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[UPDATE] Sony: The Death of Consumer Loyalty

107 Comments | posted

Updated: It’s amazing what an article on a website can achieve for you when it receives tens of thousands of hits and a ton of link-ins from around the country/world. It’s also amazing to know exactly how full of crap the customer service representatives at Sony truly are. They went from not being able to do it without the console unit or my “private” information, to being able to randomly do it out of no where and sending me an email to let me know.

The power of word is obviously strong. It’s ridiculous that I had to go to this length to get it done, but whatever. It’s done.

Dear DAVE,

Recently you requested assistance with your PlayStation® Network account and the Video Download Service.  Per your request, we have deactivated your original console from your account.

To activate your new console, please click the link below and follow the instructions in the article.

http://playstation.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/playstation.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=796

If you have questions or require further assistance, please call SCEA Consumer Services directly at (866) 286-5123.

We are available Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., Pacific Time.

Your Service Request Number is 1-237200801. Please reference this number when calling us.

Sincerely,
The PlayStation® Consumer Services Team

Original: This generation of consoles has brought forth something that the gaming industry has never seen the likes of and that is the console wars. Sure, Nintendo and Sega had a rift back in the 90s, but it was never quite at the level it is today. It seems you’re either a member of the Microsoft camp or you’re taking refuge at Sony’s headquarters. Regardless of which side you choose to represent, without including the neutrals, the reasoning behind these console wars always falls back onto one factor – brand loyalty.

I remember a time when brand loyalty meant something. Supporting a product used to mean that that company would appreciate your business and would enjoy keeping it. A company would do what it could to satisfy its consumers in order to keep that consumer base from dwindling, but growing through consumer loyalty and treating the consumer right. However, ever since the launch of this generation of consoles, consumer loyalty has been thrown out the window in exchange for greed and profitability. Of course, you can make your argument for which of the two empires you feel carries the most evil, but when it’s truly broken down to it, Microsoft is willing to go further to keep you as a customer than Sony is.

The Red Ring of Death fiasco isn’t exactly a secret, but it’s an epidemic that helps provide a realistic look into the blatancy of disrespect these companies have for the consumer. While Microsoft may have chosen to release a shoddy product to the market in order to gain market share, they were willing to save face and take a loss by offering a billion dollar warranty program expanding their coverage to three years for the console’s biggest weakness. Sure – it can be debated that this also helped prevent civil lawsuits from cropping up, but when push comes to shove, this maneuver resulted in Microsoft’s consumers continually returning to the brand despite the break downs and many replacement boxes they’ve ended up going through.

When we flip the table and watch how Sony has handled their entire console this generation, all you ultimately see from the consumer loyalty perspective is utter failure and death. One of the key components to the lack of consumer loyalty is the way that Sony conducts their warranty process in general. Not only is the consumer expected to keep their receipt for the entire year, but if they happen to misplace it, they’ll be hit with a $160 repair fee just to get their console fixed. I realize this is a precaution and a verification process to make sure the consoles being sent in are legitimately under warranty, however, this same practice and requirement was required when the console had only been launched for six months. That’s correct, if your console broke in March 2007, Sony would still require a receipt to prove you bought the console within the last year. Ridiculous? I agree.

Furthering this atrocity is the console activation process that Sony utilizes for both its PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 3 platforms. As many of you know, Sony pushed the ability to GameShare at its 2006 E3 Press Conference. They lauded the ability to share games with your friends on up to five different consoles. This was a huge pull for consumers and it definitely got a lot of people coming on board to purchase their console. However, fast-forward three years and people have been banned from the network for gamesharing and Sony’s customer service pulls the “how do we know you’re not gamesharing card,” if you happen to request a deactivation on a console.

You see, that’s the funny part. Sony allows five consoles and handhelds to access a single account at any given time. This means, if your console breaks or you have to sell it in order to make a bill payment and you forget to deactivate it, you’ve permanently lost that one console activation forever. So what happens to the people who prefer to upgrade their products like the PSP? Let’s say someone purchases a PSP 1000, trades it in to purchase a PSP 2000. That PSP 2000 is sold to pay some bills and then another PSP 2000 is bought. That PSP 2000 is traded in to purchase a PSP 3000 and you end up game sharing with a buddy. Now, what happens if you’re not away of the activation/deactivation process or how limited the limited number of handhelds you can activate on one account is? You just used all 5 slots – So when you go to continue to support Sony and you purchase a PSPgo by trading in your PSP 3000, you’re f***ed. That’s right. Now that you’ve purchased their overpriced $250 PSPgo in show of brand loyalty and support, Sony is repaying your continued efforts by letting you know your old PSP content that you owned is completely and utterly useless – pretty much like their customer service.

