Blog And Twitter Campaign Convinces Sony To Replace Defective TV

Scott has been a longtime and loyal Sony customer, but the company finally disappointed him. He writes that his lovely 46″ LCD began to produce strange images on one side of the screen for ten minutes after powering up–not catastrophic, but not acceptable for a $3,000 TV, either. The regular channels of customer service were no help, so Scott took his case to his blog and to Twitter. The result? He heard from executive customer service within hours, and received a new TV for his trouble.

I have been a lifelong Sony customer and have been very pleased with their products. I have purchased computers from Sony – cameras, walkman’s, alarm clocks, stereos, headphones, and televisions. You name it I purchased it.

So in May of last year when I decided to upgrade my Sony XBR 40″ tube television, I didn’t hesitate, I bought a Sony 46″ LCD television, a KDL-46XBR to be exact. Sony never did wrong by me and my almost 10 year old 40″ tube is still working great to this day. Up to this point, I would recommend to all of my family, friends and readers.

Well, over the last few months, the Sony LCD panel has run into some issues. Whenever I turn it on, the right side of the screen produces mirrored, mis-colored and black images. The problem goes away after about 10 minutes but since I paid just under $3,000 for this tv, this type of behavior is unacceptable. A few pictures are attached.

I understand that the Sony warranty is 1 year; however, when someone pays close to $3,000 for a piece a television, one would expect it would last for more than a couple of years. This one didn’t even last 2 years.

So I called Sony Customer Relations yesterday. They told me that they could possibly help me, even though I was out of warranty and that they needed me to pay a Sony Technician to come out and provide a written estimate before they could determine if they were willing to fix the problem.

Acting as diligently as possible, I contacted the local Sony Technician right after that call. The technician came out yesterday afternoon and provided me with a written estimate of $1,911.00. After paying the technician $70 to provide a written estimate Sony requested, I called Sony Customer Relations this morning.

This time, I spoke to F. After reviewing my file (but without looking at the written estimate I had in my hand that I had not yet faxed to her), she said the television was out of warranty and that there was nothing she could do. She said that televisions are subject to wear and tear. WEAR AND TEAR? I don’t take it mountain biking with me. It just sits in my living room, just like that 40″ XBR did.

I asked her if there was any supervisor I could speak to. She said no. I then asked her where she was, she told me that the Customer Relations Department is in Florida. I again asked her where she was, she said she was in the Philippines.

Peculiar, there is no supervisor or any one else to speak to other than a customer service rep in the Philippines.

Money is not the issue, but as an attorney by trade (as well as an internet blogger and international magazine article contributor) I stand up for people that have been wronged. In this situation, I feel that I have been wronged. If I had that tv on for every minute of the 17 months it worked, I still would not have gotten the benefit of the bargain. Sony, I expected more from you and your product – much, much more.

Over my life, I estimate I have spent about $50,000 on Sony equipment. No more. I’m going to take my business elsewhere if I cannot get a satisfactory resolution to this matter.

A month later, Scott updated Consumerist about the situation:

After blogging and twittering about my dissatisfaction, Sony’s corporate office called me and offered me a new (not a refurb’ed) 46″ XBR9 LCD with a full warranty.

They do have good customer service (3 different people called me after my post) but it appears you have to yell, kick and scream before the people that can really do something to help will wake up.

Well done, Scott: you harnessed the power of the interwebs to get the attention of people in power at Sony.

I will NEVER Buy a Sony Product Again. I Hope You Do The Same. []

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