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Problem Solved on Game and Player

Problem Solved

Ed Kirchgessner  //  December 5, 2007

Good customer service is a plus for everyone.

or a year that's best described as being "business as usual," the video game industry has had more than its share of PR mishaps: there were those overheating Xbox 360s; televisions were shattered by wayward Wiimotes; Sony had to publish supplemental instructions so that reviewers could grasp Lair's "intuitive" controls. No, I'm sure a few heads rolled for the industry's mistakes in 2007. Still, most of the guilty parties not only recovered – they thrived. Case in point: Electronic Arts and their malfunctioning Rock Band guitars.

When my copy of Rock Band arrived at the tail end of last week, suffice it to say I was more than a little excited to give it a try. Despite the relatively high build quality of all the game's accessories, I couldn't help but notice the waggle in my guitar's strum bar. Sure, it was functional, but that looseness made the game's faster passages nary impossible. After visiting a handful of forums, I decided it might be in my best interest to contact EA's customer service department.

To say that the experience was positive would be quite the understatement. Not only were they willing to replace my malfunctioning guitar, but they actually gave me the opportunity to receive a replacement before I sent in my half-broken axe. All one has to do is supply a valid credit card number (as a sort of "security deposit"), and EA will ship out a brand new guitar as well as a box to return your old one in. So long as they receive back the broken guitar within 28 days, your account won't be charged a dime. This great system will have brokenhearted rockers playing again in as little as two days rather than the weeks a standard replacement might take.

For an industry that's so often criticized for its high prices and sub-par hardware quality, it's nice to see manufacturers stand behind their products in situations like these. I'm sure Electronic Arts is cutting into Rock Band's profits with their generous replacement policies, but with the future of the music genre at stake, who can blame them. When good customer service makes for good business, everyone goes home happy.

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