Xbox 360 Hardware Failures – Is It Time for Consumer, Regulatory or Political Action?

My Xbox 360 is currently visiting Texas.

GamePolitics, of course, is headquartered near Philadelphia, so we’re not seeing much of one another these days. The reason for the long-distance relationship? My 360, which experienced the dreaded red lights of death failure only weeks after purchase, is undergoing warranty repair.

So are a lot of other gamers’ 360’s, apparently. Rob Watson, with whom I share game coverage duties for the Philadelphia Inquirer, suffered the same problem recently:

I try to leave my personal gaming woes out of this column, but… I got the dreaded Red Rings of Death… Microsoft continues to stick to its 3- to 5-percent defective rate for its next-gen console. My gut, how I judge all things of utmost importance, tells me that might be a tad low…

Web sites such as offer countless sad stories, including a guy who has gone through seven of them.

So what’s the real number of broken 360’s? I doubt it is as high as the estimates made by Their informal poll found 2,315 (61 percent) responses to the survey have complained that they’ve got through at least one console..

That is just crazy, and there would be class action suits all over the place if that were even remotely close to being accurate. However, I will say this: Out of the 10 or so 360 owners I complained to about my box, two also had to replace or repair one.

Although GP is not – yet – ready to declare, as 360 Gamer did, a scandal, the alarming Xbox 360 failure rate is quickly reaching a tipping point. In his excellent Law of the Game blog, attorney Mark Methenitis, who has lost two 360’s to red ring failure, discusses the legal implications:

The concept of a warranty is simple enough: Someone selling a product assures the buyer that of something… Microsoft has encountered an interesting problem with the 360. The failure rate is high, but so are sales. What is a gamer to do? …What is a consumer to do?

Unfortunately, short of a product recall (which seems unlikely given that is has not happened yet and safety is not the issue) or a class action suit, the individual consumer is likely stuck. Why? The cost of an action against Microsoft would be astronomical, and more than likely, they will just settle before any court could place any actual fault on them in order to avoid future, similar suits.

Meanwhile, the anecdotal evidence mounts. 1up has a story about a gamer who is on his 12th 360.  A U.K. repair company, MicroMart (NE) Ltd., has stopped servicing the red lights failure. A note on the company’s home page reads:

Micromart has now withdrawn from offering a Repair Service for the dreaded 3 Red Lights fault. This problem is endemic on the XBox 360 console and the volume has made this repair non-viable. Other repairs to the XBox 360 are still being supported.

UPDATE:  Next-Gen has more from MicroMart, including this gem of a quote:

We were getting a phenomenal amount of these things coming through. We were seeing about 30 a week coming in with the same problem which we identified as a fundamental motherboard fault… 

We decided it wasn’t in anybody’s best interests to continue the sham that this fault is easily repaired.

Sham? Strong words from in-the-know techies. 

What is Microsoft’s position? Yes, they have upped their 360 warranty coverage. But if you’re selling a defective product, that’s probably a given. The 1up story cites some corporate double-talk from Microsoft pitchman Peter Moore:

I can’t comment on failure rates, because it’s just not something – it’s a moving target. What this consumer should worry about is the way that we’ve treated him. Y’know, things break, and if we’ve treated him well and fixed his problem, that’s something that we’re focused on right now.

GP: We could go on and on. Stories from disappointed Xbox 360 owners abound on the Net. Perhaps it is time that some political pressure should be brought to bear on behalf of gamers for a change.

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  1. 0
    Tr0ubleguy says:

    What can I say that hasn’t been already said? The system sucks? Yup. Do they keep sending faulty units? Yup. Can anyone at the call center speak english clearly? NO!

     I’m on my 4th console, lucky for me it went out while I’m on vacation, now I have yard work to do. My third unit which is only 5 months old just took a crap on me and after an hour and a half of being on hold I finally got to speak to a American which after looking at my service record was amazed himself. By the end of the call I was offered next day shipping, a wireless controller, and sorrys, I still feel like I got ripped. I say CLASS-ACTION SUIT.

  2. 0
    bruce says:

    M$ sucks i sent in my 2 second to be repaired for the thre red lights and the sent my one back and when i went to play it it said disc error and didnt even work this is crap and someone needs to do something im lookin into a lawsuit

  3. 0
    joe says:

    in response to David Ikari.

    how many ps3’s have had this or a similar problem? M$ rushed it, plain and simple. Almost all (meaning the percentage of broken ones is well over 50%) of their first version 360s have had this problem, unless they live where it is naturally cool. I wash my hands, I’m through.

  4. 0
    matt says:

    i know how u all feel myself to has had to send my xbox 360 sounds like some ppl my think about going to sonys ps3 i could be one of them if i have to spend more money on to get it fixed for the 2nd time. when u pay over 300$ for something it should work great they need to fix it or this could be my last microsoft that ill pay for.

  5. 0
    billy busch says:

    We have an x-box 360 that has been out of service for over one year.In february of 2007 just a few days over the warenty period of 90 days,it stopped working.I had just moved it to do some dusting.I called microsoft and they tried to help.they asked if it was plugged into a surge protector.It was and I quickly changed it.and still no x-box 360.I called again and they wanted me to send our x-box 360 all the way to the state of washington for repairs,along with $100 to ccover repairs. I said this is unacceptable.
    I have a regular x-box and in november of 2007 I took it to a local repair shop and had it rebuilt at a cost of less than $100.I love both x-boxes,but I like the regular x-box better because it works.If I could take the x-box 360 to a local repair shop,I would be happy.
    After reading about others having problems with their x-box 360,I can’t help but think this is a serious problem with microsoft.
    I agree that someone needs to wake microsoft up.

  6. 0
    Noel says:

    All of you that keep sending back your 360’s, just take a hammer to the piece of crap like I did, buy a PS3 and never by anything from microsuck again.

  7. 0
    Noel says:

    Microsoft sucks. Get a PS3. I had a PS2 for 5 years and never had a problem with it. I’ve used my PS3 as my dvd player and gaming console for over a year without a problem now.

  8. 0
    NEW IDEA says:

    I work in the auto business, auto manufacturers offer rebates that they call conquest…These rebates are given as incentive to buy a given product, and to qualify you have to own a competing product…Picture this…Sony commercial opens…”three particular red lights got u down?” they should offer like 50 bucks off or sum such rebate on the purchase of a PS3 given u turn in ure 360…maybe more if u show red ring of death…that wuld motivate MS…think of the lost money in games alone…

  9. 0
    fedup says:

    XBOX 360 sucks. I bought one as a present on 12/23/07-gave it on 12/25/07. By 1/23/08 we had disc reader error. Sent it in for repairs. Refurbished one arrived on 2/15/08. Wasn’t played until 2/17/08. Had a bad graphics card on that day. Shipped it back on 2/25/08. Still waiting for the”fixed” one to come back. This is the worst product I’ve ever bought. They’ve had the system more than we have. It was never played for more than a couple of hours each time it was played & it was always in a well ventilated area. If I knew then what I know now I would of never bought it. Guess I should be glad that I bought the extended warranty.

  10. 0
    patty says:

    I also bought my kids a x box 360 and it also got the three red lights i did send it to microsoft but they did not even fix it microsoft send a letter out telling me that the console was tamppered with this is a new x box how is it that i will tampper with it. i also called and coustomer service try to help me out by following there step to reset the console it work just for five min. i wish i never did buy the x box 360 the first x box is much better my other son has had no complaines at all .

