Friday, October 10, 2008

Yet Another Xbox 360 Disaster: A Cautionary Tale

Go figure. Just after I thought I’d called the Xbox 360 support line on the phone for a last time and posted about how great everything was now with my 360, something else pops up and gets me ready to rip out what little hair I have left. I came home exhausted from a sleep-deprived two midterm day at school yesterday and my brother is urging me to play GTA IV with him, so we can round up a couple of our old friends and have some laugh-tastic times. I had the 360 packed up in the car in a bag designed to carry consoles (at least sturdy ones) to take it over to Aaron’s for his Rock Band shindig. Aaron wouldn’t be out of class for awhile, so I had gone home. Despite being ready to drop dead, I hooked up my 360 and popped in GTA IV to play with my bro. Then I hear chugging and clicking and then the console freezes. I restart the system a few times and it freezes every time I try to load up the game. I tried a couple other games and they worked fine.

So I took the GTA IV disc out and looked at the bottom of it. Scratched into the surface was a perfect circle, with a couple circular lines around it. So next thing I know, I’m calling 1-800-4-MY-XBOX again for probably the tenth time in the past four weeks. The agent I got denied ever hearing about the 360 causing scratches in games; then suggested it was because my surround sound system (which I don’t have) caused the system to “bump” causing the scratch; she told me to contact “Rock Band” (“You mean Rockstar?” I corrected) to see if they’d replace the game; after that, she said I should try the game on other consoles and if it didn’t work send it in for repair; finally, she pushed me over the edge by saying “We don’t have anything to do with games.”

“Lady, the damn 360 SCRATCHED MY GAME! Don’t tell me you don’t have anything to do with it!!!”

Well, that didn’t get me anywhere fast. I wasn’t calling to see if Microsoft would replace my game; I was calling to see what the problem was, so I didn’t do the same thing again. I didn’t have my 360 on its side, I didn’t move the console with the game in it. The agent told me if I was going to take my 360 anywhere again “to carry it like a baby.” O-K. Talking to Aaron later, he has had similar experiences with discs, by not centering the disc in the tray—something that I very well may have done, considering I was so tired.

So I dunno. I love my 360, but I’ve had just about enough problems. Talking to J about it, he says my stories are just another reason why he doesn’t want to even try getting a 360. Another friend I email back and forth with was planning getting an Xbox 360, but I may have scared him off at this point. Hopefully, there’s someone out there reading and to this person I say: Yes, the 360 is a great system, but I have had more headaches with it than any other game console I’ve had in my life. Additionally, the XBOX support line has OK customer service, but it pales in comparison to the quality, above-and-beyond customer service I’ve received from Nintendo over the years. Bottom line, folks: you buy a 360, you better get an extended warranty with it!

The story has a happy ending though. My brother, who bought me GTA IV for my birthday in May, went out and got me another copy last night after we couldn’t resurface the disc, so by night’s end, we were creating the mayhem he’d been craving to do with me all week.

So c’mon Xbox 360, you’ve given me enough fucking trouble for a lifetime. Let’s just call it even and be friends again. I want to post about something else other than every fucking nightmare you’ve given me, like TGS, Soul Calibur IV and Capcom games that should be remade. So please, 360, settle the fuck down!


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