A Chief's gotta hang his helmet somewhere!



Enough is Enough | mrsmiley { December 21, 2007 }

This is my final stand. My call to Microsoft to take responsibility for all the crap their faulty console has put me through for the past 2+ years of my life. Below is the letter I mailed to the Xbox Customer Relations department today. For full details about my experience, feel free to checkout the forum thread on this issue. Will M$ respond to the cries of a long lasting and loyal customer? Will they restore the little faith I have left in Xbox? I'll update with any responses.

Click "more" to see the letter and leave any comments.

NOTE: For some reason MT converted all apostrophes and quotes from the letter into strange symbols (probably from copying and pasting from Word... lord knows that sucks!). Don't have time to fix that at the moment, so just bare with it. ;)


Xbox Customer Relations
Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing this letter concerning repair case ID: 1049770542, which was started on November 17, 2007. As an addition, here is my repair history with Microsoft on my Xbox 360 in the 2+ years I’ve owned the system: 5 total console repairs, 1 hard drive replacement, 2 power supply replacements (waiting on the 3rd as we speak), and 1 power chord replacement.

I am here as a very loyal customer of Microsoft, and of Xbox. I bought the first Xbox the day it came out, and it lasted (save for that known power supply issue) for over 4 years. I bought the Xbox 360 the week of release, and have accumulated several months of down time due to repeated hardware failures since. I also run a very successful Halo/Xbox community art site of over 1,700 members, which has been supporting Xbox since the beginning (halobabies.net). I recognize that Microsoft has extended the warranty for the “three red lights issue”, and I appreciate that courtesy. I also have received a free wireless Xbox controller for my troubles, but that unfortunately doesn’t compensate for the hassles I have run through with this situation, and the downtime I’ve experienced. Frankly, a wireless controller does give me a working Xbox.

My brother came home from serving in Afghanistan for a year just 2 weeks ago. The biggest thing he was looking forward to was playing Halo 3 with myself and our friends. As you can see by my case history, I called in about my Xbox’s hardware failure on the 17th of November. I called up initially requesting a replacement Xbox due to my repair history. I was transferred to Laurie, a “repair and replacement specialist”. According to Laurie, at her position she had no way to authorize a replacement unit. I find this odd considering her title. Laurie was very friendly, and did pretty well with getting back to me with answers to my questions and repair updates, even if I didn’t like the answers I was getting. She informed me that the process had changed, so that actual parts are replaced in my original console, rather than me just getting a separate (and often faulty) refurbished model. Because of this, I reluctantly agreed to start the repair process, hoping that it would actually work this time.

My brother came home, and his hopes were dashed when he found out my console was in repair. However, the turn-around time was only a week, so I received my repaired console surprisingly quick. My bro drove 30 minutes to my house to play with me. I hooked everything up, and instantly got the 3 red lights. Shocked, I had my second brother drive up with his own console and power supply. After comparing mine to his, I found that I was given the European (220W) power supply, rather than the American (120W) standard. I called Laurie. Who promptly set me up to receive the correct power supply. The problem is, I won’t receive this until after Christmas. It will have been over 5 weeks without a working console at this point. Sadly, this isn’t the first time I have experienced this kind of down time with Xbox service.

My brother has only had a couple chances to play Halo 3, and those were at other friend’s houses. It has been a tradition since the first Halo for us to play together, and because of the poor Xbox repair service, this will not happen for probably another year, when he comes back home next Christmas. One of the few things my brother has been waiting for since getting shipped out with army can’t be fulfilled, and I am stuck without a game system, DVD player, or music center for the holidays, which is generally when I use it the most.

I work for a high level of tech support at computer company myself. I replace entire computers for half as many issues as I’ve had with this Xbox 360 console. My request is simple: I want to exchange this console for a brand new console, sealed in the box. I am tired of being run around every time I call in (Apparently, you don’t have a phone customer relations department?! That’s what I was told, and I find that extremely bizarre.), and I’m tired of almost service incidents over two years, countless months of downtime, and poor support at repair depots. I feel that I would be completely reasonable if I were to ask to be upgraded to an Elite console, or request financial reimbursement for my purchase. (On a side note, I had to pay to have my Gears of War disk resurfaced after the Xbox cut a ring around it before this repair.)

