Sony Electronics Inc Complaint - Son, PS3 and International Nightmares
“The basis of a successful business is customer satisfaction...”
… “until you are a international monster company, then you can treat customers as the money milk cows they are” seems to be the words on tinny print below such companies as Sony.
A little background first. I worked for the Exectuve Customer Relations Department of a mayor airline company for more than 3 years. I was still there when that company faced the Sep 11 ordeal, I was still there when the same company laid off many of the same employees that offered their help and supprot during those terrible September days. I dealt with all kinds of customers in all moods. And I know what lies are used by customer relation departments to justify their unwillingness to help a customer. It is true that I have also dealt with the jelling, insufferable customer that thinks a purchase entitles her to your soul. But it is sadly true that many times I knew the customer was right and I could not do anything because it was not “in the company's interest” to do so.
Here is my tale and why I decided to share it. Its nothing new, its one more tale of a big company slapping a customer in the face with silly excuses and an insulting what-do-I-care-you-already-paid attitude. But things must change. No matter if you are buying medicines, a luxury cruise, a PS3.... sadly there are many many examples of this amongst monster companies. Big companies seem to forget that they exist because of customers, and in the net we have the opportunity of making our rejection to their “way of doing business”. So:
I bought 6 months ago a new PS3, a “Slim” new one. Hasn´t been on the market more than a year. The PS3 began failing a couple of weeks ago, I suspect the disk reader. I went to the Sony Repair shop. The attendant told me the console had a USA serial number, and that they couldn´t offer me service, repair or even advice (I live in Mexico City). When asked for options the employee threw his arms to the air and literally said “You have no options.” Well…. I am quite touchy about customer service, and I would have beaten some "customer service" into him if had the chance. Talked to Supervisor…same thing. Gave me a phone number to call. Ok…call from home then, but I can clearly see where this is going. Call goes in to Nuevo Laredo (Frontier town on Tamaulipas famous for its cheap, qualified labor force). Told me exactly the same thing, that the console was USA serial and I was not entitled to service of any kind. Oh, sorry, all the Sony logos and "do not tamper" stickers had me beliving it was a Sony product, I should have realized the shoemaker in my neighborhood made it. Was given a USA toll number (which could not be reached from Mexico), called Mexico Service Number and was told exactly the same thing. I have no options to repair it, not even for the outrageous price of 300 Dlls plus. So, basically, Sony didn´t care. Yeah, I, sadly, suspected as much.
I would like to ask… how many times, regardless of the country you live in (I DID buy my console in an established, legal, game specialized commerce in Mexico City), you ask where the serial number is from? I was given as an excuse the parts are different, that they can NOT do anyting…yea right. How stupid does Sony thinks their customers are? Why would the repair shop be on a Frontier town? Why is it then that Microsoft came to my house to pick up four Xbox 360 counsoles, send them to repair somwhere in Texas and send them back to me or replaced them? Really...how stupid does big companies think customers are? Lots it seems.
The very likely dirty truth is this: The whole Sony products are distributed by a single family in Mexico. A family that runs Sony as their muscle heavy emporium. That’s why the PS3 is sometimes unavailable in Mexico. That’s why there are no Move kits (yet, months from their world-wide release and days from X-mas) on Mexico still. That’s why consoles that have not the “correct” serial number are not accepted for service (no matter that NO PS3 silm console has been on the market more than a year anywhere in the world). And so on. You get the picture.
To punish a customer because he got the console wherever he wanted, if its still within warranty, new, without previous warning of “Warranty Void” stinks of crooked and unfair. Saying because its they “cant” and mumbling stupidities about parts is even worse. The pure and simple truth is they are protecting their distribution exclusives by punishing customers a-posteriori (of course! after all, they have your money already safely in their inflated bank accounts). This is the kind of attitude we can not and should not take from companies that have forgotten they owe their size and power to customers in the first place. And then Sony goes crying that gamers go to the flea market repairs shop, and why not, have them cracked to play copied games, when they themselves leave no choice to have it repaired, even paying, althought still within warranty, with the original manufacturers. I wonder if denying such a service is even legal.
I for one will sell all my PS3 games and peripherics, use them to get another console from another manufacturer, an spread the word of Sonys real attitude to their customers. And never, ever, will waste the money people joyfully give me for something I joyfully create, in a company that behaves, on my standards, on very much the same lines that has gotten our society to such a sorry state.
My experience with Sony left me feeling very much like when I was robbed gun point a few years ago in a bus. Only the robber was honest enough to admit he was robbing me.
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