  11. 0
    Dmitriy says:

    We need a consumer movement. This is not just money. To fix every XBOX 360 failure issue requires time, nerve, and lots and lots of frustration. I invested almost 800 dollars into xbox before I realized that it was a big big mistake. I am on my 4th and probably going to be on my 5th any day now. I want to sell it off already ASAP because it is simply too much of a hastle to keep exchanging them and playing games worrying that they will crash nonestop.

    Microsoft can loose 150 bucks per sold console, they make it up on things like:
    100 for wireless network
    30 for wireless controller cargeable battery
    50 bucks a yr for xbox live
    + gain per game solve due to licensing.

    If we do not enforce product reliability in the market, what is to stop them from making a product with 100% failure rate after the warrenty expires?

    What about the non-3 light problems? There are hardware failures which microsoft refuses to disclose causing crashing! That is covered for 3 months by standard warrenty. where is the 1 yr warrenty that most manufacturers usualy give for defective electronics? just 3 months now with xbox 360!

  12. 0
    Anonymous says:

    The price to pay to be first in the current generation console race and to have a huge library of games to play. The saying goes “a console is nothing without games”, but now it can be said that a game is nothing without a stable gaming platform. This console has been out for like what 2 years now almost 3 and percentage of hardware continues to grow. The only smart moves they did are; xbox 360 players are able to set up a repair schedule over the internet instead of the phone, if the warranty is void they will give a 5 dollar discount then for the last but not least the discount on the console itself.

  13. 0
    Frank says:

    Once again, 3 flashing red lights. This is the second time. The first unit went back, M$ sent me a refurb and 4 months later it goes bad. All anyone can tell me is a week to get the return box and 3-4 weeks to get back the unit?? What is that all about? To top it off, I just spent almost 200 on the HD player and almost 100 on movies for what? So the player can sit there collecting dust? All I get offered is a free repair for a faulty piece of junk M$ released and had no choice but to extend the warranty and a free month of live? I have no use for live, does me no good what so ever. Funny how the newer units that are now being sold do not have this problem, but I manage to get a second one that is bad? Why don’t they send me one that is like the new ones and doesn’t have this problem? Also, why don’t they do a cross shipment where M$ sends me something that works and I send back my busted one so I do not have to wait a month. Can’t wait to get Halo and have my third xbox die.

  14. 0
    llama says:

    ^ I will let you know how things return if i can. If i do receive my s/n’d 360, how will i be able to tell if it contains the new components short of taking it apart? (or now that they’ve opened it, do i not need to worry about voiding the warranty?) I also received a confirmation email stating that they have my xbox and now it will be 4-6 weeks to get it back instead of the initial 2-3 weeks i was told.

  15. 0
    David Ikari says:

    In other words, Microsoft is more focused on fixing the broken 360s on the consumer level, rather than ensuring that the fault is not at their end, and preventing such failures from occurring again?

    “Don’t worry if your 360 is busted or not. Think about how well we’ve treated you, how quickly we deal with the repairs. Yes, it’s broken. But we’re fixing it! And at the end of the day, isn’t that what video games are all about?”.

  16. 0
    Rammsoldat says:

    all 5 of the people on my buddies list when i had my 360 had gone through at least 1 console, some as high as 6.

    Mine broke once and started to crack my games so i bought a ps3 after i got a refund on my 360.

    I’ll not be buying another microsoft console because they are full of shit and will not admit when there is a problem.

  17. 0
    Terrible Tom ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    I’m really glad I didn’t buy a 360 and have to go through all the BS everyone seems to have to. I know two people with their original 360, and he hasnt had his that long. So about 7vs2, 2 of the broken ones have been sent back twice. 78% were broken. 22% broke twice. Its not a hard problem to fix, they should have put more cooling equipment in it to begin with but they just went cheap to rush them out. Anyone care to argue that the system is solid and M$ makes the best consoles now?

    I’m sorry but I havn’t heard much bad about the ps3, at least not as many failures as 360. Sadly it doesn’t have many games now but its probably worth the investment in the long run. I don’t want to have to wait a month or two to play my system because it was built to overheat and die. Knowing Sony if the system does screw up its easy to fix. It always has been. Infact I didn’t have to purchase a PS2. People with Disk Read Errors just gave them to me and bought a new one. I simply opened it, turned a little gear until it worked and closed it and it works as if it were new.

    Peter Moore is full of it. Moving problem my ass. They take your serial number every time you call in a repair. You take the number of broken 360’s and then devide by the number of total sold and you got your number. Maybe he means the number keeps going up so they can’t keep count. 3-5 percent is just strait-up dishonest. There is noooo way this is even close to accurate. I say the real number is probably 15-60% You can’t say with any amount of certanty because not everyone is going to go online to discuss this problem and M$ isn’t going to give up the numbers.

    I only have one thing to say to M$, your customers and potential customers can tell when your talking out of your ass. Because when you do that everything around you reaks of shit.

    Its a real bummer too. I really was going to get a 360 until they started crapping out. I mean it was cheaper than the ps3, had more games and seemed as if it was the better choice. Now I have to either get a freakin Wii or save up even more money to buy an overpriced peice of machinery with little games to play on it… well I have ps2 games but I still have a ps2…

    Know what… screw that I’m going to buy an Atari 2600 with a shitload of games off ebay for like 30 bucks and just use my PC for gaming.

  18. 0
    bayushisan ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Well this certainly enforces my decision not to buy a 360 yet. Until Microsoft gets this problem fixed they won’t be getting my money. I do aggree that its time the gaming community brought some political pressure to bear on Microsoft in order to get this resolved.

  19. 0
    Spyrle ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I think I’ve been one of the lucky ones. I’ve had my 360 for over a year and I’ve yet to encounter any problems with it (although now that ive said that…). Two of my work mates have had to get theirs repaired though – and it drove them up the wall waiting for it to get returned.

  20. 0
    lordlundar says:

    I work in retail and I’ve had some fun stories.

    During last Christmas season, return rates on the consoles hit 10 percent at the store I work at. This was of 300 consoles sold. The “ring of death” was so frequent that on that alone, we had to set aside consoles for exchanges.

    This of course doesn’t factor into overheaters, where the console hits the mark of component failure (on a retail site I visit there’s a story of one igniting inside) or disk destroyers, where the drive scratches the disk to the point where it cannot be read.

    Microsoft’s solution? “Let’s make more so we can guarantee the person will have a chance of getting one working!”

    The funny part is, people bash the PS3 so much saying Sony can’t do anything right, but I’ve seen more 360’s returned in a week defective than the PS3 since launch.

  21. 0
    ktchong says:

    Class Action

    Well, if 360 owners really have been having so many hardware failures, then they should file a Class Action against Microsoft.

    Otherwise, you have no case.

  22. 0
    DoggySpew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    And this time, I only have had 2 instance with a 3 red lights problem. But it was not a fatal one, and it was caused by power outages.
    My X360 does have a tendency to scratch my discs, but I countered that by being VERY carefull with it.
    I keep my X360 horizontal, and I make sure in heck I don’t bump it while I play a game.

    I do believe that the PS3 is more robust.

  23. 0
    Doctor Proctor ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    A group of friends and I get together for Halo parties once in a while, and we’ve all got 360’s. There one guy that got one at launch, I’ve had mine for over a year and the rest have had them for about 6 months. Out of the 7 of us that have 360’s, none of us have *ever* had one go out on us.

    Should Microsoft have put better cooling in it? Probably… Can you fix it yourself for $20? Certainly… I bought the Pelican fan stand and have never had a problem with overheating. I keep my 360 in a well-ventilated area, not on some time shelf where it’s starved for cool air.

    The problem with people that have gone through 6, 7, 8 or more consoles might not be the console, it might be the owner. If you keep doing the same thing over, and over, and over, and over that causes it reheat then shouldn’t you take some responsibility for that? What’s the old saying? “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

  24. 0
    Terrible Tom ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    So every other console under the sun can go on a shelf but the 360 can’t?

