Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Microsoft XBox (Games)

The Man Who Went Through 11 Xbox 360s 428

1up is carrying the sad story of Justin Lowe. Just your average gamer, wanting to partake of the current generation of consoles. He's got a PSP, DS, PS3, and a 360. He really likes his 360 ... which is probably a good thing, since he's sent 11 of them back to Microsoft. He's now on his twelfth. The piece covers Justin's ongoing plight, and discusses Microsoft's claims of hardware failures being a 'vocal minority'. "Justin has not had a working system for longer than a month or two. The list of problems is almost comically large: three red lights of death, two with disc read errors, two dead on arrival, several with random audio and video-related issues and one that actually exploded. Looking at the situation through Moore's own standards, how has Microsoft performed? 'On a scale of one to ten, I'd rate them an 8... at first,' says Lowe. His [first] 360 broke in early January, just a few weeks after purchase."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Man Who Went Through 11 Xbox 360s

Comments Filter:
  • I am on my second PS3 after the first had a firmware update which is claimed completed. Went to reboot and the system just hangs. Ended up sending it back to Sony and the shipped me a different one. So even though it wasn't a hardware issue, things happen.

    No problems with the Wii yet, runs like a champ.
    • My Wii ran fine out of the box, but a friend of mine had to send her Wii back to Nintendo- some of the first batch of Wiis had some defect (I can't remember the details). This doesn't even include the stonger straps they had to add after some people broke theirs. Not to rip on Nintendo, just pointing out that it's nearly impossible to make perfect software/hardware.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cronofrek ( 990399 )
      I've had the opposite problem. XBox and PS3 run fine, but I had to send in my Wii because the graphics chip went sour.

      I think the moral of the story is "hardware breaks".
  • by no_pets ( 881013 ) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @03:01PM (#19679463)
    Other than all being Xbox360s, what else do they all have in common? Perhaps they all came from the same retailer which has a stockboy that liked to drop-kick the Xboxes? Or, perhaps, he has some seriously bad karma.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Perhaps they all came from the same retailer which has a stockboy that liked to drop-kick the Xboxes

      This happens a lot; but more likely at UPS or some other freight carrier.

      I had friends who worked their way through college by working part-time at a UPS sorting facility. There were a few employees who definitely took out their aggression on merchandise.
      • by rkanodia ( 211354 ) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @03:25PM (#19679865)
        My parents run a small online retail store. When I would come home from college for breaks, I would help them with packaging and shipping. I used to handle every package like it held Ming vases, each of which was filled Faberge eggs, each of which was in turn filled with normal eggs.

        And then one day I had to drive to the UPS facility. After that, it was more like footballs and sacks of potatoes - and that was an order of magnitude better than the care shown by the UPS employees. Pack your boxes well. They are paid to get your stuff there fast and cheap; 'gently' doesn't fit into that equation.
        • by darkwhite ( 139802 ) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @05:24PM (#19681797)
          What I found is that UPS employees seem to treat different parties' boxes very differently. I've received countless shipments from online stores that were pristine - it was obvious that they weren't subject to even the slightest shock in transit. Then there were a few from smaller merchants that were a little beat up, but never seriously. And then there were personal shipments that I or my friends had sent - and those were almost always beat up, corners crushed in, sides bent, and contents damaged.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by saengseon ( 906429 )
          I worked at UPS for a spell. Every box was thrown. Some boxes were called "wedges" used to keep a wall of boxes from falling down. I got really good at it. Seriously, your shipped box WILL get thrown. I only fault UPS for not telling customers to pack and tape the crap out of their boxes. Some people don't know how to do that. My friend once worked at FexEx. The attitude there was like, "well, if the packages is insured, then it is okay to break it, because insurance will cover it. If it is not insured, t
    • User Error (Score:5, Funny)

      by coren2000 ( 788204 ) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @03:19PM (#19679783) Journal

      what else do they all have in common?
      They were all operated by Justin Lowe.
    • Statistically, there is always that one guy. You know the guy; wins the lottery, gets hit by a meteor, eats a thousand big macs and doesn't die, gets rich of a get rich quick scheme.

      Yea. That guy.

      This is the "Guy who gets broken Xbox 360s." Out of all the people who have them, there's got to be one guy who always gets a bad one.

