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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Micromart, which used to repair the Xbox 360, recently posted a notice on its website that it “has now withdrawn from offering a repair service for the dreaded 3 Red Lights fault.”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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In Other News...
By bkm32 on 7/3/2007 1:30:16 PM , Rating: 4
Does anyone know how the new X360 Elite is doing? I know its only been 3 months, but since MS denies current X360 failures aren't the result of a fundamental design flaw, I want to know how the newly-designed Elites are holding up.

I've been holding out for a X360 for two years now, and to be honest, I'm extremely apprehensive about spending up to $650 on the Elite, accessories, and games if it breaks, ever. What I mean by that last part is this: I still have my original Sega Genesis from 1989 (purchased Dec. 26th), Sega Saturn from launch year, Dreamcast from launch year, and a refurbed XBOX1 all without any stinking extended warranties. I also have 5-yr old PS2 that's been dropped from up to 4 ft off the ground more than once and is left on for periods of up to 72 hours straight (my kids). Guess what--no warranty. I can go further back to a Sega Master Ssytem (launch) and an Atari VGS (complete with wood paneling) that still work. Oh yeah, NO WARRANTY.

This is what gamers have come to know and quite honestly expect (even the hardcore, early adopters) from their videogame experience. That is, a videogame console that doesn't break especially when mis-treated (as my PS2 from above). Heck, I've even spilled water on my Atari console; dried it off (didn't know about the rice trick as a 7-yr-old); prayed; and turned it on (Pac-Man lives again).

Videogame consoles aren't supposed to break from just playing them. It's an unwritten law much like when you fight with your brother or best friend, "never hit each other in the face or groin". And MS is violating that law, big time.

What we have with the X360 (Pro and Core versions for now) is a paradigm shift backwards. It's great that their Customer Service has been extremely helpful up to this point. My point simply is this, since when did a videogamer begin to need customer service for their console?

My experience with videogames over the past 29 years is not unique, but is rather cliche. It's typical for this very reason alone: there are other things to do besides play videogames (yes, there really are). For some strange reason, Atari, Commodore Business Systems, Coleco, Nintendo, Sega, and now Sony understood this concept. These companies ensured that customers weren't bogged down with CS instead of playing games. MS needs to get this concept.

I want to buy a console to play games; not worry if my systems going to "brick" because I've played too much. That's the whole point--I want to play too much. This is what makes me a gamer.

RE: In Other News...
By otispunkmeyer on 7/4/2007 6:58:52 AM , Rating: 2
i agree, these new consoles seem rather femmer in comparison.

my mates PS2 saw the most horrendous abuse until it finally kicked the bucket. it was dropped, kicked, bashed, it fell off of a mantle piece with the DVD tray out and the front of the tray got smashed still worked.

stuffs been spilt on it, everything...eventually the DVD stopped working and he got a new one on his house insurance. but for a console he bought in the launch year that lasted up untill last year that aint bad. thats like 5-6 years of supreme punishment before it broke.

i have a master system... still works.

the expectation that a console system wont go wrong is definately there. i know alot of people who see them as less hassle and less time consuming than a more complex PC

i rememeber when i got a PS one.... old square grey brick thing. had it chipped too. i remember playing on that day in day out whilst trying to do the same on the £1500 computer my dad just bought was like pulling teeth.

RE: In Other News...
By ObsoleteAcey on 7/4/2007 5:50:46 PM , Rating: 2
You know i couldn't agree more. I have all my original consoles (Master System, Mega Drive, Dreamcast, Atari Jaguar, Atari Lynx, Gameboy Advance, Saturn, N64, Gamecube, PS2, PS1, Xbox.. hell i even have my Spectrum (1986), Amiga 500 (1990) and Atari ST) and guess what? EVERY single one works to this day. Electronics SHOULD have an indefinite lifespan provided they are used within manufaturer statted tolerances. The only part that should crap out would be mechanical.. Fans, Optical and Magnetic drives etc

This is the second time i have sent my Xbox360 in for repair with the 3ROD (or RROD depending on what you call it). Luckily in New Zealand we have VERY good consumer laws that protect us even past the 1 year warrenty period... i believe it states that the product must function for it's intended purpose for a "resonable" period of time.. resonable being based on the type of product and price paid. I believe using this criteria, a resonable period for an Xbox360 would be about 5 years so as far as i am concerned, MS have to keep repairing my Xbox for 5 years, so if there is a design fault, they are in for a lot of repairs haha! Also, for any other people in New Zealand who have sent in defective Xbox360s, do not accept refurbished units as replacements. It's illegal for MS to send a refurbished unit back. Under law thay can only do one of 3 things

1. Repair your original unit and return it
2. Replace with a brand new unit
3. Offer a complete refund of purchase price

As for the 30% failure rate, i can believe it may be very close to that. Many people on my friends list are always sending messages to say their xbox is going in for repair. Some people have had no issues at all, but at least 30% have sent their xbox back at least once.

I guess there are some good things about living in Middle Earth :)

RE: In Other News...
By bkm32 on 7/5/2007 2:50:41 PM , Rating: 2
I knew I wasn't alone in this. I also am not dumb enough to believe that a console should last forever (althought that has been my experience). I know that these are very complex machines at the cutting edge of home entertainment, but guess what, they've always been at the cutting edge no matter what generation a console existed in.

If there are any Elite owners out there, please answer the original question,
Does anyone know how the new X360 Elite is doing?

BTW, here's shot out to all the old-schoolers, who still have a working console after 20 years.

Holla back!

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer
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