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Old 02-24-2010, 01:17 PM   #1
Gatecra5her
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UK Sony Warranty is useless!

Hi all,

Has anyone had any dealings with sending back their reader to Sony for repair? Here's my story over the last 2 weeks:

Since I got the reader in December, it's had a black dot in the lower left of the screen - I phoned Waterstones and asked if it was grounds for replacement and they said it'd have to go back to Sony. I let it be for a month or so as I didn't want to be without it for weeks while Sony repaired it.

After about a month, the dot turned into a line - which very quickly turned into a complete blur on the screen with funny shapes. At this point none of the screen worked, when the power button was pressed I could see it was trying to do something as it flickered, but nothing was happening.

I sent the reader back to Sony Central Service, and after a week they advised me that the lower layer of the eInk display was "physically damaged" and they want £216.82 to fix it! I can get a new reader for £219!!!

There are no marks on the reader, it's been in its case and treated like a newborn baby since the day I got it! It's NEVER been dropped or nudged off a table, I am completely OCD with my electronics and they remain in pristine condition.

Sony say unless I can 100% prove that it's never been nudged or dropped then I'll be charged - I stated that was impossible unless I'd videotaped it 24 hours a day since Christmas day, but it's like speaking to a brick wall with them.

I have been bounced between Sony's complaints team and Central Service. They claim the warranty covers mechanical failure but not damage, i'm arguing that it's clearly a defective unit that's suffered mechanical failure, but they won't have it! It's so frustrating when you're trying to argue your case and all you get is "I understand where you're coming from", followed by "BUT, it's not covered".


Does anyone know of anything I can do at this point? I can't afford a new reader, or to fit the bill of repairing it - and I shouldn't have to pay a penny! They want £27.50 even to send it back to me unrepaired!
Sorry for the long post but as a community of readers I hope it'll get read!
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:25 PM   #2
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...I let it be for a month or so as I didn't want to be without it for weeks while Sony repaired it...
As soon as you notice something you need to return it. It's all about protecting yourself. Now that a significant amount of time has lapsed, Sony representatives believe (wrongly so) that prolonged misuse caused the damage.

Perhaps someone will chime in with a remedy.

Edit: I should have welcomed you first!

Last edited by SCION; 02-24-2010 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:21 PM   #3
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Sorry this has happened to you OP.

Is there any way of proving that you had phoned Waterstones initially about this defect in your screen - that way maybe Sony would be convinced that there was an initial problem with the device.

Otherwise you have a few other options including selling the unrepaired unit on somewhere like ebay or finding a 3rd party other than Sony who might be able to repair the unit for you at a lower cost.
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:22 PM   #4
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I don't have any experience with Sony warranties anywhere, much less the UK, but I think this kind of thing is pretty standard for warranties of all kinds. You can't keep something for a month after it breaks and then expect the company to just believe you when you say it came like that. Hopefully you can pick up a new reader at less than retail price somehow.
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:23 PM   #5
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Hi Scion,

Thanks for your reply! To be honest, the dot never really bothered me to start with, it was usually covered by a word so it wasn't staring me in the face all the time. Still...2 months of very delicate usage should not mean the insides of the reader breaking

I said to the woman in the service centre "Would you be happpy buying a car, only to have it break down and have to pay full price for a new one a month later?"

She said, "well, if i'd crashed the car then yes!". They're trying to tell me it's been thrown about etc, and that it can be dropped onto a hard surface - hard enough to shatter the insides, yet not leave so much as a hairline scratch on the casing? So frustrating!
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Gatecra5her View Post
Hi Scion,

Thanks for your reply! To be honest, the dot never really bothered me to start with, it was usually covered by a word so it wasn't staring me in the face all the time. Still...2 months of very delicate usage should not mean the insides of the reader breaking

I said to the woman in the service centre "Would you be happpy buying a car, only to have it break down and have to pay full price for a new one a month later?"