    I’m sorry but you can’t blame owners on this one.

  25. 0
    Spartan2842 says:

    I have had my XBOX 360 since launch and its never broke, flashed red lights or even froze while playing a game. I play it 8 to 10 hours everyday. I love my 360 and I love microsoft for making it. PS3 sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. 0
    Terrible Tom ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    Infact there is one individual I know that has to overheat his 360 just to get it to start. He turns it on and wraps it in a towel until it gets hot and then it works sometimes.

    I just think M$ rushed a product out the door and it failed and they are trying to save. Its the M$ way of business if you look at their history of products.

  27. 0
    Viper187 says:

    “The problem with people that have gone through 6, 7, 8 or more consoles might not be the console, it might be the owner. If you keep doing the same thing over, and over, and over, and over that causes it reheat then shouldn’t you take some responsibility for that?”

    You shouldn’t have to put the thing on a stand in the middle of the room for air or shut it down every 2 hours to cool off. What about people without air conditioning? The 360 would probably never survive playing in 90 degree weather on top of the heat it generates on its own. I played my old Xbox for 15+ hours straight each day (Halo 2 campaigns, mostly) and it never gave me trouble. I’m still trying to find a store that actually has Xbox Elites in stock so I can get one. I’d wait, but Halo 3 is coming in September, so I have to have one now.

  28. 0
    Shadow-Breaker says:

    I’m on my 5th 360. The first one was a launch console, worked until June of 06′ then died from a simple power surge. The second one I got woulden’t play games or DVD’s. The third scratched disks and made a really loud noise whenever a game or movie was in the drive. The fourth simply woulden’t turn on, and finally after all that, Microsoft literally sent me what appeared to be a brand new console, which came in the retail box and everything, except it didn’t come with a power brick or AV cables. That fifth one has been working fine since I got it eariler this year.

    Sure after all this someone could just say it was bad luck on my part. But after owning all of the consoles from the last two generations and not having a single problem with one of them (except my ps2 which occasionaly won’t start a game up) there’s definantly something going on with 360’s.

  29. 0
    Costanzafaust says:

    My 360 still works fine, but I am dreadfully afraid to update Guitar Hero II and have held off on doing so even though it would make the whammy bar more responsive. I’ve just seen too many ‘red rings after update’ horror stories to have any faith in the hardware.

    However, I’ve noticed that ALL 360s (and PS3s) run HOT. Make sure your console is in a well ventilated area (stuffed into the entertainment center is a bad idea) or consider putting a fan of some kind on it. Also unplug any USB stuff if you ever run a firmware update (guitar controller for example)

  30. 0
    The G says:

    Back in January, I had a huge issue with M$ when my 360 broke down and I had to contact the BBB to get the situation straightened out (took over a month for them to just send me a coffin). Long story short, they sent me a repaired 360, and then about two weeks later, I received ANOTHER 360. They just recently realized their mistake and called me about getting the 2nd system back. I’m definitely going to be taking my time responding to them…

  31. 0
    R M ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I am the VP of a video game retail corporation. I can declare from actual experience that this issue is indeed a very real and disconcerting issue. It almost seems as if it is not a question of “if” your Xbox 360 will “freeze” or not function properly…but a question of “when”. At our facilities we also repair defective Xbox 360 systems for consumers that are outside the timeframe of Microsoft’s warranty and we purchase defective systems from customers who wish to sell them. We currently have 60-100 defective Xbox 360 systems we purchased in from our customers in just ONE city. I, personally, have gone through 3 Xbox 360 systems.

  32. 0
    Francesco says:

    Just want to join the fray here, I’m a not-so-happy owner of a broken Xbox360.

    It gave me the three red lights less than 6 months after I bought it. It was sitting under the TV in a well ventilated piece of furniture (opened both on the front and on the back), next to the Wii and PS2. I always paid attention for the ventilation holes to have a reasonable clearance (at least 10cm) to ensure proper air-flow.

    Result? Three red lights.

    No customer should be forced to put the Xbox hanging from the ceiling in a cave to ensure it doesn’t fail. It just doesn’t make sense to sell something that breaks under the working conditions it has been designed for.

  33. 0
    Arlen ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This is a big part of why I’ve stayed out of the next-gen console market thus far. 360s crap out all the time and then have the audacity to make you pay by the month; the PS3 doesn’t have any exclusive titles that interest me (yet). I’m probably going to end up with a Wii. I’d prefer a system with some more horsepower, but with the Nintendo, my wife will actually play games with me. That would never happen on any other system.

  34. 0
    Robb ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I wasn’t one of the lucky ones. Mine died a few weeks before it was one year old. When I got it back, it was a different system, so I’m not certain if these “broke twice” stories are all correct. This problem indicates there wasn’t enough money/time spent on QA.

    I’m also not sure a class action is the correct way to handle this. The result of the class action would be extended warranty service for specified models. There probably won’t be a cash settlement. I know MS volutarily extended warranties to 12 months. That’s very generous.

    Still, I get the uneasy feeling that the product was not as stable as comparable products on the market, like the original Xbox. So there is a sort of implied contract on the lifespan on these things based on frequency of use.

    My best advice is to get service for your system as soon as possible if it is still under warranty. Maybe we need a life lesson that we don’t “deserve” anything automatically. Sorry for the synicism, but a few electronics products out there, like earlier iPods, had a lifespan of about 13 months.

  35. 0
    point09micron says:

    I’ve had my 360 since March ’06, and have only had occasional problems with games freezing (GRAW twice and R6Vegas once while it was doing a custom head).

    Of course, I prempted the whole problem by having a lot of space around it in my entertainment center, and when I bought it I also bought a laptop cooler that the 360 has sat on since day 1. $15 insurance policy vs. obscene store warranty price? Easy decision.

    Of course, about half my friend list has, at one time or another, had to get their system replaced due to critical hardware failures.

  36. 0
    Merc25 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Isn’t this kind of thing, that the ECA was founded for? Shall expect this to become a class action lawsuit with the ECA or some other consumer advocacy group leading the charge?

  37. 0
    Zerodash ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    There was a successful class-action against Sony over shoddy PS2 (and I think PS1) hardware. How much more difficult is a class action against MS than Sony? The suits against Sony may be another factor in the PS3 price- it seems to be really well built this time.

    I’m on my 3rd 360 now, and while it does piss me off, my enjoyment of the games supercedes my anger. Does anyone know of statistics about the 360 intercooler reducing red ring failure?

  38. 0
    Vael300 says:

    Heh, my 360 experienced the red lights last night, and now I come on this morning to see that it’s a lot more widespread than I thought.

    The 360, until they fix the problems, is a piece of junk unless you treat it like a king. My PS2? Sits underneath my TV in my basement, no cooling besides the internal fan and suffering constant abuse from younger siblings. I have owned that PS2 for SIX YEARS.

    My 360, which is in the one room in my house with air conditioning, and has received my utmost attention making sure that nobody bumps it or is rough with it…lasted four months. I hate Microsoft.

  39. 0
    Ben ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I had my 360 since launch with no problems, then just last week I let my brother borrow it and it comes back with 3 red lights. Luckily the towel trick fixed my 360.

