Microsoft Tells Broken Xbox Owners To Find Their Own Shipping Boxes

Reader Zach’s Xbox 360 just suffered its second Red Ring of Death. He dutifully called up Microsoft customer support to get a shipping box to mail his Xbox in for repairs, and instead was told he’d need to find his own box and ship it himself.

My Xbox red-ringed for the second time this weekend. Which is almost a relief after hearing how bad my disc drive was sounding, but not so much after hearing the new policy. I was told that Xbox no longer ships out a box to you and you must find a box to ship it out in. Yeah I guess its not a big deal, but I think it gives them another thing to hold over your head; “We are sorry, Sir, but you didn’t back it well enough and it appears the damage was due to shipping, we cannot help you.”

This might not seem like a big problem-it’s just a box, right? Yes, but the problem that Zach had, the Red Ring of Death, is such a notorious failure in the Xbox 360 that Microsoft extended its warranty three years for RROD repairs. It’s enough of an inconvenience that Zach’s console broke from a design flaw and will be inoperable for several weeks; now he needs to track down a box and packing supplies for it?

Perhaps more importantly, as Zach notes, by making customers use their own packing materials, Microsoft is (depending on your level of cynicism) exposing its customers to further damage on their consoles or giving itself an irrefutable reason to deny a repair. The boxes that electronics companies use for repairs are uniform, sturdy things. In our experience, we’ve had anti-static wrap, form-fitting foam padding, and a solid box. That would probably cost about $20 for a customer to purchase; instead, he’ll probably stuff a box full of crumpled newspaper and hope that his broken Xbox doesn’t break any more in transit.

(Photo: Tengaport)


Edit Your Comment

  1. SWBLOOPERS says:

    Any way Microsoft can be charged to have it professionally packed? Would cost them more in the long run and maybe, just maybe they’d get the message.

  2. Fresh-Fest-1986 says:

    Make sure you include a balloon full of your urine so that your unit can be correctly identified.

    Allow me to be the first to say: The Wii, x-box and ps3 all have their flaws and strongpoints.

    They could all do better with a balloon full of urine though.

  3. Dafrety says:

    I don’t think this is new really. I just had to send mine in a few months ago. They made me use my own box. From what I’ve been reading they changed this a while ago. I don’t think I’ll ever get a Xbox (or any console) without waiting and seeing how horrible they screwed up the hardware.

    • ScottRose says:


      I was more shocked that MS ever sent out a box in which to ship your XBox!

      I don’t have an XBox, but dealing with RMAs for computer components I’ve [almost] always supplied my own box.

      Did the return shipping box come in a box? Because a boxed XBox box would indeed just be too much.

      • bender123 says:


        I liked Nintendo’s way when me launch Wii failed. They sent a replacement overnight and I shipped my system back in the same box the replacement arrived in. I waited one day and they only shipped once.

        • ScottRose says:


          Ah, good point. I’ve done cross-ship RMAs (Western Digital has this option) as you describe, which are really the way to go.

          Of course, I’d be wary with that b/c you don’t get your own system back. You probably get someone else’s repaired system.. Which is probably an OK thing 95% of the time, but esp. with game systems you never know how others have treated theirs. E.g. you could send yours in with a DVD drive failure and get back someone else’s that had its main board replaced and has a well-abused (yet for-now working) DVD drive.

          • Anonymous says:

            You never get your own system back.

            • Anonymous says:

              @SirDanF: Actually, I just shipped my 360 back today for its THIRD repair for the RROD. MS overnighted me a box (this apparently happens on your “third or greater repair” according to the Xbox Support site. And on the previous 2 repairs, I did receive the same system back. I have to say each time I keep hoping they will send a new one, though :)

              • jgw says:

                @AletaMagoostus: Mine recently died on me. First time, and I just logged onto the site, they overnighted me a box, I popped in my console, sent it out. Two weeks later, I got a refurb (different console) back, which actually ended up working out better since I got the cooler-running Falcon chipset and the quieter CD drive (my old drive was kind of broken anyway). Plus, a 1 month XBL Gold subscription extension. Their hardware quality is definitely shoddy, but as of now, I’m relatively satisfied given the circumstances.

              • Stream Of Consciousness says:

                @AletaMagoostus: Request one specifically. LOL..don’t know if that will work or not but it’s worth a shot!

            • chuckv says:

              I sent in mine in June or July of 07, and I had to send it in my own box. I bubble wrap the hell out of that sucker.

            • ganzhimself says:



              I got my 360 pro back, I marked the case and wrote down the serial number to see whether or not they were going to swap it out or fix it. They “fixed” it and sent it back.

            • Stream Of Consciousness says:

              @SirDanF: That is not true. I have had to send in my 360 pro for rrod and they replaced it. But when i sent in my 360 Elite (no video) they repaired it and sent it back to me. Same serial number and all.

      • FightOnTrojans says:

        @ScottRose: How much box could an Xbox box if an Xbox could box box?