      Still, MS claims the failure rate is around 3%, so that's pretty fricking improbable assuming that they're not lying...We're talking .03^11 (a 5.31441x10^-17 percent chance that you'd have 11 crap out in a row), though you're also taking that 3% with a huge grain of salt because it's a percentage of failures over an undisclosed period of time, which could be a month, a day, or a year for all we know. Obviously the percentage chance of failure would be 100%, given enough time.

      If I were them, I'd start looking for an external factor. Does he live in an area with an unusually large number of electrical storms per year? Does he have bad wiring? Does he live in a really dusty environment? Is he a huge slob? Does he have the UPS guy from hell? Even if the failure rate on a 360 was 10% (which would be really hard to hide), the odds would still be 100,000,000 to 1 against getting 11 bad ones in a row...'Course they could be sending out refurbs to people who have problems, which very well may have a significantly higher fail rate...

      Bah. Puppy needs more data.
      • First, I find 3% to be quite high. Having a 1:30 chance of a product you buy breaking isn't very good odds. Also, A lot of the time the stuff you get as replacements will be refurbs, an shipped by UPS who takes less care with the packages then the people who ship products for the retailers. Also, they probably aren't counting replacements on the replacements, just on replacements of original sales.
        • by SatanicPuppy ( 611928 ) * <> on Thursday June 28, 2007 @04:11PM (#19680583) Journal
          Ah, see 3% with a grain of salt. 3% DOA would be ridiculous, I agree, but 3% failing within a year? Or 3% failing after 2,880 hours of use (4 whole months of play time)? It's hard to say.

          Then you've got to count all the possible failures. Harddrive failure rates are around 2-4% according to some surveys, so that could account for the whole thing by itself (even though it doesn't). Laptops, as a more mobile platform, are between 15 and 20% likely to crap out on a yearly basis, according to a Gartner press release from last year []...Same release put desktop failure rates at around 5% in the first year. Compared to those rates 3% looks godlike.

          But there's just not enough data.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        TFA mentions that Microsoft on several occasions asked him to check his power. He did and found no problems.

        Without long term monitoring there is no way to know if he doesn't get the odd spike every 3 weeks or so I suppose his testing isn't conclusive but power does not seem to be the problem.

        Just got back my first Xbox. Besides being without an Xbox for 2 weeks it was overall a very pleasant experience. Called support. Talked for 15 minutes. They decided it needed to be serviced and started the proces
      • by BobMcD ( 601576 ) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @04:43PM (#19681051)

        'Course they could be sending out refurbs to people who have problems, which very well may have a significantly higher fail rate...
        TFA says that was in fact the case on his first six units. Then he started insisting on new units.

        Oh and he claims his dad is an electrician AND he has hired an independant contractor to look at the wiring. Also he claims to have not had these same issues with his other systems (and he claims to have several.)

        TFA is quite good. There's even an mp3 of a call to MS...
      • by greenrom ( 576281 ) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @05:23PM (#19681779)
        I've had my 360 replaced 3 times. It is not abused. I keep it in a well ventilated area, and I don't have issues with power problems damaging any of my other electronic equipment. I have a friend that has had his 360 replaced 5 times. His is kept in a well ventilated area and is actually plugged into a power conditioner. I also have other friends who have never had any issues with their 360. I think the real problem lies in the return process. When your 360 breaks, you call Microsoft and they ship you a box to mail the 360 back to them in. You are not to ship the power supply, cables, controller, etc. When they recieve it, they ship you a different refurbished console. My guess is one of the following is happening: 1. They aren't doing a good job at repairing units. Either early revisions of the 360 have some defects in the hardware design that make them more prone to failure, or their repair process isn't catching all the defects, or both. Either way, these bad units just keep getting cycled through the return process. 2. Parts of the 360 that are not to be shipped back are defective and cause hardware failures in the console. For example, a problem with the external DC power supply could cause a hardware failure in the console. You ship the console back and they give you a repaired console. You then plug the refurbished console into the defective power brick and damage that one too. I now have a stable console that has lasted several months, so I don't expect any more problems. My friend who just had his console replaced again about a month ago told me that Microsoft's new policy is to repair the console you send them and ship you back the same console. Once the same console has been repaired 3 times, they send you a new console. So obviously Microsoft is aware of the problem in their return process and is doing something to address it.
    • Perhaps they all came from the same retailer which has a stockboy that liked to drop-kick the Xboxes?