  40. 0
    shank MS says:

    My good friend and I both had our launch 360’s break earlier this year, within 2 months of each other. both broke in same fashion; game freezes, funny lines appear across the screen, then console is bricked. Both had open space and fans directed for good ventilation.MicroMart states the problem is endemic to the 360. These are neautral tech guys, not sony or nintendo goons bashing MS products or MS goons lying bout how good 360 is. I look at it like this; my NES from 1989, which is used and abused, runs fine. why doesnt my year and half old 360? BTW, my orig. Xbox1 had the DVD drive break. I have been a big fan of xbox games the past years, but as 21 year old gamer with over 10 working systems inlcuding the Atari Jaguar(won in raffle, wouldnt have payed a dime for it lol), my only systems to ever break have been xbox 1 and 360. and they broke while playing a game normally, not from something I did. Sincerely MS, you suck.

  41. 0
    Todd ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I am now waiting for my 2nd 360 to be repaired. If MS had not extended the warranty, then I would be screwed out of my money right now, and I would have probably not bothered getting a new 360. I would instead have bought a new PS3, since I always preferred Playstation anyways.

  42. 0
    placebo says:

    I have had 3 Xbox 360s die, the latest one cost me $140 and took 24 from the time it failed to the time I had a new one, right during the Halo 3 beta. I had to pay because I had received system number 2 during the time when the warranty was only 6 months, and I didn’t think about it.

    I am upset. I know the 360 is more complicated than my 22 year old NES, but you know what? My NES still works!

  43. 0
    Twisterxiz says:

    i was one of the winners in Microsofts Every Ten Minutes contest back in the summer of 2005. I knew 2 people who also won 360s, and both of theirs broke, however fortunatly (actually unfortunatly) my 360 lasted for a good year and a half (even outside the extended warranty). I speant over $1000 bucks on my console, getting every game, and every acessory I could get my hands on. Hell, I even had the 2005 E3 Faceplate from the Microsoft Press conference (roughly worth $200).

    Now back in April, my 360 finally broke, and I was astonished. Everyone I knew was telling me it would break. But I told them mine just happened to be a working one. And ofcourse I was proven wrong. I called microsoft support and had the worst experience of my life. I was told on 3 seperate occasions that microsoft would call me back. All 3 never occured (actually 1 of them happened 2 hours later than scheduled and I wasnt able to talk). I contacted mountain dew to see if I could get my console fixed via them, I contacted the BBB, I even was talking to the managers about legal action including the Implied Warranty and flat out Small Claims court. I was even hung up on once during an argument with one of the managers.

    Anyhow I speant probably 3 weeks talking to Mircosoft and finally the BBB told me that it was time I either took it to court or just pay the damn $140 “fine”. At this rate I knew it was going to be probably another month or 2 before I got a properly (hopefully) working 360. So I decided to just pay the damn fee.

    I also had 2 friends who’s 360s broke outside the warranty. Both had to pay the $140 dollar fee, and both were extremely upset about it.

    Microsoft better step up and atleast accept any console made before the next heat sink installation on the newer 360s, in for repair. And for thsoe who paid their hellish fines or went through the terrible customer service should be refunded.

    The end of the story is that This is microsofts problem, and they want us to pay them to fix their mistakes. They need to be the better man and admit that they botched their product during the first stages, because everyone else knows it.

  44. 0
    chadachada ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I may be in the minority, but my 360 (except for a small problem with the disk drive) works perfectly fine for over a year now. My friend had to get his fixed, but no one else that I know has had such problems

  45. 0

    I run a no-profit web site dedicating to exposing and taking action against the horrendously implemented DRM for downloaded content on the 360 that imposes severe restrictions on the content you paid for if you system gets repaired. The measures are designed to prevent piracy but kick in if the system is replaced as well and all Microsoft offers is a ludicrously complicated workaround that combined with the utter ineptitude of their outsouced support, creates a terrible experience for customers.

    The failure rates of the 360 cannot be explained away by Microsoft as it is clear that a very high percentage of users are experiencing problems. I am on my 3rd 360 and my current one is starting to have skipping problems and is likely on its way out. I can understand why legal action hasn’t been mounted against Microsoft due to their size but that or some form of government investigation is required. They rushed the product out too fast to get to market first and are now trying to deny a problem where it is obvious a huge one exists. If you have had issues with getting locked out of your content, please check my site to see what you can do about it. As long as consumers continue to tolerate this (such as the guy on 1UP who basically forgives Microsoft, even after 12 360s), they will have no reason to do anything about it. We the gamers have to say enough is enough and we won’t tolerate being sold junk and then getting this ridiculous support for it.

  46. 0
    Timmay! says:

    I’ve had my 360 for well over a year now, and have had 1 problem with mine, bad PSU, which MS replaced fairly quickly. I’ve had my system standing up, on it’s side, in every form of poor ventilation anyone could think of (on a thick rug, for example), and played it for hours on end, and haven’t had any other problem than the PSU.

    From the people who give a detailed description of their dealings with MS, and have gone through X ammount of systems with them, sounds to me like MS is replacing broken systems with systems they’ve “fixed”, which is one explenation for people who’ve gone through system after system after system.

    Those who’ve replaced their broken 360’s with new 360’s every time, and have gone through more than two, sounds like there’s a chance there’s a problem with the owner, not the system.

    I also wonder, with every site that mentions hardware problems with the 360, how many people are going from site to site to site and posting the same story all over the place.

  47. 0

    Most are having a wonderful experience….
    I am guessing, the most, Microsoft is referring to, are those who are rich enough to just buy the 360 in a 12 pack, and just throw away the dead ones as soon as they die!

    Come see, and tell your experience…

    Hey, did you know, the main problems with the 360, are transfered to the ELITE Watch the Video on my site, you will see, elite is just about exactly the same as the 360

  48. 0
    Craig says:

    It’s a huge problem…out of me and the 4 friends that have 360’s, 3 of us had the red ring of death. The thing that no one seems to realize is all you have to do is buy a new console from Circuit City or Best Buy or any other chain store and then put the old one in the box and return it. You can say that it’s broken and you don’t want another or do what I did…put the broken console back in the plastic, close the box and shut it with the little circle sticker which is the only thing that it’s sealed with. I took it into Circuit City. All I said was that I wanted to return it. They don’t even ask why. When he went to check the box to see that everything was in there, he saw that it looked like I never even opened it so he didn’t even check it. The whole process of buying a new one and returning the old one takes under an hour. Why anyone sends their 360 back to be repaired is beyond me.

  49. 0
    Brokenscope ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Its odd. I have never had a problem with my Core system with an HDD the store gave me in attempt to get the crappy core off the shelf. I have had it since… I guess around January after launch. It has been used vertically and horizontally, and the only time i had a disc get scratched was when I fell on the damn thing after my dog tripped me.

    The people I know who have problems all had premium systems. I have never talked to anyone who had a problem with a core box. That fact combined with the HD causing troubles for some people makes me wonder 2 things.

    Were Core systems produced on a separate line from systems destined for premium status.

    Were the HDDs for the premium packs built on a different line.

    @Paralax Abstraction

    I was under the impression that all content was tied to a gamertag. I could have sworn I downloaded some pay maps on a 360 that wasn’t mine for usage at a lan party.

  50. 0
    marcus says:

    I’m on my third xbox 360.

    The first replacement I was sent died within the first 5 minutes I used it.

    Of the seven people i know with xbox 360’s, 5 have had at least 1 replacement.

    It’s ridiculous troubleshooting this problem with Microsoft support also, some of the do’s and don’ts, like the power source must be plugged directly into a wall outlet(not a power bar), and the power source should not be sitting directly on the floor(where am i supposed to put it then?). There were other things too.

    When I went to pick up one of my replacements from UPS, the girl could tell by the cardboard box that it was an xbox 360 and said they see 100’s of them every month – that’s 1 UPS outlet in a city of less than a million.

    No way is the problem affecting only 3-5% of consoles, that’s impossible.