        • Dafrety says:


          I kept the Xbox box (hee) though. I’m hoping that the replacement dies soon as it is incredibly loud.

    • triscuitbiscuit says:

      Same with me. I had to send mine in in October/November and they made me send it in my own box.
      I have a tale that is more annoying than Zach’s. I am a student at college (senior) and I have had many many packages sent to my school address (UPS, FedEx, USPS, DHL… everybody) over my four years here. Each time I have used my address and have had no problems. When I called up Microsoft and gave them my address, they took it and I was supposed to receive a shipping label within 48 hours via email. Well 48 hours goes by no label. 72 hours goes by no label again. Another day goes by and again no label. So I call them up myself to ask what is going on. They tell me that my address is not valid (which I guess it must not be since I have received so many packages at my address already) and that the shipping label did not go through. I ask them to resubmit it. What is annoying is that they did not bother one bit to inform me that it was not working and it could have gone on longer with me not becoming curious as to why I never got a label. I asked them how they would fix the situation and they said they could not. I asked for a supervisor and he said that he would put overnight shipping to and from my location only to have it not be either when I got the label or the package.

  4. Alex Santa Maria says:

    They tried to sell me this crap a little more than a year ago, but I kept complaining about it and they eventually shipped me a box. Keep asking, and you will receive.

    • Kay Bee says:

      @Alex Santa Maria: Exactly. I say “I have no means to get the same shipping foam and box to ship and I need to use the approved material to ensure my device reaches Microsoft safely.”
      Dropping off the prepaid box at UPS, the lady on duty says she sees one 360 a day and that she’s had to send her family’s in twice and they wiggle the power to get it working.

  5. Corporate_guy says:

    Use the box from the first time.

  6. kwsventures says:

    I never thought Microsoft was in the shipping box business. Breakdown, go to a box store and buy one, yourself. Jeez.

    • nakedscience says:

      @kwsventures: So are they going to refund him for the cost of the box? Considering it is the fault of Microsoft that he is having problems.

      • Kogenta says:

        @nakedscience: This is supposedly his second RROD, which means MS already sent him a box at least once. I know I KEPT my box when they returned my 360 just in case it ever happenned again considering it took them a week to ship me the first box.

        While I agree that MS should supply the first box, or at the very least offer one at a reasonable price, I feel the customer has some responsibility to retain their initial return/repair box that MS sends back with the repaired console since there’s a pretty good chance they’ll be sending it back again.

        Honestly I’m not too surprised they’ve stopped shipping boxes to people at the drop of a hat. I imagine that all those boxes and foam cost a fair bit, and if you’re getting a new one sent out every time you need a repair instead of keeping and reusing the old ones, it adds up.

        That said, if you complain enough, they probably are authorized to send you a box still. They’ve probably been instructed to reduce the number of boxes they send out wherever possible.

    • Anonymous says:

      @kwsventures: I ‘love’ kwsventures snarky response. kwsventures helps fuel the downturn in customer service and shows how beleaguered customers internalize corporate Americas bad behavior. I suppose it’s protection mechanism at work — or worse, a sort of consumer Stockholm Syndrome.

    • ajlei says:

      @kwsventures: When I send my Xbox in for the RROD last fall, they sent me a box that had perfect sized styrofoam holders that made it so my xbox did not move one centimeter while in its box. It gave me a slight sense of security knowing that it would be a little harder for UPS to damage it than had I packed it.

      It’s a shame that they don’t supply them anymore, considering everyone I know has had to send theirs back at some point, it should really be on the onus of Microsoft to see that they’re repaired in a customer-friendly manner.

      Oh, but who cares about customers anyhow?

    • halloweenjack says:

      @kwsventures: What MS is in the business of is supplying people with crap that actually works the way that it’s supposed to. Absent any ability to do that reliably, the least they can do is help people get their money’s worth later rather than never. Alternatively, I could go with one of their competitors whose machines tend to work the first time around.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Additionally Microsoft *was* in a good position to re-issue and therefore reuse those boxes, thus reducing both the amount spent on boxes and the waste cause by creating new (even from recycled cardboard) boxes.

    Thanks for trashing the world a more and more M$!

  8. John Gardner says:

    I sent mine in for the second time in December, and i argued with the guy on the phone about it too. Do you know what he did? he gave me an invalid service number so that i could never print a shipping label. he told me it would work in 24 hours. never worked. had to call back, that guy gave me a new service number which worked instantly to print out a label.

    I blogged about it in december: []

    I used the box from the first time, which was still in the garage, luckily.

    My xbox360 is/was a charity auction one signed by Steve Ballmer. The first time it came back with the signature almost scrubbed off. Yay.

    • Fresh-Fest-1986 says:

      @John Gardner: You have to find a way to send that brick to Ballmer. A box signed by him for a charity and it repeatedly goes bad? I believe that even he might see the humor in that. And maybe he will sign your complaint letter!

    • PunditGuy says:

      @John Gardner: My red-ringed in January, and I was given the option of shipping on my own or having a box sent to me. Does this only affect people with multiple RRODs?

