Jorge Brouwer, of Broward Country, FL filed a lawsuit and is seeking class action status after his XBOX 360 scratched several games. Brouwer claims Microsoft negligently manufactured the system and that the scratching problem is widespread. From the AP:
Brouwer said his Xbox 360 scratched two of his games, “Gears of War” and “Madden NFL 07,” and that Microsoft offered to replace the games for a $20 fee. He is seeking more than $5 million in damages, according to the court filing.
We’re assuming the $5 million is to replace everyone’s games (class action) and not just for him. This lawsuit deals only with disc scratching, an entirely separate issue from the “general hardware failure” that prompted Microsoft to extend the XBOX 360 warranty.
Microsoft responded to the lawsuit:
Microsoft spokesman Jack Evans said, “Out of the millions of Xbox consoles in use, Microsoft has not received any widespread reports of Xbox 360s scratching discs.”
A quick search through the Consumerist tipline reveals this complaint from March 20th about the issue, from reader Joseph:
I’m sending this to you in the hopes that it might interest enough people to make something happen.
I purchased an Xbox 360 Premium from Sam’s Club in June of last year. About two weeks after getting Oblivion the 360 scratched the heck out of the disc and refused to read any others. After jumping through several hoops and waiting nearly three weeks I received my replacement 360 (Microsoft refused to replace the disc). Fast forward to December, when I picked up Gears of War and essentially had the exact same thing happen. I called MS tech support and set up the return. After waiting nearly two weeks with no return box in the mail, I called back only to find out that they’d screwed up the order and sent the return box to the wrong address.
All right, fix that problem, wait another week, get the box. Two weeks later I had my third Xbox 360. I hooked it up, hit the eject button, and watched in utter frustration as the disc tray refused to open, getting stuck after moving about 2mm. Finally, on the fourth push of the button, the tray opened.
This is how I’ve been using my 360. I usually have to try two or three times to get the tray open, but otherwise it works well. That is until this past Friday, when I picked up Dance Dance Revolution: Universe, and the 360 started locking up randomly. It only seems to happen with this game in particular, but it’s a bit of a showstopper. You expect any computer to crash every now and then, but at this point it’s basically a foregone conclusion that I’m going to have to reboot the 360 at least once during any DDR session. I’ve done some googling and it doesn’t look like there’s a specific lockup problem related to this game. It’s clear my 360 has unique problems of its own.
This is why I’m coming to you. This is now my third 360, and I’m afraid that if I call Microsoft tech support all I’m going to end up with is about three weeks without a 360 only to have whatever refurb they send me work the same way. That, or they’ll give me the proverbial finger.
How many others have had this kind of crappy luck with the 360? Isn’t it time Microsoft bit the bullet and started sending us new units? This constant recycling of refurbs isn’t helping anyone. And don’t get me started on their clearly outsourced tech support. If you can’t understand what they’re saying they’re trying to pin the problem on you. I’ve been an IT professional for years; I know better than to move a piece of [shoddily assembled] equipment while it’s operating. The only reason I’ve dealt with any of this so far is because I like the games themselves, but I’m just about ready to do the Web 2.0 thing and set up a website for people with broken Xboxes.
Perhaps Microsoft should add “disc scratching” to the whole “general hardware failure” thing.