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SEGA France and its after-sales service (SAV)

This article will be long. I will tell you about the history of SEGA France 's after- sales service , some analyzes on the perception of the brand and customer satisfaction and disclose some breakdown statistics. The last part will show you the (almost complete) procedure to follow to detect failures that could occur on a Dreamcast.

For those interested in reading the documents in my possession, I can make them available at my home.

Classeur SEGA France SAV.jpg

The history of after-sales service through the ages:

I tried to retrace the history of SEGA France after- sales service by reconstructing its chronology. Please note that errors have certainly occurred in my understanding and decoding of the documents in my possession. There are inevitably missing steps for some years.

On September 25, 1991, a contract between " SEGA France " and the company " ALTECT SARL " was signed for after-sales service.  The logo of " VIRGIN LOISIRS ", former distributor of Sega appears on the contract.


This company had to carry out the repair of the products  SEGA during the warranty period, which varied as follows:

- Console: 1 year from date of purchase.
- Peripherals: 3 months after the date of purchase.
- Software: 3 months after the date of purchase.

After receiving a product, Altec had to repair and ship the product in good condition within 4 days, in order to be sent to the reseller within 5 days of receipt. The company address was:

ALTEC Company
29 Avenue de Tunis
94100 Saint-Maur-Des-Fosses

Unfortunately, it was not able to manage this workload since delays of 21 days for the repair of the consoles were noted, that is to say the equivalent of 3000 consoles in default. To make up for the delay, SEGA had to carry out a one-month emergency mission by hiring temporary workers.

Their collaboration did not last long, as Altec could not meet the demands of SEGA France .

SEGA Virgin logo SAV.jpg
Rattrapage SAV Altec par SEGA.jpg

Evolution of the company (Altec):

1990 1991 1992
deposit of 100 m2 deposit of 250 m2 deposit of 500 m2
4 workers 12 workers 27 workers
1 PC 2 PC 6 PC
80 interventions days 400 inverventions days

Implantation SEGA France SAV.jpg

As the situation deteriorated, 5 other companies then worked as subcontractors for SEGA France. Here they are :

1) Dated April 15, 1992 "SAVEMI"



42 Brouardel Street

31000 Toulouse

She was also in charge of after-sales service for " CANON " and "T EXAS-INSTRUMENTS "

2) Dated April 15, 1992 "SIDEM"

Rei récépissé résiliation contrat SEGA F

130-134 rue Saint Léonard
49000 Angers

3) Dated April 17, 1992 "REIS"

7 rue des Aulnes
69542 Champagne au Mont d'Or Cedex

4) As of September 10, 1992  "I2M"

ZA 46 rue de Rethuy
62138 Violaines

IM2 récépissé résiliation contrat SEGA F
Cahier des charges SERLI SEGA SAV.jpg

This company provided " AMSTRAD " maintenance at the time.

5) Impossible to date: "DD TECH"

271 Vendôme Street
69003 Lyon

The work represented by the repair of defective SEGA machines could represent 20% of the turnover of these companies and required the hiring of 2 people to handle this additional task.

We also note in the organization of the after- sales service , that they had a station  divided into 5 zones on French territory according to the population basin and the geographical zone, i.e. the " Centre ", " the North ", " the South ", " the West ", " the East " and the " South " .

Due to a decision by " SEGA Europe " to centralize the various operational functions, the various contracts which bound SEGA to its subcontractors came to an end during 1994. However,  SAVEMI was approved to take care of the processing of out-of-warranty products, which did not fall within the scope of SEGA France 's obligations. Returns of equipment under warranty were made at " Performances Logistique " ( read my article on storage ).

Charte SEGA SAV 1994.jpg
Charte SAV SEGA France par Premier Loisi

Warning ! Lots of holes from late 1994. Everything that follows is just a baseline, a preview. The data is fragmented, incomplete. I may have decoded the documents badly, put the puzzle together badly. Steps seem to be missing.

As of November 4, 1996 SAVEMI was the technical station which repaired the equipment to bring it back into conformity with the status of exchangeable products in standard exchange. The standard exchange consisted in providing, in exchange for a defective product, a product of equivalent or superior functionality with an extended warranty of 3 months compared to the initial date. " PREMIER LOISIR FRANCE " managed the so-called "shipment of products in standard exchange" activity and the stock of these products. She was  the SEGA France after-sales management center. The 2 companies worked in collaboration, one was mainly in charge of logistics, storage and shipping while the other was in the technical, repair.