I decided to put this entire “consumer loyalty” to the test recently because I was put into a similar situation as described above. The only difference is, instead of game sharing with a friend, someone had actually stolen two PSPs from me in the past. This rendered those two activations permanently lost and my support of purchasing a 1000 (third time), 2000, 3000 and then PSPgo did not matter one bit when consumer loyalty comes into play. This is where it gets interesting. I decided to call up Sony’s costumer service to find out what they could do for me, since I had just purchased $150 worth of PSPgo content from the PlayStation Store and when I went to transfer it to my PSPgo, it told me I had too many PSPs activated.

So – I call up Sony and the first representative tries to tell me that they cannot do it because I have to manually deactivate each system despite them not being in my possession any longer. Of course, like any normal consumer who isn’t getting the answer he’s looking for, I asked to speak to their supervisor. I was put on hold for 10 minutes until this guy was placed on the phone, who, by the way, was one of the biggest ***** I’d ever had to deal with from a CSR standpoint. Not only did he shoot me down at every turn, but he tried to read off the Terms of Service to me where it never specifically states how many consoles or handhelds I can activate nor does it state that you’ll lose complete access to any and all of your content if you happen to reach the 6th product in the line of their hardware.

By the time I was done talking to this guy, I was 47 minutes in and requested to speak to his supervisor. This next representative was the one who left me facepalmed on my couch in disbelief. Not only did this lady have absolutely no clue what I was talking about (this is sad from a company perspective let alone a consumer perspective), but she was trying to give me solutions that didn’t even exist – like logging into my account on their website and deactivating my products from there (impossible). So – I asked the lady to take a look at my account and check that I’ve spent well over $1,500 on their downloadable content since launch and that all I was looking for was a little consumer loyalty in having my account release ALL PSP activations entirely. This is where things turned completely illogical.

This supervisor tried to tell me that they don’t have the ability or the power to deactivate consoles from their end of the process because they don’t have our login details or sensitive information. Then she proceeded to tell me that the only way they can deactivate consoles or handhelds is if we send them in for repair. This is where she started to lose me, because even if I sent my PSP in for repair, I would not be including my memory card, which would have the saved user data to begin with that would enable them to access my account to deactivate, the same goes for my PlayStation 3 and my HDD. So – How would they be able to deactivate my product that way? The icing on the cake in this situation is that I had sent in TWO PS3s in the span of three months between March and May of 2009. When I called back then to have those two PlayStation 3’s deactivated from my account, the representatives and supervisors told me at that time that they can’t deactivate the PS3s without me mailing them a copy of my receipt to prove I owned them (despite just paying $160 for them to repair the piece of faulty hardware to begin with).

Let me recap. Basically, everything I’ve been told thus far has been contradictory to everything I was previously told a couple of months ago as well as completely false in the capabilities as to what they could do. When the phone call finally started to boil over and I was reaching my limit of garbage from the customer service department, I had to ask…

“So, can you guys remove the access to that content from my account or provide me with download vouchers so that I can create a new account to use the content I just bought or am I stuck with unusable content? Is it possible to just have the transaction voiced in order to re-purchase the items under a new account?”

I knew the answer before she even opened her mouth. Guess what her solution was to my problem?

“Sir, the only solution I can offer you is to create a new account and then re-purchase the $150 worth of content in order to play it on your PSPgo.”

Once I got off the phone, I decided to google around a bit to see if any other users had ever had Sony deactivate consoles or handhelds for them in the past. I found numerous reports where people indicated Sony had helped them out in deactivating their consoles with a little “persuasion.” Are these reports accurate? I have no clue. However, if they are, that makes my situation that much worse. But, it didn’t matter anymore, the situation was over.

That was it. That’s the limit to their customer service. After $1,500 in DLC, 6 PlayStation Portables, 4 PlayStation 3s, 3 PlayStation 2s, 1 PlayStation and two years of reviews and promoting their products for their consumer base as a journalist — that was the consumer loyalty I was afforded by Sony Computer Entertainment America. I wasn’t even offered lubricant first.

This entire experience and ordeal has lead to what I believe as a true, undeniable indicator that Sony has entirely killed any semblance of consumer loyalty in favor of profit margins, crude business tactics, unprofessional customer service and pure greed.

All I have left to ask is, where is the love Sony?

Posted in Editorials, News |

Comments (107)

  • The Pretender

    Sorry, I didn’t read all but I do have something to say.

    All I want from sony is more great games.

    Sony is giving me what I want. I’ll stay with sony.

  • The Dean

    Sony gives me what I want as well. Which is why I created this website and which is why PlayStation 3 is my console of choice. This is en entirely different subject than that though.

  • maxamealious

    Ah dude,that’s messed up man
    If there is one thing xbox excells at,it’s customer service

  • Tucky

    I disagree.
    In fact, it’s exactly the opposit in my country (belgium). Even if my broken PS3 was no more under warranty, sony fixed it … and never charged anything.
    Every problem I had with sony’s products (PS2, PSP, PS3) was handled by this company with great professionalism and respect.

  • RuddigerPez

    I guess we know which camp you really are in. I for one put more stock in a companies foresight and product quality over whether they will suck your crank for you once your console inevitably breaks. Haven’t has one Sony console fail. And maybe if you were dumb enought to get not one but two PSPs stolen you should just bite the bullet and deactivate one of your old PSPs so you can use your Go. Why do you need 4 PSPs anyway? Sounds like you didn’t get your way and you wanted to rationalize why you think you are right even though you are not. Drag someone else through the mus with you since hey, this isn’t your fault. Nice job.

  • bg93

    Wow, I think its the other way around. When you started talking about game sharing and sharing accounts I just stopped. A. If you own 5 PSPs, the last thing to worry about is loosing your account. You’re grasping for straws. I have always believed that Microsoft was the bigger evil in ending brand support.
    Xbox LIVE- $50 a month. This would be fine but PSN is free and lacking only a few features (cross game party and chat).
    $100 for a Wireless adapter. Wow. Your fucking kidding me. I brought my router downstairs sacrificing my “very good” connection for my PC to avoid this crap.
    Look at the marketplace- I know games on demand is a good thing as well as themes but friggin $40 per game that could be bought for $10 at a retailer, or $5 for an Avatar shirt. Themes and even gamer pictures, fucking GAMER PICTURES cost money!
    And I can grasp for straws too! No rechargable battery included, no browser, no blu ray, and MS didn’t pay $.50 for a rubber thing so games wouldn’t scratch. God damn, look at that. Sony is a saint compared to this!

  • Naughty God

    Well, i’m in it for the games, nothing else. I have a PS3, a PS2 and a PSP, and for each system there’s a lot of quality games available and in development for the coming months and years.
    None of these macines have broken on me, and unlike 360 fans I don’t have to worry that one probably will. Ask a 360 fan who bought his xBox in the first year available about that wonderfull 3 year warrenty that has become useless in the past few months…either afraid the thing will happen soon or admitting buying a new Arcade for less then 200 isn’t a big deal. If loyalty requires you to buy multiple consoles for just one generation then please shove it.
    Persistent hardware failures, fees for online, full priced ‘gamesequels’ like ODST and L4D2 that provide nothing more then your average DLC, spending 50m on DLC instead of spending it on something unique like LBP, skipping 2009…no sir, I do not respect that at all.

  • Truth

    I dont see how it is better to have an all-the-time-breaking console (had three RRODs) with a great customer service, in comparison to an all working fine console with a not all that great customer service…

    I mean seriously Sony ist getting customer loyality because of great exclusives, which is the main reason to purchase a gaming console…

  • SamaT

    Wow man. I have to say that Sony really fucked you over.

    But yea Microsoft may have “better” (but not great) customer service, but I’m 360 consumers have technically paid way more than in the way of xbox live and accessories than all ps3 owners combined who had to pay for their console to be repaired even without them paying for the rrod (which alot have).

    But that still doesn’t excuse Sony’s performance in this case. I’m sure if you keep trying you’ll come across a representative who will do you a “favor”.

  • The Dean

    I think you guys are looking past the point here. It’s not about whether you think owning a 360 or a PS3 is better. It’s not about which one is going to be reliable or which one is going to die the most often. The point is, when push comes to shove and something DOES happen, who is going to be there for you as a company to provide you with a reason to continually come back to them on that consumer loyalty side of things. Right now, with the way things are set up, Microsoft provides the comfort in providing the consumer that if something does happen (whether it is their fault or not through faulty hardware) they’re going to take care of you with a replacement console — FREE of charge. No hoops to jump through, nothing. If something happens on the Sony end, they’re not going to do the same.

  • ExPresident

    This article is weak at best. You are, like another user said, grasping for straws and its sad. You think Microsoft wanted to spend a billion dollars to fix an issue to please their customer? A quality company wouldn’t have put out a faulty product, especially knowingly in this case, to their consumer. I’m pretty sure I know which camp you really belong to.

    Your whole “gotta hold your receipt for a year” complaint is lousy at best. Have some responsibility and quit expecting everything handed to you. What sense would it make to not have proof of purchase?

    Stupid.

