Prone to Bad Luck: A Consumer Affair

By Carlene Richards

It’s three a.m. but a video game player is still up sitting in front of the television playing his video games. He reaches his desired level, but before he can save his progress, his entire system cuts off on him. When he goes to exam his Xbox there are three flashing lights on the front of the console. He becomes frantic and frustrated after exhausting his knowledge of the trouble shooting techniques. His only choice left is to call Microsoft.

This is just the beginning of what to expect with the Xbox 360 console.

Xbox 360 is famous for its integrated ability to interact online with other Xbox players. The games, around $60, produced have well put together graphics and strategic game play.

Since Xbox 360’s launch in 2005, there has been an undeniable issue of the three flashing lights that has been introduced to Xbox customers. Gamers know it as the infamous “Red Ring of Death.”

Larry Marcell, an 18 year old Xbox 360 customer has been a victim of the three flashing lights twice now. He has continued to use the console regardless of the issues.

“It’s like every year I have to send it in to get fixed,” said Marcell.

To avoid the fee of over $100 for the repair of the console, you must extend the warranty yearly. Xbox offers a 90 day complementary, but temporary warranty.

“It’s not fair that every year I have to pay money for a problem I can’t control,” said Marcell.

The three flashing lights isn’t the only thing for Xbox customers to fear. There is also e71 error code, which happens after trying to load a game into the disk drive. This problem cannot be fixed through trouble shooting procedures. It requires the Xbox to be sent in for repair.

Donell Johnson, a 27 year old Xbox customer that is familiar with this problem has been with Xbox for over four years now.

“I went to put my Gears of War game in and that error message popped up. I was so mad that I could get my game to work,” said Johnson.

Johnson has gone through his fourth repair, which was complimentary this time. He believes there is a conspiracy within the Xbox 360 Company. He believes they circulate the bad Xbox’s purposely to force better revenue, and then when you have reached as many repairs as he has, the company sends you a better one.

“They gave me a free repair this time but didn’t tell about what would happen the next time,” said Johnson.

An Xbox 360 customer care representative reiterated the same details and information the customers seemed to know. He also diverted the information from the important question most Xbox 360 customers want to know. Is there a way to prevent this from happening again? Why don’t you offer more than a year warranty? Is the problem fixed?

Xbox also has other issues such as overheating and freezing when operating. Almost five years have passed since Xbox 360’s introduction to the gaming market, and there has yet to be any significant improvements on the policy of its warranty or solving a software malfunction that customers are forced to pay for.

Game informer Magazine has done a survey with 5,000 of its readers. The result was a conclusive report of a 54.3 percent failure rate. Xbox 360 customer representatives have neither confirmed or denied this problem and assured everyone that they are working on it.

An Xbox customer posted a firsthand account of this issue on his YouTube account. He goes by the name Blake3one6. He has kept his inoperable system to show the severity of the problem and talks about points that Xbox has not addressed. The title of his rant “Microsoft Confirmed 100 percent Xbox 360 failure rate” shows new Xbox customers what they may have to look forward to.