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2016-08-02 09:47 PM - last edited on 2016-08-02 09:55 PM by alexdon
I’d like to share with you the terrible customer support I’ve experienced by Sony Hellas. On April 17th 2015 I purchased a Sony Xperia Z3 (D6603) with registered IMEI. At this point I would like to note that one of the major factors for purchasing said device was its advertised IP65/68 rating. On December of the same year, said device was used in a pool, and within its IP specifications. Shortly after entering the water, the device shut down. After forwarding it to the appointed Sony service in Greece, the conclusion was that the water tightness was defective. The appointed service, then, repaired said device and returned it with a new IMEI (). On June 2016 the same incident occurred, and once more it was forwarded to the appointed service. At that point I informed both Sony and the service provider that I would like to have the device replaced (also, keep in mind that Sony deemed the service responsible for the replacement of the device, while the service in turn deemed Sony responsible). Once again, despite my request, the device was repaired and returned. Again, on July 17th 2016, the same incident occurred. On July 18th the device was once again forwarded to the service. On July 19th, I informed Sony Hellas of the incident over the phone. Following that, and after consulting my legal advisor, I sent an e-mail describing the situation and stating that I was taking up my rights as a consumer and based on EU law 2251/1994 and civil code article 540 and requested either the replacement of the unit with a “brand new one, out of the box (not refurbished) or a complete reimbursement of the funds”. At this point it is important to note that according to the law, the company should comply with the consumer’s demands immediately and without causing further disturbance. Also, at this point I was without a device for a total of 3 weeks from purchasing it. On Friday July 22nd I was contacted by a Sony Hellas representative that informed me that the device did indeed have a problem that cannot be repaired (it took them 2 tries and an official complain to figure that out) and that they would proceed forward with a replacement, on top of which he informed me that the replacement device was in stock both as a unit and as a coloring. Fast forward to Monday 25th of July, no device was in sight. Once again I called up Sony to inform them that I had a business trip coming up on Tuesday 26th of July and I needed to have the device by then, otherwise, and on the grounds that it took them longer than usual to fulfill my demands and I had to call them in order to find out what is going on, I would withdraw from the contract and request a complete reimbursement of the amount, as I would be forced to purchase a new device, and replacing it wouldn’t be of much use to me. The employee I was talking with was especially rude and even at some point attempted to point out that it was not Sony’s responsibility to replace the device “immediately” and that “immediately” is not particularly defined. I suppose that my legal advisor with an LL.M. in trade law has insufficient knowledge over the subject or that simply Sony has no regard of European laws. He also proceeded to state that they had given said order to their outsourced service department, therefore they had done their job, and I was left to contact the service in order to find out if the device had been dispatched. Mind you, I spent about 3 hours back and forth, dealing with such a terrible service all the way, trying to get my device back, I was at the top of my head (remember that “without causing further disturbance?” , no regard for that either). Maintaining my integrity, I managed to get an answer from the service department (that I had to call up, because according to your employee “it is not within our responsibility to communicate with the service department”) saying that the device was at hand and it would be dispatched by Tuesday the 26th of July. Unfortunately that wasn’t nearly enough, as I had to leave for my business trip. Coming back on Thursday the 28th of July, no device had been received. Once again I had to call up the service department to hear the following words (again) “the device is in stock and will be dispatched today”. Finally, on Tuesday the 2nd of July I received the package only to realize that what I had received was the packaging of my old device (which I had used to ship it to the service department) with another device in it. Apparently there was also no regard about the request of a “brand new out of the box”, I simply had no way of knowing if somebody had tampered with the device or if it was new or refurbished, which by the way was covered with dust all around and a sticky substance on the micro SD cover, and to make matters worse, prior to even booting the device (which I still haven’t, and I am not going to) I tried clicking the physical buttons which behaved worse than the ones of my old device that I had clicked thousands of times. Based on all of the above and the behavior I had to deal with, I have no reason or will to rely on your company’s customer support anymore. I am without a cellphone for the past 4 weeks and to top it off I am so despised by the way you treat your customers that I will refrain from purchasing a Sony product ever again. At this point I will proceed to press legal charges against Sony Hellas backed up by the European Consumer Centre in Greece and request for reimbursement of the full amount. I do hope that this will prove useful in improving your customer service in my country so that future customers of yours won’t have to deal with the same.
The ticket number for Sony Hellas was 1-26587467606
P.S. Worst part of all, I am the product manager of a hardware start-up that specializes on smart smartphone peripherals and I used my own Z3 as a test bed to develop our product for. Take a wild guess on how that worked out for us!
P.S. II I posted this in the customer relations forums. They promted me to this place. I doubt its going to improve anything. But people should be aware of what's going on.
2016-08-03 05:02 AM - edited 2016-08-03 05:06 AM
One of the things I miss of Europe are all the regulations and laws to protect us as a customer. I did what you have done many times with several other oems: Sony (consumer electronics, at that time there were no Sony mobiles - my Walkman was destroying original tapes, replaced 4 times!!! ), Nokia, NEC, Alcatel, Motorola... Worst of the worst was Samsung while I never had issues with Ericsson (at that time was not yet Sony) and another brand that at this moment I don't remember but that was particularly popular in Italy and was almost exclusively working the network 3.
What you are describing is really and simply a nightmare, it's such a shame that companies have no respect of us, the ones that fill their bank accounts with our own money, however if I learn something is that the fault is 90% of the times of customer services that 100% of the time are not exclusive of a single brand, long story short.. They are just contractors that work for Sony... And other.
