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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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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.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay
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