SONY Doesn't Repair Your Laptop For 3 Months, Accuses You Of Warranty Fraud

UPDATE: We Post, SONY Replaces Long-Languishing Laptop

Daniela writes:

I purchased a sony vaio notebook 3 years ago, and about 1 year ago I purchased a sony $500 extended warranty. One day my computer was giving me a “blue screen” so i called sony to have a technician to come check it out. After canceling on me 2 times, mixing up dates, and rescheduling, I finally had a technician from Sony come check it out. He spent about 20 mins with the computer 1 on 1, and came to the conclusion that it was a failed hard drive (as did the other technician from my PC support at work). I was told to send in the computer, which I did with the box and information they provided me with. Soon after, I was receiving repeated emails from Sony telling me my estimated repair cost was $500.00. Surprised, considering I was under an extended warranty, I called Sony to clear the confusion…

I was transferred from one representative, to the next, told to call this number, transferred back to the previous number and so on, until I finally received help. We finally cleared the confusion, they apologized, and I thought I was on my merry way. Until the next week, I got emails daily giving me my ‘estimated cost’ of $500.00. I called in again, went through the same routine, and was told that my computer was fixed that exact morning and it was being overnighted to my house.

About 3 days later, I still did not receive my computer, so I had to call in again. This time I asked to speak to a manager. I told her my situation and said that the computer has physical damage, it is obvious that it was dropped, that the computer doesn’t even turn on and that there is nothing they can do. That night i spent 5 hours on the phone with Sony. Ashley, their supposed supervisor, hung up the phone on me 3 times that night, screaming into the phone, accusing me of warranty fraud (whatever that is).

Sony had one of their technicians here at my office with the laptop, if there was such obvious physical damage, why would it take 3 months to figure that out? Moreover, I sent in a computer that was giving me a blue screen, and now they’re telling me that it doesn’t even turn on. She went on and on about a scratched mouse pad and a small dent on the side and said that these damages could have severely damaged the mother board and/or hard drive.

In any case, I finally reached a normal supervisor by the name of Karen, who told me she would look into the situation and try to clear things up. Three weeks later, Karen is nowhere to be found, doesn’t return phone calls, and my computer was mailed back to my house WITHOUT repairs.

I’m sorry to take up your time with such a long story, but even this version has cut out hours of being put on hold and transferred an infinite amount of times. Sony is a well known name that should be ashamed of such disgusting, misleading, uneducated, confused people working for them. Even worse, to have a supervisor hang up on a loyal customer 3 times is completely unforgivable. I am not sure how far I can go with this case, but I would like to somehow get the word out there. Sony does not stay true to their word and did not honor my $500.00 warranty.

Screaming, that’s real professional. Sounds like Daniela needs some TLE, tender loving escalation, and hopscotch over these nimnorks. We recommend choosing one of two routes, either the EECB (executive email carpet bomb) or calling executive customer service. Here’s some executive email addresses we put together for you to send you complaint email to:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

If you’re going the executive customer service route, call 858-942-2400 and ask for the office of Stan Glasgow. Here’ what to say once you reach his secretary.


Edit Your Comment

  1. homerjay says:

    Warranty Fraud?? Is that like skin failure?

  2. chemmy says:

    Skin failure. LMFAO

  3. brent_w says:

    *Obligitory comment about how much I’ve always hated SONY.*

  4. Sounds like a technician dropped a laptop and is now trying to hide it.

  5. evslin says:

    $500 for a failed hard drive? /facepalm

  6. Ouze says:

    On a side note, if it really is your hard drive, you can score a new one for $150 or so. Not that you should have to pay when you’re under warranty, but if you have to send it away, have no laptop for however long, and know the new drive is going to be substantially larger anyway – might want to call it an upgrade.

  7. giantnegro says:

    I’m paranoid, but I clone and replace laptop hard drives every year and desktop drives ever two years. A dead drive is just too much of a hassle for me to ever risk. It also allows for significant storage upgrades as HD prices drop!

  8. ColoradoShark says:

    Sony lost my business after they refused to fix my daughter’s MP3 player. I assured her Sony was a quality outfit so she bought one from them for $300.

    The left channel stopped working after 10 months. Sent in for warranty repair. Repair center claimed the headphone jack was broken due to abuse and wanted $200 to fix it. Escalation did not help. I said no. When they returned it, I opened it up and found one failed solder joint (not on the headphone) and fixed it. It still works more than a year later.

    So, after a life time of buying TVs from them, starting from money I saved from my paper route, I don’t buy anything from them. No big screen TV for the basement, no stereo, no PS3. My kids won’t buy from them either due to the bad treatment from the repair center.

    Hey Sony, good work on saving money on the warranty work!

  9. starrion says:

    It went in for service. While in service somebody dropped it and then “lost” it. When it was recovered it had new paperwork indicating it didn’t turn on.

    Now it’s her fault.

    This probably happened at the repair center that Sony contracted the work to. Sony doesn’t have more information other than “It’s her fault”.

    EECB- Bomb bay doors open, Sir.

  10. ExGC says:

    @ColoradoShark: I’m with you ColoradoShark. I had a nasty service experience with a CLEO personal organizer a few years back – was accused of breaking through “rough treatment” when in actuality, I treated it like a delicate piece of electronics. Prior to that, I defaulted to Sony for my electronics needs – TVs, stereo equipment, clock radios and anything else I needed that they made. Not since and never again. I’ve bought 3 flat screens, 2 laptops and several cell phones since. Each time there was a Sony (or Sony Ericsson) model that was in contention and each time it lost – solely because I remembered that SOB service rep.

  11. stageright says:

    Typical Sony. When I worked there, we were trained to deny warranty repairs any way we thought we could get away with. Internal FAQs contained bold faced lies (for instance, we all knew there was a design issue with the VGN-FJ series, because we were all taking 3-4 calls a day about a specific screen issue. The internal FAQ on the matter? “Only results from physical damage.”. Excuse me? How is it that 40% of the notebooks in that series have that issue? They’re all damaged?) and we were told to never give out the escalation information.

    That was all BEFORE they outsourced it all to Mexico and The Filipino support centers. I’m sure it’s much worse now.

    • Carly Foreback says:

      @stageright: And here I’d always wondered whether CS was deliberately lying to me or were just really incompetent. My problems were caused by Spybot S&D which is malware, my ass.

  12. BlondeGrlz says:

    @brent_w: Ditto on the Sony hate.

    I’ll never buy a Sony anything again after my digital camera stopped working two weeks out of the 1 year warranty, and when I called to ask about repairs they told me “Well of course it doesn’t work, those cameras are only designed to last for a year.” Next time I’ll just buy an actual disposable camera for $2.99 instead of a Sony for $200.

  13. mikesfree says:

    This is consistent with everything I have read about Sony’s warranties. I don’t know anyone with a good experience. They used to be my product of choice, but I can’t justify the high cost with the low service. You may be able to get your laptop insured though your insurance agent. I did with my cell phone, and they replace it for what it costs, so you just buy a new one.

  14. savvy999 says:

    We had a very similar experience with a Sony Vaio a couple of years ago. Terrible terrible customer service, held the laptop hostage for 2 months, people we talked to would disappear completely, while at the same time demanding payment for things that should have been covered under their ‘total’ (Gold?) service plan. Utterly incompetent.

    If we hadn’t bought it through a reseller (CDW), and forced the reseller to take it back or lose the account, we’d still be stuck with that lemon. We got a replacement, guess what, that one broke within weeks too. So, finally, the third one has lasted about 3 years.

    Sort of… the DVD drive no longer works, and a replacement is only $189. F that.

    I’m happy to report that in the past 3 years I have gleefully bought 2 digital cameras, 2 TVs, 2 DVD players, and another laptop– all not Sony. Add that up, that’s at least $8k that their shitty service has cost them.

  15. dani1204 says:

    I am excited to see all of you react with such passion. Sony needs to be aware of their poor excuse for customer service and make an active change immediately. Make your bad experiences known and very public so we can save innocent people, like ourselves.

  16. Bootyology says:

    I always thought that the Japanese companies were really big on the customer service. I’ve always had so much faith in Sony.

    I guess it just pays to be a bad company :(

  17. Shadowfire says:

    @Ouze: You’ll need to buy a new copy of Windows, as well, since the Windows keys that you buy with computers are generally tied to the HD.

  18. amoeba says:

    “Sounds like Daniela needs some TLE” Ben I didn’t know that Ashely was Daniela, LOL!

    So far Apple has been good to me with defective products under warranty.

  19. OsiUmenyiora says:

    I stopped buying Sony because everything I ever owned from them broke before its time. That includes: a 5-slot carousel CD player, a Trinitron TV, numerous Walkmans, a cordless phone, a mini-stereo system and a laptop that was actually owned by my office but still sucked. I can honestly say that I’ve never owned one thing from Sony that didn’t break. In my experience their quality is shite.

  20. kimsama says:

    @Bootyology: Me too. Usually even if they have bad service here, they have good service in Jp. But I’ve heard even there Sony is slipping.

    I have a friend who works in the tech sector and oversees imports/exports of tech components. Sony used to only accept the highest level of product 8 or so years ago. Recently, it seems, they are scrapping their long-held “higher quality, higher price” for the more profitable “lower quality, higher price, ride on our customers’ perceptions of how good we used to be.” They are accepting lower-grade components and have lost their legendary low fail rate.

    A few years ago, when I was thinking about getting a Vaio, my friend set me straight — not only that, but the more I looked into it on Cnet and CR, the worse Sony products and customer service looked. As someone who’s bought lots of Sony stuff in the past, I agree with all of you who are avoiding them now.

  21. DCGaymer says:

    I’ve been told by people in the know that you only want to buy Sony Products assembled in Japan. Their quality controls are a bit lax when it’s assembled elsewhere.

  22. sleze69 says:

    @amoeba: I’ve been using Dells for over 15 years and I have never had a problem. Once they switched to Indian support for home computers, I just switched to business computers which, have US tech support.

    Sony makes TVs. They should stick to that.

  23. BloggyMcBlogBlog says:

    And you can forget about Sony’s Rootkit fiasco?

  24. blankhorizons says:

    @Shadowfire: Not true, recovery CDs (which Sonys come with) check the motherboard to make sure the computer is a Sony before they run, not the hard drive. If you replace the HDD, windows will re-install no problem.

  25. mastmaker says:

    Why doesn’t Sony go the way Toshiba (and I am sure a few other companies) go? Toshiba has a list of local repair centers. When I need a warranty repair, I select one, take it in, they check my warranty status online, do the needful and give my laptop back. The BEST ever warranty coverage I have had. Much easier to deal with than online/e-mail/phone/fedex routine. HOW of warranty repairs is one of the things to check while buying computers, I think.

  26. mgy says:

    Maybe the laptop was too dusty to repair?

  27. evslin says:

    @Shadowfire: My understanding of XP’s activation process is that it’s tied to a hash generated by all of the computer’s hardware, and that it tolerates a certain amount of change over a certain period of time. Just changing out the hard drive is no issue, but if you were to go and change out half the PC (including the mainboard), Microsoft would throw a flag and ask you to buy a new license.

  28. SnotFare says:

    having been screwed over by laptop warranties before, this good info, my next laptop defn won’t be a sony

  29. redhelix says:

    Sony is a pretty ill-reputed laptop manufacturer. I rank them even lower than Dell, because you pay even more for low-quality hardware and bad customer service.

    Probably the worst part of this story is the fact that the tech told her to ship it out for a hard drive replacement. A motherboard I can understand, but hard drives take like two seconds to replace in laptops, and any shmuck can do it his or her self. What’s the point of having a tech come out if they cannot conduct the repair?

  30. mikeatnight says:

    I dealt with Sony on 2 issues within 2 months of each other and that made me decide not to purchase any more Sony products. The first was my video cameras firewire port quit working after about 7 months. The camera had a 1 yr warranty…the firewire port for some reason had a “6 month warranty” I went through about 3 people and never got anywhere. Then my cd burner died after only a couple of months. More call to support. The reason..I wasnt using Sony discs. Even the brand that was included with the drive wasnt the “correct” type of disc. Three calls to support ending with my finally giving up and screaming obscenities at the last guy. I have been 5 years Sony free and I feel much better about the world.

  31. ColoradoShark says:

    @ExGC: I was also rooting for HD-DVD to win so Sony’s Blu-ray would not win. My family really does not want to send any more money to Sony.

  32. sleepydumbdude says:

    I stopped messing with sony about 5 years ago. When PS2 came out I was on a sony kick and got a home theater and a 2000 dollar tv. The tv made weird beeping and hums when turned down low when not hooked up to the home theater. I called them about it within 90 days of purchase and the guy on the other line blamed me because he said I must have turned it up too loud and messed up the speakers and was like “why can’t you just keep it hooked up to the home theater”. I won’t buy another sony product anymore minus the game systems.

  33. KyleOrton says:

    Sony screwed me on a DiscMan when they cost over $100 and I was young enough that $100 was a BIG f’in deal.

    The only thing I’ve bought since then are the behind the neck headphones because I like them for jogging.

    Come to think of it, the Panny portable CD player I bought afterwards still works (after many years of abuse) and I’ve gone on to buy two plasmas, a Blu Ray player and more from them.

  34. snylvr says:

    Have you received resolution?

  35. CharlieSeattle says:

    @ColoradoShark: Blu-ray isn’t owned by sony. I suggest you go look at wikipedia. I’m really getting sick of uninformed consumerist.

  36. Mr_Human says:

    @Shadowfire: I’ve updated hard drives on XP with no problems.

  37. Nytmare says:

    @CharlieSeattle: Sony is indeed part-owner of Blu-ray and most articles refer to them as the primary force behind the format.

  38. Diet-Orange-Soda says:

    @sleepydumbdude: Haha. Blamed you? You should’ve been asking why the television even has the ability to increase the volume enough to damage the *built-in* speakers. That’s like putting an insant-puree speed on a blender and blaming you for actually using it.

  39. kable2 says:

    HP/ Compaq is the best.

    I sent in my laptop for warranty last year, they sent me a prepaid box for shipping it to them.

    I got it back in record time, like a week or two.

    Every rep I spoke to was excellent and was from north america.

    Next laptop I buy is going to be a hp or compaq

  40. Diet-Orange-Soda says:

    @evslin: My understanding too is that if you break the activation, MS is pretty reasonable if you call them up and explain that you merely bought “this, that and the other” for an upgrade and you’re not loading it on a second machine.

  41. starrion says:

    Sony lost my business for good with the rootkits. I had started buying Panasonic before that thought. All the Panasonic kit is still working. Wide screen? Good to go. DVD x3 , audio components, clock radio? All working.

