Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How NOT To Build Trust

Sony has had it rough with cyber crime lately. Their PlayStation Network was hacked and down for most of April and May this year, arrests were made as far away as Spain, and the case is still unresolved. Understandably enough, Sony has been hard at work repairing burned bridges with its users, giving away free downloads to its loyal customers. For a while, all seemed well.

Recently however Sony introduced a new clause in its Terms of Use, which is essentially a waiver of users' rights to participate in any class action lawsuit versus Sony filed after August 20 this year. To be fair to Sony, there is an opt out clause, through which users may write Sony to expressly opt out of this waiver, but that's besides the point. The point is that from a public relations standpoint, this is a disaster. Sony is a company that has suffered a major crisis of credibility as of late with the PSN attacks--they cannot afford to antagonize their loyal users now. They're inadvertently sending the message that they'd rather make it harder to be sued than to make their product better. And that, in my opinion, does nothing but erode the trust of the end users, and is thus more damaging in the long-run.

Miguel Tensuan, Entry 14

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