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Sony TV Update

December 23, 2009

Wow, about 3 hours after posting my initial rant on readyandreach and on twitter about my broken Sony KDL-46XBR4, a Sony rep from their international customer service department called me.  Another rep quickly sent me a message via twitter.

The rep that called said he would help me out and make sure that I was taken care of.  He then asked me to fax the receipt to him, which I did.

The next morning, I received an email from the Vice President of Customer Service for Sony telling me someone would be contacting me later today to help me out.  He assured me that I would be taken care of, if not, I could call him on his cell phone at any time if I was not satisfied as he was leaving in a few hours for his holiday vacation.

A half hour after his email, the manager of National Customer Relations called me, acknowledged my fax, apologized for the situation I was in and provided me 2 options: 1. Repair my existing tv at no charge, or 2.  Send me a refurbished tv.

By the end of the call, Sony agreed to ship me a NEW KDL-46XBR9 with full manufacturers warranty free of charge.  If I had problems beyond the warranty, I could call that rep personally and she would try to assist me (she left me her number).  In exchange, I agreed I would not disclose the VP’s personal phone number and agreed to send them the bar code on the back of my existing tv as they wanted to take that tv’s serial number out of their system.

I can’t wait for the new tv.  All in all, I am very pleased with the outcome.

If you have any problems with your Sony products, I suggest you try to contact them over the phone, if they can’t help you, I suggest you drop them a line over twitter.

Now I can go on buying Sony products knowing that if anything goes wrong, they are going to do their best to take care of me.

Thanks, Sony.  Much appreciated.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Dan permalink
    September 3, 2010 9:30 pm

    “… accepting this offer, you agree to release and hold harmless Sony Electronics Inc., and its affiliates …” This is the e-mail that Sony sent to me a few days ago.
    I bought for $1,900 in June 2008 a KDL46V4100 and 15 months later, the picture began to fail. Sony sent a flash drive saying it could be the analog to digital conversion. It took a lot of discussion with a Sony rep to get an e-mail from them; once I did, I sent them other Sony products that I purchased in the past. A professional-grade Sony CCD-V220 video camera and a Sony Handycam. At first they were offering, with a lot of discussion, to pay 50 percent of the $1,400 repair, but the serviceman, a gold service repair place by Sony, says it needs two additional parts because the original panel is no longer produced. The new repair estimate is $2,200! Sony called to tell me they will only pay $900. And offered me again, two new sets, one at $1,100 and the other at $925. According to their own authorized repair guy, he says the TV is defective. But the Sony reps don’t care to hear this. And now they’ve given a week to decide. Like I have this kind of money just laying around! These reps have little respect for the people they talk to on the phone!

  2. December 24, 2010 11:21 am

    I have been, for a very long time, a loyal and enthusiastic fan of Sony and Sony products. However, I am the exact same problem with my 52XBR4 and an even worse experience in the way Sony is not standing behind their product and supporting me, a valued customer. If you have any additional information you could share, such as specific names and contact information for escalating my issue to a higher level within Sony, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Over the years I have purchased a plethora of Sony products, including multiple XBR televisions. These products easily represent over $10,000 of my discretionary spending, not to mention the friends and family that I have successfully encouraged to purchase other myriad Sony products.

    Early in the spring of this 2010, my beloved 52” XBR4 began to display very odd behaviour. The panel would shimmer and flicker, and display vertical lines. It looked something like shifting and flashing bar codes overlaid on the programming. This was obviously distressing, but after a few days it stopped. Since any service technician would need to see the malfunctioning behaviour to make a diagnosis, and the TV was no longer acting this way, I didn’t really know what to do. But when I came back from my Thanksgiving holiday just a few weeks ago, this flickering behaviour was back, and worse than ever.

    At this time, I called Sony support, and got a Event ID. Their recommendation was to take the TV to a local Sony dealer for a diagnosis and service. The man with whom I spoke, who gave his name as “Dexter”, but sounded distinctly Indian in accent, told me once I got a formal diagnosis, to call back and Sony would “see what they could do” to help me out. This was not very reassuring, but I followed his advice, not having any other course of action, at my own time and expense. The dealer told me I have a “bad LCD panel” that will cost $2,713 to repair. This is after having paid close to $4,000 for the TV just three years ago!

    Let me be clear: I expect products to last a reasonable lifetime, and to be supported by the companies that manufacture, market, and sell them. As this 52” TV was Sony’s top-of-the-line XBR unit, I expected it to give me at least 10 years of perfect service, if not twice that many. Though I am not wealthy, I put great value on quality in all the products I purchase top-quality items for aesthetic, as well as performance reasons. I believe this is why I have always been a loyal and enthusiastic Sony customer. I thought Sony shared those same aesthetic and performance expectations with me.

    When I called the Sony support line back to report the result, the young man to whom I spoke checked with the dealer to confirm my diagnosis, and then informed me that Sony was not repairing these sets as it was no longer ‘cost-effective’. All he could do was offer me a discount on one Sony model. I told him repeatedly this was not an acceptable option, but he wouldn’t budge. I implored him to speak with me like a human being, and to break out of his ‘script’, but he would not do so, nor would he connect me to a supervisor or superior. He was polite, civil, and completely useless.

    Apart from offering me no assistance with the repair, Sony could have offered a new XBR TV, or perhaps a voucher to use toward the purchase of a new TV. Any of the three would have been worth consideration under the circumstances. I am greatly traumatized by having such an expensive product, and one which I use every day, and with which I have been so happy, be reduced to a $3,800 pile of junk. My concern and trauma has been further exacerbated by Sony’s unhelpful and wooden customer relations.

    I have no idea what to do at this point. I’m disappointed, dispirited, and I resent the way Sony has treated me, after the time, money, and enthusiasm I have spent on Sony products over the years. Product quality and customer support are the most important things in consumer products. My experiences over the last four years suggest that Sony has significant problems in these areas.

    • effectivepull permalink*
      December 27, 2010 7:32 pm

      Sorry to hear about your problems, Kraig. I hope things work out. I poured pretty much all I know into the post. Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

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