About two weeks ago, my Xbox 360 gave me the evil eye in the
form of the
Red Ring of Death. Just days later, Microsoft quickly dispatched me
an empty box to transport the dead console to an outsourced ‘repair’
Unlike Brandon’s experience,
however, I did not receive an email when
my console was received nor did I get any update when the replacement would be
sent out. I phoned customer service after a week of waiting, and they verified
that Teleplan in Vaughn, ON had received my console, but was apparently backed
Out of curiosity, I asked the rep if he had any idea if the recent changes in Xbox 360
warranty policy applied to Canada as well. In particular, I was interested
to know if I would be getting my original console back or a refurb.
Interestingly, the rep told me that Canada is the only country where its
under-warranty customers get new consoles as replacements instead of refurbs.
From the commentsposted
by readers from my last story, we know that this is not the case.
A week after the call, a package showed up at my door. It
was an Xbox 360 alright, but it wasn’t mine – it was a refurb. I can’t say that
I’m unhappy with the refurb, as it actually works and I can get back to Xbox
Live gaming again, though I would rather have MY console back for a couple of
reasons. One, all the Xbox Live Arcade games are now unplayable unless they are
accessed through my specific account – a minor moan but it definitely takes a
little usability away from my original experience. And two, this refurb has a
bit of a noisy fan, sounding a little bit like my PC case fan just a few months
before it died completely. For reference, the console I sent in was
manufactured April 28, 2006 and the one I received in return is newer, from
August 8, 2006. Both consoles have the Samsung drive.
I understand that in certain circumstances, an Xbox 360 may
be so far beyond help that there may be no other alternative than to replace
it, and if new consoles were used as replacements instead of refurbs, then the
landfills would all too quickly get full with mountains of Red Ringed consoles.
I’m quite thankful that my console was still under warranty.
When I bought my Xbox 360, I did so knowing full well that it came with only a
90-day warranty, and I also decided to take my chances without the in-store
warranty ($90 for another year on-top of Microsoft’s factory warranty). If it
weren’t for Microsoft coming to their senses and revising the 90-day warranty to a year,
I would have been SOL.
My stance on extended warranties still hasn’t changed,
though in the case of the fragile Xbox 360, I am considering the Microsoft
offer of $24 (or $26 CAD) per year of extended coverage. I have until the end
of my existing warranty to think about it, but I almost view an extended
warranty as part of the Xbox 360 experience. Xbox Live Gold is a necessary $60
a year to enjoy the console to the fullest, and now in my books, another $24 is
required as Xbox Insurance.
At least for all my troubles, Microsoft decided to give me a
one-month free extension card for Xbox Live... except they forgot to include
the card inside the box. Sigh.