?

    • SonarTech52 says:

      PS3>XBOX….I love my PS3, finnaly had my first one stop working after 4 years. The lens went bad.. So I used it for just media streaming and still worked great… Until a friend of mine dropped his PS3 and gave it to me, swapped lenses and now everything works again!

      • galm666 says:

        The GPU in my PS3 is starting to act up, throwing a bad polygon on screen every so often, but since it’s an older PS3 (one of the backwards compatible ones) and since it’s also got 3 users and heavy use from all of them, I’m not too mad about it. I figure it’ll last a few more months and then I’ll need to get a PS3 Slim, but I’m probably going to get one before the end of January and then breakout my PC building skills on repairing the junction of the GPU and mobo on the older one. I’m also the one person I know out of a ton of other friends I have who have issues with their PS3, and all of them were buyers between launch and the MGS3/80GB model.

    • kcvaliant says:

      To a point, yes. I own a launch 360 it has averaged about 4hours of use since its launch. Zero problems. Unless ms is sen.ding out refurbished launch units there might be some environmental issues going on. Not saying the 360 has not had major problems, but sometimes you have to wonder about people who keep having problems with newer versions.

    • kcvaliant says:

      To a point, yes. I own a launch 360 it has averaged about 4hours of use since its launch. Zero problems. Unless ms is sen.ding out refurbished launch units there might be some environmental issues going on. Not saying the 360 has not had major problems, but sometimes you have to wonder about people who keep having problems with newer versions.

    • jason in boston says:

      Launch system (well, under 6 months). No problems yet.

      • Red Cat Linux says:

        I have a launch Elite. Not as old, but still, no problems.

        I firmly believe that 99% of RRoD are caused by improper airflow and ventilation. I have the thing sitting end up on a wire baker’s tray and it stays cool as a cucumber.

        • jason in boston says:

          Agreed. I think it was a horrible design, but mine is in a very similar setup. Had a friend’s RROD in a summer day while in a less than adequate setup.

          I think that we are just below the solder melting point.

        • Sparkstalker says:

          I wouldn’t put it that high. My launch console RROD’d on my after the first firmware update. Never had a hint of issues before that. The console was in a wide open entertainment center.

          After that, I fell into the RROD refurb hell, until the box got hit by lightning (amazingly, the strike took out both the 360 and the origina Xbox and nothing else), and I replaced it with a Jasper Arcade…haven’t had a problem since.

    • MGlover54 says:

      They don’t ALL have problems. We use our Xbox DAILY for up to 8 hours a day. No cable means no TV, just netflix streaming.

      Our PS3 is in our exercise room. Use netflix streaming and watch blu-rays on it while on the treadmill. PSN’s network has been SO BAD the past few days, Netflix streaming won’t work for longer than 10 minutes.

      Xboxes don’t generally have a lot of issues. I’ve had one red ring and it was fixed promptly. I had the NIC card on one go out when it was out of warranty and they fixed it for FREE. Microsoft is good to go. The people complaining are the ones who are the problems.

      We have all 3 consoles and the Xbox has gotten 50 times as much use as the other 2. Games, streaming, ESPN, last fm, and zune. PSN doesn’t have squat for “free” (i.e. won’t connect with 95% signal strength) and the Wii is a JOKE to put online.

      Don’t be a fanboy. PSN fanboys are the worst.

    • Blitzgal says:

      I bought mine because at the time, it had more of the games that I like to play. Playstation 3 had a whopping four or five RPG titles in total. For me, it was an easy choice.

      My Xbox died two years in. They fixed it for free, but I barely use it anymore. PS3 has improved their library for my favorite genre and I made the switch. Although apparently now I’m just waiting for the blu-ray drive to fail. I still use the Xbox for games that aren’t available on PS3, like the Fable series.

    • galm666 says:

      @ davidsco: Not all of them fail, man. Many of the launch ones did, which is why I don’t own one anymore. After my launch model quit I decided to switch consoles. Mind you that was easy to do since I didn’t invest much into XboxLive and didn’t get many games. However, the ones built on the Falcon and Jasper chipsets are pretty solid and the new ones are supposed to be great as well.

      @ Mglover: I haven’t had any problems with PSN, so it could be your ISP or your network at your home. I’m also glad XboxLive is something you’re happy with, but I couldn’t ever justify the cost of it since I get most of what I need from just having an internet connection and connecting my laptop to my tv if I want something like ESPN3 and PSN has always been solid for me and when it hasn’t, it’s been a wifi network issue or my crappy ass old ISP (Charter). Once I switched to FiOS, it’s been outstanding.