    Sony customer service- Epic FAIL.

  42. backbroken says:

    Ok, Sony’s fault here no doubt. But repeat after me:

    “I will not buy an extended warranty that costs more than my item is worth.”

    Say it again. Write it down even. Make it your mantra.

  43. backbroken says:

    By the way, fark the EECB. This calls for smalls claims court.

  44. vastrightwing says:

    Warranty “fraud” is like “abuse” as normal wear and tear. This is why you should not pay extra for a warranty and if you do, read the fine print and look for ways they can deny service. Things like “scratched” off serial number, physical damage (read anything except showroom condition), water, etc, etc. They have a million ways to deny service and they WILL!

    Best Buy is the worst.. ok, they are neck and neck with Sony… oh Sears too.

  45. hubris says:

    @evslin: You don’t have to buy a new license, you just can’t activate over the internet, but have to call in. It’s a bit of a hassle, but no big deal.

    I bought XP from a friend who worked at MS a month after it came out, and I’ve been using the same key since then through probably seven or eight complete computer overhauls.

  46. Froggmann says:

    Hmmm… another reason why i don’t buy Sony. To tell you the truth I have never had a Sony product last more than a year save for a walkman and a discman.

    Simply put Sony puts out garbage. Fitting to know that their warranty is garbage too.

  47. Too bad she can’t verify the condition her notebook was in before she sent it it. I guess I’m lucky I’ve never had to send anything like that in for warranty repair.

    I won’t buy Sony stuff for a few reasons.The first being I’ve had to replace lasers on 3 PS2 consoles, second I have a dead PSP because the laser failed just out of warranty, third everything they make uses that infernal memory stick instead of something normal like SD cards, and then there is that rootkit issue.

  48. BeFrugalNotCheap says:

    oh man, i wish we could hear a recording of his mis-adventures. I would have loved to heard that rep scream then hang up.

  49. hubris says:

    @kable2: Apple’s pretty good, too. My built-in iSight stopped working and they shipped a box to me and had it back in like a week. No problems whatsoever.

  50. TheSpatulaOfLove says:

    I had a run in with Sony Customer Abuse years ago over something simple. I bought a universal remote and not long after, lost the silly little code book. I called Customer Abuse only to be told that they wanted $9.95 for a copy of the book plus $3.95 for shipping and handling.

    WHAT? For a $20 universal remote?!

    Me: “You mean to tell me you don’t have these available online or on an FTP in PDF format?”

    CS: “Nope – $9.95 plus $3.95 S&H”

    Me: “I can’t believe you want nearly $15 for a pamphlet to use your $20 product. You do realize this will ensure I’ll never buy a Sony product again, right?”

    CS: “So be it.” *hung up*

    It’s been nearly 8 years now since that fateful day. And I laugh every time someone buys a Sony product despite my warnings and then has problems with it.

    “Good luck with that, buddy…Don’t say I didn’t warn you!”

  51. maestrosteve says:

    This is why Sony never gets my business again:

    About 5-6 years ago, I bought a Sony 17″ CRT monitor for my computer. It was at least $100 more than any other similar CRT model, but it was a Sony and I thought it was worth the money. Five days after the 1 year warranty ran out, I walked into my office and it was filling with smoke that was coming out of the back of the monitor. I feared a fire, but luckily it never came to that. I immediately phoned Sony to see if they would do anything about it. I understand that it was now out of warranty for 5 days, and if they didn’t want to help me, I’d be annoyed but I’d live with it.
    What got me mad, was all the phone calls with their product safety division, where they wanted me to ship them the monitor AT MY EXPENSE, so they could check it out. This is a 55lb monitor and would have cost a lot of money to pack and ship, and they wanted me to pay for it, and they would not reimburse me, or help me out with my failed monitor.
    I replaced that monitor with a new LCD monitor from another company, that came with a 3 year warranty. Sony really pissed me off on how they handled my problem. I’m not even going to get started on the Sony PRO-DAT recorder I bought, that failed just out of warranty as well.

    This doesn’t appear to be the Sony of 20 years ago.

  52. wellfleet says:

    @vastrightwing: Sorry, I call BS. I work at Geek Squad now and in 6 days I’ve seen a dozen laptops and desktops serviced under PSP even though they were dented, falling apart, overheating due to white dog hair *inside* the laptop, dust bunnies the size of actual bunnies… also, BB’s accidental damage protection covers a ton of sins people won’t even admit to. It’s always “the hinge just got loose” instead of “i dropped it”. What do I care? If you’re covered, it will get fixed. Not saying we don’t make mistakes, because we do, but in my store, we try to not make the same mistake twice.

  53. OsiUmenyiora says:

    @kable2: I had the same good experience with Dell. They were fixing the 17-inch LCD on one of my laptops and they sent me via DHL a prepaid shipping box with all the packing, labels and instructions. I sent them the laptop and had it back in my house fixed in less than a week. I was impressed.