All I want is a new console. That’s it. That’s maybe $300 at the most, which I’m sure is far less than you’ve paid for more repairs and calls than I can count for these issues.

I have lost complete faith in Microsoft’s console repair process. The service I have received (aside from Laurie, who was very kind), has been so far below what is expected by any normal consumer, that it blows my mind to think any company would not have drastically changed their support structure by now. I know how the tech support repair process works, as I have been in the business for almost 3 years. Is it too much to ask that I finally get the service I paid for when I purchased the warranty? I want a working console; and not one that will break in another 6 months when I need it the most.

Thanks for listening, and I apologize if this letter seems harsh, but I assume you can understand my frustration. I expect to receive some sort of confirmation that this was received, either via mail, email, or by phone. I don’t want to have to take this any farther, but I’m sure I speak for all Xbox consumers who have gone through this process when I say that enough is enough! I hope Microsoft can stand behind their products the same way Apple has stood behind their products whenever I have called them for service.


Matthew Dunn

35 comments so far (leave your own)

1 | Grunty giant says:

Hope things work out smiley. I also love that little apple diss at the end.

Oh Snap!

2 | NthroSptn says:

Typo D:
"Frankly, a wireless controller does give me a working Xbox."
Don't you mean "doesn't"?

That would work so well if it were changed. Quite well written Smiley, I'm behind you 100%.

3 | Michael Archer says:

Great letter smiley, but if I was a microsoft executive looking at his letter, I would think "Well...maybe I should send this poor guy a new Elite". After I read the ninth paragaph. I would have thrown the letter in the trash and said "Well go buy a Mac and see if you can play Halo 3 on that then!"

But I agree with you anyway and I am NOT a Microsoft executive and they SHOULD have good service like Apple.

4 | FroJSimpsonite says:

Well, even if said Microsoft exec says,

"Well go buy a Mac and see if you can play Halo 3 on that then!"

You take the reimbursement money from the ruined Xbox 360 (and a little more perhaps), buy an Intel-based Mac, Boot Camp, and run Windows Vista and Halo 3 on an Apple product. I know it goes against everything you stand for, but if Microsoft keeps screwing people over, what other choice is there?

5 | RayZR says:

Yeah, you tell 'em, smiley.

6 | Lord_Halo99 says:

Damn smiley. I can feel your pain. My first one died on me the DAY BEFORE Halo 3 came out. Then the replacement got the Ring of Death less than a week of recieving it. My third one so far, appears to be ok.

7 | Rasq'uire'laskar says:

My sympathies.

Perhaps Microsoft will do better with the next console. I hope so.

In the meantime, I will support Microsoft by not buying Sony or Nintendo, but I will not be buying an Xbox until the problems are solved once and for all.

I'm not holding my breath.

8 | Michael Archer says:

I knew that simpson, that's aside from the point.

9 | Lakota says:

how do you set your system? the people at gamestop near my house said to me that if i set my system so it is standing up, it ruins the insides. whereas if you set it sideways, it looks worse, but runs better. dunno if this will help but it did for my 5th xbox 360. (only getting new ones cuz i like the games a hella lot)

10 | mrsmiley says:

to lakota:

first off, if microsoft markets a console to be able to stand up, it should be able to stand up! if a company builds a product that is advertised a certain way, it should darn well be able to do that without damaging itself!

anyways, i've tried both positions, and have always kept my 360 on a hard surface with plenty of ventilation space.

11 | HaloFanatic says:

Wow thats bad anyway, hope microsoft gets a new xbox for you

12 | RayZR says:

Actually, I keep my 360 standing up, and I got one of those fan things that click onto the back. I can't say if it runs any better or worse, or if it's I'm ruining the insides, but it sure does stay a LOT cooler.

13 | RayZR says:

In more ways than one. ^_^

14 | Mysko says:

You have my full support :D
I myself am a loyal Microsoft customer (just upgraded to Vista XD) and hearing that they sent you a Euro cable rather tha a US cable is a bit of a stab in the side. I feel really sorry for your bro... It must really suck coming back from Afganistan and getting no Halo! I'd be pissed

15 | Roflsalad says:

Crud man, that stinks. Especially about your brother, too. My best wishes that you'll get a working console before he has to leave. Or failing that, that you have one next time he comes around.

16 | polar says:

It seems a bit long, and there are some spelling errors (power chord? Cord!)
But it's a lot more civil than mine would be if I were in your shoes. And I may yet be!

17 | mad17 says:

My friend and I read your letter. I hope Microsoft (Bullshit *cough* *cough*) will give you a new Xbox 360. I don't know if it's a coincidence, but all 1st generation Xbob did "the circle of the doom" the day of the release of Halo 3. You have all our support. Don't give up! And i feel really sorry for your brother. I can be Canadian, but i support all army troops in the world. Oh by the way, your comics ROCK!

18 | Apathy Enrage says:

I hear you man, i'm in Canada, and when I got the Red Ring Of Death, they said "you live in Canada, so we'll just send you a new console". 3 months later afer almost daily call, my Xbox was shipped. I mean come on, it was a replacement and it took them 3 #$^#*@& months!

19 | John Service says:

There is a SIMPLE solution to all of this.

Go to a Target, WallMart, or K-Mart. Purchase a new xbox 360 like the one you have.

CAREFULLY remove and switch the serial tags next to the power imput and switch consoles

Switch the HDD out for yours. Open everything and put everything back (as if you had hooked it up)

Return the xbox (your old non working one) to the store for a FULL REFUND

You get a new xbox

The store gets a credit

And Microsoft gets their POS non working unit back

Best of all, NO DOWN TIME

I have gotten the three red rights FOUR TIMES on FOUR separate consoles since 11/05

This process works like a charm

20 | ArrivedLactose says:

I did that once except I kept the controller.

My Elite messed up my Halo 2 (which was my only game) so I had to play GRAW demos and Skate demos till Halo 3 came out.

I fear for the life of my fragile elite everyday and to top it off Xbox lives being a bitch, so whenever it freezes I slowly avert my eyes to the ring while praying to god that it isn't red.

I believe the question is: Does your power brick make a vacuum noise?

21 | JadedNatas says:

have they gotten back to you yet? I'm on my 3rd repair right now too, i got the cam free cause i had enough of everything else they offered.. my 1st was 3 red, got it back quickly, but it was a refurb.. i had a launch system that ran like a champ for like 2 years and now i get this 'used' xbox, which lasted about 3 months before i got my current error, where when you put a disk in it says 'to play this disk insert it in an xbox 360 console', so basically my 360 thinks it's a dvd player and only reads the dvd files so plays movies, not games.. i send out and after stupid things like them sending wrong box since they wanted my power supply too.. i get it back and it works for 1 day before the very same error.. which of course was december 23rd when i'm sittin down with my son to pwn some noobs.. i get the standard supervisor that has to monitor your service for any repairs 3 and after and other than the free camera she was no help on getting a brand new console, same long drawn out explanation of the 'repair process' and that decision could not be made by her only the repair center if they can't fix it.. I politely reminded her about how that process has completely failed more than once in mine and many others cases but in the end really got nothing more than lipservice, I am curious to see how your situation finally resolves though.

22 | Leonidas [TnL] says:

That "please insert disc in to a xbox 360 console" is currently happenin to me.. I hate that mann, we are loyal to microsoft.. But they aren't loyal to us.

23 | Leonidas [TnL] says:

That "please insert disc in to a xbox 360 console" is currently happenin to me.. I hate that mann, we are loyal to microsoft.. But they aren't loyal to us.

