The headline, while not misleading, may have you thinking of a number of ways that Sony fails. That list is definitely a long one, especially when it comes to the Playstation 3 console. I have no problem declaring the Xbox 360 to be the superior console on the market today, and honestly don’t even think it is close. Both have their problems, but I’ve added another to Sony’s side this week.
Somewhere between 3 and 4 years ago, I purchased a used PS3 on Ebay for extremely cheap. I did so with the sole intention of purchasing the only good baseball game available, MLB: The Show (to this day that still remains true about baseball games). The Show is exclusive to the PS3. I still have no regrets about it because The Show is easily the best sports sim on any console that I’ve played. Also, having the Blu-Ray inside was a great bonus as well.
Last year around this time, a few weeks after MLB 11 came out, there was a major problem with my PS3. The yellow light of deathoccurred. This is the equivalent to Xbox 360′s semi-more frequent red light that occurred on the first version console.
With a brand new game stuck inside the console, I called Sony to request service. Having no warranty off a console that I purchased on Ebay, I expected to pay for it. $129.00 was the bill. More than half what I paid for the system…awesome. They paid for the shipping but it took over a week for me to even receive the box. After sending it out, it was another week before their warehouse received it.
This was frustrating to say the least. 2 weeks after the problem and Sony hadn’t touched the console yet. After another full week of having it in their possession, I got an email with a tracking number. Finally, they are shipping me my PS3. It took another week and it finally arrived. When it came, I immediately discovered they shipped me a different console. It was the same model, but definitely a different console.
One month of waiting seems like forever when my favorite sports game is out and am unable to play it. I’ve sent my 360 to Microsoft on more than one occasion and had a 10-14 day turn around….more on this below.
Fast forward to this week and my frustrations return. Upon turning the PS3 on, I get a blank screen with my television telling me there is no signal. I tried 3 different HDMI cords, 2 A/V cords, 2 tv’s, and nothing worked. I tried every fix available on the internet without so much as a blip on the screen.
I called Sony and got a hold of someone who sounded like she was incapable of having a conversation without her screen telling her exactly what to say. We went through all the troubleshooting options, each of which I already did, and discovered that I needed to send it to Sony for repair. The cost? $129.00.
Does this price ever go down? We are on the verge of the next generation of console and gaming companies are still charging about half price of a new console for repair.
I asked her to confirm the date in which I last sent in my PS3 for repair, and she told me a date I already knew. Indeed it was LESS THAN 1 YEAR AGO.
You’ll have to forgive me as I believe that is an insufficient amount of time to be forced to pay “full price” for another repair. I’m told that the 90 day warranty from the repair is all they give. 90 days is nothing. I wonder how many PS3 owners have ever used this 90 day repair warranty. I’m guessing a handful at most.
I told the representative that this was absurd. 4 times over the next 2-3 minutes she told me “I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do”. I feel bad for customer service reps when people yell at them in anger because it isn’t really their fault. However, I have a much better understanding as to why customers get mad….the reps aren’t apologetic at all. They are reading their scripts and show zero human emotion at all. That, to me, is offensive and as a customer, makes me feel unimportant.
After asking for a reference number for the call, so I could call back later to get right back into it, I thought it over for a bit. I decided I’m not going to pay $129 for a system that worked for 11.5 months (minus the 2+ weeks of shipping and the 3 months of sitting dormant after I got rid of The Show). Surely I could talk to someone and try and get this outrageous asking price down to the $50-70 range.
I talked to a
robot gentleman and gave him the reference number and explained everything I had told the previous rep. He told me all the same stuff and I then asked if there was anything at all he could do for me. Of course he said no and that the $129 is set in stone, no exceptions.
I asked to speak to someone else who might have more authority to help. I did this all while staying as polite as possible without pissing anyone off…even though they had done a terrible job of returning the favor. This clearly wasn’t part of his script because in a completely nervous voice he asked “Uh….who would you like to talk to?”
The exact opposite of how my customer service experience with Sony went.
I bet the janitor could do a better job of helping, how about sending him my way.
I said just give me a supervisor or manager. After a few minutes of Sony advertising, I was directed to a man who actually sounded like he gave a damn for a brief second. After I told him my problem, he stood firm in telling me it would be $129 and went through the whole 90 day crap.
I asked him if he thought it was absurd that if an essentially new console stopped working 91 days after I had paid $129 to have it fixed, that I’d have to pay the same amount again. He went on some spiel about how if his PS3 was in this situation that even he would have to pay full price to have it fixed. Well, good for you buddy. Way to make yourself sound real important in front of the customer. I also didn’t ask about you and your console.
I thanked him for his time, but ended my saying I won’t be giving them any money to fix this thing twice in a single year.
I was stunned at the sheer unapologetic answers and unwillingness to help that Sony was. It is really that much to ask that a system work for 1 calendar year? Technically, it could break 4 times in a year and you’d have to pay for a repair every single time. That is outrageous.
Even Microsoft sent me a brand new generation Xbox 360 after I had three separate issues with my system. Those were all with no charge too.
I quickly found many reputable 3rd party companies that specialize in fixing gaming systems. One stuck out with overwhelmingly positive reviews and I went with them after a few hours of research. As I type, my system is en route to RSOL PC. I’ll discuss my thoughts on their service in the near future, but so far, it’s been a good experience.