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My letter to Microsoft

To whom it may concern,
I am writing this email as a very frustrated XBOX 360 owner. On April 27, 2007 I purchased an XBOX 360 Elite from Best Buy. Having been a former “Original” Xbox owner I had avoided purchasing a new XBOX 360 because I had heard whisperings on the web of the ominous “Red Ring of Death”, but when I heard that a new console was being released WITH HDMI and a larger hard drive I purchased one as soon as I could get my hands on it.

On April 13, 2008, a little less than one year later, My XBOX 360 suffered the fateful “RROD”. I called 1-800-4MY-XBOX. By this time, the warranty for the RROD problem had been extended to 3 years from the purchase period. I was still within my Original 1 year warranty so it was covered in either case (Service Number xxxxxxxx). The customer service was excellent and I quickly received a box to return my unit in. I was surprised to see it even included TAPE for me to use on the box!

On April 26th, 2008 Microsoft received my XBOX 360 and by April 28th, 2008 my service was completed. My purchased unit was not repaired, but instead I was sent a replacement unit.
At this point I felt the service had been excellent and the turnaround time well exceeded my expectations.

So great was my enthusiasm for your platform that I purchased several more for family and friends as gifts, My parents currently use one for Netflix Streaming on the New XBOX experience, my Sister and Brother-in-law enjoy jamming out to Rock Band, a close friend of mine and her husband enjoy killing Zombies in Left4Dead and Dead Rising, and my girlfriend enjoys the occasional “Casual” game like a Kingdom for Keflings or Uno. All told in fact I calculated that I have spent just under Six Thousand Dollars on XBOX 360 hardware and software.. That’s SIX XBOX 360s complete with accessories like Wireless Controllers, headsets, and Network adapters. This also includes around Thirty Five Retail titles, including several XBOX Live 1 Year Memberships.

Imagine my surprise when on March 15th, 2009 my XBOX 360 Elite console failed with an E-74 error, not even one year from PREVIOUS repair. This time I was told that my warranty had expired and that this service would be a cost to me of $99 via the web or $119 over the phone (A $20 “Talk to someone fee”).
When I protested to the service representative they simply repeated that my XBOX 360 was out of warranty and that they were very sorry but it would be $119 over the phone or $99 via the web. When I asked to speak to a manager I was transferred only to hear the exact same song and dance, as well as the fact that “The system” required credit card information and that their hands were tied. When I asked to speak to THAT person’s supervisor I received a call 24 hours later that was identical to all the previous conversations. Such courteous discourtesy left me feeling as though my complaint had never truly been heard and when I asked whose hands WERE NOT tied in this matter they could only send me to the “Feedback” portion of the XBOX.COM website.

I am shocked and dismayed to find that I cannot own a console that will survive a one year operational lifespan. I am further frustrated to find that the warranty on a $99 repair is ONE YEAR. Why is the coverage on a PAID repair one year, but a free one 90 days? This can only lead me to question the overall quality of the XBOX 360 console. A console I zealously supported, if my spending is any indication, prior to this event. Is it unreasonable for me to expect a console to last more than one year?
My doubts about the quality are further supported by a recent article in the Official XBOX magazine (“Jasper: The Friendly Xbox?” Official Xbox Magazine, March 2009, pg. 365) that there are reasons for concern. So great is the zeal for a working console by customers that OXM outlines the way one might find a “Jasper” chipset in the hopes that the heat issues that presumably are causing the RROD errors will not affect them. As I stated earlier, similar logic was part of the very reason I waited to purchase an XBOX 360 ELITE. Further research regarding the E-74 error indicate that it’s a heat related problem similar to the RROD and A search of Youtube.com for ”Xbox e-74” include pages of “Potential fixes” some of them involving “reflow tables” and resoldering the HANA. Several people even recommend the famous “Towel Trick” to FORCE a RROD so that the service IS covered.
I have chosen not to take any of these courses of action, but I think their presence certainly indicates that problems still exist with the XBOX 360 console. I feel it is only fair that Microsoft service this XBOX 360 console at no cost to me and provide me with one that functions AT LEAST one year without failure.
Thank you for your attention,

David Overstreet
Incident number: xxxxxxxxx


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 17th, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC)
Excellent letter, I think we should post this everywhere we can as to potentially draw attention to it like the Carmax experience (uh oh, now they are reading this too). These policies are for people who don't take care of their gear the way you do, and for those looking to screw the rest of us. I understand why these things are put into place, but exceptions should be made when it is obvious you aren't a teenager trying to get his PB&J out of the XBOX before his parents find out.
Mar. 17th, 2009 05:24 pm (UTC)
You go, Man!!
I hope this works out to your satisfaction.
Mar. 17th, 2009 05:43 pm (UTC)
This is an awesome letter. If they don't sit up and take notice, then they're stupid.
Mar. 17th, 2009 09:03 pm (UTC)
Great letter, Dave. I only hope they listen to you and take care of the issue the way they should.
Mar. 17th, 2009 10:30 pm (UTC)
Wow! I really hope this gets the attention that it deserves.
Mar. 17th, 2009 10:30 pm (UTC)
Oh, and you're writing my next complaint letter!
Mar. 17th, 2009 10:56 pm (UTC)
I have this urge now... I kinda want to do something bad. I want a complaint letter! You should write me one! On second thought... I might cry.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )