Sunday, September 14, 2008

I Finally Had a Breakdown...

Or should I say, I finally had my Xbox 360 breakdown. It started this morning with my wife, Maureen trying to play levels of Beautiful Katamari we had just downloaded last night. Well, the console froze. Then we restarted it, and it froze almost instantly. Restart, and it froze on the loadup of the Xbox logo right after you turn it on. It happened a few more times: restart, freeze, restart freeze. You get the picture.

I bought the 360 from Dustin around this time last year. He was selling it because he wanted to buy the Halo edition Xbox 360, Halo freak that he is (you should see his pad, half of it is a shrine to Master Chief, the other half a shrine to Trasformers. Not to say that I don’t have nerdly obsessions adorning my place either, but I digress…). Dustin gave me a good price and a great deal, as not only did he throw an extra controller and some headsets in, he also had received an extension of his warranty to three years due to the fact he had just gotten it back from Microsoft. It was sent off to them because of the legendary “red rings of death.” So I dig out the warranty, and it’s still good and it looks like it still might cover any potential repair I might have needed for the lockup issue, even though the warranty was registered to Dustin and he sold the console to me.

Then I called Microsoft about the lockups. First off, they transferred the console registration to my name, and then did a troubleshooting technique with some button presses to combat the lockups. After that, I kept the customer service representative on the line to help me connect my XBox to my PC, something I've wanted to do since I've had it and have been unable to (and have had two different tech-geek friends, one of them Dustin, come over and try and both failed).

OK, get this... I go back to my living room from my office to start setting up the network connection on the console side of things. And then I see it... What I have dreaded and feared ever since I brought a 360 into my home. Not only has it locked up again on the XBox Dashboard, there are the dreaded "Red Rings of Death," which, if you’ve been living under a rock, basically means your 360 is fucked. My heart sunk. Fortunately, since I was still on the phone with the customer service rep, she started to fill out a repair order.

Well, the repair is covered under warranty. I'm going to get a UPS shipping label from Microsoft for free, I just need to provide a box to ship it in, and the console will return to me 2-3 weeks after I send it. On top of that, I get a free month of Xbox Live and they're extending the warranty again, this time to halfway through 2012. Not a bad way to make up for the problem. So I'm bummed about it breaking, but thank god it did under warranty!

I also have to mention that the customer service representative was very nice and helpful. Clearly these people are used to dealing with this problem, and they handle it, and every issue I brought up during the call, kindly and professionally. My only complaint is that I found out the lockups were a pre-symptom to the red rings of death after the red rings showed up. If I hadn’t had been on the phone troubleshooting the network issue, I would have had to call them again and wait on hold again, something I wouldn’t have appreciated on a day I have oodles of homework to work on.

Naturally, I’m sure many of you have had a similar situation. It’s the nature of the beast, really. J has told me before that everyone he knew that had a 360 has had it happen to them. That’s somewhat true for me too, with (until now) the exception of me. But now it’s my turn to experience the red lights and, to those of you have experienced this problem, I feel your pain. All of this reminds me of the early PS2 days, when everyone I knew with one had their system crap out on them. That’s the #1 reason I never bought one of my own. This 360 red ring problem seems way worse than that, and I knew that going in, but just figured that it was a console that had already been repaired, so there should be no problems, right? Wrong.

But what can you do? I’m going to the UPS Store sometime tomorrow and hey, our Wii’s been pretty neglected lately, and I just got Okami for it. So at least I won’t be game starved. And there is that homework... Still, all of this pretty much sucks.


No comments: