I love the Xbox 360. I really do. Unfortunately, it’s got its share of problems–the dreaded Red Ring of Death, for instance–and although Microsoft’s bitten the bullet and extended warranties for many of the game system’s issues, there are a number of consoles out there that break after their warranty ends, and hundreds of gamers that have no idea what to do when this happens.
Here’s a look at four steps you can take to get the most value out of a broken, out-of-warranty Xbox 360.
1. First, check to make sure that it’s really, really out of warranty. Microsoft’s support is pretty good, and if you make a good case as to why your Xbox 360 should be covered, you might get it repaired for free (or at least for cheap). Call them up, and be as polite and cordial as you can. Be firm, though.
If you’ve gotten a repair from their warranty service before, be sure to mention that. They’ll be much more likely to make an exception for you if your console’s been plagued with all sorts of problems. In any case, a call should only take a few minutes of your time, so be sure to take this step before looking at any other options.
2. Consider fixing it yourself. Depending on the issue, you might be able to fix your Xbox 360 yourself, at least temporarily. There are plenty of fixes on the Internet for the Red Ring Of Death error and the “Open Tray” error (the latter of which I’ve explained a bit here), and many of them don’t require a ton of technical know-how. If you’re handy with a soldering iron, you might even be able to permanently fix your Xbox 360. Remember, though, you’ll be voiding your warra–oh, yeah, that’s right. What are you waiting for?
3. Look into online repair shops. There are a number of online shops that charge much less than Microsoft for typical Xbox 360 problems. Look into them, and consider getting a professional fix if you’re uncomfortable working on your own console and you’ve got a bit of money. Read customer reviews before making your decision, and you’ll be gaming in no time.
4. Sell it. There are quite a few reasons that I love eBay, but right at the top is the fact that no matter how busted up your old electronics might be, someone will buy them on eBay. In fact, you’ll probably get a decent amount of money that you can put towards your next Xbox 360 (or a Playstation 3 if you’re particularly mad at Microsoft). The important thing is to be honest in your description of the device, and post a real picture.
Really. That’s it. If you explain in clear language the exact problem that your Xbox is having, one of the aforementioned online repair shops or a do-it-yourselfer will buy your Xbox 360, and you won’t have to just throw the thing away. Shipping can be annoying, so be sure to take shipping costs into consideration before setting your auction price. It’s good to budget about $20 for shipping supplies, maybe more depending on where you live.
Having a problem with your Xbox 360? Post the details in the comments section below.