  51. 0
    Nightfire ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Microsoft has been upgrading the broken 360’s as they come in with new heatsinks before they go back out. And when asked Microsoft denies they exist. Despite the fact that there are pictures of the new heatsinks installed:

    Can anybody tell me that is not an admission of gilt by Microsoft by installing one of these things and then refusing they exist? To be honest I trying to like the 360 but when you get M-Dollar shills like Peter Moore saying that unit problems are “a moving target” and not really answering the mounting call for a clear response about the fail rates and even if they do give a response they say the fail rates are around 3% to 5% I really think that’s bull. I would not be surprised if they really are 30% to 35%.

  52. 0

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  53. 0
    MJedi says:

    The gaming group I’m in ( calls those who have had broken Xbox 360’s the Coffin Club. Of the 97 people who responded to a poll, 59 of them (61%) have had their 360’s die on them. There are a few who have had this happen to them more than once, including a member who’s gotten the Red Rings of Death on each of the FIVE 360’s MS has sent her! And MS Support is not being helpful either.

    We have a motto among our group regarding MS’s statement about the failure rate: “3 percent our a**!”

    I’m glad this is getting more attention now.

  54. 0
    revelation says:

    ok so its an established fact that the 360 has serious flaws
    and is effecting more people than m$ wants anyone to know about


    nothing will happen untill m$ are forced into the situation of rectifying it
    or some senior court judge desides enough is enough and launches a full investigation.

    maybe we should get george bush on our side and send the troops in

  55. 0
    Mr Wassabi says:

    I find it somewhat strange that this is such a massive problem, not for the fact that it’s happening in such volumes, or the fact it’s a Microsoft product – but the fact I’ve had my 1st Generation X-Box since it was released and still use it religiously (Not a fan of the 360’s Emulation attempts of my old games) and have never had a single issue with it hanging, crashing or just not starting.

    Should Microsoft be made responsible for their ill-conceived attempts at creating a next-gen console after the success of their first Black Brick system? Yes. This isn’t something as trivial as plugging security flaws in an OS, or making it more stable…this isn’t a software issue – it’s an inherent hardware issue, one I certainly didn’t pay near to 600 dollars to have happen again and again.

    My X-Box 360 just recently experienced this and so I was thinking i was one the unlucky few that had this happen – only upon digging further did I realize that it was much more prevalent than I had originally thought.

    Better Business Bureau anyone? I have a hard time seeing any sort of senior law official taking up the sword for us just on a whim… its annoying enough to pay that much for a console to play the games that we so love – after all, it’s not the consoles that make us buy the consoles – it’s the games that make us buy the consoles. It would be grand if some of the gaming industry got behind those of us who shell out our hard earned cash and told Microsoft they needed to do more than just play Which-360-Under-The-Shells-Is-The-Rare-Working-One, and sending out refurbs. Sigh…I just want to play my games.

  56. 0
    Albsilk1 says:

    I bought my xbox 360 at launch back in 2005 and I had to send it back to MS cause of the three red lights.I know two other people with the xbox 360 and they both also had to get it repaired. That is 3 out of 3. MS is LYING !!!!!!! the percentage of faulty consoles has to be near 40 – 50%they are covering up the huge disaster and it must be costing them millions and millions….

  57. 0
    sqlrob ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Dr Proctor: “The problem with people that have gone through 6, 7, 8 or more consoles might not be the console, it might be the owner.”

    You aren’t taking one thing into account. MS ships back refurbs, not new, so some of the failures are likely the same ones that it was originally sent it for.

  58. 0
    Jer ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I cannot go and view all the relevant sites at work, (all are blocked.) My cousin just got his 360, I have never owned one. What is the main issue with it? is it just over heating? or is there more? I want to inform my cousin so he can take precautions.

  59. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The one that has me concerned is the MicroMart statement, it’s one thing to think that maybe lots of people are nipping round the Internet posting testimonials, it’s another to have a company stop a service because the demand for it is flooding them.

    It certainly sounds like some kind of power/heat problem, doesn’t the 360 have any kind of emergency temperature shut-down or anything? (I don’t own any consoles, so I’m completely in the dark here)

  60. 0
    Rob says:

    My friend got his at launch, well, actually a little before launch since he won his in a contest from Mountain Dew or something. But, anyway, he’s still got his 360 from before launch and it hasn’t broken down on him once, he’s got to be pretty damn lucky if all these numbers are true.

    Hopefully, I am that lucky as well, I just got my 360 this month.

  61. 0
    Billy H says:


    Was on my 3rd 360, going on 4th when I decided the best way to solve the problem was get a PS3.

    At any rate, while consumers taking legal action or the government intervening may prove a worthwhile solution, I know of a way that will get an IMMEDIATE response from M$ and kick them into gear.

    It’s all up to Sony. Well, Nintendo could do it, too. But I don’t think they would given their reputation.

    PLAY DIRTY, SONY. At this year’s E3, call out M$ for their hardware failures. Poke fun at them, make jokes, talk all kinds of trash. Shoot, if you were smart, you’d start contacting the retail companies to see if you could gather some statistics of your own concerning failure rates and such.

    Poll consumers, do some guerilla research, and when E3 rolls around, just after M$ touts Halo 3 as its shining beacon that everyone should follow, drop some statistical bombs on the gaming public. Forget about Killzone 2, MGS4, FF13, a new controller, or whatever else you have planned. Playing dirty and targeting M$ hardware failures will gain you more ground even if you promised a new feature on the PS3 that would wipe your arse for you.

    I can think of nothing better for putting an end to this lingering issue, and possibly regain some of that lost ground. If nothing else, that would certainly light a fire under M$’s ass and get them to take some kind of action.


  62. 0
    Terrible Tom ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    I really do hope someone steps up to defend gamers against M$. Its really sad when this many people are experiencing a product of such poor quality.

    So who is losing more money, Sony or M$?

    On one side we have a system that is really expensive to make and is sold for less to try to get people to buy it. And its still really expensive so no one is buying it, or making games for it.

    On the other side we have a system that isn’t losing as much money off their console but now they are having to spend loads of money repairing them. Repairing so many that companies are beginning to turn down consoles because the demand is too high. I’d like to know the real numbers on how many systems total have needed to be repaired or replaced.

    I bet good ol’ Nintendo is sitting back with a grin on their face. Sure their system’s graphics arn’t amazing and the games don’t look as pretty and some of the art in games(wario ware) make feel extremely proud of what I can acomplish in 2 hours.


    I’d like to know that as well. Its a nice feature for PC gamers, or anyone that pushes their PC’s limitations. It would be worth it in the long run for your system to shut down once it reaches a certain temperature. Sure you might lose your place in your game… but would you rather replay the game or have to get your system repaired or replaced? I know right now I’m pretty happy I decided to get a computer and not a 360. Computers are very reliable if it has proper cooling.


    Software is different from hardware. You might beable to get away with releasing software that is full of bugs but when you do it with hardware its going to bite you in the ass.

  63. 0
    LA says:

    There is an article that explain the systemic issue with the Xbox 360. The problem is that the cooling design of the 360 doesn’t hold up. The excess amount of heat that remain within the GPU can cause the entire mainboard to flex – a phenomenon largely caused by the X-shaped brackets that hold the heatsinks on under the mainboard. They hold the heatsinks down to the chips with a tension fit that presses up directly underneath those chips. So when the system gets too hot, the combination of loosened solder with a mainboard that flexes from heat causes the GPU or CPU to actually break its connection from the board – resulting in the 3 red lights and secondary error code 0102 (the “unknown hardware error” code).

  64. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Yeah, I thought it would be heat expansion related, the problem is that in order to be fast, components need to be close together, in order to be cool, they need to be far apart. Get the ratios wrong and either performance or reliability will suffer.

