This should give anyone pause. There's been a lot of talk about the Red Ring of Death stuff over the past year because that $1 billion warranty thing, but let's be serious, red-ringing is only one of the Xbox 360's many, many problems. There are others that Microsoft, amazingly, has yet to address. This one they chalk up to user error. But I've seen it happen several times on my own Xbox 360s. And it's the machine, not the user. Anyway... See what happens when a customer service expert runs into Microsoft customer support. It's not pretty.

I spend part of every day working with customers, sort of "the buck stops here" technical support. So I have more than a little compassion for people who, day after day, must suffer through clueless customers. But Microsoft's XBOX Technical Support has set a new low.

It all started when my brand new XBOX 360 made grinding noises and ate the demo DVD that came with the system.

Scratched DVD. Easy problem, right? No, not in Microsoft land.

...

This whole thing should have been one phone call that lasted less than five minutes. Instead, Microsoft's collateral damage is as follows:

  • Support reps on the phone for two hours.
  • Paid to ship console to and from customer.
  • Paid to replace customer's console (which probably had nothing wrong with it.)
  • Paid to ship bad DVD back to customer, in a separate envelope.
  • Public display of complete incompetence.

And the sad thing is, I still don't have a disc that works :-(

As noted in the comments, you can take part in a Xbox 360 game disk replacement program, but only if the game is made by Microsoft and only if you feel like paying $20 to fix something that the console may very well have broken for you. Have fun with that.