      • Shadowfire says:

        @PunditGuy: No. Mine red-ringed at the beginning of February, and I supplied my own box.

        No big deal… it came back a week ago and works fine now.

  9. dohtem says:

    I just received a box on Tuesday (6 days ago) to send mine in. This must be a really, really new policy change.

    • downwithmonstercable says:

      @dohtem: I’m curious did you submit your ticket through, or did you call? I sent mine through the website, I’m wondering if the OP tried that route.

    • VitaminH says:


      I too sent mine in January via the website and there was an option right there for them to ship me a box, however 2 weeks after receiving the replacement the network card in it failed and I phoned CS (since this was not one of the problems on the website I could request a repair for) and she told me I would have to provide my own box. I thought it was a 1 box per person policy or something and I had already used mine, which irritated me but I didn’t argue and just packed it myself and sent it off.

      I bet the difference here is wether you use the website or call and speak with someone, I think I’ll be using the website from now on…

  10. Repique says:

    Yeah, I always figured the reason HP used to send me boxes had nothing to do with altruism or customer service–it was all about what was going to be the safest way of getting my laptop in so that they’d only have to fix what was *already* broken, not whatever got broken in transit, too.

    The CS side of being nice enough to save you the trouble of finding a box doesn’t bother me so much as the question of what they’re going to *do* if your unit arrives in an old Amazon box full of crumpled newspaper instead of in form-fitted foam.

  11. Charles Oliver says:

    Mine just had the RROD for the second time and I requested a box through the online site and received it within days. Got the box last Thursday and shipped it out today. From my experience if you relate to them how you have no printer and no way to even print a shipping label then they will ship you the box.

  12. downwithmonstercable says:

    My xbox just recently red ringed and I was able to get a shipping box from them – it was a huge relief that they’d take care of it, and I was impressed and grateful for it (although it should be expected) This is BS that they’re not doing it anymore for the RROD issue. It’s a widespread and well known issue of faulty hardware – the least they could do is keep giving out the fricken shipping box.

  13. Zuhaib Mirza Siddique says:

    Interesting that for the RRoD they dont send a box, but if you pay (like my case) they will. My 360 broke (as the fault of someone stupid coming over to my house) so I called them to see if they would fix it. The cost is about $90 which includes shipping, the box, repair and they will throw in 1 year free gold o_0. I have not sent it in yet, I was seeing if I could score a 360 Arcade for cheap and gain the HDMI, controller and a crappy game.

  14. valarmorghulis says:

    OH NOES! Zach must follow industry-standard procedures for sending items back to the OEM for warrenty repair? Things like this are why companies don’t do nice things they aren’t required by law to do. If the time ever arises that they can no longer offer that bonus service, they are decired as thieves and nobody is appreciative of what they got fo so long. This is why stupid crap and little things are often made out to be huge gifts to you from a company. They pound into your head that “this is not part of the service.”

    Granted, I’m totally guilty of this sense of entitlement too. I’m just aying that the box was an additional service MSFT offered to customer, that they have decided to no longer offer (or, the sky is not really falling).

    • howie_in_az says:

      @valarmorghulis: Are the red rings of death another “service” MSFT offered to customers? It’s Microsoft’s fault their hardware RROD’s, not the customer’s — thusly it’s only fair that Microsoft pay for the shipping container or reimburse in-warranty customers if they have to pay for a shipping container themselves. To do any less is unconscionable.

  15. Chris Stone says:

    I am surprised that the Xbox 360 is so popular.

    The RROD issue is completely unacceptable and I was hoping the market would speak.

    Nothing against Microsoft or the system and its games. I just wish it would fail in sales for a while as a wake-up call that Microsoft needs to listen to and understand. I hate that they’re getting rewarded for their incredibly crappy handling of their hardware.

    • Corporate_guy says:

      @Chris Stone: It only effects those that already have used the system for a while. By then of course you are going to get it fixed. Plus the ps3 isn’t exactly putting up a great fight.

    • trujunglist says:

      @Chris Stone:

      LOL @ you’re surprised! These are the same people that made Windows, the biggest pOS ever, popular, but you’re surprised! These are the same people that have taken it in the ass from MS for years, but you’re surprised!!! gahahahahaha hahahahahahadsjdasjdasjda

  16. nursetim says:

    Some bean counter must of had their head explode after seeing how much they were spending on not only shipping boxes but also the cost of shipping.

  17. Raekwon says:

    Be sure to attach the picture used in this article to the front of your box.

  18. Bladefist says:

    my xbox bit the dust the other day. I did everything online (request repair) and I had the option to have them mail me a box. I assume its automated and if the option is there, I would have been mailed a box. I recommend doing this process online, instead of over the phone. Seems less prone to general bull shit and errors

  19. TacoDave says:

    I’m guessing this is an ‘online vs. phone’ issue. I put in my request online and there was a choice: have them send me a box or just print a label from home. I opted to have them send a box.

