Parents Beware: Playstation4 is not suitable for kids

Parents Beware: Playstation4 is not suitable for kids

Parents Beware: Playstation4 is not suitable for kids 1 customer serviceA couple of years ago my son Bret was begging for a PS4, based on the premise that most of his friends had or were getting a PS4, so he would be able to play online with them, so I bought him one for Christmas, and it has caused nothing but problems due to the ridiculous dictatorship that Sony imposes and the terrible attitude of Playstation support towards its users.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not particularly a Microsoft or an XBOX fanboy either, I could complain all day long about Microsoft and Xbox support and all the problems they have caused us over the years with their incompetence. I owned a PlayStation 1 back in the day, and several Playstation 2’s, in fact I only got rid of my PS2’s last year. But the issues with kids and parental controls did not affect those consoles, these issues really only really began once consoles were doing everything online.

We have had XBOX 360’s in the house for as long as I have had kids, one of the things I have always liked about the Xbox is the extensive and granular parental controls it allows. You as the parent have full control over what your kids can and cannot do, the amount of play time, whether they can play online or accept friend requests, age restrictions etc, the decisions are yours, nothing is forced upon you.

Herein lies the problem with the PlayStation. First off, the parental controls are a joke. Sony has decided in their dictator style wisdom, that they will determine what is and is not suitable for your children and how they will use the Playstation, and you as the parent will not be given any choice in the matter.

In order to use your Playstation properly or play online games, you first need signup for a Sony/Playstation account, for which you must be over 18. If your kid’s signup then they have to lie about their age and of course would have access to 18+ content as well as no protection from abusive users or predators. Also, if Sony finds out they are a child, the account will be blocked forever, and they will lose all their games and content. It seems Sony will pretty much ban any account for any reason why see fit, no matter how daft.

So to stay within the rules, you as the parent must signup, and then you create child sub-accounts inside your parent account. This is where your problems start.

The first thing we discovered on Christmas day was that child accounts cannot play online, there is no way to override this, it is Sony’s rule, they have decided that nobody unde rthe age of 18 is allowed to play online, period. So if you purchased the PS4 and games specifically so your kids could play online with their friends, you are now screwed. We could not find this information actually mentioned anywhere and had to wait until after Xmas to contact support to find out this was the reason why online gaming would not work. Needless to say that Bret’s Christmas was completely ruined by this. Had I known about this in advance, I would never have purchased him a PS4.

Despite their anti-child rules, Sony will happily sell you games intended for under 18’s which have online play, knowing full well that your kids will never be able to play online.

We have had numerous issues since with support screwing us around. Such as a controller which stopped working properly, while it was still within warranty, but PlayStation support messed us about for months until the warranty had passed, and then refused to help.

The next nightmare we had to deal with was the PSN PLUS subscription, which allows you to play online and gives you a number of downloadable games each month. Due to the initial issues mentioned above, I created the subscription on my own account, which means that I owned all the downloaded games. However, any other user on the console could benefit from my subscription and could also play those games and have online gaming access as long as my subscription remained active and this was set as my primary console.
If you cancel your subscription, then you lose access to all the games you downloaded, which is another limitation that I find very unfriendly and also very greedy of Sony. The equivalent on XBOX is the XBOX Live Gold subscription, but any games you download while subscribed are yours forever. So even if you cancel your subscription, you still get to play all the games you downloaded.

Obviously, the inability to play online was a complete show stopper and not something we could live with, otherwise, I may as well of just sold the PS4. So like most other people I had no choice but to create an adult account for my son to use. This unfortunately still incurred some issues with the PSN PLUS subscription being on my account, there were things he still could not do.
So we contacted PlayStation support and asked them what would happen if I cancelled my subscription and moved it over to his account. They informed us that we would still have access to all the games I had downloaded, because they were assigned to the console, and it only required any user to have an active subscription. So base on this advise, I set up a new subscription for my son, and allowed mine to expire.

I’m sure you can probably guess what happened when my subscription expired, yes the support agent was an incompetent idiot and had gotten it completely wrong or had told us a bunch of porky pies. As soon as my subscription expired, all the games vanished from the console. I contacted PlayStation support once again, but of course, they denied all responsibility and refused to resolve the situation in their usual unhelpful style. I asked them if they would just transfer all my games licenses to my son’s account, but no, of course, that would too easy and helpful. So now the only solution is to maintain 2 subscriptions, which is a complete waste of money, as  I do not even use the PlayStation.

We have also had several instances where my son has contacted PlayStation support, and they have been quite rude and unhelpful to him and he has come away not only upset but also thinking they are complete idiots. If a 10 year old thinks you are an idiot, then you have a problem LOL.

On one occasion, after he had been in the support queue for over 30 minutes, they simply refused to speak to him because he was a child, he even told them that his dad was standing right next to him, and they could speak to me, but they just said “no thanks” and hung up on him. He was of course pretty upset about this after waiting so long to get through. Again no apology when I complained, just complete denial.