  • K-grim

    dam i really fell sorry foe you
    i havent had any problems with sony
    so i myself stay loyal

    but i dont agree with the part saying their greedy, to me their the most generous company out there

  • hahaha

    I’ve had my elite for 2 years with no problems. Everyone talks up the red ring but no1 will say how many ppl have their ps3 overheat and break. Exclusives 360 has way more games better games and odst sold better than any ps3 game has so kinda funny

  • The Dean

    @ExPresident

    Did you even read what it written? I specifically mention Microsoft extending their warranty due to class action lawsuits. The difference is, where was Sony to do this last generation when the Disc Read Error was happening in a good amount of PlayStation 2s? Where was their extended warranty then? No where.

    The receipt issue isn’t about accountability. It’s about user-friendly customer service. If a product is only on the shelf for six months, why the need for a receipt? It’s obviously under the 1-year warranty plan, isn’t it? Why do I need to jump through an extra hoop for something that is obvious?

    I don’t need anything handed to me. I’ve spent enough money on their products, which is evident through my account history to deserve a little appreciation back at the end of the day for putting so much capital into their pockets. For them to tell me after 5 PSPs, I no longer can use my content because I didn’t “deactivate” them is ridiculous. Especially when they have the ability to deactive the entire account in general; allowing me to then use that 6th PSP with my account with content I purchased to begin with.

    When you buy a PS3 game. If you play it at six different friend’s houses, when you got to that sixth friend and put it in the PS3, did the PS3 tell you… “Sorry, this has already been played on 5 PS3s. Please go deactivate one of those PS3s in order to play it here.” ? No, it didn’t. Because you OWN that content and have the right to use it.

  • Julez

    Not to knock what you went through with Sony, but the brand loyalty at Microsoft isn’t much better my friend. You example of how Microsoft has taken care of their customers with the RRoD problem is just, but I tell you there are many out there who have had several issues with Microsoft’s customer service.

    I, for one, have had problems with them and my Live account. I hardly touch my Xbox (cause I’m a Sony brand loyalist, lol) and I completely forgot about canceling my Live account. Well, the card I signed up with was lost so I had to cancel the card. Well, when they tried to charge me for my annual subscription they obviously couldn’t. So then I get a bill in the mail saying I owe them the money and if I don’t pay I will lose my account and all points purchased will be lost. I call and tell them that I don’t want to renew because I never use my Live account. You won’t believe the crap I had to go through to get them to cancel the account. I didn’t have the old card so they gave me crap about that because they needed the number. Then they tried forcing me to pay the annual fee to avoid losing my account. I told them that this makes no sense to force me to pay for something I don’t want. I have no intention of using Live anymore, so why put a customer through this? I persuaded them to finally to drop the charge by telling how unfair this is to the customer and how it would affect my future decisions as a Microsoft customer. If they care, they will fix it.

    I’ve had some issues with Sony as well and had to do some persuasion of my own to get them to budge. I had a Playstation crash on me; the old yellow light. It was activated for the PSN. I get a new one and I want to download a movie but I’m denied. Apparently I need to deactivate the old PS3 in order to download the movies. WTF? How the hell am I suppose to do this when my old one is now a paper weight? You won’t believe the crap I had to go through to get them to deactivate the old system just so I could access the movie rentals on PSN. The questions made me feel like I was a thief. They tried to get me to start the old one back up and troubleshoot it (something I did with their tech support when it first broke). They kept asking me these repetitive condescending questions like I did something wrong. I finally got mad and said why am I being asked these questions. It is simple, my damn system broke on me and I bought a new one. All I need is for you to deactivate the damn thing so I can watch a movie. What it boils down to is that they are trying to prevent piracy and “game sharing” and that they’ve had problems with people calling in trying to do such. Great!!! So I have to pay for what other illegal activities others are doing?

    Well, with much argument and persuasion they finally did it. I also complained to them about my PS3 crashing and me not being able to access their heavily encrypted hard drive (another issue) to recover my game saves. My hard drive from my PS3 that I can’t access because Sony is so scared of piracy. Well, they fix my issue and offered to exchange my broke PS3 for a refurbished. I was satisfied but not very happy.

    So the moral of my long post is this: Sony may not be the greatest in customer service by any means, and they really need an overhaul, but Microsoft is no cake walk. They could care less about the customers, I mean who puts out a crap system at launch knowing the flaws in it just to beat the competition? Then brag about your sales when you know that they are inflated with people who rebought a new Xbox system. Sorry, but I feel you pain but I can’t sit here and agree with you 100% when I know just how screwed up Microsoft is.

  • WWII

    “Ah dude,that’s messed up man
    If there is one thing xbox excells at,it’s customer service

    LMAO!

