The UK has too many broken 360s for one country to handle


The Xbox 360 seems to be suffering from inverse karma of late. On the one hand, it's a damn fine machine with a vast library of worthwhile games and a great online service. On the other hand, death seems to eagerly shadow its every footstep.

A couple of weeks ago we brought you news of a crazily high retailer estimate of a 30% failure rate for Microsft's big white box of joy, and today that bad news has been compounded by some fairly extreme reports from the repair shop end of things. In the UK it transpires that the number of red lights appearing at Microsoft's repair centre currently evokes the image of a Cylon invasion, with a massive 1500 to 2500 machines turning up daily. Not only that, but the repair centre is now failing to keep up with demand, and is being forced to out-source repairs on UK machines to other countries. Hit the jump for the details.

The news broke as a result of the intrepid pokings around of a 360 owner, who after talking to Microsoft customer service, called the repair centre in Havant directly in an attempt to find out what had happened to the machine he had sent in. In his own words:

A shocking statistic we found out though is that between 1,500 to 2,500 consoles get sent to Havant by three UPS lorries per day, to then be shipped to Prague for repair.

[We] phoned up Nora the [customer service] supervisor again, who then admitted my console was in Prague and hadn’t been looked at yet – she seemed amazed that we knew!

Oh dear.

In addition to that, the red ring o' death, doom and despair is so prolific that independent repair shops are now refusing to touch it. Electronics repair centre Micromart has just cancelled its repair service for the problem, stating that after seeing the frequency of the complaint increase for several months, it eventually became apparent that it was far too serious for them to effectively deal with. 

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.

Rather than lead customers up the garden path we'd walk away from it and tell them to go directly to Microsoft because they have the facility to replace the motherboard. If Microsoft has updated the motherboard for the new consoles that it's producing then presumably they've improved the existing model.

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 for a repair and we still wouldn't be happy with the end result.

Oh dear, oh dear. 

The situation is now explained on the company's home page, where the problem is described as endemic.

Despite Microsoft's denials, this problem has surely gone too far now. It's the big, glowing red elephant in the corner, and there really is no PR victory to be made by pretending it isn't there any longer. It would save the company and its consumers a lot of time and money to just put things right now and let people get on with enjoying the otherwise great machine without fear. A lot of people have flawess 360s of course, but given the current evidence, a lot more should have. 

In the meantime, add the price of a towel to that Premium Pack when you pick one up. 

[Via Danny Martinez and Tempus' community blog

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David Houghton
David Houghton Former Associate Editor   gamer profile



Filed under... #FAIL #Technology #United Kingdom #Xbox 360



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