What a miserable experience - especially from Sony. This reader was purchased as a Christmas gift from a "Sony" store in the USA. I was assured by the sales manager that it would be compatible with international voltage (it was) and the warranty would also be covered internationally (it wasn't). I gave it to my wife on Christmas day and it failed 1 day later with a message that its memory was being formatted and locked up. Prior to its breaking down I was syncing the free books available for download from Sony once the product is registered.
The Sony touch reader seemed to be well built with an aluminium case and was a convenient size and weight. It is quite new only being introduced in October 2009. That's the end of the good stuff. I started by fully charging the unit per instruction manual, and then turning on the unit and read a book included in the memory. The first feelings that I had was the awkward position of the page turning buttons as I am right handed and they are positioned on the bottom left. This was even more awkward as I purchased a leather cover with light to hold the unit and the left hand cover further interfered with the page turning buttons. Inconvenient.
You can also use the touch screen to turn pages but more on that later. I also didn't like the clarity, brightness and contrast of the screen. The first thing I tried to do was adjust the contrast but there is no function to adjust either the brightness or contrast, or for that matter, no ability to reverse text/background colours. What you see is what you get. Very disappointing as I found the text tiring to read and because of the low contrast, it seemed slightly out of focus. Sony says the screen is meant to be similar to a books paper and text, but when holding up the page of a book next to the screen, a book has a much whiter background and is far easier on the eyes.
In low light conditions, like lying down and reading on a cloudy day it became uncomfortable to read text, while reading a paper book was no problem. The touch screen (I am used to an Iphone) is also poor. It requires a little bit of a heavy hand to use it. Screen protectors are a must as you really have to push on the screen, and the Sony screen protectors are expensive and further reduces the quality of the image. I would not recommend the Sony e-reader just for these problem areas, but there is more.....
After registering the Sony reader on their internet site, I downloaded the free books. Then I tried to synch the unit with the software provided through the USB port (the software and drivers are automatically installed when the unit is first connected to the USB port on the PC). It took almost an hour to synch the 100 or so books downloaded!!! Soooo slow!!
Then I tried to sync a further 25 downloads from the Sony website and then CRASH! The unit locked up and refused to even power off. Then a message came up saying that the memory was being formatted and then it would power off. End of. I could never get out of this problem and Sony UK support said it was defective.
Now starts the real problems. As mentioned the Sony Touch e-reader was purchased from a Sony Store as a gift. We travel extensively and bought the unit in a store in Boston. We were assured that the unit would work with all voltages and that the warranty would be covered in any part of the world where Sony did business. Well, apparently, Sony is not necessarily Sony. It turns out that Sony shops are owned and operated by others, and are licensed to do so from Sony.
So back in the UK, I called Sony support and was told that I would have to take the unit back to the store in Boston, 5000 miles away, as the warranty didn't apply in Europe (UK in this case). I explained that this was a SONY product and the product is no different from any other one sold internationally.
Now I was talking to Sony HQ in Wokingham when told this and as the Sony stores are not operated by Sony there was no possibility to exchange the defective unit in the UK (or elsewhere for that matter). But it's Christmas I told them!!! Sorry said Sony. End of story. Apparently Sony is not Sony in many cases and Sony the Company refused to support it's own product!!!! So here we are going on our Christmas holiday without the Sony Touch e-reader. How disappointing it is to give someone a gift for Christmas and have this happen!!!!
So rating the product on its merits as an e-reader, I give it 2 out of 10, and for Sony support, a big fat zero. I am so angry about this I am tempted to write a paragraph of expletives, but instead I will never buy a Sony product again. What has happened to Sony that used to have a reputation of quality products and support????? I now own a very expensive Frisbee.
??, INDIANA -- I sent the below response to ** on Wednesday and never got a response. The agents assured me once again that the disc would be at my house yesterday and “a shocker” it was not there. Can you please help me? At this point I just want you to send me 3 Bluray players that will run my Netflix and send a return box and I will send the 3 I got back to you. Just so you know I am copying as many people as I have to until I get assistance and something done.
** I have tried to find someone to talk to regarding my experience with Sony. Here is my story: I purchased 3 Sony BDP-2100 Blue Ray players at Walmart at Christmas for my children. When I hooked the 3 blue rays up I could not get Netflix to work on them, so I called your customer support and they were very polite and helpful. They told me that the blue ray player needed an update and that they would have to send me a disc to do the update. (We did not have a computer that would download the update) They told me it would be 7-10 days.
