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A class action lawsuit seeks $5 million and free repairs

When Microsoft released the Fall Dashboard Update for the Xbox 360, users expected 1080p, HD DVD, WMA streaming and more. What no one expected was that the update crashed consoles, rendering them mostly useless. Microsoft quickly acknowledged and fixed the problem, and advised those who had bricked consoles to contact Xbox tech support for further instruction.

More than a month after Microsoft’s dangerous Dashboard, a Californian man is leading a class action lawsuit against Microsoft after his own Xbox 360 was disabled by the update, according to Ars Technica’s report.

Apparently, after contacting Xbox tech support following the faulty update, Kevin Ray was refused repair of his console unless he paid the usual $140 charge that Microsoft requires for servicing/exchanging a machine. The class action suit filed in a Washington federal court seeks over $5 million in damages in addition to free repair for all Xbox 360 fallen victim to the Fall Dashboard Update.

Microsoft only warranties Xbox 360s for 90 days following purchase, but users have the option to purchase extended warranty directly for an added fee. Failure rates have been abnormally high, especially among launch window consoles, that Microsoft has agreed to repair all machines manufactured in 2005 free of charge, and issue a refund for those who already paid for repairs of launch units.

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By ATC on 12/11/2006 6:10:30 AM , Rating: 1
WTF is MSFT doing with the 360? I read so many threads on a number of Xbox forums of users being on their 5th, 6th ....etc....360!

And now, they're finding other ways to kill the console - through updates.

Maybe the numbers I see are exaggerated but I got to say it seems Sony has learnt one important lesson from the 360 launch and that is to make a quiet and reliable console at any cost, which the PS3 seems to be right now.

RE: ?
By ThisSpaceForRent on 12/11/2006 6:25:16 AM , Rating: 4
The other thing to consider is you're not going to hear from the majority of the user base that has no issues either.

As far as the class action lawsuit is concerned. I think they might have a valid case. I know usually any sort of software update comes with the caveat that you assume all responsiblity for damage that may result to your system. I'm don't know alot about the updates for the XBox, but I'm assuming that they might be something required to use all of the services on XBox Live. If this were the case, i.e. software needed to use all the services, there might exist an implied warranty. Obviously you can't tell people that they have to upgrade their software to use your service, damage their system, then turn around go, yup them's the breaks. I am making a broad assumption here, if anyone knows, one way or the other, please correct, or confirm this for me.

RE: ?
By Aesir on 12/11/2006 1:02:39 PM , Rating: 2
My dad is on his 3rd 360... The first locked at random times(and it wasn't even a release model, he bought it Q2 '06), the second had vertical sync / "tearing" issues, and so far the 3rd has been just fine (he got all-new replacements, through a store warranty).

He's also on his 3rd Xbox, replaced through Microsoft's "repair" system (probably the world's most incompentent group of repair men), and its showing signs that #4 will soon be needed.

I think optimistically, the quality controls are terrible on these things. Realistically, its positively criminal and MS needs their pants sued off (this coming from somone who has owned a gen 1 PS2 and a gen 1 Xbox, both of which have worked awesome compared to the damn 360).

RE: ?
By The Sword 88 on 12/11/06, Rating: 0
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By Tsuwamono on 12/14/2006 5:39:51 PM , Rating: 2

1. My friend Dave is on his 3rd Xbox 360. He put his on a stand above his TV and used the intercooler as soon as it came out. First was the CPU, the second was the GPU and the 3rd was laggy crap for no reason

2. My friend Shayne is on his 2nd 360. He is a neat freak, clean freak and he has his on top of a shelf about 2 feet above the ground and about 1 foot from his TV. His GPU blew after playing Oblivion for 5 hours straight(Except ofcourse for 3-4 pauses for food, washroom and drink breaks of about 2-3 min a piece)

Now i know for a fact that MS has a 3% failure rate on the released consoles' CPUs alone. Thats just the CPUs that were put in xboxs and passed their quality control.

Thats not bad except when you keep in mind thats the ones that were sent for diagnosis. Which means they were the ones that just wouldn't start up at all.

Keep in mind there is still a whole bunch that fried after a few ours use too.

BTW im on my first XBOX 360 and i just bought it last week and im thinking about returning it because it has a bit of a lag issue with rendering in Halo 2 and Gears of war. Sometimes the models show up as a black block and then render afterwards(GoW) and sometimes the model shows up but the shaders show up late(Halo 2 like it did on original XBOX but isn't supposed to happen on 360)

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By glennpratt on 12/11/06, Rating: -1
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By encryptkeeper on 12/11/06, Rating: -1
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By Enoch2001 on 12/11/06, Rating: 0
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By encryptkeeper on 12/11/06, Rating: -1
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By Samus on 12/11/2006 2:08:49 PM , Rating: 1
your girlfriend IS your xbox. how's the sex?

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By Zirconium on 12/11/2006 11:00:29 AM , Rating: 1
He's gone through 7 Xbox 360s in a year? There's something wrong with that boy; I'd dump your gf cuz it might be genetic.

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By encryptkeeper on 12/11/2006 11:15:28 AM , Rating: 1
Nope. He's sent it back so many times. Some worked for a little while, some didn't. They never tried to charge him, on the contrary they were always very helpful (which is the odd thing) but by a bad stroke of luck they kept sending him bad consoles.

RE: ?
By JCheng on 12/11/2006 11:48:49 AM , Rating: 4
It's statistically almost impossible that he got 7 bad ones in a row... say each Xbox has a 10% chance of going bad in the first few months (that's an incredibly high estimate, the real number is probably an order of magnitude or two lower). The chances of getting 7 bad ones in a row is 1 in 10,000,000. If the chances of getting a bad one are 1%, then the odds decrease to 1 in 100,000,000,000,000.

