SONY touchy about touch screens
Complaint about Cyber-shot digital still Camera (Model DSC-T700)
I bought this camera in September 2008, in Tokyo. During the last 12 to 18 months the LCD screen/touch panel of the Cyber-shot camera gradually developed dark spots or discolorations which make seeing images more difficult apart from being unsightly and an eye-strain in poor light; otherwise the camera functions normally.
In July 2011, I took the camera to the SONY-Center in Berlin, Germany, SONY’s west- European headquarters, for a diagnosis. I was immediately told at the ground floor information desk that I should have bought a protective film and placed it upon the LCD screen for protection against such dark spotting, but also to proceed to their 3rd floor technical department for confirmation; the latter checked the camera and gave me the same explanation. No doubt, SONY was familiar with the problem.
Needless to say, I was dismayed by this information as I had never been warned against this problem upon purchase of the camera nor does the accompanying instruction manual refer to it anywhere.
In September, 2011, I sent an email to SONY AUSTRALIA pointing out the problem with the camera screen and asking where I should take the camera in order for SONY to replace the screen (as was recommended in Berlin), hoping that SONY would make no charge as the deficiency was not of my doing.
In its reply SONY suggested I take the camera to a Sony authorised Service Centre to assess the exact fault and cause, before the SONY Customer Relations Group could decide on a solution.
I was reminded that the camera was out of the 12 month manufacture warranty, and that there may be an assessment fee charged by the Service Centre.
I subsequently took the camera to a recommended Sony Service Centre, and, soon after, received their quote for the repair: $263.44 which represents about 65% of the purchase price of the camera plus $33 inspection fee for the quote.
I then sent the quote to SONY AUSTRALIA Customer Contact Centre, indicating that I would like to proceed with the repair of the screen provided SONY bear the cost; I felt this to be reasonable given that the problem was not of my doing and could have been avoided if the touch screen had been protected by a special foil as explained to me by the SONY Center in Berlin.
In October 2011, a SONY staff member, who identified himself as Scott, telephoned my mobile number stating that the company would not bear the cost of the repairs suggesting I had abused and/or damaged the camera. When pressed he admitted that SONY had, of course, not seen the camera but that the Melbourne service centre had sent them photos of the camera. This is a completely fabrication on Scott’s part a spokesman of the SONY approved service repair centre, who inspected the camera, confirmed to me.
It is interesting to note that the refusal to provide an out-of-warranty repair and Scott's suggestion of 'abuse and damage' were not made in writing but over the phone. I tried to call him back to report James’ disagreement with Scott’s allegation of abuse but he had telephoned me from an unlisted or anonymous number!
Note an interesting development - I recently visited a specialist camera retailer in Melbourne who informed me that purchasers of the current cyber-shot model with touch screen are advised to apply a protective film to the touch screen of their new camera!
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