Every year, our church has a rummage sale. The entire congregation gets together, donates their unneeded belongings, and from this, and try to raise some cash. Every year our community room is filled with many things from the ordinary to the exotic and strange. This year it seemed to me that things were more on the ordinary side, much to my disappointment, while my mom busied herself examining the computers they had for sale. Then she called me over, having found something of interest to her.
That something of interest was a Xbox 360. I want a Xbox 360, but not as badly as my mom.
We both were intrigued. My mom had always wanted to play Bioshock, but couldn’t justify buying a 360 just for Bioshock. I figured the system was a redringed system, but I wanted to know what led to a Xbox 360 ending up in a church rummage sale. The situation was far from perfect. There was no power system, no cords to hook it up to the tv, and no controller. Still, it was a Xbox 360 for seven dollars, and for my mom, she had the knowledge if it didn’t work, the money would go straight to the church. For me, regardless of whether it worked or not, by the end there would be answers, and hopefully a story.
Next up was our local Gamestop, a game store franchise that is at least popular in the Midwest. I know that many people dislike Gamestop, but I’m quite fond of ours. I’ve never had a problem with it, and the employees there, while the come and go on their life journeys, are great while they are there. I appreciate how patient they’ve been with me and my various needs and questions and never have had a bad experience in that store.
Currently, there’s only three employees, and with how often my mom and I drop it, we’ve gotten to know two of them on a friendly level. So it wasn’t that out of place to come in and ask whoever was working to see if this Xbox worked if they weren’t busy. Well, it turned out that one of the managers was working, and being a weekday morning, he wasn’t busy.
This particular manager is probably one of the best managers I’ve met when it comes to customer service. He’s an extremely friendly guy, and makes an effort to get to know all his customers as people, and what they’re interested in. He’ll greet you when you come in and remember what you talked about last time. Though he gets extra points in my book as he laughs at my jokes.
Explaining the different missing parts to my Mom and I as he pulled them out, and then removed the front plate from the Xbox. Right off the bat, he could tell us why the Xbox 360 was in a church rummage sale and not sold back to Gamestop. The seal had been broken, showing the hardware had been tampered with. Of course, Xbox 360 are tampered for many reasons, mainly for hacking purposes. So was this a Xbox 360 where hacking had destroyed the system? I held my breath when the power button was pressed and much to my surprise, it sprang to life. Normal menu. No pop-up porn. No problems. A working Xbox 360. With a 15 gigabyte hard drive.
The glaring problem would soon come to light. The CD drive had been replaced…with another CD drive that didn’t work. The manager told us we could replace it, if we find a techie who could do it, but that there was still plenty we could do, such as downloading games. At the time, my mom went ahead, and bought the power supply for $40.
Techie wise, we were in good hands. Not only did my mom know her way around the hardware of a computer, but I’m a dating into a tech savvy family, so when I see them this weekend, they can take a look at it. Looking at the prices for replacing the CD drive didn’t make her too happy though.
My mom had some interest in downloading games, and they sold the cards for them at gamestop. The next day we went back, where the other manager, who is also the employee I know the least, was working. While we picked up the controller ($20) and cords for the TV ($4) she grabbed the card for Plants vs. Zombies. The second manager then informed her she couldn’t download games without a paid Xbox Gold account, and the price of that. Her shoulders drooped, and she put the card back.
Asking around, I found out that wasn’t true, and I told her that we could download games without paying extra money, but it didn’t cheer her back. The disappointment damage had been done.
And then we discovered that the Xbox 360 doesn’t hook up to the internet unless it hooked up directly, or with a wireless adapter…
It was saddening to watch the growing disappointment as my mom realized that she’d be putting more money into making the Xbox 360, that she hadn’t got the deal she thought she got. She even asked me if she should have just bought a new Xbox. Except, I think my Mom got a better deal when she realized. I did some research. Apparently having got the same thing, no cords, and even not getting a harddrive in the bargin, of this model, would have cost $115. At this point, we’ve still spent less on it then apparently what the core is worth.
What the future holds for our new console, I don’t know. We still don’t have any games. For now, it’s just…sitting there.