      And the Wii? The network play is nice, but not fantastic like XBoxLive or PSN.

    • Shadowfire says:

      Why do people continue to use apostrophes when they are not needed???

      See, I can attack people too… and now I feel like I belong in the comments here.

      • jefeloco says:

        Or commas, they are so overused; not as much as apostrophes. Some people need to learn that ancient art of the semi!

        • dangermike says:

          The semi colon separate related but otherwise separate ideas that are expressed as independent sentences. The implied subject being carried over from the first sentence and through the semi colon is actually improper form; without a newly expressed subject, the second portion of the combined complex statement is fragmented.

          On an unrelated note, I am saddened by the waning usage of the Oxford comma.

          • parv says:

            Tell me more about this “Oxford comma” that you speak of.

            • parv says:

              Turns out that was “serial comma”, a term which I am familiar with. A funny example from Wikipedia entry ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_comma ) …

              Consider the apocryphal book dedication quoted by Teresa Nielsen Hayden:[17]

              To my parents, Ayn Rand and God.

              • dangermike says:

                That’s a wonderful example. As written, i can be read in any of the following ways:

                To my parents, who are Ayn Rand and God.

                To my parents and Ayn Rand, who is God.

                To my parents and Ayn Rand and God.

                But if it had been written “To my parents, Ayn Rand, and God,” the third interpretation above would be the only applicable. The Oxford comma serves to separate the different entities of a non-ordinal grouping.

          • CardedForDissent says:

            Who gives a fuck about an oxford comma?

    • dolemite says:

      The new ones have about a 3% failure rate.

      • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

        3% in consumer electronics is a disaster. Is that 3% for the first year? It likely doubles the second year and then triples the next.

        • WontEndWell says:

          Really? Cause the iPhone has around a 3% malfunction rate within the first year. The iPhone 3G Had around 5%. The average laptop failure rate for the first year is 20%. In contrast doesn’t seem so bad.

          • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

            Citations please. Sounds like Apple makes garbage. I find the 20% crazy high (other than Sony or Apple)

            • obamaramallama says:

              Check the consumer reports failure rates in regards to consumer electronics – 3% is considered very good (and xbox failure rate of 3% is now on-par with both wii and ps3 which also is around 3%).

    • c!tizen says:

      I’ve had 4 white boxes, but I only BOUGHT one.

      I did buy the new 250G black box, it’s not that I’m a sucker for pain and frustration, I just don’t like to share my xbox with my g/f.

    • wild7s says:

      That’s because there’s a lot of xenon & falcon systems out there. The jasper & new slim systems are reliable, however.

    • coren says:

      Or it seems like their problems are widely publicized. It doesn’t hurt that just about any xbox problem ever gets published here, or that the Nintendo stories always have a positive outcome so the fact that they had a problem gets ignored.

    • cara says:

      Hmm, maybe we enjoy the gaming experience and feel that the XBox 360 provides a wide variety of game types and has proven they will fix a RRoD, showing that yes, they have customer service that does exist?

      I own the new XBox slim version, and I love it to death. It seems they’ve learned… and 3% to me is not a bad rate. A 3% chance that I need to send it in? Hmm, that 97% of it working seems to be in my favor.

    • FlashFlashCarCrash says:

      people continue to buy them because dealing with microsoft’s fairly painless (although inconvenient) replacement process is worth the risk. Having a superior online experience to ps3 and having more than 5 good games to play on it like the wii goes a long way I guess.Personally, I have the PS3 and the 360 and I prefer the PS3. But nothing beats xbox’s online experience. I don’t own a Wii, as I do not have children. That’s not a slam to the system, it’s just not for me.

    • hoi-polloi says:

      Some of us purchased our 360s before the RRoD was commonplace. I actually paid for my first repair before Microsoft instituted the three-year warranty on general hardware failures in July of 2007. (I received a refund.) I had my second failure recently, and my 360 was still covered. I’ve had less than two weeks of downtime in both cases, and I’ve received a free month of X-Box Live both times. I’m not thrilled with the problem, but I’ve been relatively happy with how Microsoft has handled it.

      I also have a PS3 and a Wii. The 360 sees the most use by far. If a game is available on both the PS3 and the 360, I go with the 360. The controller on the 360 has a better feel for me, so much so that I bought a 360-style controller for my PS3. Also, my brother and I regularly loan each other games. He only has a 360, so it’s more affordable when it comes to game purchases.

  3. Blueskylaw says:

    U nited P ackage S mashers has human beings with feelings working for them?

    • iParadox{InLove} says:

      Only one… and he’s now being hunted down for doing this. He will be assimilated.

