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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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Not About The Warranty
By wempa on 12/11/2006 3:33:12 PM , Rating: 2
This issue isn't about the warranty. Whether under warranty or not, it's about MS releasing a software update that broke consoles that were previously working perfectly. This happened to a friend of mine. If this were a Windows update for a PC, this wouldn't be a big deal because you could always rollback the update or boot into safe mode to fix the issue. With a console like this, it's totally different. There's no way to roll back the change. An MS software update was 100% responsible for causing these problems and it's totally beyond the user's control because they are forced to take the update. If they don't take the update, they cannot access Xbox Live. I applaud this class action suit.






RE: Not About The Warranty
By ATC on 12/12/2006 3:33:54 AM , Rating: 2
I completely agree. Also, as mentioned earlier, one the impact hoped for in a class action law suit is to make the defendant (in this case MSFT) think twice before releasing a product (hardware or software) without adequate QA.

Sadly, I can't see things changing much even if they did lose the case. What's 5 mil to MSFT?

Personally, I find it a little disturbing that the console industry in general is taking the patch-a-patch way of things. Sure, it's nice for the user to be able to update a product in case something small was missed from QA, but it seems companies are now over-relying on patches and updates, releasing products that really should not have been released in the first place had a proper QA been in place.

The savings companies are seeing aren't being passed to consumers but rather to their CEOs as bonuses. We have in a sense done away with QA and turned consumers into an army of beta testers. Bravo industry.


"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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