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The X-Clamps on the Xbox 360 motherboard (Source: AnandTech)
Console service company Micromart will no longer repair Xbox 360 due to alleged design flaw

UK-based game console repair company Micromart has been fixing video game systems for over a decade. On its website it advertises that it will repair PlayStation 2, original Xbox, PSP and replace screens for other handheld systems.

Micromart, which used to repair the Xbox 360, recently posted a notice on its website that it “has now withdrawn from offering a repair service for the dreaded 3 Red Lights fault.”

The company states that, “This problem is endemic on the Xbox 360 console and the volume has made this repair non-viable.” Micromart will also no longer fix Xbox 360 consoles that display screen freezing problems. The company, however, will continue to support all other repairs to the consoles.

“We were seeing about 30 a week before we pulled the plug on the service,” said Micromart’s Jeff Croft to GamesIndustry. “We saw it over a period of several months and it was just getting worse. It began towards the end of last year. Once the twelve month warranty finished then we started to see more and more machines being sent in to be looked at.”

“The work we had done to the console lead us to believe that basically it was a fault with the motherboard and not something that could be resolved easily. And it wasn't going to go away,” continued Croft.

 “We're not taking that thing on board; we won't repair them. We originally did some work with it but it's labour intensive and it isn't really a feasible repair for us to undertake. We would probably end up charging GBP 100 [$202] for a repair and we still wouldn't be happy with the end result,” he added.

A recent investigation by DailyTech on Xbox 360 warranty returns revealed that up to a third of Microsoft’s latest console fail.



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The slow leak
By Misty Dingos on 7/3/2007 11:26:17 AM , Rating: 2
If the Xbox 360 is as unreliable as some think it is then it is not in MS's best interest to announce that to the world and rush out there to repair them. Their best interest is in avoiding the issue in public for as long as possible and brew up fixes in the back rooms. Implement the fixes in production and replace broken systems with updated systems from repair facilities. That is the best interest of MS.

The best interest of the consumer is to have a system that works as advertised forever. These two goals are at an impasse.

To remedy the impasse MS will have to repair or replace some 30% of the systems they have sold to date. Worse yet the remaining original 70% of existing systems will have a lower that designed life span. This would be consistent with a system wide defect. So MS will have to conceal from the consumer that until the Xbox 360 has a valid engineering fix the systems sold will break prematurely. And then implement the repair without ever acknowledging the defect was there in the firs place. This will cost MS little in real cash and public perception.

The consumer’s course of action is to force MS to the table sooner with threat of or actual civil litigation. If successful, MS will then admit to deceptive practices and agree to replace, repair or refund for expenses related to their Xbox 360. This will cost MS dearly in bad publicity and hard cash.

Which do you think MS is going to do?




RE: The slow leak
By TomZ on 7/3/2007 11:35:32 AM , Rating: 2
The smart thing for Microsoft to do is to quickly, quietly, repair and/or replace the units, and otherwise do what it takes to keep their customers happy. They also make the necessary design and/or manufacturing changes to correct the problem for new units. That is the smart approach to a quality/PR problem.

The only people who benefit from those types of lawsuits are the lawyers. It costs the company tons of money, and consumers get some token reward.


RE: The slow leak
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/3/2007 1:51:47 PM , Rating: 2
Yep. Class action lawsuits are largely for show. They accomplish very little, but it gives the people crying loudest some sense of satisfaction for "stickin it to the man". Then the lawyers get rich and the people get nothing anyways.


RE: The slow leak
By bkm32 on 7/3/2007 3:04:19 PM , Rating: 2
I thought Rock n' Roll was the only way to "stick it to the Man."


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