Sony Electronics Inc Complaint - Sony India Customer Service and USA customer service
TUCSON, ARIZONA -- This is a copy with the private information removed that I sent on the crummy service on one of the most ridiculous run arounds I have ever heard about. I sent this to Sony recently. It needs posting here too for others to see the horrific service I got. In the end they fixed it, I pushed it all the way. I am now letting EVERYONE know what kind of service they have.
Dear Committee Member, and/or Customer Service Upper Mgmt,
I waited almost 6 months to send this letter for good reason, I wanted to make sure the repair actually worked, after all, 2 months after I bought it the main screen on my LCD TV went out. So, I was being cautious, but I must bring matters from the last year to your attention none the less, I wrote this very long letter in September and October of 2007 as it progressed and then I went back and edited the wording to be appropriate in tense to make it grammatically correct. The facts are all there, and they are correct as I wrote this down after each phone call. I request this be sent to Customer Service upper management as well as this involves them too. Also, you may be upset by this letter, but this kind of service is pair for the Sony course I hear from many people on the internet. In all of this I am not asking for any monetary damages, I trying to help you FIX your bad customer service, namely in India, stop outsourcing American jobs with televisions sold in America.:
Hello, my name is "can't post my name here". I am very concerned with the way my Television case (EXXXXXXXXXXX, can't post this here either) was handled at Sony from the beginning right up to your judgment to just repair and not replace my Television when an LCD panel was bad and needed to be replaced. I think there were obvious things missing from your information, and little or no effort was made to ascertain all the facts in my case. There were customer service issues that ran very deep into this matter. I want to show you what you never saw when you made this questionable judgment. I also have not received a copy (and complete explanation as to why I was denied) of this judgment yet, and wish a copy if you have not already sent one.
I know you get requests from people to have their television replaced all the time when something goes wrong. There are many reasons why I understand you may not want to replace the television I own (The warranty gives you that very decision in fact). I am a VERY understanding person, or else I would not have followed all my recourses as I have. I will compliment those who helped me at Sony and just as quickly I will condemn those who made horrible mistakes.
Let’s first look at the TV issue itself. It crashed only 2 months after I bought it, and Best Buy washed their hands of it after 14 days. That brings in the 1-year warranty by Sony for in house service since it was a screen over 30 inches and was LCD. That warranty has been honored effectively (as of this letter the TV has been repaired), and I thank you for your service in that respect. Here is the real center piece of the issue, but not the only mitigating factor. The replacement screen and Sears’s service costs 2428.00 total (2190.00 for the LCD panel and 238.00 for the service). A new TV this exact model at Best Buy costs 1595.00. In this I still have many of the old parts on my TV and it has already been taken apart twice, which means three times minimum to repair it. This means every single piece inside has to be removed and set aside then a new screen put in and then put back together. This happened twice (since the wrong part was not discovered until they actually tried to fit it into the television frame and it did not fit) and this complete deconstruction happened 3 times in the end. The first time they took it apart to diagnose the problem. It makes no sense to me why Sony is spending 833.00 more to repair a TV that has already taken quite long to repair (It took a little over 1 month). Sony did extend my warranty, and I can thank Donna in Ft Myers for taking care of that for me, but I was told this had already happened, when in fact it had not.
I was told my warranty was extended in my last customer service call to your Sony customer service center (800-469-4663). I was told many things that were not true in fact from the call center we all know is in India. This is where all the problems really started, and will be the bulk of the rest of this letter. Your customer service center in India has major issues, and in my opinion should be dismantled and brought back to the USA for American customers as it failed to help me in any way.
I called no less than 28 times to India alone not to mention the other 20 calls I made on this issue with other companies (Yes, that’s 45+ phone calls) and in the end, they did very little if anything to help me. I spent countless hours wasted chasing after wild geese because of them. Let me give you every single example since, this really needs to be seen to be believed. It is really a very sad issue, and should raise anyone’s eyebrows who know anything about customer service. I hope Sony actually cares about the customer, because something must be done about this office in India. I took detailed hand written notes as I made these calls, so their actual authenticity at least from my point of view is crystal clear.