    • EarlNowak says:

      I dunno, my UPS driver is a great guy. They’re company, not independent contractors like Fedex, so they tend to take more time and be more careful with packages.

      (The fedex ground guys will wrap my package in plastic and drop it over the fence, even if I’m home. I was furious when they broke my new Blu Ray player that way.)

      • Blueskylaw says:

        I used to work in a shipping room when I was younger and more beautiful and I can tell you that those packages were tossed around like a double wide in a tornado. One of the UPS guys even told me that if a fellow employee was shipping a package, he would write something on the package indicating it was a fellow employees and it wouldn’t be tossed around like yours or mine.

    • Snowblind says:

      Don’t worry, he is a temp worker for the holidays.

    • osiris73 says:

      My brother in law has been a UPS driver for almost 30 years. I can attest that he has no real human emotions. He can fake being friendly and jovial when he wants something, however.

    • Christine says:

      My husband owns a UPS Store… but thanks… nice that you are so judgemental.. you must be a hoot to hang around.

      • RogerX says:

        Yeah, his comment was rude but here’s my attempt: Can you please ask your husband if he knows why the warehouse workers need to punch/kick a hole in every 5th or 6th package that gets sent to my house? Is it an official policy? Thanks.

        • chevling says:

          Actually, they replaced the job of package smasher with an automated machine. It looks like a package sorter with baseball bat attached.

      • osiris73 says:

        Owning a UPS Store is NOTHING like being a UPS driver. One is a franchise owner who may actually like dealing with people and knows that good customer service pays off. The other is an overpaid delivery driver who would rather not see or speak to people unless absolutely necessary.

      • coren says:

        That means he delivers packages and works in warehouses, right? Where most of the handling of packages (and breakagae occurs)?

  4. evnmorlo says:

    Kind of creepy when carriers take the time to notice the contents of the boxes they deliver.

    • iParadox{InLove} says:

      Well… at least it wasn’t from an adult toy company that the carrier and the dude both order from… I can’t even imagine the message that would have occurred with that one.

      • jefeloco says:

        Oh man, that would have been awesome!

        “Hey buddy, this thing is amazing, it’ll really knock you(r) socks off, literally! Who knew rubber and plastic could do that? I’m on my 4th in 5 years, tear”

    • SonarTech52 says:

      Also says something that even knowing what was in those boxes, they never stole them… lol

    • jebarringer says:

      When you handle dozens (or in a bigger area, hundreds) of boxes that are the exact same size, weight, have the same formatted shipping label, and being shipped to the same warehouse, AND when there’s a high profile case such as the RROD fiasco, you tend to notice the pattern ya know?

      • evnmorlo says:

        I know they probably notice sometimes, but they’re supposed to pretend that they don’t. Writing a message on the box–with love–would cause me to flee to another state.

        • c!tizen says:

          No need to flee to another state. Just wait until he delivers another package to you and open the door all excited and gleefully let out a “FINALLY, herpes meds always take FOREVER to arrive!” while scratching your crotch.

          Problem solved.

          Now, if that’s met with a “No kidding, right?” then proceed to flee.

    • chevling says:

      My driving school used mail carrier ladys as the people they stuck in the car to supervise your 8 hours of driving. She knew everything about me and where I lived. It was creepy.

    • Britt says:

      The labels for XBoxes are obvious to the trained eye. People bring them in to me at my drop-off point, and I say, ‘Xbox?’ The only thing the label says is ‘Fulfilment Centre’.

  5. iParadox{InLove} says:

    Luckily I’ve only had to deal with 2 RRoDs.

    Which admittedly is 2 more than I should have had to deal with.

  6. Ominous Gamer says:

    I went through 2 RRODs. Luckily MS covered the cost both times around so I didn’t have to even consider buying a new unit.

    Last year Microsoft sold the HDMI vesion for $100. So I bought that one and craigslisted my original Pro version for a profit. I really lucked out that this happened right after Microsoft banned a shit ton of hackers.

    haven’t had any problems with the new design in the HDMI unit.

  7. chemmy says:

    I bought one brand new and it came with a game. It sounded like a Hoover vacuum when it was on. It was loud. I got a disc read error when I tried to play the game that came with it. The unit and the game were both brand new (not refurbs).

    Thankfully Circuit City took it back as a defective return and I bought a PS3 instead. Couldn’t be happier.

    • HyMinded says:

      I still remember when Microsoft abandoned support of their game peripherals for Windows gaming in the late 1990s–essentially stranding a lot of people with unsupported plastic doorstops for devices that were only a year or so out of the box. This put me off on MS XBOX as a brand early on and they won’t get a nickel from me.

