Well, it finally happened: my launch-day Xbox 360 bit the dust last week. One second I was infiltrating Port Royal as the infamous Jack Sparrow, the next, frozen screen. I rebooted and there were the three flashing red lights. Damn.
I wasn’t too concerned because I remembered that back in September 2006, they admitted that there were problems with the first generation, and that they were going to repair any pre-January 1, 2006 360s free of charge. I called their support number, punched in my serial number, and then the friendly Microsoft rep delivered the groin kick. They told me it was going to be $140 to repair my box because it was “out of warranty”.
I asked her about the September announcement of free repairs for defective launch boxes, and she said she had never heard of that announcement. Pretty strange, since it was widely covered in the gaming press. Stranger still, I searched the Microsoft site while I was on the phone with her and I couldn’t find anything about it. Apparently Microsoft has removed the announcement from their site, and removed all traces of it. I tried going to the Wayback Machine, but the archive for Xbox.com stops the month before the announcement.
After holding for almost 1/2 hour through terrible hold music (they tried to shake me but I held on) I managed to talk to a supervisor. He admitted that there had been a “limited time offer” for launch owners to get free repairs, but it was now expired blah blah. I yelled and haggled and he agreed to do the repair for “half price”, $69 bucks.
I’m still waiting for the “special box” to send my 360 in. I have a feeling this story is not over…