Sony Sucks,
Sony Cameras Suck,
Sony Warranty Sucks
and Sony Customer Service Sucks

A tale of one man's descent into consumer hell.

Sponsored by Sony Electronics

Sony used to be a symbol of design and quality.

This changed drastically, and since I was being an ever slow learner, Sony was able to take advantage of me many times before I finally figured this out.

So after years of being a dedicated Sony consumer, I will never buy Sony again as I have learned that Sony Sucks.

Here is my story.

August 27th, 2001 Purchase: Sony DSC-S70 w/ five-year warranty
(bought used from photographer friend).
2002-2003 The lettering/icons on the camera body fade and eventually disappear.
The camera lens starts only coming out intermittently.
I send in for warranty, and:
1) They claim they can't reproduce the lens problem (though it's easy to do)
2) They claim that the disappeared lettering is not construed as "damage" by their contract, so they don't have to fix it.

I decide not to fight it since I eventually need to get a new camera.

April 13th, 2005 Purchase: Sony DSC-L1 w/ 3 year replacement warranty.
June 27th, 2005 A scant two months later, and one day before I'm leaving for a big Europe trip, the joystick on the L1 stops working.
I tell Sony the situation and they say they have to decide if they will repair or replace the camera. I explain that it's only a couple of months old and I need a camera the next day, they are unsympathetic. I decide to just send in the camera and then take the loss and..
June 27th, 2005 Purchase: Sony DSC-T7 w/ 3 year replacement warranty.
I decide to get the camera that I was coveting when I bought the L1. I figure I'll play with them both and just sell whichever I like least when I get the L1 back.
August, 2005 I notice that the two piece sliding lens cover on the T7 is starting to separate before I've even used the camera. I call Sony when I get back from my trip and tell them that I need to get it fixed but I need the camera (I'm still waiting to get the L1 back). Sony says "no problem" as long as I send it in before the warranty expires. I trust them.
May 3rd, 2006 I finally decide to get the T7 fixed so it's ready for my next annual Europe trip. I send it in.
May 23rd, 2006 I call Sony to ask them why I haven't gotten my camera, they tell me they'll call back.
June 6th, 2006 I call Sony to ask them where my camera is and why they won't call me back. They don't know why they never contacted me in over a month, but they want me to know if I want to pay for the repair because they're refusing to fix it, claiming that it's customer damage. I explain to them that the two pieces are pulling apart and the only way I could have caused the damage is if I pried the lens cap apart with an exacto knife.
I assured them that I had not done that. They were unsympathetic. I talked to a manager, he suggested getting the camera back and sending it to the other Sony repair center to see if they'd fix it. I begrudgingly agree and ask for the return of my camera.
June 24th, 2006 I call Sony repair to ask them where my camera is. They don't have any reason for why they haven't sent it back. I tell them that to ship it to me in Europe (it still takes photos) and they agree. Fortunately I am wary and bring the L1 camera which I still hadn't sold.
July, 2006 The T7 camera arrives. It's partially disassembled and missing screws.

This is actually what they sent back to me. For real

Shocked, I tell Sony what happened, and the manager agrees to expedite the issue at the new repair center that I'm supposed to send it to. Fortunately I still have the L1 to take photos.

August 12th, 2006 I send the T7 camera to the new repair center.
August ?, 2006 I call to ask where my camera is. Sony seems unable to pick up the phone to ever give me status - I have a working cell phone and a working answering machine.
Spoiler alert! Throughout this entire ordeal, the Sony repair center returns my calls exactly zero times, though the Sony manager calls back occasionally.
Anyways, the work order changed, and they're still working on it.
September 1st, 2006 I take my backup camera (the L1) to Burning Man. Halfway through the week it stops working. The motorized lens cap won't open. What is it with these flimsy lens coverings?
I decide not to send it in until the T7 is back and fixed. I don't want to add any confusion to the already incompetent repair staff, so I'll wait till the T7 is resolved.
September 7th, 2006 I finally receive my T7 camera. The case has been replaced.
Unfortunately it's been replaced with a broken case. The new problem is that the shiny new lens cover can't close all the way.

Oops! Another broken camera sent to me!