  65. 0
    Carbonatedgravy says:

    Glad to see this posted, as it is one more thing pressuring Microsoft to change their ways. For the record I too have a 360 being repaired in Texas right now.

  66. 0
    Miang ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I personally went through three systems in one year. Since I got the last system I have been afraid to play it for fear it will break down. It doesn’t make the system very useful. Each time my system crashed I was playing a different game. I was always VERY careful about not playing more then a couple of hours so that it wouldn’t over heat and I made sure it was in a ventilated area with my home AC running when I played games on that system. I went through both my standard warranty and a couple of extended purchase warranties that I had to re-purchase each time they were used. It’s not a solid system.

  67. 0
    John ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The one thing I want to see is evidence of people returning it so many times. Without pictures or hard proof, these anecdotes remind me of SWG and people cancelling 6-7 accounts at a time. Who is to say some PS fanboys or just good natured trolls want

    Not a def for MS, but I want more info and unbiased investigation.

  68. 0
    Terrible Tom ( User Karma: -1 ) says:


    Are you ignoring the fact that MicroMart? Micromart is not just a PS fanboy trolling, they are an actual company that fixes M$’s defective product. They are in-the-know when it comes to the the faults the product has and they say
    ” We were getting a phenomenal amount of these things coming through. We were seeing about 30 a week coming in with the same problem which we identified as a fundamental motherboard fault…

    We decided it wasn’t in anybody’s best interests to continue the sham that this fault is easily repaired.”

    Yes this is just one company but they are refusing to fix any 360’s with that problem because it is too much for them to handle. And they are also calling it a sham meaning its pointless to fix because its going to just screw up again. So yea sure you can claim that everyone complaining is just a PS fan, and im sure some are, but the fact is MicroMart has no reason to lie about it. They are making money fixing these defective products and the demand is too high for them to keep up with so they are trying to concentrate on what they can handle.

    Pictures wouldn’t be hard proof, hard proof lies in the hands of M$. They are refusing to give us updates on the actual number of systems that have repaired. That number, or at least percentage, is definately something they could handle. You must understand that to get a console repaired you must give them a serial number so they must be recording it somehow. They are withholding this information from us so it must not be good news. Sure they are saying 3-5 percent, and they are claiming its a moving number. Its obvious they are trying to fix it, but we should the actual numbers and have access to the hard proof that they hold.

    Why are they keeping us in the dark? Until they provide us with a good reason we have to assume the obvious, that they are worried about the public reaction.

  69. 0
    ZippyDSMlee ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    the 30% + fail rate rings true,the if MS goes with a 199 console with the new CPU and GPU and thats a premium console mind you,do this Xmas of this year and I can forgive MS.

    But MS being MS there is not “problem” the fail rate is a minuim “5%”………, you’d think dealing with the problem early and quickly would have been better/faster/cheaper for everyone…

  70. 0
    joey b says:

    I went through 5. I got rid of it. Not worth the headaches. Would you buy the same car again if you know it had problems? MS isnt going to fix the problem, all they want is a fat bankroll.

    I picked up the ps3 and the build quality is absolutely stunning. Quiet as a mouse and rock solid, no freezes, disc scratching, overheating, etc..

  71. 0
    finaleve ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I think my 360 froze once, but that was probably when I was playing an XBox game. But did not break. Honestly, its far too late in the game to come out with a whole new system thats like the 360 but better. They made the Elite to go along with the bigger hard drive gimmick.

    Its also pretty hard to set up a whole new system. I think they are going to wait until their next system to solve that issue. Nintendo’s Wii-Mote chucking problem was waaaaaaaay too simple to solve.

    My Wii froze when I was playing RE4 Wii Edition…should I go get taht repaired too? =P

  72. 0
    Silver_Derstin says:

    “I think they are going to wait until their next system to solve that issue.”

    You do realize the next generation of consoles will probably come out in 7 to 8 years? That’s an awfully long time, dealing with complaints of customers…

  73. 0
    Terrible Tom ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    Yea, I agree with Silver_Derstin. Thats way to long to keep repairing the same systems over and over again.

    M$ has to own up to this problem and fix it ASAP in my opinion.

  74. 0
    Archgabe ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    It if kinda funny. I got the Red Ring of Death only once on my console, and that was for about five second the first time I turned it on. I just looked at it with rage and hate of the 1000 hells and it must have decided that it’s life expectancy is alot higher when it is working because after 5 seconds of red ring it decided to restart and start working all on it’s own.

    I have had it since March and the little trooper has been chugging along like it is supposed to. I will say it is being a good little machine.

  75. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Just thinking, it’d be kind of silly for PS3 fans to pretend post that their XBox360 went wrong, at least from Sony’s point of view, the longer Microsoft deny, the more customers they will lose, the more people that post about problems, the more pressure on Microsoft to at least look at the problem without blinkers on.

  76. 0
    qAaRoN ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m on my 3rd X-Box 360 as of right now. I took the first two over my friend’s house a lot, so I figured that might have been the problem. I packaged them up good so they did not get banged around on the trip over, yet they still failed. Both systems were covered on my warranty, so there was no problems in returning them to EB Games for a brand new one, no questions asked. Every time I play my 360 however, I get nervous. I wonder if THIS will be the exact moment that it crashes. My warranty is up at the end of August, so if it fails after that, I can’t afford to have it fixed. I shouldn’t have to in all actuality. I was unaware of the alarming numbers of just how many other people were experiencing the exact same thing that I’ve been going through for almost a year now. I think Microsoft should just send a new unit that they actually took the time to check for errors and when it’s bug free, ship it to consumer, along with a bat. This way, we can take the defective 360 out into a field and pull an “Office Space with the fax machine” on it.

  77. 0
    Terrible Tom ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    Very true GoodRobotUs

    What I’m a fan of is a reliable affordable console with plenty of games that I’m interested in with HD graphics capabilities(sorry wii). I don’t mean to hate on the Wii, I’ll eventually buy it. But first I think I want an Atari 2600, a commodore 64, controllers for my NES and mario 1,2,3 (mine are broke), to find my sega genesis/sega cd stuff, and depending on what the future holds, a 360 or ps3. Oh yea to also find my freakin dreamcast games and controllers. I just can’t think of where i put them it was such a long time ago. Im thinking its time to rebuild my collection. Next gen can wait.

    So far its still pretty close between a ps3 and 360. I mean 360 still only has only a few games I have interest in so the lack of ps3 games isn’t too big of a deal for me. What I am worried about is durability, price and future games. I’m kinda on the fence.

  78. 0
    Kmach says:

    Sorry folks, but the intercoolers don’t do anything for prolonging the life of the system. I used to sit in forums arguing with people that it wasn’t MS fault, it was theirs! “You don’t go out and buy a high end machine and shove it in a tight space and let it overheat!” I would type. Until…

    I purchased a launch day 360 and was pretty excited about it. Sure, after a few weeks it began to freeze here and there. Nothing really to get nervous about, it could be the game or IF it was the system perhaps a firmware update would stop the freezes right? A couple more weeks went by and a few more symptoms started popping up. The freezes would now be accompanied by 2bit (think atari 2600) noises, my system would display artifacts on start up that would go away, and/or during gameplay the framerate would start to drop until it crawled to a nice little freeze. The icing on the cake is the red ring error and a broken 360 that might run for 2min at a time before locking up and displaying some artifacts (horizontal/vertical white dotted lines or the very hip and cool checkered board thing). Seriously, checkered board artifacts is SOOO in this Spring.