    If you read the comments on CNET there are a lot of people who spent big bucks on Sony flat screen TVs that stopped working for no reason shortly after purchase. That’s another reason why I’ll be getting a Samsung or Panasonic. And maestrosteve just reminded me that in addition to a TV, phone, CD player, mini-stereo system, laptop and numerous Walkmans, I also had a 17-inch Sony monitor that I had to replace because right out of the box the screen had a green tint to it that wouldn’t go away.

  54. apple, but only because I’m certified to repair them.

  55. brent_w says:

    @ColoradoShark: I have no intention of ever touching bluray.

    My DvD’s are just fine, and by the time I feel like replacing them optical media will have been replaced by solid state and digital distribution anyways.
    (which is why blu ray is going to have a much shorter lifespan than DVD)

    #1 – Sony is primary company behind blu ray.

    #2 – A poster on the consumerist is not the same as “the consumerist”

    I’m getting tired of misinformed whiners who think they know it all incorrectly trying to correct others.

  56. warf0x0r says:

    If your laptop goes 3 years and then breaks consider yourself luck and spend all future investments on a new laptop.

  57. creamsissle says:

    I once purchased a Sony VAIO notebook with the extended warranty that included accidental damage protection. Getting repair service when needed turned out to be a nightmare. It was a huge hassle just to open a claim, and they wanted me to send the notebook to them, even though the warranty included on-site service. And it took about four or five trips by a technician to fix the problem, because he ordered or was given the wrong parts multiple times.

  58. The Marionette says:

    To me sony went downhill as far as a company midway when the ps2 came out. Then one thing after another with them, and this one just tops the cake.

  59. cerbie says:

    That’s Sony. Raise hell, get something back, and never touch anything with that name again. May your next notebook be a Lenovo, Apple, or HP.

    @giantnegro: it’s paranoia until you lose data. Then, it’s being prepared.

  60. SinA says:

    sounds pretty obvious that someone AT SONY dropped your computer…

  61. cerbie says:

    That’s Sony. May your next notebook be a Lenovo, Apple, or HP.

    @giantnegro: you are paranoid until you lose data. Then, you are prepared.

  62. Catperson says:

    So many horrible Sony stories. Here’s another: my husband and I bought a Sony car stereo because it was the cheapest one with an aux plug on the front for our iPods. About 6 months after we bought it, the aux plug got all wiggly and wouldn’t make a connection, so the sound from the iPod would cut in and out. We called Sony customer service because the stereo had a one year warranty, and they told us we’d have to send it in for repair. I tried to tell the guy that it was installed in the dash of my car, so unless Sony was going to pay to have someone uninstall it and then reinstall it, that wouldn’t work. The guy I was talking to was from India and he just kept repeating that I needed to send it in. I’m not sure he even understood what I was trying to say, and he claimed there was no supervisor to talk to. So I hung up with him and called back another day and asked for a supervisor immediately. The “supervisor” I spoke to was one of the most abusive phone reps I’ve ever dealt with (second only to the time I got sent to collections for something I didn’t owe and had to try to convince the rabid collections reps that I didn’t owe it). She told me that it wasn’t her problem that the stereo was installed in the car, that this was how Sony did their warranty repairs, and that I not only had to pay for the uninstall/reinstall, but I had to pay for shipping both ways. The truly ridiculous part of all this was that the aux plug was entirely on the face of the unit, which was removable and they absolutely refused to simply send us a new face or let us just send in the face for repair. They insisted that we would get no repairs unless we uninstalled the entire unit and sent it in. It was the most ridiculous thing ever, and when I told her how ridiculous and illogical this was, she started screaming at me. So I hung up with her and my husband just borrowed a soldering gun from his brother and took it apart and fixed it himself.

  63. SonyTech says:

    I am a Sony Backstage VAIO technician and work in a SonyStyle store. I want to apologise for your inconvenience. It sounds like a frustrating There is no need for an executive carpet bomb – I can and WILL resolve your issue. I am empowered to fix your issue – there is no need to send an executive carpet bomb.

    I am submitting my sony email address and phone number under a seperate email to the Consumerist, which I read and enjoy and will ask them to pass this along to you.

    I do not mean in any way to diminish the understandable angst that you are feeling but I would like to mention that my personal experience with other Sony Backstage technicians is that they are genuinely concerned with the well being of our customers and truly try to the best of their ability to do the best that they can for each customer.

    With that said, I understand that your experience has not been a good one. Again, I apologise on behalf of Sony. Email me or call me tomorroy at the contact umber taht I will provide and I will fix your issue as well as expedite the matter appropriately

    The vast majority of Sony techs that I am

  64. LadyKathryn says:

    @BloggyMcBlogBlog: The rootkid this is what got me to swear off Sony forever. And I loved my old Vaio. Bad customer service happens (should be addressed, but it happens.) Bad company policy, complete with horribly unethical decisions on the part of the heads of the company? No recourse, no forgiveness, not allowed in my house.

