A Phone Call from Sony (An Ode to Barry Pt. 2)
About a week ago I wrote an open letter to Sony, the letter detailed my misery at the death of my beloved PlayStation 3, Dead Barry. Not content with letting it sit on a gaming site in the hope that some Sony employee may blunder upon it, I e-mailed it directly to the PlayStation Support Centre and awaited my reply… and it came that very next day. I was delighted.
In my reply I was asked for a telephone number and the best time to be contacted. I responded with my details and was told a member of the management team would call me at the time I had specified.
“The management team”, I thought to myself. Would this finally be my chance to speak to Lord Kaz ‘that’s Mr. PlayStation to you’ Hirai himself? Do I address him as Sir? Do I need to wear a tie? Is my breath okay? I was shaking a little.
Sadly Hirai-domo must have been busy that day, but I did get to speak to a rather wonderful and informative manager who was more than willing to talk to me about my problem. I told her about my poor Dead Barry and how I was coping with the grieving process and she told me how sorry was that I’ve had problems with the product. Her tone was that of professional empathy, I was impressed.
She told me the problem was not an inherent fault with the console and if that was the case Sony would recall that model if they received sufficient complaints like mine. She told me they have had a launch unit running 24 hours a day at the support centre and that is yet to break.
We talked about the option I had to purchase a reconditioned console at a cost of £110.00 and how Sony made no profit from that service; a service that no other console manufactures offer.
Finally, by way of an apology, she offered me a console upgrade and an extended 12 month warranty all for the £110 recondition charge; a mighty fine gesture of affection that I sadly didn’t require any more as I’d already purchased a new console earlier that week. She told me that the offer would still stand if I changed my mind and marked my account thusly. We shared a joke, wished each other well and said our goodbyes. It’s nice to see at least some companies still find customer service important.
I can’t speak for every consumer who has ever dealt with Sony and I can’t guarantee a positive outcome from every interaction with Sony’s support centre. What I will say is that on this occasion Sony handled my complaint honestly and fairly. Technology breaks, it’s a shame but it happens. It concerns me that whilst forums are full of people complaining about the yellow light of death not all of this is getting back to Sony. A simple e-mail got through to a support centre manager who offered me a much better deal for Dead Barry. If you have an issue with your PS3 go directly to Sony and be polite about it. You never know what you might get.
As for me, I’ve gotten over Dead Barry now, there’s a new console in my life – Nigella. Her luscious slim-line curves remind me of all that is right about console design and I look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with her. Tender.