Definately should have gone for an Xbox One instead.

O2 and the phone of doom

O2 and the phone of doom

60e00bddf4bd417a9930208e5447a689.300x271x1You may recall from my earlier post “O2 customer service driving me insane” that I have not been having a very good experience with O2 support/customer service of late, and sadly things have not improved and if I had any hair then I would certainly be tearing it out by now, so here is my latest rant on the subject.


Nokia-Lumia-930-640My last phone from O2 was a Nokia Lumia 930, which while being an overall good phone when it works, I have had ongoing problems with it and O2 and have had it replaced around 5 or 6  times now. Now most of these replacements were O2’s decision to just replace the phone because they could not be bothered to troubleshoot my issues, which on several occasions were to do with signal problems, call quality, sms messages going missing and the likes so replacing the phone actually made no difference at all. Yet they actually had the gall to tell me that they would  not replace the phone again due to the number of times it had been replaced already, even though most of the replacements were O2’s choice not mine and were due to their own laziness.  I have also since discovered that all the replacements I have received are refurbished not new phones, which probably explains why I have had ongoing problems.

O2 also has the default response to tell me to take my phone to my local O2 store so that they can take a look at it. I have taken my phone to the store twice when advised, and the store staff and the store manager has told me that they cannot fix phones so it is pointless O2 support telling me to take my phone there and they do not know why they keep telling customers to do it. They are not engineers,  and the most they can do is a factory reset or just follow the exact same canned response suggestions that O2 support have already given. The only thing the store can really do is just send the phone away to be looked at or repaired, which O2 support can arrange themselves anyway. Even when I tell O2 this, and advised them that the store themselves told me this, they still continue to suggest going to the local O2 store.

So my current issue with my Lumia 930 is that the search button stopped working which is quite annoying as it takes more effort to use cortana as well as search, I have now had 2 phones with this issue, and also a phone where the screen started to grow a corrupted color blob from one side which was getting bigger and bigger. I have wasted a huge amount of time on the phone, on live chat and on twitter with O2 trying to resolve this and getting no where as every person is as clueless and unhelpful as the next, it is like running up a down escalator.

I am certainly thankful for my OneDrive cloud storage and phone sync that is for sure, as have had to factory reset this phone so many times now because O2 required me to do so due to their standard response.o2_factory_reset

The last suggestion I had from O2 after weeks of back and forth was to book a meeting with an O2 Guru. I do wish I have taken screenshots of my live chat conversations as most of these are monumentally stupid.o2 tell me to book a guru

This is despite me telling them that the staff in the shop cannot fix phones, and I asked them to confirm if the guru was any different, and they advised me that he would be able to help me fix the phone. Needless to say I did not believe this, and was not going to make 2 hour round trip to take my phone to someone who would just give me the same response as my local store. So I booked an appointment but I also took my phone to a local repair shop and they advised me that it was the digitizer which was faulty and that this was a common issue with refurb phones. So I advised O2 of the issue.


I then got a response from the O2 guru who I had booked the appointment with, and he informed me (as I knew he would) that he would not be able to help me with the problem and the phone needed to be repaired. So I then reply to O2 support and tell them this, and their reply was this.








So even though they knew the phone was faulty, and knew what the fault was because I had told them, they had still told me to go to the guru who they knew could not fix such an issue. Not to mention that I had previously been told they would not repair the phone now due to the previous replacements.

During this whole process, just to wind me up a bit more, we were getting lots of unsolicited calls from one of O2’s sales/marketing agents called ADSI,  all the other numbers on my account were getting calls several times a day trying to get them to upgrade, no matter how many times they said that they are not the account holder or were not interested, the calls kept coming. O2 were just as helpful with this as well, they just said they did not recognize the number (see tweet above), further tweets did not help they just refused to take responsibility even though this company was calling on behalf of O2 with the details O2 had given them.

By this point I had started to hate my Lumia 930 thanks to O2, so as I had a couple of numbers on the account  which were due for an upgrade I decided to just cut my losses and get a new phone instead. Silly me for thinking this would be any easier. I tried many times to call O2 but was constantly stuck in a never-ending queue, same with the online chat. So I sent an email to all the O2 addresses I had in my address book asking for someone to call me back to do an upgrade as I was unable to get hold of them. Did anyone call me back? No of course not, instead  I got a rather unexpected letter via email telling me that my (non-existent) complaint had not been upheld. I of course had no idea what complaint they were referring to, and the sender of the letter “Christine Marsland” refused to reply to me. so I had to take it to twitter yet again  order to get an explanation, which is when I was told that sending an email asking for a call results in a complaint being logged, WTF ?.

o2-letter-page-1 o2-letter-page-2










Not only did Christine refuse to reply to me but needless to say that “Terri-Ann” never called me either.

The saga continues.