  65. This one time, someone from Sony showed up at my house, because my TV was on the “fritz” again and instead of fixing the TV, he simply punched my little sister in the face and kicked over my grandmothers potted plant.

  66. MumblesFumbles says:

    Sony is Phony!

    They are on my consumer blacklist.

  67. alexanderpink says:

    This exact same thing happened to me! They said my laptop had physical damage and was not covered under the extended warranty. I bought the extended warranty b/c the motherboard had already failed once and I had a $2200 T-series. Anyhow, when they replaced the mobo the first time the tightened a screw too tight on one of the posts, which eventually led to a crack on the case (very small) after about 6 months. I had never dropped my computer and it had always been inside of a zero-shock case when in transport. They refused to fix it, and I was unable to get anywhere with tech support. I eventually gave up and sold my broken laptop on ebay for $600 and canceled the warranty (still within period to cancel). I filed a complaint with Sony and with BBB, and never heard back! Sony has ridiculous tech support, I mean it seriously sucks… I didn’t know about the EEEC then or I would have tried that route. I am temped to call now (1 year later) just b/c I am so pissed remembering how they screwed me. I spend $2200 on a laptop, mobo goes out in 6 months, they damage it during repair, 1 year later mobo out again and the refuse to fix it. Damn I despise Sony.

  68. mrbiggsndatx says:


  69. juri squared says:

    Here’s my Sony horror story:

    They kept my laptop for two months, and when it came back it was not only not fixed, it was covered in SAWDUST.

    They refused to fix it because they said the motherboard had been replaced. I almost lost it then, because the motherboard HAD been replaced. BY SONY. In a previous warranty repair.

    Yeah, never buying a VAIO again.

  70. OsiUmenyiora says:

    @mrbiggsndatx: Woohoo!

  71. harrisk954 says:

    Daniela, I’m an attorney and have dealth with similar issues in the past… perhaps I can give you some advice… feel free to contact me at my email:

  72. lemur says:

    From the OP:

    I purchased a sony vaio notebook 3 years ago, and about 1 year ago I purchased a sony $500 extended warranty.

    I’m not surprised things went bad. When you buy an extended warranty 2 years after the original item was bought, you’re on thin ice. Extended warranties are usually devised to extend the warranty of a newly purchased item. The reasons is simple: companies are not interested in people finding a fault months after a purchase, buying an extended warranty and then using the extension to cover a repair that would not have been covered otherwise.

    Sometimes some companies give grace periods (1-2 months) to buy an extended warranty under the same terms as if the warranty had been bought at the same time the item was bought. Sometimes they will allow to buy warranties for older items but then the terms are not the same as when you buy the warranty together with the item. For instance, I checked out Dell last summer because there was a debate on a forum about their extended warranties. On the web site, at that time, Dell advertised very clearly their warranties for new computers. The language of the warranty talked about new items only. There was no provision for warranties bought months after the original purchase. If you wanted an extended warranty on an older machine that was possible: they gave a phone number to call because each case had to be evaluated by a CSR.

    The other thing is that the details of the warranty are very important. I’ve seen warranties like the Dell warranty I’m mentioning above which establish terms based on the date of purchase. Sometimes people think they get 1 year + x years of extended warranty but that’s not the case if the extended warranty starts from the original date of purchase. They really only get x years of coverage.

    This being said, I do think that companies do not make the terms of their warranties very clear. And I think they do not always perform due diligence in trying to reject warranty purchases from people who should not have been allowed to buy one in the first place.

    In this specific case, I have not seen enough details to make up my mind one way or the other.

  73. Orv says:

    @evslin: Re XP activation:
    There are two types.

    The retail version of XP will install on any PC. When first booted it must be activated. It ties itself to a hash created by looking at various hardware components. If you change enough things, it will de-activate, but Microsoft in my experience is pretty good about resolving this.

    The OEM version, which comes pre-installed on most computers, is tied to a code in the computer’s BIOS. It self-activates without any user intervention. If you change the hard disk it will re-install OK, but you MUST use a CD that came with a computer from the same manufacturer. (e.g., using a Dell Windows XP CD on a non-Dell system will result in a Windows install that won’t activate.) As far as I know, the only thing that will break OEM activation is replacing the motherboard with one from a different manufacturer.

  74. illmatic57 says:


    Direct Full Responsibility: TECH REPAIR SERVICE

    Indirect Full Responsibility: SONY

    I purchased a Sony VAIO laptop and Accidental Damage warranty 3 years ago and was given exceptional service when my hard drive failed and when my dvd rw drive failed. In both instances the tech came out by the following week after I made the service call. Both of these issues I could have corrected myself (with added cost), but I figured I should get my money’s worth out of the $300 warranty (financed with no interest/no payments for 18 months).

    This Sony service was definitely worth it to me.

    If anyone has a problem with a warranty repair service, it is usually because of an incompetent repair tech. Ultimately, though, it is the fault of the manufacturer that hires the tech to do the repair.

