The Most Expensive Xbox 360 Repair…

Posted in Xbox 360 by Michael Pica on the February 3rd, 2010

The situation has gone from frustrating to comical… so I thought I’d share..

December 6th 2009
I had been playing Assassin’s Creed II for a couple of hours, shut it down and got some food and when I came back and I turned it my Xbox 360 gave me an Error 74.

I was aggravated but I wasn’t worried, MS took good care of me last time. I called Microsoft and they took my info, and gave me a reference number, and told me they would email me a UPS shipping label so I could send my console to them, but I had to provide my own box; no problem. They also told me I would receive the console back within 2-3 weeks from the day I send it out. “Great!” I thought. “I’ll get it in time for my Christmas vacation, the 1 week a year where I get to relax and catch up on some gaming.”

As soon as I got off the phone I printed the label (UPS Ground) and packed the box. The console was wrapped twice over in bubble-wrap secured with packing tape and fitted into a brand new snug box with no room to move about.  UPS picked it up the next day.

Console shipped out UPS Ground to Texas: $15
Total cost to MS so far: $15

I found out a few days later by way of an article online that any consoles MS received after the 11th would not be returned until after the holidays. Unfortunately, mine didn’t get in until the 13th.

January 8th 2010
I picked up my package at the local UPS distro on my way home from work.

I get home and unbox it, glad that I’ve got a free weekend a head of me to play some games.

“Hmm… that’s odd the door over the UPS ports is missing”

Xbox 360 Damaged by Microsoft Repair Center

Now before I continue I should mention the care in which I take of my equipment. My console sits horizontally on a glass shelf with rubber isolators, it’s open air on the back and all sides and a good 6″ to the shelf above. the power supply sits on a separate shelf away from the console  to reduce the chance of heat soaking. It’s several feet from the next nearest heat source, and yes this is all intentional. My home theater room is kept at 60*F most of the time and brought up to 66*F when I’m in the room using the equipment; never any higher.

From the time I purchased this console until the time it gave me the red light, it had only been moved from this location once and that’s so I could re-zip tie all the wiring when I added a PS3 to my setup.

The only time I ever even touch the console is when my fingers brush up against the tray loading and unloading discs. Power and eject are all done by remote and I don’t even use a play-and-charge kit, all of my controllers are powered by rechargeable AAs, and this is all intentional too. It’s not special treatment for the 360, it’s the standard by which I treat all of my consoles.

Upon closer inspection I notice a crack along the opening of the door as well, removing the faceplate I confirm that it didn’t fall off or stick open and checking the package it’s no where to be found, this console was obviously NOT packed with the door on. The box is also is pristine condition, not even a bruise to the cardboard.

This gave me cause to scrutinize the rest of the console more closely. I thought “if the face plate is the only thing that’s messed up maybe they can just ship me a new faceplate?”. I notice some scuffs and scratches on the underside of the case, these weren’t present before I sent it either, no big deal though. Then while I was holding it I felt a sharp edge near where the hard drive attaches…

Xbox 360 Damaged by Microsoft Repair Center

What the hell did they do? Drop it on the floor and kick it around a few times? I I also notice the serial number sticker, while correct has been placed on the case crooked; it wasn’t that way when I sent it out. I Think to myself ” This obviously isn’t my old console, and if the outside has been taken care of with such disregard, how much abuse has the innards suffered?”

I called up Microsoft for the 2nd time, after clearly explaining the damage several times they apologize for the damage and tell me that I’ll have to ship it back. They also tell me that because of the delay with initial repair they’ll bump me up to a higher service level with faster shipping and that they’ll send me a box.

I appreciate the offer for expedited repair but I don’t really need a box since I have one, the box they just sent me with the console in it. I tell them this figuring it will save them money and me time but they tell me in order to get expedited shipping they need to send me a box. If that’s what they want to then, ok, whatever, maybe they don’t trust my packing.

Cost to repair the console: $110 (MS quotes as high as $160 but this is the amount it’s estimated to actually cost them)
Console shipped back UPS Ground from Texas: $15
Included 1 month XBL subscription card:  $8
Box shipped out UPS 2nd Day air from Texas: $20

Total cost to MS so far: $168
Total Gaming Days lost:  34

January 12th 2010
After receiving the box the day before, I pack it up and I drop off the package at my local UPS disto and it’s on it’s way back to MS for the 2nd time.

