Sunday, March 30, 2008

Uncertain Call to Xbox Support - UPDATED

Last May, my brand new Xbox 360 Pro console had its DVD drive die on it, and I went through the warranty process with Xbox Support which was a completely horrible experience. You can read the full galactic saga here (follow the links in the posts).

Anyway, the refurbished unit I received had minor issues with its DVD tray from day one. Every now and again, when I'd eject the tray, it would get "stuck" and not eject. This was a minor inconvenience at the time and I certainly didn't want to go through the warranty process again, so I just sucked it up and got my game on (Ohh... funny!).

Well, 10 months later the problem has gotten a lot worse. Every single time I eject the DVD tray, it will not open unless I press it in with my knuckle. Sometimes this will work, sometimes it will take a few tries, and now, on occasion, the tray will eject halfway, stick, and then suck itself back in. Thankfully it always ejects flawlessly every time a disc _is_ in the tray, but I'm just worried one of these days that a disc will get stuck in there (knowing my luck it'll be some kind of irreplaceable limited edition disc).

This morning I decided to bite the bullet and call up Xbox Support. I spoke with one of their reps, and since my console is no longer under general warranty (that expired at Christmas), I'd need to pay $105.00 to send my console in to be replaced with a refurbished unit, but they'd give me a 1 year general warranty. This actually sounded pretty good, so I decided to take the rest of the day to think it over.

A few hours ago I decided to place the repair order, so I called up Xbox Support again, referencing the ticket number the previous rep had given (thankfully they hadn't lost my order like all those other times last May). Unfortunately, the new rep had a slightly different story. He told me it'd cost $110.00 and the warranty would only be 3 months, but I could get a 1 year warranty for about $40.00 to $50.00.

In truth, the 3 month warranty sounds more realistic from a business standpoint, but this changes everything and really has me thinking. Do I want to pay $110.00 for something with such a short warranty that may arrive with a mild defect anyway? I mean, my refurbished unit had issues with its DVD tray right from day one, and so does the Staff's. I also don't want to pay extra for a warranty on a refurbished unit.

At this point, I'm seriously thinking about running my current console into the ground, and if a disc gets stuck, I'll just take the case off and rip the console apart to get it out. Then I'll go and purchase a brand new Xbox 360 Arcade console. It'll cost more, but at least it'll be brand new (and I hear the newer consoles are a lot quieter and generate a whole lot less heat) and be covered under a proper warranty again.

UPDATE: A friendly poster over at the official Xbox forums pointed this page out to me. Note the second paragraph:

"If we repair your Xbox 360 after the warranty period has expired, while you will be responsible for the repair costs, you will receive either the balance of your original warranty (if it has not yet expired for all conditions), or one year, whichever is longer. "

So this means that the first rep I spoke to is correct, and I should get a 1 year warranty on the refurbished console. I'm going to call Xbox Support back later to confirm, and quote this page if needed.

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