I made the mistake of purchasing a Sony VAIO FE11S on 20th March 2006. Within a few days, the HDD started to make a really annoying clicking noise. After three pointless weeks of going back and forth to VAIO online support, they suggested that I return the machine for repair but also threatened to charge me for the priviledge. I then got on to their customer service people who finally admitted that the clicking HDD is a known problem with this particular model. I had been telling them that since the outset since there are over 300 posts in their own VAIO forums from people with the same problem with this particular machine. I was told that they were investigating and would be in touch. Almost 3 months have now passed and I'm still waiting for their engineers in Tokyo to complete their "investigation". I've suggested that the right thing to do would be to replace the machine but they've refused. I spoke to the store where I purchased the machine and they want to send it to Sony for repair which is pointless since Sony admit they don't know what the problem is. Talk about a catch-22 situation. My advice is to avoid Sony VAIO's in particular and Sony products in general. If something goes wrong, you can be sure they won't lift a finger to help.
This is a slightly long story, but I think it's quite a good one - I still can barely believe it myself, but since it happened to me I know it's the truth :) Last summer (let's see, around July 2001), I decided to take the plunge and buy a new monitor. For the last 3 years I've been using 15" monitors, and while they're generally fine (although I tend to have bad luck with monitors, and they konk out just after their warranty expires!), because I produce art with my computer I felt that something a little larger would be a nice treat. I bought an A220, which is a 17" monitor and cost me around £130 (they've got more expensive now, amazingly). It was a refurbished model (essentially second-hand, but checked over and fixed), and came with the original Sony 3-year warranty. Let's just say that I was, and still am, very impressed. Anyway, jump forward in time a few months to about October/November. As I finished using my computer one night and shut it all down, my monitor made a slightly odd noise, but I thought nothing of it and went to bed. The following morning when I switched everything back on, the monitor refused to work. The lights were on (it seemed random as to what colour the power LED would display), but there was nobody home - no picture, not even a little "No signal" warning message So I phoned up their warranty number and, after describing the problem, arranged an exchange on the following day - they agreed to take away my monitor, and I would get another one on a permanent exchange. The following day, the new monitor arrived and worked fine, but it was not in as good condition as my original monitor was (before it broke), so I phoned Sony again and they agreed to bring my old one back once it was fixed. Anyway, I got my old monitor back, plugged it in, it worked fine... then I shut my computer down, and the monitor was once again completely inoperable. I was a bit
annoyed about this, so I rang Sony up (again!), but remained perfectly calm and polite and they agreed to give me a completely different exchange monitor. The new monitor was delivered the following day - can't fault Sony for lack of promptness, but I told them I wouldn't be in :) The day after that, it was redelivered and this time I was actually around to receive it, so once again my original monitor was bundled away and I had a 3rd monitor to try out on my computer. I plugged it in, it worked fine. I switched my computer off and... the monitor stopped working. I can only describe the feeling I got at that moment as a "sinking" feeling, the grim realisation that it was my fault that all these monitors were dying premature deaths. I phoned Sony up one last time, apologising profusely for my stupid computer's inability to behave itself with their monitors. I offered to pay for any damage I caused; so long as they'd fix my monitor up and give it back to me, I'd make sure that my computer was in a more friendly mood. Very kindly, they agreed to return my original monitor, fixed, and free of charge. In the mean-time, I located the source of the problem - a faulty graphics card, my Voodoo 3 3000 to be exact. They really should have fitted fans to those things, I'm guessing that it just somehow broke itself because of lack of proper cooling. Though I did entertain the notion for a short while, I didn't think it WAS my Voodoo 3 causing all the mayhem, because it was perfectly well behaved with my old 15" monitor, which I used while my 17" ones were out of action. I guess my dodgy old 15" must have had some kind of surge protection, or just been built in a slightly different way and able to withstand whatever kind of punishment I was inflicting on these Sony monitors! Anyway, 5 (6 if you cound the one I was absent for) deliveries by Sony and 3 separate monitors, al
l without any shouting and, thankfully, any expense on my part. I think the person manning the warranty line must have got sick of me phoning up too :) I dread to think what their poor technicians must have thought of me... Not only was (and still am) I impressed with the monitor, but I am also impressed with their after-sales service. Definitely recommended.
An insite into the latest Notebook from Sony: Mobility, power and style… redefined. With the newly designed VAIO R505, you get the best of both worlds. Magnesium alloy casing makes it rugged yet lightweight enough to carry while on the road. Only 3.75 lbs light About 1" thin Integrated Ethernet for network connectivity Jog Dial™ control and Sony MagicGate™ Memory Stick® media slot iLink® (IEEE 1394) interface for high-speed data transfer. Optional Sony SlimDock™ docking station with optical drive for ultimate connectivity. Price with PIII 850, 20 GB Hard Drive, 128 MB RAM is about PDS2,400.00. My opinion on this is that it's nothing too special, nothing exciting or inovative. For the price there are better options available.
Sony - a great company with a great reputation. Their products are well designed, incorporating innovative and useful functionality with excellent visual impact. I own a PCG-N505SN notebook (as well as a Playstation 2, a old hi-fi that has done 10 years and is still going strong, and a video camera). The notebook is great, incredibly slimline yet powerful enough for everything i need. However... It breaks. undefined software/hardware problem, continual crashing. sony customer care quite helpful on the phone, and come to collect it same day. Their customer care department will not give out its phone number - i can only fax them, but am guaranteed a reply within 48 hours. 22 days later (yes, 22), still no reply. more faxes, more promises that someone will get back to me. still nothing. It is now 6 weeks since i sent them the laptop. This is unacceptable. I have totally lost confidence in the product and the company.
Live 2000, the not so main event for techno innovations coming up in the next year or so, roll on the old TMA. But enough bitching about that, I have a genuine complaint to make to Sony, where did you hide the Playstation 2? Were you tring to hide behind all your Playstation stands, or the highly impressive new in-car entertainment systems, which, mixed with the beautiful ladies lying all over the cars mmmmmmm drool, drool, drool!!!, certainly distracted me for at least 2 hours. But then the mist and haze started to lift from my eyes and the rays of light of realisation began to emerge; (a bit deep I know but heh I'm on a roll) Sony had forgotten to bring along the its new mighty weapon to show off before the Christmas sales begin, its fantastic Playstation 2!!! Personally I have been looking forward to having a go on one of these for ages, ever since rumours and screenshots started to pop up last year. And I thought that with Live 2000 trying to urge the promotion of new technologies to enhance the quality of the dull existence we call our lives that Sony would oblidge and have had the console laid out as soon as you walked in. But alais, no such joy was to be mine, nothing but sub standard Dreamcasts , and rusty old Playstations. And it was no good asking the hired help on the stalls, as was the case most of the day, when posed with a question other than "Where is the bar?" and "Can you tell me where the toilets are?", you were just might with a cheesy smile and asked if you would like to fill out a competition form and try to steal one of their lovely logo pens. AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So all in all the Playstation 2 was nowhere to be found, this brings worry to mind, so close to launch date I would have thought Sony would have been more than happy to show off their new competition destroyer to the public and rake in even more revenue from people rushing out to the High Street to pre order theirs to put under the old Chr
istmas tree, or say that it is an 'Executive Toy'. Could something be wrong behind the dark and closed doors of Sony? Maybe a logistics problem meant that the van couldn't drop one round to Earls Court?, I hope its nothing more serious than that!! Because if I don't get to play with my new toy on Christmas day I can tell you, Sony will have hell to pay!!!