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Codingbunny

A blog about coding, run by a bunny

PlayStation Account : The Country

So,

This is a gripe I’ve had with Sony PlayStation for almost 10 years now. I’m originally from Belgium, and when I got my first PlayStation 3, I obviously created the PSN account with all information from Belgium. Because that’s the country where I lived.

There is this article : Changing Country

You can’t change the country of your account, because PlayStation believes this will add issues with content….Like seriously? We’re in 2020, and if I want to make the choice of changing the region/country of my account, I want to be able to do so, even if that means I will loose access to content.

PlayStation Store content from other regions may not be compatible with your PlayStation system region code and would mean that you cannot download your purchases.”

PlayStations are region free to begin with….

“Downloadable game add-ons are region locked, so if you have a disc from a country other than the country in which your account was created you will find that you cannot download DLC for that title from PlayStation Store in your country.”

Which is just a field in your database, change the country and update that field as well for every purchase I’ve made….

“Content may not be available in your language in another country’s PlayStation Store.”

Give me an example, like seriously?

“You can only view videos purchased or rented in the country in which your account was created due to either licensing or certification restrictions.”

Byebye video

“here could be authorisation problems with using credit or debit cards.”

That’s a co-out excuse and you know it. Credit and Debit cards can be used world-wide without issue.

“You would experience difficulty using PlayStation Network top up vouchers.”

No, exactly because I cannot change my country, I am experiencing difficulties. If I want to top up my current account I either need to travel to Belgium and buy top-up vouchers specifically for Belgium, or I need to use a Belgian Credit Card.

I cannot use PayPal either since the country is verified there as well. So what additional difficulty can you impose that tops the current BS I need to deal with?

PlayStation’s recommendation : Create a new account

Yeah, because I totally want to lose all my purchases, trophies, and friends I have on my current account just to access something from the current country, or to just even be able to purchase my PlayStation Plus Subscription.

It even gets worse. My wife also has a PSN account, and we cannot set up the family accounts because their countries are different. Another feature completely locked out and useless because of this insane policy dating from the 90’s or some other longbygone era.

PlayStation : It’s time to enter the 21st century and actually create an international gaming platform

Sixt….

I’m sorry, I really don’t know what title would be suitable for this blog post. I’m honestly baffled to the email I received today from Sixt france regarding the ongoing discussion between them and me about damages to a rental car and their insurance scam at the airport.

To cut right to the chase, this is the response on my email from the previous blog post:

Dear Mr. Herdt,

In order to make further investigation, could you please send us a copy of your rental agreement?

Looking forward to hear from you shortly.
Sincerely,

Copy of your rental agreement

Dear Sixt, are you honestly telling me now that you don’t have my signed version on file in your system? Am I to believe that keeping this piece of paper, almost a month after the fact is somehow magically going to solve every problem?

What are you going to investigate here?

  • The fact you were unable to present to me the documents I requested in my previous email?
  • The fact that you were unable to show proof of the signed documents you mentioned?
  • The fact that you don’t have a copy on file of the signed paper?

Right now this entire farce seems to not even have any grounds to base accusations on. What document? Did you see a document? I don’t see a document, why are you even bothering me about this now?

Can’t take Sixt serious anymore…

So, this is the third installment of my conversation with Sixt. The previous one is here.

So I replied on the previous section with several questions from my side that I wanted answered from their side, before I would even consider paying anything to them, and not wave it off as the scam it’s turning out to be.

These are the questions I sent out to them:

  1. We checked the car, and when we handed it back to whoever was in the cabin at the airport, we both mentioned that there was a 1 cm scratch at the back bumper
  2. I asked the attended if I am supposed to sign a document or paper : I was told I didn’t had to do anything, I would be contacted
  3. I did not sign any check-in sheet with comments, I dropped off the car and was told it was fine
  4. When we picked up the car, we were told to take additional insurance to cover any problems.
    1. Why does this insurance not cover this scratch?
    2. Why were we not told this insurance doesn’t cover any scratches
    3. Why is this insurance sold in the first place if it doesn’t cover anything?

Since it was a weekend, and people don’t work in weekend with Sixt, I received their replies today:

  1. This is not the size of the scratch which matters, but the fact that there is a new scratch on the bumper rear, with paint damage. It must be repair and repaint.
  2. You signed the check-in sheet with the new damage on it, please find the document attached.
  3. You subscribed only for glass and tire protection, and for roadside protection, you did not subscribed to any car body coverage.
    1. The customer has to inquire himself about the protections and about what is included.