Call #1 – I placed the call asking for service on a warranty television and opened the first customer files on my TV. They took all my information and entered it into the system or at least I thought they were doing that. I gave them my name, address, phone number, television model, problem explanation, and asked for service in my area for in home service. I asked for a complete list of service companies and they said there were only 2 in my area. (It should be mentioned we did do some basic troubleshooting, which I had already done, like reset to factory) I found that really bad, but figured I would try none the less. I asked them if they were sure there were not any others. I also asked for my number since I knew there must be a customer number given in these situations. I was right, and they gave me the number that started this series of phone calls. They gave me Telestar and Ross TV repair. I placed many calls to Telestar over a 3 day period, and not once did they even answer their phone, and there was no machine to take a message. I gave up on them. I did get a hold of Ross TV repair, but they did not do Sony warranty work in home or of any kind. They said they got calls all the time from people just like me, but Sony should not have given me their number. The Ross TV repair man told me they have complained to Sony about this, and none the less they keep getting calls for warranty work, which they simply don’t do. I was then stuck. I had to find a way to get this TV repaired. So, I called Sony Customer Service again asking for help.
Call #2 – I gave them up front my E number, since I knew that should have my previous call information in it. How wrong I was about that. They proceeded to start all over, and ask me all the same questions. Not to verify either, but to actually enter it, and open a new E number. I stopped them when I realized what he was doing. I said to him, I have an E number, I am Roger Linnenburger in Tucson Arizona, This is about the 40 inch LCD TV I bought 2 months ago. We got no where. He wanted every last bit of information from me none the less. Then he started to give me a NEW E number! I explained again and again that I already had called. Finally I think he figured that out, and actually took my E number from me. Then he said, “Oh, you already have an E number.” I said, “I know, I have been trying to tell you this for 5 minutes now!” This is when I explained that no one in Tucson was able to help me. He said Qualxserv did in home repairs, and I could call them for assistance. I said, just call them? Do I need something from Sony to do this? He said, no, just call them. (This was not true, they need a tech support number from Sony and a repair order number from Sony). I got their number and called them. (In the end later I found out Qualxserv does not service Tucson, Arizona.) I did not get to that point because Qualxserv said they needed a tech support number and a repair order number. Of course I had neither. I called India Customer Service back.
Call #3 – I gave them my E number, and once again the person wanted to ask me every single little question about myself to verify, and that took 5 minutes at least. It is possible with an E number and a name to believe you are talking to the right person about the right problem with just 2 or 3 questions. My name, E number and this is about a 40 inch LCD TV would have been more than enough for anyone. Not Sony Customer Service though….They wanted my address, phone number, city, state, zip, description of the problem, and all of that again. (This becomes a repeat thing on every single call!). I got through all of that and explained that Qualxserv needs a repair order number. They would enter that into a computer and Qualxserv would get it in 30 minutes or so. I was to call Qualxserv in about an hour to verify they had Sony’s permission through a repair order. I waited and then called Qualxserv. I was informed right up front they had nothing from Sony, and in fact they do not service Tucson, AZ at all. I was chasing a wild goose. I called Sony Customer Service.
Call #4 – (20 questions about my name, address, E number, problem etc), and then I informed them that Qualxserv does not service Arizona. Who could they get to help me? They said Telestar and Ross TV Repair. I said, “No, they don’t work because….” I asked for another, and even though I just told him Qualxserv does not service Tucson, AZ, he gave me their name. I said, “No, they don’t do Arizona at all. He said, “You must have a Sony Tech Support number to get them to help you that is why they did not help you.” I said, “You don’t understand, they don’t even service Tucson, Arizona, that is why I need another company, and in fact please give me your complete list so that I don’t have to keep calling back.” He said, that is all they have, and that I simply did not understand that I need a Sony Tech Support repair order number and that was the real problem, and that I did not understand that.” I hung up, as this went back and forth and got no where.” I called back later to Sony Customer Service.