  75. dweebster says:

    People. How many times does it need to be explained: when you purchase a SONY product, a kitten is bludgened to death with a baseball bat then crushed under a car tire.

    Seriously, Sony computers are the most miserably designed pieces of garbage created by a major company – proprietary everything, style over usability, lousy support pages, etc. After they tried getting their illegal rootkits onto every PC in the world, why would you even bother trusting them with your computing money? Giving SONY money just encourages their evil ways.

  76. dweebster says:

    @wellfleet: Word is that your employer “Best” Buy has a nasty habit of losing laptops and then shining on their customers: []

    Of course, if it were a SONY laptop then they’d probably be doing the customer a favor by losing it.

  77. Coder4Life says:

    how do you purchase a wararnty on a 2 year old notebook from sony? don’t u have to do this within a year or something…

    warranty fraud? YES MAYBE..

  78. oregongal says:

    No Sony horror story here but just had to say love, love, love the new descriptive term applied to CSR’s. Long live NIMNORKS!

  79. HOP says:

    well, that solves my problem…..i just scratched sony off my new computer list….actually i’m gonna scratch them off my “anything” list……..

  80. HOP says:


  81. Ailu says:

    @dweebster: So then, let’s take your statements and make good use of them. Who designs the best laptop, in your opinion?

  82. cde says:

    @Shadowfire: Wrong. The license is tied to the MB.

  83. maztec says:

    Sony farms out their extended warranty to a third party. The reason you are getting this behavior is because Sony doesn’t want to look at you anymore and the third party supplier is in the business to save money by not repairing your laptop. It sucks.

    I’ve mentioned before – I went through this with Sony. I refuse to buy anything else from them ever again. Which yes, does mean I will possibly be missing the BluRay revolution depending on how far I want to take that. Oh well.

  84. Carencey says:

    not planning to call Stan Glasgow myself today or anything, but his phone number appears to be short one digit.

  85. TechnoDestructo says:


    Sony’s optical image stabilization sucks, too. Barely any better than digital (alleged) image stabilization.

  86. ivealwaysgotmail10 says:

    Not like I’m Surprised, seems that Sony’s Laptop repair Center has the same values as the ps3 repair center that turned me down for being “too dusty”

  87. beccamanns_theotherwhitemeat says:

    jesus, get spinrite

  88. MrEvil says:

    I can’t beleive Sony made Daniella send in her system to replace the HDD. Last time I had a customer bring me a Sony that wasn’t covered under an on-site service contract they just sent her the hard drive directly along with CDs that not only reinstalled the OS, but even restored the factory Restore partition.

    @evslin: Actually, on the OEM versions of Windows that you get from the big guys. The OEM, be it Dell, IBM, Sony, or HP, will have a special vendor key to Windows that is embedded in their reinstallation media, its one key that works on any system they make. That key gets its activation hash strictly from the BIOS. You can change any and as many pieces of hardware you want, you can swap motherboards with a replacement part and you’ll NEVER be asked to activate so long as the OEM’s BIOS is identified.

    On the one hand it is very possible for someone to get reinstall media from their OEM they aren’t licenced for and then have a “legit” copy of say Vista Ultimate, when all they bought was Home Basic. However, 90% of people that buy boxed machines will just stick to whatever it came with.

  89. digdug says:

    My Sony Reader stopped working about a month after I bought it. When I shipped it to Sony, they told me that the warranty “doesn’t cover physical issues”, and quoted me $287 for repairs (more than 2/3 of the original price). They seemed surprised when I declined.

  90. tcolberg says:

    @ExGC: I think those of us in the Palm community who tried Sony CLIEs back around the turn of the century got a nice taste of the horrible customer service that Sony was developing. At that point, it was actually encouraged to buy in-store extended warranties because Sony’s factory warranty was beyond terrible. I’ve refused to buy any of their personal electronics ever since.

  91. liquiddamage says:

    I’ve had the same experience with AppleCare. They always want you to ship your machine back too…so as to dissuade you from using the warranty. Once they have your machine, who knows what they are doing with it! Maybe they are playing soccer with it, or in my case spilling soda on it.

  92. bjcolby15 says:

    I just recently sent my MP3 player to Sony’s repair center in Laredo, TX because I got a boot error when I tried to play it. They apologized, exchanged it, and I should get it back tomorrow.

    I’ve never had a problem with Sony’s products, but I’ll be sure to keep an eye out.

  93. banmojo says:

    doesn’t anyone READ this site? extended warranties are a RIP. If you’ve gotten 3 years from your laptop. consider yourself fortunate and either fix it yourself, or move on.

  94. cerbie says:

    @banmojo: no, they don’t. If they did, they would avoid Sony, Geek Squad, etc..

  95. Sirpuddingfoot says:

    I’d join the bandwagon and caution against buying Sony products specifically because the Customer Service is deplorable.

