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Doing Business With Sony Is Just Dangerous! - Backstage/Post-Purchase Service Is Dissatisfied
Posted by on
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 [snip], 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!
     
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Don't buy a Sony VGN-SZ680 laptop
Posted by on
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.


     
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Mtn453 on 2009-01-08:
Sucks about your Sony as it sounds like you are one of the 3% who gets a lemon. Anyway, you not making your deadlines for your schoolwork is your own problem as you could have used the school Library or computer room an access point. Maybe graduate school was too hard for you and your trying to use Sony as a scapegoat?
the_frito_bandito on 2009-01-08:
That's what you get for believing that more expensive equals better quality. As a graduate student, you should be familiar with research and could have looked up reviews before purchasing. I did and purchased an HP laptop with the works at Sam's Club. I've had it for over a year and have not had any problems. As for not meeting your deadlines, you have no one to blame but yourself. Seeing you did not have your laptop, you could have gone to the computer lab to complete your assignments.
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To Reship Or Not To Reship
Posted by on
I purchased a customized Sony Viao 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 low 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 right 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" where 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 customerservice 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.
     
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Anonymous on 2008-04-03:
How come the first shipment never made it?
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Why Is It Almost Impossible to Buy a Ps4 ?
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
UNKNOWN, OHIO -- I cannot believe the business model you have chosen to sell your ps4. I have been trying for two months here in Ohio to find one to purchase but because you have chosen to ration them out in a ridiculous drip drip drip fashion, I, a 63 year old grandfather cannot get one for my grandson. This practice of, get one if you can is beyond idiotic. Older Americans, such as myself, aren't going to camp out for days, ruin our Holidays, to fight off teenagers for a product that is rationed out .Are your ad and distribution people all teenagers?Who came up with this promotional abortion?
     
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FoDaddy19 on 2013-12-13:
They have sold over 2 million of them in a little over 5 weeks. I'm sure Sony would like to produce more if they could. The PS4 is being sold worldwide, and it just so happens that right now demand is outpacing supply. Prehaps you should've pre-ordered one several months ago before the unit went on sale.
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Worst Customer Service Ever
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
FORT MYERS, FLORIDA -- Worst customer service of any company I have ever dealt with. I am about to send my camera back for the 3rd time! The first time they didn't even work on both issues I told them about. They continue to not listen. About a month after responding to me once, they sent the same exact response to me again! At the beginning they didn't even respond to me at all. They refuse to give me a refund and (until today) have not even acknowledged the fact that I have asked for a refund about 4 times now.

They completely ignore customers requests and refuse to compromise on issues. The time Sony and I have spent on this lemon of a product has far outweighed the cost of the item.
     
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Unable to Deliver
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
On Thursday March 21 I decided to order a product from Sony. This product was the Walkman 262 series. My other MP3 player had broken and I looked for something that I could purchase in a pinch for my workouts. I placed the order on the 21st and purchased the extra expedited delivery. The description of the expedited delivery is..."Delivery WITHIN 1 business day following shipment". They didn't process this order until the following day. The 22nd. then shipped via FedEx. Only problem is FEDEX doesn't deliver on the weekends. But UPS does!!!!!!! The product will not be delivered until the 25th which is a Monday! UMMMMM, I believe this is 2 BUSINESS DAYS!!!!! I paid for the extra, and Sony REFUSES to own up to it and REFUSES to refund my expedited shipping costs. I am a business owner.

If I don't deliver a product on time, the customer is ALWAYS right and I admit to my fault, and meet the consumer half way. Sony DID NOT! I will Never buy another product from them.
     
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Anonymous on 2013-03-23:
Saturday is not a business day, regardless if UPS delivers on Saturday. UPS only delivers on Saturday if your willing pay a hefty price, and the reason is because IT IS NOT A BUSINESS DAY. Monday-Friday are business days. You ordered on Thursday, the order was processed on Friday and will be delivered on Monday which is the next business day. So your wrong. It is not 2 business days.
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Worst Return Experience Ever!
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
LAREDO, PENNSYLVANIA -- Bought an action cam from Sony, I mean its Sony, what can be wrong with this multi-billion dollar industry right.. So, I decuded to return it for a refund. Sent it to Sony Consumer Direct Return Center in Laredo, TX and it got there on March 4th, 2013. 10 businees days later I called to ask about my refund because Sony says it takes 7-10 business days after delivery.

I called 16 times and every time I called, I spoke to a Philipino person with zero skills of help to my issue. Finally after 16 calls, I spoke to another Philipino and he finally told me that those a**holes in Laredo, TX, just acknowledged my item Today, on March 16, 2013!!

I will NEVER buy directly from Sony ever again, I'd rather go to Amazon and deal with them than those useless Philipino people in the Philippines!

So lets see if on Monday I will get my money back or will I have to file a dispute with Chase.
     
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trmn8r on 2013-03-16:
They have your return - I'd calm down and wait a few more days. Filing a dispute with Chase makes little sense at this point, because Sony acknowledged they received the item which means the return is progressing.

You're probably right - returning something to Amazon might be easier and faster than to a manufacturer like Sony.

ps There is no such thing as a "Philipino".
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Damaged Sony 300 CD Changer
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
I purchased a brand new Sony cd changer in the box for my son which was in Iraq. When he arrived home we gave it to him. It would not play and I contacted Sony and they gave a hard-luck story telling me they could not do anything because the 1 year warranty had expired.