Console shipped out 2nd Day Air to Texas: $32

Total cost to MS so far: $200
Total Gaming Days lost:  36

January 22nd 2010
I picked the console up at the UPS distro on my way home from work. They had sent the console out Next Day Air; though, oddly enough, having watched the status change on the time between marking the console as “repaired” and actually shipping it out was nearly a week. Seems an enormous waste of money to pay for overnight shipping and wait a week to hand it to the delivery person.

I open the box when I get home and am shocked to see this:

Xbox 360 Damaged by Microsoft Repair Center

Even better, they didn’t fix the faceplate either.

At this point I am FUMING nearly 2 months of waiting and my console still isn’t properly returned to me. After calming myself down I call them up again, keep my cool on the phone, and the service person is actually very well spoken and understands my problem clearly, they bump me to tier 2 support person since it’s obvious my situation warrants it.

The tier 2 tech support person speaks horrible English and it took me nearly 15 minutes to communicate that “the area of the case where the hard drive attaches” is not the same as “the hard drive”. She also asks me four separate times if the shipping box is damaged, and I assure her every time that the box was not damaged, and it shouldn’t matter because the damage was recorded before the package was even shipped. UPS took far better care of my console than the Xbox repair center.

After I finally get her to understand what my issue is she tells me “there’s nothing we can do for you, we send you the console in the same condition we receive it” WHAT!?! First of all that complete BullShit; while I may have received the same faceplate back, those paying attention will notice that the crack in the side plate is not the same as the chunk missing the 2nd time I received it back. Also the serial number sticker is back on straight again and the scuffs on the underside are gone, it’s most definitely not the same console, it’s a different one, but similarly damaged.

I ask her calmly “Why then did your service department have me send the console back to get these things fixed?” She tells me that I sent it in for a RROD repair, I explain to her that I did ORIGINALLY but when I received the console back with “cosmetic damage” they told me to return it to have that repaired. She still doesn’t believe me and asks for my reference number. I give her reference number #2, and I get put on hold.

When she comes back she says that she will send out a replacement faceplate. “So what about the damage on the side of the console?” I ask. She’s silent for a few seconds and then tells me that I  will have to send my console back in for repair. Here is my surprised face -> -_-

I ask her what guarantees I will have that the console will be fixed this time, after all I’ve been waiting nearly 2 months now. She tells me that she will “flag it” and personally ensure that the repairs will be done. I’ll believe it when I see it, I get my 3rd reference number and am once again waiting for a box to be sent to me. I now have two pristine boxes with packing material perfect for shipping an Xbox 360 that they wont let me use.

Cost to repair the console: $110 (assuming the gave it a RROD repair AGAIN since they didn’t fix the case)
Console shipped back Next Day Air from Texas: $73
Included 1 month XBL subscription card:  $8
Box shipped out UPS 2nd Day air from Texas: $20

Total cost to MS so far: $301
Total Gaming Days lost:  44

January 27th 2010
Despite paying for 2-day air to ship me an empty box that I didn’t need, they waited a while to actually send the box out, meaning it took nearly a week to get it. Seems like a waste of money if you ask me.

Damaged Areas highlighted

Not confident in the assurances of my tier 2 service rep I decided to place some red tape on the console circling the missing USB door and the cracked side plate. I also included a small neon green sticky note affixed to the side that simply stated

This console has been
sent in to have
Please fix the
highlighted areas.

Thank you

The next day I drop off the package at my local UPS disto and it’s on it’s way back to MS for the 3rd time.

Console shipped out 2nd Day Air to Texas: $32

Total cost to MS so far: $333
Total Gaming Days lost:  48

February 3rd 2010
I got home from work today to find a small box sitting on my doorstep. the box feels empty it’s so light, and I notice they used similar packing tape to what Microsoft uses to seal their console shipments. Jamie notices that it’s from Texas and a sticker on the side states “Xbox 360 Faceplate”.

