Victory! The Red Ringed 360 Saga’s Dramatic Conclusion

No High Scores

Image: posterize / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A couple days ago I posted an update regarding my red ringed 360. It’s possible I was a weee bit tweaked at the time (and justifiably so). You can follow the details and links from that post back through to the beginning, but the short version: 3 weeks of no 360, severe communication issues from Microsoft support, and me being unhappy about the prospect of paying a second out of warranty fee w/o guarantee of some kind of updated hardware (I’m on my third original gen chipset; I’m done). But then I got The Email….

It was Wednesday morning. The sky was angry. There was a bitter chill in the air that sent chilling fear through the spines of all the woodland creatures. Wood spring never come? And did I mention it was chilly? My belly roiled with hunger as I toiled over the blank page to compose my latest grand opus. Chilly. I… yeah, I got noth’n.

Ahem.

Wednesday I received a rather cryptic email from someone at Microsoft support that’s at least a few rungs higher up the support totem pole than the front (and possibly second?) line folks with whom I’d been communicating. I’m not going to include the text of the email, but it basically said he’d been “reviewing” my case and wanted to call me at my convenience. It took all of an hour for him to call me once I wrote back with my availability. Sure beats the hell out of “24-48 hours,” right?

It was a good discussion. He indicated he had been reviewing my case (no indication of what prompted it to end up on his desk, and I didn’t ask) and gave what felt like my first sincere, non-scripted apology for the situation having been strung out as long as it did. He said the $35 for the new power brick that didn’t solve the problem would be refunded immediately (instead of waiting to receive it back from me) and that in the next couple of days they would ship a “Pro” unit to me at no charge (they refer to any unit that isn’t an Elite or S, as either Pro or Arcade, but it sounds like it’ll be a Jasper-based unit; news to me), requesting only that I send back the defective unit so they can figure out exactly what went wrong with the system. I’m getting a strong impression that for my particular red ring code (3 of four quadrants indicates a power problem) not to be resolved with a new power brick is incredibly unusual. (I’m a trailblazer!)

I thanked him for his call, noting that my primary source of discouragement has been the way this has dragged out in combination with being asked to pay multiple out of warranty fees for the same hardware. He was very frank that the amount of waiting I’ve had to put up with should not have happened and that they’d be reviewing their procedures to determine why it happened and how to prevent it in the future. He also said that he hates to hear stories about customers who’ve had to go through multiple repairs and that it shouldn’t happen, but to my best recollection he stopped short of the whole “we’ll be reviewing and, if necessary, changing our procedures” thing. It was a legitimately good conversation.

Ultimately I’m curious if this represents an internal support mechanism finally kicking in to address a frontline failure (it happens) or if my earlier post somehow found its way in front of somebody at Microsoft. We’re hardly RPS or Opposable Thumbs over here, but we do get traffic, so it’s not out of the question. I’d like to think, though, this was just Microsoft righting a bad situation for a customer that fell through the support cracks and it had nothing to do with the blog. Credit where it’s due, getting to this point may have been excruciating, but in the end I was just looking for a fair and reasonable resolution; not special treatment. I think they did right by this customer and that’s what matters most to me.

Also: “Winning! Duh.”

No High Scores

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Todd Brakke

Todd was born in Ann Arbor, with a Michigan helmet in one hand and a mouse in the other. (Never you mind the logistics of this.) He grew, vertically anyway, and is a 20-year publishing veteran as an editor of books on consumer tech and professional development for educators. Because that wasn't enough of a challenge, Todd was a 20-year part-time snob about video games, writing reviews, features, and more for multiple outlets from 1997-2015. Follow him on Twitter @toddsfoolery.

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