Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A study in efficiency: Microsoft and the RROD

Time to start a new category. Rather unexpectedly, I feel the need to tell a story of a pleasant surprise. It may be a geeky story, but credit should be given where credit is due. Which brings us to Microsoft.

*showers to get rid of that dirty feeling*

So, where was I? Ah, yes - Microsoft. Many of you geeky types are probably familiar with the famous "red ring of death" on the XBOX360. For those who don't know, it looks like this:

If that doesn't look ominous and horrible, I don't know what does. At least it's more appropriate than the famed blue screen of death - the XBOX360 doesn't joke around. When it's toast, it let's you know.

Basically, this is a problem that comes from over-heating of the 360. It has been a persistent problem for Microsoft, who even admits themselves to a 3%-5% failure rate. Other studies have put this problem at anywhere from 10% to 30% of all 360s. So, while very angry, I was not terribly surprised when I booted up my 360 one day and saw the menacing red glow staring me down.

I was able to easily find Microsoft's support request page through a quick Google search and I promptly registered my problem. I immediately printed out a pre-paid shipping label for UPS and packed up my 360 to get sent out. A mere 9 days later I have my 360 (or most likely, another refurbished one, but whatever) in my hands. Fast shipping, quick service, and even a 1-month XBOX Live Gold card (worth about $6) taped to the system as an apology for my troubles. I am very impressed with how efficient they've been in handling this rather large and pervasive problem. So, bravo Microsoft - you made the process quick, easy, and relatively painless.

I'm a little surprised that you have a typo in your apology letter, but whatever. The core experience was excellent and I'm very pleased with your service. Though I have attached an intercooler (and one of the ones with it's own power supply) to my 360 just to make sure this time. :)

Now to get back to the Netflix diet that I had to go for a week without.

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