Microsoft: Stand Behind Your Hardware!

Posted: March 5, 2008 in Video Games

Today started on an interesting note.  The boxes Microsoft sent me for repair on my Xbox 360 finally showed up via UPS.  As I was preparing to take the console apart and pack it up for shipping I figured what the hell, and tried to boot the console up.  To my suprise and dismay it booted up properly and went right to the dashboard.  I turned it off after a moment and realized that my hard drive was still disconnected.  I put the drive back on the 360 and wahlaa…the red rings of death returned.

At this point I tried a reboot without the hard drive attached and found again that the console was working just fine.  After a quick internet search I found that I was not the only one who’s had this problem and it’s almost as frequent as other types of hardware failures the 360’s are expiriencing.  So I called Xbox support next which is absolutley outsourced and horrible!  Not only where the reps difficult to understand, they also went off of scripts.  You’d think that a company as big as Microsoft could afford and would be willing to pay for a good in house support staff.  I then remembered that the bigger a company is and the more money they make, the tighter thier pocket books are.  When you become as big as Microsoft you don’t really have anything to worry about as there’s no alternative out there to take business from you so who cares about cusotmer satisfaction right?

Anyway, long story short, I ended up calling Microsoft twice to try and get things resolved and my hard drive repaired.  I filed a complaint with the Better Business Beauru because it’s the right thing to do though I have accepted the fact Microsoft isn’t going to offer any kind of fair solution regarding the replacement of my hard drive.  I have included below my letter to the BBB stating my problem, and the letter in which I state what I’d like to see Microsoft do.  Thinking of buying an Xbox 360?  Don’t, go buy a Playstation 3 instead…that thing could survive a supernova.

My Complaint To The BBB

I am the owner of an Xbox 360.  About a week ago while trying to boot up my console I received three red rings which indicates a hardware failure on the Xbox 360.  I followed Microsoft’s online instructions and unplugged my console, let it “cool down” and then reconnected everything and tried again.

This next attempt brought about the same results, three red rings around the consoles power button.  I immediately returned to the Microsoft website and followed instructions for repair.  Microsoft’s website indicated that my consoles repair would be free as it fell under their extended warranty.  I filled out the online form and on 3-5-08 I received the box I was to put my console into and ship back to Microsoft for repairs. Before packing my console up I tested it one more time, this time without the hard drive attached.  The results where quite different this time as the console started up fine and I was taken to the consoles dashboard.  I then turned the console off and reconnected my hard drive to the machine.  Once more I received three red rings indicating a hardware problem.

At this point I contacted Xbox 360 support via telephone to communicate my findings. The first gentlemen I spoke with named Mike advised me to once again remove the consoles hard drive and take it into a retail store to test it on another console to determine if the problem was indeed my console or if the problem was actually with the hard drive..  He also advised I test it on a friends console.  I was appalled by this request as it should be Microsoft’s responsibility to determine the problem with their faulty hardware, not mine.  In order to keep things moving smoothly however I called my local Gamestop, Wal-Mart, and Target to ask if I could bring my hard drive in and test it on their Xbox 360’s.  All of them refused and stated that they would not allow such a thing to happen.

I was then forced to contact Xbox support again and as I explained my situation to Frances he stated that I would need to find another Xbox 360 to run further tests. After a short and heated debate Frances finally told me that he’d cancel my original console repair order and create one for my hard drive.  He then stated that I would be responsible for shipping the hard drive to them for inspection and repair.  As I was telling him that this was fine he interrupted me and told me that they could not repair my hard drive as it is considered an “accessory” to the Xbox 360 (though the console is almost functionless without it) and was out of warranty.  At this point I ended the call with Frances out of anger and frustration as there was going to be no resolution to this problem via telephone.

Why is Microsoft allowed to extend the warranty of faulty hardware and offer free repairs to their Xbox 360 but not the consoles hard drives?  This failure is a result of rushed planning and manufacturing and not one of misuse or overuse.  I understand that Microsoft is trying avoid a big lawsuit by offering to repair consoles for free, even ones that have fallen out of warranty, but why should they not have to replace my hard drive for free when it would be cheaper than replacing or repairing a malfunctioning console?  Does Microsoft consider the hard drive an “accessory” to the Xbox 360 because they want to tempt you into buying a larger drive when they become available or do they list it as such so that they turn the other check on another piece of faulty hardware and refuse repair?  Though the company considers the Xbox 360 hard drive an “optional” componet, it’s not.  For a gamer like me who plays primarily online games, and downloads arcade games to his hard drive the drive is anything but optional or an accessory as they like to call it.

My Proposed Resolution To The BBB

I would like Microsoft to extend their Xbox 360 warranty to include replacement of faulty hard drives, and/or offer some type of voucher for a new hard drive. I would like my hard drive replaced at no cost seeing as how it’s just over two years old, and the cause of malfunction is clearly Microsoft, not mine.  I can not play any of my downloaded arcade games without a working hard drive and can not enjoy any of the MMO’s I enjoy without such a drive either.  Microsoft should stand behind their products, faulty or not and provide their customers fair resolutions.

  1. Devin Martin says:

    i have had to send back my xbox 8 times they are horrible and i cant get know help

  2. Xbox 360 Repair Guide…

    Xbox 360 Repair Guide…

  3. andrew says:

    thats why i love my ps3 i recently spent the same ammount it cost to get a 120 gig xbox 360 hd, on a 320 gig lap to hd for my ps3 took 1 minute to install and worked fine and no problems ive nocked my ps3 over while playing games and have never had a cd get messed up, not only that blue ray disks are extreamly scratch resistant i tried to scratch one (dragon wars) disk and it still played just fine and i used a key on it its worth the extra money for the ps3

  4. These contributions are sensational

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