Microsoft addresses report on Xbox defects

Microsoft says that only a small percentage of Xbox units are defective and refutes claims that its customer service has been less than stellar.

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Microsoft has responded to a recent Associated Press article that chronicled consumer complaints regarding customer service claims in response to faulty Xbox hardware. In the AP report, a handful of customers expressed their frustration with Microsoft's Xbox customer service, saying that they had to wait weeks before their systems were fixed. In speaking with GameSpot, a Microsoft spokesperson refuted those claims and said that only a small percentage of consumers contacting the Xbox customer service centers have had complaints.

"We're very concerned with customer service," Microsoft's David Huffard said. "Anybody that buys an Xbox and thinks they have an issue with it has a quick pass to resolution." Huffard explained that following a customer service call, Microsoft sends the consumer a carton via Fed Ex that can be used to send in a defective Xbox unit free of charge. The system is generally fixed with 48 hours and the entire process takes five to seven days, according to Huffard.

"Only a fraction of 1 percent who have bought an Xbox alerted us to any problems, which is a relatively low number to industry averages," Huffard said. "Most of the calls that come in are related to preliminary setup. In terms of hardware, the issues that we're primarily seeing has to do with their [Xboxes] freeze up for a few minutes."

Microsoft has outsourced its Xbox customer service to companies such as Sykes Enterprises. It has previously announced that Selectron will handle repairs and service on returns. The Xbox launched on November 15 and to date has sold more than 1.3 million units, according NPD TRST data.

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