XBOX Screams That Month Old Unit’s 90-Day Warranty Is Expired

Brent’s friend bought an XBOX in November with a 90-day warranty. It died. When he called the Bangalore based tech support, “Steve” told him:

“I don’t care if you bought your console yesterday, we still show your warranty is expired.”

We’ve received several complaints about XBOX’s customer service recently. Perhaps Microsoft needs to find a new outsourced call center. These guys, seems like someone peed in their curry.

Transcript, inside, with screaming. — BEN POPKEN

Brent writes:

    “I run a tech company and a support organization. I’m overly courteous to tech support people because I know they have a tough job. My friend J bought an XBOX 360 bundle at Costco and it bricked on him in roughly two weeks. I was over there Friday night and decided to call XBOX support for him since he’s kind of a hothead about these things. Here’s how it went:

    On hold for about 20 min, finally reach Steve, India-based tech support:
    Steve: How can I help you?
    Me: I’ve got a dead console.
    Steve: Let me walk you through the troubleshooting steps….
    (we go through all the steps, he verifies it’s dead, we go through the serial number, name, address, etc.)
    Steve: Sir, when did you purchase your XBOX?
    Me: Early November.
    Steve: I’m sorry sir, but your console is out of warranty.
    Me: Excuse me?
    Steve: Your console comes with a 90-day warranty, your warranty is no longer valid.
    Me: I don’t understand, I purchased the console one month….
    Steve (suddenly angry, agitated): EXCUSE ME SIR, PLEASE LET ME FINISH
    Me: What?
    Steve: (almost yelling): IF YOU DO NOT STOP THIS I WILL HAVE TO END THIS CALL RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!
    Me: I’m sorry, I have no idea what you’re talking about….
    Me: (very calm still): OK
    Steve: Our system shows your console’s warranty has expired.
    Me: Well, that doesn’t seem right since I bought it about a month ago.
    Steve: (here’s the kicker) I don’t care if you bought your console yesterday, we still show your warranty is expired.
    Me: (stunned, but still courteous, as I’m clearly dealing with a nutjob here) OK, what do I need to do?
    Steve: You need to fax your receipt to [he gives me the info]
    Me: OK, and then you will process the repair?
    Steve: NO
    Me: Huh?
    Steve: Then we will have your warranty updated in our system. You will need to call in again to tech support to request a repair.
    Me: Really?
    Steve: Yes
    Me: Could I please be routed to a supervisor?
    Steve: Yes, and sir, I’m sorry if I was rude to you.
    Me: It’s no problem, could I have your last name, Steve?
    Steve: NO, you cannot.
    Me: Could I have an employee number or something to identify you?
    Steve: NO, you cannot. Please hold.

    Anyway, I stay on hold for another 45 minutes (really) to reach a supervisor. He STILL does not accept that my console is within warranty, but instead of requiring me to fax the receipt and call them back, he actually allows me to send in the receipt with the console as a means of verification.

    I let him know about my experience with Steve and that I work in this business and was pretty shocked that anyone would talk to a customer that way. He doesn’t sound interested, but lets me know someone will talk to Steve’s supervisor.

    All in all, a complete nightmare. Microsoft should be ashamed of their XBOX support operation. First of all, to immediately assume a customer is wrong is terrible customer service. Second, to yell at a customer and cut them off as they are calmly asking you to clarify something is completely insane. Last, when you are facing a class-action lawsuit because so damn many of your consoles are exhibiting this exact problem, you should probably consider some kind of proactive moves to avoid infuriating even more customers and exposing yourself to Sony battery-style bad publicity. Terrible stuff.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Hoss says:

    Did this also come w truffles and preloaded porn? Wuz up w the 3rd party he-saids?

  2. photoboy says:

    Man that’s really bad service. Has anyone ever had a good experience with an Indian call centre? I’m not trying to be racist or anything but I’ve always found them to be either rude or completely ignorant of the product they’re supposed to be supporting (or both). I’ve called about 6 over the last few years and every time it’s been a negative experience.

  3. jasongw says:

    I have no trouble believing this. It took me FOUR MONTHS to get a working 360 replacement from these SOB’s, and when I finally got a working unit they forgot to send back the hard drive. I’ve now been waiting THREE WEEKS to get a hard drive, and the latest word is “keep waiting”. At one point they even recommended that I just FORGET about it and buy a new drive.