    This was about 10 days ago. I only had 2 days left on the 3-year Red Ring Of Death Extended Warranty. Lucky me.

  20. louiedog says:

    I had to use my own box when I sent one in a couple of months ago. It wasn’t a big deal. Of course I always have a couple of saved shipping boxes in the closet, including packing materials. Just make sure you conform to the policy that UPS has. I believe there must be 2″ of padding on all sides of the contents of the box. It’s not hard and you shave a few days off the turnaround time because you don’t have to wait for a box. I preferred printing out a label.

  21. ScottRose says:

    Insure your shipments for the replacement value of the XBox!

    Or any other thing for that matter. Shipping parcel post also ain’t a good idea. (Does MS send shipping labels at least, if not the box?)

    • edrebber says:

      @ScottRose: Microsoft isn’t going to cooperate with an insurance claim. A Microsoft employee would have to take the damaged Xbox to the post office to be inspected. Not going to happen.

      • ScottRose says:

        @edrebber: Do they make you ship USPS? If so then that’s unfortunate.

        I haven’t made a UPS ins. claim in a lonng time, but I remember them being pretty good about it.

  22. Jlmadyson says:

    Totally false. I just sent my in and I used there box. I did however have to request it after the customer rep wanted me to use my box at first.

    • iDuckie says:

      @Jlmadyson: Our xbox RR’d a couple of months ago and they stated that we had to use our own box. When we requested a box, we were flat out denied one saying “they didn’t provide them anymore” or some BS excuse like that. So, I wouldn’t go as far as to say “totally false” as other people here have confirmed they had to supply their own box.

      • smileboot says:

        use the website to submit a repair request and they will just send you a box no prob.

        In my experience if you can avoid dealing with phone support by using an automatic form of some sort on a website you ALWAYS SHOULD. after all to err is human

    • OprahBabb says:

      @Jlmadyson: My friend suffered from the Red Ring of Death, and he was promptly sent a box to send it back as well…via UPS.

  23. tinyrobot says:

    This just happened to me – it’s not the end of the world. The shipping is still FREE (they e-mail you a pre-paid UPS label) and any retail store will have oodles of boxes and packing peanuts for the plundering. I think the UPS shipment they arrange for is even insured.

    I mean, really folks. It’s. Just. A. Box. They still eat shipping both ways.

    The lesson – when they send BACK the “fixed” unit (in all likelihood it will be a NEW unit, rather than a fixed one, as was the case with my “repair”), save the box they sent it in. But seriously, it’s never been a better time to RRoD, since owing to the numerous hardware revisions they’ve made the worst of the failures is purportedly behind us; for the same reason, they’ll prolly want to give you a new fail-proof Falcon or Jasper version Xbox than repair your janky death-prone one and send it back to begin the cycle anew.

    So, in my case, the cost was 15 minutes looking for a box and some packing around Brooklyn, but I got a brand new Xbox out of the deal. Which, for the record, in addition to still working (nice for an Xbox 360) also runs whisper silent compared to the Red-Ringed one I sent in.

  24. YourTechSupport says:

    I really feel sorry for this and last generation console owners. Things really went to shit, qualitywise, Sony AND Microsoft giving it to consumers. One with crappy hardware, and the other with a blue-ray player and media center that also plays a couple of games. A damn shame, really.

    The only company that isn’t up to it’s ear in BS is Nintendo, but it’s arguable if they’re really competing with MS and Sony.

    I don’t own either. I’m just a smug-ass PC gamer fighting day-one release issues and this new bullshit called Games For Windows Live (or Get Fucked Without Lube), which will be the RROD for future PC Gamers.

    As for our hero of today’s tale, maybe it would be time to set up a business making return shipping boxes for consoles! Get Walmart, Best Buy, especially GameStop to upsell them to new customers. “You’ll, uh, want to buy one, maybe eight of these, you know, just in case.”

  25. warf0x0r says:

    This is why I’m now the owner of a PS3, there was a while there where I was like, man I really wanna play GoW, but I don’t want to get taken advantage of by a badly engineered piece of hardware.

    I’m not saying the PS3 is perfect, I’m simply saying that the problems from the Xbox 360 have lead me to decide to stay away from their console until the next iteration… or at least just borrow a friends console or go to their house.

  26. DJWeezy says:

    I had this same thing happen to me last fall. I had to argue with the foreign lady whom i couldn’t understand for 10 minutes for her to send me a box.

  27. KillTheAcademy says:

    i don’t see why this is news, although it is sorta lame. a good, sturdy shipping box at fedex or ups big enough for a 360 is like 7 dollars. skip one rediculously overpriced run to starbucks and you’ll be fine. besides they still pay for the shipping label, which is the expensive part.

    i agree that it sucks that they used to send the box and stopped.

    • YourTechSupport says:

      @KillTheAcademy: Or skip buying a console altogether and save countless hundreds of dollars, as well as getting manmonths of your life back.