Call #5 – (20 questions about my name, address, E number, problem etc), and then I informed them as to why I was calling about not being able to get service on my TV. They gave me the same 3 companies again, and I rejected them again as before, and there was silence for some time. I then was told that I needed to take this TV in for repair if no in home place was available. I was actually fine with this from the beginning, but no one offered that as an option. They said I could take it to Telestar or Ross TV repair. Oh boy, this simply did not work as I have already explained. (I later drove by Telestar a very small mom and pop place with a tiny run down building and their doors were closed and locked during the middle of the day on a weekday.) I think they are out of business now, but who knows. Either way, I asked for someone in Phoenix, and so I called the Phoenix numbers they gave me, which were only 2 places, interesting, Ray’s TV repair, and Qualxserv. Ray’s does not do warranty work and Qualxserv has no office, they do only in home repairs, but not Tucson, and NOT Phoenix. I was getting no where, and I had to call back after learning all of this to Sony Customer Service.
Call #6 - (20 questions about my name, address, E number, problem etc), and then we are off to the problem of finding a repair company in Tucson, Arizona, or in fact would or could I send this TV someplace for repair? No, Sony had no place for me to send the television, they told me that up front. I was stuck, and nothing I could do about it. I expressed my concern that Sony had an obligation to meet the warranty by law. They said they would try to help, and so a long silence ensued. Then I got a cheery person on the line who said all I needed to do was call Best Buy and they would take car of it all since I bought the extended warranty. I informed them I had not bought that warranty since the TV already had a 1 year warranty on it. Best Buy would not help, I had already explained this in the first phone call to customer service. Another long silence. 20 minutes of this, and finally I get a new person. I have to explain the whole thing all over again from the very beginning, and then what do I hear? Call Ross TV Repair and Telestar! I rejected that, and asked again, and again, and then got no where, and frustrated to tears I hung up. Later I called Sony Customer service.
Call #7 – (20 questions about my name, address, E number, problem etc), I finally explained my very frustrated situation and all of that, and begged, pleaded for another number, and I got Telestar and Qualxserv this time. I explained that did not work, and that we had been down this road over and over again. I said, there is a time when you have to help a person. This is that time. Now, you get me a supervisor, and get me some help on this problem. I got a supervisor. They told me that I needed to look at another company in another town that they would approve. They suggested someone in Phoenix this time, and that was fine, even if it was 120 miles away, I was willing to do anything to get this TV repaired. They gave me Ray’s TV repair. OMG!!! I hung up, frustrated again.
Call #8 - (20 questions about my name, address, E number, problem etc), I was able to finally get through and get someone; I had been on hold for a while. I repeated everything in detail and ruled out up front Telestar, Ross TV repair, Ray’s TV repair, and Qualxserv. I said, now, give me someone in any Southwestern city that I can take this TV to and get it repaired. I will take it there and repair it. I got one in Dallas Texas. Qualxserv!! I said, no, that simply won’t work at all. They insisted I could take it to Dallas for repair. I even called Qualxserv and asked them if I could send it in or bring it in person. I was told no, not without a Sony repair order number, of course I never had such a thing, and besides, they only did in home repairs. So I called back Sony Customer Service.
Call #9 – (20 questions about my name, address, E number, problem etc), I really needed some help and it was now the 3rd day since I had started all of this. It was not going well, and would someone please help me. I was told that someone needed to take my case and work with me in more detail, I was put on hold and then a new person came on the line. I asked for help in great detail. I asked for any place, and they said, maybe I should try calling repair centers in my area, and ask around. I said, I had actually called over 15 repair centers on my own (This is HORRIBLE customer service, asking someone to call around on their own!), and none of them did Sony warranty service. I had many more to call, but couldn’t Sony find a way to repair my television. I asked if maybe I could have a company service the TV and send the bill to Sony and Sony would reimburse me, but that was shot down right away as being not covered under the warranty. I understand this, but what was Sony going to do to help me? We are on call number 9 and nothing has been done to help me at all. I have gotten no where at all on this problem. They said they would call me back in 5-10 minutes and let me know. They needed time to research it. I said fine, I will await your call. I made sure they had my number and all of that. They never called back. I called Sony Customer Service about 1 hour later.
Call #10 - (20 questions about my name, address, E number, problem etc), I told them they were suppose to call me back, but they said they don’t do callbacks. What? I was lied to and that became obvious. Later, I learned indeed they do callbacks, but only from US reps, and only under very unusual circumstances. I did get a USA callback later from Donna, the only person who may have actually helped me at Sony. That is NOT related to this callback…. Read on…So, Sony suggested I try someone else. I said who???????? They gave me a number they had yet to give me. I cannot believe it but they gave me Sears’s service at this point! You can only guess they gave me the wrong number and I got nothing but a dead end recording system without any way to leave a message. There is a real Sears repair service number, and in fact later I learned what it was on my own with no help from Sony Customer service and called them on my own after looking the number up on the internet. I did not get to that point right away, and was forced to call Sony Customer Service again.
