Remember that time that I was having problems with my Xbox, dealt with a bunch of stupid people (and a couple nice, smart, helpful, honest people), and then got my Xbox back without any complaints? Yeah, well, we knew that wouldn’t last.
The new issue includes some more disc-read error messages, and problems reading scratched discs that stall a bit but then work on other machines, but fail to work at all on mine. I won’t dwell on the details, which are boring. The long and the short of it is that Xbox customer support people are stupid at the main number, and useful at the escalated number. I have now discovered what I need to do in order to get future Xbox problems dealt with, and I thought this information would be useful to share with you.
- Call 1â€“800â€“4â€“MYâ€“XBOX.
- Get a reference number for your problem as quickly as possible. You may need to say “I already did that” when they try to make you do the troubleshooting script, just to expedite the process.
- Hang up and call the escalated support number, 866â€“506â€“3826.
- Talk to someone who knows what they’re doing.
How did I come upon this process? Well, I tried calling the main number first. I talked to a complete and utter moron, who told me to call back and tell the voice system my problem was with Xbox Live (despite that my problem is independent of whether I even have an internet connection). I immediately tried the elevated support number next, but you need an extension or reference number for an existing problem to get past the initial voice recording.
So, I called back and got another moron, who tried to get me to unplug the console and plug it back in to see if the problem was with the power supply (i.e., not really the root of optical drive issues), and then told me to try to put in a music CD to see if that would replicate the problem (despite that I explained that the problem only happens infrequently, during certain parts of certain games, and despite that the Xbox has separate lasers in the optical drive for music discs and game discs). Eventually I lost patience and kept repeatedly pointing out why his suggestions had nothing to do with the actual problem, and eventually he sighed and agreed to send me a box in the mail to return the console for repairs. I didn’t even want the box as much as the reference number I knew would precede it, though.
The person I got at the escalated number was, by her own admission, not a gamer, but she was at least smart enough to know what an optical drive is. She even suggested a few different options depending on how badly I want to hang onto my console (potentially including taking a game to Gamestop to get buffed, then trying it on my friend’s console, alternating between my hard drive and his just to eliminate the possibility that it’s a problem with corrupted save files).
Perhaps Microsoft needs a layer of imbecile support to screen out all the calls from people whose problems can be solved by unplugging/replugging. Still, that definitely doesn’t excuse giving downright misleading advice like “try a music disc.” I just wish they had a password or a cheat code or something to skip to the next level of support immediately, so I didn’t have to spend an hour on this every time my console shits the bed.