As of June 11, 1997, PREMIER LOISIR FRANCE was SEGA France 's after-sales service processing center and, as such, managed repairs to products in the SEGA France catalog resulting from breakdowns under warranty, breakdowns during unpacking, and returns out of warranty (after- sales service charter photo).

It was also the logistics center for advertising furniture.  We already find this company which at the end of 1994 dealt with after- sales service (special cases), non-commercial activities of products distributed within the framework of sponsorship (hospitals for example, if I understand correctly).

We can clearly see the rise in power of the 2 companies. The collaboration with SEGA France had to go well, the tasks assigned to them seeming  well evolved.

During a meeting to plan the after- sales strategy for 1998/1999, SEGA wanted to move part of its activity from PLF Metz to Performance Logistique in Combs-la-Ville . One of the services to be provided by Performance Logistique was the shipment of defective products and the receipt of repaired products by VISONIC Spain . This new organization would have started on March 30, 1998 for out-of-warranty and under-warranty.

As of March 30, 1999 Performance Plus is the logistics center which handles the exchange of equipment under warranty and out of warranty for SEGA France products. He ensures the follow-up and the repair of defective items.

To give you an idea of the volume of goods handled by the after- sales service , an evaluation for the period 1995/1996 shows 240,000 products handled (140,000 entries into stock, 98,000 exits, 2,000 internal movements, such as inter-company transfers ).

This information, even incomplete, allows us to see the evolution of SEGA France after- sales service year after year. They had to adapt to the needs and technologies of the moment and face the constraints of the French market.

After-sales service analyzes:

Customer satisfaction:

An analysis of a sample of 227 complaint letters received between January 1, 1993 and April 30, 1994 made it possible to classify the causes of customer dissatisfaction into the following 5 groups:

1)Reliability. Robustness contested. Exchange request.
2) Material delivered different from that expected.
3) Unreliable software.

  Exchange request

1) Difficulty in presenting the proof. More proof.
2) Deadlines deemed too short. Poor organization of exchanges at the seller.
3) Request for warranty extension.

Quality of service :
1) Bad reception of after-sales service Disputes on diagnosis.
2) Response times too long or no response.
3) Disputed value for money. Bad repair.

Sega Picture:
A foreign customer, resident in France, who wants a SEGA Service for products sold outside the SEGA-FRANCE market.
Request for user manual.
Request for response to a mail without follow-up.
Request for material, accessories or components.
Request for information and advice on authorized repairers or after-sales service.
Request for exceptional favors.

Practiced by SEGA-FRANCE with formal notice and threats of prosecution and opening of proceedings.


Analyse courrier clients SEGA france SAV

The perception of the SEGA brand:

in +

- International brand
projection of a notion of power and responsibility
- Technology brand
innovation and know-how

in -

-Rich mark
power of advertising investments, reputation for high profitability
-Japanese brand
concept of opportunism
no citizenship
-Brand aimed at children and teenagers
"easy victims"

SEGA France document logo.jpg

Some statistics:


Between January 1992 and June of the same year, 52,650 portable consoles were sold. 30% of failures (estimated) were due to damage to the LCD screen. Below, some spare parts for the GG :

Reference number

Parts Number




Top Case GG Export All



Batt. Blade 1P A

IC1 (VA1)


IC Custom Chip GG QFP 144P NEC



FL Light GG (Back Light) Elebram



July 1991


August 1991


September 1991




November 1991


December 1991


January 1992


February 1992


March 1992


April 1992


May 1992


June 1992




Diagramme Panne Megadrive SEGA Sav 2.jpg

Break Down




























Diagramme Panne Megadrive SEGA SAV %.jpg

These data make it possible to see the reliability of the Megadrive in 1991 and to know what constituted the main breakdowns.





September 1996




October 1996




November 1996




December 1996




Sega Saturn graphique SAV.jpg

Some figures giving indications on the number of Saturns sold per period and the number having encountered various problems.


The launch of the device to encounter some disturbances...  A problem in the production of the 32 x intended for France postponed its release. The first 2000 consoles were only compatible with the Megadrive 2 . According to the delivery schedule, the following quantities were compatible with the Megadrive 1 and 2 .

Consequences :

  • Customers had to be informed that early 32Xs could not be used with the MD1 . A sticker was pasted on the front of the product referring consumers to 3615 or 3618 for detailed information.

