Just to give you an idea of how bad it is, no one knows exactly how bad it is. In a world where various media outlets clamber all over you for something like this, the brute fact that no one knows just how huge the clusterfuck is should be telling you something. I dare you to go to Playstation’s official blog and comb through their Q&A sessions, and then tell me exactly how bad this was. I double dog dare you. I know that, after reading those Q&As, I find myself terrified for the safety of my XBox Live stuff and I don’t even have a credit card attached to that account. That’s how bad this is sounding. It’s sounding so bad that people can actually worry about competing products.
Frankly, as bad as the PSN going down for almost a week is, what’s worse is how the company decided to handle how it informed its customers of this ‘malicious intrusion’ and exactly what it means to them. Days of silence. If you shut down an entire online social gaming network because someone managed to penetrate your security and stole credit card information from it, the time to tell us is when it happens. Customers should not be reading about how the network may have been breached five days later. The first discussion of what exactly happened to people’s personal information on the PSN servers shouldn’t be six days later.
The intrusion and theft are bad, awful, horrible for consumers. But Sony’s decision to basically tell them nothing for days and days while also not providing the service they paid for in this fashion was just a terrible choice on their part. People should have known within a day or two why they couldn’t connect. They should have known if they needed to change their credit card or debit card information, even if it wasn’t actually compromised, just to feel safe. Sony should have given their customers a chance to take that action and get that sense of security as a gesture of respect to the people who pay for the service. Cover their asses before you cover your own.
I’m not currently a PS3 owner, but I did play a Sony MMO for a while, and right about now I’m glad I didn’t give them my credit card or debit card information. Based on how they handled this situation I would absolutely not want Sony to have that information. That’s not how you deal with a crisis. You don’t make it so that your customers sigh in relief that they used a pre-paid credit card to play your game. It’s not the kind of opinion that gets people to come back.