I waited and then had to call back because they didn't arrive. The next agent said they would resend it and it would be 7-10 days. Again it never came, so I called back in. I was then told it would be here by yesterday (1-28-2014) for sure. Well it never arrived so I called back again today. I asked to speak to a manager because at this point I am requesting to send the 3 blue rays back to Sony and they can send me 3 blue rays that work.
Agent - ** told me that I could not speak to anyone, but eventually agreed to file a complaint. Which I have no idea if that was done. I have been calm and pleasant through this whole experience until today. Can I please get something done? The reference numbers I have been getting is **.
Other notes: Walmart will not take the items back because it is an electronic and past their return policy time because I have been waiting for Sony to follow through. The agents have been very nice and polite like I have been with them because I know it is not their fault. I just can't get anything done and as a consumer I can't use the product I purchased. Just frustrated! Please help!!! Thanks!
LAREDO, SOUTH CAROLINA -- Horrible customer service!!! I sent a clock radio / iPhone docking station in that failed within a year of purchase and was still under warranty. After a month of not hearing from Sony I called and was told the model I had was no longer available would I like to pay an additional $75 to get another model. I only paid $50 for the model I had. I declined and the representative said he magically found a like model at another facility and would express ship it.
Two weeks later no clock radio. I called again. After three phone calls a lot of wasted time and refusal to pay Sony any money for a replacement model they offered me $29 to buyback the broken clock radio. I was so fed up with the whole ordeal I took the $29 refund. Probably be at least 6 months before I ever see the $29 if I ever see it. Total time it took to even be told a check is in the mail - 38 days!!!
WORLDWIDE, NEW YORK -- I needed to ship a Sony recorder for repair. It took me an hour the first time to get thru to the right person, in whatever country. He told me he was unable to give me the address where I should ship it, but he would email me a shipping label. The email came, but no shipping label attached. Which led me back to making phone calls. (incidentally their web site is worthless for making contact). 2 weeks of waiting on hold, I finally reached 2 different reps yesterday, both of whom promised to send me the email with the shipping label. Never happened.
I purchased a 46" Sony Bravia May, 2011. Like so many others I was fooled into thinking that Sony made good products and would back up any lemons that slipped through quality control. At first the picture would "blink" black, then after a minute or two everything was fine so I just thought it needed warming up. But it got worse. The screen would turn completely neon green, then fuchsia, then green/black vertical stripes, then fuzzy snow. This problem would last anywhere from 1 to 45 minutes, then all would be fine until three days ago. Now the picture comes on for one second, then the screen goes black and the picture NEVER returns.
I started contacting Sony customer service within the first month - first via online chat which was totally worthless as it was staffed by someone who seemed completely unknowledgeable who advised me to take out the surge protector and simply plug directly into the wall as if that would cure the problem. I lived with the problem for another two months since at this time, the picture would come back within minutes. When it got worse, I called Sony customer service on August 10 and after being put on hold for a very long time, I was told that a repair tech would be out on August 16. I waited and waited.
When I called the repair company, I was told that a part had been ordered but it would be 2-4 weeks before it was in. I then called Sony back to complain about this delay and suggested that they should simply give me a new TV. This person said that he would have the repair company call me on the 19th to discuss the situation. I never got the call.
On September 13, 5 weeks after the part had supposedly been ordered, I called the repair company only to be told that the part was not in and that it had not been shipped. So now I call Sony again - 20 minutes on hold - to complain. This person told me that the part had been shipped, but I explained that I had already spoken to the repair company, so he put me on hold again while he called the repair company. Then he transferred me to another level of customer service. This time I was promised that I would be getting a phone call on either the 15th or 16th from a Sony representative who would offer me some "alternatives."
I responded that one of those alternatives better be a new television to be delivered immediately. Keep in mind that my television is only 3 1/2 months old and has NEVER worked right. As you might have guessed, I did not receive the promised phone call. So I am now absolutely convinced that Sony simply trains their customer "service" people to stall and stall until the warranty is out. Being a retired school teacher I cannot hire a lawyer but I will certainly do my best to spread the word: STAY AWAY FROM ALL SONY PRODUCTS!
SONY LAPTOP HINGE FAILURE AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN! I spent months getting someone to honor this warranty... They FINALLY gave me a Check for 1/3 of the cost that I paid for replacement and the hinges on it too broke in less than a year. I purchased an extended 4 year warranty ~ WHICH IS WORTHLESS ~ DON'T BUY ~ I paid to have them replaced and they just broke again and again...
My $4000 laptop is now held together with duct tape. I have since learned that the hinge failure is a known defect which they can not seen to correct... Most of the time it makes the entire screen go black. Below is some of my futile correspondence. DO NOT BUY A SONY LAPTOP!
