Broken ADP-MAA flash adapter, smashed F58 flash, poor Sony response

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jeffer79
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Broken ADP-MAA flash adapter, smashed F58 flash, poor Sony response
4 months ago

If you use an A99, F58, F60 and/or ADP-MAA adapter user, this may interest you.

I've been a Sony shooter all my life and never have I experienced anything which made me as angry as this episode. Read on for what happened when my Sony A99 ADP-MAA flash adapter broke in half, causing my F58 flash to drop and smash on the floor, and the official Sony response.

On 4th May 2014, I filed a complaint online and received no response. So on 13th June 2014, I queried the complaint:

"Hello, I filed a complaint dated 3rd-4th May 2014 and I have not had a response. Can you confirm whether you will respond in the near future or advise who else I can contact? Thanks, Jeff."

On 16th June 2014, I got this reply, and I responded right away:

"Thank you for contacting Sony support. Please accept our apology for any inconvenience or any unintended delay form our end. Please reply back with the complaint number to investigate the progress on your case. Waiting for your response with keen interest. Should you have any further questions or queries please do not hesitate to contact us back."

My reply:

"Thank you for your response, unfortunately, I do not have the case number, but if you can search your open cases with email addresses, then I used [email] via your online support form.

Let me take this opportunity to summarise the complaint.

I am a full time professional wedding photographer and I have used Sony Alpha cameras since the A200. I own 2x F58AM legacy flashes and last year I bought an A99, which had an adapter to the new hotshoe so that I was able to use my old F58AM flash units with the A99. I have never had a problem with the old lock hotshoe design, and my flashes would be locked into place and secured. However, since using my F58AM flashes with my A99 using the supplied adapter, my flash has fallen off my camera several times, leading to scuffs and dents in my flash units, due to the adapter slipping off the camera, no matter how tightly I screw it tight - the flash would fall off the camera with the adapter attached to flash.

On 3rd May 2014, outside the bride’s home in the morning, I attached my F58AM flash to my A99 via the hotshoe adapter as usual, and this time, instead of slipping off the camera, the adapter broke in half and split into two, one half attached to the camera, the other to the F58AM flash which crashed to the floor and this time damaged heavily. The battery door latches have snapped, leaving a bulging battery door that does not close; the wide angle plate and bounce card both snapped off too.

Furthermore, this left me with one working F58AM flash that could not be connected to my A99 due to the adapter breaking, so I had to work the whole wedding without a flash on my A99.

This made me so angry that when I got home I considered switching over to Canon, and that night, I wrote you my original complaint. After my anger subsided, I decided to stay loyal to Sony and purchased a F60M flash unit to use with my A99, leaving me with a half-broken F58AM and another F58AM which works perfectly well but I have no means of using it.

Aside from this, my F60M suffers from constant overheating during my weddings, that I miss key shots due to the flash not firing. I do not consider the flash to have been used excessively when the overheating occurs, and a quick toggle of the on/off button usually brings the flash back to life - however this is then too late for the missed key shot. I note that this is a common complaint among the Sony community via the online forums. I also note that the poor flash adapter attachment is also a common problem.

As a professional user of Sony camera equipment, I hope you agree that these issues are unacceptable and I would love to hear your response in these matters. You are very close to losing a customer to your rivals. Jeff."

On 20th June 2014, Sony replied and gave me some hope that they would actually do something about this. They said:

"Thank you for your reply. I appreciate the time you have taken to restate your complaint regarding the physical incident with the Flashgun adapter in connection with your Alpha 99 camera.

In response to your complaint, we would be grateful for attaching the following:

- A photo for the proof of purchasing your camera.

- A photo showing the physical defect of the battery door and other parts affected if applicable.

Please insert the photos as attached files NOT posted in the email and make sure that they will not exceed 3 Mbs. We are looking forward to hearing from you. Should you have further queries, please never hesitate to reply to this email or contact us on the following numbers."

So I took the time to gather the required documents and photos required and emailed them to Sony on 20th June 2014:

"Hello, photos and documents attached as requested. Photos showing condition of flash unit, broken hot shoe adapter, and serial number of my A99 camera along with the associated invoice. If you have difficulties with the attachments, the same files can be seen/downloaded here [url]. I look forward to hearing from you. Jeff."

Today, 24th June 2014, Sony replies with this:

"Thank you for contacting Sony support. We appreciate providing us with the requested documents and pictures. Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer a good will in this case, and we advise you to register for a repair online by following the link below:

http://www.sony.co.uk/support/en/repair

If you require any further assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to reply back to this E-mail or to contact us on the phone numbers below."

I replied just now, with:

"Please provide a reason for your decision. Not only has the failed adapter cost me a broken flash (F58 in question), a replacement flash (F60), and a useless working flash (F58 that now does not work with my A99), you compounded this by making me waste my time to provide you with pictorial evidence of your failure. I will be posting details of this online on my website and photography forums, including your reason and final outcome. Jeff."

So there you go. The whole sorry episode that Sony refused to address. I'm not sure what I was expecting, perhaps at least a replacement ADP-MAA adapter or a discounted repair of my broken F58? But nope, nothing. Well done Sony. I will update further if I hear anything more. And what was the point of making a complaint in the first place if they are just going to dismiss it?

Will be interested to read your thoughts. Jeff.

 jeffer79's gear list:jeffer79's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony SLT-A77 Sony SLT-A99 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony 50mm F1.4 +7 more
Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 Sony SLT-A99
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