  • Deedui69

    Where is the love Sony? But i guess there are flaws in pretty much everything companies try to accomplish, i mean atleast Sony IS offering Game sharing for up to five consoles/handhelds. But nonetheless they should improve…

  • The Dean

    @Julez

    Sorry to hear about your troubles as well. I’m not saying Microsoft’s consumer loyalty is something to write home about. It has its fair share of problems as well. I just honestly felt like after dealing with both companies on similar issues and from actually looking up these issues on other forums from where other people have posted similar experiences to mine (the majority), that I wanted to write something on it.

    Just because I love my PlayStation 3, doesn’t mean everything about it is going to be positive. People need to learn that this isn’t about which side you’re on, because us, as consumers, are ALL on the same side. We’re ALL consumers. We deserve to be treated the same way we treat the companies that we buy from.

  • dmij

    Just on the receipt issue, I’m not at all surprised that they required a receipt, I’d expect that even the day after launch. Otherwise how do they know that it’s not a stolen machine?

  • The Dean

    @Dmij

    Like I said, I understand the reasoning behind it — I even stated such. However, why doesn’t Microsoft ask for the receipt when you send in for RROD? It’s all about consumer friendliness in the end and Sony isn’t willing to put the consumer’s interest first ahead of their own when it comes to customer support (which makes no sense).

  • geddesmond2

    Man seriously. I know how frustrating all that could be but they give you 5 chances to deactivate a product. This seems like a complete rant and somethings not right with this article. It sounds like its from a Xbox fanboy man. If Sony were to allow more than 5 systems activated per account it would be bad buisness.

    It would allow more people to game share which in return would equal lower game sales. Lower game sales would = the developers of the said games thinking twice about PS3 excusivity development.

    Like man, if you go to purchase something off the PS store the first thing your greeted with is the terms of service and the 3rd line in those terms of service is the 5 activated PS3 terms. If you can’t take 1 minutes to read the terms and 5 minutes to look up what those terms means then its your own fault in a way.

    Thats what the terms are there for. Its not like they havn’t tryed telling people about this and then screwing them.

    As for when you rang them up. Theres legal issues about deactivating and there security issues aswel. The people should have explained this

  • The Dean

    @Geddesmond2

    My problem isn’t that they only allow only 5 consoles, it’s that they don’t allow you the opportunity to deactivate your consoles remotely or openly provide you with the option for them to do it.

    Your idea that there are “legal issues about deactivating and there are security issues as well” is completely false because people have confirmed that Sony HAS done this for certain consumers. If they can do it for them, they should be doing it for their entire consumer base depending on if the proper identification is shown. This can be done through several ways, including emailing the original account email for verification.

    The fact they don’t openly or willingly do this for you is completely ludicrous.

  • ExPresident

    @The Dean

    I read your article, the entire, all but one paragraph, full of complaints about Sony. While you “happily” mention that Microsoft extended their warranty to “save face” you neglect to even acknowledge the fact that they KNOWINGLY released a faulty product in the hopes that it wouldn’t be that bad and they’d still make money. I hardly believe people rushed back to buy another 360 because of their excellent services, but rather people had spent a year building a game collection and didn’t wanna waste that money, so stuck with a system for the current games.

    Switching to the accountability issue, it is an accountability issue. Ever heard of theft? Sony ensures they are spending money and resources on people who made a valid purchase. Otherwise the guy who steals some PS3′s can do what he needs to in order to make out to his benefit in the end, it happens.

    Not deactivating your accounts, AS YOU ARE INSTRUCTED TO DO, is entirely your fault. Do you make it a habit to not follow instructions when using other equipment or programs, if you do why should those companies bend over backwards when you fail to complete a simple task.

    Now, that being said it sucks if you have customer service issues, but every company has them. I’ve had them and I’m sure I’ll have more with various companies, but each and every poster here probably has a horror story about either company. Its terrible when it happens, but you don’t even begin to scratch the surface about the problems Microsoft has given people over the years, whilst all your PS3 issues seem to be from your failure to follow simple instructions.

    I’ve replaced 1 PS3, due to a Blu-ray disc read error. I had 0 issues with customer service and had a new ps3 back at my house and hooked up within 6 days, that includes sending my bad one out. Sony offers me a free online game service, HOME is free, and the product was put out WITH QUALITY.

