By now gamers should have heard that Microsoft are extending their warranty for their Xbox 360 Console because of the huge increase in the red ring of death situation (three red lights). To help prevent any misunderstandings or confusion, Vice President for XBOX in EMEA – Chris Lewis will be answering some questions.
What follows is an exclusive Q&A with Vice President, Chris Lewis.
What exactly does the new warranty cover?
Chris Lewis: Currently in Europe the Xbox 360 console is covered by a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty, however in most countries the Xbox 360 has a two year retailer warranty. If the console is out of warranty, there is a charge (105 Euro + tax) to have it repaired. It then comes with an additional one year repair warranty. With these changes, there is effectively a three year warranty with no charge for repair for general hardware failures indicated by the three flashing red lights error message on the console.
Why are you doing this?
Chris Lewis: Over the past few months, we have experienced a higher number of repairs to Xbox 360 consoles than we feel is acceptable. Following a thorough investigation into the issue and with on-going testing, we’ve identified several factors that can cause general hardware failures indicated by three flashing red lights on the Xbox 360 power button. We’ve already made improvements to the console to address this. Now, by offering this extended three-year warranty, we want to show that Microsoft stands behind its products and is taking responsibility to ensure a great Xbox customer experience.
How does this new policy relate to Europe?
Chris Lewis: These new policies are global and are fully applicable in all European countries.
When will the new warranty come into place in Europe?
Chris Lewis: The new policies are now being instituted in our customer service centres around the world, which may take a few days to fully implement. I’d like to thank European Xbox 360 owners for their patience while we work through this.
So should I return my console if I think I’m going to get the three red lights?
Chris Lewis: The three year warranty is solely related to general hardware failures indicated by the three flashing red lights. There is no need to return your console if it is working properly, but should your console experience any problem, we want to hear from you.
Does this mean that I should expect my Xbox 360 to suffer from this problem, even if it seems fine now?
Chris Lewis: No, most console owners never experience a problem with their Xbox 360. Again, if you do happen to have any problems, we want to hear from you.
Am I covered by this new policy if I have any other problems with my Xbox 360, like a noisy DVD tray or scratched discs?
Chris Lewis: The three year warranty specifically covers general hardware failures that are indicated by the “three flashing red lights” error message. The DVD tray is not likely to lead to that error message but can be covered under the regular console warranty.
In what circumstances will I get a refund for an out-of-warranty repair fee I have paid, and how long will it take to come through?
Chris Lewis: We will reimburse any customer who was out of warranty and paid for repairs due to issues indicated by the three flashing red lights error message. If this applies to you, you should expect to receive a cheque in 10-12 weeks.
Is this an admission that there are problems with the console?
Chris Lewis: No, the majority of our Xbox 360 owners report having a terrific experience with their consoles, but we are taking this action because we stand behind our products and are taking responsibility to ensure a great customer experience for all of our customers. We have been following this issue closely, and through ongoing testing have identified several factors that can cause a general hardware failure as indicated by three flashing red lights on the console. To address these issues, we have already made improvements to the Xbox 360 console.
How long will it take me to have my Xbox 360 fixed going forward?
Chris Lewis: Depending how far you live from our repair centres, the turnaround is usually 2 to 4 weeks. As we roll this new policy out, however, we expect an increased number of calls and repairs so turnaround times may be longer. Again, I’d like to thank any European Xbox 360 owners having their console repaired for their patience.
Why has it taken so long for Xbox to admit to these problems?
Chris Lewis: This is a complicated problem. It took us a while through testing to isolate certain things and determine patterns, as more consoles entered the marketplace and we were able to identify trends as statistically relevant.
Who should I contact if I have any other questions?
Chris Lewis: Your local Xbox Customer Services department will be able to help you, but please understand that we are naturally experiencing more calls than usual at the moment. You can find contact details for your local Customer Services department on www.Xbox.com.
Thanks for your time Chris!
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