Sony Warranty
May 25, 2004 9:32 AM   Subscribe

Major Sony warranty problems. My friend purchased a laptop on May 14, 2003. For some time it had random reboots. I told him to call Sony, which he did and they told him to reinstall Windows, which he did. This did not solve the problem. On May 16, 2004 (2 days after the warrant expired) I called Sony to tell them they never resolved the initial problem. They told me that in their records he called in for a "NTDLR missing", which may have been one of his problems reinstalling Windows but he definitely called in for the random reboot (or he would never had reinstalled Windows). So of course when I call in on May 16, describing the problem Mr. English-As-A-Second-Language insists that it's a different problem now occuring, and won't talk to me at all without charging me. (Gasp, breaking my own rule, more inside).

So I assume, after ruling out power supply problems, that it most likely is faulty RAM. I take it into a local mom & pop place and ask them if they can switch out the RAM and see if that helps. I figure an $80 RAM replacement is better than dealing with Sony and could save my friend major hassle.

Several days later I receive a call back from the mom & pop place and they tell me that the whole motherboard needs replacing at around $800, and tell me that it's probably not even worth it. I agree, and right now I'm about to head up on there with my friend and take the laptop back.

Ok so now what do I do? Obviously Sony should be at fault as they did not solve the problem, but how do I convince them otherwise? My friend has kept detailed records of every called made (thank god) but if their records say the problem is different, and refuse to talk to us, there's not much that can be done. I'm close to calling, being mean, arrogant and an asshole so that they'll cave in. I'm hoping for a more civil way of dealing with this.
posted by geoff. to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Let them know of the wonderful advertising you are providing their service policies on MeFi.

I can add my tale of woe, albeit with a Sony Ericsson T-610 cellphone.

The Phonebook has a bug that makes it fail to dial. Alot. This is not limited to my phone. All t-610s have this issue (I've had 4 in 5 mos).

Their response: "We know about it. We're working to fix it. But its not a bug and we have no idea if and when it will be fixed."

posted by Fupped Duck at 9:43 AM on May 25, 2004

I don't know where you live geoff , but if you have problems with guarantees and Sony is refusing to help without charging you may want to consult some consumer associations who may help your with the local legislationd on guarantees : if the defect was never entirely removed my wild guess is that the unit is still covered by guarantee, unless your friend signed somewhere that he recognized the defect was gone.

That's just a wild speculation on this problem, but at worst the laptop remains broken , at best you learn more on how to defend yourself by consulting consumers associations.

On a tanget: I too have complaints with Sony , I own 2 Sony TV sets and they're very nice et al ..but one of them randomly reboots every now and then and the other has some startup issues ; unfortunately both the problems started after guarantee expiration ;(

I mean..Sony does very nice things, but in my experience they rarely are reliable units.
posted by elpapacito at 9:59 AM on May 25, 2004

I'd love to tell you to call back to their tech support line and fight with them and eventually get them to fix the problem, but the reality is:

You friend is hosed. Sell the old laptop on Ebay for parts to cut your losses and buy a new one.
posted by falconred at 10:31 AM on May 25, 2004

You must submit the problem in writing. Registered snail mail.
posted by trharlan at 11:54 AM on May 25, 2004

I say go last resort with the asshole tactics. Make sure they know you're not going to take 'no' for an answer. These people are paid to endure you, and either help you, get money out of you, or dump you, so why don't you work em hard?
posted by armoured-ant at 7:54 PM on May 25, 2004

I used to work for Sony, and I dealt with a lot of warranty repairs.

What you need to do is talk to a supervisor. Call, ask for a supervisor, then ask for one of the customer care specialists based out of Florida. They have Authority, and they can do anything. Also, they're really nice guys, unlike most of the first/second line phone folk.

Assuming, of course, that the support/warranty structure hasn't changed since I worked there.
posted by Jairus at 12:13 AM on May 26, 2004

Update: Thanks Jairus that's what I did. What's really frusterating is they pretend or actually don't know what "I want to talk to your supervisor" means. So I had to explain the problem for the nth time and then he told me that it was out of warranty, etc. Then my boss was there and started talking about going to the consumer protection and latent damages and the guy put us on hold for some time. He waited and goes "I will put you to the second level of support".

An obvious English-as-a-first-language person came on the phone. They basically go "Yeah you called in at February, the case file doesn't make sense, those people are inept just fax us the receipt right now and you'll be taken care of"

Last time anyone involve buys Sony. Happy ending but it was way too much work.
posted by geoff. at 5:10 PM on May 26, 2004

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