Thank you for your e-mail today regarding my warranty problems with my computer issues. I purchased a SONY VAIO LAPTOP from your COMPUSA Store in JACKSONVILLE, FL in July of 2006. I wanted the top of the line laptop available at the time along with a full warranty. I paid a ridiculous amount for both but because of my business I needed to be covered. I have now been without my laptop for several months. As you know this is a long time in business hours. As promised following is a short summary of my experience. If you need my conversation logs with employee #'s etc. I can provide those.
SONY VAIO LAPTOP MODEL NUMBER: PCG8W1Lor (vgnar290g), Service tag # **. The two most recent incident numbers given to me by your tap repair department are **. Shortly before Thanksgiving of 2008 I began to have problems with my Sony laptop that I purchased from CompUSA in July of 2006. Prior to that date I had experienced other problems but had not attempted to have it repaired. I had purchased an extended 4 year warranty. I was told by the sales person that it covered anything that could possibly happen "even if the computer was run over by a truck" and "including the screen" which he seemed to think I may have a problem with.
I contacted COMPUSA and was told that they would send me out a box to return the computer. This never arrived. I called again and it never arrived. Finally after the third attempt I finally received the box and returned the computer on 12/31/09. On 1/12/09 the computer was delivered back to me unrepaired. The notes said it had physical damage because the hinge was broken. This was one of my initial complaints, the screw came out of the hinge because the plastic that it was screwed into stripped. The hinge was not broken. They said that voided the warranty.
I called Assurant and they said they could do nothing. I called Compusa and spoke to managers **. They said that was ridiculous and that they would send it to another company and make sure repairs were done. I shipped it back for repairs on 1/14/2009. I had heard nothing as of 1/23/2009 so I called COMPUSA again and spoke to SUPERVISOR **. She said that it was once again being returned unrepaired because of "physical damage". I debated with her and she agreed to call BLUERAVEN and authorize repair and it would be expedited.
On 1/28/09 I called BLUERAVE AND COMPUSA. I was told that BLUERAVED declined to repair and it would be returned unrepaired. I called back yesterday 1/29/09 and asked to speak with manager ** again and encouraged her that to try to resolve this issue. I explained that it may be simpler to just replace the computer because the cost to do this would be far less than paying legal fees to respond to a lawsuit. She agreed and said she would conference call with ** and try to take care of the matter.
This morning 1/30/09 I received message from ** in customer service that they had been authorized to make me an offer. I called back to talk to ** but was forced to talk to a girl with a heavy accent named **. ** said they offered a "potential" check for a "potential" amount of $1679.00 / or a "potential" replacement with a "potential" Sony VAIO vgnar750e/b. She said they could not tell me the actual amount of the check or the actual replacement computer they would send me until they received my computer back. Then the supervisor would make a determination.
I receive my computer back unrepaired an hour ago. It seems that now the left hinge is completely unattached. I documented condition with photographs prior to return. I have spent hours on the telephone. The extended warranty should have covered everything that was wrong with my computer.
At this point I would be happy to except a refund or replacement with a identical or better product. I would appreciate being given some time to try to transfer my files from my old hard drive to the new one before returning the old computer. I can only do this if I have the new computer first before I return the old one. I assure you the old one will be returned.
Please let me say that I appreciate your personal communication. I am sure that you have felt the frustration of dealing with non-responsive, non-caring companies. It makes no sense to me when companies spend thousand on advertising to gain new customers, only to alienate them with bad service. If this is the fallout from this terrible financial situation then we may have accomplished something as a country. Your help is appreciated.
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: **. 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 it's their intention to be the shadiest, creepiest, most dishonest, most evil, rudest, most intentionally incompetent, most sadistic company possible "and it clearly is". There's 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 ** 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 ** 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 ** 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.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- The following message is the Corporate News I found regarding Sony Backstage service (which is not true... please continue to read my recent experience with it after this corporate news): "Backstage is a great example of our commitment to providing the highest level of personal service and support," said **, a Sony Style vice president. "No matter what your level of knowledge, this service will simplify computer buying and maintenance through one-on-one assistance from VAIO product experts."
The service includes complimentary product consultations and personal tutorials, as well as expert advice to help people find the VAIO PC that best suits their specific needs. Backstage representatives are also able to assist with facilitating both in- and out-of-warranty services, such as troubleshooting hardware, and repairing or replacing components and products." In November 2008, I purchased SR series laptop from Sony Style. In addition, they convinced me to purchase Backstage and explained me many benefits about its Backstage, so I spent another $100 for it. As of today (March 2009), I have found a few problems with Sony laptop.
