NEWS - Tuesday, August 26, 2003
Fed Up Xbox Owner - 13 years OldBill Gates: Stay out of Lower Sackville - or prepare to mix it up with the Ford family. After getting stuck with not one but two defective Xbox video game consoles, Gregory Ford, 13, has little use for the Microsoft owner or his popular electronic device. "Buy something else," the disenchanted 13-year-old said Monday. His mother, Sonia, also had some harsh words for Microsoft and some advice for all potential purchasers of any sort of video game player: "Check the warranty!" When the teenager got home after purchasing his game console this spring, his mother dutifully telephoned a number provided in the box to obtain an extended warranty only to learn that feature is unavailable in Canada. That seemed OK because when the machine went kaput after only a couple of weeks, it was still covered. The Sackville Drive store, where Gregory bought the console, replaced it. The new machine also died. But this time, it was just weeks beyond the 90-day warranty period covered by Microsoft Canada. That meant no free repairs or product replacement. "Were afraid to pay more money now to ship the machine in for repairs. How do we know itll be fixed properly?" Mrs. Ford said. Buyer beware should be your watchword when it comes to buying game consoles, a quick survey of various Halifax-area retailers indicated. All of the leading manufacturers, including Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, offer only basic 90-day warranties in Canada, regardless of what promotional materials prepared in the U.S. say. After that, its up to the consumer to cover shipping, parts and labour costs, generally in the $150 range in Canada. Mrs. Ford said she is upset her son saved up for so long to purchase an Xbox console and has had so little satisfaction from his investment. Reports of defective Xbox units were making the rounds among video-game enthusiasts last year. But some people in the industry suggest that rumour stemmed from a fierce rivalry among game console manufacturers. Microsoft spokesman Kyle Moffat said the company offers extended warranties for its Xbox consoles only in the United States for sales tax reasons. "Ninety days is the standard out-of-the-box industry warranty for game consoles," he said from Toronto. Catch the rest Here.