I pull out a key to cut the tape and as I do so I say “I hope they realize they still have to fix and send me back my console… I’m going to laugh if this faceplate is white”…

Microsoft sent me a White Faceplate for my Elite

The faceplate was wrapped in a foam sleeve so I handed to Jamie to open while I took of my gloves and coat. She unwrapped the faceplate and then just looks at me and says “after all this did you really expect anything different?” To add insult to injury the faceplate they sent me is obviously used, while not as bad as the one attached to my elite this one has a scuff and a gouge below the disc tray opening.

Used Xbox 360 Faceplate: $5 (?? just a guess)
Faceplate shipped out UPS Ground from Texas: $14

Total cost to MS so far: $352
Total Gaming Days lost:  54

I haven’t called customer service over this yet. I’m still at a loss as to what I should do about it. Do I call them up about the face plate and risk confusing them and jeopardizing the repair, or do I wait to see what they send back to me? I’m open to suggestions.

As of this writing the console is currently sitting in “Repair In Progress” status according to Keep in mind that they’re going to be spending another $73 to ship it next day air back to me. Honestly, it would have been cheaper if they had just cut me a check to buy a new console. Shipping would have cost them a stamp.

Hell, I would have been pleased as punch if they offered me $200 on day one toward buying a new console in lieu of a repair. I probably would have even spent the extra coin and got a Super Elite.


February 10th 2010
After more than 2 months have passed and MS has spent nearly $300 in shipping costs alone. I received a package with a brand new console inside. As soon as I left the UPS facility I opened the box and was happy to see a USB door and unbroken plastic. Then I checked the serial number and noticed that the console had a totally new serial. Looking closer it had a manufacturing date of January 12th 2010.  Rather funny that the console was manufactured nearly a month AFTER my console threw the RROD.

I’m quite pleased with this result. I don’t know if I’d say the wait was “worth it” but it’s nice to know that I’ve now got a console that probably uses the new lower power consumption chips and will probably be a lot more resilient to RRODs in the future. It would have been nice if MS threw me a points card or something for my trouble. I mean if they’re willing to spend that much money on shipping what’s a 4000MP car REALLY going to cost them?

Regardless I’m happy that all is right in my home theater room and I can get back to playing my 360 and letting my PS3 get back to collecting dust.

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26 Responses to “The Most Expensive Xbox 360 Repair…”

  1. SeanPM Says:

    I for one would never go through that ordeal and not loathe Microsoft for it. After hearing this and having my ps3 for 2 1/2 years with no problems makes me really happy that I went with that instead. Though you are one of their loyal customers, I’ll commend that.

  2. Yourmom Says:

    Well sell your ps3 and get some money, dumbass.

  3. twistedsymphony Says:

    I have no “loyalty” towards one camp or the other. The fact of the matter remains that I perfer the Xbox 360 as a gaming platform, I enjoy the achievement system (and I have more vested interest in it over trophies since it’s been around longer) I perfer the 360′s dashboard features, I perfer the 360′s controller and most of my friends own 360s instead of PS3s meaning no feature available on PSN can make up for that.

    because of this any x-plat game that comes out I get on the 360 instead… I own over 200 games for the console.

    Switching to the PS3 at this point over a repair mishap would be foolish and pigheaded… I’d spend 10 times the cost of a new console simply replacing my catalog… and what of the games I cant replace on the PS3 such as the mass effects, forzas, halos, gears of wars, left 4 deads etc.

    Am I upset that it took 2 months, yes, but my life isn’t so trite that I couldn’t find other things to do to entertain myself.

  4. Duke Skymocker Says:

    Note: i literally wrote this while on the phone with microsoft trying to get my console repaired after it was shipped back to me from microsoft for a different problem. sorry if it’s not the most well-written comment ever (but in the end i got my way) ;p

