Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.



So after getting an Xbox 360 for Christmas and playing with it for about a week, it had a hardware failure of some sort and we can no longer play any games or DVDs on it. Joking about my anti-technology aura aside, I know that some percentage of any product of any sort will be defective. Book bindings, tires, computers, flashlights, dishwashers...whatever can be made has a chance of being flawed. It's the nature of the world. Sometimes we can work around it ("You just have to jiggle the key a little, like this...") and sometimes we can't ("Hey, why is my computer on fire?").

I've been pretty patient about it, I think. I researched errors and possible fixes myself online. I searched the official Microsoft Knowledge Base. When I finally called tech support and talked to the young dude who was helping me, I walked through all the steps without complaint, understood that they would send a box and I would return the console for repair or replacement. It's covered under warranty, it's only two weeks old!

After waiting over a week, I did finally get a box in the mail. I followed the instructions: remove everything from the console, all cords, all media, the hard drive itself, etc. Check. Put the console in the included plastic bag. Check. Put the bagged console in the box. Check. Include the paper with your name, serial number, and repair request number. Check. Seal the box. Check. Apply enclosed label, checkity do! Step 8 is the final step. It is printed in bold letters: Call UPS at 1-800-742-5877 to arrange pick up. Indicate that any pick up service fees (if applicable) should be billed back to the original shipper.

So. I call UPS and (I know you're all surprised here) they will not pick up the box unless I pay $10 and "fuel surcharges". Ah, I say, but it says here on the instructions that I am explicitly following that charges should be billed back to the original shipper. Too bad, so sad, says the UPS employee. They don't know who to bill those fees to! They couldn't possibly tell whose account should be used based on, oh, you know, things like who paid for return service tag that is being used in the first place.

Now, this is just a mild inconvenience, really. I mean, there's a brand new, shiny UPS Store walking distance from my house. I can easily drop this there, save myself the $10+ and get it on its way to Repair Center, 5700 S. Int'l Pkwy, McAllen, TX 78503. But seriously, if you're going to include explicit bold face instructions, shouldn't they actually be...I dunno...CORRECT?

Because I found the whole thing so irritating, I called the Microsoft tech support people to register my complaint. This time I was not so lucky as I got a guy with an almost indecipherable Indian accent who put me on hold three times. Because of what I can only assume were language difficulties I didn't get very far in explaining to him that what I wanted was to make them aware that the explicit bold face instructions that came with the box that Microsoft (or their subcontractor) was sending out were WRONG and COULD NOT BE FOLLOWED, because UPS would not bill pick up fees to the original shipper. I suggested that perhaps someone, somewhere, could pass along this feedback to whoever was responsible for the whole fixing defective Xboxes issue and avoid a whole lot of additional, unnecessary frustrations all around. In order to find out if he could do this, he had to put me on hold again. When he came back, he said, "Thank you for so patiently waiting..." and hung up on me.



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