I’ve had a problem with one of the games I bought for my Vita, Unit 13, which will not play in English. When I set the system language to Italian, the game plays in the right language. But when I set my system language to English, the game plays…in French. For as dreadful as my Italian is despite living years in the country, my French is even worse. So this is not ideal. I wrote to the US support, and got back a reply directing me to Sony’s Italy customer support division. I wrote to them and got no answer, and I pasted the same message into the Italy support forum and had hubby write a direct translation. I got a flippant answer there. So, this is my second attempt at getting help for my problem, and I’ve decided to make this an open letter. If I get back an answer, I’ll post an update here as well. Why? Because if some of you were still on the fence about getting a Vita, I feel you may want to know how the customer service experience is. So, here were go:
I’m going to be sending this email to you, and to as a CC to the email you gave me for Italy’s support, whom I have written to with no answer. I’ll also be posting this as an open letter on my blog. In any case I wrote the same message that I’d sent to the US on the Italy support forum, with my husband writing a tanslation. There, the technician said that the company has made the choice to region lock Unit 13 and restrict English from the list of choices. Then the technician made light of my problem and said (In italian,) “Just play the game in Italian.” (Folllowed by a flippant winking smile emoticon, which was even more infuriating.)
In spite of my anger at being ignored, I tried that, and I can’t play Unit 13 in Italian. I can’t understand what the mission objectives are, and I’m stumbling blindly through the first level of the game. Not because it’s hard, but because I can’t understand the language. This is very frustrating, and what makes it worse is Sony’s apparent failure to recognize that the UK, all English speaking countries, are part of the EU. Sony’s Italy support in the forum has also made it clear with this one response that they don’t care about my problems. And the email address you gave me has made no response at all.
So, I need to make myself more clear in the hopes that something will be done to resolve this problem without me just giving up on the Vita less than a month after I bought it. This would be a shame, because I love the hardware and really would like to be a loyal customer. I’m just asking for a small show of support to gain that loyalty.
Sony has been saying in press releases online that they don’t want casual gamers who buy only one game every few months, or who only buy games when they’re deeply discounted. Fair enough, and I can understand your company’s concerns for making this new platform a financial success. In this first month, I have purchased five games, three of the cheaper and shorter indie games, and two premium titles. I bought Uncharted at Fnac along with my pre-ordered Vita, and I’ve since made those four other purchases from Italy’s online store. For all intents and purposes, I am the gamer you claim to want.
One of my main reasons for buying the Vita was the number of reviewers saying that I could buy any game from any of the online stores, regardless of country, and then play them in my language of choice.With only one exception, the other games respected my language choice. Even the Italian version of Uncharted respected my choice. When I wrote to Sony via their support forum to point out this problem, their response seems to be that they are okay with one game being region locked when all others are not.
Feeling unsatisfied with Sony’s response, I tried to find a way to contact Zipper Interactive. But their site refers me right back to Sony for tech support. Megan, your message as the US Sony representative was, “That’s not our problem, so contact someone in Italy.” I’ve made two attempts at contacting Sony here in Italy, and the email response is dead silence, while the forum response is a flippant answer that ignores my problem outright as if this is no big deal. So, even though I’m the gamer you claimed to want shopping in your stores, the company’s customer support is already making it clear that you don’t care if I walk away mad.
Megan, I hope that instead of replying to me with another “Sorry, not my problem” response, you will forward this message to your manager, and that they will in turn forward this to someone higher up to sort this mess out. As I’ve paid for a copy of the game and cannot use it, perhaps Sony could clear me to have a UK or US copy of the game? Failing that, perhaps the Italian store could update their version of Unit 13 so that UK English is one of the language options. Both of the premium games have already had patches, so I know it is possible to fix a mistake after the game is launched.
This choice to deny me a language option is a mistake, even if you won’t acknowledge it. But if you choose to ignore me, then you are turning away the very kind of gaming customer that you claimed to need for your success. So please, consider this before you pass the buck again and wash your hands of me. Assuming you do forward this on to someone else, Thank you in advance for your time.
Zoe E. W.