Microsoft Reminds Us Why They Suck: XBox LIVE Outages and Poor Customer Service

Well, I couldn’t fight the urge anymore. With as much work as I have on the table, I owe it to you, my loyal readers, to bring back the passion and frequency of my blog and what better way than to take potshots at one of the biggest and crappiest pseudo-monopolies out there? That’s right, it’s time to attack Microsoft once again!

XBox LIVE Dies - ZOMG!!!

No, XBox LIVE is not dead but, the way it has been running the past couple of weeks, it might as well be. If you have lived under a rock or are not really a gamer, you may have missed all the scandals regarding XBox LIVE customer horror stories and continued outages. I’m going to give you all a little grocery list of some of these horror stories:

  • XBox LIVE customer support analysts actually laugh and hang up on customers.
  • The ultimate solution for most problems plaguing XBox 360 seems to come down to buying a new system, creating a new account, or hearing “we can’t help you”.
  • XBox 360 units are still experiencing random crashes (surprise), red rings, and other hardware failure.
  • The magical XBox 360 warranty (which comes at an additional cost) does not include much at all; in fact, shipping and even boxes come at additional premiums in many cases!
  • Prepaid XBox LIVE subscription cards are more trouble than they’re worth – some don’t even code with a code behind the silver coating, due to misprints (good luck getting anyone to give you credit or a full refund for that)!
  • The most over-used line of any XBox LIVE customer support representative is “sorry, but that’s our policy”.
  • No one on the XBox LIVE support team seem to speak English natively, nor do they understand the root cause of your issues and what the customer TRULY needs.
  • It is not unlikely for random people to harass you, just for fun, and file false complaints against you which, ultimately, get you terminated. Since the XBox LIVE team doesn’t really understand English, they just go by “what’s in their system” and follow their scripted courses of action. A few strikes and you’re out. Good luck appealing.

If you’re like me, you may be looking at this list with great disgust. Anyone that knows me knows that poor customer service, unwarranted rudeness, and poor product “follow-through”/overall quality are things that I absolutely abhore. As a gamer and someone that happens to be an XBox 360 owner, I feel that Microsoft’s business tactics are completely unethical, to say the least. We shouldn’t be surprised since the XBox franchise is a microcosm of Microsoft’s track record in all other facets of their huge corporate monster.

You see, the greater issue here is that Microsoft treats XBox, especially XBox LIVE, like a red-headed stepchild (Oh, right, I remember: Microsoft is losing tons of money with XBox 360.. gotcha.. that means treat your customers like they don’t really matter – makes sense). The entire business unit exists almost completely overseas. There is little or no supervision and the people you speak to neither care about the customer nor their job. When you get a “supervisor” or “manager” on the phone, it’s usually just a Level I Analyst reading from a script and telling you the same thing, which ultimately boils down to the same answer: “sorry, but you’re screwed and we could care less. ” More times than not, a fortune cookie is more helpful than an XBL CSR. Terrible.

Microsoft is quite lucky that there is no competition for them in the console market. No one is doing online gaming the way they are so they can get away with murder since, for all intents and purposes, they are a monopoly. The Sony fanboys are probably eating this all up because their online service is FREE but, as I have experienced, it’s nothing compared to XBox Live (when it’s fully-functional, that is). Of course, as much as I love XBL, I will call Mirosoft out on their BS and this is all a whole load of BS, if you ask me.

Major Nelson, probably the only decent human being that is part of the XBox LIVE team, at least on the customer service/marketing side of things, says that it is all being worked on day and night. Last night, I was able to play some semi-decent games but it’s been well over a week now and we’re still paying for a full-rate subscription. Something is amiss here. Where are the Microsoft Points given as credits? One can only hope, right? Instead of seeing a live feed explaining why things are funky, the XBox 360 Dashboard has ads and the usual junk. I’m sorry but “I’m sorry” doesn’t cut it, Microsoft – we need RESULTS.

