Sony Support Problems

I recently sent my Sony Vaio laptop away to have its keyboard and housing replaced. The former lost a couple of keys courtesy of my son, and the metallic-finish housing was starting to show signs of wear and tear. Because the unit is out of warranty I had to call the 0905 premium rate number, and paid around £140 to have the repair done.

Through the premium rate number I was told the unit was due to be picked up on Friday 13th between 12 and 5 from my work place, and I requested for it to be delivered back to my work again; the DHL courier arrived 1045 (maybe he thought he was doing me a favour by arriving early). Then last Friday I got a call from my wife saying that DHL had delivered the laptop back (to home). Fortunately my wife was in, but given that she is marshalling four children during term time this is by no means guaranteed. If the item isn’t delivered the choices are to arrange re-delivery (to the same address unless the sender has arranged otherwise), or to pick up from the nearest DHL centre which is a 1 hour round trip.

So I examined the laptop. First problem – no rubber feet, so the unit slides around my desk. Also, they hadn’t replaced the PCMCIA slot cover, or the top cover (which affects the screen image quality) and the serial number stickers were peeling off from the bottom of the unit.

Not really wanting to be parted from my companion again, I reluctantly called the (premium rate) support number again and set up another case to rectify the problems. They took the details and advised that I would be called back, and after a couple of attempts someone from a call centre far away got through. Yet again they advised an afternoon pickup (2.30pm-6.30pm this time). Yet again the courier arrived in the morning.

Then yesterday I received a call from someone asking how my repair had gone, and how likely I would be to recommend buying a Sony Vaio laptop to a friend. On a scale of 1 to 10 I gave it a four. “Oh, well that’s still quite good then” was the cheerful reply.

I rely on my laptop for daily use, so not only am I having to do without it but I have also had to spend extra time on the phone at 35p per minute when I could have been doing something more productive. Some thoughts that spring to mind:

  • By applying some common sense the repair team could easily have got it right the first time
  • Why do I still have to call a premium rate number when I’ve paid £140 for a repair?
  • Why don’t DHL turn up when they are supposed to?

So I’m considering what else to go for when it is time to upgrade. While I’ve been without the Vaio, I’ve been running an old laptop with Ubuntu and given how much I dislike the interface changes that Microsoft has introduced in Vista, coupled with its software compatibility issues, I’m seriously considering switching to a Mac or Linux laptop for daily use.


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