Two months of Hell, $2000, $600 of software stolen, and still no computer.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- I paid $2000 for a VAIO and extended service plan. I had to reformat the hard drive after 3 months. A month ago it started completely dying. After a week on the phone w/ thugs - the beginning of a truly atrocious customer service experience - they replaced the hard drive knowing that wouldn't fix anything, and the new hard drive started eating drivers immediately, that very day. I need a new computer but they won't replace this one. They told me they would either spend 7-10 days fixing it, i. e., pretending it's fixed, sending it back, and repeating the nightmare, or 3.5 weeks replacing it if it can't be fixed, which they'll claim it can even though it can't. It should be in San Diego now because they were going to call me at 9am yesterday (7/22), but they didn't & forced me to spend 6 hours dealing with every level of customer service and tech thug. They didn't even order the shipping box until too late, so the computer that should be in San Diego today (Friday) won't be until Wednesday because of their utter contempt for paying customers. They also refused to replace my data and the $600 of software I lost when the 'hard drive' 'died' and had to be replaced.
I would even forgive Sony for the lost data and the stolen software if they would just give me my money back, including what I paid for the b. s. extended service plan. For $20 less Fujitsu offers next-day, on-site service for three years, which is a hell of a lot better than jerking me around for 6 days just to get it to the factory, where they will either pretend to fix it and get it back to me, broken, 3 weeks after I told them there was a problem (next-day shipping takes 8 days with Sony, so I'm forced to assume that it takes just as long to return it) or they will take 3 weeks, which is 35 days in Sony-time, to replace it. Never mind that my computer, which was their top-of-the-line model in January, is no longer available, and all their other models are vastly inferior, so either way I'm totally screwed and I won't have a real computer unless Sony refunds my money so I can take my business elsewhere.
The 'laptop' (which is perpetually too hot to be placed on a human lap and therefore cannot function as a laptop) came with a defective GPU. Sony knew this GPU was defective last October, 3 months before I bought it: http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1016502/nvidia-sticks-names-cards-hopes-notice Essentially, these defective GPUs break apart and release tiny metallic beads during normal use, and especially when exposed to the dangerously high temperatures which this particular 'laptop' reaches after a few minutes of being turned on. The beads irreparably corrupt every corner of the interior workings of the computer. Of course, they are still playing dumb. This is not surprising, since being rude, jerking people around, playing dumb, and providing nothing but fraudulent products and services are all Sony has ever given me any reason to believe they do. Apple, HP, and Dell have taken responsibility for their mistakes and replaced all the defective computers, while Sony has continued cranking them out, turning what was probably an honest mistake into pervasive fraudulence and unscrupulousness. Sony just keeps on victimizing as many people as they can to the maximum extent that they can get away with it. That's Sony Style!
If itâs their intention to be the shadiest, creepiest, most dishonest, most evil, rudest, most intentionally incompetent, most sadistic company possible â and it clearly is â thereâs not a single thing they could possibly do better. The only solution at this point is to get my money back and buy a Fujitsu, or sue them, then get my money back, and buy a Fujitsu.
Update: Sony's still jerking me around and my shipping box still isn't here, 5 days after I asked for one, so I've contacted a the BBB.
Update II: It finally shipped off at 5pm on 7/27 and will be in San Diego on the 29th, only 5 days later than the terms of my bogus extended service plan unequivocally guarantee.
Update III: They claim to have fixed it, but this is obviously just a ruse. Being Sony, they assume that they're dealing with a brain-damaged five year-old who fits Einstein's definition of insanity, which anyone who has ever had the misfortune of dealing with their tech support or customer service reps will recognize as projection. They dropped a new hard drive in it, even though doing that a month ago fixed nothing. It cannot be repaired, since a busted GPU with beads which have broken off and infected the whole system contaminate the whole unit beyond repair. They're trying to drag this nightmare out as long as they can and continue to victimize me as much and as long as possible. Resolving this seemingly still has yet to occur to Sony. They also violated the terms of the extended service plan by sending it 2-day shipping. The extended service plan guarantees overnight shipping both ways. They obviously did this for the sole purpose of getting in another 3 days of gratuitous abuse for some kind of sadistic thrill they get out of doing this. It's supposed to get here at 7pm on Friday. Absolute scum. Like they're not still getting a call bright and early Monday morning demanding an explanation as to why it doesn't work, why it immediately started eating drivers just like the hard drive they jerked me around with a month ago, why every part of the interior workings is still irreparably infected with broken-off GPU beads, why it's still a serious fire hazard, and on what planet they get to violate the terms of their own extended service plan, including the basic claim that they will repair or replace it (they can do neither -- a full refund is the only solution at this point), the guarantee of overnight shipping, and the 'no lemon' policy, which is clearly some sick joke.
Oh, and Hank in customer service, an insufferable tool who has the nerve to alternately be condescending and pretend to be brain-damaged when pressed to do anything or give a straight answer, got annoyed that I dare tell the world what they're doing to me, so he wrote the owner of this website -- replying to an email from me, from the ironic email address 'sonylistens@am. sony.com.' Seems to me and I'm sure any thinking human being that if Sony actually 'listened' they would not bend over backward to avoid the customer at all costs, but they have a consistent history of doing that too, whether it's tech support reps claiming that the phone connection is bad (on just one end?) or making and breaking phone appointments like Paul in customer service. Stay classy, Sony. You're just making this worse, but that was obviously always your intention. It would be nearly impossible to make a case otherwise.