Call #11 - (20 questions about my name, address, E number, problem etc), and yes I actually had to tell them I did not need to open another E number, and that I was there to seek help. I explained I had called 10 times already, and I meant actually 10 times. They needed to help me, as Sears service was just a recording. They apologized and were nice as always, but nothing came out of any of this. The new number they gave me was the same number as before, and I knew this and they said that is the only number they have for Sears. I dropped the idea of calling Sears at that point. (Something I took up on my own later and made work!) Then I was taken down the path of service I had been on all along, and even though I just told them to ignore all those companies from Telestar to Ross TV repair, we had to battle that all over again. I once again hit a brick wall, and got no help. I asked for a supervisor, and I got one, and then nothing. I mean nothing. I got silence, dead air. This person would not answer any question I asked. If they did they always said how sorry they were, but nothing else. I said what are you going to do? I got silence, and how they must apologize about this and that, and still not a thing. How many times does a person have to ask the same question over and over but get no answer and hear how sorry the other person is for them? I could take no more, and took the time to hang up and call back later. So I called Sony Customer Service again….
Call #12 - (20 questions about my name, address, E number, problem etc), I then asked if the representative on this call could help me locate someone to repair my TV no matter what it might cost me, I just wanted it repaired. It was now 4 days into this mess. I was told 5 Star Electronic Service could help me. I called them, and they do NOT do Sony warranty work and they would not replace a bad LCD screen if that was the problem since a new one costs more than the TV itself. I was forced to call Sony Customer Service again.
Call #13 - (20 questions about my name, address, E number, problem etc), I had no intention of paying for a new TV at this point, and I wanted some satisfaction. Why is it now 13 calls and nothing has happened but me getting run all over the place, and I asked them these questions. I asked if I could talk to an American. They point blank said they were the ones I HAD to talk to no matter what. I hung up. Later, forced to solve this problem, I call Sony Customer Service…
Calls #14 thru #25 -I kept trying to come up with some angle that would get the TV serviced under warranty, and nothing and I mean nothing worked, this time I had a new strategy. (Why was I forced to come up with any strategy? This is the most horrible customer service I had ever seen or heard….and it got much worse….read on…) I thought maybe I could send this or take it myself to California someplace for repairs, so I decided to see what was up in California, since California is only 5-6 hours away from Tucson. I found out about repair places in cities like Riverside. That served no purpose though, as the ones recommended by Sony there were Qualxserv only. Give me a break!!!! Is Sony just playing with me now? Am I a game to these people in India? They must know me by now and are just playing with me….OMG I was ticked, and I had to hang up!!! Later I called Sony Customer Service….it just gets worse….
There were so many calls during this time about service I ran by new angles over and over, so let me skip ahead the one and only time in this long letter. It all came down to Sony running me back to Telestar, and then to some other company here or there that offered nothing for me.
Call #26 - (20 questions about my name, address, E number, problem etc), By now the whole thing had gotten me down, and I was beaten, but not out. I decided to pursue the repair issue with Sears again. I was on track, but still did not know it, and believe me Sony Customer Service in India did nothing to help at all, and once again when I asked about Sears they gave me that same number. It all worked for not in the end, but I decided when I hung up I would call another number I found on the internet. I hung up and called Sony Customer Service later…5 days after the TV crashed.
Call #27 – (20 questions about my name, address, E number, problem etc), I called customer service to ask what I could tell Sears since they do indeed handle warranty work, and Sony should have recommended them in the first place. I was asking only for them to call Sears and verify my warranty for them. Sony Customer Service said they could not do that. What? How do I get this repaired? Nothing. No answer, I mean nothing too! I hung up since they would not talk to me now.
