Print 78 comment(s) - last by cochy.. on Dec 16 at 4:05 PM

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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UK Ruz0rz!!11
By Sunday Ironfoot on 12/11/2006 8:32:51 AM , Rating: 2
This is why I love living in the UK, mandatory 1 year warranty on all products sold. :-)

RE: UK Ruz0rz!!11
By Dijonaise on 12/11/2006 9:02:19 AM , Rating: 2
Similar situation here is Aus, although 12 month warranty on the Console, but only 90 days on Accessories.

Mine had minor problems (not due to the update), Microsoft Australia were very smooth in getting me a new one, few questions asked. Sounds like US is getting a bum wrap to me.

RE: UK Ruz0rz!!11
By Wonga on 12/11/2006 9:28:28 AM , Rating: 2
Perhaps that's why we pay more here :D

On a serious note though, I do think we are very well protected in the UK. I don't understand why a 1 year warranty isn't guaranteed in other developed (or even undeveloped, for that matter) countries. I've had a lot of electronic products die within a year over my lifetime and I've always felt reassured that at least I will get a repacement, if not a full refund, under my statutory rights.

RE: UK Ruz0rz!!11
By rcc on 12/11/2006 11:35:25 AM , Rating: 2
Welcome to capitalism. You build hardware, offer a warranty, and sell it. If people don't like your warranty (or product/color/etc), they buy something else. Vote with your pounds/dollars/rupees, whatever.

But requiring a business to have warranty xyz? No thanks. It's great if they want to, or feel the need to; but government needs to stay out of things they don't understand. Business is one of them.

Many businesses increase their warranty because they need to. For instance, Western Digital had a bad year and increased their warranty to reassure customers. So, it's also important to know why a product has a longer warranty.

Now, if I were manufacturing a product like an XBox, I'd go with a one year warranty, but there is a cost associated with longer warranties, and some customers will object to that as well.

RE: UK Ruz0rz!!11
By Wonga on 12/11/2006 12:39:05 PM , Rating: 2
I understand what you are saying, but if no company is required to offer a decent warranty, won't the customer suffer as all companies offer a similarly poor service?

In this case, Microsoft only offered 90 days. For a £300 item, if it breaks, that's a big lesson to learn to not buy Microsoft products again. What if Sony and Nintendo do the same? Does that mean you can only have a games console if you accept it might break soon? I realise the answer would be yes, but that isn't a particuarly nice answer.

I think it comes down to wanting a minimum level of service, no matter what you buy. I can see that some people might be happy with 90 days, buy I personally feel (maybe just because I have it, I admit) that 1 year gives the buyer more protection, no matter who they go with.

So, in this case, as with others, I feel the government should protect the general public who voted them in, as without this protection the choices are often limited and it may become a sellers market through default.

RE: UK Ruz0rz!!11
By rcc on 12/11/2006 2:51:11 PM , Rating: 2
I understand what you are saying, but if no company is required to offer a decent warranty, won't the customer suffer as all companies offer a similarly poor service?

Possible, but unlikely. As has happened in the past, one (and then more) of these companies would provide a warranty as a differentiator, to boost sales. Long term it's a self correcting problem.

If the government mandates it, it's an added cost on every unit they sell. The masses are demanding lower prices, the companies are trying.

Back to your original question, I could be wrong, but I don't believe there is any requirement here to provide a warranty beyond the "it was DOA". Yet electronics have warranties ranging from 30 days to 5 years or more.

RE: UK Ruz0rz!!11
By Christopher1 on 12/11/2006 2:59:18 PM , Rating: 2
All electronics should have warranties of at least a year, from computers to TV's to your electronic can opener.

There is NO REASON for something to break just after the warranty is over, as many things do nowadays. I, myself, bought a pair of speakers once, and they broke ONE DAY after the warranty ended. Bought a second pair of the same brand and model, had it happen again (though the store was gracious enough to take them back anyway to keep me happy).

Once just after warranty ending, I could understand. Twice, not in the realm of statistical possibility, unless they are MADE to break just after the warranty ends.

RE: UK Ruz0rz!!11
By rcc on 12/11/2006 6:37:34 PM , Rating: 2
As the saying goes. Once is happenstance, twice is circumstance, the third time is enemy action.

And even today there aren't enough smarts in a speaker to assign a failure date.

RE: UK Ruz0rz!!11
By enlil242 on 12/11/2006 9:35:49 PM , Rating: 2
Right on, I agree. Yes, it would be nice if they had a 1 year warranty. But to say the Government should mandate warranty policy of private businesses is crazy. If the 90 warranty concerns people, buy a PS3 (Which I believe is a year) or buy the extended warranty. I have nothing to worry about because, when I can, I buy electronics from Costco which carries a lifetime warranty. If I break my 360 in 2008, I'll return it and will get my money back. That is why I buy what I can from a place like Costco.

I also have warranty protection from my AMEX card which doubles the manufacturer’s Warranty. SO My 50" plasma has 2 years instead of 1 year. I choose how I shop based on what I am offered. The last thing I need is some A-rod from Washington jacking the price up for goods because his / her asinine policies make manufacturers pass along the cost to consumers. Get real.

RE: UK Ruz0rz!!11
By cochy on 12/16/2006 4:05:24 PM , Rating: 2
Welcome to capitalism. You build hardware, offer a warranty, and sell it. If people don't like your warranty (or product/color/etc), they buy something else. Vote with your pounds/dollars/rupees, whatever.

Aha! But that's exactly when the capitalists unleash their most deadly weapon...MASS MARKETING! After being exposed to that, you are too weak to vote against because you MUST HAVE IT.

RE: UK Ruz0rz!!11
By incargeek on 12/14/2006 7:25:19 PM , Rating: 2
...gee that really makes up for the 340 days of cloudy pissy UK weather

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA
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