Last week I wrote about a better than expected experience with a company, and now it’s time to take it in a different direction. I’ve mentioned the issue I’ve been having with my Xbox 360 a couple of times on Twitter, but I’ll detail the story thus far here.
About five weeks ago, my Xbox 360 stopped retrieving an IP address from my router. I waited until the weekend to start troubleshooting it. I powercycled all the devices involved (Xbox, cable modem, AirPort Extreme) and tried again. Nothing. I then proceeded to to reset the firmware of the router, tried plugging the Xbox 360 directly into the modem, hard reset the modem, cloned the MAC address of a different device onto the 360, manually assigned the 360 an IP address rather than using DHCP, and many more. Nothing worked. So, I reluctantly called Microsoft Xbox support on Sunday (20 July) to see what could be done about this. I was walked through extensive troubleshooting steps provided to me by the Xbox Live representative, and even though I had already been through all of them, I ran through them once more. After an hour and a half on that call, being placed on hold repeatedly and embarking on remedies that made no sense, I was told to call back after I had contacted my ISP to check with them why the issue was occurring. Rather than do this, I elected to borrow another Xbox 360 console from a friend and try that. After plugging it into my normal network configuration and tossing my hard drive onto it, everything connected just fine which shows there is absolutely nothing wrong with my home network or internet connection.
I called back about an hour after the previous support call had ended. After more holding and futile support remedies, I was told the issue would need to be escalated to Microsoft for “investigation” since they were hung up on the fact that I was using an Apple AirPort Extreme (oh noes, an Apple product!). They informed me that it would take about seven business days to completely this, and while this seemed like an extraordinarily long time for such a simple issue, I said I’d wait for a call.
Two weeks had passed without a call, so I called Xbox customer support a third time on the 3rd of August. The support representative looked into my case, placed me on hold, and came back after ten minutes to tell me that a supervisor would call me in three to five business days after they had looked at the case because it was still “pending” with Microsoft. I had other things to do that day, so rather than argue it, I said fine and waited. Another week passes without a call. A week after (10th of August), I phone once more to check on what the status was and again, I was told that I would receive yet another fictitious phone call within two to three business days. Yet another week passes without any action.
Frustrated and frankly, quite angry, I called customer support once more last Sunday. I was calm and polite throughout but became increasingly unnerved at the fact that I was receiving the same story yet again. I asked vehemently why I should expect a different outcome with the “wait for a call” routine than what I had seen over the past month, and I was simply told that it would be taken care of in two days by a manager. I ended the call and stewed for a while – thankfully I have the loaner Xbox from a friend so I could take out the frustration with some Call of Duty 4.
Welp, it’s Thursday now, four days after the last call and I have (surprise, surprise) have not received a callback. I’ll be calling back tomorrow and will not accept a callback or brush-off as an acceptable solution. I’m floored that such a simple issue can be taking this long and that the investigation of said issue is being treated as though it involves a completely different company. I’ll post again with the outcome, which will hopefully, be more positive than what I’ve experienced thus far. Astonishingly, this has not soured my opinion of the Xbox brand and I’d still recommend it to anyone as I truly think it is the best gaming experience. I just hope my case is an anomaly amongst tens of thousands they work through.