Even once XBox LIVE is fixed, there are a whole slew of issues that all go back to one thing: terrible end-to-end customer support. Microsoft needs to start a serious damage control campaign. Some of their actions won’t even cost money. Here’s what *I* would do if it was my business and I really cared about my customers:

  1. Give all XBox LIVE customers affected by downtime 400 Microsoft Points (in addition to the rumored free XBL Arcade game they are giving out). No questions asked. They’ll need to spend their own money to get more credits and get the really good stuff but this would be a real nice vote of confidence and a token of appreciation.
  2. Create a new knowledgebase focusing on common support issues and customer service hiccups so that the customer can take more initiative and not have to rely on inept staff.
  3. Send out e-mail blasts and XBox 360 Dashboard updates pointing to a new knowledgebase addressing all major issues and current pitfalls proactively, rather than firefighting as they happen.
  4. Fire all the customer service people that suck. Hire ones that don’t.
  5. Retrain all customer service personnel with a focus on customer service, not mere technical details, and a MAJOR focus on the manners and respect portion of that service.
  6. Send some Americans overseas, pay them well, and have them oversee operations in these global offices so that there is some REAL management and supervision in place.
  7. Put into play some real quality checks both on the support and actual production sides of the XBox business.
  8. Stress-test all XBox 360 units put out into the marketplace and ship them out with checklists listing all system vitals including normal and peak operating temperatures, diagnostic tools used, issues encountered, and courses of action taken to remedy situations. Quantify, qualify, resolve. That was easy.
  9. Remember that the customer is always right. The customer is your business. Without customers, you have no business. Get it? Got it? Good!
  10. Fire anyone that laughs at item #9. Thanks for playing!
  11. Reward long-time customers with some sort of nifty perk. Free gamer pictures, a care package, neat swag, something… There’s always some sort of promotional stuff or trade items that can be given out and pennied away, rather than deemed as an incurred by the business. The folks that have been there all along are your soldiers, your biggest advocates, so make sure you treat them accordingly!
  12. Restructure the XBox LIVE fee scale so that buying bigger lots of time costs you less on a granular unit basis; that is, if you buy several months at once, each month is cheaper on it’s own. Makes sense, right?
  13. Include a little fact sheet with XBox LIVE prepaid cards or change the packaging so that there is a quick start guide that is not written in legalese and people do not do silly things like “double subscribing”.
  14. Make more features available for so-called XBox LIVE Silver subscribers. Remember that Sony and Nintendo will eventually copy the PC gaming market as well and actually compete with you guys, Microsoft.

Some folks out there will say that this is not realistic. It’ll cost Microsoft millions. BOO HOO. It’ll cost them a lot more if they lose the business of people that realize that XBox 360 is not the only Coca-Cola in the desert. Let’s not forget that the ultimate goal of customer support is customer retention and, of course, issue resolution – ideally, one call is all it should take to resolve an issue once and for all, where possible.

Peter Moore, an important Microsoft suit, holds his baby in his tender, loving hands.

What I always find interesting is how PR comments always seems to differ from the actualities. Peter Moore, Vice President of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business division, told WePlayXBox.com (and I am paraphrasing here) that the number of hardware failure does not matter as much as the number of satisfied customers – we agree wholeheartedly! Unfortunately, the work ethic of XBox LIVE support personnel does not really reflect this focus. I can speculate with little equivocation that about 95% of the people that have dealt with XBox LIVE support, especially recently, have not had an experience that made them feel appreciated. Ever since most (if not all) of the operations were moved overseas, the quality of service has certainly gone done the crap hole.

It’s not all bad news for Microsoft. They have a very promising franchise in the making. It just frustrates me that they fall short of so many expectations. Perhaps if Microsoft were able to manage customer expectations better, they wouldn’t be such an easy target. Sometimes, it feels as if some of their team members realize that they are in a position of proverbial monopoliziation and decide to show off their arrogance. I’ve felt, many times, that their customer support people taunt and mock their customers, myself included.

Whatever way you chop it all up, it all boils down to simple courtesies that every customer is entitled to. You can draw up all the policies and legalese in the world to avoid liability and accountability but, in the end, only the management fix it’s own problems. The cross of poor business management should not be the customer’s burden to bare.

