Sony Settles for Less than Pixel Perfect Customer Loyalty
By John Hennessy
Molly Wood, senior editor for CNET.com, has an interesting piece on Sony’s handling of an apparent glitch with the new Sony Playstation Portable (PSP).
Some users are experiencing pixel problems. A number of pixels can be dead, stuck or discolored. According to Wood, there seem to be a lot of defective PSPs out there. Half the 12 in-house units she surveyed at sister site GameSpot had at least one dead pixel.
Rather than step up to the plate and make sure early adopters of this new device have an outstanding experience, Sony seems to be ducking for cover and hoping the problem goes away. At least their message regarding support has been inconsistent.
When someone from GameSpot contacted a Sony rep, the rep advised that PSP owners should use the device for “a week or two” to determine whether the dark spots really bothered them as much as they thought.
When David Carnoy, author of CNET’s Fully Equipped electronics column, pressed a Sony rep, he at first got a vague response offering the “week or two” advice, but with further pushing, the Sony rep said the following:
“Any customer that is dissatisfied with their PSP can contact our customer service and follow the standard warranty procedure. There are no limits (or minimums) to constantly lit or dark pixels that are required for the warranty. It is important to note that as with any LCD product on the market, a very small number of dark pixels or continuously lit pixels is normal for LCD screens, and is not a sign of a malfunction.”
There is still the question of what resellers have been told. Why, for example, does GameStop think Sony’s replacement policy is 10 bad pixels?
Wood recommends that you make sure you know the return or dead-pixel policy before you buy a new PSP.
Moderator’s Comment: What do you think the response will be to Sony’s apparent disregard for customer satisfaction? What should it be?
A small company with a terrific innovation like the PSP would bend over backwards to make sure early adopters of its product were enthusiastic and highly
satisfied. That’s very different from the laissez faire approach Sony is taking to customer satisfaction.
Sony’s target audience for its PSP device is tech savvy and highly connected. To think this group isn’t going to use its Internet savvy to share horror
stories is pretty naïve for a tech company like Sony.
Sony was probably able to get away with a few clunkers in the past. Not any more. Sony’s perception of this technical flaw as something customers can live
with is not the stuff of long-term brand loyalty. –
John Hennessy – Moderator