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I’m no Xbox 360 hater. My disposition towards Microsoft right now is only a result of their shoddy hardware and atrocious support. This is simply my experience, and in no way do I expect everyone who’s ever dealt with Xbox Support to share in the awful, awful customer service I received. Come with me on my journey of frustration and rage! C’mon everyone; I’ve got beer!
I had been chosen to participate in the recent dashboard update and receive my generic, bootleg-looking copy of Halo: Reach on the new disc format. On May 17, 2011, I updated my console with a new build of the dashboard that was pushed out to preview participants. After updating and rebooting, all was well, so I decided I wouldn’t mind playing Gears of War (primarily to renew my interest in the series with Gears of War 3 on the horizon). Upon pressing X to start the game from the dashboard, I was met with the message “unsupported disc.” That’s odd, right? I then tried playing Alan Wake but received the same error. Obviously concerned, I put the Halo: Reach I received, and it booted up and played without issue.
I tried Gears, AW, and even Crackdown again, and I was met with the same message: unsupported disc. Now, my console had worked fine prior to updating, so I was positive the update that was pushed out had something to do with it. To rule out the ever so common “reboot,” I powered off my 360, let sit for 2-3 minutes, and powered it back on. This time I was met with the lovely E74 error. I phoned 1-800-4MY-XBOX and reported what had happened to the phone support representative. I was told that since I was in the preview, I would need to go to http://connect.microsoft.com and submit feedback…so I did. I unplugged everything from my 360 (the HDD, A/V cables, Ethernet cable and power cord) and let it sit overnight.
The next morning, as if it were Christmas day, the 360 powered on and greeted me with the swooshing logo and four green lights. However, my initial problem remained: unsupported disc. I swapped out the Gears disc and replaced it with Reach. I rebooted, and upon this power cycle of the system, the E74 error returned. I updated the feedback I had originally submitted via Microsoft Connect and awaited their assistance. The feedback form asked for my serial number, any error codes I was receiving and the firmware build I was running (all of which I was able to get before the E74 error occurred…again). Shortly afterwards, I received an email from Xbox Support providing me an SR number and a shipping label for me to send my console in for repair. Keep in mind my console is a 2006 model, whose warranty had long since expired. They were aware of that as the console was registered, but I assumed since it was a software corruption issue due to their update, they were willing to correct the problem. I shipped the console out on May 18 and waited for the return of my 360.
On May 25, I received an email stating my console would not be repaired under warranty (there was no warranty) due to “tampering.” I haven’t the slightest clue how to open a 360, nor do I own tools to do it (besides a screwdriver and hammer). When I phoned Xbox Support to dispute this claim, I was told my console was, in fact, being repaired and I should receive it in 5-10 days. I reiterated my concern as I had an email claiming one thing and phone support stating the polar opposite. I was assured my console was being repaired and to expect it soon. That same day, I received another email stating my console had been shipped from their service center and a UPS tracking number was provided. I called yet again to verify my console had indeed been fixed (even the automated attendant stated it was repaired and shipped). I explained again the email I received and what I was told by phone support. This time I was told my request had been escalated and asked when would be a good time for a representative from the “Escalation Team” to call me. I provided the time 1 p.m. EST, and they stated Friday would be the earliest they could call… but to expect a call.
On the May 26, I decided to call support one more time to see if I could potentially speak to the “Escalation Team” that day to get clarification and resolution to this entire mess, but again I was told Friday was the earliest they could call, and they would update the request with my call. By 3:30 p.m. on Friday, I'd received no phone calls. I decided to phone support again and this is where the fun really began. There was no call. There never was a call. Whoever told me that (two different phone support reps by the way) was mistaken or as I like to put it…lied. My console had been tampered with and so, they weren’t going to do anything. I could pay $100 and they would fix it, but as that is a steaming pile of horseshit, I declined stating my console had not been tampered with and I wanted to dispute that claim.
I was offered nothing but the opportunity to send it back in and pay for the repair — one that was made necessary by their software, faulty hardware, or a combination of the two. Let this be a warning: Xbox Support will lie to you blatantly. They don’t know how to provide customer service. Xbox Support will falsely label your console anything they see fit without giving you the opportunity to dispute it. As I await the return of my 360, which was broken by Microsoft and not repaired, “Sorry for your frustration” just does not cut it.