Sony USA warranty is worthless

Started Mar 11, 2011 | Discussions
Brad Regular Member • Posts: 248
Sony USA warranty is worthless

I have been a happy NEX 5 and 3 owner until earlier this year. My professional Nikon gear is stored most of the time since buying my first NEX. The NEX 5 worked flawlessly from August last year until January with more than 7000 exposures.

At the end of January I sent my NEX 5 to the Laredo Repair Center due to an apparent shutter defect at speeds of 1/2000 and above, returning solid black exposures at 1/4000 or frames with the bottom half black and the top half under exposed at 1/2000 and doing so consistently, even in aperture priority mode and bright outdoor lighting.

After 3 weeks the camera was returned to me with a message that they could not duplicate the problem. I opened the box, installed the kit lens and immediately duplicated the problem. Sent it back next day.

Now after another 3 weeks, the repair center called once again to tell me they cannot duplicate the problem and intend to return the camera as is.

Fair warning, know before you buy. When the next NEX version is released I intend to buy outside the US. Hopefully the Sony repair center technicians in Japan understand basic camera settings and exposure values.

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funkag Regular Member • Posts: 364
Did you send the lens in with it?

I just figured I'd ask - you said when you got it back you put the kit lens on to test it - can you test it with any other lens? Did you send the lens with the camera to Sony? I can't even begin to imagine a scenario where the lens could cause what I'm seeing, but maybe it might be?

OP Brad Regular Member • Posts: 248
Re: Did you send the lens in with it?

Sony requires that the camera be sent without lens, battery, SD card or any accessories. In any case I have a number of Zeiss and CV lens via adapter. Same problem with each one, including the 18-55mm and 16mm Sony.

The second time it went to the repair center I tried to keep it simple and told them to simply set it to "A" mode and point it at a bright light source. After the call from the same technician (?) today, he said it has been in their engineering department for the last 3 weeks and he has not tried an exposure with a bright light source.

I asked him to set the camera to A and walk outside and take a picture of the sky at wide open aperture and he seemed to get it finally but has not replied as he said he would.

Very frustrating.

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heynowtest Regular Member • Posts: 399
Re: Did you send the lens in with it?

could it be the lens? does the nex-3 do fine with the lens?

OP Brad Regular Member • Posts: 248
Re: Did you send the lens in with it?

I believe the lens has been eliminated as the problem. Have tried several lens, including the Sony 16mm and 18-55mm and a variety of Zeiss and CV manual lens....the problem occurs every time the shutter speed is between 1/4000 and 1/2000.

Also the NEX 3 exposes properly with the same lens at 1/4000.

Thanks for the suggestion.

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novak977 Senior Member • Posts: 1,400
Re: Sony USA warranty is worthless

That's s bummer - I have had always a great experience.
Escalate it with the managers.

Brad wrote:

I have been a happy NEX 5 and 3 owner until earlier this year. My professional Nikon gear is stored most of the time since buying my first NEX. The NEX 5 worked flawlessly from August last year until January with more than 7000 exposures.

At the end of January I sent my NEX 5 to the

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guima Regular Member • Posts: 189
Re: Sony USA warranty is worthless

In a positive note to the Sony support.

I have had to get things fixed twice during warranty and their service was great. They were fast and fixed the issues at no cost.
This was with the Alpha line though.

KEITH-C Forum Pro • Posts: 14,131
Re: Sony USA warranty is worthless

This exposure phenomenon was always a potential issue with focal plane shutters which the NEX is fitted with - unless the shutter is perfectly calibrated it is possible for the narrow slit between the two moving shutter blinds to close up inappropriately producing an underexposure or a dark frame.
--
Keith-C

scotbot Senior Member • Posts: 1,196
Re: Sony USA warranty is worthless

I'd suggest a phone call to someone senior at Sony US, either escalate it to tech support management or perhaps someone more commercial (ie sales or press) - they might not take your call but these people tend to be very hot on customer service and customer satisfaction and may have a few words with someone senior in technical for you.

http://www.scottwylie.co.uk

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OP Brad Regular Member • Posts: 248
Re: Sony USA warranty is worthless

Thanks Scott,

I did ask to speak to a supervisor at the repair center. He responded by email after I posted this message and promised to look into the problem.

Will update this post with the eventual results.

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OP Brad Regular Member • Posts: 248
Re: Sony USA warranty is NOT worthless if you persist

Two months after I originally sent my NEX 5 to the Laredo repair center, I am happy to report it has finally been repaired.

After it was sent back the second time, the original technician called me to report they could not duplicate the problem and the camera was once again being returned. It was at this point that I posted this message.