Update IV: (7/31) I got it back today, now with broken USB port! How they managed to break the only thing that actually worked is beyond me, and I still have no computer at the end of the day. Because of the asinine design of this thing it cannot be used without a mouse, and since I'm right-handed I have to put the USB thing on the left side, which no longer works. So I would have to wreck my mouse just to use this thing. The touchpad works fine, but because of the setup it must be disabled in order to facilitate typing, so even having it enabled makes using the computer nearly impossible.
It will probably be at least three weeks from the time this thing died before I get it back, which is two months from the time Sony knew the GPU had completely trashed it.
Oh, and my '3 year' extended service plan is a scam. It's only active from January 2010 to January 2012. That's 3 years to Sony. That was their excuse for shipping it 2nd-day in violation of the warranty, anyway, and the tech I talked to tonight said that they had every intention of violating my warranty two more times before I get it back! At least they're diligent in their fraudulence and thuggery.
Update V: (8/7, 25 days after it died completely, 57 days after I made it clear to Sony that the entire thing was destroyed from the inside-out by the defective GPU, 10 months after Sony knew that this would happen) Despite the fact that the service center itself unarguably broke my computer for some sicko-pervert thrill they derive from abusing people, I just called them, and they have not taken it out of the box, 2 full business days after Fedex says they received it. I talked to Michelle and she told me that they would likely continue sitting on it for several more days, despite the guaranteed 6 days of just waiting for shipping plus the weekend to which they've subjected me for their sicko-pervert psychopath kicks. That's right. They intentionally sold me a garbage computer, jerked me around for 8 months, stole $600 of software, broke it on purpose to screw me, consistently violate the terms of the $300 extended service plan by shipping it 2nd day, sat on it for two days to screw me, and told me they would almost certainly just sit on it some more just to screw me, before once again intentionally breaking more things that weren't wrong with it when I sent it in, which I am forced to assume is the purpose of the service center: to waste people's time, break their computers even more, and be rude to you when you call. There is not one single thing at this point that Sony could possibly do which would make them one tiny bit more despicable than they have proven themselves to be over the last 6 weeks of horribly screwing me, day-in, day-out, which, at this point, they could only be doing out of sheer sadism. Even a stopped clock gets it right twice a day. Sony does not.
Update VI: (8/10, 26 days after it died completely, 58 days after I made it clear to Sony that the entire thing was destroyed from the inside-out by the defective GPU) I just talked to them today. I got a hold of some semi-big-wig through their Google Finance page. She said that she would make some calls and they stopped sitting on my repair after 5 days, finally. They also denied that there was anything wrong with the USB port, the camera, or the speakers -- all the hardware that the repair center broke themselves, on purpose, to screw me. They also apparently broke the DC adapter before someone started holding them to some standard of accountability. That was perfectly fine before I sent it in. They fixed the speakers, but nothing else, and only because I was insistent that they were crap, which they are, but weren't always. At least, that's the message I got from the guy I talked to. He insisted that the camera was also fine, even though it was totally wiggy in Google Talk, iChat, and Skype. They apparently rely on their diagnostic tests, the same ones that indicated that my computer was a-OK the very day that it died completely and needed half the software replaced just to get it to turn on.
They also shipped it back legally, i.e., overnight, per the terms of my $300 extended service plan, for the first time, which was good. But if the USB port is broken the whole thing is still 100% useless and the guy was pretty clear that they weren't fixing it. I am willing to log in once without a mouse on the lefthand side, and only because that's necessary once and only once. After that, no lefthand USB port, no computer at all. It's completely useless garbage. They wouldn't even admit that it was broken. I have two mice, both of which worked in the righthand USB ports and the garbage computer I'm using now, but not the lefthand USB port. He kept arguing that 2+2=5 with me, basically. The repair center outright refused to fix the USB port that they themselves broke on purpose to screw me. They wouldn't even admit that it was broken. Despicable monsters. At least now it's irrefutable that it cannot be repaired, since the repair actually breaks hardware and then refuses to even admit that it's broken. They will have to refund my money now that the repair center has screwed me so thoroughly. They should call it the 'destroy center' or the 'deny center,' since that's what they're actually in the business of doing.
Update VII: (8/11, 27 days after it died completely, 59 days after I made it clear to Sony that the entire thing was destroyed from the inside-out by the defective GPU) As predicted, the computer came back, with everything that I sent it in for not fixed, and with 3 new compatibility issues. There was nothing on the invoice about a broken USB port, even though I was very clear with Andrew at the repair center that no USB port means no computer at all. They will be refunding my money, but it takes about two weeks, and knowing Sony, that probably means 6 weeks if they don't screw it up three times before getting it right, which they probably will. As soon as I get a check for the full amount of the computer and the fraudulent extended service plan I will consider this resolved and take down my complaint.