      • KillTheAcademy says:

        @YourTechSupport: i actually spent more money before i had a 360. Now I have something to do when i don’t feel like going out and spending money.

        and as far as a time commitment goes, personally I’m not one of these people who do nothing but sit in front of my game system, I have plenty of other social outlets. I leave that obsessive part to the World of warcraft nerds.

        • h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

          @KillTheAcademy: :P I spent far less money once I got an addiction to WoW. $15/mo vs. going out 2-3 times a week adds up quite a bit.

  28. Steeldrumhero says:

    with mine they sent me a box, shipped it via air mail, and included shipping labels and reciepts.
    Also included styrofoam for safety, and upon return, mine came with 1 month xbox live gold, and plenty of instructions on everything.
    This was done last week, via

  29. Jeremy Martin says:

    He didn’t get a RRoD twice in one weekend. If you get the RRoD, which is a very specific defect, your Xbox isn’t going to turn on again.

    To put it loosely, the RRoD is where the heat actually bends the mainboard in the Xbox, causing components to physically separate from the board. He didn’t have that happen twice in one weekend. You’re busted after one RRoD.

    And I just had a non-RRoD fault (but related, an E74) and I filled out a form and Microsoft sent me a box. Accepting one guy’s story as evidence of some sort of policy change is stupid.

  30. SuperMacGuy says:

    Why didn’t you save the box from before? Or the original box it came in. Stop crying.

  31. The_IT_Crone says:

    I’m actually really ok with this. It saves MS money not only for the box but to ship you the box. Besides- that way you don’t have to wait for the original box!

    My only worry is the “oops your box was damaged in shipping and we’re not going to fix it” scenario. Even if you insure the package, we know that shipping companies are good at shirking payouts.

  32. paulrules says:

    I bought a broken 360 off of Ebay, did an X-Clamp fix on it. Sure I voided the warranty, but now I don’t have to worry about stupid things like the RROD or E74 error (Most common problems among 360s).

    I say screw MS and fix it yourself, though the box thing is a little stupid >.>

  33. Anonymous says:

    This must be one of those policies that changes depending on the CSR you talk to. My boyfriend just shipped his XBox back about 2 months ago when it red-ringed and he had to use his own box too. He went to Staples, they packed it for him, and they didn’t even charge him.

  34. y2julio says:

    I call BS on the OP. I sent in my Xbox back in January of this year and I got offered two options in how to send my xbox back. They offered to ship me a pre-paid shipping box or I could print off a shipping label and ship it in my own box.

  35. runswithscissors says:

    Note to self: If I buy an X-Box 360, save the box and packing material it is sold in for RRODs.

    It does seem to put one in a conundrum… you either:

    a) already have a good sized box and appropriate packing materials to ensure your 360’s safety in transit (Lucky)

    b) need to go buy appropriate materials (costs money)

    c) scrounge whatever you can find, pack it in iffy box/materials and hope all goes well in transit (risky)

    So your choices are “lucky”, “costs money”, or “risky”.

  36. Perky Peanut says:

    Just went through this process in January. Did everything online, they gave me the option to get a box (the “slow” method) or use my own for faster service. I opted for the box and the whole thing was done within 2 weeks. They exchanged out my whole system and gave me 1 month of XBL, no complaints. Best part was I didn’t talk to a single CSR.

  37. fatetwister64 says:

    Well good news is I still have perfect boxes from the other times my 360 red ringed.

    Microsift has been doing this for at least 6 months now.

  38. Stoli says:

    To be fair, Nintendo doesn’t send you a box. They will with their Advance Replacement program (which I don’t think Microsoft has), but not with their normal repair process, whether the system is in or out of warranty.

    They pay for shipping for warranty repairs. It’s *not* hard to find a cardboard box these days for free.

  39. magnoliasouth says:

    What is the big deal?! Where is the original box and packing that the console came in? Just about every manual in the world will tell you to keep it and this one is no exception. Users are (and should be) responsible for keeping up with it for this very reason, to include Zach. I think it is completely unreasonable to expect them to send you another box. If I were Microsoft, I wouldn’t cave on it.

    • litrock says:

      @magnoliasouth: The original retail box is NOT shippping sound and they say right on their website NOT to send it.

      That said, if you put in a repair request through the website, there’s just a section to select whether you want a box or not. No hassles that way.

  40. dewman says:

    My roommate about a month ago had to send in his Xbox 360, and the guy hassled him to go get his own box because it would be faster. He kept saying no, and the customer service guy finally caved and said they’d send him a box.

  41. oneliketadow says:

    If I were Microsoft, I’d pretty much do what I wanted to regarding XBox customer service since it seems that people will buy them regardless of their horrid reputation and track record.

  42. Anonymous says:

    That guy is an idiot. Mine died Friday so I went to and clicked on ‘Repair 360.’ They’re sending a coffin to my house for me to send it out in. The other option is to print a label and use your own box (which is quicker) but they don’t FORCE you to use your own stuff. Maybe do some research before posting a BS article.