  8. diagoro says:

    One my fourth one now, after getting the first at launch. The main problem, aside from the original build issues, is replacing defective manufacturing with refurbished consols of the same exact build. The most recent one sounds like a jet prepping for takeoff……….

  9. Outrun1986 says:

    Really glad I never invested in Xbox, too expensive for me. I have however invested in the Nintendo DS and I am on like my 3rd DS now, but still not as expensive as replacing Xbox after Xbox. Sure I could have easily sold my DS and its games and never gone back but considering its the only current system I really like why not keep it.

    The problem with Xbox is you are invested in the service, because Xbox has a lot of digital content and games and if you decide to turn on the system/service you are losing everything you purchased and most people don’t want that.

  10. QuantumCat says:

    I had a launch Xbox 360. Played the hell out of it–tons of Live Arcade and disc games, used it as a media center extender, streamed netflix on it. It only just died last month–I replaced it with an S model. I kept it in a very wide open space, so it’s at least +1 for the “RRODs are (often) caused by lack of sufficient ventilation” theory.

    I also have a PS3 and Wii (both launch systems). They’re both chugging along just time, though I don’t use them quite as much as the 360. My friends all have 360s, so when I buy cross platform games, I tend to get the Xbox version.

  11. supersarah says:

    If you are getting that many occurrences of the red ring of death, maybe you are doing something wrong. For example, keeping the xbox in an enclosed space and then wondering how it could possibly overheat.

    • lostalaska says:

      Sure, but poor design is poor design. The biggest problem is that if you do fall into the catagory of having a RRoD then you end up in the RRoD loop. Since each box you get back from MS was one that had a problem to begin with that they just repaired and sent back out. So once you get trapped in the RROD loop your more of less stuck until you either luck out and get an old Xbox that doesn’t die after 3 – 9 months.

      On a side note I went through 4 xbox 360′s with RRoD, when my 5th one died I was out of the 3 year warranty. I kept mine on top of my DVD storage shelf. Plenty of space around all sides of it (besides what it was sitting on) and still went through 4 xboxes. Meanwhile my friend who also had an original Xbox 360 still has his. Keeps it in an old enclosed entertainment/stereo rack with a glass front and when it’s closed and he’s playing you can see heat waves escaping the top front edge of it. He has never had a problem with his, hell he even pissed all over it when he was drunk one night and after it dried it still worked fine.

      I’m of the opinion it was really just luck of the draw, and a massive failure rate for the first few generations of Xbox 360.

  12. damageinc says:

    Not that it really matters, but the note actually says:
    “I hope this one will last you. [...]“

    Having some trouble reading today?

  13. erinpac says:

    I had a launch one that just died in the last month. Microsoft sent a UPS driver to drop off a sticker, but no box. Since the instructions said I had to bring it back to UPS after the sticker was dropped off, I didn’t have the box ready and the UPS guy was annoyed at leaving the sticker. Now, their 2 day air service tracking the shipment back to me was shipped a week ago… maybe it will arrive today and we’ll see how it goes.

    I miss Nintendo’s quality. I have a Wii, but they’re barely the same market anymore. The Nintendo stuff though… you could send it through a washing machine and it’d still work. They should make a cellphone.

  14. Kibit says:

    My husband had his previous Xbox 360 replaced 2 times and fixed 3 times. UGH! I can’t stand that thing. It finally completely crapped out in September right before Halo Reach came out. I was so tired of sending it in for $100 repairs and I would have been thrilled if he didn’t get another, but he decided to buy a new one.

  15. delicatedisarray says:

    I have a second gen that I bought used from a guy about four years ago, the only problem I’ve had with it was when my power supply failed. Bought a new one for $40 and it has been like new since. I also keep mine clean and don’t play it wrapped in a towel.

    The only “system” I’ve ever had die on me was a retro-duo. Don’t buy one, the product design is flawed- it will eat your cartridges.

  16. The Marionette says:

    Now for the follow up story about the customer complaining that ups scrawled on his package.

  17. lostalaska says:

    After my 5th RRoD my xbox was out of “the great” 3 year warranty the Microsoft was so kind to give us. Too bad they just seemed to shuffle bad Xbox’s back out the door that would last anywhere from 2 to 9 months before getting another RRoD. I sold off my games and working hardware and went to Playstation 3. The online system isn’t anywhere as good as the Xbox, but I can actually play my games now.

