I’m that guy.
Yes, I’m that guy who, upon finally getting back to his beloved Xbox 360 with his brand-spanking-new copy of Halo 3, put the disc in the machine and…the Xbox 360 died.
Yes, friends, it was the Red Ring of Death (little brother to Microsoft’s infamous Blue Screen of Death). It took one look at Halo 3, said, “Nope, not gonna happen,” and went belly-up.
OK, that’s not entirely true. It did struggle repeatedly to play the game, making it a wee bit further every time, but it was clear the console was deceased. This was actually my second Xbox 360; my first one died right out of the box back on my birthday. Since it was a gift from my parents, we took it back to Sam’s Club and swapped it out.
When that first, brand-spanking-new Xbox 360 died on my birthday, I didn’t take it well. There was some yelling and frustration involved, I won’t lie. But that didn’t happen this time. My Xbox had been acting wiggy for about a month and, being the imaginative type, I had already envisioned the sitcom-like possibility of my console crashing as soon as I popped the game in. So I took it all very calmly.
But that’s not to say I was going to take it lying down.
Fortunately, we got the year-long warranty plan. It’s 6:30 at night, and I’ve already taken the next day off just to play Halo 3 (before you laugh too hard, you should know I had a comp day anyway; I have to work three Saturdays a semester). I check the Web; Sam’s Club closes at 8:30. It’s approximately one hour from my apartment to the Sam’s Club near my parents’ house.
So I went.
(On a side note, kudos must be offered to DG; as I walked out the door I said, “Is it OK if I do this crazy thing?” to which she said, “Sure.”)
I made it to Plymouth in record time, too, arriving at the store around 7:45. But halfway there, I look over at my boxed-up console, and it occurs to me: did I remember to bring the receipt, which I had specifically pulled out to check the warranty?
No. No I hadn’t.
At that point, I decided my only hope was to rely on my native charm and charisma–and the blessed the-customer-is-always-right mindset of the Wal-Mart corporation.
My mother, whose praises I will never be able to adequately sing, met me at the store with the club card. It’s there that I met my guardian angels, Eva and Howie. Eva, the customer clerk, was understandably skeptical about the exchange, particularly since it turned out that some of the parts I was returning were from the first exchange (which is another long story). But, despite my lack of a warranty and, at that point, a person with a club card, she agreed to start the process.
As we waited for my mom to show up with the club card, Howie, the stock employee, went on a quest to find the particular Xbox 360 bundle my parents had bought eight months ago (it turned out there were only five left in the store).
In the end, I got my new Xbox 360, which, yes, worked like a charm. I was home by 9:45 and played until about 2 AM. I finished the single-player campaign today; I’ll post my thoughts on a later day, once I’ve played through the game a second (or third) time.
So that’s my story. Yes, I was that guy. And now you can tell people you know someone who’s Xbox 360 died as soon as he put in Halo 3.
(P.S. You know, this crap never happened with the old 8-bit Nintendo. Heck, half the time you had to slam that thing around to get it to work right, but it almost always did. Oh, and on a related note, we’ve packed up and lugged our Wii around on two occasions so far without the slightest problem.)