Or "How Microsoft Did Me Over".
Just before Christmas my 360 started making funny noises when loading some games, Mass Effect being the most obvious. Then it started being a bit funny reading some discs, but give it a couple of tries and it would be fine. But everything really started going wrong just after I completed Assassin's Creed.
I was running around one of the cities trying to find some of the flags and Templars because I've got this nagging feeling that once all are found it's going to unlock something though I doubt I'll actually bother doing it. Anyway, as I was running around the graphics went majorly wrong the whole thing started cross hatching and bits of scenery flashing in and out of existence. So I went back to the dashboard but the system notifications were suddenly see through so I switched the whole lot off and asked Chris if he had anything go wrong while he'd been playing but he hadn't.
Over the next week I had quite a few similar glitches across different games when Chris came up with the idea of checking how a DVD displayed. Everything was fine so we decided to try reconnecting the cables and see if that made a difference. Boy did it. The damn thing wouldn't switch back on.
Instead of a lovely green shade my 'Ring of Light' was now displaying the long feared colour of red. Not in the oft talked about three display but one red light in the lower right quarter. I was gutted but took solace in the fact that although my console was 14 months old Microsoft had extended warranties to 3 years. So I ring technical support who seem to get the same lessons as I did when I started my wonderful job in a call centre but they don't seem to apply them intelligently. Microsoft, it is very annoying to have someone on the other end of the phone rabbit exactly what you said to make sure they understood. Then came the bombshell, "I can see that you're guarantee has run out." But hasn't the damn thing been extended to three years? "Sorry sir, that is only for the three light problem." So Microsoft have opened up and said Yes the 360 has a lot of faults and yes it is our fault so we'll extend the guarantee, but only for one specific problem. So now the bastards are charging me 60 quid. However, her computer bust so I had to call back in two hours to finish the call.
Two hours later I get through to a guy who says that one of the options I had chosen previously was quite slow and this other way was much quicker, I was inclined to believe the guy because he sounded much more switched on than the other one. A week goes by and the courier still hadn't turned up so I ring Microsoft again only to be told that the original operator was right the e-mail option was quicker and the 2nd guy was talking out of his arse. So now I wait up to two days for them to e-mail me the labels before I can contact the couriers. Why does it take two days to e-mail me? Surely it's just a case of marking that's the option I chose and clicking a button that sends me the bloody things, talking about time wasting bureaucracy. Then they take two to three sodding weeks to fix the machine.
Well at least I've been lent Wind Waker to distract me.