How Not To Do Support (Or Products)

Today I’ve made an important decision. That decision is to never buy a Microsoft product again.

So a few weeks back, my Xbox 360 failed with the Red Ring of Death – strike one, your product sucks.

The Xbox 360 has a hardware failure rate of slightly over fifty percent. I dunno how anyone finds this sort of thing acceptable, but it’s easily the highest failure rate ever of any gaming console.

I called my friend up and had him try to fix it. However, he couldn’t get it to work again. He later told me I can get MS to fix it for free. So I ship off my Xbox (using packing materials that cost me nearly $20), expecting to have it repaired. I thought it was admirable of MS to offer a three-year extended warranty on the consoles, until I realized they’ll try to get out of it by any means necessary. I proceed to get an e-mail (well actually two e-mails for some reason) informing me that they’ve detected tampering with the console and won’t repair it.

So I call up their tech support to try to get them back in line. I tell them that I know someone who had also attempted to have my friend repair his 360, and MS serviced it anyway. They called BS on this, even though I’m completely sure my friend was telling the truth. They then proceed to pitch me on some $120 out-of-warranty repair service. They seriously think I’m dumb enough to be paying $120 for something I’m supposed to be getting for free. As if this wasn’t outrageous enough, I only paid $80 for the console. Yeah, people complain about Apple being pricey, but Microsoft are a bunch of outright scam artists. Okay, I give up on getting my console serviced. If you want to be a bunch of thinkheaded douchebags, so be it. Strike two, your service sucks.

Remember that I paid almost $20 for the materials I had to ship the thing off in. I thought it was a worthy investment, because I expected MS to actually service my Xbox. I proceed to demand that they refund me this money, as it was obviously a complete and total bust. I spent $20 for nothing. Once again, they refuse. Strike three. You can’t even make basic amends to your customers.

Anyway, MS sent me a survey a few days back, and I’m quite glad I waited until today to answer it. I forgot to mention in it, that this was by far the worst tech support experience of my life. Wait times of an hour or more? I can deal with it. Foreign accent I can’t understand without hearing the statement repeated a million times? I can deal with it. Treat your customer like crap and tell him “Screw you and your investment in a console, its accessories, and the many games you have for it”? I can’t deal with it.

As far as I know, the jobs of these people depend on answers to surveys like those. I put in highly negative answers fully well knowing that the customer support representative will probably lose his job, and I feel absolutely no remorse about this. If he chances to read this, I offer him this advice. Tech support (or any job where you deal with customers) isn’t the job for you. Until you learn that age-old motto, “The customer is always right,” you won’t last five minutes in such a setting. Harsh, yes. True, also yes.

Not like it matters, since I don’t have the money for a game console anyway, but all the current consoles suck and I give up on the concept for now. I’ll wait for a new player (cough cough Apple… please?) to enter the game console market. The Xbox 360 is a poorly made POS, and the PS3 steals people’s credit cards. I think there’s some third console on the market, but its general unimpressiveness causes me to always forget about it.

The moral of this story is that you shouldn’t buy a Microsoft product. They don’t care about the customer. At all.

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