When I put my money down on my PlayStation 4, I heard from everyone under the sun how I made the wrong choice because “everyone knows PlayStation controllers suck.” This really caught me off-guard because I never really had an issue with the PS3 controllers, let alone any problems with the console until the end.

Well, I guess yesterday was the day to discover these people may have been right. It seems the left analog control on my PlayStation DualShock controller (hereby known as the DS4) had determined the moving right was not in the cards for me and that I would rather head 90 degrees in the backward direction. And as clicking down said control was generally accepted as the means to engage the run mechanism, I was going to have to be satisfied with walking wherever my characters wanted to go.

Consider me frustrated.

Fortunately, or as I’ve now learned unfortunately, I purchased the PlayStation Protection Plan when I received my PS4 on launch to give myself a sense of security that should something every go wrong, Sony would have my back. The plan not only extended the one year limited warranty to three years, it also included accident damage and wear-and-tear under the warranty for a lean price of $49.99 – how could I pass that up?

That’s not all! It also highlighted “no out-of-pocket expenses for qualified claims” and a “pre-paid shipping box” should something go wrong. Talk about a solid setup.

So knowing all of this, I tempered my frustrations and gave Sony’s exclusive Protection Plan call centre a ring to arrange for my DS4 to be repaired or replaced. Sure this would mean I’d have to give up fragging Atheon in Destiny for a spell, but I could probably use the break anyway. A pleasant woman by the name of Jamie picked up the phone, heard out my issues and told me she’d be happy to take care of everything. I provided her all my information, my plan number, and boom… we had a case number.

And then the bad news – I’d have to pay to ship the controller to Sony.

Colour me confused. I asked Jamie why I had to pay as the plan indicated I wouldn’t need to. Would I get reimbursed once they qualified my claim? She told me no. Had I not said the magic words? No magic words she replied. Jamie went on to tell me that the free shipping and all that mumbo jumbo was for the console itself and not the controller.

That made no sense. Why not send me the big box and I’d ship the controller and lots of paper back?

I proclaimed that my expectations were not being met and asked if there was anything she could do. I outlined my case and asked where I had misunderstood, or misread, or simply remained ignorant. Jamie had nothing. After asking who else I could speak to that could hear me out, she transferred me over to Andrew – a Supervisor – and he said much the same thing.

I was at a loss. How does “no out-of-pocket expenses for qualified claims” and a “pre-paid shipping box” turn into no box and money out-of-pocket? Andrew could not even venture to provide a reason and advised me as much, and let me know the only recourse was to send an email to the corporate office and hope for the best. I told Andrew I’d work with him to come up with a creative solution, but there were none to be had. There was nothing he could do.

The email has obviously been sent.

So what does this all have to do with customer expectations you ask? Well, I’d like to think I’m a reasonable person and decided that as Sony had clearly left me disappointed I would do them a favour. I’d work with their organization to ensure further customers who had similar issues wouldn’t encounter the same frustration I was experiencing that very moment. I’d take my lumps and live with it. Chris lives without, but the intrinsic benefit of enabling change would suffice.

But it appears that Sony isn’t entirely concerned with this. They’d rather I talk publicly about it on this soap box here and let me send an email to an inbox with no promise of reply. I’d like to think I’ve been reasonable and I’d like to believe I made every effort to come up with a solution amicable to all parties. I asked for nothing more than what I felt was to be expected and even looked to meet in a place where both parties had to stretch.

So here I blog. If you’ve gotten to this point of my tale and wonder, “Should I get the PlayStation Protection Plan?” My answer is “I don’t know.” If my PS4 kacking out means I can replace it for the modest cost of shipping, then I suppose it still is.

I just wish Sony was more transparent.