I further told Sony our son just arrived home from Iraq and it was just taken from the box and will not operate at all. They could have cared less.

Do not purchase Sony products, for they are junk and are not reliable. We thought we purchased the best for the money we spent for this new unit.
     
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DebtorBasher on 2012-09-28:
First, I want to thank your Son for his service to us!


I can understand your side of this...however, Sony can only go by the purchase date and not the date the product was actually given.

The best thing to do in this kind of situation, is to open it and test it out to see if it works when you buy it, if you're not able to give it as a gift right away. I know, you may not want to give a gift that was opened, but being it was for your son, I'm sure he would have understood if you explained you tested it out to make sure it worked.

THOMAS AULT on 2012-09-28:
BUYING A NAMED BRAND ITEM, WHO IS GOING TO TAKE IT FROM BOX TO CHECK IT OUT.NEVER HEARD OF SUCH A REMARK!YOU ARE PURCHASHING A SUPPOSELY TRUSTED
BRAND!
trmn8r on 2012-09-28:
I'm sorry, but Sony did what I would expect them to do. This is why it isn't a good idea to buy things and leave them unused. Sure, they should work, but things happen.

I have a garage door opener that I bought 4 years ago, and it is... sitting in the box and I operate the door by hand. I'm going to put it up one day and pray that it works, but if it doesn't I'm going to be out of luck.

Thanks to your son for serving our country. We as a country don't pay enough attention to our service people.
DebtorBasher on 2012-09-28:
Well, Mr. Thomas Ault...I said if you purchase the item, but you're not going to give it or use it right away...it makes sense to test it out to make sure it works. It doesn't matter if it's a 'supposely trusted' named brand or not...and this complaint is proof of that.

Now, stop yelling and ...yes, I accept your apology...have a nice day.
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Very Very Poor Customer Service
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
MINNESOTA -- I bought this phone online. It worked fine for 3 months and then it started having problems. I've emailed the Vendor many times on information regarding the International Warranty and was told to contact Sony Ericsson. I have talked to them many many times and they keep saying that they can not repair the phone since it was from Hong Kong. They couldn't even give me the contact information on where to send it to be repaired. I paid $170.00 an no one will give me the information I am looking for. The last call I made to Sony they gave me an E-mail address in Hong Kong, but when I went to use that, it didn't work. Now I'm back to where I started from. I've never had to deal with such incompetence in my whole life. You would think Sony merchandise is Sony merchandise, no matter where you purchase it from. They should be able to repair it or at least give me the information I need to use the International warranty on THEIR product that I was offered.
     
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frak on 2012-06-22:
I'm sure this won't help, but your complaint prompted me to do a little research. I found this article about why cell phone companies don't honor international warranties. It's an old article, but may still provide relevant insight into your problem. Link:

http://texyt.com/mobile_cellphone_international_guarantee_warranty

A quote from the article: "Grey market phones are common on eBay, and at some of the more dubious stores. But if you bring a cool new phone home from your trip to Hong Kong, then you too have joined the shadowy ranks of the gray market importers."

Another (long) quote: "How to understand your mobile warranty

"If you look at a typical product guarantee agreement, it may appear that you can get warranty service anywhere in the world. There's a hidden catch with many warranties. Your agreement is with a local subsidiary of a multi-national company. So you must return the product to that local subsidiary's service centers. Of course, that local subsidiary doesn't have service centers in other countries. In other words, Nokia USA is not the same company as Nokia Finland, and your agreement with one is not an agreement with the other.

"But wait! Have you spotted the obvious loophole here? International mail. Couldn't you just mail your phone to a service center in the country where it was purchased.

"Well, sorry, mobile phone makers have though of that. You can't mail the phone to a service center. You, the original purchaser, must carry it in personally. (Actually, another person might be allowed to take the phone in for you; service staff will usually turn a blind eye to this – just don't try mailing it, you'll probably never see your phone again). You should be aware also that Motorola service centers are particularly strict about wanting to see documentation like a warranty card or purchase receipt."

Anyway, I'm sure you know this already, but here's a link to Sony's customer service info, complete with an online chat feature. Your specific model is listed. Link:

http://www.sonymobile.com/us/support/contact-us/

Good luck!
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Poor Quality Televisions
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
Poor quality-extremely substandard product and terrible customer service. We have purchased two TV's in the last 2.5 years costing over $4.5K and they both are out or almost out. We first purchased a 60" Sony SXRD five years ago. Spent over $2300 for it. A class action lawsuit was filed and won. Unfortunately, our TV did not have problems until after the extended period. Sony customer service will not do anything. TV is totally out now.

Our newest TV started having issues when it reached 2 years old. We spent $2000 on this TV. The screen started being black on the left hand side. After about 15 minutes it would clear up. Now 3/4 of the picture is black when you turn it on and it takes almost 30 minutes to clear up. TV Salesman all know the problem exists and there are complaints all over the internet. Somehow Sony has no knowledge and will not do a thing.

Do not buy Sony's substandard products. Used to be a loyal Sony purchaser. There was a time when you didn't mind spending more for a Sony product because you knew it was a quality product and the company backed up their products. Now Sony stands for substandard and horrendous customer service.
     
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