BustedChain's XBOX360 Failure Blog

Just another XBOX Live user…getting shafted by MicroShaft

Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft Ruins Christmas Gift

Wrapping up…

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After having to redownload every single piece of content I have ever purchased (230+ items) I finally am able to play my 360 online and offline without any problems (at least as far as arcade games and Rock Band is concerned as that is all I have been able to test).

For my “hassle” they are sending me a wireless controller.  Of course I already bought 3 for a total of four for myself, so this extra controller is likely going to a friend.  They did offer me “Viva Pinata” or “PGR3” as game options…blech.  barf…and all that jazz.

Hopefully they will resolve my final problem:  My extended service contract that was supposed to be in effect until 2010 has been cut down to 3 months from now effectively losing most of my Microsoft extended service contract.  I was assured that the date would be properly adjusted.  Oy vey.

UNRESOLVED:

The service contract clearely states that I would receive a console with the latest features.   I wish I could sue them for breech of contract because the console they sent me DOES NOT have HDMI and DOES NOT have a cooler running newer smaller processor.   It is the same type of refurbished garbage that failed on me 4 times now.

Written by BustedChain

01/05/2009 at 4:08 pm

Success… Kinda.

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Microsoft did manage to expedite my console repair and get the replacement to me before Christmas.  So, on that front I am very happy because my wife loved her Christmas presents:  Lips and Singstar ABBA for the 360 and PS3 respectively.   We played both, and she loves the Singstar ABBA.  Lips interface has some problems, such as the annoying “elevator music” when changing tracks.  Silence would have been much better, however the scoring on Lips seems to be a bit more forgiving and the tone chart seems a little more intuitive once you get the hang of the “range” that is shows you.

Beyond that, Microsoft did replace the 360 with a refurbished unit.  No big surprise there, but since this is my 5th time sending in a console for repair/replacement I fully expect to have to send this one back in within a year.  I am glad that I purchased that extended warranty / service contract from Microsoft.   For ~$50 you can’t beat it.  I got it by calling the XBOX / Microsoft support 800 number and asking about it.  The first couple people weren’t real familiar with it but they eventually found it and applied it to my console.  My warranty is good for another couple years still.   Maybe by then Microsoft will figure out how to create a refurbished unit with a higher life expectency than 1 year of mild usage.

So, I got what I wanted for Christmas:   to see my wife be completely taken by surprise by her two “stocking stuffers” and we had some fun with the rest of the family that was gathered singing all sorts of songs.

Written by BustedChain

12/28/2008 at 9:41 pm

Microsoft “Repaired” the console today and should ship it back.

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So if the 360 ships out on Saturday, I could have it by Tuesday.  I expect the chance of it shipping tomorrow is maybe 40% (optomistic).  If it does ship then the chance of me receiving it before the end of Tuesday is about 90%.  If it ships Monday(which is more likely…) then I could get it by the end of Tuesday but that is a 50% chance or less.   They ship via Standard Overnight which is a 1-2 day service.  The service center is in Texas, but if you read my last blog entry you’d see that the package can run a maze around the country before it gets to where it is going.  Crazy carriers.

What has me a little pissed at this point is that both the XBOX Support (Level 1 supervisor) and the Global Escallations Support told me they would have the console replaced instead of being repaired.   Perhaps the wording in the auto-generated email is just that… inacurrate because it was sent by an automated computer system.   I’ll know for sure when I get the console back and I compare the serial numbers.  If they sent me my same console back “repaired” I am going to make a big deal about this.   A simple little blog pales in comparison.

Written by BustedChain

12/19/2008 at 7:13 pm

Microsoft received the XBOX360 today

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Looks like Microsoft received my dead XBOX360 today.  The tracking information resembles a bit of a farce:

Dec 17, 2008 1:38 PM Delivered MCALLEN, TX
12:15 PM On FedEx vehicle for delivery PHARR, TX
11:11 AM Arrived at FedEx location MEMPHIS, TN
10:14 AM On FedEx vehicle for delivery PHARR, TX
9:06 AM At local FedEx facility PHARR, TX
7:27 AM At dest sort facility HARLINGEN, TX
5:39 AM Departed FedEx location MEMPHIS, TN
Dec 16, 2008 9:35 PM At local FedEx facility EL PASO, TX
7:07 PM Left FedEx origin facility LAS CRUCES, NM
5:04 PM Picked up LAS CRUCES, NM

It is rather silly that an “Overnight” package going from New Mexico to Texas somehow managed to make it from El Paso, TX (border town between NM and Texas) all the way to Memphis, TN, then back to Texas, THEN back to Memphis, TN at 11:11am, and finally get delivered back in Texas at 1:38pm.      Yeah, I know that the tracking info is messed up and I’m just glad that it was delivered today.  Sometimes tracking information is really silly…like when they pretend to scan packages but instead they are just scanning a trailer that the package is supposed to be on all in the name of giving the customer a warm fuzzy feeling while the carrier pretends to know where the package is.