    well i’m on the phone with microsoft right now. in late december ’09 i sent my xbox in for repairs under extended warranty (3x red light hardware failure). microsoft sent it back to me about a month later, \working\. from the day i recieved my xbox back it was making VERY loud & unnerving noises that origionated from the dvd tray. It ate two copies of modern warfare 2, which i was able to replace for only a few bucks thanks to a gamestop warranty. however after a couple of months i started to have issues with reading dvds. \open tray\ is my xbox’s moto, it seems. unfortunately I didn’t sent my console back @ the time i recieved it, because i’m now being given the runaround on the phone with microsoft reps. first it was \we don’t cover repairs that aren’t from the issue it was origionally sent in for\. I compared this to taking a car in to a shop for transmission work and getting it back with a shot alternator. the rep said \well let me see what we can do\. Hold for another 20 mins… then he asks ME when the console was shipped. i had to dredge up my gmail account and guestimate the shipping dates off of when i recieved my 3 different emails regarding the console repairs from microsoft (lol). so another 15 minutes go by on hold, and he comes back with \well you’re outside of the 90 days we cover consoles after a repair\. which i counter with \well had you included information with my returned console that disclosed the 90 day period i would have immediately shipped it back just on account of the noise\. once again, I’m put on hold.

    The rep *finally* gets back on the line with me in a conciliatory tone, telling me \if you’d like to send it in for repairs it’ll be $119\ blah blah blah. I ask to speak with a supervisor and am on hold for half an hour with the rep occasionally making sure i’m still there. eventually the rep gets back on the phone and tells me that a supervisor has okayed a free repair for me, and they’re emailing me a shipping label within 24 hours.

    I hate to say it, but apparently you have to be a dick to microsoft to get them to do the right thing. the lesson here i suppose is to insist on a supervisor if you want to get anything other than the runaround.

  5. Shouldve bought a PS3 Says:

    Well my Xbox died after less than three weeks, but reading all this made me feel a whole lot better about my situation… at least until I get mine back with half a case lol

  6. Duke Skymocker Says:

    Perhaps i should have mentioned in my previous comment…

    I have a halo edition xbox 360. while on the phone with the rep I also made a big deal out of the fact that it was scratching (& ruining) dvd games before it finally quit bothering to read them. Scratching DVDroms is something microsoft vehemently denies their xbox 360s do. I’m not sure if that’s why they did the free repair or not, but i figured it bears mentioning.

    I shipped my console in for (free after 6 mo warranty expiration) repair on 5/18/10, and I just recieved a package from microsoft back on 6/1/2010. I was thrilled with the quick turnaround, and was even happier when i noticed they had fixed the little hinge-door over the front-side USBs. Then i noticed the protective peel-off plastic on the RF reciever. curious, i looked at the bit of paperwork included with the console…

    \Dear Xbox Customer,
    So that you can get back to playing and enjoying your xbox quicker, we have replaced your xbox console with a replacement unit…\

    Maybe i’m their 100th million customer, i don’t know, but TY microsoft, lol. To be clear, they replaced my limited edition console with an identical brand new unit. I’m honestly surpriesed they have them lying around anymore.

  7. Anthony Says:

    I just sent in my Xbox 360 in for repairs last week on May 28, 2010 for the E74 Error Code Message, and I really hope these problems do not happen. The reason is I just recently bought Red Dead Redemption for the 360 and it has just been mocking me for a week and have a huge urge to play it. I was wondering if Microsoft has been receiving a lot of repairs lately and they gave me a free repair for the E74 Error Message for free. I still haven’t figured why, but I hope none of these problems happen. Have any of you purchased Red Dead Redemption? If so, you so leave a comment and we could play some games together. By the way, I was very entertained with this story. Thanks :D

  8. Anthony Says:

    Also, mine is currently on the repair status and it has been like that for about 3 or 4 days and was wondering how long would you estimate for them to get my Xbox to me from this point.

  9. twistedsymphony Says:

    really, it’s a crap shoot… the first console I sent in I received back within a week, the 2nd one took months… typically though I think they’re pretty accurate with their estimates though. 2-4 weeks total turn around time.

  10. jackmehoff Says:

    i just saved myself sometime when my xbox went out and went 15 minutes down the road to gamestop and bought a new one and sold them the broken one and let them deal with fixing it. (got about a third of my money back by selling them the broken one) but i did this mostly bcuz i had the arcade and the new one i bought was the pro or whatever they call it with a 60 gb harddrive which beats the 256mb memory card that came with my arcade. BUT!!! the sad thing is the usb door on my faceplate is now broke ):

  11. John Says:

    Man you went through a lot of hassle because of Microsoft, it’s not fair when you pay $$$ for something that supposed to be taken care of.

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