It appears that Sega has shut down it’s long running customer support line 1-800-USA-SEGA.
From the days of the Sega Master System, through the Genesis, Sega CD, Sega 32X, Saturn, Dreamcast and beyond; Sega’s toll free hotline has existed for customer support.
The hotline offered different things through the years: troubleshooting, game release information, tips, live game counselors, and more.
Among the cooler of offerings on the phone line, Sega would offer customers mailed hint sheets for games. You can find an archive of the SMS hint sheets here and I know they continued to do so through at least the Saturn’s time, having seen such sheets for Shining the Holy Ark.
Even after Sega discontinued the Dreamcast (which they offered troubleshooting for on the line long after), the hotline still provided at least some minimal support for current and upcoming games they were publishing.
At the risk of painting myself even more of a Sega dork than evident through this nearly 20 year old website, I would personally call the hotline from time to time. Usually once a year or so to see what was on it. It felt like a relic of earlier times and, in the age of widely accessible internet access, I suppose the amount of calls Sega received were likely very minimal.
It appears as if I’m not the only one. Searching around online, you can find other individuals who called the phone line frequently during different time periods. One would assume that a few posters had developed crushes on the friendly female staff. The idea of a specific customer service agent leaving an impression on someone decades later is amazing. Just think: what was the name of the last phone rep you spoke to when your internet went out? Yeah, I’ve no idea either.
1-800-USA-SEGA even appeared to have inspired this work of zine fiction depicting a young teenager’s dream job of abusing customers, drinking on the job and masturbating on the clock for minimum wage.
Sadly, it seems like the phone line’s life has come to an end. As for when exactly the hotline closed, I could not find any information, although it appears to be fairly recently. Sega still lists it as a source for customer support on their website.