I borrow a camera to take a photo of the newly broken T7 and show them online to the manager. He sends a box and says that it'll be expedited so I get it back soon (we're only running around 3.5 months for this repair).
September 15th, 2006 I call the manager to ask where the box is. I'm not kidding.
September 18th, 2006 They email me a shipping label. Actually they email three and then cancel some of them. After I finally figure out which one to use, I ship in the T7 camera.
September 25th, 2006 I leave a message with the manager asking where my camera is.
I'm not kidding.
September 26th, 2006 Here's where I have ask you, dear reader, to have a measure of faith in what I write. I have trouble believing this story myself. The manager calls me to let me know that the camera arrived at the repair center on the 22nd, but now they can't find it.
No really, they lost my camera. The newly broken one. The T7. The one that I've sent in three times, not the one that I've sent in once and is sitting at home broken.
He tells me that they have to run a trace and then they'll send me a new one. He doesn't know how long this will take.
September 29th, 2006 Both Sony and UPS wake me up with phone calls to tell me that they are going to spend 1-8 days trying to figure out whether:
A) UPS lost it. UPS will send Sony a check for a replacement unit and Sony will send a replacement.
B) Sony lost it. Sony will send a replacement.
I point out that:
C) I don't give a damn who lost it, and I've been waiting on this repair for almost a half a year.
So I suggest that:
D) They send me a replacement now and figure out who's to blame on their own time.
UPS says that the last time it was scanned was somewhere in Texas (I think it was where the service center is located)
Sony tells me "we'll look into it" which can be translated into english as "1-8 days."
October 9th, 2006 I get tired of waiting for my T7 to come back and decide to start getting the L1 fixed. I call the warranty company and they have no record of the warranty on the L1. Now I have to dig out my receipts... Is this for real?
October 9th, 2006 I call Sony to see what status is and they tell me that the last status they have is for the 18th.
It's been almost two weeks since the camera was lost on the 26th. I leave a message with the manager and demand that they send back my camera or a replacement.
October 10th, 2006 I call the service center and they tell me now that UPS will claim that I never shipped the item if they ask them about it.
So I get her to call UPS and it turns out that UPS has no problem admitting they lost it. So the service center offers to send me a different camera as a replacement (which they don't even have in stock). The replacement is thicker than my camera, which was $499 and the top of the line ultracompact at the time (the sole reason I purchased the camera). I tell them they can replace it with that and they refuse. They also refuse to replace the $90 3 year replacement warranty that I purchased but haven't used.
After some deliberation, the service person tells me that she can offer a refund of the purchase price but not the $90 I paid for the 3 year warranty. She makes the mistake of bringing up the fact that the camera isn't even under manufacturer's warranty anymore, which I angrily explain wasn't the case when I first sent the camera in back in May.
She asks me to fax the receipt and she will find out if they can refund the full price I paid.
October 11th, 2006 The service center calls to tell me they can send a check for the purchase price, not for the warranty. I tell them to send the check, I'll deal with the warranty separately.
I leave yet another message for the Sony manager asking him to call me back.
October 16th, 2006 Supposedly a check is coming. For some reason they are unable to cover the money I paid for the three year warranty that has also been lost. I'll figure out what to do with that later.
October 19th, 2006 Allegedly in 1 week after 10/25 I'll get a check for ~540. We'll see.
November 13th, 2006 Only a couple of weeks late the check arrives! I'm still out the money I paid for the extended warranty - not sure if I'll fight that or not. First I'll deal with broken camera #2.
November 21st, 2006 Sony sent me a customer satisfaction survey today. That's hysterical! I wish there was a column after "unacceptable"
November 21st, 2006 Time to deal with the DSC-L1 problems now. They are going to contact me once they find a replacement.
November 28th, 2006 No replacement found. They are going to send me a refund of the purchase price, this time completely neglecting sales tax and neglecting shipping. Again with the lameness. We'll see how it goes.
December 2nd, 2006 They call and give me an address to ship to:
National Returns Center / Dept 50 / Building 12A South / Ogden, UT 84404
December 6th, 2006 Wow. The comedy continues. The address they gave me was incomplete. UPS can't find their company.

But it gets better. It turns out that when Sony called me to ask me to send in my camera, it was actually the department that had the T7 contract (why they have multiple companies dealing with warranties on the same product is beyond me). Evidently they forgot that they had lost the T7 and sent me a check last month. Retards. So when Sony called asking me to send in the camera, it was the wrong Sony asking for the wrong camera. Thank goodness they didn't give me a complete address, otherwise I probably would never have seen the camera again - after much conversation with UPS on the phone, I convince them to ship it back. More wasted time and money.

December 15th, 2006 I pick up my L1. I call the *other* Sony Warranty company that has the L1 warranty to ask why they didn't contact me (and the wrong people did). They claim they made repeated attempts to contact me. Both of my phone numbers work and both of them have voicemail. Does anyone at Sony know how to use a phone?
Supposedly the claim was closed due to inactivity.
January 13th, 2007 The check arrives. I'm screwed out of sales and shipping, but it's over, about two months later.

Update 2007/07/24: Sony has become a spammer! Sony purchased one of my email addresses that I only used with a now defunct dot-com and sent me SPAM on it. This company needs to be put down.

Newark Star-Ledger, 12/3/2006:
Pat Dori, 49, of Hackensack, N.J., was mad as "Dell Hell". He sent his malfunctioning laptop computer to Dell Inc. for repair, but they lost it, he said, and would only agree to replace it with a refurbished model with an inferior warranty. Every time he called, he'd have to explain the problem again from the start. "If you try to speak to a human being on the phone, you're stuck on hold forever," he fumed. "I am sick of it! If they have kiosks, you can sue them." That was the key to his plan: a local mall had a Dell kiosk, so he sued the company, and had the legal papers served at the local kiosk, rather than to the Dell corporate offices in Texas. No one from Dell showed up in court to answer his lawsuit, so the judge awarded Dori $3,000. Only then did Dell take action -- they appealed, hiring a law firm to fight back since Dori now had the legal right to seize assets from the kiosk. But once news of the fight hit the newspaper, Dell quickly settled with Dori. "God only knows how much their legal team cost them," he said, finally satisfied.

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