May 132008

I wanted to take a moment to fill in the blanks that have been coming out from my Twitter feed in regards to our trials and tribulations with Sony customer service over the past few days.  It’s been an annoying ordeal and it isn’t completely over yet, but at this point we can hopefully see the light at the end of the tunnel.

So as I’m sure most of you know my other half is a writer for Massively, WoWInsider, and Big Download.  Part of her job duties include traveling to conventions and trade shows in order to write about the latest and greatest developments in computer gaming.  She has a Sony VAIO that she purchased a few years ago that, while still being reliable, doesn’t really have the kind of power to run the software she needs to run while on the go in places like that.  She did some number crunching and figured out she could afford to purchase a new laptop to take to these trade shows, and I applied for financing through Sony so she could take advantage of their 18 months same as cash deal.

I was approved for an $1800 line of credit.  The problem is that the machine she’s ordering is a bit more expensive than that.  “No problem,” I thought.  “I can just put the rest of the balance on this other credit card I have that currently has no balance.”

And thus, this is where we start with the fun.

There is no place in the online ordering process to put in multiple forms of payment.  Not only that, but once an order has been rejected you cannot change the form of payment when you resubmit it.  The order was canceled by Sony, a situation I was notified of by receiving an email from one of the lovely DONOTREPLY email addresses that so many companies are using these days.  No, you can’t simply respond to this email, you have to go to our web site and fill out our contact form there.  So I go to the site and dutifully fill out all the contact information, the nature of my problem, and the order number.  I hit submit.  I get taken to a page that tells me to create an account (keep in mind I got to this page after logging in to the Sony Style web site and going to the My Account page).  I enter my email address and password and hit submit.  “An account already exists with this email address.”

Nowhere on the form is there room for an “existing account” toggle.

Right.  Ok.  So I try to call customer service.  They are closed on Sunday.

Last night around 8 PM I called them again and promptly sat on hold for 30 minutes waiting for someone to answer my call.  When they finally did and I explained the situation I was informed there was no way for them to take an order online or over the phone that used multiple credit cards for payment.  The ONLY way I could place the order would be to purchase Sony Style Gift Cards on the credit card I wanted to use and then turn around and apply those gift cards to the purchase.  She even informed me that I could go to one of the Sony Style stores and purchase the gift cards there and have them place the order for me.

Does this seem insanely retarded to anyone but me?  I can purchase gift cards at the store and then use the gift cards at the store to purchase a computer.  Yeahhh.  I don’t think so.

Krys called the Sony Style store at International Plaza last night and confirmed that, at the store, we could actually purchase the computer with two different forms of payment.  He also agreed that the gift card thing was kinda retarded.  So at some point soon we have to drive all the way over to Tampa to purchase this laptop.  If it weren’t for the fact that I don’t want another ding on my credit score we’d tell them to go blow and order a Dell.

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