Fixing the 360

My last post about my 360 was way back in February.  In it I described how, after purchasing Crackdown, and attempting to play it, my Xbox360 died.  At the time, I called Xbox Support and haggled with them to fix it for free, eventhough it was out of warranty.  I just had to pay for shipping.  Anyways, about a month after I had called, and then didn’t actually ship it in, Microsoft actually extended the warranty of the original lot of Xbox360s and they now send you a box to ship it back in with a pre-paid UPS label.  At the time, I didn’t think that I actually qualified for the extended warranty, so I still wasn’t really in a hurry to ship it back.

Well, I never followed up with that story, mostly because I never sent it in.  In fact, it’s still broken, sitting in my new place.  Last Friday, one of the guys I work with on my new project (he’s an from a different company than I am, but not the client) came to the my company’s main office because we needed to meet.  Well, turns out he’s a pretty damn good Halo 2 player.  Needless to say we played a few games on Friday.  Ever since then, I’ve been itching to play again.  Sadly, at the customer site, there’s not a game room (lame, I know).

Anyways, I had told him about how Crackdown had broken my Xbox, and that my laziness was preventing me from utilizing my $400 piece of gaming awesomeness.  For the last 3 days, he’s been hounding me about getting it fixed, and why I haven’t called it in.  Then I hear, on all place NPR, about Halo 3.  I had completely forgotten that it comes out in Sept. 

Needless to say, something needed to be done.  I still had the old reference number from when I had called in before, just in case they gave me a hard time.  Well, I called them up.  It was amazing how easy it was to deal with the people this time.  Last time I called, there was this huge long voice mail redirection service.  All of that was gone.  I actually didn’t have to push any buttons at all before talking to a support person.  She simply asked for my serial number and address, which I gave her.  I then told her the issue, and she asked if I had been through all the troubleshooting steps.  I had, back in February, so I said yes, and she didn’t harp on it!

Unfortunately, with the move, I had to give her my old address.  It needed to be changed, so I let her know.  The address change procedure apparently takes 2 hours to do, so she said to call back 2 hours later.  Ugh, but whatever.  I suppose I can wait two hours.

Another new feature I was told about when I first called in was the self-service website.  You can go to service.xbox.com and actually do all of this over the web.  So, after hanging up with her, I figure I’d at least check it out.  I signed in with my Passport ID and mapped my Xbox serial number to it.  Low and behold, my address showed up there as my new one.  It must have propagated through the system already (2 minutes later), so I called back.

Sure enough, it had.  The gentleman asked me to verify it, and we were all set.  Another thing I noticed on the website, was that my Xbox was still under warranty (score!).  That means I definitely don’t have to try to wrangle free work again either.  He updated his system so I get one of the pre-paid boxes in the mail, and that was that.  As soon as he did it, I could even see the warranty status change on the webpage. 

That was slick.

Sadly, for Microsoft, my two reference numbers between the two calls increased by 1,354.  That’s a lot of support issues within a total of about 15 minutes.  Still, not nearly as bad as between February and today where the reference numbers increased by 13,122,883.  Regardless, in 4-6 weeks, I may have a functioning Xbox360 again, in the form of a repaired or new one.  It don’t think it’ll be in time for the launch of Halo 3, but it’ll be damn close.

I’m just so glad that MS has listened and made their customer support 100x better now.

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