So here we have it people!
First of all, they forgot to include the mentioned attachment, so I can still not verify what signed document they are talking about, and secondly the third point is turning out to be the clue of the entire story:

IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT SIXT REPRESENTATIVES TELL YOU! UNLESS YOU NIT-PICK EVERY SMALL RECORD ON WHAT THEIR SYSTEM PRINTS OUT, IT DOESN’T MATTER.

Human error? Their clerks entering wrong information? Telling you whatever you want to hear? None of this matters for this company, because their printer piece of paper is the only thing they will base their judgement on.

Sixt : Fabricating stories

So,

part 2 of the Sixt adventure. In the first part, I’ve sketched out the situation, and by actually writing this blog and bringing it to Sixt’s attention they promised to “review” the situation and let the claims department reach out again.

By reaching out again, they of course mean sending the exact same automated response like before, ignoring any of the points I’ve raised with them, not answering any of the questions I’ve posed them:


Dear Mr De Herdt,

When accepting a car with Sixt, you have also accepted the terms and conditions of the renter, with all the attendant consequences, in particular the obligation to return the rental vehicle in its initial state.

In accordance with our general terms and conditions, the customer has a contractual obligation to check the vehicle at departure time and inform a Sixt employee of any damage or issues found, which are not listed on the rental agrement.

According to our information, no unregistered damage was reported at the time of check-out. However, the damage in question was ascertained at the time of drop-off, in your presence.

In addition, you sign the check-in sheet with the new damage written on it, without any additional comment.

Please be advised that, as the renter you have the responsibility of the vehicle for the whole rental periodTaking into account that the car’s state differs, your liability is engaged.

We confirm you that the damage invoice is justified and will be maintained.

Moreover, you have to consider the fact that our top priority is customer satisfaction, and we thank you for the loyalty and the trust you place in Sixt.

That is why we decided to allow a commercial gesture of 60 euros, even if the invoice is fully justified.

You have to consider the fact that normally we do not allow commercial gestures.

We advise you to sold this amount at your earliest convenience, if you have any further question please feel free to contact us.

Pauline


 

Pauline, did you even read the emails I’ve sent you?
None of the following questions were answered:

  1. We checked the car, and when we handed it back to whoever was in the cabin at the airport, we both mentioned that there was a 1 cm scratch at the back bumper
  2. I asked the attended if I am supposed to sign a document or paper : I was told I didn’t had to do anything, I would be contacted
  3. I did not sign any check-in sheet with comments, I dropped off the car and was told it was fine
  4. When we picked up the car, we were told to take additional insurance to cover any problems.
    1. Why does this insurance not cover this scratch?
    2. Why were we not told this insurance doesn’t cover any scratches
    3. Why is this insurance sold in the first place if it doesn’t cover anything?

Secondly, the story depicted in your email Pauline is not even close to the truth.
Your guy in the booth never had us sign anything, just took the car and said we’d be contacted. I’m not paying for mistakes made by your employees.

Sixt sells you insurance that doesn’t cover anything

Fancy title, but sadly the truth when it comes to renting with Sixt. I’ve been a customer with them for years, signed up somewhere in 2008 when I moved to Germany, and honestly never had any issues with them whatsoever.

This however all changed last month when me and my wife when to Disneyland in Paris. We landed at the airport in Paris, and had a car booked with Sixt, simply because we arrived late and didn’t want to use public transport anymore at the time, as it would make our arrival beyond midnight for the hotel.

So we had the car booked. Picking it up at the kiosk, the clerk tells me to take insurance, so we don’t have any issues or anything to worry about when something happens to the car. I initially wanted to decline this because 20 euro a day is pretty steep for this, but I took it regardless.

So we get this little black Opel Corsa to drive around with. We looked at the rental papers, and saw that 5 markings were already attributed to the car. Fine, people can get incidents, and parking your car somewhere leaves it prone to idiots putting dents on it. But hey, we have insurance, so we don’t have to worry about anything, and the hotel has a guarded parking spot for us.