      What else do they all have in common? The same customer.

    • The simpler explanation for this whole thing is that it's Microsoft's fault.

      Consider the fact that there have been at least three separate, major problems with the X-Box 360 hardware and that these have been fairly widespread, (especially in Europe and other non-US markets where problem items are sometimes "dumped"). Then factor in MS's policy (since changed), of replacing the brand new X-Box 360 you purchased with a refurbished item. Add to that the fact that MS has actually changed the design of the X-B
  • Environment (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DrDitto ( 962751 ) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @03:03PM (#19679489)
    There are probably environmental factors going on here. I'm not a gamer, but several friends who are have had no problems with their Xbox360 hardware.
    • by rlp ( 11898 ) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @03:09PM (#19679609)
      There are probably environmental factors going on here

      Yet another problem caused by Global Warming.
    • by ivan256 ( 17499 )
      There has got to be some percentage of issues, and that means there's a non-zero possibility that somebody could receive many consecutive consoles with problems. The reason this is a story is because the issue rate would have to be pretty high, or this guy would have to be *really* unlucky to have this many systems with different types of issues.

      There are definitely issues with some of these consoles. There always are when you ship millions of something. The question here is how common the issues are. You c
    • by Hatta ( 162192 )
      Something like 15,000,000 xbox 360s have shipped. Something like 1 guy out of that 15 million has had 8 360s fail. 1/15000000=(1/x)**8 => 1/7.888=1/x => x ~= 8, where 1/x is the probability that an xbox360 is bad. So around every 8th xbox is bad. Does that sound so far fetched?
  • wtf? (Score:5, Funny)

    by jollyreaper ( 513215 ) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @03:03PM (#19679493)
    Where the hell is he playing with these systems, the tub?
  • Vocal Minority (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pete-classic ( 75983 )
    Vocal Minority my ball sack.

    I had the three blinking red lights (first example voice prompt on the 360 support line!), and they proceeded to lose my freakin' Xbox. After two weeks of "here's your reference number, call back in a few days" I finally got a voicemail saying that they have the shipping reference . . . but they didn't, you know, leave the fucking reference number.

    They sure seem overwhelmed given that they claim to have a below-industry-standard failure rate.

  • by Stickerboy ( 61554 ) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @03:08PM (#19679581) Homepage
    The article (yes, I RTFA) seems to point the blame at Microsoft and say, "See! See! They're shipping with an extra heat-sink! It MUST be all their fault!"

    I have 20+ friends with 360s, and none of them have experienced problems with their 360s. I have a hard time believing disc read errors, separate audio and visual problems, DOA and exploding consoles are ALL caused by the lack of a heatsink. Like a customer that comes back to PetsMart with dead fish after dead fish, I have trouble believing after 8 dead fish that ALL of the problem is PetsMart selling defective fish.

    • by El_Muerte_TDS ( 592157 ) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @03:15PM (#19679701) Homepage

      I have 20+ friends
      Oh come on, now you're just exaggerating.

      In fact, I have proof:

      Stickerboy (61554) is all alone in the world. []
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by morari ( 1080535 )
      Not that anyone would really want to buy the sickly animals from a major pet store retailer, that promotes the often times cruel breeding practices used to supply purse dogs and such...
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by internic ( 453511 )

        Puppy mills are a large problem, but at least at the PetSmart locations in the D.C. area they don't sell cats or dogs. They do have cats from local shelters there for adoption, though. There's a fee, but AFAIK this goes to the group running the shelter not anyone who bred the dogs.

        There are, however, many other pet stores that do sell dogs from puppy mills. Also, I've gotten fish from PetSmart that had ick, so I'm hardly saying that all their animals are healthy or well taken care of.

    • Like a customer that comes back to PetsMart with dead fish after dead fish, I have trouble believing after 8 dead fish that ALL of the problem is PetsMart selling defective fish.

      Curses! Foiled again!

  • I understand that with so many people reporting problems, someone is surely going to have eleven bad units, and I don't doubt that he did.