Now I wait and see if they get the replacement shipped today or tomorrow.

Oh yeah, and the Microsoft “Repair Status” page still says “Your order is currently in the queue to be processed. We will mail your box to you shortly.”    So apparrently the Microsoft repair tracking page for my issue/console is screwed up royally if they can’t tell that they have received the XBOX360 back already.

A Response…

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I received a call last night from a friendly support person in the Global Escallations Department.  According to him he is the highest level of consumer support that you can get for XBOX/Live related issues.  I have talked to someone from this department once before on my last Console Failure.

Here’s what I notice:

  1. They are smart, well spoken, and speak English NATIVELY!
  2. They are able to follow/track the progress of the console during the repair or replacement process.
  3. They are able to authorize a console replacement instead of receiving your console back “repaired”
  4. That’s about it.  They can request, but not authorize a console upgrade. (Such as a new one with HDMI and a cooler running processor)  They may be able to offer you a small consolation in the form of a crappy game or an accessory that you may already own at the end of the repair process.   I appreciate the sentiment here, but something with real value would be nice… a good game, a year of XBOX Live Gold, or some Microsoft Points (you know…something someone might actually use would be nice).

After talking with Derrick in the Microsoft Global Escalations group, he did tell me that since he was going to tell the repair center to replace the console as soon as they receive mine there is a good chance I will get the replacement back before Christmas.   So, if this actually comes to pass I will be happier.  (Of course this doesn’t take care of the weeks I’ve been without it while it has been shipped during all 5 of these failures, but there is a good chance my wife’s game will be playable on Christmas when she opens it which is what I wanted most of all.

Unresolved Issues:

  1. The extended warranty clearly states that I would receive a console “with the latest features” in the event mine had to be replaced.   Of course they have limited information on their website about this, but I have the original documents scanned into my computer for safe keeping.
  2. I really expect Microsoft should deliver one of the newest consoles.  I doubt they will.  They will likely give me the same refurbished garbage that they always send out and I will be going through this process yet again when the replacement craps out on me.   I wish Microsoft would do something PROACTIVE to keep this from happening to me a SIXTH time.
  3. …. and we will see if they manage to get the replacement sent to me by Christmas…

Written by BustedChain

12/17/2008 at 7:33 am

Further Efforts…

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I came across several email addresses and a phone number for Microsoft Executives, and I pose this challenge to them:

For this long time and loyal customer, provide a solution that gets the XBOX 360 replaced in time for Christmas.

In this case, I contacted:

khogan@microsoft.com, billg@microsoft.com, robbieb@microsoft.com, donm@microsoft.com

and

Steve Balmer‘s Office:  (425) 706-8448

(Thanks to Consumerist website. Here and here)

Yes, I know that Mr. Gates has stepped down and handed the reigns over, but I have a feeling that he still cares how the business is run and may have some contacts if he happens to read my email.

When talking with Ms. Hill at Steve Balmer’s office I was very respectful and tried to be very suscinct in what my problem was and what I wanted done to fix it.   She was very nice, took my information, and told me someone would be contacting me in the next 2-3 days.    In the emails I sent out I tried to be polite, but explain how this is the 5th Hardware Failure and this latest one has rotten timing.  (Anyone else who has had more failures or just as much frustration with the support process please take note… you need to be respectful in your complaints.  You can be upset, but don’t cross that line into beligerent.)

So, we will see what happens.  I still don’t think Microsoft is able to move fast enough to get this resolved in time for Christmas, but I can still hope on the other hand.

Here’s the email I sent with minor editing for publishing on the web:

Dear Executives and Representatives of Microsoft:

I have just experienced my 5th hardware failure and my 3rd Red Ring of
Death (RRoD) on Saturday Night (December 13th) while I was watching a
Netflix movie on the XBOX 360 w/ NXE.