How long can Microsoft make promises before they have to actually deliver on them? You can only tell a customer something is being worked on or apologize so much. Eventually, you have to actually show something tangible for it. If you ask me, Microsoft needs to make a big change. Just about every XBox 360 owner I know has been mostly unsatisfied though they are happy when things work the way they should. It’d be if nice issues were actually treated with great importance and escalated properly but, for most people, a support call is just another dead end. I am a firm believer that a product’s quality is only as good as the support provided for the product. In this case, the XBox 360 has the worst quality possible.

For the average customer, the sad truth is that they will allow themselves to be exploited in the hopes that their loyalty will pay off in the long-run. They tell themselves that the company is doing everything that they can and everyone criticizing them is just being “hater” or unreasonable. For those folks, reality will hit them hard soon enough.

Microsoft should look at Sony to see how arrogance has paid them off. The PS3 is bombing, no matter what sort of marketing or fanboy spins you try to put on their situations. We’re seeing growing sales and production for the PS2, as if that were their next-gen system. Sony isn’t rewarding their console loyalists (fanboys) beyond giving them more of the same old content. Soon, this content will no longer be exclusive to Sony and they will lose almost all of their weapons. Their greatest weapons right now are the facts that some people love Blu-Ray (PS3 is apparently a good movie player, if nothing else) and some people hate Microsoft with a passion (they’d adopt an Atari system WAY before even considering anything Microsoft puts their stamp on). Choose the lesser of the greatest evils, right? I suppose that works.

The lesson to be learned from Sony is that, if you’re not going up, you’re going down. There needs to be progress and improvement on a constant basis. You need let your customers know, without a doubt, that you are bringing them what they really want, not merely what you know is more profitable. Customers need to know that they will not be left high and dry. It’s all about long-term end-to-end support. That is what truly defines product quality. Everything breaks or falls shorts of expectations on the tech side, but delivery, support, marketing, and customer service all help bring additional value at the point of purchase and beyond, for the product’s entire lifetime.

Mr. Moore essentially said that failure doesn’t matter so long as support is prompt and complete. If the customer is taken care of, a fe hiccups here and there are understandable. The case is such that hiccups are just the feather on the metaphorical heap of problems plaguing the XBox 360. You’d think with a headstart on the next-gen movement they’d have things in better order by now. I guess even that is too much to expect right now.

The simple fact of the matter is that people are shelling out big bucks for their gaming experience. It’s not just about buying a system and a game. There are all the hidden costs and service fees as well. You’re talking about people paying over $500 to have a good gaming experience. If you’re going to charge for XBox LIVE, there is an assumption that it will be up and fully functional (not laggy), as opposed to free services that are provided as-is. Why is it, then, that there are gaming servers out there that are totally free to the gamer and run way better than XBox LIVE? Sounds like bad business on Microsoft’s part. You can bet your bottom dollar that Sony and their loyalists will exploit these issues endlessly.

Haha.. You talk funny, customer person!  I laugh at you.

“Haha.. I am laughing at you, funny customer!”
(Photo provided courtesy of CMRus.com.)

All that good stuff being said, I am considering starting an initiative which will rally my press contacts, fellow gamers, and other people in position of power so that we can put some pressure on Microsoft and get them to do the right thing. This can only happen if we all sound off. Share your comments. Let’s not look at this as a next-gen console war (I have used and own just about all the gaming consoles ever released, to be honest, so it’s not about that – I could care less about brand loyalty when it comes to gaming, personally). The greater issue here is that Sony, Microsoft, and many large corporations do not appreciate their customers enough to go the extra mile for them. This needs to stop now. Support the Red X Campaign and let’s cancel out poor customer service across-the-board! One of our primary campaign objectives will be to identify all businesses that engage in funny business – Microsoft is one of many!