Last week, I have scheduled an appointment to have Sony's Backstage specialist to look at my laptop. And, this past Saturday, I brought my laptop to Sony Style where I bought my laptop, and it locates at Orlando, FL (Millennia mall). When I stepped in the store at 12:30pm, people who worked there did not even greet its customer; finally, someone, the assistant manager, asked me do I need any help (her eyes were not looking at me, and at the same time, she was trying to find other things - very rude).
I told her that I have an appointment with Backstage specialist; then, she called him. I explained my laptop problems (some minor problems, such as sometimes I cannot find network to connect to the Internet, cannot print documents as PDF, laptop takes a while to shut down, and what is the "C++ RunTime Error")to him, and I told him that Runtime Error problem has been fixed itself after a month or so for some reason, but just for future reference, if it happens again, I would like to know how to fix it. He asked me to leave my laptop there and will return it to me at the end of the day.
So, I was window shopping for a few hours and I decided to check the progress, so I went back to the store. He did not work on my laptop, and he was doing something else. I was still patient and gave him a few more hours. Around 7:00pm, I went back to the store. He was out for dinner, and store assistant manager just grabbed my laptop from the back office and returned it to me and asked me to sign the paper. I asked if I could know what caused these problems and I would like to know if it happens next time how can I fix it. She was not friendly and impatient, and she said "well..he said your laptop is good to go. I don't know. Oh~well, he is on his way back and you can ask him". I said OK.
When I spoke with Backstage specialist, he had ice cream on his hand. And, he was rush going into the back room. He just told me "I deleted some of your stuff to make the computer shutting down faster and other problems have been fixed." I asked him what caused those other problems, he did not answer it. Then, I check my computer performance, he really did NOT fix any problems, instead, he asked me to send my laptop back to the manufacturer; however, they might not fix the problem and will send it back to me!!!"
He did not teach me how to solve any problem I mentioned earlier. Then, he went in to the back office and leave me and the store assistant manager outside. Assistant manager was especially unfriendly. She talked without having a smile. This is a very unpleasant experience with Sony. I spent my whole day in the store (since I live far away from it, it's impossible for me to go back home and pick it up later), but I got nothing fixed. The Backstage costs $100. It is definitely not worth $100. Sony's employees have different attitudes to people who are about to purchase and people who come back for post-purchase service.
On Saturday, I also brought my friend's Mac laptop to Apple store, all I can say is Apple store's customer service is great! My friend purchased Mac laptop online (not even from Apple's online store), but they are willing to fix the problem and replace a new cover for FREE. Everyone in the store are smiling and greeting customers! At first, I did not like Apple a lot, now I love it and will do business with Apple instead of Sony! Customers do not have to spend money to get yelled at or be ignored by store employees.
Again, before you purchase BACKSTAGE, please think many times before you do it. Otherwise, you will regret it. Remember, before you purchase products from them, they always smile to you, but when you come back for service, you'll see their different attitude!
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA -- Thinking of buying a Sony Laptop? Don't. I purchased a brand new Sony Vaio VGN-SZ680 laptop on August 4th, 2008, in addition to a three-year warranty for over $350. I spent more on this computer than I ever have on a previous laptop (all of which were Dells), because I had heard great things about Sony products and wanted to buy a "top-of-the-line" product for graduate school. I had heard horror stories about how difficult law school is for first year students, and thought that by purchasing a more expensive laptop, I would be spared any additional stress from computer issues. My calculation could not have been more wrong.
Just over one month after purchasing the computer, on September 9th, I contacted Sony about the blue screen fatal errors that had been occurring roughly once per day for the previous week. At this point, they sent me a box and I shipped my laptop to the service center in San Diego. I had to remove all of my files from the computer and then reinstall all of my software and drivers upon receipt of my computer roughly a week and a half later. At that point, I assumed that the problem had been fixed. It had not.
Within a day of using my returned computer, the same blue screen error occurred. At that point, I called Sony and spent over an hour being passed from one technical support person to another, and then was promised a call back from a person in a supervisory role. Later that day, I received a call from a technician in San Diego who told me that he would try to access my computer remotely to better assess the problem.
Because his server was down, after around 45 minutes on the phone he told me that he was unable to access my system and would call me back in a half hour. I waited for his phone call and he never called. After an hour and a half, I called him back and left a voicemail, which he did not return until the following day. I then had to restart the process of being passed through several Sony representatives, and finally was told that someone would be sent to fix my computer onsite.
I was able to arrange an appointment with a local technician, who spent several hours replacing the motherboard and then returned the laptop to me. Six days later I experienced the same error again. Not only did the error occur again, but then my computer would not turn on. Each time this error occurred, I lost data and, more importantly, I lose a tremendous amount of time. I spent nearly an hour and a half on the phone with several representatives at Sony that day. I was told that I could send in my computer for a 3rd attempt at repairing it, which meant that I had to go without a computer for another two weeks.
