Periscope Depth

I fell for you like a child

A few weeks ago, my XBox 360 sprouted three red rings on its power light. A quick Google unearthed some potential fixes that didn’t involve deliberately overheating a three hundred dollar piece of hardware: unplug the power cord from the XBox, then from its transformer, then from the wall, then plug them all back in again. This worked!

For a time. When the copy of Crackdown I bought at GameStop started freezing, I supposed it was karmic justice for defending their business practices. Then I replicated the error with a more reliable game. Sorry to doubt you, Gamestop!

I poked around the XBox website and discovered that my console was still under warranty for a red light failure. All I needed to do was print out a UPS shipping label and send it in. Finding a box big enough to ship the XBox in would be an issue for most consumers. But I remembered that I still had the original packaging. It was sitting next to the shelf of video games, right there on my kitchen floor. And people say stacking used boxes in my kitchen makes me look like a transient heroin addict. What do they know?

Via the service website, I could see when my box was picked up from the UPS drop box in South Station. I’ll also be able to see when it reaches its destination (Amarillo, TX), when the technicians start hammering at it, and when they give up and tell me the damage isn’t under warranty. This level of detail is pretty neat. I’ll bet it saves on customer service calls (“do you have my XBox yet?”) and keeps consumers more engaged in the process, instead of screaming in frustration at a flagship hardware release with a power failure so common that the warranty to repair it extends two years past the standard.

It’s not like I had a lot of time to play video games anyway.