Microsoft's Peter Moore tells customers to look past broken consoles and focus on good service

Despite customer complaints of a greater-than-usual percentage of Xbox 360 consoles breaking down, Microsoft still maintains that its system’s failure rate is still within an acceptable range. In a Mercury News blog interview with Peter Moore, VP of Microsoft’s entertainment division, a reader who had experienced two defective Xbox 360 consoles within seven months requested a straight answer on the apparent issue of hardware quality. The reader suggested that the failure rate is perhaps two or three times greater than the three to five percent that Microsoft claims.

Moore responded, “I can’t comment on failure rates, because it’s just not something  – it’s a moving target. What this consumer should worry about is the way that we’ve treated him. Y’know, things break, and if we’ve treated him well and fixed his problem, that’s something that we’re focused on right now. I’m not going to comment on individual failure rates because I’m shipping in 36 countries and it’s a complex business.”

The issue of failing Xbox 360 consoles is an ongoing one. In response to an overwhelming defect rate of launch consoles, Microsoft 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 up until January 1, 2006.

“We’ve received a few isolated reports of consoles not working as expected,” Microsoft previously stated in reference to launch consoles. “The call rate is well below what you’d expect for a consumer electronics product of this complexity. As a percentage of the total number of Xbox 360 systems already in the field, these calls represent a very small fraction.”

In late 2006, Microsoft boosted the warranty of all Xbox 360 consoles to one year, up from the previous 90-days. Then in April 2007, Microsoft further enhanced its warranty services by reinstating free two-way shipping for console replacements, as well as giving paid-repair consoles a fresh one-year warranty. For gamers who are out of warranty, however, a replacement or repair will cost Xbox 360 customers $140 – a price that many gamers are not afraid to express much displeasure about.

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