In my own experience I learnt that this kind of posts are welcomed by us, the customers, but not effective to let Sony take action about poor customer service and contractors. I do understand your pain and I can assure that here there are some real Sony employee that may take care of it but they may also be not able to contact Sony Hella to verify what's the solution but you can, yes you. Send a real letter, attorney-free, and express your concerns to Sony in Greece. They may end up taking care of your issue and probably sending a warning to their contractor in order to avoid this in the future.
You have, however, all the rights to ask for reimbursement. I did it, just contact the near association for the rights of consumers (we have a big one in Italy and it's really effective) and ask for your rights to be heard and fulfilled. I did it, many do it every day. Just, don't be discouraged about a brand. Bad batches happens everywhere and no matter what brand.
Anyway, thank you so much for your post, let me know how it goes!!
2016-08-03 07:43 AM
Yeah it really helps to have the law on your side and not have to enforce it yourself. Especially when the cost pursuing it might overshadow the cost of the item in the first place.
What I was disputing with Sony Hellas over the phone was the fact that I payed them not just for a product and a warranty, but also for their customer support. It's ok if they want to outsource their service, as long as they can keep them in check. But it's not my responsibility as a customer to run around asking for my product from Sony to service provider. Worst part is that they both have a mutual sort of disregard for their customers so they just keep bouncing them around and feed them with bullsh*t. It was amazing listening to this customer care emplyee acting as a lawyer over the phone, when I forwarded the convo to my lawyer he couldn't stop facepalming.
I've pretty much had it with Sony Hellas. Not even going to bother again. Straight to the European Consumer Centre. And you are right, bad batches do happen. And it is acceptable. But the way they dealt with it... straight up infuriates me.
Thanks a lot for your reply mate,
I'll keep you posted.
2016-09-05 09:34 AM
So, I filed the complaint with the European Consumer Center along with all the relevant documentation and pictures. A couple of days later I got a call from a Sony representative inquiring about the notification they had received (I guess they did not read it). After explaining the situation to them (once more), their statement was that they would like to re-establish "trust" *cough* *cough*. To which my reply was that if they wanted to do so, they should proceed immediately with a full reimbursement. Since I asked for a "brand new" device and the one I got as a replacement was out of its original box, full of dust all around, with glue on the microSD port and the buttons were ridiculously stiff, I told them that I could simply not accept the device as "new". To which they replied that all of the replacements they issue are done in a similar manner (really now? there are consumers out there that accept replacements without the original box and safety seal?). Anyway, they said they'd investigate and call me within a day or two. Indeed the next day I got another phonecall saying that they could not issue a reimbursement because the device I bought was imported from Italy (still Sony, still EU). But if I would like, I could send the device that I "claimed to be refurbished" back to their service department so they could check it and then we could "check other available solutions". Now, I don't want to be rude, but. Having a very dissapointing experience with said service department for the past three incidents (I am being polite), and the only actual evidence of their incompetence that I have is the device I hold. How dumb do they think I am in order to ask me to send it back to them? Worst case scenario that the case goes south and we end up in the court of law, its my strongest clue. And really, at this point, I don't even care about "other solutions". For all I care, I don't want to even remotely face the chance of having to deal with the same customer support, ever, again. At this point I am awaiting for the consumer center to get back to me in order to discuss further course of action.
Will keep updating.
2016-09-05 11:24 AM
2016-09-05 04:31 PM
Yeah well I came in contact with them several times before reaching out to the consumer center. They didn't seem to care so much back then. Of course this is no perfect world. BUt the last person I wanted to hear from was another Sony employee. The device was purchased from the same country as the one I am seeking a refund in (I.e. Greece), the origin of the phone was from Italy. The refund is processed by the retailer indeed but in such cases it is done so in coordination with the company that is responsible for the product. Though it can happen independently as well. Also, the law I am trying to enforce is a derivative of the European Commission. So all countries abide by it.
What is not acceptable is a rude behavior and complete disregard of my request for the first three times and then trying to act nice after getting reported to the consumer center
2016-09-05 05:53 PM
2016-09-05 06:15 PM
I wasn't referring to you as a Sony employee. Return it as often as required? Are you kidding me? I payed full price for a spec I never got to enjoy, was defective from day 1, was "repaired" twice unsecessfully and was replaced with what was obviously a refurbished model. At this point, nobody guarantees me I am getting a brand new one. If somebody fools you three times and you keep going back well... People will start laughing at you. Nuff said. Consider myself lucky? You for real?It's not a 3rd world country here. Where companies can do as they please and choose to ignore whomever they want. It seems that you got no clue about the law here. I could easily drag this down to court, ask for reimbursement (which is already one of my lawful rights as a consumer), add up compensation for the total of days I've been without a phone etc etc does this really solve the problem though?I don't know what's your personal experience with consumer affairs but that ain't how it work here. your opinion is welcome but before hand try reading up a bit. What it all comes down to is a very VERY bad customer service all the way. They should be ashamed to even ask people for their money.
P.S. I wouldn't be surprised if you actually worked for Sony. Or just a big fanboy.
2016-09-05 06:51 PM
2016-09-05 06:59 PM
1) the warranty on the Z3 was 24 months. It's not out of warranty.
2)all phones get bad batches. And most consumers are aware of that. But its up to the company to deal with them properly.
3) unfortunately, yes.
4) they are actually quite different. I've got 3 mates that are lawyers each in a different continent. Have discussed this with all of them. You'd be surprised!
Next phone also not a Sony. That's why I'm going straight for the reimbursement.
Will keep this updated