First Impressions: GoPro HERO Camera.
Summer Plans: 2009

Review: Sony Customer Service.

Not too long ago, I accidentally dropped my Camcorder Sony HDR-TG1 onto a hard floor and it got damage. That damage being a tiny dent into the super strong titanium outer-casing on top of the control button. This caused the control button to pop-out ever-so-slightly and rendering the camera inoperable. I consider this a design flaw especially for an object that costs $900. In the past twenty years, I have dropped other camera or video recording equipment but it never damaged the device so it could not be used.

I knew I needed patient and understanding with Sony or the store where I bought it, because of their new “your problem” attitude. This is more frustration we face today as consumers from the companies we support. Maybe that should be another post.

First I contacted Sony France asking them where would be the best place to have the camcorder repaired. Sony’s answer, “Sony France does not directly repair our products. Maintenance of Sony devices are provided in France by distributors who have chosen to market our products. Indeed, we are not in contact with distributor’s customer services.”

Meaning, “We don’t care, You are on your own once we have your money, Thanks for buying Sony products... YOU FOOL!
OK, Maybe that is my slanted interpretation but it is certainly they way I feel lately when dealing with companies and their customer service departments. Usually leading to frustration and tears but for me Boys Don't Cry.

Take One:

On April 18th, I went to the Store where I purchased my camcorder. The damage HDR-TG1 was going to be sent to who knows where to be be looked by who know who and to price the reparation. A few weeks later, on May 7th, I got a letter from the FNAC telling me that it will cost €195,65 ($278 USD) to have the HDR-TG1 fixed. I accepted the repair quote the same day. Last week during my trip in Boston, I got a text message saying that the Sony camcorder was ready. Yahoo!!

During that trip, I promised Ralph Brancaccio to film the installation of his Y Project sculptures in Provincetown. My Sony camcorder was missing so I decided to buy a cheap HD camcorder to keep my promise.I bought a Insignia HD Camcorder. I will get back to that in a few days with a review. Eagerly, on May 30th, I went to the FNAC.

On my way there, I started to prepare myself for a big disappointment. Pessimistic? Well, yes. You would too if you had to face the attitude of a FNAC sales associate. When you ask them for something or product advice, 3/4s of the time they react as if you disturb them while they sit there to get paid. First the associate asked me to pay the repair bill before I could see the camcorder. Having been down this road before and because of my pessimistic feeling, I asked to see the device before paying.


Drum roll please....... So how was their repair service? Frankly, I was angrily disappointed at what I saw. The control and function buttons was replaced but it was popping out from the camcorder, almost exactly how I gave it to them. In addition the top caver of the camcorder was still bent by the chock. They decided not to replace it. Who knows why?

I thought for the price that I accepted to pay for the repair work, it could have been done correctly.How can a service person allow that to leave a repair shop?

I took a moment and photographed the sloppy job, unfortunately the quality of the photos sucks due to the lousy lighting and iPhone’s poor camera.
Repaired HDR-TG1

Take Two:

I let the FNAC associate and her boss know that I wasn’t too happy with the work performed. They understood me, after some bantering and they finally agreed to take it back to have it fixed properly. Thanks to Ralph who was with me, because I did not loose my temper and was able to communicate a little calmer than usually. You should always have your personal coach with you when you deal with such a situation. grin!

But how did we get to this point in dealing with craftsmanship and product reliability.

Lets see what happens now and if Sony is able to deliver a simple repair... oh sorry, I forgot, Sony does not deal or care about this.
Let me know what you think about this post and maybe tell me about your experience.

Don’t you think they could have given me a new camera especially since it is now considered the old model?