  43. geoelectric says:

    I checked my extended warranty recently (not the automatic RROD one, I bought a real one) and it specifies they pay for all shipping and packing costs.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Use your original retail box, inside out.

    Same thing happened to me last week. They wouldn’t send me a shipping box. So I took the original box and reversed it inside out and taped the shipping label to it. I mailed it on Saturday I don’t know how long I’ll have to wait…

  45. flyboyJ says:

    When I bought my first Xbox 360 the expert Best Buy salesmen “suckered” me into their 2 year protection plan … Well 2 years after that my Xbox inexplicably died, took it back to Best Buy and had a new in 5 minutes …

    I decided to buy another 2 year protection plan that has now paid off two more times .. I was even able to upgrade to an elite version during one of the transfers…

    So in this case … the 80$ was worth it each time …

  46. DailyDriver72Imp says:

    Geez, I just went to UPS and had them box it up for me and use the shipping label I got from Microsoft.

  47. WEGGLES90 says:

    I sent mine in a month+ ago. And I needed to get my own box. It was a minor annoyance, but not worth boo-hooing over (nor worth an article). Besides I’d rather have to get a cardboard box than a new Xbox when it RROD’s.

  48. Devnull says:

    This is really weird, I did the process online last week, and I am sitting here typing this with the box they sent me at my side. The xbox is already in there, will send it tomorrow morning. The online process was really easy. It still sucks the xboxs are RROD at the rate they are, but at least the warranty process for me so far has been extremely easy. Now lets see how long it takes them to return it to me…

  49. mbnovik says:

    Guys, you should be happy that they are honoring warranty and not saying it’s void because of scratches or etc :-)

  50. Ian MacAllen says:

    This sounds like a case for small claims court. Just sue them for the price of the broken xBox; they knowingly ship xbox’s with a defective red ring of death.

  51. gramzon says:

    This same thing happened to my roommate. After some haggling with a supervisor, they gave in. We’re hanging on to the box now that we’ve got the machine back.

  52. Justin Hysler says:

    Yea this policy has been around for awhile. Kudos for Microsoft for owning up to the RROD. The first time I sent my console in (2006) I got a box. However the repair process took 3+ weeks. The second time (Nov 2008) I did not get a box, but I was able to print out my own shipping label and send out the xbox same day and get a refurbished xbox back a week later.

    I can see how this COULD be a problem, but in my experience whatever new process Microsoft is using works well.

  53. shakes says:

    Hey i have an idea. Lets complain about companies that send small things in over sized boxes so that they feel bad about how they are destroying the environment. Then as soon as the stop the practice ridicule them for not sending us empty boxes…yeah that will get them…


    FYI: I know its not a microsoft story (link) but it was the first one I found

  54. twotondawg says:

    Wow I guess I was lucky then. Mine red ringed 11 days ago and i got the box the day after I requested the repair. And I should get my 360 back this wednesday. M$ did pretty good in my book if i do get it back wednesday.

  55. Jason Plank says:

    If you report your RROD on Microsoft’s website instead of calling tech support, you get a box – no questions asked.

    Of course, the easier thing to do (if this isn’t your first RROD) is save the box from the previous time.

  56. HykCraft_Returns says:

    This story is a load of bull. My console just RRoD’ed last Thursday. When you register the console online and request a repair, there’s a pull down menu that you choose to say “SEND ME A BOX” and boom… MS sends you a box. I just got it today and packed up the broken XBOX. I will take it to UPS tomorrow.

  57. Jason Holmes says:

    If you use the website to schedule your repair it gives you the option of printing your own label or waiting for a box to be shipped.

  58. WeAre138 says:

    Old news. However, when I took mine in to the mailboxes etc, the girl working there saw me walking in with my xbox, reached over and grabbed a perfect sized box and said “we get a few of these every day.” Now that is funny to me.

  59. toadthetoad says:

    I don’t know why they wouldn’t send him one, I literally just requested on my Xbox 360 yesterday and requested that a box be shipped to me and it is on the way free of charge. I have the UPS tracking number of it and it will be here on Wednesday. Maybe it is because it is his second repair?

  60. Anonymous says:

    I’ve had my 360 in for repairs about five times now. First time it was replaced with a new console, then the replacement had to be sent into repairs four times. The first few times, Microsoft never sent me any packaging material, instead they told me to use any old cardboard box and cushion it with old newspapers. Around the third time when I asked about it (after having checked various Xbox forums online) they sent me a box which was to small and didn’t have any space for the power supply brick (which they’d told me to send in along with the Xbox).

    Not the brightest bulbs in the box over there…

  61. Catsmack says:

    Weird. A couple of weeks ago I requested a box from them and they sent me two.

  62. PixiePerson says:

    Go to Fed Ex. They sell a kid specifically for mailing electronics. It was only like $5 when I had to mail my dad’s cellphone and bits. The bigger one was like $10.