    But what is the probability of this happening to a given person, assuming, say, a 5% overall failure rate? (ignoring the "RMA pool effect" which makes you more likely to get a bad unit back)

    And given the number sold so far, assuming people don't just give up and junk or sell the thing when the warranty runs out, what percentage of failure rate is needed for two or three

    • by Ecuador ( 740021 ) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @03:24PM (#19679841) Homepage
      The simple math you ask is (0.05)^11, which is about a 1 out of 205 trillion probablility (or rather a huge improbability). To start having a more down-to-earth probability you would have to assume a huge 20% failure rate to bring the probablility down to 1 in 50 million. A 20% failure rate of course would not have gone by unnoticed and MS would certainly not have been able to dispute it.
      So, unless this guy is driving the Heart Of Gold, there is something else going on here.
      • A 20% failure rate of course would not have gone by unnoticed and MS would certainly not have been able to dispute it.

        You might be interested in this article []: "According to some reports Xbox 360's continue to experience hardware issues. A recent query put to an Australian game retailer puts the figure at a 30% return rate."

        However, reading further into the article it isn't very credibly sourced.
    • mmm statistics.....

      There is a bridge in DC. Some calculated the probability of a breakdown given the length of the bridge, amount of traffic, number of overall breakdowns, etc.... It was like .00001% probablility. And yet, there was a backup and tow truck out there (almost) daily because of the volume..

      So it may sound statistically small, but it is still possible given how man 360s have shipped.
    • Math (Score:5, Informative)

      by paladinwannabe2 ( 889776 ) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @03:30PM (#19679939)
      Odds of getting 11 Failed XBox360s given a 5% failure rate: 1 in 20^11 or 204,800,000,000,000 (204 Trillion). If we assume a 10% failure rate we have 1 in 10^11 or 10,000,000,000 (10 Billion). Given that there are only about 12 Million units sold, and assuming that this guy was the least lucky person, but there were no enviromental hazards killing his 360s (which is a dangerous assumption), We can estimate a failure rate of about 23%. The error rate and confidence ranges will need to wait until another post.
      • Re:Math (Score:4, Informative)

        by *weasel ( 174362 ) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @04:31PM (#19680873)

        Odds of getting 11 Failed XBox360s given a 5% failure rate: 1 in 20^11 or 204,800,000,000,000 (204 Trillion).

        The trivial math only holds for events of chance that have no memory: that is, where history doesn't have any input on future outcomes.

        But in the case of sending back a console that's already been determined faulty, that's not the case at all.
        It's much, much more likely that an already-failed electronics device will fail again after service sends it back.
        Having 11 hardware failures is far more plausible if he was repeatedly sent back the same defective consoles.

        I'd like to know how many unique serial numbers we're talking about here.

        But because the odds of getting so many bad machines in a row are still so low, this situation screams User Error or Incompetent Customer Service. Without any further information all we can do is pick a team and cheer.
      • Re:Math (Score:4, Informative)

        by James Lewis ( 641198 ) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @05:38PM (#19682041)
        If you RTFA they point out that his failure rate my be explained by Microsoft sending back refurbished consoles. Maybe Xbox360s do have a 3% failure rate, but their repair services suck?
    • You can work out some basic stats by adding and multiplying the numbers together.

      If you want the chance of something and something else happening, then you multiply the two numbers. If you want one or the other then you add them together.

      The chances of 11 failures at a 5% random failure rate?

      0.05 * 0.05 * 0.05 .... 11 times

      Basically, it isn't random, not even with MS. Someone's fucking over the machines.

    • I don't know how to do the more complex calculation you mentioned, but if we assume a 5% failure rate and if we assume that every person with a failed box gets it replaced then the chance of getting 1 bad box is 5%, the chance of two bad boxes is 5% * 5% (0.05^2). The chance of 11 bad boxes for one person is 0.05^11. Apparently they'd need to ship 200 trillion boxes in order for this to happen.

      Either the error rate is a lot higher (like 15% to 20% which is obviously not the case) or there are environmental
      • The chance of 11 bad boxes for one person is 0.05^11. Apparently they'd need to ship 200 trillion boxes in order for this to happen.

        No, they'd only have to sell one, and then replace it eleven times.

        Now, assuming they could maintain an average failure rate of 5% over the lifetime of the console, you wouldn't expect to see this happen again until more than 200 trillion units had shipped, but the one occurence could occur anywhere within the first 200 trillion unit interval.


