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Getting the most out of your repair order with VideoGame911.

With the cost of replacing electronic video game console systems more and more cost-conscious consumers are choosing to keep their existing systems running rather than toss them for new models which in many cases have less capabilities. Dealing directly with the system manufacturers can prove to be very difficult; especially if you expect good quality customer service and repair options which will keep your precious saved data. It is all too common that they inevitably frustrate a person to the point that they get you to spend top dollar to buy another new unit at full price inflating manufacturer profits even more. Unfortunately, as a Consumer Reports survey revealed, that also means many video game console users are postponing needed repairs or maintenance as a money-saving measure.
Unfortunately, delaying service not only represents false economy, it can compromise a systems stability. The best way to save money over the life of the system is to choose a high-quality, full-service console repair shop and not the manufacturers zombie like replacement option inevitably erasing all your information. This helps prevent video game console major breakdowns, and often saves money by allowing customers to make a small repair now rather than a much bigger one later.
But making the decision to service a unit is only half the battle. To get the most for their maintenance and repair dollars, consumers need to know how to best deal with a repair service engineer so that the service won't become difficult on the customer or provider. According to an informal survey of independent service providers and repair experts conducted online, here is a list of do’s to follow and don’ts to avoid when having a video game console serviced for maintenance or repairs.
1.  Communicate properly:
The better a consumer is able to convey in writing what's wrong with his or her console the easier it is for a technician to diagnose and fix the problem. It’s a good idea to document the exact failures you experienced with your system, noting specific light sequences, sounds, sensations, visual anomalies and smells, and when and how often they occur. Try your best NOT to refer to the issue as lights of death or other troubleshooting hype found on the Internet which does not offer any real information to the engineer working with your order. What happened just before the unit stopped running; how did it function the day before it didn’t start or play games? Also note when the unit was last serviced or updated, as today’s problem may be related to previous work done to the unit.
Here’s a list of terms that can help explain common symptoms that can also serve as a checklist for a system that’s headed for the repair shop:

  • Fan speeds: sound that comes from the system when it turns on and as it runs for periods. The fan can sound similar to the disc drive spinning, and will increase and then slow down as the unit operates. If for any reason the fan speeds up and does not calm back down when it compensates for the heat buildup, please note that issue with your order.
  • Disc Drive Noises: The only other moving parts in the system, other than the fan, is the disc drive and motors. These should be quiet when there is no disc inside and when a disc is inserted they should spin smoothly and not make clicking or scratching sounds. Any unusual sound will get worse, and may damage the disc inside which will need our additional polishing services to repair the media.
  • Beeping: Different beeps, at different intervals are indicators of errors or issues with the systems normal operations. Capture any unusual beeps and note them and when they occur during the process of the system operating or failing. The pattern at which they sound will clearly provide details which your engineer may not be able to reproduce without following specific steps. Noting that information can help your engineer recreate the failure point, which leads to a much faster and accurate determination of the specific cause for the breakdown.
  • Lights flashing or light sequences: It is all too common for customers to write things like "lights of death" when documenting an issue with their system.  This only clearly notes that you are reading internet hype which can in many cases be written by people who have no clue as to what the failures actually mean.  Death lights is all too vague to provide as a repair symptom. Surprising to most, there are many different light combinations and sequences which many experience and they should not be considered lights of death. Instead of using slang to indicate the issue with the system, better to just clearly and honestly state the EXACT light colors, numbers, and pattern (light sequence) YOUR system has. All too often does a customer indicate issues which do not match the sequence seen by our engineers which just delays the time it takes to verify and understand the specific issue and if is has changed during transit or has gotten worse indicating a multi level failure. Best to just stick to the facts and avoid troubleshooting to keep things simple and clear. This way, if the engineers see something different it makes for a more accurate diagnostics as a result.
  • Freezing: This does not mean that you should put a jacket on your console to keep it warm (lol). Used to describe stuttering or all out stoppage when playing a game or running software on a system. It is best to try the unit with hdd demo's as well as discs to see if the unit has the issue only when playing discs or also when running software directly from the hard disk drive in the system. Please make sure to mention if the unit "freezes" when NOT playing discs to ensure the technician understands the issue completely.
  • Sluggish: If the unit has a sluggish or lagging when performing game play or operating, please be certain to check your internet connection if you are playing online. If the unit is only sluggish when playing online, and not when playing offline, the issue could clearly be with the wireless connection you have setup with your home network. The ability to move heavy amounts of bandwidth over a wireless connection, like when in a heavy fire fight or during heavy graphical periods, the issue could be definitely related to the network performance, and NOT the system. Be sure to test all sluggish or lagging systems with wired connections prior to documenting your symptoms accurately.

2.  Set realistic expectations:
When it comes to electronics repairs, quick, cheap and good are usually mutually exclusive terms. Plan to leave the unit with our shop for the better part of a day  so that it can complete the necessary troubleshooting diagnostics, service and testing and be prepared to pay the going rate for parts and labor. Even if it’s a quick fix realize there may be several other customers ahead of yours in the service queue. As you know we strive to provide 24 hour turnaround to every order, but we always appreciate any additional time available when servicing your order. The more final testing we can accomplish with the system post repairs the better. Be aware that our system provides a progress meter to keep you engaged and aware of every step of our process, and we always provide a cost estimate before receiving your authorization to proceed with repairs or service.
3.  Don’t drop off a dirty or damaged console and then assume we won't have to further clean or repair those cosmetic or structure parts.
Always know that we will clean every system in and out which goes through our repair process. As for damaged console shells, and missing doors or parts from the system usually MUST be replaced in order to ensure the unit cools normally or operates without filling critical parts with dust buildup. If the manufacturer did not need the parts on the system, they would not have put them on in the first place. So expect to pay for missing or damaged parts on any system.
4.  Make yourself available:
Be sure to leave phone numbers which are accurate with your order where you can be reached and respond promptly. If the technician isn’t able to contact you via your order details and comments section, the unit will sit and remain unattended until it is placed in dust free paid storage. This will increase your costs and are unnecessary if you are looking for a quality and fast service to your order. Likewise, you’ll want to know how much the service will cost before proceeding or that the unit is ready for pickup before coming back to the store.
5.  Give the technician adequate time while they are completing service to your order.
Just about every service engineer surveyed disliked customers hovering over their order and while they worked. While it’s appropriate to spend time with your order and engineer to explain the problem, it’s distracting to be updating with unneeded requests and anxiety during the process. While a unit is in final testing after repairs are completed, we cannot know for certain exactly when they will finish as different model systems and data checks take differing amounts of time to complete. If for any reason during the final testing process, the order fails any testing, we immediately re-analyze and may re-work the system repairs to tweak the unit in order to ensure a completely working and fully tested system prior to return shipping.  This process can take some additional time and is done for all customers protection and quality assurance. Our orders provide updates at every step of our process, so take it easy and let a professional do his or her job as it can be difficult to guess at completion times until all final tests are finished successfully.

Once again, always check your order to see real time status with our progress updates in your account. Also, trust that we are not playing games all day, your engineers are hard at work to service orders as fast and as accurately as humanly possible so we can get each order processed without having delays. We don't like to keep a system on our benches any longer than it needs to be, thus clogging up our systems and causing engineers to produce less which is reflected in their pay scales. We sure do appreciate your information and positive interaction during our processes so we can be certain to provide you with high quality, fast and accurate professional video game console repair services and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your business. Have a happy time gaming when you get your unit back and be certain to know we are always there for you if you need us.

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