    Microsoft needs to fire these jerkoffs and FAST.

  4. KevMa says:

    If you bought it at Costco take it back, they have a great return policy.

  5. exkon says:

    Seems this guys was taken from the AOL rentention center….

  6. Ben Popken says:

    It’s not third party. Brent actually called on behalf of his friend. This is a first-hand account.

  7. Kuiosikle says:

    I just recently had to send in my xbox for repair. For the most part my call center experience wasn’t that bad, so I guess I’m lucky. I’m supposed to get the ‘repaired’ unit on my doorstep tomorrow or the next day, and I just hope it actually works.

  8. moclippa says:

    Sorry you had to go through that… I’ve had two interactions with Xbox tech and they both have been very good, so I don’t know if I was lucky, if you had a bad techie, or if the service has been dropping since I last spoke to them….

    I mean the first time I called I wanted a replacement power cord because when I moved over from the Middle East the cord would not work, and they changed it no question

    Second Time I called to check up on the cord and mentioned I was worried that the console may have broken during shipping (it didnt, but I was still paranoid), and the guy just said “sir, I’m going to inform you respectfully not to mention that again to another representative because that could void your warrenty, just tell them your console broke and don’t get into specifics”… which I thought was quite cool as well.

  9. placebofx says:

    What he needs to do is buy another unit at walmart. Then a few days later return the broken one.

  10. bassbeast says:

    Umm, I’m not buying that because I’ve never heard Xbox having anything other than North American tech support. At least that’s been my experience.

    By the way, I also don’t believe it because if you work in a call center, then you know you can’t say “I don’t care…” ANYTHING to a customer, as you’ll be fired for that. I know, because I got a Dell guy in trouble when he told me that “Dell doesn’t do nice things; that’s how we stay in business.”

  11. Thanir says:

    Since you bought it at Costco take the whole package back there and they will refund your money no questions asked. Then just buy another.

  12. Koinu says:

    I’ve had the same problem, except not with my 360,but with validating my copy of windows XP. I frequently install new hardware, or reinstall my operating system (on the same computer). I receently rebuilt my computer, wiped my OS drive, and it said that my CD key was no longer valid, and that I would have to call microsoft for a replacement.

    When I talked with the guy, I don’t remember his name, but he didn’t speak very much english, and had a hard time understanding that I’m an advanced user, and was not “trying to install a single copy of XP on multiple systems” (he accused me of this). When I asked if I could speak with someone else, or someone who could speak better english, he got irate, and yelled at me.

    What should have been a 5 min phone call, turned into a 45 min battle of me trying to explain to him what was wrong.

    Microsoft needs to fix this, their customerserivce used to be amazing, now it’s become trash.

  13. madderhatter says:

    India-based tech support – there’s your friggin’ problem.

  14. Altima NEO says:

    I absolutely HATE Indian call centers. I swear, whos idea was this? It sucks talking to someone who cant relate, and can hardly speak English. Let alone trying to understand that accent of theirs.

    Ive got nothing against them personally, but if Im paying money, I want to get some good service, not some cheaply paid worker who reads a pre scripted call off a screen.

  15. jayntampa says:

    I had a similar experience — it took me 5 days — FIVE DAYS — to just report to them that my 360 was dead. We’re talking about 8 hours on the phone. They then promised me a free game and never sent it.

    Worst customer service ever.

  16. ThePressCorpse says:

    What’s the point of buying at Costco if you’re not going to use their own warranty? Walk in with the broken Xbox and out with a working one in the same day. No calls, no technical support, and no prepaid shipping labels.

  17. jayntampa says:

    Bassbeast, you’re wrong, I’m sorry — I dealt with outsourced Microsoft customer support as well. Two of the people could barely communicate in English. I had to request to talk to someone in the US — which, by the way, they have to transfer you to. So, if you ever get someone out of the country, request talking to someone in the US.

  18. zmetalvp says:

    I got the Xbox360 Costco bundle for my birthday that never recognized the hard drive. Calling Xbox support proved to be pretty pointless (though I didn’t have any trouble with the rep I spoke with) since I had already gone through all the troubleshooting steps they take you through, so I took it back to costco the next morning and they gave me a gift card for the exact cost of the bundle so I could buy a new one. Sometimes it’s easier to just deal with the store.

