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Microsoft "Repair" Center Breaks Already Broken XBox 360, Blames Owner

(visit post page to digg it: http://www.mattsmessyroom.com/2008/08/microsoft-repair-center-breaks-already.html)

I've held off on posting about this for a while because I thought there might be a fair and timely resolution but it's obvious to me that is not going to be the case so I'll fill you in on what's going on.

My Xbox 360 failed over a month ago giving me the notorious "red ring of death". I called 1-800-4MY-XBOX, performed their automated troubleshooting steps, talked to a support person, and got confirmation to send my system in for repairs. There was some trouble getting it shipped back since I'd requested they send me a shipping label rather than wait for the "coffin" to arrive, but they had the wrong email address on file so I never got the email. After I cleared that up however, the system was on it's way.

I got it back a couple weeks later with a letter that says, (I quote) "An inspection of your console has revealed that damage excluded from that covered by the Xbox Limited Warranty, has occurred." I immediately called them up for an explanation. I was scheduled to receive a call from the service center which I got on the scheduled day. I was told that there was damage to the console, and when I inspected it I had to agree. There was a piece of plastic broken beneath the disc tray and a small tab next to it was also broken. Please not that I had packaged the system very safely in a large box full of packing peanuts with extremely large "fragile" stickers on every side. However, I assumed it may have been damaged in shipping, and after speaking to support I was directed to the package carrier UPS.

I called them up and they promptly came to my apartment and picked up my system for inspection. Of course it was not in the original box but a new box it had been repackaged in at the service center. UPS gave me back the system a few days later and said that a damage report had been sent to the service center. I waited for a little while and called 1-800-4MY-XBOX again to find out what the status was. They said that they did not know and were still waiting on pictures of the system from the service center but agreed to have the service center give me another call. I waited a couple of days, no call. I called 1-800-4MY-XBOX again to find out the status. They said that they had gotten info from the service center about why the system had not been repaired and went on to tell me the various specifics.

One such specific was that a small red dot sticker on the front of the console, coincidentally located underneath the broken tab on the front was not supposed to be red, but should have been a different "Microsoft" sticker.

image of red sticker

Also that the green bit of plastic that just happened to be exposed underneath the broken plastic below the disc tray should not have been green, but white. Also that the foil "Microsoft" sticker that spans the two halves of the plastic case on the front of the console was "wrinkled" and apparently two locks on the back of the console underneath the console case were broken. Though I've never opened my case to see, I can hear something rattling around in the back of the case that I assume my be said locks.

image of green plastic

So all (or most) of these things are evident, but what do they mean? Am I supposed to believe that there is some Chinese factory creating counterfeit Xbox 360s and sneaking them into the supply channels of Wal-Mart where I purchased my system? Am I supposed to believe that gypsies broke into my apartment and switched my legitimate Xbox console with one that had Microsoft anti-tampering stickers altered mysteriously? Am I supposed to believe that I'm suffering from some selective amnesia regarding a time when I apparently switched white plastic parts for green ones in a fit of mouth-frothing insanity? Or am I to believe (as I do) that the service center made these alterations to my Xbox 360 and then blamed it on me.

I'd be lying if I said I do not regret neglecting to photograph my system before I sent it in but there is no use crying over spilled milk as the anachronistic saying goes. I have far from given up on getting a new system. However, it's not really the lack of a system that has me upset, but the fact that they really seem to think they can treat people like this and that people are going to stand for it. Why in the world would I or anybody stand for this?

I've written the CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, an email at this address steveb@microsoft.com which got me a phone call that very evening from Xbox support (1-800-469-9269) from a gentleman who said there was nothing he could do for me. Today I called the above number back twice, once when I was transferred to a supervisor and was hung up on as the transfer went through (intentionally or not I do not know), and once to get back to the supervisor which I was then told would be a 14 min wait. Unfortunately I lost the call on my end and had to leave to an appointment but I plan on picking up tomorrow where I left off today.

I've signed a petition which I urge anyone reading this to sign (http://www.petitiononline.com/360recal/petition.html). It's a petition for a recall on Xbox 360s that has 7552 signatures total. I'm number 7553. I'm planning to send another email to steveb@microsoft.com with a copy of the text from an email I recently sent a friend as well as what I've posted here and a link to the petition I signed.

I'll be blogging daily about my calls to Microsoft until I reach a resolution. The local newspaper said they'd cover the story if I ever take MS to small claims court which I think is hysterical though I have no plans to do so yet. I'll be chronicling everything here at any rate so please check back for further details.

All I can say is do not give up, keep calling and bugging them and do not PROCRASTINATE!!! Take a stand and get it done.... Time is your enemy
why are you reading these comments when you could be on the phone, solving this problem?
Good on you fella, i had the same thing claiming i had tampered with the console, all i`ve ever done with the 360 was put in and take out games, seems to me just keep bugging them and you`ll get somewhere! After sending e-mails to everyone i could get an e-mail address from in microsoft, finally got an e-mail from head of esculations in the uk, so maybe i might get somewhere now,good luck!!!!
Thanks! It's too bad they give us this run around and make us jump through these hoops, but we're justified and I still believe that we can get working systems again. Good luck to you too.
Reading this makes me feel like I've written it but don't remember!! What happened with you is as close to exact as with me!! I really hope these XBox bastards get it through their heads and give us what we want and deserve or there's gonna be a lot if not all outta jobs!! Keep it up all and let's bug those assholes till we get out shit straight!!
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