    “Not a big deal” I thought, “that’s the risk you take with getting launch day hardware.” I got my new 360 (or should I say scratched up refurbished unit) and spent extra money on the Pelican fan stand. I even put the 360 console across the room away from my LCD tv which also runs hot. Sure enough, 1.5mos later I experienced some freezing issues. I really began to get concerned when a few weeks later after that I started to get freezing/artifacts/2bit noises/and red ring of death. I sent it in for a replacement.

    Alright, now I received my 3rd 360 console and I went out and purchased a Nyko Intercooler and used it with the Pelican fanstand. If you are going to do this you better have some free time and a Dremmel tool because the Pelican fan stand will need to be modified. While I was at it I decided to also put a custom fan into the Pelican stand as well, now I had the double threat going. “No fail this time buddy!” However, the exact same fate for #3 about 2mos later. I sent that bad boy in as well.

    “OKAY, this is getting a little ridiculous” I thought. I came up with a plan. I went out and purchased some high performance PC fans (3) and stuck them on my new horizontal 360, two blowing air into the system via bottom and topside and one helping to pull air out the exhaust in the back. That’s right, my living room sounded like I was testing prototype jet engines! Additionally, I stuck the 360 next to the window and living room fan FAR away from the television. Guess what happened 4mos later? Yup, red rings baby. Except this time I was about 10 days out of my 1yr MS warranty. Let’s forget the fact that I had probably spent about a total of 2-3 months just shipping and receiving dead consoles to and from MS. MS then told me it was $140 to fix it (they would not tell me if I would get my same console back, so most likely I would be paying for another broken/scratched up refurbished unit) and I could keep the warranty going FOR ONLY $25 a year! I thought to myself, after all the crap I have gone through and the money I have pumped into MS (I own about 30games, Live, 12 arcade games, 4 controllers, marketplace crap blah blah blah) they are going to stick it to me?! On top of that I don’t trust the system anymore.

    I mean looking back, when have you ever heard about gamers having to be SOOOO careful around a piece of hardware, EVEN OUTSIDE OF GAMING CONSOLES?!!! I just said screw it and sold the piece of junk off. Maybe someday I will get another one, I have been stoked about Mass Effect for sometime, but if Sony cuts the price of the PS3 and comes out with some decent titles this holiday season I think I will be getting a PS3. And yes, I got a Wii so my wife and I could play some games but unfortunately there aren’t any games out for the Wii either. This next gen gaming thing is just soo freakin’ awesome! Best Gen Ever!!

  79. 0
    Kmach says:

    Oh by the way, both of my brothers have 360’s and both have been replaced. They are VERY casual gamers and probably average about 1-2hrs a week! Still, Kaput systems. Yeah, but let’s blame the gamer instead of the garbage company ripping people off!

  80. 0
    Lockstock666 says:

    I find it very patronising how some people come on here and tell me I’ve abused my 360 and assume that people who have hada lot of 360’s are bad owners.

    My console is not heavily used, it sits where its got enough ventilation, and its currently suffered a massive three red light hardware failure.

    This is a fault with the 360. This is a re-occuring defect because so many people have the same problem. It must be assumed that all 360’s are made in exactly the same way, Therfore its reasonable to assume that if your 360 has not frozen yet that it probably will. You are in denial, its understandable, but there was absolutely no reason for my 360 to break. I’d been playing it for ten minutes that day.

    M$ are not a company that you can trust to be honest when announcing defect rates. Everything they do or say, their only concern is the profit margin.

    It’s a shame because the 360 is a good games console. I’m ringing M$ later to try and demand a free repair 3 months after my warrenty expired.

    If not I will try and take it to the store where i bought it because in the UK, there are laws which state that electrical products should still not fail just after their warranty has expired and that is down to the retailer.

  81. 0
    monte' ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Well, Skimming through the comments in one of the articles, it looks like Mircosoft Added even more to their warrenty. In addition to the one year you get for free, you can also get an extended warrenty for what seems to be about 2 years… ofcourse it’s probbaly gonna cost some cash to sign up for it; it’s probably a lot like Apple’s Apple care plan

    Just thought i throw that out their for those who are gonna stand by the Xbox360… considering the failures and all, it might be a good investment… unlike the UK, i don’t think most countries have laws about equitment failing right after warrenty expires…. me… i’m gonna stick with my launch day PS2 which has yet to fail me, for atleast a few more months or so, until next-gen get some better games and has a price drop or two =P

  82. 0
    Kula says:

    What exactly are the red lights for? Are they JUST an indicator of the console breaking? If so, I find it pretty sad that Microsoft’s X-Box is so poorly put together that they actually needed to put something in their console that says “Sorry, your console’s knackered.”

  83. 0
    Kazenami says:

    I personally had one 360 suffer from the dreaded three-ring-of-death. Microsoft was prompt on the repairs (actually shipping me a new unit and transferring all warranties over to the new serial number). I modified my entertainment center enclosure which houses the 360 by installing a 120mm fan in the back that can be turned on with a flip of a switch. This 2nd 360 has had no issues since then. In fact the internal fans in the unit barely ever turn on now. It’s sad that I had to compensate for a lack of thermal dynamic design on Microsoft’s part. They should have just accepted that they needed a bigger form factor for the unit in order to disperse the heat from the gpu/cpu, or at least postponed production of the units till they were able to go to the 65nm processors.

  84. 0
    orangekrush ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I don’t want to fan the flames here – but my decision to never buy anything with microsoft on it come from my experiences working with MS office (at the office). MS programs constantly freeze or shut down, their OS does the same.

    Why on earth would I want to buy a console made by these chumps?

    I worked at a software company – all they do is work to quarter end. Rush to get things out to meet targets and to hell with the returns – that’s for another department in the next quarter…. sell, sell, sell… rush rush rush.

    I am not saying Sony is the be all and end all, but MS is one vendor I will always avoid.

  85. 0
    Timmay! says:

    I know MS isn’t the greatest company in the world, I know they can be the great software (or console) devil, but how many companies can anyone point out that rarely have a software or hardware problem? Sony, Nintendo, Atari, Sega, SNK, every console maker has had a hardware issues at one point or another, weather it be a flawed design or just bad components.

    I’m not here to excuse MS for the problems with the 360, it’s more than apparent that it’s greater than an “isolated issue”, but if you’re going to do something, then do something, start a class action suit, take MS to the Better Business Bureau, whatever you want, but don’t just sit there and bash MS because they’re not jumping to fix your problem either. If you’re just posting to bash MS and say you won’t buy they’re product because of the situation, then you’re not helping to fix anything.

  86. 0
    dmcman says:

    Polls can only be taken with a grain of salt. The people who are online and searching for information about broken 360’s are the ones doing these polls the most. People with working 360’s are happy and spend their time gaming and not filling out polls and surveys on console performance.

  87. 0
    POLE ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This problem is everywhere, even in Québec. They could even get troubles by the “cour des petites créances” (Court of small credits) because one costumer reported 3 consoles broken in 14 months (which is, even in the court’s lawyers opinion, quite abnormal).

    There’s a link of the story as well as a link to the video (for those who speak french).

    If you want, I can give you a translation.

    Very good website you got.

  88. 0
    ECH-o says:

    My 360 had it’s first and only fatal failure (the 3 red lights) about a month ago. The console is 15 months old and I was told it would be $139.90 to repair it. Today I read an article online that Microsoft would extend the warranty to 3 years due to the excessive failure rates, so I called 1-800-4MY-XBOX and was told that they hadn’t received a memo instructing them about this. So, I guess I’m stuck waiting for a few more days before Microsoft gets their act together. Of course, this will require me being on hold for another 20 minutes so the call center in India can take my call…

  89. 0
    Kevin Williams says:

    I got the red lights of death two days ago. I saw the article this morning and called tonight. Microsoft is send me a box for shipping and making the repairs free of charge. It sucks I have to wait 3 to 4 weeks to get it back, but at least I don’t have to pay anything, not even shipping.

