My experience with Sony’s appalling customer services.

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?

Tags: ,

  1. ZeroSkys’s avatar

    When I see a sticker on something I have to take it off… its fun….

    Reply

    1. rico’s avatar

      Please dont come near my car…

      Reply

  2. Michael Hodge’s avatar

    Any company that puts a serial number on a sticker and leaves no other way to identify a unit’s serial number (i.e., electronically) are idiots.

    Reply

  3. Yaga’s avatar

    protecting your vita…now say about all that ,id like to share some about those clear hard case that i got one for my self right away i got my vita ,(got a clear case for my psp slim still works like a charm with that hard case totally protected)but on the vita its a diferent story, on the back screen have been scratched badly by the back cover lid, so i got me a diferent one a biger one from nerf and get more grip and no cramps in your hand after half hour of play,, and a situation with sony that hapend to me last Friday night i wanted to buy an add-on on the ps store for a poker game and after cliking it and login in my password it say ty blah blah but i see an amount thats way over of what i got the addon cost not more that 3us dollars and i got charged 52 it was 2 am so i had to way till morning to call them again cus no service at 2 am so i called at 10 and told them that there as something on my cart that i dind t knew and i payed but not even download after seeing the bit total of my purchase,so i told the story and told me they were gona help me finish taking my info blah blah and was gona be contacted by email and i still havent got no response on my email account or my money back so i guess i have to wait till tomorrow after i get out of work and call them again cus i havent download the content yet!!!

    Reply

  4. psnhater’s avatar

    ya actually i bought 2 psn cards yesterday and i go home and put one in and it works, but the second kept giving me error. so thinking it was just not activated i go back to the place i bought it. she says it was activated and had receits to prove it, (witch she didnt give me) so i call sony and tell her whats up, and she tells me that she cant activate it cause she was not sure it was already activated. so wtf! im out of 20 bucks cause some hacker or watever got the best of them? this is bullshit

    Reply

    1. Jimmy’s avatar

      Not actually a hacker. One of my old friends did this shit. He steals the card copy’s the code and returns it. Upon someone buying and getting the card activated he can redeem the code.

      Reply

  5. VicSidious’s avatar

    Thank you for your article, very interesting, as always.
    If I may add something and it’s not advertizing of some sort, simply a satisfied customer ready to share some great product. All my gadgets are covered with ZAGG product. Vita, Ipad, Iphone, WiiU Controller… name it! Those plastic films are resistant as hell, the WILL NOT break, yellow or roll up. And if they do, they are covered by a life long warranty. They are a little costly but if you want to protect your gear, Zagg is the best. End of conversation!

    Reply

  6. mikhail’s avatar

    my vita had the battery issue .. and sadly when i called and emailed the customer service guys .. their response was .. since your in a different country not covered . i bought it from amazon sad.

    Reply

  7. decokaaron’s avatar

    When I bought my 4th Vita the U.S. 3G model I bought a hard case for it also. About 3 months later my cousin got a hold of it and dropped it and the camera just stopped working it gave me some error code. I took off the hard case and there was not signs of damage so I called then and told them the camera stop working. I got worried about sending it, I read a lot about all these issues that customers are having with SONYs support so I decided not to send it in. Well later on I noticed the paint was like flaking off. I dont know whats wrong with this Vita but it was driving me mad. My other Vita’s aren’t like that at all and they are from different regions. I live in the desert were it get up to 121 decrees but I dont think that has anything to do with the paint or anything since i leave it at home. But I could be wrong. But I took apart the Vita and the ribbon on the Vita’s back camera was cracked the black paint on the ribbon was cracked, like the copper was cracked too when I took a magnifying glass too it. So I figured it wasn’t connect because of that. So I bought one off of ebay for 10$. And now its working like new. just the paint is my issue now. But sony scares me with all those stories on how bad their tech is.

    Reply

  8. decokaaron’s avatar

    OH and for those with the serial number and model number issue just put a thin peace of tape to keep it from fading. I did that to my friends when he first bought it. I put a a small peace of tape on it and took a hobby knife and cut it so it doesn’t look like it was there. Just be very careful not to cut the frame. But about 5 months later the right joystick stopped working it wouldn’t go back to it’s normal standing position, it just flopped around, so he sent it in and got the same one back with a new joystick. So I figured it worked. He’s on that thing almost all day and everday. So the tape helped a lot.

    Reply

  9. God’s avatar

    My Vita has collected dust ever since I bought my Macbook 2009 May 13″ used for 171 bucks. I got it dirt cheap because it has a mild crack on the left corner of it that is barely notice-able and small blemish on the screen that isn’t notice-able unless I look for it. My vita is still cfw for psp games, and maybe that why it collects dust since no ones cracked this so I can play vita games on it. But the titles out right now still look like shit to me.

    I am not impressed by the library of the Vita personally. I only see Uncharted Vita as being pretty good to show the power of the vita off, but once you beat the game the fun factor is kind of over at least to me.

    I think Handheld gaming is near it’s end, especially for Sony, because I don’t think they can do anything to make anyone else want to own a Vita. It even has screen problems when you see weird stuff when its black or too dark when its playing a black video.

    Reply

  10. dragonkid6’s avatar

    It’s too bad you didn’t know about the serial number thing. Ninty doesn’t(they might do it these days?) except any console without the serial numbers. But I don’t get the charger part…$ony and Ninty have always told me to never send those in as they will not replace them. Also any memory sticks/cards.

    @God Handheld gaming will never die because the country on gaming console origin, Japan, has a much larger user base for handhelds. Japan is a much smaller country and has “key” areas where gamers come together.

    Reply

  11. RooKata64’s avatar

    well, its too late for me! i got mine the day the regular version came out for the U.S. 2/22/2012 my stickers are long gone xD

    Reply

  12. NNNRT’s avatar

    I have removed the serial stickers from my 2 bricked PSP 3004′s but not on my current one. I used to think it was ugly until I knew how important it was. :P

    Reply

  13. jd20dog’s avatar

    Sony’s teck told me to put some clear scotch tape over the serial stickers before it peeled to much, havent had an issue sense,
    Cheap glue and cheap plastic stickers is the real defect on the vita

    Reply

  14. Android Sports Betting Apps’s avatar

    Skill games derive their name from their greater dependence on ability, and much lower dependence on luck, to
    successfully win at them. When gamblers start to
    gamble, they will disconnect from their daily problems, they will feel that it is a way to escape their problem.
    I have been using a method to stop my addiction and you are welcome to try it and make the decision to stop gambling today.

    My blog post; Android Sports Betting Apps

    Reply

  15. ndh777’s avatar

    I learned the serial number the hard way. These companies are pure evil when it comes to serial numbers because it has happened to all of my laptops and I’ve had an Acer, HP, Compact, and a Toshiba and the same problem persists. It even happened on one of my old PSPs and GameStop refused to buy it because the serial was so worn. So I always put a piece of tape over it to protect it.

    That’s a shame with customer service. That’s one of the things I look for when I buy something. If it doesn’t have good customer service, the thing better be safe against everything or I’m not buying it.

    Reply

· 1 · 2

Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>