February 3, 2011

DC Universe Online: A Horrible Introduction to Your Product

I'm having an absolutely horrendous time trying to experience Sony's DC Universe Online for the Playstation 3. Here's my user experience so far...

  1. Turn on my PS3. I'm told I require a system update. Sigh. When I turned on my PS3 last week or so I also required a system update. This takes about 45 minutes. Note: My Xbox 360 updates usually take seconds, a minute or two at most.
  2. I put the game disk in. This requires a patch. I wait 20 minutes for it to download and install.
  3. I am taken to a screen with a dialog that says "Your Playstation Network Account is not setup to play this game." I hit the X button, which is the only button shown on the screen. I am taken to a screen with 3 boxes. It says "Enter Playstation Network Code" or something like that. Note: On the front of my manual there is a code with 3 sets of numerals and letters. It is titled "Game Activation Code," which is different than what's here. Nowhere in the manual does it explain this process.
  4. I enter the code from the front of my manual. It tells me the code is no longer valid or has already been used.
  5. I go to the web to look up this issue. Seems to be fairly common for PC users, though I cannot find one that says "PS3." 
  6. I go to Sony Online Entertainment's website and create an account. I try to register that way. I am given a similar message to the one described in #4.
  7. I go to Sony's trouble-shooting FAQ. It recommends I replace 9s with 3s. Yes. 9s with 3s. I do this and my code still doesn't work.
  8. I go to open a support ticket, i.e. email them. There is a drop down titled "Category." It is a required field, but as it defaults to "All" I just leave it there. When I submit my ticket, it tells me I need to put a category. Thankfully, it tells me to hit back to change that.
  9. I hit back.
  10. Everything I just wrote is gone.
  1. I get an email this morning. It tells me to add a picture of my code to my initial issue. I'm not allowed to reply to this email, so I must use a link provided to update the existing issue. 
  2. I get out my iPhone and take pictures of my game. I then send them to myself and have them named and ready.
  3. I click the provided link and it takes me to a strange page with 2 links that seem to mean the same thing. When I click one, it literally takes me to a random page. When I click the other, it takes me to a page that lists my support issue.
  4. There is literally only one clickable thing on the page with my support issue -- a link on the subject line of it. I click this. 
  5. This takes me back to the page with the 2 random links. 
  6. After 20 minutes of trying to figure this out, I decide to file a support ticket for my support ticket.
  7. In the ticket I enter my initial ticket, attach the picture, type an explanation. When I hit submit, it fails and says that I typed invalid information. I am now livid and screaming at Sony.
  8. I open another one and type the following:
Subject: I hate you Sony
I filed an issue yesterday b/c my brand new, sealed copy of DCUO PS3 claims my code isn't valid. Due to the fact that your support site makes no sense, after a half hour of trying I am unable to access my initial ticket: ******-*********
I have tried to write this issue 3 times now to attach bugs,but the page keeps telling me I'm doing invalid things. What the hell is wrong? You guys have been making online games for YEARS and this is what you put forth to your customers?

Sony just responded to me again, informing me that they are Sony Online Entertainment and they are unable to resolve my problem, as I have the PS3 version. I must now call SCEA, but, they are glad they were given the opportunity to serve me.

One question from me: If you are unable to help me with the PS3 version, then WHY DO YOU HAVE A DROP DOWN SPECIFICALLY FOR THE PS3 VERSION? And why would you have me take several steps to answer your questions if you cannot help me?

So, I called SCEA this morning. I began my conversation dealing with a robot. Naturally, none of the choices offered gave me what I needed. I tapped "0" and it took me to an operator. Thankfully, I guessed correctly as they never told me such a thing was possible.

I am put on hold.

Finally, I speak to a customer service representative who asks me to FAX her my receipt and game activation code. A FAX. In 2011. I tell her "No, this is unacceptable. I do not have a fax machine. I am not going to a Kinko's." She says I can speak to a supervisor. I wait 5 minutes.

The supervisor comes on the phone and I must repeat everything I just said because his underling has not done this. He tells me that my game code was redeemed in January. "But I just bought the game last night," I say. He tells me to go speak to Gamespot because it's their fault.

I tell him I hope he burns and hang up the phone.

I hate Gamespot even more, so I'm sure this will be fun.

I went to Gamespot last night, explained that somebody used the single-use code, and kindly requested that they let me exchange my copy for a factory sealed copy. One tidbit I forgot to mention earlier is that my copy had been previously opened to use as a "display." Somebody smart did not remove the manual with the single-use activation code on the front, so either a crafty customer or a Mensa-level employee "borrowed" it.

Gamespot did as I requested and gave me a factory sealed copy of the game, no questions asked.

To summarize, Gamespot screwed up. Pretty badly! However, when presented with the problem, Gamespot corrected it immediately. Sony, on the other hand, did nothing wrong other than be a horrendous asset to me, their paying customer. I've been a Sony customer for a long time. I deserve better. So do you!

I finally got the courage to open the game and use the code. Thankfully, the code was accepted. I then had to click "accept" on 5 different screens all basically confirming the user policy.

The game then did a "data" check and told me I did not have enough room on my hard-drive. Instead of prompting me to go to my hard drive to delete things via a text prompt, or even better, giving me a button to take me there, the game then does the data check again. Like the first time, it tells me I have a space problem. I see a pattern forming...

I hit the "home" button and went to find the PS3 memory area. On the 360 it's clearly labeled Memory. Here, it is not.

Once I clear up space, I reload the game and it begins an install. I wish I hadn't initiated my free 30 day trial period, as it seems like it could take 3 days to install.

For some inexplicable reason, it tells me how long it has spent installing, not an approximation of how much longer it will take.

I'm still sitting here waiting, so I thought I'd tally the time it's taken to play the game so far (not including retail/customer service mishaps). Note: these are listed in order of occurrence.
  • Playstation 3 System Update: 45 Minutes (Arguably my fault for not doing it, but still)
  • DC Universe Online Patch: 30 Minutes
  • DC Universe Online Installation: 45 Minutes
  • DC Universe Online Patch: 2 Hours, 20 Minutes
I can now play the game! Hopefully my next post on DC Universe Online is more positive...


Anonymous said...

Holy Hell. Laura and I just read this together and cracked the hell up. Funniest blog post ever. In fact, i think it was worth the $50 you threw away on that used activation code.


Anonymous said...

Ugh, that really sucks... SOE's customer support is one of the worst I've encountered yet... I actually haven't even been able to play the game at all... when I downloaded it and tried to install it on my pc, it told me that I cannot install it into my documents folder... no matter where I tried to install it. Contacted SOE, got a reply (after a week) telling me that I need to buy a subscription... in order to install the game? What the hell, Sony?! Now I downloaded it on my PS3 and I just loads all day long on that weird "Checking (whatever word comes next) Restarts"... even after it loaded that bar completly (46 minutes...) it didn't do anything at all... just tell me how long it hasn't been doing anything. So, I deleted it now and told Sony to GTFO.