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Sony and their atrocious customer care

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martynwb View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote martynwb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Sony and their atrocious customer care
    Posted: 23 May 2018 at 15:37
I've been a long time supporter of the Alpha mount system by Sony and have invested heavily in their products. I was preparing to buy the A99 ii when I developed an issue with my Sony SAL1635Z lens. The autofocus had stopped working. No problem, I thought, I will send the lens off for repair and all will be well.
Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to be that straight forward. The lens repair centre confirmed the fault but also confirmed that they no longer stock the required part. They said if I spoke to customer services, customer services would 'sort it out'. Customer services said that they only guarantee parts for up to 5 years. Despite the fact that I bought this lens less than 5 years ago, Sony have effectively told me to junk it.
Has anybody come across this kind of customer service and had any luck in being treated more reasonably than I have? Call me picky, but I don't think a lens which retails for around £2000 should have a 4 year life expectancy.

Anybody looking for reviews to decide if Sony is a good system to invest in, I would strongly suggest you go with one of the better providers; Canon or Nikon. Going off piste is as bad as they say it is.
 



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bharnois View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bharnois Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2018 at 15:47
Most other, non camera, Sony products are basically a throw away item when you buy them. Anything Sony that I've needed a repair on was so expensive or difficult to get done that is wasn't worth the effort. The only Sony products I have these days are in my camera bag. The two repairs I've needed were done by Precision Camera in Enfield, CT. I worry about using my 70-200SSM for that very reason and I don't let anybody else handle it.

I do have a very old AM/FM/Cassette yellow Walkman that works perfectly though!

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stiuskr View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote stiuskr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2018 at 17:40
That lens was introduced in '08 so it's a 10 year old lens, apparently the part needed wasn't carried over to the current model. It's not unusual for companies to not produce spare parts for items they no longer make especially nowadays in our throw it away disposable society.
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a99M2 a99 a77 a700 KM7D|Min24/2.8 Min35/2 So50/1.4 So50/2.8 Min85/1.4G Tam90/2.8 Tam180/3.5|Tam17-50 CZ24-70G2 KM28-75D So70-200G1 So70-300G So70-400G1| SonyF60 AD200R2
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sybersitizen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2018 at 18:03
Apparently in the US there are no 'Sony' repair centers for A-mount cameras or lenses. As far as I know, repairs or other services - in or out of warranty - are contracted out to a third party. You might want to sidestep Sony altogether and seek a third party solution.
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Photosopher View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Photosopher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2018 at 19:40
Sorry Marty, I feel your pain. I left Canon for Sony A when Canon claimed they would no longer repair a couple of L Series lenses. Like Sony told you, Canon told me to junk them. "L" series? Really...? I was furious, and the event coincided with the release of the a900. Weird timing, and it was good to dust off the old Minolta lenses and get back to AMount. Canon's refusal to repair their top shelf lenses was literally the reason why I left them. So I understand how this can feel traumatizing. It's terrible to hear the news, from any manufacturer.

In a recent need for Sony Pro Support service proved exemplary. I can't speak for regular repairs, or if our 16-35ZA would be serviceable, but the Pro Service had my gear back in three days and the cost of joining paid for all rapid shipments. The repair was through Precision Camera, not Sony.

Like Sybersitizen suggests, perhaps going directly to the third party would work better.

Edited by Photosopher - 23 May 2018 at 19:43
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pdeley View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pdeley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2018 at 02:08
It's worth inquiring but unlikely a 3rd party repair shop will be able to fix it either, if Sony took the lens apart and concluded that the repair needs replacing a component for which they have no more spares. What you/they would really need is another faulty 16-35 that can be used as parts donor (meaning it would have to be sacrificeable for reasons other than an AF problem).

That's usually a very long shot but there happens to be an ebay seller in Chicago who's currently listing parts like the main board of a dismantled 16-35 f2.8, if Sony gave you the exact part number(s) needed then you could ask the ebay source if they happen to have them.