  19. hoss says:

    This is Brent (the one who made the call). I didn’t make up a word of this; I’ve had plenty of questionable tech support experiences, but this one was so bad and so confrontational that I was just amazed. I’ve had both good and bad calls with India-based support, and obviously there’s no way I can be 100% sure he was in India, but judging from the background chatter it certainly seemed that way. In any event, I don’t mean this to be any kind of condemnation of India-based support (the supervisor was American, in fact), just a recounting of what I felt was a stupendously awful customer service experience.

  20. Promethean says:

    I am one of the people that will be joining the class action suit for the October update. My experience with XBOX support to bring me to this point was also less than ideal, the most appalling part actually with a tier 2 support person.

    When my person “Flo”, could not assist me and I asked to speak to her supervisor, I was told by Flo, “I am the last person you will speak to on this issue.” I asked if I could have even the name of her supervisor, and was told by Flo, “I am the last person you will speak to tonight.”

    This went back and forth for about 20 minutes, at which point I realized that Flo either could not hang up on me, or was unwilling to, unless I was mean and abusive or yelled, which I never do. So I told Flo, “Well, I’m going to be the last person you speak to this evening then too, because I’m not going to hang up until this is resolved or I speak to a supervisor of yours.” Flo and I spoke for nearly 3 hours after that, on all types of topics. At just about the 4-hours mark, she hung up on me.

  21. Promethean says:

    Oh yes, and that October Update issue is that my system stopped working properly immediately after running the update, with it often taking 8-10 attempts to boot the system without it freezing before getting to the dashboard. After this, I’m averaging 1-2 hours before another freeze. XBOX wants $139 for repair. The BBB was very little help, since XBOX support still refused to do anything even after I submitted the claim.

  22. Theora says:

    I’m not surprised at all. I have dealt with MS customer service for my old-school Xbox (sob, I have no 360) and when reinstalling Windows.

    I dealt with MS American support when trying to change the credit card information for my XBL account. I was told by J. Random Call Center Guy that since I had let my account lapse (by two weeks, but he said that it didn’t matter – the moment the card got declined because it had expired, the account was “unsavable”) that I would have to start all over with a new GamerTag. I told him that it wasn’t acceptable, and he asked to speak to my (non-existent) son or husband, whoever the account actually belonged to. God forbid a female should play video games – that’s just crazy talk! Anyhow, I explained that it was my account, and that I wanted to lodge a formal complaint. He promptly hung up on me. I had my guy call back, figuring that I would be subjected to douchebaggery again, and he had *zero* trouble getting my account reinstated, and was allowed to lodge the complaint about Crazy McMisogynist and his fruity lies without being hung up on.

    When I reinstalled Windows on my new hard drive after my old one decided to crash permanently, I was privy to the joy that is MS’s Indian call center. Hoo boy. It wasn’t horrible, but I practically had to give the crazy Indian dude special lovin’ to get him to believe that I wasn’t trying to install the same copy of XP Pro on a million different machines.

  23. Tarv says:

    “placebofx says:
    What he needs to do is buy another unit at walmart. Then a few days later return the broken one.”

    NO. BAD.

  24. cervantes21 says:

    He must be a Costco rookie. “thepresscorps” is right. Just walk in with the broken 360, and out with a new one. No questions, no hassle. I’ll wait to buy all my systems from Costco.

  25. MichaelSmith8 says:

    What I don’t understand is why he didn’t just return it to Costco? Costco is very good about returning within 60 days, especially if it is JUST an exchange. Save yourself the headache.. hell I was able to return one to Best Buy within 30 days.

    BTW, THIS is why the replacement warranties are worth the price for me now. Paying 50 bucks and having the option to simply trade it in, is worth it to me simply to avoid the India tech support who do not have the ability to go off script at all and just don’t get how to treat customers. I will never buy a Dell again because of this. M$ paid support of $250 an incident is usually very good regardless of what country the guy comes from.. but the free service sucks.

  26. mjerch says:

    I have no idea where they get the information for when your warranty period begins and ends.

    I had essentially the same encounter with Xbox tech support this evening and a couple of nights ago (except that I wasn’t yelled at).

    The first person seemed American. He let me know that my console’s warranty was expired, and since I couldn’t pinpoint when I bought it exactly right then I took down my reference number and graciously ended the call…and then fumed for 2 days thinking of a way I would be able to call and convince someone’s supervisor to give the repair for free (which I’m sure wouldn’t have worked…not like a cell phone company).