    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SydShamino ( 547793 )
      (ignoring the "RMA pool effect" which makes you more likely to get a bad unit back)

      I know you were looking for theoretical numbers that excluded this, but keep in mind that this is likely a high source of failure for this guy. Of his 11 failed XBox 360s, he received new ones some of the time, but some of them (maybe half? from when I RTFA) were refurbished.

      Reasons why refurbished products might have a lower MTBF:
      1. Failure was just a symptom of a larger problem. Like, the solder paste used to build the PC
  • by hal2814 ( 725639 ) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @03:14PM (#19679693)
    I buy my consoles at Sam's Club or Wal-Mart. Broken 360? Drive to the store and exchange it. Not happy about getting 5th broken 360? Drive to the store and get my money back. No waiting for Microsoft to ship a working unit. No worrying about receiving a refurbished unit to replace the broken one (Some companies do this. Not sure about Microsoft). I personally came to this epiphany when people were discussing PSP dead pixel policies at several different retailers. People who bought from Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Costco or Target just took them back for exchange/refund. Costco is too far away and Target usually has a shorter return window so I'll go to Wal-Mart or Sam's.
  • When I first read this, Slashdot's quote at the bottom of the page said:

    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.
  • The odds are just way to low for all those broken Xboxes being manufacturing faults. Even if 10% of all Xboxes Microsoft ships are faulty (which they aren't) the odds of getting eleven in a row is 0.1^11 = some really extremely super-duper small number. You are much more likely to win the lotterly many times in a row than that happening. The reason why he gets all the bad Xboxes must lie somewhere else. The delivery company might handle them badly. Poor Justin might live in an extremely dusty house with lot
    • by grumbel ( 592662 )
      ### Even if 10% of all Xboxes Microsoft ships are faulty (which they aren't)

      What makes you think so? Given all the anecdotal stories about broken XBox360s, friends with broken ones and friends of friends with broken ones and very few stories of people actually being happy with their one and never heard about a fault, I would bet that the failure rate is at least that high if not higher.

      One issue that might screw the numbers up however are the refurbished units, assuming that the repairs actually didn't fix
    • by ebuck ( 585470 ) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @04:47PM (#19681125)
      It's easy to blame the victim, that way you don't have to listen to his problem because he asked for it.

      It's not likely that XBox failure rates are >20% (as another poster indicated would be necessary to randomly pick 11 successive failures). It's probably something much simpler like a repair division, refurbishing returned machines and shipping them as replacements. Such a strategy looks good from a business point of view, as you get to "recover" some of cost of failed hardware. However, should the diagnosis be wrong or incomplete, or if the repair center lacks the resources of the production center, your return will be substantially less reliable than a new machine.

      Perhaps he chain smokes and his long haired dog likes to cuddle the machine for warmth while his apartment shakes as trains pass outside tossing droplets of condensing water from his window air conditioner into he beloved XBox 360 which is struggling to deal with the 118 Volt 66 Hz electricity. That still doesn't mean that he deserves to put up with the hassle of replacing his system 11 times. If the repair centers note excessive dog hair, water exposure, vibrational damage, dropping, etc. they should notify him and not entertain a 12th replacement. The fact that they are still returning replacements without cutting him off implies that they know they have bigger problems than an abusive customer.

      I'm not saying that gaming systems needs to be mil-spec, but from the descriptions I've heard, the XBox 360 isn't the most robust machine out there. I doubt that they could ALL be wrong, even with the skweaky wheels making more noise.
  • 2nd one keeps working, though I don't play it as much as a kid would. Using three separate - and each critical - fans for venting heat is unbelievably boneheaded stupid. As was placing the DVD-ROM drive right above the hard disk. But, as a PS3 owner too, I have to admit that the damn thing has the games. And it plays them well. Dead Rising and Gears were worth the price alone. And Command and Conquer has been just silly amounts of fun. I'd say that unless you really want Blu-Ray for movies, the 360 (with an
  • Other factors... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Julius X ( 14690 ) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @03:23PM (#19679829) Homepage
    I troubleshoot home theater electronics all day, every day. I have to wonder if something else is at work here. At least one person asked, what do these eleven units all have in common? The same working environment. There are plenty of Xbox 360s out there, and they certainly all aren't failures, and the chance that this one person has received every part from the 1-2% of doomed 360s out there that are failures would be nearly statistically impossible.

