Thursday, June 12, 2008

Today's column

A Word About My PS3

My PlayStation 3 died this weekend. I was playing "Call of Duty 4" when the sound suddenly cut out. Attempts to play subsequent games resulted in frozen screens and lengthy, laggy pauses.

"Oh crap," I thought.

Could this be Sony's "Red Ring of Death," which felled many an Xbox 360?

So many gaming consoles cut down in their prime.

Of course, the solution to all this would be whipping out my warranty and saying to Sony, "Fix this, fools." That is, if I had my receipt backing up my warranty, which I didn't — long story.

I faced paying upward of $150 to ship the PS3 to Sony for something they screwed up in the first place. I really need that to buy a new pair of pants or perhaps a tank of gas, crust of bread, a chunk of cheese, etc. Thanks to our wonderful new economy, I feel like a character in a Dickens novel. I think I heard some of the skater kids speaking cockney the other day.

After checking around, I learned I could contact the store that sold my specific console and they could look up my receipt from my PS3 serial number. I don't have much love for Gamestop after its sister company, EB Games, royally screwed me over by selling me "free" magazine subscriptions with my game purchase. But they shined in this situation. They found my receipt and helped me convince the Sony PS3 people to send me a coffin for my dead console.

Sony PS3 customer service employs the most useless, argumentative bunch of dimwits I've ever spoken to in my entire life. I'm getting an error code and reading it back to the woman on the other end and she says, "I don't know what that means." YOU WORK AT SONY'S PS3 HOTLINE.

"I don't have a crystal ball," she added.

Well, I do have a crystal ball, and it's called Google. And I'll just be damned if I didn't get a dozen pages explaining that my Sony BluRay disc-reader basically decided to give me the middle finger.

Why couldn't someone at Sony explain that to me? Even a fourth-grader knows how to restore the PS3's default-settings at this point. One day we will all have cars that fly, and the person at Sony's PS3 hotline still won't know what my error code means.

Why do I put up with Sony's shenanigans? It's because one day, in spite of its suicidal business strategy and this god-awful economy, we will all own high-definition TV sets, and Sony's PS3 will be the best deal going. And because the animated film Batman: Gotham Knight will come out on BluRay soon.

So I think we all learned something here today. Capitalism works, but only when you make it work for you. Don't let bad customer service, biblical hold times and fine print keep you from making Sony or any company pay what they owe. And enjoy that next tank of regular unleaded while you're standing at the pump in your brand new Levi's.

Ok, maybe not the Levi's. Yet.

Coming next week

While my PS3 is kaput, I've found a new game for the Wii. "Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life As a King" is a tactical role-playing game where players rebuild a kingdom using magic. King Leo, a mere boy, is not allowed to leave his castle but controls everything within it.

It's available as a $15 Wii ware download. There's also a lot of additional content you can download as well. I haven't played it enough for a full-fledged review yet, but so far, so good.


Takean said...

lol..I believe somewhere in an older forum comment i posted their customer service is VERY I LOATH And their customer service/foot locker employees/chimps with bananas are pathetic.

Good luck man. I spent all of 4 minutes with receipt, and got a box sent to me in 2 days. :)

Hope they fix it soon. looks like its back to WoW for you while you wait....lvl/farm grind here you come!

Dan Whisenhunt said...

Not a bad idea, actually.