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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Xbox 360 Broke Down - Best Buy Replaced it for Free, but also wanted $150

It's the thing I most dread about video game systems... it breaks down and doesn't work anymore. That's what happened to me Thursday with my Xbox 360, but it wasn't the "red ring of death" (three red lights), I had an overheat signal (two red lights in left quadrant) when the system was completely cold.

So after several attempts, I totally confirmed that it does not work, unhooked everything, and packed it in the original box to send to Best Buy. Fortunately, I purchased a two year replacement plan for $59, knowing that the odds were high that my system would break down. That replacement plan sure came in handy.

So I head down to the Best Buy store in San Francisco (Geary Blvd.) with my receipt and the box packed neatly with everything. I was served very quickly by a lady, but then the long nightmare started. She asked a Geek Squad member to test out the system, and it supported my theory that the overheat mechanism was not working properly and kept shutting down the console. Then she called over a co-worker because there was some sort of problem with the registry about my purchase and I had to wait over 20 minutes to get it resolved. I eventually got my new Xbox 360 system, and it was actually an upgrade from my previous console (old console: 20 GB, new console: 60 GB with two free games).

The really bad news is that initially they told me that I could keep my old hard drive because it had all my saves, map downloads, and my Xbox Live registration. But when the new console was near ready to leave the store, I asked them about my old hard drive. The employee stated a "new" policy that forced me to leave my old hard drive and I was forced to accept the new hard drive. I was a little confused, so I asked them if it is possible to transfer the data from the old hard drive to the new one.

So the employee talks to the Geek Squad guy and comes back and says "sure" they can transfer the information to the new hard drive, for $150. I yelled out, ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS?!?! ARE YOU CRAZY? Even the folks waiting to return items were in shock. I told the employee, hell no, and walked out with the console, but I also expressed grief with the store manager when leaving.

I told the manager, "it seems a little unfair that Geek Squad wants to charge me $150 to transfer the information to the new hard drive." The manager said to me that the price seemed odd to him even though he knew that I had to get the console REPLACED, and after said "bye" to me. I was half-way pissed, but happy that I got a new system. Then I suffered 3 hours of updating the Xbox 360, including the 400 MB map pack for Call of Duty 4. I also lost all my saves, except for Call of Duty 4, which remembered my high scores and my full completion of the game.

Here's my summary of why I'm a little disturbed at Best Buy:
  • They took much longer than expected to replace my console.
  • They initally promised to swap my old hard drive with the new one.
  • They backed away from the swap, attempting to scam me out of $150 to transfer the data, when the system broke down and should have been done as a courtesy, since I had the replacement plan.
  • After explaining my concerns to the manager, he should have taken action immediately to find out why the price is so high, especially after giving his comment that the price that high was so odd.
Now I just noticed, 360 sells a hard drive transfer cable. They should have told me about this and let me keep the old hard drive so I can do it myself (since the old console is dead). You rip-off bastards.

1 comment:

Tim said...

You think that's bad? I had my bank try and refuse a CASH payment on a car loan I hold with them.

Part one is up:

http://thetimchannel.com/?p=301

Good luck. My Xbox is so old is came with a 10 gig drive. I pray every time I turn it on.

Enjoy.