For related XBox 360 horror stories, check back often and be sure to submit any good tidbits, fact checks, interviews, photos, petitions, and other supporting material. I’ll be adding links and resources to the end of this article here and there so bookmark this XBox 360 article share it with others, blog about it, discuss on forums, and spread the word. Eventually, we can do banner exchanges, linktrains, and all that good stuff to unite against poor business practice! In the coming months, I will almost exclusively Digg and bolster related articles to give these issues the most visibility possible. BIG thanks to Joystiq, Kotaku, Magical Pudding, BuzzFocus, YouNewb (hope you guys return soon), and all ther other sites spreading the uninhibited word to all the people of the world!

…I’d also like to thank the XBox LIVE customer service folks that also laughed at me when I told them that I am an industry professional with many contacts. When I told the “manager”, Carlos, that I was going to find my own way of escalating my issue, he just regurgitated the same scripts and policies over, in a very mocking manner. Needless to say, this is going to bite them back in the arse.. HARD!

Refreshing! 😉

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19 thoughts on “Microsoft Reminds Us Why They Suck: XBox LIVE Outages and Poor Customer Service

  1. Yes I agree with all of what you are saying, but a positive note for them is that i got the three ring of deth and after talking to thirty different non english speaking people, that read the script to me over and over again i waited a week for the box to send back to microsoft and they had me back and running with in three days. I was very please with the return time on my machine i would never thought it would have been back to me as quick due to the hell it was going through the customer service team. This system is a great console specialy for a recreational gamer. Playing on line is the best way to game and I can sympatyhize a little on the amount of people that are on there server and having to work to expand and make it more efficient but i do agree if we are paying for service we should have a quicker turn around on FIXES and yes advertise on the dash board that your equipment is the problem not my own console.

  2. Indeed. Speedy repair service? That’s rare and refreshing to hear!

    …But that is just due course, if you ask me. Every company has bad moments and good moments. I’m am usually a very patient person or at least I am more patient than most folks out there, but I simply cannot stand for customers being treated like crap. Customers are a business’ greatest resource, their treasure even!

    Surely, all these horror stories do not overshadow the fact that the XBox 360 is a great system. I simply can’t sympathize with Microsoft because you’d think they would learn their lesson by now. They’re also not a small company to be responding to issues the way they are. As a large corporation, contingency planning and strategic recourse should be second nature. Certainly, they have the money to invest as well.

    Don’t be afraid to demand what you need just because you think they are trying the best, friend. If a company does not give you the results you expect, make sure the know that. It’s the only way that they can improve service standards. Right now, their issues are compounded because the soft services and the actual hardware are all failing. If their customer service team was attentive and friendly, I could feel more sympathetic, but they are mostly snobby and aggressive.

    Consider yourself very lucky, JT. I have friends that waited over a month to get their XBox back. It’s no wonder people are going with in-store warranties like the affordable 3-year warranty Walmart is currently offering for XBox 360 units. You would think that the manufacturer warranty would be the best but, nope, Microsoft drops the ball on that one too.

    Like I said, it’s not all bad news for them. XBox LIVE is great when it works and the 360 is a solid system for casual and core gamers alike. There’s something for everyone on XBox. Microsoft just needs to show more appreciation to those that remain loyal to their platform, in spite of all the horror stories. 8)

  3. Sir,

    You piss all over Xbox live to follow it up with “PSN is nothing compared to XBL.

    Does customer service suck? Yes
    Do exceptions occur? Yes
    My headset malfunctioned, without me sending the old one in, they sent me a brand new one within a week.

  4. Indeed I did. But that does not negate the fact that Microsoft needs to make some serious changes to their business approach. XBox Live is my console service of choice but only because there are no other viable options in this proverbial arena.

    You’re simply stating what I’ve already said. Exceptions occur and no business is without a flaw.. But that doesn’t give Microsoft to piss over their customers. In fact, my so-called pissing here is nothing compared to the countless horror stories my readers, friends, and family have reported.

    I’m glad that they attended to your issue properly. Again, that is just due course considering they have a myriad of issues affecting all their customers. Expediting a new headset to you was the very least they could do for your troubles. Your hard-earned money goes into your gaming experience. It’s not free stuff, after all. 😉

  5. Quite frankly I don’t know what to say on this subject. The problem is there are only 3 consoles out there to play PS3, 360 and the Nintendo Wii.

