Brice J.'s review of Activision Publishing, Inc

Activision Publishing, Inc

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Complaint Posted 3/31/2009
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Review 3/31/2009
Activision, a.k.a. Red Octane, the manufacturer of highly popular Guitar Hero games has no customer service.
Yes, there is a phone number. Their web data even lists times to call. Problem is that they have no live operator assistance at all. None. No prompt. No response to "live operator", "customer service" or "help". The multiple prompts pretty much tell you to go to their web site.
Okay, now back to the web site. Gleaning out of it how to get help with a defective or otherwise nonfunctioning product is challenging, but if you happen to find the web-based customer service form and fill it out, you will not get a response. Ever.
My son (10) plays with his guitar and drum kit he received as a birthday gift. The drum set stopped functioning correctly, so I managed to return it to Red Octane and received a replacement. The replacement lasted about a month. I submitted the online returned goods request, what they call an RMA, and received an email telling me to return it with original store receipt. Great, if I had one. They have the serial number, its part of the return authorization process, would have thought they knew, but needed to make sure that I wasn't going to ship this drum set to whomever and get nothing, so I try to call the given number. Nope. Try email. Nope. Web-form, no.
With all the money these people made, is it too much to ask for customer service representatives like they describe in their customer directions to help? Isn't that what the banks did, did away with human contact? Look what happened to the dang banks. Greedy people really stink.
I would recommend against the purchase of any product made by Activision or RedOctane or whoever they really are.
If you do not believe me, call the number posted on this site. It will tell you to press one for "customer service" and you will get a computer voice giving you directions to no one except the web. Why have the number at all? Why not just say "our warranty does not include any customer service." Good grief.

UPDATE: I called the number for the company contact given on this site. He returned my call and assured me that a manager would reach me ASAP and resolve the issue. After a reminder call, the gentleman called and assured me that they were going to replace the defective unit. He admitted that they have customer contact issues and that they are working hard on improving that and asked that I write this update. So apparently they take this site and the BBB association serioulsy. That's good.
Of course in the end, they should not make it impossible or even hard to reach customer service. They aren't selling widgetts, they are selling very expensive entertainment toys that don't cost a lot to make.
In my previous commentary I commented about their failure to respond to their on-line customer service request form. Well today I got an email saying that since I didn't follow up that they consider the issue "SOLVED". The email listed a return email address for responses. I responded and immediately received an email saying that the email address does not accept responses and that I need to go to their web site for help.
Again with the go to the web site bunk.
If I receive the replacement unit, and if it works, I will happily and in all fairness advise you.
Let's hope the Activision leadership takes a second look at how they present themselves to their customers - after they are customers.

UPDATE: We received a replacement drum kit. It works. Son finally gets to play with the toy. All is well with the world.
The Activision managers that I spoke to were genuinely friendly and concerned about this issue. What I find weird is that they obviously have friendly people, why hide them from us?
Oh well, they don't need my advice.
What I recommmend to the reader is to always save your receipts. If you run into what I did here, or a friend tells you of a similar experience, tell them to do what I did and try to use the company system and when that fails, go to the BBB.

Thank you Activision.

UPDATE: Well, the replacement drum unit lasted one week. From the drum unit a wire runs to an internally crimped, rubber-coated elbow that plugs into the symbol. The wire fell out. There is no home fix. Once again my son can't play with his toy. He received it last August for his 10th birthday and it's been broken more than he has had use of it since.
Here we go again.....
I can't believe how cheap these things are made.
I guess I'll be trying to find a way to reach the Activision people again.

UPDATE: Activision is sending out another unit to replace the replacement unit that replaced the replacement unit that replaced the original unit.
I'll give them this, they are always very friendly.
I promise, we're not being hard on these things, they just quit working or come apart.

UPDATE: We received the latest repalcement and returned the previous one.
Thank you very much.

UPDATE: The replacement unit lasted two weeks. The wire connecting the symbol to the drum unit came apart just as the previous one had. It is obvious that the elbow connector was not crimped around the wire. There is no repair that can be done at home. Again, it will have to be sent back to Activision.
I have contacted them and hope to hear back from them in the next few days.
I'll keep you informed.
In the eight months since my son received this drum kit as a gift, he has been able to actually use it a total of about five weeks. The balance of the time has been defective equipment being out of service and being shipped back and forth to Activision.
What a shame.
I'm sorry, but how understanding do you want me to be?

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