  • Naughty God

    “It’s not about which one is going to be reliable or which one is going to die the most often”

    Dean my man, I’m afraid YOU are missing the point. Who cares for 3 years of free boxes when you have a reliable console? Honestly, defending the customer service of a couple of scams that knowingly sold you a faulty device, by complimentingthem on replacing it for another faulty device for 3 years if necessary…is just plain stupid.
    You sir got f***ed by MS, and you don’t even know it. I myself paid 599 for my PS3 and if things where the other way round I would be ****ing Sony instead of praising them, where’s your dignity man?
    The thing launched end ’05 which is T minus 3+ years for more & more poor souls, the brandloyal #1 fans who pay & fear the most. Don’t you think it’s time to step up the plate and march 2 Redmond for them? Or for yourself, instead of writing this nonsense that only makes us with a PS3 feel be…no, laugh our pants of?

  • Maniac

    My PS3′s blu ray drive broke, they charged me $160 for it. His point was the customer service between the two companies, nothing to do with the hardware itself. I have to disagree though, I’ve had a second Xbox’s disk drive break but the console didn’t red ring so I was still charged $100 dollars to fix it.

  • Maniac

    Naughty God, you’re talking about marching on a companies headquarters…..stop drinking Sony’s Kool aid and perhaps realize it’s just a hunk of plastic and copper underneath your TV. Sheesh.

  • Raptor

    All I can say, is that you’re gonna get far less problems by sticking with Sony than investing in Microsoft’s gaming products! It doesn’t bother me that they might be less consumer friendly than their competitors.

    Microsoft might seem more supportive of their consumers, but the bottom line is, they’ve done far more worse things to their consumers and charge for things that should be free. Simple as that.

  • The Dean

    @ExPresident

    How do you deactivate a console that has a PSU problem and won’t turn on? Where does Sony instruct you to deactivate? Not in their replacement boxes they send out, that’s for sure (I’ve had 2 of those in the span of 3 months).

    Once again — The receipt issue is a hassle. The majority of people don’t keep their receipts, that’s why Sony requires it. You don’t think that they KNOW most people lose their receipts? Of course they do. They know if they require the receipt, chances are, the majority of people aren’t going to be able to find theirs — leaving them up the creek without a paddle. That’s why I do praise Microsoft for how they handle their warranty practice. Is the console terribly built? Yes, entirely. But they do not make their consumer jump through hoops in order to have it replaced. They ask you to register it online, submit the manufacturing date and you’re set. No receipt, no phone call full of 500 questions like you stole something, nothing. It’s that simple and that easy to do.

    That’s my problem with that part of this process. I’m not sure how you can’t see that.

    @Naughty God

    I’m on my 3rd PlayStation 3 in a 7 month span. Not everyone has had the opportunity for their PlayStation 3 to last forever. There are some of us who have had to experience bad luck (I consider it bad luck because Sony’s PS3 IS reliable) and have had 2-3 boxes shipped to us. Does that change my stance that the PS3 is STILL my console of choice? No. I still plan on playing my PS3 and I’ll still purchase content because I enjoy the console.

    However, I truly felt abused by their customer service and the way they handled this issue and other people’s issues.

  • Raptor

    @ The Dean

    What’s Microsoft’s policy on retaining purchased downloadable games and additional content? I’ve heard it was quite a compicated process.

  • Creidim77

    Nice article. You may want to consider that your are comparing the service OTHERS have received and reported to the experience YOU had with a CSR regarding an issue that is not the same. (Repair vs Deactivation/Authorizing consoles)

    Others have had differing experiences with the 2 companies:
    http://vjarmy.com/archives/2009/06/ps3_repair_odyssey.php

  • Creidim77

    TheDean: I believe in your hurry to ship off your PS3 for repair, you neglected to read the packing information sent in the box, because it does clearly state that deactivating the console is one of the steps you are to perform *IF ABLE*

  • The Dean

    @Creidim77

    I specifically state in the article that their are a lot of people who have had different experiences with both companies, but the majority of the information I’ve found online is that most people have had difficult experiences more-so than good ones when trying to get justified support for their problems.

    @Raptor

    Your downloaded content can be reclaimed on any 360 and played entirely unlocked so long as the 360 is online. Each downloadable content piece is licensed to the original console it was purchased on though and can only be played fully OFFLINE on that one console.

    It’s not a bad setup, but it’s nothing compared to Sony’s awesome GameShare setup (which is amazing to begin with).

    The reason I don’t have a problem with Microsoft’s setup is that they’ve used the same set up that has been used for forever in terms of downloading content. It’s not a “new” way to do it, you get what you always have.

    Sony has offered a new experience (which they always do), but the way to utilize it is sometimes a kick in the face, like what happened to me.

  • The Dean

    @Creidim

    Do you have a copy of what comes in the box? I’ll try to find mine, but I’m pretty sure that part wasn’t included. I may have skipped over it because both of my PS3s that failed has PSU issues (the console would turn on, but it didn’t have enough power to show up on the TV, lol, so I couldn’t even do anything on the XMB).

