Reader Ben was sad. His Xbox was doing the ol’ Red Ring of Death. He thought that was quits for his trusted gaming companion but then he started doing some research on Consumerist. Perusing our archives, he realized from some of our old posts that included in the price of the repair to the machine he had done not too long ago was a one-year warranty extension. Huzzah! Here’s what he did next:
red ring of death
Here’s the thing with warranties: they’re limited not by how many hours you’ve used an item, but by how long you’ve owned it. Usually, this works in our favor as consumers, but not in Nathan’s case. He writes that his little-used Xbox 360 has failed after three years, presenting the dreaded Red Ring of Death. He wonders: since this is the same problem that more frequent Xbox users see after less time has elapsed, why can’t Microsoft offer him a repair even though his warranty has expired?
Some Xbox 360 owners are complaining that the Kinect is driving their consoles into the grave, inflicting them with the Red Ring of Death.
There were two ways for Microsoft to scuttle the whole Red Ring of Death thing that plagued previous iterations of its Xbox 360: Either fix the problems that cause the consoles to malfunction at a legendary rate or just take the whole red ring out altogether. Microsoft went with plan B.
While submitting his busted Xbox 360 for repair, Ben stumbled upon a valuable piece of info for those whose have suffered multiple system breakdowns: A special phone number that expedites the shipping your refurbished replacement console, provided you have your reference number and the extension of a CSR who helped you with your problem when you called 1-800-4MY-XBOX. We first reported the secret number (1-888-236-0927) two years ago.
Jay knows his tale of having gone through six Xbox 360s isn’t all that unusual, but he rightly expresses that it’s pathetic that stories like his are common. The poor guy even bought an Xbox 360 Elite in hopes that the redesign would be more reliable. But alas, his Elite and its replacements now broken as many times as his chain of launch consoles.
Xbox 360 owners like to compare horror stories about how often their console has broken down, but few can top the tale of Joseph, the man so unlucky that his refurbished Xbox 360 didn’t break down once until its three-year red ring of death warranty lapsed.
Being a jaded Xbox 360 owner who’s watched his console give up the ghost five times, it takes a lot for a tale of Microsoft customer service woe to move me. And yet a reader named Gower accomplished just that by sending a novel-length soliloquy about his maddening run through Xbox 360 hell. What follows is the Cliffs Notes version (grab your hankies):
Ryan is probably looking at his XBOX 360 right now, wishing he could play it, but he can’t. Why not? Red Ring. And Microsoft can’t fix it because they say they already have it.
Reader Jeff writes in with yet another tale of Xbox woe: After sending in his third Xbox 360 for a third Red Ring of Death, he was surprised to receive a package from Microsoft only seven days later. “I figured Microsoft was so efficient and concerned about their loyal customers that the quickly delivered me another 360,” says Jeff. That’s not what happened.
Though Microsoft bowed to a gamer backlash and gave 3-year warranty protection for the widespread Xbox hardware failure known as “The Red Ring of Death,” it seems another debilitating malfunction, “The Red Light of Death,” hasn’t become enough of a PR fiasco to merit the same treatment. Let’s help it along with reader Steve’s story…
I bought one of those Mexican Jesus candles and put it on top of you, hoping for a little divine intervention. Nothing. I opened your disc drive and blew into you, just as I did to bring back my old NES from the netherworld. Not working. Xbox 360, I wish I could quit you.
Reader James says:Just went down to my local Wal-Mart the other day (La Quinta, Ca) and saw a Red Ring Of Death xbox 360 on display… thought it was worth a picture.This isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of the product, is it?