In part to appease an upset user base and in part to net them some good PR points, a while back Microsoft launched a policy that would provide owners of a dead Xbox 360s with a prepaid shipping box. It made getting a warranty repair quite trivial – make a call, get the box, send the box away – all at Microsoft's expense. It was a great boon to the numerous people who found their consoles prematurely dying, due to the well-documented and widely known hardware faults that earlier models of the 360 were plagued with.
Microsoft has decided to end that policy, however. At the end of last month, the company decided to axe the expense of sending these prepaid “cardboard coffins,” requiring customers to get their own packaging. Not a big deal considering Redmond will still pay for return shipping. Microsoft, on the other hand, will need to sort through whatever random packaging a customer comes up with.
One advantage to the prepaid coffins was that it ensured the Xbox was packaged properly – and wouldn't sustain further damage in transit. In any case, dropping the policy won't affect anybody's warranty, and minus the mere cost of getting your own packaging you will still get an in-warranty unit repaired for free.