I called Sears at this point for the 2nd time, and indeed, Sears said they understood my situation and had a cure for me. They said I would not have to deal with Sony Customer Service in India any more. They were not right ( I did have to call Sony Customer Service in India later for more help), but they got the ball rolling at least for the first time, and sent a tech out to look at the TV, YES! Action! (Sears did it all in 2 phone calls! Yah for Sears!!!!) (Let me repeat, this phone number came from the internet NOT Sony Customer service. I solved this riddle myself, not by Sony Customer service) I had a repair man in less than a week, it was now Sept 13th and a full week later, and I had not talked to Sony for 2 days. The repair man identified the problem as a bad LCD screen and ordered the replacement part and it took 2 weeks to arrive. I waited 2 weeks, and the part arrived, and Sears called me to verify I would be there to take the service, and sure enough, 2 repair men arrived, and took my TV apart, and brought in the new LCD panel. WOW!!! I was in heaven! (Again, let me be clear, nothing Sony did made this happen, this was all Sears and my doing.) The joy was short lived though. The part did not fit, they had the wrong LCD screen ordered. I was forced to call Sony Customer Service to see if I could get a replacement TV. So, I called Sony Customer Service…
Call #28 – (20 questions about my name, address, E number, problem etc), You can only imagine the trouble I had this time, but let’s not imagine, let’s experience it first hand. Sony said they could not authorize anything. They were not going to get me another panel, another TV, nor an extension on my warranty. They asked to talk to the repairman, and they did for a long time, and it was clear Sony or Sears messed up but Sony was not going to do anything to help in any way. I was told this over and over, and then once again I was asked to hand the phone to the repair man who explained that this whole affair was really bad for me, and that they needed to do something. So, she finally tells me she can extend my warranty 60 days. I was thankful (I should not have been, because she just told me she couldn’t do this, and yet here she was doing it. Later I learned she didn’t do anything at all, and it was just a pack of lies!) So, I asked what about getting a new TV? I deserved a new TV! I said I would wait for a call from a local Sony rep about this matter. The decision was made without even talking to me, something I was suppose to be able to do. I never got to express any of the contents of this letter, and nothing was left for me but to write this horrible letter. For the horrible terrible crummy service, lies, and stupidity I deserved something, don’t you think so? What about all those phone calls? Can you believe I had to make all those calls? I know you don’t, and that is sad, because this all really truly happened. I am a 43 year old professional at IBM, and I don’t tell lies like your India people seem to be able to do all the time. I don’t write an 8 page letter just for sport. This is not funny at all, and I want something for my trouble now! I deserve it! I have bought Sony products all my life, why now do I have this problem? Could it be India Customer Service? Not entirely, you cut me off on this decision right here in America. Anyway, I will now post my closing statement:
In the end, the service at Sony has been beyond horrible, and only Sears has come through, and without them I would be totally left in the dark. I would be forced to file a class action lawsuit to recover from a lost TV. All Sony had to do was have me contact Sears in the first place, not a hard thing to do, but impossible for these people in India for whatever reason. I have been grossly wronged by Sony, but in the end I did get my TV repaired. There was a glimmer of hope from Donna, but why didn’t I get a chance to express my opinion before a judgment was made? I was told by India Customer Service I would get a chance to speak before that happened. Oh, I was told by India, that was a lie, I should have guessed it. Either way, you should have waited to decide until you heard all of what was in this letter. You didn’t care about me, that is now obvious. I will remember this on the web in the future….I know how to web log (Blog)…..I am an expert. Remember, I am a System Engineer with plenty of knowledge and determination. Sony is will figure VERY prominently in future web logs by me. I know about consumer advocate groups, and I use the internet all the time. I will wait and see if this thing ever gets fixed. Why do I not have a new TV? Why? What is the logic in spending 833.00 more than the cost of a new TV? Are you just trying to punish me now for some reason? If I ever got mad in this, and believe me anyone would, then so what, I hung up always before I blew my stack. I called back later, and in the end I got nothing. I hope you sleep well knowing you mess with people’s lives like this. I don’t make a 6 figure income; I work hard for a living, and have spent over 20 years in the computer field earning every battle scar. I really don’t appreciate any of this at all.
One thing, this TV is still a great TV, and Sony continues to lead the market with some of the best TVs, they have only 1 real threat which is Toshiba. Other brands like LG, Sharp, and Samsung are not as well made and it shows. They have customer service issues too, why can’t Sony clean it up?
Still, A VERY unhappy customer,