    THEN my genius boyfriend looked up the exact date of purchase and determined my first tech support call was actually on the 89th day of the warranty (even by the most conservative estimate…the tech support guy even said “3 months” not 90 days), so I was fine!

    I called again tonight to confirm this, and the man informed me that my warranty expired July 28. I didn’t realize warranties could travel backwards in time. That’s amazing!

    Now I’m faxing copies of my receipt and packing list as well as detailed instructions to return my call and set up the repair request…which judging by these posts I’m guessing will be another battle.

    Still, if I can freaking get this brick fixed without paying $139 I will be much happier. But why should I be happy at all?

    It’s totally ridiculous that a company like Microsoft can get away with producing such an unreliable product that is susceptible to its own “updates” AND provide the worst tech support I’ve ever seen.

    My 360, sure it crashed every once and a while, but after the most recent updates it started to freeze up much more and cumulatively, and the freezes always resulted in the same vertical-pixilated pattern (which I’ve read about others having).

    How does one get involved with this class-action law suit?

    My advice: If your out of warranty console still works, buy an extended warranty right now. If you called and they said your warranty was up, make sure it actually is. I know that sounds kind of stupid, but it’s also pretty stupid that the tech support center would have completely whacked-out records and couldn’t determine when your warranty actually began and ended!

  27. kimonizer says:

    Listen to this:

    I got a 360 last December. I had it for five or so months then bam, ring of death, I call up support, troubleshoot, etc. and they graciously offer me a new 360. One month later, another ring of death, another brick. I call support again and they are kind of embarrassed and decide to give me another free exchange. Both times I spoke to Americans, both of whom were gamers and had very pleasant exchanges. I think that at this point MS was still trying to correct the ’05 shipped 360s which were uber-prone to bricking.

    Fast forward three more months and BAM another brick. Here I want to note that I take care of my 360, its ventilated, I don’t kick it, it sits where any piece of electronics should be fine in my living room. So I call support. This time, support is clearly from another country and clearly knows little if anything about console gaming. Now they say I am out of warranty and that I have to pay repairs. I say, NO WAY, you keep on sending me product that can’t last more than four months, I don’t trust that the next one will work so I want another exchange. The person doesn’t budge. I now decide it I am allowed to rant to a supervisor. For a whole hour the guy on the other end keeps on going away for ten minutes coming back and asking me to troubleshoot (which of course I’ve already done) and continually avoids giving me to a supervisor. Now, I really didn’t want to yell at him but I found no recourse and somewhere about 75 minutes in he felt badgered enough to give me to a supervisor. I managed to finagle free shipping, a discount and a free game (which I am no longer sure I will get) but still end up stuck with $100 in repair fees.

    What stood out to me was how much more helpful and knowledgeable the first two supporters were. They knew the product and understood the problem. The Bangalore folks were clearly script reading and don’t know how to improvise. Even worse, I think that out of fear of repeated break downs they have gotten me convinced to buy an extended warranty out of fear of repeated $139 repair fees. And we all know what a scam extended warranties are

    Man I love my 360 and the games, but dealing with this kind of stuff is just BS.

  28. Cell9song says:

    Michaelsmith8, then your part of the problem if you are breaking down and paying for what should be free. Laziness on the part of consumers is whats allowing companies to get away with this crap. The minute you get a hard time like the author did you should be writing to the FTC, BBB and anyone else you can make noise to. Frankly I despise trial attorneys but sometimes a class-action suit is just the ticket to get companies like this to stop nickel-and-diming people with their (in this case MS) ridiculous methods of saving money. There several companies I have stopped doing business with precisely because of their lack of proper tech support, processing rebates and every other job they offload to a third-world shithole.

  29. acambras says:

    Yeah, I think the consensus is that nobody likes having to deal with Indian call centers, for many reasons.

    Corporate America, are you listening???

  30. Photoboy: “Has anyone ever had a good experience with an Indian call centre?”

    Once. Exactly once. My DSL modem went wonky and after days of round and round with customer service both locally and overseas, I got a CSR in India who busted his ASS to get my modem working and gave me, like, $100 back on my phone bill (I didn’t pay phone bills for three months!).

    All my other experiences with Indian call centers have been negative, and the level of spoken English fluency at those call centers is in rapid decline.

  31. koath says:

    I have just now gotten over a terrible and long experience with the XBox 360 customer service.