Fortunately, I contacted the supervisor and the shutter mechanism was replaced which repaired the defect. Now I can use 1/2000 through 1/4000 shutter speeds. Sounds like I was stuck with a technician? who could not understand the problem or how to set the camera shutter speed.

Still not happy that it took this much effort and time for the service center to duplicate the problem which occurred every single time 1/4000 of a second was used, but I can no longer say the warranty is worthless.

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kaktusss Regular Member • Posts: 417
Re: Sony USA warranty is NOT worthless if you persist

Great you finally got it repaired !
I think it's the way it goes today... always have to argue.

toomanycanons Forum Pro • Posts: 13,030
Re: Sony USA warranty is NOT worthless if you persist

I bought a NEX 3 late last year. Let's just say I was unhappy with a lot of things about it, including the competency of the kit lenses, and sent the NEX 3 body and both kit lenses to Laredo, asking "is this as good as it gets?" In its favor I liked a lot of things about the NEX 3 but it's all about the IQ for me.

I posted my frustrations on this forum, first with the performance of the kit lenses/body, then with Laredo. They sent everything back to me with no mention of nothing. Nada, nothing. I returned everything to the online retailer I bought it from.

Why am I mentioning this on your thread? I've been getting emails every two days recently from Sony saying "Sony Services has received your unit" with a notification # and my previous serial # and...a whole bunch of apologies that I'm having "problems" with my "unit". Sounds like a response to my Craigslist ads where they talk about my "item".

I always thought that Sony Repair's left hand didn't know what was going on with its right hand. Maybe if I'd gotten hold of the person the OP did I might have actually had somebody look at my "unit" but I gave up after my first try. I already had cameras that perform like I want them to, no brain damage involved.

BTW, I hope you all realize I'm not slamming the NEX, just my experience with Sony.

higrob24 Regular Member • Posts: 283
Re: Sony USA warranty is NOT worthless if you persist

This seems to be the way things are now a days. Certainly is for the people that are meant to provide my company with support. We have to contact them at least thee times.

It normally goes like this.

Me: Hi. We have a problem with N it cant do X like its supposed to.

them: Ok we have looked at N and its fine.

Me: Have you tried doing X on N?

them: No, I'll try that now. Oh you have a problem with N. We will look into it.

So it takes us over a week for them to actually understand there is a problem even though we tell them in detail first.

I'm glad you finally got your camera back and fixed.

It does make you wonder some time what qualifactions you need to be a "technician"

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Bejersey
Bejersey Forum Pro • Posts: 13,919
Re: Sony USA warranty is NOT worthless if you persist

Thanks Brad for the update and good news at that. Yes...I have to do that constantly with my phone co and Kaiser Permanente HMO and so...and at work.
Rick
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Cy Cheze Senior Member • Posts: 2,028
Sony's Laredo

In 2004, I bought a DSC P93 which, in barely four weeks, featured dust spots on the sensor in zoom shots. It was under warranty, so I sent it by UPS to the designated Laredo site. I included a CD with sample pictures that showed the dust smudges. I also included a brief letter that described the conditions under which the spots appeared: bright backgrounds, in zoom. In four weeks, I got the camera back. It featured precisely the same sensor dust marks. The CD I sent was in its envelope with the seal unbroken. The person who did the "work" could not have done squat. The whole run-around simply cost me shipping expense, several weeks without a camera, and the 2 hours or so it took me to create the CD and write the letter.

Lesson: don't expect much from a warranty. Best case, they'll give you a "refurbished" replacement, which may be less risky than if they fumble with the original and fail to indentify or remedy the problem. Sony (and others) don't invest much in quality assurance of P&S services because most buyers probably use their cameras only lightly, buy new ones every year or so, may not notice dust, and won't start a war over a flawed $300 toy. DSLR's may get better treatment, but owners may still have to fuss and complain to obtain satisfaction.

Does Sony actually perform the camera examinations and repairs in Laredo, TX? Or is that a mail sorting point for work performed at some "maquiladora" a few miles away. Mexico has some very capable engineers, but might the plant actually employ mainly low-wage laborers who are paid or fired mainly on the basis of how fast they can turn-around X numbers of cases per hour? BTW, that same problem would occur with a minimum-wage "mill" based in the US proper, but cost Sony more.

toomanycanons Forum Pro • Posts: 13,030
Re: Sony's Laredo

I concluded from my experience that Sony figures their products are going to sell no matter what their reputation might be for warranty service. So these "repair centers" are just places where we send our "units", they put them aside for a week then send them back to us. We're out the money sending it once, do we send it again?

Then it's just an ordeal of attrition, like sending in a rebate form. It's a matter of who will pursue their warranty work/rebate $$ the most may eventually get satisfaction. I say "may eventually".

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