  63. Anonymous says:

    I just did my service request but online not through the phone. they had 3 options. One of them being sending a prepaid box out to my address. I just got it yesterday 3-2-09. So they still send the boxes out but maybe only to those who do it online. I hate calling in to CS lines cause its always a different company that does the call center so you never talk directly with anyone that is involved with microsoft itself.

  64. jpdanzig says:

    The Xbox 360’s unacceptable failure rate is the only thing IMO that has kept the PS3 alive.

    I would buy an Xbox 360 IF they solved the RROD failures. They obviously have not.

    I would buy a PS3 IF the price dropped to under $300. It has not.

    I’m not interested in a Wii. Crappy graphics, silly interface.

    So — I’ll continue supporting the PSP until something gives — or the next generation of consoles arrives…

  65. esc27 says:

    It is the same procedure with Seagate and defective hard drives, only they expect you to find precut foam in exactly the same shape as the drive…

    In their defense? They do offer a $20 deal where they send you a replacement drive and then you reuse its packaging to return the old one. Perhaps Microsoft could do the same? $25 bucks and they send a new(refurbished…) 360 with packaging, then you send the old one in its box?

  66. soundreasoning says:

    Wrap the newspaper in tape and make your own shock absorbent forms for cheap.

  67. AI says:

    When my 2nd Xbox red-ringed, Microsoft gave me prepaid shipping to them through UPS, but I had to pay for the box. UPS however, offered a box that fit the Xbox for $10CAD. While I hated paying, it could have been worse. Plus, the way I see it, since MS paid for the shipping with one courier, they are responsible for it, including the packaging the courier provides.

  68. IHateYourKids says:

    As far as I know, they’ve never given you boxes. Luckily I still had my original box. I just turned it inside out and wrapped in some shipping tape.

    Were they supposed to give me one?

  69. Calvin Chou says:

    I am on my 4th 360 and the last one was send in your own box. They said it would be faster as I would not have to wait for them to send me a box which normally could take up to 3 days (I am in Canada). I was told not to send it back in the original box as there is a theft issue which is pretty sad. I was lucky to have a box handy so it wasn’t an issue and I also have an issue with Purolator as they lost my first 2 boxes in the past but that is another story. Also to my knowledge and maybe this is only Canada they have never “repaired” my 360, they only sent me back a refurbished one as they were all different. I do want to thank the Consumerist, I used the EECB and got a callback in 2 days. I got 2 controllers and a 20 gig HD and now I can call the escalation line instead of their normal helpdesk. Consumerist ROCKS!

  70. chemicalpink says:

    Not really “news”, in fact, it was on Consumerist just over 2 years ago. Are our memories really that short?


  71. Bo Cranford says:

    Ok I had this same issue. Microsoft had me print a UPS label to ship it with. What I did was go to a UPS authorized dealer and pay $5 to have THEM pack and ship it. This way if there was any damage due to shipping then it would fall on UPS’s authorized dealer to repair or replace. Sure it cost me a little but to eliminated the responsibility from me for shipping was great!

  72. Mattlar says:

    That’s interesting because my Xbox suffered from the RROD about three weeks ago. I went on, filled out some necessary information and they sent me a shipping box within four days. I just picked up my replacement console yesterday. No problems.

    I’ll keep the box they shipped it in, just in case.

  73. MSUHitman says:

    My 2 repairs were in May 07 and May 08, each time I got a box from Microsoft. In 08 I had read they were starting to do not do boxes, but my friend had issues back in Nov. 08 and Jan. 09 and both times he got boxes as well.

    Everyone should do themselves a favor and do all the repair process through instead of calling India, you’ll save a lot of headaches.

  74. Dethzilla says:

    Look on Ebay and buy an Xbox Box. Now that they are a hot commodity, I’m going to start a business.

    Recession my ass.

  75. irish_stickman says:

    I got a RROD and Microsoft told me they would send an empty box followed 2 days later by a UPS worker to collect my Xbox, neither showed up so i rang again to complain, eventually i gave up and swapped my Xbox with my brother in-laws one, 6 months on and he still hasn’t noticed

  76. talamant3z says:

    that is soo stupid they pay for shipping cost both ways all u have to do it get a box smh. i sent my xbox in and had it back in less than a week. hy cry over a box that u can get for free

  77. Anonymous says:

    As far as I know (and I’m on 360 #11 since launch), they only send boxes out for in-warranty repairs. Out-of-warranty repairs have always been required to send their broken 360 in their own packaging. Seeing how the 3 year mark since launch just passed not long ago, I’d expect to see more people getting stuck not only sending their dead units in their own packaging, but having to pay for what is basically a fundamental problem with the 360’s cooling and design (i.e. insufficient heatsink and mounting brackets for the GPU).

  78. BxB402 says:

    This is BS. My disc drive went screwy and won’t recognise I called them early monday morning. I got the UPS confirmation that the box is on it’s way via next day air saver. So I should have it tomorrow.

    I didn’t even have to ask them for it. Maybe they refuse you a box when you are a complete dick to them like I’m sure plenty of you are.