    More likely is that some other factor is causing this, perhaps the powerstrip he's plugged it into has a badly grounded outlet, or perhaps the main outlet itself - or possibly any of another hundred or so electrical issues there could be - such issues tend to plague complex electronics in very odd ways, and not the same way every time.

    If I were at Microsoft, I'd replace his unit, but advise this guy he needs to get some help looking for what other factors could be causing these malfunctions.
    • If I were Microsoft, I'd have someone replace the guy's machine in person and quietly send along an electrician to check the voltage and line quality at this guy's house. It sounds expensive, but it's much less cost than the cost of fixing bad publicity...
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Kalendraf ( 830012 )
      I have first-hand experience with some homes where there was excessive line noise which in turn wrecked various electronics. One of those houses was my own. There didn't seem to have anything fishy at first, but there was a tendancy for light bulbs in certain sockets in seldomly accessed locations to croak far sooner than expected. After a few years in that house, it progressively got worse. The list of things to die in one 12-month period included a 27" JVC TV, a Sony CD-player, a clock radio, a vacuum
    • Re:Other factors... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Mike1024 ( 184871 ) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @04:22PM (#19680745)
      From the article:

      When his third 360 broke, one customer service rep suggested he look into the wiring at his house; electricity problems could have been causing the mess-ups. Problem: none of his other systems (not to mention his several computers and other electronics) have experienced any major problems, and his father is, coincidentally, an electrician. The specific suggestion was brought up by Microsoft customer service again after the eighth console repair. This time, just to be certain, Justin had a contractor come to the house and check the wiring, where he was told that everything was in order, with no abnormalities in voltage of any of house outlets. Nevertheless, customer service has continued to suggest this as a potential cause.
  • Bah (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 28, 2007 @03:25PM (#19679871)

    In spite of all of this, Justin is still behind Microsoft's console. "I still like Microsoft, as much as that may astound people. There's no real hate towards the company for what I have experienced."

    This isn't the hate-filled microsoft bashing I came here to read, damnit.
  • I used to work at Western Digital in their support area and we saw the same thing happen to a tiny minority of users. I'm not excusing Microsoft for it, but for some reason it seems to happen to every company. We'd have someone have a head crash, 2 DOA's, 1 week working then dead, etc. It was strange but there was really nothing we could do about it. 99% of our replacement orders went out and worked flawlessly with no hiccups in the process but for whatever reason there's a certain percentage that are doomed for multiple failures.

    The real tragedy here is that Microsoft management didn't catch this case long before this and flag it as a priority fix case - send him a new machine, have someone deliver it to his house, whatever it takes to get the problem fixed. The cost of doing that is FAR less than the cost of fixing the amount of bad publicity this will generate.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 28, 2007 @03:27PM (#19679909)
    It will be a vacuum cleaner.
  • by Notquitecajun ( 1073646 ) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @03:33PM (#19679991)
    Quote that may help him "The only consistent feature of your dissatisfying relationships is you." What else in your life do you break, buddy-pal-friend-o-mine?
  • He probably has the thing in a hot spot, like on top of a big CRT monitor, in an enclosed space, in a location with air vents blocked, or next to a hot air vent. We know the XBox 360 has marginal cooling.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Aladrin ( 926209 )
      Indeed. When I borrowed my friend's 360 for a week, every time I would remove the DVD from the drive, it would actually be hot to the touch. Not enough to burn me, but enough that I didn't much like holding it, even by the edges. I bought one of those shitty fans for the back, then threw that away and rigged up a system to blow air by the system to help the fan a bit. (Helps my Wii, too, which gets stupidly hot while it's off.)

      It's disgustingly easy to overheat a 360, especially if you put it in -any- e
  • I admire his staying power. If a product proves to be that defect ridden I start getting pissed off the second time it breaks. If the third one went I'd probably ask for a refund and go buy a different console. Or, if I'm really pissed off, I ask the manufacturer of the defective product for a refund and a wii. Make them buy it. Just grind that humiliation in there...

  • Always put the box on a hard surface.
    If you've gotta lay it on a carpeted floor,
    put a book or a magazine under it to get the
    bottom of the box up out of the carpet.