I need this issue taken seriously and something done to help avoid
disappointing my wife on Christmas day when she opens her present and can't
play!  I am already starting to post on various blogs, forums, and comment
places.  I would be glad to post followups explaining how Microsoft helped
me out here.

WHAT I WANT: A NEW replacement XBOX 360 to arrive in time for Christmas!   

My wife was excited about "Lips" coming out for the XBOX 360 so I bought it
for her for Christmas.  Now with my DEAD XBOX360 she is going to smile when
she opens her present and then immediately become sad that she can't play
it!!

Your "support" team said they would "expedite" the repair but it would
still take up to two weeks to be done.  This is not acceptable. The timing
of this failure is horrible beyond the fact that it ruined my wife's
Christmas Gift... take into account also that my wife and I both are off of
work during the week of Christmas.   By the time the repair is completed we
will be going back to work!

After buying the MICROSOFT extended warranty, over 26 XBOX 360 games, 4
controllers, 120GB HDD, and several hundred dollars worth of DLC from XBOX
Live I feel that asking for a new console to be rushed out to me in time
for Christmas is not an inappropriate thing to ask for especially since
I've had to send the 360 in FIVE TIMES NOW.  (Please verify these
claims...you can see for yourself on my gamer profile listed below what I
speak is true.)   Heck I have 3 games on hand that I haven't ever even
played because I have been busy the last couple months.  I was going to
catch up on some gaming during this Christmas break!

My XBOX Live GamerTag is BustedChain
My console serial number was 9015857740xx
My support reference number is 10876162xx

Supposedly I will be receiving the box to ship the XBOX 360 back in today,
however when I check the Repair Status online it says "Current Status:
invalid tracking number"  and  "Your order is currently in the queue to be
processed.  We will mail your box to you shortly."  which implies to me
that I won't be receiving the box to ship the console back in any time
soon!

Please let me know how you can help salvage my wife's Christmas present
this year!    I will send you a followup email right after this with a link
to the article I have started to share this disappointing situation with
everyone.  I am sending it in a separate email just in case your filters
block emails with addresses in them.

Empty Shipping Box Arrives Today… (updated)

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So, in theory, the empty shipping box should arrive today.   I will be packing the XBOX 360 along with a note detailing all the problems I’ve had to date and asking them to please provide a replacement BEFORE Christmas in an effort to help alleviate the hassle/trouble Microsoft has put me through.

I expect that the request will fall on deaf ears, but to be fair about this I need to ask.  There is still a slim chance that if the right person from MicroShaft reads about all the failures I’ve endured they could try to get the replacement 360 here before Christmas.  (No, I’m not holding my breath)

Some folks have said that I should have bought a PS3 instead or shouldn’t have gotten Lips.   The simple facts are:

A> I did buy a PS3 about a week ago. It arrived several days before my 360 died.

B> A PS3 is not equal to the XBOX 360 and visa versa.  They aren’t the same thing and there are games on both platforms that are worth playing.  The only games I would buy for the PS3 are the PS3 exclusives and some of the mini games.  The list of available exclusives is rather small and out of those the number of games that I would actually be interested in is even smaller.

C> I did get SingStar for my wife, but she also wanted Lips….  She likes some of the songs that it comes with.  Does it matter that SingStar is a better game overall?   No.  I still got Lips for my wife because I wanted her to have what SHE wanted.   I still have a surprise up my sleeve for her for Christmas, however Lips was a much bigger gift by far!

D> Some have even said something about how I am now screwed out of the money I spent on the console.   I *HAVE* bought a ton of games (at least 26), 3 additional controllers, larger hard drive, and hundreds of dollars worth of downloadable content.   I actually got the XBOX 360 itself for free from a drawing before launch day.

UPDATE:  Yes, the box did arrive.  It was from FedEx.  The Support website said that it would be coming from UPS and that the tracking number was invalid.  (Of course it didn’t actually tell me what that tracking number was.)  That explains why the tracking number was invalid since it wasn’t UPS, but FedEx instead.   I think my first RRoD “Coffin” came via UPS, however the rest of the “Coffins” have all been FedEx.   (“Coffin” isn’t my term…I found it on some site talking about the box that Microsoft sends for the dead 360…it fits!)  Anyway, I even managed to get the box back to FedEx before the cut-off time so it is going back to them today.

Written by BustedChain

12/16/2008 at 8:43 am