    Nintendo Wii is one of the most fun systems out there, it’s a great party machine and I for one can’t get enough of Mario Galaxy. But there’s no online play.

    Sony is just that corporate giant you want to boycott. They disrespect their audience by just not caring and they’ve had poor marketing campaigns that caused them to lose a huge minority following.

    You’re left with Microsoft Xbox 360, which going back about a half a decade or so to the original Xbox, took a while to catch on. People did not want to support Microsoft because they were the capitalist giant to avoid. People only bought the system for Halo 1, but for every other game they stuck to the PS2. Halo 2 came out and people made the full switch to Xbox, then to 360.

    Now the decision is, do you sell your 360 and go to PS3. When weighed against poor Xbox Live performance and Red Rings of Death, a PS3 does seem quite appealing.

    Plus, if you’re looking for a home entertainment console, PS3 may be the way to go. Why? Blu-Ray. HD-DVD is getting dropped from most of the major networks. Someone I know bought the 360 HD-DVD player attachment yesterday and I just thought to myself, “Damn, what will you watch on that?”

    In the end, you just end up with 3 systems like before. Then the question just remains which system to buy the game for. Most likely it will be whatever system gets the game you’re looking for on the market first. Sony has no real flagship games, which is the only thing that hasn’t caused the system to jump ahead in the race.

    With the storage capacity of Blu-Ray, they should consider looking at MMORPG. That could take it to the next level.

    As for me, the Wii reigns supreme.

  6. I’m with you on all counts, Bagsman!

    Quite honestly, if it weren’t for my many aforementioned reasons, I’d own a Wii and PS3 of my own. Certainly, I’d get a Wii way before a PS3 since I have access to a PS3 and the one or two titles that interest me but… That’s besides the point!

    I think Sony did not ride their momentum out properly and they focused on all the wrong things. Late entry into the online multiplayer market is one of the things that really hurt them, IMHO. They had online games before, yes, but very little online content. Right now, human interaction is somethin people need. Wii does not have real online content but it does bring people together. It welcomes friends and family together into a very fun, warm experience. Sony definitely lost it’s warmth with the PS3.

    As for flagship games, while people readily identify XBox with Halo, Sony used to be identified with various killer franchises. For the Playstation franchise, Final Fantasy was their trump card but now that is no longer an exclusive franchise for them. Little by little, we’re seeing more titles looking at multi-platform releases. Things look worse and worse for Sony.

    Personally, I wouldn’t trust Sony any more with media ventures. They’ve disappointed me too many times in the past with their over-priced proprietary crap. With the blazing speed of the broadband services these days, people can download all the content they want in no time. There’s really no need for a better format.

    Now, if Sony really tapped into the potential of the Blu-Ray format for gaming, we’d be talking but I’ve seen plenty of developers stating that the format doesn’t give them THAT much more elbow room. Perhaps Blu-Ray can reduce the amount of sharding and loading we see in games. Really, more times than not, having data prefetched into volatile memory makes for a speedier experience, no matter how far any new medium has come. Blu-Ray is no exception.

    PS3 has a long way to go before it sells me. They need a new killer app. Something that wi ll really push the limits of the system and present some unique game mechanics, perh aps.

    To me, the bigger-is-better battle is getting boring. I just want to see something different. Something that will make me say, “Hey, why didn’t I think of that??” For me, it was not Halo that made me make the full switch. I just needed a solution that no one else offered. Victory by default is what I call it.

    Don’t get me wrong. I love my GameCube and, for a bit, my PS2 was entertaining but, when it came down to replay value, regardless of how many friends I had over, it was all about the XBox. This generation of gaming consoles is no different. To me, the Nintendo Wii is a truly social system. It is brilliant. If you’re an anti-social bastard like me and many other gamers out there, it’s not a particularly good choice.