    I had bought the xobox 360 from Frye’s based on the blurb here on the consumerist about the great bundle deal they had going on. I was interested and I really wanted to kill some zombies so I bought it.

    I get it like a week later right before I go to work. I set it up really quickly and I was getting an error message. My roommates and I try taking off the hard drive and starting it up and it worked fine. Off to work I went after playing some Dead Rising.

    I called the support a couple days later when I had time. They suggested I ship it all back to Frye’s since I had just bought it. Call Frye’s and they said they were out of units and didn’t know when they’d get any but would ship me one as soon as they got one. Call back to the Xbox support and tell them what Frye’s said. I claim my warranty on it and someone gives me information to where to send just my hard drive since the console worked fine.

    They received my hard drive on October 23rd at their repair center in TX. Normally getting something repaired takes 10-15 days. Nearly 2 weeks go by and I start making calls to see what is going on.

    First couple times I talked to the lower level people. Gave them my tracking number for the hard drive so they could verify it. Time goes on and I start talking to Emmanuel on the next level of support. Sometimes I’d be on hold for over an hour as I waited for the next level person. Actually went out to eat since they were taking so long.

    They would tell me to wait and that they had sent in a ticket to the repair center to see if they had gotten it or not.

    I finally got a hard drive on December 4th. 43 days after they had received it. The hard drive that I got was a refurbished on that they hadn’t even bothered to clear someone’s data off. It had gigs of videos and music the other person had ripped. Games, themes, gamer pics the person had downloaded off of the XBox Live Market Place.

    All they said was sorry. Didn’t off anything for all the time I had lost due to them losing my hard drive in their system.

    I should have waited for a Wii.

  32. spinachdip says:

    You’d think, in the third (or fourth?) most populous nation in the world, where English is the official language (albeit not the first choice for most people), there would be enough people to staff a call center for US customers.

    I was disappointed when I heard Apple was opening a call center in Bangalore, because I’d always found Apple Care support techs to be the most helpful and friendly, and the quality of the service has to be way down.

  33. Intensity says:

    I had my 360 brick on me last night and when I called 360 support, I told them I bought it in the beginning of August and they told me the warranty on it had expired @ the end of August. The only support I got from Xbox support was a guy named Ryan I was escalated to from a female India rep, who told me “You should feel lucky I’m giving you 25% off the repair.” Exact words mind, and even with the 25% off he graciously offered me it’s going to cost 120$ to repair.

  34. d0x says:

    I never had any trouble with Xbox support, and when I called I didnt get anyone that seemed to be from India either.

  35. e-gadgetjunkie says:

    The thing everyone seems to be ignoring is the reason why there are call centers in India to begin with. If you want to continue to pay decent prices for electronics, call centers will remain in other countries. Unfortunately, most Americans will not take the cheap pay that sitting on one’s butt to answer the phone is worth. Same goes with cars, clothing and many other items made and serviced in foreign countries.

  36. Michael says:

    Perhaps it’s the only good luck I’ll ever have in life, but I’ve only ever had outstanding service from Indian call centers, even Microsoft’s. So much better has it been than my domestic experiences, that I’m relieved when I call customer service and I hear the lyrical sound of a hundred Indian voices chattering away in the background.

  37. interstate78 says:

    I don’t believe this. No for real, I don’t. Why? Because as a store manager I have to deal with people who call me because they know their warranty is expired and they are afraid of losing their console. I refer them to 1-800-4my-XBOX and guess what? they STILL prolong warranties. The last case was a customer whose 360 broke mere weeks after the warranty expired (he did not buy it from us).

    Well the XBOX support honored is warranty NEVERTHELESS and even offered him to add 2 years to his warranty for 60 bucks. That’s less than I paid for my own extended warranty darnit.

    The only thing I can see is that he bought his console from a shady seller and the console that was originally in the packaging was replaced by an old one and the box was sealed back. That’s the only logical explanation for this.

  38. Slacker says:

    Wow, that’s the total opposite of the experience I’ve had with M$ customer service. I bought my 360 back in November 2005, on launch day, and I got the Red Ring O’ Death a week ago. I called up and they said they’d fix it for free, even though I bought it well over a year ago. There was a catch though, the chick said they weren’t gonna send me a box and that I had to UPS it to them. So I did that. Haven’t gotten anything back yet, though I did get an email from them telling me they’ve received it.

