Simply put, I started sending my Sony DCR-VX2100 to Precision Camera (authorized Sony repair facility) last month when it started having issues. It has now been sent and returned to me a total of four times, the issue persisting every time I receive it back and this last time, it was actually worse than before. As of today (6/24/2008), it's gone back a 5th time on Sony's orders.
In addition to posting this here, I've also sent the details of this encounter to The Consumerist, hoping that something will get Sony's attention. Unless I see what I consider to be a satisfactory resolution from this debacle, I'm done with Sony. What follows is the letter I sent to the Sony Executive Review committee:
June 24, 2008
ATTN: Executive Review Committee
12451 Gateway Boulevard
Fort Myers, FL 33913
To Whom It May Concern:
Back on May 15th, I was using my Sony DCR-VX2100 to videotape a nursery school spring program with little children singing and dancing. When I arrived home to check my footage, I discovered that there was a lot of distortion in the recording, particularly on the left side of the video. I checked the tape in another camera and got the same result - bad distortion.
I went to Sony's eSupport center online and filled out a service request, paying the flat rate fee of $249.00 for in-warranty repairs (the camera is less than a year old and still under warranty). They had me sending the camera to Precision Camera in Enfield, CT, one of the authorized service centers. I shipped it that same day and received it back on May 21st.
I tested it as soon as I removed it from the shipping box by recording with a brand new tape and the problem still existed. I contacted Precision Camera and, abiding by a 90-day repair guarantee, said they'd take it back and look at it again. I received it back from its second repair stint on May 29th. I tested it again, the same as last time, and discovered that the problem still hadn't been repaired. Once again, it was sent back to Precision Camera and I received it back from that third repair attempt on June 9th. Once again, the problem still hadn't been fixed.
It was then that I called Sony Support's hotline and after about 45 minutes on the phone, I was told to send the camera back to Precision Camera and that if they couldn't fix it on this, the fourth repair attempt, they would then be authorized to request a brand new camera for me. I received the camera back from Precision Camera today, June 24th, and the problem still exists and is, in fact, even more pronounced this time. There was nothing on the repair ticket that accompanied my camera that indicated an inability to repair the camera.
I called Sony again and initially spoke to Julie in Sony Support, who was very helpful in taking down my information, my issue and then transferring me over to Shaun in Sony Customer Relations. I explained my issue to him and mentioned how I had been assured in my last phone encounter with Sony that if the camera was not/could not be repaired by Precision Camera, they would authorize a new camera to be sent out to me. He told me that Sony Customer Relations cannot do that directly and that it has to be the repair facility that does the request. Precision Camera apparently felt they had repaired my camera (which they clearly had not) and as a result, the request for a replacement camera was never placed.
Shaun then told me that he would send me yet another UPS label and that I was to send the camera to Precision Camera for what would now be a fifth time in just a little over a month. He then reiterated that if they found that they couldn't repair it, I would be authorized to receive a brand new DCR-VX2100. I raised my concerns about Precision Camera's quality of service to him, noting that as I had already sent my camera to them four times, I didn't have a high degree of confidence that it would be fixed on a fifth attempt and would rather send it to another Sony repair facility. Unfortunately, this was met with silence and I was told that he would e-mail me the UPS label to go to Precision Camera.
I am sending out the camera again today with little hope that I will encounter any success with getting it repaired. Unfortunately, if Precision Camera continues to maintain that they have repaired the camera, there is no authorization for a new camera, despite the fact that my current unit is clearly malfunctioning and that if one of the technicians had merely taken the time to put a new tape into the camera, pressed record and then played it back (as I did each time), they would have clearly observed that the problem was not fixed.
I feel as though I'm getting the runaround from both Precision Camera and Sony Customer Relations with this never-ending cycle of shipping, receiving, testing and finding the problem unfixed, then re-sending it for repair. I paid $249 over a month ago for this repair and have seen absolutely no tangible results from that payment. This kind of service is simply unacceptable, especially considering the price I initially paid for this camera less than a year ago.
I have been a loyal Sony customer for a very long time. This is my third Sony camcorder and in addition to that, I have bought a significant amount of other Sony merchandise over the years, including but not limited to game consoles and peripherals, CD players, blank media and so on, in addition to a great deal of Sony products for use on the university campus in New Jersey at which I have been employed for several years. Never have I had a problem like this before involving Sony or their products. If this situation isn't resolved in the form of having a 100% working camcorder - be it my original in a completely repaired state or a brand new one out of the box - my DCR-VX2100 will undoubtedly be the absolute last Sony product I ever purchase.
As instructed by Shaun at Sony Customer Relations, I am providing you with all the pertinent information regarding this situation.
My contact information is as follows:
Information regarding the camcorder is as follows:
Dates of service at Precision Camera are as follows:
May 19, 2008
May 27, 2008
June 5, 2008
June 19, 2008
I have also included the following documentation:
Copy of original purchase receipt for the DCR-VX2100 (dated 7/18/2007)
Copy of repair request confirmation e-mail from Sony Support
Copy of repair ticket from 6/19/2008 service
Copies of e-mail notifications from Precision Camera for each service (4)
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns you have regarding this situation. I look forward to getting this matter resolved as quickly as possible and I greatly appreciate your assistance in the resolution of this unfortunate series of events regarding my Sony product.
Cedar Knolls, New Jersey
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