    I commend microsoft for taking responsibility. I wouldn’t trade my xbox for anything.

  90. 0
    matt says:

    I’ve only owned my 360 for 5 months, about six weeks ago i got disc read error and my disc drive making a strange noise. I had to send the console in for repairs, its been three weeks. I’m extremely disappointed with microsoft repair service and the overall console.

  91. 0
    Doc says:

    Hi. To everyone who said that they have had their 360 working for over 12 months, congratulations! My own 360 gave me the 3 red lights on a few occasions before, and removing the hard drive seemed to work fine on those occasions, no problem.

    Today however, after 18 months of working quite well, the 3 red lights appears to be terminal! None of the suggested ideas work for me, so I dunno what to do! I really don’t wanna waste money getting it “fixed” and have it break again later in its life. If the problem really is endemic then it does show that M$ really rushed it out to get a head start on the ol’ PS3. I sorta wish i’d waited for PS3, but I really enjoyed Oblivion and still play (well, played) it nearly a year after i bought it :)

    Ah well, it was one of the first batch, maybe they will fix it for free 😀

  92. 0
    Xbox Justice says:

    Has your XBOX 360 frozen up while playing a game? Has it scratched game disks? Has it displayed multiple error messages after updates?

    Don’t waste your time with Microsoft customer service. They will keep you on hold for an hour or more and simply read scripted responses to you.

    File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Use this link and follow the instructions. Microsoft headquarters is located in the State of Washington.

    The BBB will contact them and work on your behalf to resolve the issue. If a business receives enough formal complaints, it sends a strong message to lawmakers.

    Stand up for yourself and hold Microsoft accountable for their deceptive business practices. There is no excuse for producing such a large number of defective XBOX 360 units.

  93. 0


    Even after My very first xbox 360 Launch console crashed, 3 RED LIGHTS OF DEATH,

    Even after I started this website right away when I found out Microsoft was selling defective game consoles and trying to charge us to fix them way back in early 2006,

    Even after I have received 3 defective REFURBS from the INEPT REFURB CENTER IN MC ALLEN TEXAS,

    Even after I have been all over the internet, all over the Better Business Bureau, the Consumer Protection Agency, the Federal Trade Commission and tons of News Groups, Forums and

    Even After spending COUNTLESS HOURS ON THE TELEPHONE WITH TECHNICAL SUPPORT AT MIDCROSOFT explaining about all the pieces of crapy they keep sending me,

    Even after Microsoft changes the warranty for the xbox 360 fron 90 days to 1 year,


    Even after all the hell I have been through with this $400.00 Microsoft Game console,


    I am truly amazed at how LOW Microsoft can go.

    They care so little about their consumers that they do not even care enough to make sure a customer who has already had 3 or 4 defective xbox 360s would atleast get 1, brand new working xbox 360 with the latest updates in hardware.

    Yeah, right, Imagine that. Microsoft actually caring about their customers.

    Let me ask you a question:

    If you Say, I will go and fix someone’s xbox 360, and do not.


    You Actually do, fix someone’s xbox 360, and do not talk about it.

    Which is better?

    Microsoft talks a lot about Most having a wonderful experience, and they talk a lot about how the satisfaction of the customer is priority 1, but the records show they don’t give a flying shi^ about those of us who have spent money on ther test box, the xbox 360.

    Signed… Owner of

    And, the person who just now received another
    July 7, 2007

  94. 0
    Christopher says:

    My first system was replaced by the retailer at about 80 days after purchase. The replacement had the same problem 7 days later. I went back for an exchange, the retailer didn’t have any in stock and refunded my money to purchase a new system some place else. It seems they are sick of replacing them. I buy a new system, it happens to be an Elite. Man, my woes only begin here. The DRM restraints have now rendered my DLC useless by anyone but me, and I’m only able to use it if I’m ONLINE at the time I want to use it. So, I’m no longer portable and my kids can only use gamer pics and themes if I’m signed in.

    I call XBL Support to remedy the situation and after many hours of work to jump through their hoops, they are basically telling me to go away and I’m not going to be helped because they consider my Elite purchase an “upgrade” instead of a replacement for a broken system.

    I’m not into piracy and I just want to use the DLC in the same manner I was entitled to on the original console used for purchase. I created a new gamertag per their instructions and I am using that one now. I cancelled the old one and was OFFERED a refund to which I accepted. That was on May 20th. I waited my 30 days and hadn’t received the refund. I called back and was told I wasn’t getting the points. I had to explain that I wasn’t calling for the points and I was calling about the refund a duly authorized XBL Support rep promised me I would get and am legally entitled to now. They told me I wasn’t getting anything back. I explained to them what the guy said and they actually took the time to look at the ticket at that point, realized he actually did attempt a refund, and then promised to call me back with an update. That was on June 20th. Here it is, July 11th, and so far I’m waiting on a reply. I’ve also been told, at the very least, I’ll get a free month of XBL. A free month??? Are you kidding me? Are you frickin’ joking? Like that’s going to compensate me for the hassle of having to deal with being hung up on by an XBL supervisor, the hours I’ve spent dealing with people that will ask me a question and then break me off before I finishing answering it, or the original issue to begin with. I’m at a financial loss for my troubles and will be out additional funds to re-purchase the exact same content I’m entitled to use anyway.

    It’s a terrible policy and business model and, quite frankly, I’m shocked that Microsoft treats customers in this manner.

    I’m a 38 year old Network Security professional and I’m being treated like a kid who’s trying to get one over on Microsoft.

    Yeah, my experience with XBL Support has been more than a hassle and being discriminated against is not something I take lightly.

    -Sixty GT: SixTGunR

  95. 0
    llama says:

    I am now on the list of 360 owners who have experienced the 3 red lights. My xbox left for texas on thursday, it only took 4 days to receive they’re prepaid shipping box and return label which i thaught wasn’t bad. I was told that it would be 2-3 weeks for repair and return shipping from the date they receive it. In exchange for my loss of gaming time, i will be getting a free month of xbox live…. weeee! Why in the world would i want that? Most xbl players already have a gold account. Throw me a few 1000 xbl points or something. Anyway, hopefully when it does return, it’s not a refurb (i was told mine would be fixed, not replaced) and it will be fixed correctly.
    At this point I’m under warranty, and no money comes out of my pocket, just loss of game time. I also know 2 other people that have the same problem. And I had to laugh when i went to a local Target’s gaming department and saw they’re demo xbox sitting in the display case, flashing the 3 red lights. 3 to 5 percent? maybe they meant 3 out of 5 consoles.

  96. 0


    I was told by Microsoft that starting Monday July 9th, New hardware will be put in xbox 360s.

    I am shipping mine off Today, July 16, 2007.
    Please let me know if you get new hardware, new heatsink, new dvd player as I want to know if they are still sending out the same old refurbs.

  97. 0
    McGrude says:

    We own three XBox 360s in our house.   So far we’ve had seven repairs on those three XBoxes.  The last was an out of warranty repair for a faulty DVD ROM — it would simply not read discs.   That was less than a month ago.   It cost me $99 to have the DVD replaced.   Now less than a month later this xbox gets the three red rings of death.   This is totally and completely unacceptable.   We’ve bought three 360s and will now have 8 repairs on them.   Two have been fixed three times and one of them twice!   EVERY Xbox serial number that we’ve seen in this house has been replaced, either in or out of warranty.  That is a 100% failure rate.



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