So a  week after we get back from our trip, we receive the following email from them:

damage claim email.png

So, obviously I am challenging this claim. We bought insurance and were told that we wouldn’t have to worry about anything. So when I inquire with them about the insurance, their response is the following:

Dear Mr. Herdt,

We have duly received your email, and we thank you for that.
After careful review of your claim, we invite you to take into consideration our observations below.
Please note that the amount was appraised by a certified automobile expert. 
Morover, your rental contract shows that you have not subscribed to our collision damage waiver, only the glass and tire protection and assistance.

Therefore, we confirm that the damage invoice has been correctly raised.

we kindly ask you to settle the outstanding amount of 461,00 EUR no later than 05.07.2019 to Sixt SAS.

So, their system claims we had no insurance? Then what the hell did I pay for with my Creditcard? I have the statements that I paid at the kiosk for insurance, for a booking that was pre-paid!

Now they “offered” to drop the 60 euro administration fee, but still expect me to pay 400 euro for damages.

talk about a scam.

InkyCop : Standardizing team configuration for RuboCop

Crossposting this from my original publication on our Company Tech Blog

The story with kiwi.com – resolved

It took over 2 months, but the issue with kiwi.com has finally been resolved.

I just got off the phone with their technical support, and I was told that they had a technical issue in their sent that flagged accounts as being notified, but the actual notification email did not get sent. Compounded with the fact that Customer Support was not aware of this only worked with the system, it resulted in the entire situation that lead to these blog posts.

Kiwi.com has offered to refund the incurred expenses, and for me this means closure to the entire situation. As a Software Engineer myself, I have full understanding that systems can go haywire, break and produce false results. There’s no such thing as bug-free software after all.

The only issue is the amount of effort and trouble I had to go through to bring this kind of problem to light, and how many more people have been affected by this. And whether they were willing to go through the same hoops as I did. It also explains the conflicting information I received constantly from the various departments.

I really hope some lessons were learned from this in the technical departments of kiwi.com that will hopefully prevent these kind of problems from happening again in the future. Kiwi.com has admitted the issue, and for me that settles it. Harsh words were written, and I do retract these, which is why I write this blog to make sure the situation is rectified and up to date.

Will we book in the future again with kiwi.com? I honestly don’t know. This experience was quite the ordeal, and it will probably be some time before we book again.

Why you shouldn’t book with Kiwi.com – part 4

Continuation of the series

To give a rough timeline, we are now 2 months further since our trip to Greece got canceled. I’ve been in touch with the European Consumer Protection Agency, as well as the local Czech branch of this institution. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the sheer incompetence that this company is perpetuating into the world. I honestly thought after involving the EU institutions, some kind of breakthrough was achieved when I received these email:

kiwi - refund one

kiwi - refund two

So I followed their instructions and submitted the required documents to their claim service. And I kid you not, this is the reply I received within the same day from their claims department:

kiwi - claims reply.png

So why was I even told by their support team to send in these documents? Do these departments even talk to each other? Track ongoing issues? Sufficiently to say, I replied on the email from support with a screenshot of the reply I received from the claims department. This was the answer by a genius called Siddhesh J:

kiwi - support claims reply.png

Buddy, did you even read the entire email discussion that went before this?
You informed me about the cancellation on 28th of January 2019? Amazing, this is the second time your company claims to have notified me, yet in two months that we are having this discussion, your company hasn’t even succeeded once at showing me the evidence that this notification wast sent, where it was sent and that an attempt was made.

The incompetence for a service provider here is reaching extreme levels.

Why you shouldn’t book with kiwi.com – part 3

Okay,

If you’ve been reading the previous part, you know we’re at it for over a month now to get the money for my ferry tickets and hotel refunded. This is the last email I received from kiwi.com last week:

kiwi - last reply.png

So after being lenient with them, and having them granted almost another 2 weeks to collect the evidence they have about having notified us, they still are unable to show me this evidence, and need more time to collect the details?

Well dear Kiwi, your time is up.
As I’m writing this blog, I’ve send out an email to the European Consumer Protection Agency. This is a European legal instance that helps and protects consumers from the EU to settle disputes with vendors. I think I’ve shown enough patience with them.

The email includes an explanation of what has happened since December 2018, including screenshots, email print outs and Twitter direct messages of all conversations.
I’ve tried to settle this the nice way and give them the opportunity to come forth, but they chose to play it the hard way. Well, it takes two to tango.

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