My experience with Sony’s appalling customer services.

July 16, 2013

Quite some time ago I wrote an article regarding some design faults in the Vita, and also detailing how my console died, and required replacement. There were over a hundred comments and a lot of speculation regarding whether this was a design fault or not.

My Vita screen cracked, seemingly randomly. From there, the screen bled and had large multicolour strips, which then eventually turned black, and ended in my screen eventually staying completely black. This to me indicated an impact on my screen, which would make sense as there was a small circle in my screen at the source of the screen bleed. However; there had been no impacts on my Vita unit as I was always incredibly careful and kept it safe at all times.

I called Sony customer services, and went through the usual do this and that, is it charged and are you completely incompetent lark that they always ask. Unsurprising though considering some of the stories I’ve heard about customer service calls from a friend of mine. He was working as a support technician and was constantly having to deal with people who had no idea what the start button was, how to use the run command and in many cases hadn’t even turned their computer on or plugged it in. I digress.

During this call, I was told that I would be contacted in seven days and that I should also include my charger and the Vita unit which I found rather strange, but I complied and sent it to them. The week passed and there was no effort to make contact on their behalf, so I called them.

I was told that the issue with the Vita was a technical one, and that the crack had happened internally, and that I was in no way to blame. However; I was then told that the serial number had come off due to general usage. They then said they could identify the console from the remaining numbers, but due to the lack of the serial number it was now out of warranty. So I had a choice; they’d send me the Console back, and I could fix it myself (which would cost approximately £120 for a new screen, then I’d have to fix it myself. Now I’m not the best of people when it comes to console hardware. I can deal with building computers, but that’s about it). Or, I could spend £160 and get another console directly from them. This, I thought would be the better option as the new console would still be under my original warranty. Annoyed, I paid and got my console replaced.

Four days later the Vita came to my door, with no charger and you know what else? It was a WiFi version, when I sent my 3G vita to them. So, again I called them and complained. The next day they took the Vita away, but they told me that they wouldn’t replace the leads. I explained that I was told to send them by the representative and they then told me that they’d require yet another seven days in order to investigate the phone calls. After this period, I had to call them yet again and they explained that the representative was wrong in telling me to send them, that they had been cautioned and that even the courier noted that I’d send leads. They then sent me the correct Vita model and the required leads, after another three days wait.

Moral of the story? Protect your Vita’s serial and model numbers:

For anyone interested, I’d recommend buying a hard case for your Vita like the one in this eBay listing so that sweat or scuff marks do not remove these stickers: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-CLEAR-CRYSTAL-CASE-COVER-GRIP-SKIN-FOR-SONY-PLAYSTATION-PS-VITA-/180862289123?hash=item2a1c3b84e3

This is the second time I’ve had to deal with their customer services. The last time was in 2004 after the PlayStation 2 Slimline recalls. My console was recalled due to the over heating and exploding issue they had during this time. They replaced it with a refurbished console, which ended up breaking and was apparently no longer under any form of warranty (rather worrying due to my Vita now being a refurbished one from Sony) and so, I had to go purchase a third PlayStation 2. In all honesty, I find their customer service absolutely atrocious. 

Have you ever had any dealings with Sony’s customer services? If you have; how do you describe that experience?

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