  • The after- sales service and consumer services had to keep their contacts informed in a precise and regular manner and prepare a procedure for handling any complaints. The after- sales service had to circulate the recipient customers of the first 2,000 32Xs as quickly as possible.

Another problem that occurred in parallel was that the first game deliveries had the " Blister " (hard, no doubt) with the carton marked Megadrive and not 32X . This problem will soon be solved.

A few observations with very old MD1s :

  • After 5 or 10 minutes of playing, the screen would suddenly freeze while the sound continued.

  • After playing 10 minutes, the image started to shake. The TV seemed to lose the video signal when it didn't.

  • A few complaints mentioned an incomplete box. The cable connecting the MD1 to the 32X was often missing...

Sega 32X document SAV (1).png
Sega 32X document SAV (2).png
Sega 32X document SAV (3).png

You can download the official Sega France after-sales service process for the 32 X (document) below:

French 32 x repair document (SAV)

Procedure, Dreamcast period:

Let's follow the troubleshooting process for a Dreamcast .  There were different levels of similar processes. Let's focus on level 1. This diagram gives an overview of the different steps to follow. Measures to detect possible breakdowns were rigorous. The work of the men in the shadows was impressive.

Receipt of products, therefore defective dreamcasts

Data entry on the NAVISION system

Spare parts stock

Soak Test

Control of failure (s)

Subassembly replacement

Game test with Virtual Figther 3

Sega Dreamcast Q A Testing SAV.jpg

GD C1 test (a checker, I will come back to this below)

Softchecker (a checker, I will come back to this below)

Heater test

Clear memory

Electrical test control

Closing the file

Equipment needed for quality control

1) TV, SCART RGB connector compatible

2) Main thread

3) AV wire (RCA) or RF

4)RGB Scart Connector

5)4 joysticks

6)Virtua Fighter 3 Disk

7) Disk to verify software

8)Closed circuit back lead for serial testing

9)GD C1 Verification Disk

10) AC current / power consumption meter

11)Equipment for insulation resistance test

SEGA Dreamcast Checker SAV.png
Sega Dreamcast Shéma SAV.png

Visual inspection

-Ensure the top is free of scratches or scratch marks

-Open the door (GD-Rom reader) and check its damping movement when it opens, At the same time, check if there is dust.

-Check that the feet are mounted on the lower part  (the buffers below the console)

-Ensure that the underside of the console is free from scratches or heavy scratch marks. Inspect the screws and their dirt.

-Check the fan for the presence of dust. Remove the Modem to see if there is any dust or thumbprints on the metal.

-Slowly rotate the console and listen for internal debris.

- Check the presence and condition of the manufacturers' labels:

1) Serial number and identification label

2) Laser warning label

3) CE label

4) "Warning - risk of electrocution" label

Energy consumption

The console must be connected in normal configuration to the television and all peripherals except the power of the main driver which must be connected in series with an AC energy consumption meter.  In this configuration, the meter and its associated connections are set according to the potential of the main conductor. Turn on the console and check the boot without game inside the console. After a few seconds, the current should stabilize and measure less than 22 W.

Game testing

Once the VM is connected to controller port A, insert the Virtua Fighter 3 game disc. Play in practice mode for 30 seconds and check all graphics, sound and controller response speed by pressing all buttons four times. buttons (absolutely all buttons even analog). Key presses appear on the left side of the screen. Validate graphics stability when changing viewing angles using the analog buttons (analog stick does not work during this test).

GD performance

You will need to exit Virtua Fighter 3 to return to the main console screen. We then inserted the GD C1 which will allow the tests to be carried out. This disk must be used with care because it is the reference disk, if its surface were damaged, the results would be incorrect. It should be checked regularly.

Once the disc is loaded an option menu screen will appear. Option 1 ("C1 Error Check Soft") must be selected. The verification software then scans the disk and displays a graph of C1 errors. "Max" errors should not be greater than 30.

Press button B to return to the test menu screen and select option 2 to begin the 1/3 rd seek test. The "Max" results for the AB, BA test should not be greater than 370 msec.


Software verification

We will turn off our Dreamcast and then replace the C1 verification disk with the GD necessary for testing games. There are 2 different versions of this disc, the "Loop Checker for REPAIR version 2.15" and the "DC checkers for REPAIR version 2.05". Plug in the back cable and test the controllers, turn on the console and let the verification disc do its tests. It will ask you to open the disc compartment, then check that the disc stops spinning within 2 seconds. Close the disc compartment and check that the sounds are heard correctly. Remove the joysticks when prompted to do so. The final screen displays all successful tests against a blue background. Errors temporarily suspend testing and are indicated with a red background. Once the tests are complete, remove the rear cable, check that all the plugs come off easily.


