Consumerist Post About Broken Laptop Gets Reader Full Refund Within 3 Hours

Once again, Costco saves the day. Last week, we posted the story of Tom, who bought a Sony Vaio laptop from Costco only to have it malfunction a little more than a year after purchase. Sony didn’t seem to want to fix the problem at all, and Costco employees were very kind but couldn’t intervene. Only a few hours after that post went up, Costco contacted Tom, and gave him a full refund for the computer’s purchase price.

I just wanted to follow up about the Costco/Sony Vaio situation I emailed you about a few days ago. Long story short, score another one for Consumerist.

Your story went live at 9:33am and by noon Costco had contacted to let me know that they would be giving me a full refund for my computer. I was quite frankly stunned. I was not looking for, nor had I asked for, a full refund. I was merely wanting a computer that functioned. I was even willing to accept a refurbished model. But a full cash refund on a computer that I purchased over 17 months ago was certainly more than I expected or would have ever dared to ask for.

However, it was because of this extremely favorable solution that I chose to purchase my replacement laptop from Costco. While it took some nudging they did do the right thing (more than the right thing actually) so I fell that fair is fair and I should buy my next laptop from them as well. Thanks so much for your help in this matter. It’s great to have a site such as yours that can focus attention on problems such as this. You help level the playing field greatly.

You’re welcome, Tom! Glad we could help. And look how he was so delighted that he turned around and spent that money at Costco again. Presumably not on another Vaio.

Buying Laptop From Costco Extends Your Warranty And Your Aggravation


Edit Your Comment

  1. Snakeophelia says:

    I just want to say the photo is genius, and I need to make one of those little flags for my husband.

  2. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Costco does awesome because Sony is terrible.

  3. BrightShopperGettingBrighter says:

    This is pretty amazing and cool! :)

  4. Hi_Hello says:

    what laptop did he end up getting at Costco? Sony?

  5. Dallas_shopper says:


    Depending on how my visit to Home Depot goes tonight, I may be asking for help from Consumerist. :-D

  6. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

    There aren’t enough words for how happy that picture makes me. It’s the best picture that’s been on this site for a really long time, and it doesn’t even have a cat in it!

  7. Bsamm09 says:

    I thought Gary Coleman was dead?

  8. t2fastspin says:

    Welcome to Costco, I love you

  9. snarkysniff says:

    I had a 3 year old printer that never worked right, the duplexer was crap and got jammed a lot. Eventually it would jam every single time. I took it to costco to discuss with them, they said do you want cash or on a merchandise credit. I said give me credit Im going to buy another one from you. I had to order the one I wanted but seriously costco rocks.
    We bought some kirkland brand diet green tea there since we love the lipton stuff. We did not like the kirkland one they took back the rest of the case no problem too.

    • GrandizerGo says:

      I have had the same thing happen a few times with that very same brand and flavor of tea…
      I thought that I had picked up the diet, (YUCK) version by accident as the labels and packaging are extremely similar.
      But I didn’t. I returned the case and picked up another one from the same pallet these were on and it was fine.
      1 week later Walgreens in my area had them on sale and the exact same thing happened. Returned unused bottles and got new shrink wrapped case.

      About 1 month later another Walgreens and I had the same thing happen.

      I think that somewhere in the manufacturing process a batch goes bad and they keep shipping them out. About 3-5 cases later the problem is corrected and the rest of the pallet is good.
      But it happens so frequently I wonder if there isn’t some auto cleaning happening that stays in the piping and contaminates the drink…

  10. DrRonster says:

    Guess I’ll just let my Sam’s club account lapse. Havent been there for at least a year whereas I just picked up an Rx and a couple Roasters from Costco at 2:23pm.

  11. Bog says:

    I have always found Costco to be very responsive. They can be a little goofy in some ways but they seem to do what it takes to make things right.

  12. jjceraftery says:

    Wow. Now if SAMSUNG would have been nice to me, and did that, when TWO of their products I had just over a year took a POOP before a year was up, but I didn’t know the way they were acting was not normal!
    They laughed in my face, sent me to SEARS, and Sears sent me back to Samsung…who then laughed in my face again.

    To this day, NO ONE in my family, and NONE of my friends will buy Samsung products. I remind them every once in a while. (it’s been about 7 years, now.)

    Must be nice to get results like that. Huh. I can’t imagine.

  13. fordprefect says:

    Naturally Sony doesn’t do anything they absolutely don’t HAVE to do.

  14. tomok97 says:

    I’m the OP. No, I didn’t buy another Sony. In fact, I couldn’t help but notice that Costco no longer seems to carry Sony laptops. I can’t imagine why not.

  15. ChuckECheese says:

    As much as I like Costco, I had terrible experiences buying computers there. The 1st one claimed to have bluetooth, but didn’t. The funny thing is that it had a bluetooth button, and when you turned it on, a large red bluetooth icon with a slashy-circle displayed on the screen – it was more of a “no-bluetooth” button. I returned it and got the 2nd one, which bricked while I was making the backup CDs the first day I got it. Returned that one, and bought the 3rd and last computer from Newegg.

  16. spf1971 says:

    Since when is “a year and a half ” a little more than a year?

  17. Farleyboy007 says:

    It’s great that this guy got set right, but it’s such a shame that you need to get exposure on Consumerist (or a similar medium) to get any results. I bet tons of people have had the same or similar experiences as this guy, maybe even sent their stories into this blog. But since it didn’t get posted, they remain boned. If the consumer protection agency (or whatever it’s called) ever actually gets created, maybe they can take a look at these companies, and how they only seem to live up to their responsibilities when someone calls them out on their crap in a public forum.