So either there's something wrong with his powerline, or he's just breaking the things...

RE: ?
By encryptkeeper on 12/11/06, Rating: -1
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By masher2 on 12/11/2006 1:19:22 PM , Rating: 4
> "Damn. If you did the math to figure that out, you are REALLY a loser"

Anyone who can't do the math for that one in their head, in about half a second, is pretty much a loser in my opinion.

RE: ?
By sxr7171 on 12/12/2006 2:12:52 AM , Rating: 2
Ha Ha! Very true. There are just too many stupid people on the internet. People who can neither spell 4th grade level words nor demonstrate the grammar level of a 4th grader. Then there are those who can't even handle basic math in their heads.

RE: ?
By KashGarinn on 12/12/2006 4:33:19 AM , Rating: 5
Hehe, reminds me of that verizon thing on :

The fact people go "omg, he can use his brain to do simple math! He must be a loser" makes me think 2 things

1) they must be americans.
2) they must be working for verizon.


RE: ?
By Christopher1 on 12/11/2006 2:52:34 PM , Rating: 3
There is another possibility: design flaws.

When my father was buying our first Pentium 486 computer 14 years ago, we got THREE in a row that had hard drive problems.

When I bought my Xbox original, I had to return it once to get another console because it fried itself.

Frankly, most homes in the United States have NOTHING wrong with the powerline, and if he had a surge protector on it..... that lets out the powerline problems.

RE: ?
By Aquila76 on 12/11/2006 4:56:09 PM , Rating: 5
When my father was buying our first Pentium 486 computer 14 years ago

That was his problem right there.

RE: ?
By rcc on 12/12/2006 11:50:39 AM , Rating: 3
There are still a substantial number of homes in the US that have power issues. Mostly older construction or rural. Electronics in general don't like low voltage or brown outs. They really don't like it when the power starts to drop, starts to come back up, etc. before stabilizing either on or off. This is related to the warnings you get about not turning something off, then on immediately.

So, is the Pentium 486 the really fast 486? Or the really slow Pentium?

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By Tsuwamono on 12/14/06, Rating: 0
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By S3anister on 12/11/2006 12:25:17 PM , Rating: 3
something in life must just hate them.

I've had THE SAME xbox360 since day 1 when it came out, yes that's right i waited in a line to get the $400 x360 and it STILL WORKS, i use it for everything, new and old games, and it always gets used as my family's DVD player.

sweet console, and yes, a lot of these consoles work fine without any problems, i think a lot of people just don't treat them right.

RE: ?
By ZeeStorm on 12/11/2006 10:54:30 AM , Rating: 3
I got 3 friends with them, 1 of them their DVD drive broke (on their 2nd one now), 1 of them bricked from update (2nd one now), and 1 had their HDD crash (2nd one now). Ehh, it's so random. I'm just surprised they each had problems with the first one (but they were all launch consoles..)

RE: ?
By ATC on 12/11/2006 6:58:32 PM , Rating: 2
You shouldn't take my word for it; just go to the various Xbox forums (Xbox Scene, Teamxbox etc...) and read the thousands of threads you'll see what I mean.

Just because you didn't have any issues, does not mean those who do are lying.

I've always thought MSFT was a software company first and hardware second, well it sure seems to be a distant second imo.

RE: ?
By kamel5547 on 12/11/2006 12:07:13 PM , Rating: 2
Well considering the general lack of profit form selling the hardware I doubt Microsoft is interested in selling more X-box's than it needs to.

TO tell the truth I have friends who went through tons of X-box's and PS2's... makes me wonder if the operating environment plays a part. It seems to be the exception rather than the rule IMO.

RE: ?
By BladeVenom on 12/11/2006 12:33:09 PM , Rating: 2
While they lost money at the start, costs have fallen, and I've read that they are now making a profit on each console sold.

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By h0kiez on 12/11/2006 1:05:06 PM , Rating: 2
Eh. It was reported that the cost to build one is $75 less than the retail price. But that doesn't include retail markup, shipping, packaging, etc. So it's tough to say, but I'd guess they're making very little, or breaking even on each console. Give it a few more months and another die shrink and then they'll really be making money on them.

RE: ?
By Samus on 12/11/2006 2:08:14 PM , Rating: 1
hello....hello....mcfly, anybody in their mcfly?

it's a microsoft product. synonymous with 'patch' and 'fix'. they never get anything right the first try. ever. mostly because their corporate stance is 'lets get it out there and fix it later'

RE: ?
By Ochophosphate on 12/11/2006 2:26:23 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe Sony learned from their PS2 and PS1 as well. I seem to recall a good deal of PS2s failing after launch. One unfortunate friend of mine had his fail after 4 months. I have three PS2 corpses in my home right now (one of my own, and two donated by friends for parts). Most of these "passed on" due to laser alignment issues or drive gears failing. In college, my roomie had a PS1 that had to be placed upside down at an angle for it to play anything at all. Currently my only working playstation is the PSTwo (skinny) that I bought over a year ago.

Of my four closest friends with 360's, three of them have had at least 1 fail (only 1 due to the "red-light" update issue). Two of the three are on their 3rd. The friend that has yet to have one fail hardly uses it at all, which is actually an understatement. He NEVER uses it. But at least he bought the extended warranty just in case. In MS's defense, they had no hassle getting them replaced. But there was some turn-around time involved.

Perhaps this is why I'm reluctant to adopt any of these "next gen" systems... even the PS3. But can I possibly wait for the PSThree (or will they even make one)?

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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