Connect the console to a TV using an AV(RCA) or RF wire to check the signal quality and the reset indicator on the console's serial device. Turn on the console and press the Clear button to turn off the LED. The console should be tested with the Virtua Figther 3 game in demo mode for 2 hours in an ambient temperature of 30 to 50 degrees. The Reset LED will light up if the game is reset. At the end of the test, we must ensure that the console is still working and that the reset LED is off .

Clearing memory

Connect a controller to port A and insert the GD test which will check the software. Turn on the console, press and hold the D-pad to the right and press the X button at the same time to start game verification mode. Once in simple verification mode, press the bottom of the D-pad to select the game. option "ERASE FLS 02" then right and down again to select "FLS 0201". Press button A to activate "CHIP ERASE" which will erase the recorded date and set the language to English. The test is complete when it displays the "PASS" message. We can remove the disc, turn off the console and disconnect it.

Finally the last step, the security test

We will measure the insulation resistance between the accessible parts of the console independently of the peripherals. The insulation resistance tester should be set to 500V, 200Moh, connected between the lead of the test power supply and the insulation resistance tester on the metal cover plate of the Dreamcast which is accessible under a grille located on the back of the console, near the AV socket .

When the Dreamcast is turned on, it is tested by pressing the red button for one second or until the display is clear. The minimum insulation resistance for DC equipment is 10Megohm. The measurements obtained were often results above 200Megohm.

Sega Europe was to be notified of any results between 10 and 200Megohm. In the case of a result lower than 10, the tests had to be stopped immediately (total failure). The unit had to be inspected by SEGA Europe's quality assurance department.

Here we have come to the end of the inspection of our defective Dreamcast . We were able to pinpoint where the failure was. We can therefore proceed to the repair of the console.

You can download the official Sega SAV Dreamcast process (workbook) below:

Sega Europe level 1 repair

SEGA Dreamcast Checker, SAV.jpg

DC.checker for REPAIR Silver version 2.05

Sega Dreamcast checker for REPAIR Silver version 2.05 (2)

A GD-R which was to be used by after-sales services. It allows to analyze in detail the components of the dreamcast in order to detect problems. The version is older than the "checker for repair" just above.

You can download it below:

DC.checker for REPAIR Silver version 2.05

GD Drive Repair Program :


A GD-R that checked the optimization of builds, games. We do not really know when it was to be used either for the prototype or for the final versions during their machining. Some options seem intended for SEGA after-sales service.

You can download it below:

GD Drive Repair Program

DC.checker for Repair V2.15R No SDPS-3 :

A GD-R which was to be used by after-sales services. It allows to analyze in detail the components of the dreamcast in order to detect problems. It seems to me less advanced than the "Loop Checker".

You can download it below:

DC.checker for REPAIR version 2.15R No SDPS-3

Loop Checker version 1.00 No.SDPS-1 :

A GD-R which was to be used by after-sales services. It allows to analyze in detail the components of the dreamcast in order to detect problems.

You can download it below:

Loop Checker version 1.00 No.SDPS-1

You can download the SEGA Dreamcast Service Manual EU below:

Thanks to FX-Man and the association in which he works, LA LUDOTHÈQUE FRANÇAISE , for his help in scanning the document in high definition.

SEGA Dreamcast Europe Service Manual.png

We must not forget the telephone service set up by SEGA Europe , of which here are forecasts for the launch of the Dreamcast . Teleconsultants were not left out.

SEGA Europe Custom Care Service Center

Hours of operation were 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (12 p.m.) Monday through Friday. On public holidays, Saturdays and Sundays, the switchboard operators took calls between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Call volume estimates:
- England, 150 calls per hour or 47% of calls
-France, 90 calls per hour or 28% of calls
- Germany, 50 calls per hour or 16% of calls
-Spain, 30 calls per hour or 9% of calls

These predictions were based on the number of calls received during the Saturn launch.

Part of the documents in the binder concerning Sega France 's after-sales service for the Dreamcast can be downloaded below. I am not in a position to offer all the documents in public. This article was written with reference to this workbook.

Dreamcast folder from Sega France's after sales service Service overwiew
Dreamcast folder from Sega France's after sales service
Dreamcast folder from Sega France's after sales service (Blue)

Thanks to the pen of a friend who wishes to remain anonymous.

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