  79. Kevin Wardrop says:

    I just shipped my X-Box off for a RROD today, MS sent me the box and shipping label free of charge. I made the request last Thursday.

    I was prepared to use my own box, but since it was free to get the box driven up to my house with the packing instructions and so in in there, I thought “why not?”

    It lasted a full three years, so I guess I was exceptionally lucky.

  80. Stream Of Consciousness says:

    Wow…really??! I have had to send in my 360(‘s) a couple of times over the past few years and they always provided me a box. I found the return/repair process to be relatively painless (except the fact that my system was gone) but I would be a bit irritated if they told me to find my own box after sending one to me before.

    Got to say this is a shit movie on MS’s part.

  81. etho says:

    This rings false to me, because a week ago, my own Xbox, red-ringed on me, and they sent me a box with no problems whatsoever. I did it through their support website, not over the phone. Initially it’s default option was for them to give me an electronic mailing label (UPS) and I provide my own box, but I just changed the option to have them send me a (UPS) box, and there was no problem. It should be on it’s way back to me.

    So I wonder if this is actually company policy now, and it has been changed only in the last seven days, or if Zach just talked to a bad CSR.

    • etho says:


      On an unrelated note, I’d just like to say I have Core model from less than a month after launch, and it has only failed me twice in four(?) years. I’m given to understand that this is a remarkably good record for such an early model, so go me!(?)

  82. DustoMan says:

    Consumerist: Do you do any fact checking? Or do you just blindly post tips that are anti-Microsoft to get page views? Kotaku did the work you couldn’t:

    “Reports that Microsoft now requires consumers to find their own packaging for sending product to Xbox 360 customer support are inaccurate. Our policy allows customers to choose whether they would like Microsoft to ship them a box and shipping label or print an electronic label and ship their console using their own packaging in an effort to speed up the repair process.”


  83. Anonymous says:

    actually this is not a new policy at all really. i had to have mine fixed back in august 2008 and again here in February 09 and i had to supply my own box both times.

    Luckily its not a big deal for me since i have had my xbox repaired so many times before this policy that i have Broken 360 packaging aLL over my house and could just send it in one of those. Ill never run out becuase i always get one back.

    Also I would really stop complaining becasue this does decrease the amount of time you are without your 360. In February, from the day that i mailed my 360 til i received my fix one back it was only 8 days. I know before that it was on the order of 20-25 days. Id say that is good news!

  84. Anonymous says:

    I just sent mine in about two to three weeks ago. They provided a box (though you could supply your own if you so choose). Maybe it’s just customer support reps that are misinformed, though I’m not sure why anyone would trouble with actually calling: the process is automated on the website, you just click a few buttons and you are on your way.

  85. Andrew Royce says:

    My 360 RROD the other day so I setup a return over the phone and not once did they offer to ship me a box. I didnt even know it was an option until now. Should be getting it back today just in time for Halo Wars!

  86. Anonymous says:

    This policy has been in place for a while now. They tried to tell me to find my own box when I sent my system in in June 2008. I insisted and they sent me a box. I kept the box they returned my system to me with so I can just have the label e-mailed to me in the future.

  87. Anonymous says:

    After speaking with xbox support today and asking 9 times for a box. (which I recorded on the phone) I was told they do not offer a box anymore. And haven’t since January. I have to be honest, I have purchased 4 -360’s myself this is my 2nd elite and my first red ring and I feel like they have dropped the ball on this one. (and yes… My house is the halo party house) I am a full time student and work full time, so the idea that after spending 500 bucks on a console they cared enough to ship me the box for the known issue to save me the time and money was nice. I am disappointed in the customer service with the xbox. If I wanted to be treated like crap I would have purchased a PS3 :)

  88. Anonymous says:

    Did this to me about 2.5 months ago. I just used a random box I had laying round the flat. No big deal. Besides if this is a second time and the Xbox is such a notoriously flawed piece of equipment surely it would be common sense to keep the box around that they sent him the first time. I have even in the tiny flat I live in.

  89. retronaut says:

    please stop the whining!

    I really don’t get the point, just ship it in the original xbox 360 package back to MS.

  90. Anonymous says:

    They made me use my own box a while ago all i did was just go to liek a grocerys tore get a box around the same size as my xbox and then warp bubble wrap around my xbox and it was fine nothing happend at all, if anything I find this new policy better because you dont have to wair for them to ship you a box you can send yours in right away now

  91. Anonymous says:

    A month ago after 4 RROD. Mine went down again. Called 1-800-4my-xbox on hold for 30 minutes. They told me that I needed my own box to ship it box. I told them that I couldn’t get a box and they sent one in 5 five day. Received my refurb xbox 14 days. The fastest yet.

  92. Shawn Robison says:

    I recently had to send in my xbox for the 4th time and this was the first time I had to use my own box. I found it pretty convenient because I got my xbox back a lot quicker but I work in a warehouse, so it’s easy to get free boxes and packing materials, so I can see how people without that convenience might be miffed.