    I let my wife choose the Laptop she wanted for law school and ended up getting a 13.3″ with some really nice features in April ’06. December came, and the DVD-tray refused to return flush with the computer and had to be replaced (we did tell them “NO” when they asked us to use the system restore feature by way of “seriously? It’s hanging out of the case!”). It came back with a small rattle, and being a geek, I called about it and gave them the “WTF” but they just said call back in the next 6 months if you have any problems, we’ll log this on your account. I said “thanks”, and hung up.

    6 months later, my wife is preparing to travel to Turkey for school and the laptop fan stops running one night. The things gets insanely hot (I used a pen to turn it off). Then, of course, the battery stops working and won’t even turn on if a battery is in the computer. All this 6 days before she leaves. But the rattle is gone.

    To make a long story short: Sony “had no record” of my complaint. Sony tried to charge me $749 to look at the laptop and fix “1 major problem” (all other problems extra…). Turned out the screw had lodged in the CPU fan causing it to stop, and caused overheating such that the Battery Power functions were melted (now that’s hot!).

    Now I have a noisy little, and very expensive for it’s power, desktop (I got the screw out, but the fan is warped and would take hours and hours of frustrating and tedious work to replace because of the horrid internal design). Thanks Sony, for 6 months of good use for my $2,500. The HP I bought for $500 new still runs after 2 years.

  96. mikked2 says:

    Let me say first that this is the first problem I have had w/ my Vaio SZ for 3.5 years. It has run perfect…seriously. Now my video driver/motherboard is going out (it could be my harddrive but Sony wants to replace my mother board so what the hell I’ll let them replace it). I have the four year extendeded/accidental damage warranty. So far customer service not that great. They never called w/ in three days. They say 24 hours more…no phone call. By Monday the Tech will call….and guess what?? They CALLED! to let me know that the video card/motherboard is on back order w/ no ETA. Don’t know when it will be in if ever but if it is not in by 60 days they will give me a new computer. But he has never seen the part take that long to arrive in the WHOLE Year that he has been working for Sony Extended Warranty.
    My computer is running but I can forget any games and typing is painful even as I type. I type but then there is a five second delay before the letters show up. So if I made a mestakeeee I have to wait or say **** it and keep typing. Anybody have any suggestions? (I could just buy a new computer but I’m waiting for the right Mac and besides I paid $400 for the insurance and I’m not going to let “the man” take my money)

  97. danseuse322 says:

    I wish I’d have read this before buying my Vaio a bit over a year ago. Consumerist ignored my pleas for Sony execs when I wrote in with my story but I am glad this one is posted. After agony with them and being told I was essentially not worth it to Sony (also previously a customer since Walkman radios were AM/FM with tape players), I just mailed my EECB! YAY! And now I may go the route of small claims. I am writing this on, of all things, a Dell. My Vaio sits like the trash it is behind me. I would like to hope I will have a happy update to my EECB;however, I expect my greatest resolution will come through the courts.


  98. snylvr says:

    Could you provide me an event number or serial number of your computer?

  99. CptnNemo says:

    This is an old discussion, but I’m glad I’ve found it. I have a sony vaio SZ series. It’s less than a year old. There is a problem with this series of notebooks involving the touchpad. The touchpad sits in a metal wristpad. And for some reason, this causes lots of problems. The touchpad will “freak out” causing the pointer to wildly jump around the screen, close windows, etc etc. MORE ANNOYING…the touchpad inverts itself. So motions up will move the pointer down. Yes, Sony will “fix” this problem during warrantee (mine is going in for its third time, each time the problem comes back after about a month). Nevermind my left mouse button won’t work, and I’m on my second LCD (which has a weird discoloring problem). A group of us have gotten together and listed all of this here: [] and you can follow all of our discussion here: []

    Unless they really turn around and do something for me, I would never buy Sony again.

  100. jbrekke says:

    Sony blames user for cracked screen even though laptop is brand new. I called the repair center to report that my screen cracked when I opened the laptop. The service screener said that the repair center will almost certainly say that the damage was caused by abuse. I explained that the laptop has never been mishandled in any way and not a single scratch or damage of any kind exixts. He said that screens don’t break unless they were mishandled but agreed to note my request for warranty repair. The repair center emails me that the cost will be $499. I reiterate that Sony should honor their warranty which results in an offer of a 10% discount. They insist that screens cannot crack unless force is applied. However, they cannot explain how this speculative force would leave no markings of any kind.

  101. no2BadProducts says:

    I bought a Sony Laptop 3 months ago for almost $2K. Had 8 GB of Ram, 500 GB harddrive, i7, plus a bunch of extras. Because I have spent 2 months wasting my time trying to get them to fix the laptop, I am mad and am writing this negative comment towards their service warranties. I will never buy another Sony Laptop again. I have wasted so much time waiting for them to get the part and send out a technician while my laptop sits on my desk looking pretty and accumulating dust. Don’t ever buy a Sony Laptop. This is the first time I have ever complained about a consumer product to others using a medium other than direct communication. Don’t buy their laptops. Mitch from CA.