We all know it can happen, one day you turn on your Xbox 360 and it gives you the so called ‘Ring of Death’. The TV gives a nice looking error and all you can do is turn of your 360 and try it again. If the ring keeps glowing red, you have a problem, the manual of your 360 doesn’t give a lot of information besides checking the cables. Actually there’s not much you can do about it. Then the moment is there, you make the call to the Xbox Support… Read on to learn of Xboxic crew member etalien’s long and painful struggle to get his beloved gaming machine repaired.
As with most companies you first get a computer on the line, after a few choices you get a real person on the line almost immediately (most of the time). You tell your problem, you tell them who you are, and they send you an email with the data of the repair shipment, usually done by UPS. For Europe, the repair center is in Germany, UPS delivers fast, so your 360 should be there in 1 or 2 days at most.
At first they had enough new 360’s in Germany, when you sent your 360 you got a new one immediately, I sent my first in and got back a new one 2 days later! Unfortunately the repair center ran out of both new and refurbished 360’s, so now you’re almost sure to be getting your own 360 back and pray that it’s repaired. If you ask the rep on the line how long it’s going to take, they always say it takes a maximum of 8 to 10 working days, and since the repair center has trouble keeping up you can count on 2 weeks without your lovely 360. It can be a pain.
But what if the 8 to 10 days have passed, and you still haven’t heard anything from them? You keep calling and calling but nothing happens, they say they can’t do anything about it, except sending emails. I’ve discovered the repair center does not frequently answer those emails, sometimes taking as long as two weeks! They also claim to have a language problem between the repair center in Germany and the call center which is located in London, with the Germans not understanding the problems their English colleagues enter into the database! And those people are repairing our 360’s?
Anyway, if something goes wrong in the process, you’re screwed. I’ve called the support guys so many times for my second repair, each time explaining my problems again when you get someone else on the line. And they have 140 people working there, so you bet you won’t ever be getting the same person on the line twice! After 3 weeks they still hadn’t heard anything of all those emails they sent, so I finally convinced someone and he was going to sent me a brand new one. Two days later, I had to call them again since they sent me my 360 but without the Hard Drive and Power Adapter, which they had specifically asked to send along with the console. Since a power brick is quite vital for the 360’s operation I still couldn’t use it.
At first they said it was my own fault, they didn’t believe me and I had to buy new ones myself. For the bargain price of 180 euro, they would send me a new Power Adapter and a brand new Hard Drive! They sent a mail to the repair center again, with the usual response time of around 2 weeks. The next week, I managed to speak with the manager, who said he was going to send them for free to me. This time it took 5 days before I got the package at home, and again they forgot to send a part, I only received a Power Adapter. Well, at least the machine was partially usable again.
So after 5 weeks of waiting and calling every day, my problem still wasn’t completely resolved. It turns out that they are working on the problems with the two centers working separately, and are fully aware of the problems some customers experience. They now have a translator working in Germany to translate the English emails, and hopefully to translate this article…
Do note when reading all of this that this is not a common story. We’ve heard many reports of people being helped out perfectly within 2 to 3 working days, and that is as it should be. This story however illustrates that there are still some things to work out before they’ll be getting any awards.