    That being said, I say that the Wii is on a level all on it’s own. PS3 and 360 will keep fighting it out. I would never trade in my 360 but I may eventually get a PS3. A little variety never hurt anyone and the backwards compatibility will come in handy since I traded in my PS2 long ago. 8)

  7. I just want to play games online with my friends. Right now after a Red Ring of Death I am trying to get these reps to understand they should accept the 1 month X-Box live subscription card I was given for my troubles before they try and charge my credit card another 12 months automatically. So far I have been blind transfered, transfered to a department who wouldn’t help me, talked to a supervisor who transfere dme to billing, then spoke with a billing rep who just wanted to read me ToS. Not that it’s unfair to charge me 12 months then another 12 months before I use the 1 month card.

  8. That’s a real shame and that’s the very thing I am making everyone aware of. Prevention is the key since problem resolution doesn’t seem to be part of the XBox LIVE support mantra. I know plenty of people, myself included, that have had problems with pre-paid cards and blind transfers. The pre-paid cards are pretty much worthless, especially since you don’t save anything by going pre-paid.

    Oh, and reading the ToS and other scripts is pretty much all they CAN do, apparently. They will regurgitate policy ’til they are blue in the face and you are bored to death. I agree that the auto-renewal model they employ is silly. A pre-paid card should supercede all that, like in any other situation. Apparently, doing things in a backwards manner is how Microsoft likes to practice business. =oX

  9. My horror story started right before Christmas. I had been playing COD 4 every day since it’s release. Woke up on a Sat. morning and fired the box up and found it wouldnt let me log on to live. Gave it a day and called support when I was told that they were having server issues. Gave it another two days and called again – I was told that the first guy lied, and then “Bob”(who are they kidding?) takes me through a long, pointless trouble-shooting process that does nothing but try my patience. I gave him my error codes and asked what they meant, to which he replied “Those are fine”. I ask to be escalated after an hour of spinning my tires with Bob. I am on hold about 5 min. before they hang up.
    Call back the next day and give them the codes and they tell me I have modified my 360, and it has been banned from Live. I kept my patience even when he repeatedly called me a liar, and asked to be escalated again. Got a supervisor who said the system is never wrong so I must have modded my box. I beg him to find a way to resolve this. I offer to send my box in at MY COST so that they can check it and reverse the ban. In a nutshell he said my only option is to buy a new 360.
    Wash.. Rinse.. Repeat.. for the last month. I file a complaint with the BBB which was pointless – your complaint is sent to a dept. in the call center, where they have no authority to do anything regarding your complaint. POINTLESS.
    I did not mod my 360, and wouldn’t know how to anyway. My only recourse is to try and warn people about what happened to me, and spend my gaming dollars elsewhere. Hate to say it but Sony is looking pretty good now.
    The sad thing is that US customers get screwed worse than those in Europe. A couple of people from England who had the same problem had the ban reversed in under a week because there are consumer protection laws in place.

  10. When I look at Microsoft, I see a general issue at play here. It’s diseconomies of scale at its very finest: between the Vista delays, the lack of coherent support, and the archaic expectations of being able to monopolize OS market share with a subpar operating system, it’s clear that they have gotten too large to be tolerated. The only remedial action they have is continuing to read the ToS because the support department as been relegated to a useless bureaucracy meant to pacify our consumerhood while they write anti-Linux propaganda and secretly search on Google instead of MSN.

    Oh, and excellent work, Yogizilla. Your analysis is top-notch.

  11. nylathrotep, I feel your pain. Unfortunately, Sony is not much better. It’s a general theme that I see quite often with many of the large corporations. As Ms. Riley said, it’s a matter of support being reduced to a useless bureacracy at Microsoft and just about all large corporations that come to mind

    In the greater picture, Microsoft definitely has terrible support across-the-board. Their products don’t even work well together, which is ironic. Vista is terrible. When it comes to Windows, I prefer 2000. Less clutter and it does what I want it to do.

    Sadly, Microsoft and their bretheren spend more time smearing competitors rather than fixing what they are doing wrong. The Anti-Linux propaganda is certainly a reflection of the type of tactics large corporations like to use. When something comes out that is actually functional, reliable, and affordable, the other Monopoly pieces try to kick it away and hide it.

