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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Micromart, which used to repair the Xbox 360, recently posted a notice on its website that it “has now withdrawn from offering a repair service for the dreaded 3 Red Lights fault.”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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RE: At what point...
By TomZ on 7/3/2007 2:01:33 PM , Rating: 2
It's not defective if it failed outside of warranty, right? :o)

My point is that, at least it costs $70 to fix instead of $250, $300, etc. since that is probably closer to the real cost of the repair, considering the complexit as well as the cost to fix other kinds of electronic equipment.


RE: At what point...
By hr824 on 7/3/07, Rating: -1
RE: At what point...
By Christopher1 on 7/4/2007 1:22:54 AM , Rating: 2
Right on! If a system has a problem like this, it should be fixed for free and they should offer a life-time warranty on the console.

Really, this BS about "It has a failure rate equivalent to other consoles!" is just that - BS.

The first Atari's - the first real home console - had a failure rate of almost 0%, they just never broke, but they were exceptionally simple in design.

The Nintendo 8-bit had a failure rate of .01%. Less than 1 out of every ten thousand consoles sold had a manufacturing defect that killed the console. Same thing for the SNES. Same thing for the N64. Same for the Gamecube. Same for the Wii thus far, I still haven't seen any articles where someone has to send one back for a warranty fix unless they dropped it or something similar.

The PS had a failure rate of .01 percent as well, when it first came out. Same with the PS2. I don't know about the PS3, because it hasn't been out long enough for there to be reliable stats.

The original X-Box had a HORRENDOUS failure rate of about 10%. After they beefed up heatsinks and changed a few other things.... it got to the .1% failure rate, still high, but not unacceptable.

33% is too high of a failure rate for any product, and if people have proof that the failure rate is that high.... it's time for a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all customers, because Microsoft is selling a known-defective product, which is illegal by federal law if something fails more than 1% of the time.


RE: At what point...
By TomZ on 7/4/2007 9:41:12 AM , Rating: 2
Can you provide some links to back up your failure rates of 0% for the Atari, 0.01% for the Nintendo, and 0.01% for the PS? I find those figures a bit hard to believe.


RE: At what point...
By hr824 on 7/3/2007 2:27:48 PM , Rating: 2
My point is, if the 33% rate it true then why in gods name would I even bother to throw good money after bad? IF MS wants to keep me as a customer then they should fix there mistakes for free.

If the falure rate was under 5% (still high if you asked me)then it falls under the shit happens catagory and I eat the 70/140 dollars and go about my busness. At 33% ( if true) thats damn near fraud and they lose me as a costumer for ever.

Now if MS admits it mistake and makes it right they have a loyal costumer for life.

I think theres a PS3 in my future;)


RE: At what point...
By geddarkstorm on 7/3/2007 4:36:40 PM , Rating: 3
That's hard to say. If all they have to do is re-solder a transistor back to the motherboard, that can't cost much at all to do--in fact, probably just the cost of paying the employee, but I doubt it would even take an hour to perform.

No matter how complex or simple something is, cost is dependent on what the problem is and how skilled (and hopefully therefore how highly payed) the worker needs to be to fix it.

To someone poor like me, paying 70 bucks to fix a crummy 500 buck console would be like salt and lemon juice in the wound, so it is Not a silver lining at all. However, that's the gambit all consumers risk when buying a product which lasts past its effective warranty, and why I'm not buying any of these horribly expensive consoles.


RE: At what point...
By Belard on 7/5/2007 3:39:00 AM , Rating: 2
In the Consumer repair business - repairs are expensive. And companies HATE doing repairs on warranted products, which can eat the profit on that item.

A failed capacitor or SMT failure on such a console may cost $50~150 per repair. (I don't know what systems M$ has in place for authorized repair centers).

Lets say $1 for the part. At least $50~75 for labor for a simple repair. Ever see the still shots on taking apart a 360? Then having to put it all back together again? It takes time to do all of that. If the service tech is paid 1hr of work - but if takes 3 hours to fix it, then the tech/shop is losing money and time to work on other things. This IS normal as well - every once in a while, there will be a job that takes a little long, but the SIMPLE jobs that take 30mins makes up for it. But if a model is constantly failing and costing more to repair than what they are getting paid for - it becomes a problem.

An expensive piece of consumer electronics fails - its a problem.


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