Death Of A PS3, Part 3

Over the past couple of days you’ve read about my PS3 dying and being replaced and what it took to get my new Slim up and running.  Here’s the final part of my tale.

Trying To Get Through To Sony

Time to call Sony to find out what they can do about my dead PS3, which I expected to be nothing unless I pay.  Then see if they’ll deactivate it from my PSN account and get them to change my SingStar account settings so I can re-download the 40+ tracks I have bought off the SingStore.  After looking up their support number online (08705 998877 if you ever need it) I dialled, got put in a queue and waited.  And waited.  And waited.

After twenty minutes of being sat in the queue, that I was paying for having dialled a national rate, not freephone, number, I gave up.  The message on a fifteen second repeat, “Thank you for continuing to hold.  One of our advisers will be with you shortly”, had lied to me well over seventy times and I had had enough.

I tried again the following day.  After only nine minutes of being in a queue I got through to… nobody.  As best as I could tell I had been put through to a headset that was just laying on a desk in the call centre.  From what I could hear some of the staff were on the phone to customers (interesting details to be overheard). Others were chatting amongst themselves and having a bit of a laugh (I cannot blame them, I have worked on support desks and it is not fun).

However, another couple of the guys were having a conversation that involved a lot of swearing.  Not what you expect to hear having called Sony to report a dead PS3 and one of those telephone calls I wish I had recorded to play back to Sony if I ever managed to get through to someone.  I tried saying “Hello” a few times to see if anyone would pick the headset up and spent around ten minutes listening to the goings on in the call centre before I decided to give up again.  Another long call to Sony that had cost me money.


Day three, call three.  Another ten minutes in a queue and roughly forty renditions of “Thank you for continuing to hold…” before the strangest thing happened.  A human actually spoke to me from the other end of the line!  A man called Adam.  The situation regarding my PS3 was as I had expected.  They would send me a replacement launch-spec 60GB or later 160GB PS3, covered by [only] a three month warranty, if I paid £131.  Obviously I was not interested in that.

In return there was something Sony were not interested in; deactivating my dead PS3 from my PSN account.  I was essentially accused of being a game-sharer for even asking.  I was told that in the unlikely event of using all five activations on your account (and I know more than one person on their third or fourth PS3 already) that there is a team at “head office” who will review a case to determine if all five can be accounted for by failed PS3s or situations that do not involve breaches of the PSN’s terms and conditions.

The third reason for my call to Sony’s support line was resolved without any trouble.  Changing the activated PS3 on my SingStar account, which differs from the standard PSN arrangement because of the licensing conditions of the music tracks, was simply a matter of giving them the serial numbers of my old and new PS3s and waiting a couple of days.  Sure enough, two days later I was able to download all my SingStore tracks again and was thankful for the recently added “Download All” button in my SingStore download history.  So after three calls costing me more than £9 in total the situation was finally as resolved as it was going to get.

Keep Your Original HDD Handy

As things stand I am unable to return my PS3 to Sony or try to get it replaced by invoking the Sale Of Goods Act as I cannot find the original 60GB HDD.  I replaced the drive with a 250GB one within two months of buying the console and put the original HDD somewhere safe in case I should ever need it again.  Of course, now I need it I cannot find it anywhere.

So the lesson here is that if you upgrade your PS3’s HDD, make damn sure you know where the original is.  If the original does turn up in the near future I may see how far I can get using the Sale Of Goods Act but the engineer in me wants to dismantle my dead PS3 to find out exactly what it was that broke.  Either way you will likely get to read about the results here on TSA.

Anecdotal PS3 Failure Rate

Yellow Light of DeathBeing a PS3 in the hands of a TSA staff member is apparently a risk.  Over a period of about a month from early December first Tom had his second PS3 die, then myself and finally Gareth had our PS3s die on us too.  Go back to October and it was Robert’s that YLoD’d.  I know Chris has had at least one YLoD in the past too.  There may be more PS3 failures amongst the staff that I do not know about but just the failures I have mentioned mean that a third of the staff have had at least one PS3 fail on them.

It is not that we do not look after our PS3s either.  Mine sat on its own shelf in my AV rack and was kept as dust free as was reasonable.  I have not succumbed to the temptation of opening it up yet but externally there is no evidence of dust build-up around the intake or outlet vents.  Chris has also stated before that similarly his “PS3 was as dust free as could be and the only thing on a shelf… and it still YLODd.”

An anecdotal 33% failure rate is straying dangerously into RRoD territory for something that Sony still deny is much of an issue.  While as a group, much like you our readers, we may not be average users, probably running our PS3s for a higher than average number of hours are we asking anything unreasonable of our sleek black boxes?  I would expect a PS3 to last as long as my Bravia TV, which is on for significantly more time than my PS3, but which I expect to last more than five and hopefully at least ten years.  My launch day PS3 clearly was not up to the job, fingers crossed for my Slim…