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Micromart, which used to repair the Xbox 360, recently posted a notice on its website that it “has now withdrawn from offering a repair service for the dreaded 3 Red Lights fault.”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