24 | MILF LORD says:

I like cake

25 | bad_defender says:

i live in the netherlands(europe) and ive been having problems with xbox support fotr the last 3 months
my sxbox also had the 3 red lights and i called and here it works that xbox support sends u ups labels that u put on a box with ur 360 in then u call ups and they come pick it up. the problem is nomahter what i do i cannot get thos labels they send it by mail the link doesnt work they send it by post i never get anyrhing. now i called for the last time and i got so mad at he guy on the phone that he said he was almost gonna call the cops. he said he was personally gonna go to his boss to report this and that they would sens ups to me right away. and thats when i totally cracked: i shouted why didnt u do that instantly ive been waiting for three months. and all he said was xbox custommer support is very sorry. ive bene gotten 3 free games since it broke (only 1 arrived so far) and i think i could go on thill i get all 360 games. so now im hoping that ,y last call really made a difference. all i want to say is when u really get mad and make xbox support almost frightened of u they might even listen to u and do something about it.

26 | Chris says:

You should make sure to request XBOX live re-imbursement as you haven't been able to play online since it's been in the shop. Although that might be another agonizing customer service phone call.

27 | dokinto says:

my xbox did the please insert this into an xbox thing i put a dvd in and played it for a while then put a game in and it worked

28 | Jen says:

Me and my husband had a problem with our original xbox and it took up 6 months to have the problem resolved because the Microsoft was giving up refurbished xbox's that didn't work. Well I finally told him to quit calling after a run around from the company. All in all it cost us 45 dollars to ship all the xbox's and 6 months of a wasted gamertag. We were also give the choice of several original xbox games. We now both have a 360 and are keeping our fingers crossed both have additional warrenties, cost us alot but not as much as having to deal with microsoft. Alittle hint go through the Better Business Bureau, it took about a month and finally everything with xbox was resolved. Good Luck

29 | Chris says:


my computer's screen had a redish orange tint, and it was dimer than usual, i told apple and they gave me a BRAND NEW COMPUTER AND AN ITUNES GIFT CERTIFACITE FOR MY PROBLEMS!! just for the red tint on my screen

they are AWESOME

30 | CamoNGP says:

Onya mate. Thats why these companies get away with crap, because none of us complain, we would rather bitch about it. You go mate and I hope the bastards come through. If not I suggest some rolling boycotts of MicroHards items and functions.
I for one would support this move, and would pass theword around all my fellow enthusiasts.

31 | bohemein says:

Yeah i was told its better to lay it flat, but on the other hand doesn't MS make an accessory to stand the console on its side? alittle redundant eh. i hope that they just replace it for you. but MS is having loads of problems with the 360 & XBL some guys are sueing for a large sum of money for the outages over the holidays. i never experienced outages but i am going to accept the free XBL arcade game, i hope its a Xbox original so i can finish halo 1.

32 | K rizzle says:

I've never had a problem with my 360, thank god, but I understand your pain. My original Xbox broke twice out of warranty and I had to fix it myself. That was quite fun.

33 | Sam says:

i occasionally have the white screen error where it says to insert the disk...

but what is worse is how easily the xbox cuts a thin ring on the bottom of my game disks! i've gone through 2 separate halo3s and my current one is scratched just enough to keep me from doing campaign and social slayer. it's as if the xbox is designed so that the slightest tap will trigger a cutting device to sabotage your disc so you have to buy another. i think it's a scam by microsoft.

34 | MachShot says:

Well, you seem to have bad luck with your system. Mine only got the "Red Ring of Death" Twice.

Just be glad your not a loyal Sony fan, because that letter would have gotten 'lost' in the shreder the moment anyone read the ID Number, lol

35 | dachiakia says:

I feel lucky.Mine only red ringed once but I didn't send it in.I kept trying to run it and it started working again.As a microsoft fan such as myself,I would say it "came back to life".So I hope you get a new one and way to stand up to microsoft and their piece of crap service!

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