    The chick I talked to on the phone didn’t sound outsourced at all. I called the 1-800-4-MY-XBOX number, not sure if that routes you to India or not.

    I do know they have a troubleshooting robot that talks to you first, which is pretty lame.

  39. Biohazardous_snark says:

    My experience with MS support hasn’t been too great.
    I tried ringing them several times over the course of several hours, and each time I waited around 10 minutes, just to be told by some woman that all of her colleagues were busy, and to call back later. On the third or 4th call, I asked why she couldn’t help me instead, and she just said that she can’t. Eventually I got through, I was phoning about a broken wireless adapter, and the guy said if I couldn’t return it to the shop, they would replace it free of charge, which I thought was fair enough. However when I rang again, a woman told me that they would not replace it and there was no record of the call, so I had to spend half an hour or so convincing her.

    To top it all off they use foreign people, which just makes it hard for you to understand them, and them to understand you.

  40. din says:

    you’re absolutely correct. I’m sure that not only brent, but the rest of the consumeristas who have had their POS 360s brick are making shit up, because not a single one of them would dream of telling the truth about their warranty’s expiry date. damn the global conspiracy to receive free xbox replacements/repairs! all hail the unimpeachable authority that is retail managment! and everyone remember to avoid shady sellers like costco, they’re just out to take you for a ride.

  41. ohnothimagain says:

    “peed in their curry”? All Indians eat curry? Bad bowl of matzoh ball soup today, Ben?

  42. Coronagold says:

    Wow. Eye of the tiger, mouth of a Teamster. What a nutcase.

    I’m surprised he didn’t hear “Allah Akbar!”, a small metallic click & a dial tone. Are they farming tech support to Iran?

  43. Scazza says:

    Me and a bunch of friends made the plunge last november 22nd for 360s. Personally for me, i have had NO problems at all (crashed maybe 5 times in the whole year, even after 310hrs of oblivion).

    Anyway, i have been there when friends have called MS (and i have called about 6 times for account related issues).

    Being in canada, about 50% of the time, we have actually gotten canadian call center here in toronto (my friend likes to small talk to the reps so we usually find out where they are from right away). Only 4 times we have ever gotten an indian support center, and hey were ALWAYS on weekends. So maybe that has something to do with it. A few other times we got some texans and once we got a supervisor in seattle supposedly.

    Anyway, I totally agree that the “indian” call centers are HORRIBLE service that don’t seem to be authorized to actually do anything like refunds or give free repairs etc.

    My advice, hang up if they give you any lip… indian call centers supervisors are JUST as bad as the low level guys. call back during the week at regular hours if you can.

  44. Schooner2000 says:

    Had the same experience trying to buy an extended warranty. I called up in the last week of my 90 days to find out that my warranty expried mid Oct from an Aug 11 purchase. Got the same story of having to fax in a receipt as proof. I do this immediately. Call back a couple days later to find out nothing was received so to wait a few more days and call again. Call back again to find out still nothing received, had to refax the receipt and wait 2 more days. Call back again to find out nothing received but they agree to sell me a warranty. I get no notification that it was processed or not only a few weeks later I see a charge from MS on my CC statement and assume that is the warranty.

    A couple weeks later my console dies out of the blue. Call up customer support and find out that I did indeed have the extended warranty but will have to pay shipping to return the unit, new policy as of Dec 1 they claim. I refuse and get free shipping. Now I sit here waiting for a box to ship it back with no hopes of having a workign console forthe holidays. Poor quality product and even worse customer service.

  45. The simple fact is its all cause its indian call centers. I dont mean to be racist but those people just aren’t right….

    I’ve never had a single problem with a microsoft tech support person, I’ve never talked to an indian call center through them, Only americans, Infact i’ve received over….5 free games from microsoft because of various small problems with xbox live and the original xbox, yet to have a problem with the 360.

    Many other Companies i’ve had massive problems with indian call centers.

  46. Promethean says:

    “Indian” call centers aren’t the issue. To put it another way, the fact that the call centers are in india, or staffed by Indians, is not the problem. The people I speak to may have accents different from mine, but they understand me and I understand them. It’s the policies that dictate the actions and how problems are resolved that’s a problem, and that a MS/XBOX things, not an India Call Center thing.

    I think companies like MS may use off-shore call centers like this on purpose, not just because it’s cheaper but because the anger and frustration that people feel when their problems aaren’t resolve properly is deflected from MS proper onto the call center by xenophobic idiots.