I find it unconscionable that Sony would not take better care of its customers – I spent almost as much of my first semester without the use of my computer as with it. To say that I am dissatisfied with my experience with Sony would be a tremendous understatement. I had deadlines to meet with my schoolwork that I have been unable to complete because I did not have access to a computer, and because I spent approximately 15 hours dealing with the repercussions of my computer not functioning correctly.
I requested a full refund of my purchase and was told my request was denied. I then requested a brand new computer, as I paid full price for a brand new computer and having it “fixed” three times (in the first 2 months) equated to my getting a refurbished product. Sony denied this request, despite the fact that I did not buy a refurbished product. It is clear that I bought a lemon. Don't buy a Sony Vaio.
I purchased a customized Sony Vaio laptop in the first week of March via credit card and also purchased a warranty for the computer which is a separate order. The computer was shipped out a week later with my correct address and correct zip code, however, it never made it to its destination so it headed back to Sony. As I found out, I quickly contacted Sony and the deliverer about the package. I wrote emails explaining the circumstances, and Sony responded with them resending the package as soon as possible. They just needed authorization. But lo and behold, Sony does not resend undelivered/undeliverable packages.
The consumer needs to make a new order. I called customer service and asked about my computer that was supposed to be delivered. They responded and said that we don't deliver items returned. And that they refunded the expense back, 7-10 business days, it took 12, the warranty apparently takes even longer, and it was purchased the same day, same time.
I talked to some customer service agents (low end of the totem pole) and explained what had happened and tried to get an explanation for why they wouldn't send back the computer. The first agent told me that it was in a warehouse but didn't know where (liar). His supervisor told me that I would receive a delivery coupon and that was it. This wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have a child, depend on a personal computer to get school work done and if they would have told me about the no resend policy before now.
All the supervisor said was "I apologize and that I (he) understands, but that is all I (he) can do, authorized to do." So I asked to speak to another person higher up. He said that he was the last person that could be reached verbally, but if I wanted to write a letter, considering that I live in Hawaii, would be the only way. So it would take even longer for me to get a response via mail then it is worth it.
So I called back the next day, keep in mind every conversation was longer that one hour, and basically all that was said was "I apologize and I understand." It is like they do not really need to know or say much to be a supervisor. So I called back and I talked to a man with a thick Texas accent. He was polite and told me everything that I had already heard, sort of like a broken record. Told him the same as I told everybody else. Single parent, ordered computer 3 weeks ago, sent back, talked to Sony customer service, response was promising, money was refunded, package unsendable.
I just didn't and still don't understand why it is so difficult for a customized computer to be sent back. That supervisor was still going in circles with the same crap, "I understand and I apologize, but it is our policy, we don't send back reshipped packages." I asked him to call me the next day if he talked to his boss and could do better besides the free coupon. He called back and left a message, he said he would call back later that day, nadda.
I called the next day and the same was expressed, nothing changed. All they told me was to make another order. I told them that I couldn't because I was using my credit card and that the transaction has yet to be put back on my card, so I still couldn't order a new computer from Sony nor any other company, so not only did they not send me my computer but I couldn't even order a new one.
They apologized and understood my predicament, but still insisted on giving me a free delivery coupon. Then I asked if I would have had it engraved (an option that is free) would it have been redelivered to me. They said yes. I was still trying to figure out what the difference was between engraved and not engraved, but I guess if it engraved you will get the article no problem, but cannot sell it back later down the road. Don't get it engraved, you might not receive it, but if you do receive it you can sell it back.
I was telling them because all the "supervisors" were trying to tell me just to make an order and they will ship it out, no hurried assembly, just free shipping. So I was stuck between waiting another ~2 weeks for a package that I already been waiting for for 2 weeks, plus the week it took to assemble, but it is already made, but to save money they are going to make another similar computer, doesn't make any sense. So now I am going on to other paths to talk to higher individuals. No letters, I don't know that last time I actually wrote and mailed a letter off. Not fast enough.
School is almost over, a month and a half left, still a father and still no computer, and still no time to spend after hours at school. It is impossible and still am between a rock and a hard spot, because the retransaction electronically is taking longer than 7-10 business days for both warranty and computer.
So no matter how many times Sony customer service tell me that they can reorder it, I don't have the funds and time is very valuable. But Sony doesn't care. They are a multi-billion dollar industry that thrives on consumers, but pays no attention to their needs, no matter how simple they are. Sony will just apologize and say that they understand. Perhaps they apologize for being useless and they understand that they are useless.