Showing that Microsoft and bad press go together like a horse and carriage, the Associated Press are reporting the horrifying news that "hundreds of people who bought Microsoft's new Xbox game console over the holidays received defective systems". Quite where they get this rather vague number from isn't clear, although we would hazard a guess that it's pulled-from-their-ass™, as the AP only found a dozen people with boxes that either didn't work at all or stopped working soon after purchase, while Microsoft say anything up to 10,000 faulty units could be in circulation. To put that into perspective though, Microsoft has thus far shipped well over a million Xboxes in the USA. It also bears remembering that the PlayStation 2 suffered from a few breakdowns on launch as well, and AP themselves admit that Nintendo is reporting a similar failure rate to Microsoft, although amazingly they haven't yet printed a big exposé about GameCubes going to silicon heaven. More worrying for Microsoft is the bad word of mouth that the out-sourced Xbox customer service team is apparently getting them. A few failed consoles aren't a big deal on the wider scale of things, but at least one of the recipients of a dud Xbox waiting "over a month" to get it fixed certainly would be. "The whole thing that was so frustrating (was) just the fact that still to this day I'm waiting for a call-back just to explain to me what happened", the unlucky punter John Kreis told the AP, before adding that he finally received his repaired Xbox on December 10th. Given that the console was only released in America on November 15th we fail to see how he could have been haranguing customer service for "over a month" by this point. But niggling aside, although waiting almost four weeks for your Xbox to be repaired or replaced is unusual, most of the people the Associated Press spoke to described Xbox customer support as poor. As Kreis himself put it, "I'm hoping I never have to call support again, that's for sure".
Source - Associated Press