The Playstation Network. I know, I know; easy target. I wasn’t going to bother ripping into Sony about the infamous outage, but now they’ve basically put their collective face in front of my fist and told me I don’t need to stop til my arm gets tired.

Initially I was willing to cut Sony some slack. They didn’t ask to be hacked. It did raise some questions about the adequacy of their security, but I’m sure there’s no such thing as hack-proof security. I heard about the hack through the online community, though, and that worried me a bit. Why hadn’t Sony said anything? Then I finally got an email informing me that all my personal details had been nicked…a week after the fact.

This did not please me. I’m the sort of person who places a lot of store in respect, and this leisurely handling of a very serious problem smacked of contempt for the customer.

Again, though, I cut Sony some slack. They announced that they planned to have everything up and running again by the end of May. While that was a far longer outage than I would consider reasonable, it’s better to wait and have a functioning security system than to rush one out that is no better than the last. At least they’d finally given us an estimate.

So why the rant? Well, Sony have just done something worse than any of their other examples of mis-management of this affair: they have flagrantly lied to our (e-)faces.

A video announcement was made personally by some important person at Sony (I can’t be bothered to check his job title). He apologised profusely, thanked us for our patience (by which he presumably means not jumping ship to Microsoft) and assured us that the core part of the PSN – the ability to play games online – was back up and running.

He lied.

And that is why I’m ranting. It’s one thing to allow a security breach, to be tardy in informing the customer, to dawdle in restoring the service, and to be lazy in your announcements, but it’s another thing entirely to just lie. It’s not like they could have hoped to get away with it. Telling us the service is restored when it clearly is not just makes me question the mental faculties of whoever suggested it.

It gets worse though. The PSN will run just long enough to painstakingly download and install one of those updates that (for reasons never adequately explained) takes ten times as long as the Microsoft ones – and then locks us out again. It works enough to perform its most irritating function but not to allow us to actually do anything.

Sony, doing this to us after weeks of outage with very little communication is like stealing our chips and then apologising by spending a month sitting in our living room, eating our pork pie and belching, then finally giving us some replacement chips after getting your dog to piss on them. It’s worse than doing nothing at all.

It’s not the cheating that hurts, Sony. It’s the lying.

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