I generally loathe having to contact any customer support organization for any reason because I know I’m going to have to get into it with whoever I get ahold of to try and get something to happen that will alleviate whatever problem it is that I’m having.
In Sony’s case, I made my primary contact over the phone, and the operators I spoke to were very helpful - they didn’t make me go through all of these ridiculous procedures, they talked to me to ascertain my level of knowledge with the product and when they determined that I didn’t need to do the “beginner” stuff, I was pushed through to the proper level of support. That’s awesome - do you know how long it takes to get to a real tech at Microsoft?
In Namco’s case, they have live online support so rather than waiting for an operator on hold, you’re instantly connected to a support person in an online chat scenario. It took me all of two minutes to get an RMA # for an item I needed to exchange, and I just now went in and used that service to check the status of the RMA. With a real, live person. No 24-hour-turnaround-time, no automated response.
I think if I’m ever in charge of a support organization, I’m going to use those as examples of the right way to do things. That doesn’t imply that the customer is always right, by any means, but the responsive nature of the service and easy manner in which the correct service was retrieved is invaluable.