    If it really does say that though, I’ll bite the bullet and admit I was wrong on that part (but that’s not included in the article, because my experience didn’t involve it since it was a PSU problem)

  • 9Y0

    @Dean
    Xbox is not officially in my country,they import them from elsewhere and when a Xbox broke the big “3 year” warrant thing may not be present.Your Xbox breaks,they send it to another country after you call the place you bought it from(online marketplace or big store) and pray to God crossing you foot thumbs to repair your console or at least give you another one…after month or more you either get it…fixed and then pray to not happen again.So if you live in USA cool-hello 3 years warranty,UK-same but not here….
    So better Sony-at least they have official service here.

  • UD

    I think you need to look at why MS has a better warranty then Sony. Do you know what a class action lawsuit is?

    I don’t agree with your article at all. I know what point you are trying to get across but you missed the mark by a mile. Compairing customer service without taking into consideration the percentages of people who actually have to use it is halfas*ed.

  • geddesmond2

    Look bottom line here is Sony gives people more than enough opportunities to deactivate there systems. When a PS3 YLOD’s and you can’t turn the machine back on they deactivate the system themself’s when they repair it. Because of how easy it is to game share and the ammount of money Sony and developers set to loose because of it. Sony put in measures to assure they don’t get screwed even more.

    Like come on dog. They make the terms very clear about the 5 PS3 rule and its very surprising that someone who has owned all those PSP’s never deactivated 1 or even knew about it.

    To make an article thats practically dissing the PS3 and gracing the xbox 360 over an issue thats more because of there Negligence than Sonys customer service is wrong Dean. Site most people here joined the site cas its Playstation university. Your pretty much dissing the PS3 on its home grounds

  • The Dean

    @UD

    Sony faced class action lawsuits over the PS2 because of their DRE failure rates. Did they increase the warranty? No. They paid the lawsuit and moved on. This is the difference I am trying to convey.

    @Geddesmond2

    No, they do not. I have 2 PS3s go in with PSU problems (wouldn’t power up) and thus couldn’t deactivate them. When I called Sony to have them deactivated, do you know what they told me? “No — We’re not able to do that.”

    So I have no clue what you’re talking about. I’m not dissing the PS3 on its “home grounds,” I’m being a consumer writing about an issue that a lot of consumers have had to deal with. Just because the site is geared towards the PS3, does not make the console or the company who developed it, perfect. Believe it or not, negative things happen with the PlayStation brand as well — this is one of them.

  • 9Y0

    The PS3 of friend of mine had Blu-ray defect.Didn’t read anything.After 2 weeks they gave him brand new unit.

  • Pickles

    I am a manager at a gamestop and call customer service for customers all the time. microsoft has, by far, the best customer service. I have called them over 30 times and have always had excellent service. plus a good 30 percent of the time they are americans whom i can understand. i have had to call sony less, not because more 360′s break, but because i can solve a ps3 problem quicker.

    is it out of warranty?
    yes
    that’ll be $160

    that simple and the customer walks out. i will admit i have had people come in with their 360 broken looking to buy a new one and a majority of the time i call MS and save the customer a few hundred dollars.

    there is something else, the 3 year warranty was only for consoles manufactored before a certain date. the present concoles dont come with that. MS, however, offers an extendable warranty. i tell every customer buying a 360, while your console is still under warranty you can actually call MS and add another year for $30 and get up to three years. plus if your console breaks, when they send you a new one it comes with another 1 year warranty, unlike the 90 days with sony. by the way my friend had his ps3 fixed for $150 in may, it just broke.

  • Brave27heart

    Not sure where exactly you’re from, but let me give you my experience with Sonys customer service here in the UK. My PS3 stopped reading discs so I rang them up.
    Sony rep: Hi there how can I help?
    ME: My PS3 has stopped reading discs
    SR: Ok, have you tried…(goes through a list of things that Ive already tried)
    Me: Ive tried all those.
    SR: Ok, let me take your details
    Me: Gives him name adress etc…
    SR: Ok sir, will you be home tomorrow?
    Me: Yes
    SR: Great, we’ll have a replacement console sent out in the morning by courier

    I was gobsmacked. No need to produce a receipt, no waiting 3 weeks like my 360 friends when their consoles broke, 15 hours later I had a refurbished console that hasnt put a foot wrong since.

    My experience was extremely positive and while I sympathise with your deactivated console problem, I think 5 consoles is more than enough for anyone and if you’d raised the deactivation issue at the time the incidents occurred you’d have more luck getting them deactivated.

  • The Dean

    @Brave27heart

    I did bring the deactivation issues up with Sony the moment they sent me a console back from the repair facility that wasn’t my original console. I was told there was nothing they could do to deactivate it.