  47. ElizabethD says:

    One word:


    Two more words: Caveat emptor.

  48. Bobg says:

    Maybe as a service to the readers of this website The Consumerist could compile a list of where all of so-called customer service reps are actually located. It would definately have a bearing on whether I would purchase a particular product as I have had several bad experiences with someone thousands of miles away.

  49. bambino says:

    “The simple fact is its all cause its indian call centers. I dont mean to be racist but those people just aren’t right….”

    Are you serious? I’m amazed you’d willingly broadcast your asshat thinking on the net.

  50. By the way, I also don’t believe it because if you work in a call center, then you know you can’t say “I don’t care…” ANYTHING to a customer, as you’ll be fired for that. I know, because I got a Dell guy in trouble when he told me that “Dell doesn’t do nice things; that’s how we stay in business.”

    bassbeast: So, basically, you don’t believe this happened to him because something similar happened to you? Isn’t that backwards? Doesn’t your own experience prove that some CSRs will say things that can and do get them fired?

    The only thing I can see is that he bought his console from a shady seller and the console that was originally in the packaging was replaced by an old one and the box was sealed back. That’s the only logical explanation for this.

    insterstate78: Dude, what? Are you serious?

  51. Jamie Beckland says:


    India is the second most populous country in the world, the largest democracy, and the largest English-speaking country.

  52. color_guru says:

    so your just going to send your xbox360 in with the receipt and hope you see it again some day???

  53. DorkusMalorkus says:

    So you either,
    Buy a:
    360 – it breaks, and your boned.

    PS3 – and are too poor to afford either of the 2 games that are worth buying.

    Wii – and just break your TV and give your girlfrind a black eye.

    Talk about a win-win.

  54. shadestrades says:

    Costco will take back anything. Just return it to the store.

  55. gleam says:

    The friend should have just returned the 360 to Costco after getting off the phone with Microsoft. That’s what I did with my (5 month old) failing 360, and the guy who processed my return at Costco was already on his third Xbox. Same problem.

    They even let me open up the new Xbox at the Customer Service desk and swap the hard drive with my old one, so I didn’t have to redownload content/lose save games, etc.

  56. gleam says:

    And fwiw the person I spoke with at Xbox support was very courteous and nice. There are bad tech support people everywhere. The big problem with Xbox support is that the consoles have a somewhat high failure rate and a very very short warranty.

  57. imsoclever says:

    Peed in their curry… Funny joke hahahaha THOSE INDIANS LOVE THEIR CURRY HAHAHAHHA!!!

    Seriously, what the hell.

  58. hoss says:

    [Brent here again] To those of you who still think I made this up – please, why on earth would I? I have a 360 with no problems and I’m the one who convinced my friend to buy one instead of waiting for a PS3. I don’t really think Costco qualifies as a “shady seller,” but I am probably going to take the whole bundle back to them and report how it went here. I thought I would play by the rules and give the warranty process a shot, but clearly that was not a good idea in this case.

  59. JimJimBinks says:

    Ummmm, it was purchased at Costco. Why didn’t you return it at Costco?

    I had an XBOX 360 die on me 9 months after I bought it at Costco, I brought it in, and they exchanged it for a new one. They’re widely known for having the best return policies out there.

  60. j-yo says:

    Brent, as other posters have mentioned, just return that piece of garbage to Costco. They are an awesome retailer, in my experience, and they will graciously accept all returns. Just let them know your experience. While Costco can’t do anything directly about MS hiring incompetents to man their call centers, if Costco receives enough complaints/comments, it will take action because accepting that many Xbox returns affects its bottom line. Due to the amazing quantity of items Costco sells, it holds way more clout with large companies than we do.

  61. Deryn says:

    hoss/Brent, it’s pretty clear from all these stories that your friend’s experience wasn’t unique. Don’t bother worrying about the couple of people who doubt it.

  62. MarcAnthony says:

    Was I the only one who read Steves’ part of the narrative to the sound of Apu’s voice from The Simpsons??
    Take it back to Costco, that’s what I did, and I had no problem. I received a full credit to my card, and purchased a GameBoyDS for my lil bro instead!

  63. Zoglog says:

    What a douche…………

    “My friend J bought an XBOX 360 bundle at Costco and it bricked on him in roughly two weeks.”

