Microsoft is Getting Serious
No need to fear the red ring of death anymore…
Microsoft Corp. today announced that it will expand its global Xbox 360 warranty coverage. Any Xbox 360 customer who experiences a general hardware failure indicated by three flashing red lights will now be covered by a three year warranty from date of purchase. All other existing Xbox 360 warranty policies remain in place.
As a result of what Microsoft views as an unacceptable number of repairs to Xbox 360 consoles, the company conducted extensive investigations into potential sources of general hardware failures. Having identified a number of factors which can cause general hardware failures indicated by three red flashing lights on the console, Microsoft has made improvements to the console and is enhancing its Xbox 360 warranty policy for existing and new customers.
Microsoft stands behind its products and is taking responsibility to repair or replace any Xbox 360 console that experiences the “three flashing red lights” error message within three years from time of purchase free of charge, including shipping costs. Microsoft will take a $1.05 billion to $1.15 billion pre-tax charge to earnings for the quarter ended June 30, 2007 for anticipated costs under its current and enhanced Xbox 360 policies.
“The majority of Xbox 360 owners are having a great experience with their console and have from day one. But, this problem has caused frustration for some of our customers and for that, we sincerely apologize,” said Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s Entertainment & Devices Division. “We value our community tremendously and look at this as an investment in our customer base. We look forward to great things to come.”
For any customer who has previously paid for repair expenses related to the three flashing lights error message on the Xbox 360 console, Microsoft will retroactively reimburse them.
The mountain of press coverage regarding the Xbox 360’s failure rate must have finally gotten to Microsoft. The underwhelming sales might be too. Every gamer knows that the 360 is a faulty piece of hardware and there’s no doubt in my mind that many people are holding off because of this. Not only do you have to pay $399 for the console, you’ve been pretty much forced to buy a warranty as well, as it’s only a matter of time until the 360 will die. Unfortunately, they’re still going to be dying until MS gets their shit together, but at least they’ve made a great PR move here. A three-year, free warranty from date of purchase AND reimbursement on previous repairs? That’s pretty damn impressive. They’re basically eating over $1 billion for their customers.
I still want a price drop though. Props to Microsoft nonetheless.