    Don't let dust accumulate in the vent holes
    or fans -- use a vacuum to suck it clean every
    once in a while.
  • by Cervantes ( 612861 ) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @03:43PM (#19680155) Journal
    I'm sure I'll get flamed to heck for this, but really, MS should be praised for this.
    Really, honestly, if a customer bought something, then brought it back broken, 11 FREAKING TIMES in a row, do you really think most retailers would keep accepting it back, over and over again? Eventually they'd be blaming it on you and refusing to take it back. Instead, MS doesn't seem to care much that this guy has the worlds worst mean failure rate, and aside from getting him to check his wiring, they keep sending him new ones without much question. My personal experience just trying to return my malfunctioning video card twice (well, the first time was the repair return, the second time was because they sent me back the exact same physical card, without repairing it first) tells me that most retailers are complete asshats, and will happily blame you if they can possibly get away with it.

    Many other retailers would cut you off or make you start paying, and you wouldn't really have much success complaining "hey, I broke my xbox 10 times in a row, and now they won't send me a replacement for free!". MS keeps pumping them out. They get a +1 in my book for that.
  • Probably ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by debrain ( 29228 ) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @04:03PM (#19680459) Journal
    The replacements were refurbished broken X-boxes in the first place, which didn't get the same quality of service check on the way out the door as a new one might.

    Who's to say, but it would explain why the replacements have been buggy, where a new one might not be.

    Then again, maybe they were all new.
  • by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @04:16PM (#19680651)
    Get this guy an Exorcist.
  • by Ub3rT3Rr0R1St ( 920830 ) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @04:54PM (#19681267)
    They say that when you return 13 XBox 360's, Bill Gates comes to your house and personally pisses on your shoe.
  • refurbished xbox's (Score:3, Interesting)

    by c_jonescc ( 528041 ) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @04:59PM (#19681371)
    Frankly, I'm not too surprised of his luck considering that MS sends out refurbished machines as replacements. I normally used to think that refurbished electronics were a safe way to save some money, and often times had a few spanking new parts making them more reliable that some alternatives.

    Then a friend of mine bought a refurbished xbox (not a 360 though). Thing crapped out. As did it's replacement. And the one after that. After the 3rd, he just gave up, took a refund, and went to the store to buy a new unit. No problems since.

    We ended up deciding that MS must not really be doing comprehensive quality control on it's rebuilds, and that they're only fixing the most easily spotted problem on returned units (if that much) and not looking for deeper failures.

    I don't trust the refurbished xbox at all. And, honestly, I'm now a bit weary of buying any refurbished electronics.

    So, for all those statisticians quoting 1 in 204 trillion odds, I think it's safer to say that a spanking new unit has that failure rate, while a refurbished unit might have a failure rate much closer to unity. If they'd bothered to send him a new unit at any point for his troubles, my bet is he'd have a much better chance at keeping the thing (and it might not help to dust!)
  • stats (Score:3, Interesting)

    by f1055man ( 951955 ) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @05:13PM (#19681633)
    at first I thought this was impossible, but the article mentions that two of the eleven were DOA. Hard to blame DOAs on the user. With a 20% DOA rate this becomes a bit more believable. My guess is they keep sending refurb units that are just crap they get to boot up, but still can't handle real use.
  • by AbRASiON ( 589899 ) * on Thursday June 28, 2007 @11:24PM (#19685217) Journal
    I know it's third hand information but I regularly speak with people on a popular gaming messageboard and one of the guys there is up to seven consoles, he has no reason to lie, seriously.

    He's used a UPS , Power conditioner, he's even moved house (co-incidentally) I think he's tried multiple TV's - he's pretty much eliminated all the variables and still 7 down.
    He loves the games on the system and is always |_| so close to swapping to a PS3 but ultimately the games he loves are on the 360.

    It's a real shame and it's why I don't own one yet myself (and dipshit Microsoft love halting the release of products in other regions! Hello, Australia want the elite too!)
    Either way, that's an appauling amount of consoles to fail.
    Also one of the members of this particular forum ran a 'survey' system which had about 500 or so users on there, each time one failed they incrimented the number for each user.
    A large quantity of guys only had 1 console, no failures but ultimately it worked out to around a 20% failure rate according to his survey, with of course the guy with 7 dead ones at the top of the list.

    Crazy stuff, I'm waiting for the 'fixed' edition! (it better come out before GTA4 goddamnit!)

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.