    Just return it to Costco. No wonder he got yelled at, mustved detected the stupid.

  64. Care to provide a case number? No one can verify your story unless you give that. I’m a writer for Destructoid, and I’m trying to verify what happened, but I can’t go anywhere without it.

  65. acambras says:

    And the award for Best Username goes to:

    Dick McVengeance!

  66. Namrepus says:

    The guy that answered the phone should be fired. There is no excuse for abusing a customer like that regardless of how bad a day you have had.

    He apologized for how mean he was?…Hell the only suitable apology would be for him to lose his damn job and pay the guy for a new Xbox.

  67. matthew says:

    Would it not be an awful lot simpler to just bring the console and receipt back to the shop where you bought it? Ringing customer service within your warranty period is just plain nuts.

  68. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I might as well post my experiences…I’ve called MS several times since my first Xbox, but three calls regarding my 360 stand out in my mind.

    My 360 got the 3 red lights just beyond my 90 day warranty. I called up, got someone who spoke very clearly, loud, well spoken English. They gave me free shipping, free repairs, and the whole process took about 1 week. I was pleased.

    Then, recently, I picked up the wireless headset right when it was released. I didn’t get much chance to use it until the following weekend. I kept having the sync problems. I called up MS, and got India. My biggest problem with these call centers is that they speak SOOO SOFTLY! I can barely hear them! When I ask if they can speak louder, they don’t. I don’t know if this is an attempt to cover an accent, or not to disturb others in the call center, but it drives me crazy. Anyway…she tried very hard to help me, giving me suggestions like shutting my cell phone when gaming, or moving my whole setup to another room. I told her that these solutions would not be acceptable (or helpful, seeing how it is now an acknowledged issue with the older wireless controllers). She offered a replacment, but said it was such a new product that they had no procedure to fix this problem. Luckly, I was within the Gamestop return peroid, brought it right back. She was very polite, tried very hard to help…but was just not given the info needed to help me.

    My third call was in regards to downloading an HD movie. It stated complete, but wasn’t, and wouldn’t play. I asked for my points back, but was instead told to start to re-download it, and wait on the phone with the rep till it finished. I started the download, but informed the rep it could take a few hours. She didn’t realize this. I stayed on hold while she refunded the points for one movie, while I was downloading it a second time. Then she stated that if the second download didn’t work, call back, and they would do the same process, but a different movie. I told her there wasn’t any other movie I wanted, and she said if that was the case, then they would refund my points if the 2nd download didnt work. Well, it worked, but the movie (Posidon) was lame.

    My point here is that, yes, it can be frustrating dealing with someone who has an accent, who speaks to softly, and sometimes may not understand what you are saying…but the issue is they are not given the info by MS to properly help customers. The last two times I called, I was told that it was new issues that they have yet to be instructed on how to solve.

    If you get an Indian rep with an attitude, because they don’t understand your problem, or are offering unacceptable resolutions, it is because Microsoft isn’t giving them the proper info to do their job.

  69. Funkwell says:

    no excuse for the verbal abuse the rep gave you, if he was at my call centre he would be fired promptly if caught. My call centre is in Canada by the way, I do tech support for comcast and generally my customers are really pleased by my service and knowledge, Ive been there for a couple of years and Im awesome at my job, I know all the tricks of the trade and will go out of my way to credit people and fix their problems. Often times in this industry its hard to really help customers though, its almost like the company your working for doesnt want your to do a good job, they want you to have quick calls that dont escalate to supervisors. That being said, I work with like 500 people in my centre and Id have to say that at least half of those people are lazy and stupid, its sad but true, I look at them and they hate their lives so much cause they didnt follow their dreams and are now stuck at go- nowhere jobs (im in university by the way) thats the nature of the beast I guess though.

  70. Havok154 says:

    Ironically, I remember Bill Gates saying that he thinks we should be allowed to outsource more employment. He feels it would provide better results.

  71. dirac99 says:

    You know, the response of “just return it to Costco” is getting old. Just suppose for a moment that he had not bought it at Costco? Is your response going to be that he is SOL and should have bought it at Costco? That is stupid. The CSRs should be better. This is their product. It should not be dependent on where he bought it whether or not a problem will get fixed.

    Glad I bought a Wii!

  72. Msgundam84 says:


    I know walmart’s evil and all. But seriously, you’re idea ain’t cool. F*CK you.