Edited by pdeley - 24 May 2018 at 02:14
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Fivepin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2018 at 03:08
I had a sony camcorder still under warranty which made a humming noise in the mic. I paid $160 to send the camcorder in. They had it a month and said they could not find anything wrong with it. I got it back turned it on and the mic was doing the exact same thing. You could hear it in any recording. I was so miffed...and still am. But I learnt a lesson. Don't bother dealing with Sony it will only cost you shipping fees.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2018 at 04:21
The mark II was released in 2015, if they say they stock parts for five years, they stock until 2020. You have rights. This is a consumer protection issue and as long as the UK still is within the EU, you can refer to that. Ask a consumer rights organisation or a program like Watchdog what you can do.

It is a pain you have to go through this!

Most people here reacting are from the US, the US has a completely different consumer rights system from Europe.

I only have had good service from Sony. Latest my 24-70/2.8 CZ was repaired for what I considered a reasonable price and the lens works perfect again. And maybe I am imagining things, but it seems to focus quicker then before Maybe a mark II part?

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martynwb View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote martynwb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2018 at 08:38
Thanks everybody for your replies.

I'll try and get a third party repair whilst demonstrating my consumer rights.

Many thanks again everybody.

I really wanted to buy an A99ii this week too, but it's completely put me off :-(
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tricky01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2018 at 21:22
I had exactly the same problem with the 85 1.4 CZ. Sent it because it wouldn't focus to infinity, thinking it was a quick fix. Turned out they no longer had the part, but said they would *replace* the lens, but only if I could prove it was purchased within the last 5 years. I couldn't since I'd bought it second hand and had no documentation. it sounds like you might have proof it's within 5 years though, so perhaps a replacement is a possibility?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Eclipse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 August 2018 at 20:24
I've just had an issue with a warranty repair on a sony compact. The focusing failed during shooting, and will now not focus wider than 40mm. The sony repairers (for compacts it's not the firm you mention) claim I must have dropped the camera, and therefore it is my fault, because there is a scratch on the lens barrel and a scratch on the LCD (I did not drop it, and there was no scratch on the LCD, they were so dumb that they failed to notice that there was a glass cover on the LCD, which gives me zero confidence in repair terms). I'm not sure the scratch was on the lens barrel when I sent it off, if it was, I never noticed it, which would be odd for me. But sadly I didn't photograph the camera before I sent it. I was too trusting. I argued, Curry's argued, but got nowhere.
They wanted to charge me £140 quid to repair it.
My local camera repairer, who would no doubt have to pay more for the new lens (sony do no spare parts for the lens, only a new lens) can do it for less.
In the past Minolta used some repairers that had a bad name too. It seems to be a disease with the mount.

In my case I think it is a failure of a part within the lens. As I zoomed, I heard the lens click and after that the problem started. The repairer implied that if a part did not fail in the first few weeks, it could not be a manufacturing fault, which is rubbish- that's why you have a two year parts guarantee. Which in sony's case, it seems is worth jack-whatsit.
I gather that this repair company has form, and not just with sony- basically if there is a scratch anywhere on a camera they refuse the warranty repair, even for things that can't possibly be related to the scratch. But if there is only the one place, what can you do?

w.r.t. the OP, I thought EU rules stated that manufacturers should maintain a parts inventory for a reasonable amount of time. IMHO, if they choose not to, they ought to replace the product for free. And 5 years is not, again, IMHO, anything like long enough. I know of boiler manufacturers who keep parts for at least 10 years, others 15. Ours still supplied parts well over 30 years after manufacture. For an expensive lens I think it should be at least 10 years.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mike77 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 August 2018 at 20:38
I remember reading that someone had similar issues getting a repair done, I believe it was in the UK. They sent it to a German repair center who still had the ability to repair it.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Pallanza Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 August 2018 at 22:34
Hmmh.
My experiencies with Sony customer care were not so overwhelming too. They lied verifiable as to their merchandise practices.

But the repair shop, who does their technical service in Germany, is very good: kind & competent. I had some lens repairs at them and twice (!!) a WB correction of a new camera (A77, A7r ii).
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 August 2018 at 07:44
The official Sony repair shop in the Netherlands (Bergen op Zoom) is OK.

The official Sony repair shop in Belgium (Deinze) is stellar

I know it's a small sample, but no other Sony stuff from me (or the rest of the family) ever broke
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