  • 9Y0

    Well if Sony was a single person..then maybe….

  • Edgar

    Microsoft is actually much much better on the issue of product deactivation. With the XBox 360 you can deactivate one console a year and have all of your content assigned to a new console no questions asked. With the Zune you can deactivate one Zune a month with no questions asked. I’ve even run into the situation where I had to deactivate multiple Zunes so I could use multiple others. Microsoft customer support didn’t give me an ounce of grief when it came to supporting my request.

  • Lemon

    LOL, this is really a joke…what sony rewards customers that are brand loyal is quality hardware (PS3, PSP, Bravia Range, etc), in the console arena, they also provided exactly what was asked for, a beast…they spared no expense and they reaping the rewards now….Microsoft put out a poor quality product to get to market first, they released several SKU’s that are significantly different (Arcade vs Rest), how can they be the HD console of choice when they’ve had SKU’s that didn’t even have HDMI let alone HDD’s but they promote their console as a media centre…My cellphone is a better media centre than an arcade….

    Of course their service is good, they not only in manufacturing 360′s but just as much into the repairing and refurbing business due to the high failure rate. Their exclusives are limited and rather bland when compared to the PS3 library and line up…

    Good luck to ‘em…but i don’t see Sony dropping the ball, game is on and i’m on Sony’s bench….Won’t ever consider changing during this generation!

  • Boondock

    I just purchased a PS3 slim and I am happy with it. After reading this article, it does raise questions of their CS, even though Ive yet to deal with them. I also own a Xbox 360 and for one xbox live is not 50 dollars a month, if your dumb enough to charge your credit card every month then it will cost 120 dollars, a simply 12 month card cost between 35-60 depending where you get it. I have had no problems with MS CS when I went through my first MS (launch 20GB, now I own a Elite). Thats not to say I will have problems in the future.

  • The Dean

    @Lemon

    Really? They rewarded brand loyalty with reliable hardware? So the PlayStation 2 never happened? You must be saying that Sony didn’t care about Brand Loyalty from the original PlayStation to the adopted of the PS2 then, right? ;)

    You don’t get to just pick and choose situations to fit your argument. You either look at it as a whole or not at all.

  • Naughty God

    We have 20-33% vs 2-5% so we celebrate the 20-33%’s much needed customer service, you people are crazy…búying warranty, are you serious? I never knew that, it’s even worse! So basically there are 2 types of xBoxes, with two types of ‘sevice’:

    A) Early adopter 360′s which are out of the 3 year warranty. MS solution: buy a new one. Early adopters tend to have a lot of games, so do they have a choice?

    B) Not-so-early adopter 360′s, by no means RRoD-proof and for which this 3 year ‘sevice’ costs an additional 90 bucks.

    MS tries to solve a lot in this industry by throwing money at it, part of it turns out 2b your own money so I read here and according to a Gamestop manager that’s a good thing. Tell it to the A’s and B’s, if there’s one thing to be said on the RRoD it’s “to be continued…”. Sad but true, although for some of you I couldn’t care less, you KNOW the thing is rotten and you still praise it. It went from games, to price, to customer service. What’s next? It’s more square so it’s easier boxed?

  • The End

    Yes, Sony could do more for customers over failed PS3s but then again so could 99% of electronics manufacturers and they don’t as MS wouldn’t IF their fail rate wasn’t so huge…and that’s all there is to say about it.

  • geddesmond2

    There isn’t a god dam thing perfect on earth what so ever. Whats perfect to someone can be horrific to another. Don’t mistake me for saying the PS3 is a perfect machine. Nothings perfect in my eyes but my point is you open up a PS3 site and then dissing it over an issue that isn’t as common as you think it is and an issue where Sony clearly warns the consumer in the terms of service right before you buy a game.

    Dude this is a rant. This isn’t an article. Have you even looked around the internet or asked Sony on the phone exactly whats going on. Yeah it sucks you got into a situation like this and yeah its good to warn consumers about issues like this but not in the way you’ve done it

  • The Dean

    Actually, as stated above in the article. It isn’t so clearly states in the TOS. Try again. There is no number offered, there is no indication that the deactivation process itself even takes place from the XMB in the TOS. In fact, that information is left entirely out of the TOS. They just let you know about the activation process, not the reversal.

    This is an editorial, not an article. This is a site dedicated around the PlayStation 3 where PS3 gamers can read reviews, opinions, news, get videos, screenshots, etc… about the console.

    This issue is widespread. You think I’m only one of a very small few to run into this? You’re kidding yourself. Feel free to google the situation (both of them), you’ll find hundreds upon hundreds of people in the same situation either with the activation process or the PS3 issue.

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