  18. taaurrus says:

    I have to give props to Microsoft or whomever they have handling the problems with XBox’s. I bought my son one for Xmas 2007. Since then I’ve had to send that one in for repairs – they sent a prepaid shipping label & box. They couldn’t repair it so they send him a new one. That one eventually broke down too – over TWO years after I purchased the initial Xbox. Didn’t matter to them – they sent me another shipping label & box. They couldn’t repair that one either so they sent my son another new Xbox. So, he’s on his THIRD Xbox in 3 years – I purchased NO extended warranty for any of them and Microsoft or whomever the company they have handling these issues simply looks under my son’s name (from when we first registered the initial Xbox 3 years ago) finds his account and takes care of it. I’ve never had ANY problems, they are nice, helpful and they ship the new Xbox’s to us FAST. There has never been an excessive wait time for my son to receive his new Xbox. I just thought I’d throw out a compliment to Microsoft to show that its appreciated and I that guess my son is not the only one whose had to have multiple replacements.

  19. taaurrus says:

    I have to give props to Microsoft or whomever they have handling the problems with XBox’s. I bought my son one for Xmas 2007. Since then I’ve had to send that one in for repairs – they sent a prepaid shipping label & box. They couldn’t repair it so they send him a new one. That one eventually broke down too – over TWO years after I purchased the initial Xbox. Didn’t matter to them – they sent me another shipping label & box. They couldn’t repair that one either so they sent my son another new Xbox. So, he’s on his THIRD Xbox in 3 years – I purchased NO extended warranty for any of them and Microsoft or whomever the company they have handling these issues simply looks under my son’s name (from when we first registered the initial Xbox 3 years ago) finds his account and takes care of it. I’ve never had ANY problems, they are nice, helpful and they ship the new Xbox’s to us FAST. There has never been an excessive wait time for my son to receive his new Xbox. I just thought I’d throw out a compliment to Microsoft to show that its appreciated and I that guess my son is not the only one whose had to have multiple replacements.

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

      That’s quite the compliment. I wish my customers would glow with such enthusiasm if they encountered the same design defect, year after year. Most likely, your ‘new’ XBOX is not new, but instead, a refurbished defective unit. Your XBOXs probably were not able to be repaired because it was thrown into a 40′ shipping container headed to some 3rd world country for refurbishing.

  20. Cyfun says:

    I ended up figuring out how to repair RRoD 360s using the the popular technique of nylon washers and bolts. I originally just fixed my own couple of 360s, but so many friends have had me fix theirs that I ended up just posting an ad on craigslist for $20 RROD and misc 360 repair. Been getting steady business so far, and after having done over a dozen, I have yet to have one that I couldn’t fix. Seems like a pretty good racket since everyone would prefer to avoid spending five to ten times as much on another console, and it only costs me about $2 in parts and maybe an hour’s labor tops. I could charge more, but I’m just happy to be depriving Microsuck of profits from new consoles by simply ghetto-rigging their intentionally poorly engineered hardware.

  21. norrismantooth says:

    The reason the UPS driver knew what was in the box… are you ready for this???

    When Microsoft sends you the pre-paid mailing label to ship your XBox back, the address is to a regional UPS office where they…REPAIR YOUR XBOX. Microsoft isn’t the one doing the repairs — Microsoft has outsourced the repairs to UPS.

    I sent mine off about 8 months ago for this very problem – to a repair center in Mesquite, TX (I’m in Dallas — it’s about 35 minutes away).

    The address of the repair center? 4250 Samuell Blvd, Mesquite, TX 75149.

    The address of the UPS office? 4200 Samuell Blvd, Mesquite, TX 75149.

    Next door. Go figure.

    This OP made me like UPS just a little more.

  22. Midnight Harley says:

    Well I assume it’s probably one of the Slim models which actually seem to not be dying.

  23. DragonsPhoenix says:

    I’ve never had an Xbox, never understood the allure since it doesn’t seem to have any different games from the other available systems. I’ve been hooked on PlayStation since PSone, and only had one failure under warranty in all that time (the PS3 40GB), though I did go through a number of PS2′s over the years. The warrantable PS3 unit was repaired quickly and without a hassle, and never had another problem. Last winter I bought my husband a 250GB because he was crunched for space on the 40, but I still use the old one in my office entertainment center. Sounds like the best thing you can do for a broken Xbox is chuck it and buy a PS3 instead.

  24. dee1313 says:

    We’ve been very fortunate. My husband was one of the people standing in line waiting for an xbox, and that one still works (after being tormented and left on all the time, etc). He got a new one and gave the old to my dad, and the new one (which we torment and leave on for longer than we should) still works.

    However, we’ve kept little store-bought fans near them while they’re running to help keep them cool.