    The whole overseas outsourcing thing is scary to me. I hear countless people telling me they’ve been bounced around, laughed at, hung up on.. That’s simply unacceptable. Sure, we all have had moments when we wanted to give a client a piece of our mind but there is a thing called professionalism that tells us to bite our tongues and do the right thing. You lose that when you try to save some money and outsource to people that could care less about customer satisfaction and retention. It’s all a shame really and this is the growing trend… VERY scary stuff.

    BTW, Mary, just call me Yogi! I gather we are kindred spirits. I Dugg your GNOME Do article – good stuff!! 8)

  12. If anyone is interested in forming a group to address the issues and possibly overthrow the MS mongrel – or at least bring about mass awareness, I’d be interested in forming and launching some sort of battle against MS. We should take action instead of griping (or in addition to), so many blogs are all talk and no action. I wouldn’t know where to start with MS… perhaps as an army our minds can collectively bring about a solution/action to all these issues.

    if anyone is interested, please email me
    calvingrand@hotmail.com

    From what I can gather this has gone on long enough. If we can locate the base we may be able to infiltrate.

    thanks

  13. I’m looking to start an official campaign. Just so much on my plate right now.. Raising awareness is still a very big part of the process. It may not create results per se but it shows people that they have rights and should stand up for them.

    I believe it’s all about holding large corporations accountable for their actions. If things are well-documented and every effort is followed closely, we can truly track progress (or lack of it). You’re right: all these disconnected efforts can be a bit of a waste but I think M$ is finally getting hit hard with some class action suits and bad publicity. It’s just the beginning!

    Hopefully they’ll learn how to value their customers. Sony and other huge companies can stand to learn the same lesson as well….

  14. Yogazilla, we are on our six “repaired” box. I spent over 2 hours on the phone with customer service “agents” than was transferred to a supervisor. Who in the end said she must forward our problem to the “live” team. Oh, this was after my call to customer service was dropped four times and two non-native english speakers. My hubby wants to smash his 360, but this would void his warranty. We are at our end with this company and their product. I am all about helping you gain awareness about there business practices or lack ofl

  15. Unbelievable!

    Six XBox 360’s and still having problems? I hope they gave you some free stuff. I know people with just two consecutive repairs alone are entitled to a free game. It’s the very least they can do.

    The sad part is that all Microsoft needs to do is replace a few cheap plastic screws with some metal ones. This will prevent the expanding and cracking of the screws, which ultimately leads to the PCB making contact with conductive components, shorting out the system.

    I’d still like to pursue this and put some pressure on Microsoft and other large corporations that practice poor business methods. It’s just tough to dedicate the time to such pursuits sometimes. I’m glad this article has gotten so much attention, though.. I wish more of our readers would post their thoughts and sound off – it’s a good start! 8)

  16. Hi. Going through my red ring of death experience right now.

    The representatives I spoke to were obviously foreign but helpful to the best of their ability. The first one was so bad I thought they hired a guy with a bad stutter, but I guess it was just him trying to read the verbal cues he saw on his screen. I wanted to laugh more than be angry. Sounded like his signal was cutting out. We’d…..fast……help…..could you….please? Well I didn’t get very far with me, and he interpreted my saying I have to go for a pen to write down a number as, “This call is over. It’s ok to hang up,” I guess that’s a horror story, but a highly entertaining one to go through. I was like, “who hires these people?” lol.

    The second guy sounded Puerto Rican or Phillipino and read from his script to perfection without feeling (arrogant nor sympathetic). After talking to the automated computer system, I couldn’t tell whether I had a real person yet or not, he was that good….

    But it all got resolved and he gave me detailed instructions on what to do and not on sending my 360 in. Leave a note on the 360 with the reference number and also write it on the box. I have confidence that, if I word it humanely enough, I can request a Falcon motherboard on the note (otherwise you might get a Xenon back, and they’re the ones that screw up in the first place) and it will get done. It’s all how you deal with people mostly. Be patient and try to have a sense of humor first, and if that doesn’t work, then get mad.

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