She said, "well, if i'd crashed the car then yes!". They're trying to tell me it's been thrown about etc, and that it can be dropped onto a hard surface - hard enough to shatter the insides, yet not leave so much as a hairline scratch on the casing? So frustrating!
That's very unfortunate. I saw two black specks on my 600, but I was able to return it to the store for a replacement.
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:43 PM   #7
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I don't have any experience with Sony warranties anywhere, much less the UK, but I think this kind of thing is pretty standard for warranties of all kinds. You can't keep something for a month after it breaks and then expect the company to just believe you when you say it came like that. Hopefully you can pick up a new reader at less than retail price somehow.
Hi Banjo,

Just to reiterate, I never kept it a month after it broke - I don't want readers of this thread to read that and then just give up on trying to help me. It was a DOT on the screen, hardly broke. The screen broke about a month later. The dot could have been mistaken for a spec of dust it was that negligable.
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:45 PM   #8
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That's very unfortunate. I saw two black specks on my 600, but I was able to return it to the store for a replacement.
Waterstones have a very odd policy on the Sony readers, you cannot take them back once opened unless there's a fault, and if the fault is after so many days they won't look at it, it needs to go back to Sony.

£250 down the toilet I guess! The sad thing is, I'll probably go out and buy the cheaper PRS 300 now because I don't want to do without a reader and I can't think of any ones that rival the Sony ones!
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:20 PM   #9
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Waterstones have a very odd policy on the Sony readers, you cannot take them back once opened unless there's a fault, and if the fault is after so many days they won't look at it, it needs to go back to Sony.

£250 down the toilet I guess! The sad thing is, I'll probably go out and buy the cheaper PRS 300 now because I don't want to do without a reader and I can't think of any ones that rival the Sony ones!
Assuming you are in the UK go to your local Citizens advice or Trading standards office and ask what your rights are under the UK consumer protection laws.

Secondly, and more importantly, if you bought using a credit card lodge immediately a complaint with your credit card provider. They are Jointly responsible under the sale of goods act along with Waterstones who should have dealt with this not pass you to Sony, which is illegal. It is for them to prove you have mis-used it not you to prove you have not.

If you are not in the UK but did buy with a credit card you may be still covered by the UK consumer protection law.

Do a search on Mobileread for Waterstones and you will see what the considered quality of Waterstones customer service is.
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:36 PM   #10
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Good suggestions by Nonny Mouse above.

Sorry you had to deal with this, Gatecra5her, Sony's and Waterstones' behaviour seems unacceptable. It would be nice if you could prove that you did contact Waterstones about the problem (do you maybe have the name of the person you spoke to or something?). And I don't understand how Waterstones can sell something and then deny all responsibility.

Good luck, and fight all you can. I realise that complaining after one month may sound suspicious to sony, but don't they realise that treating their customers as if they are con men is more harmful to their business than the price of one reader?
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:56 PM   #11
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Thanks for your comments guys. I tried phoning trading standards (I reside in the UK) today but it kept ringing out, I will try in the morning definitely!

When I phoned Waterstones originally about the "dot" on the screen, it was just a rushed guy I spoke to on the till, I am almost certain no note was made of it as it was just a general enquiry. It was when the reader was originally bought late December 2009 that my girlfriend was told that it cannot be returned once opened and faults go through Sony. She paid cash for it, one of the very few times she doesn't use her credit card! I would love to have another lifeline of the credit card insurance but it's not possible here We don't even have the receipt to take it back to Waterstones now - though Sony took the serial number, date and place of purchase and confirmed when and where it was bought. Perhaps I could use the Sony Estimate as proof of purchase now as they have the dates on.

I am desperately trying to find an alternative to Sony now, and I'm having to sell my trusty camera and guitar to collect funds for a new reader

Thanks again for the replies! I'll let you know how it pans out with trading standards.
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:59 PM   #12
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... I'm having to sell my trusty camera and guitar to collect funds for a new reader ...
That's just awful!
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:09 PM   #13
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I really hope you won't have to pay for a new reader. It's too unfair. And if that's how they treat their customers, I will certainly think twice before buying from sony again (waterstones is already off my list anyway).
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:24 PM   #14
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I actually feel a bit better with the supportive comments from this forum!

Cheers guys!
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:31 PM   #15
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I actually feel a bit better with the supportive comments from this forum!

Cheers guys!
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