Sony "Prime Support" - Same fault now on 4th trip! at

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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old April 27th, 2009, 01:23 PM   #1
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Sony "Prime Support" - Same fault now on 4th trip!

I am at the end of my tether with Sony Prime Support. I was happy with my PMW-EX1 but wanted to fix the battery leakage problem and returned it to Prime Support in the UK.

It came back without any ability to record sound - either from the internal mic or the external mic.

I kicked up a stink. They took it back, explained there had been a defect on the circuit board (presumably one they had replaced for the battery problem) and replaced the circuit board. A quick test show the sound now worked but 2 days later I go to a gig - and no sound recording ability!

On the phone again. Send it back again. Sony apologise and say they've never seen a situation like this. They phone to say they're sending me an "almost new" replacement that's been used as a hire camera and that I should keep that camera. I express concern at the change in serial number (which I'm told is much more recent than my originally purchased model) with regard to warranty and the fact it's not a "new" replacement but one that's been out on hire. I am told I shouldn't worry and that it has only had a week or two of use. The replacement arrives fine and sound recording is great.

I am surprised a few weeks later to discover a message on my answer machine apologising for the delay in repairing my camera, owing to a circuit board being on back order. I ignore it. A few weeks later I get a phone message saying my camera has been sent back to me and can I please return the replacement camera that was only meant to be a temporary replacement. When I speak to a rep on the phone they have no record of my being told to keep the replacement camera since my original camera keeps breaking with the same fault (a fault it never had until it entered the Sony workshops).

I bought the camera home today. I think you can guess what's happened. Yup, no sound - either from internal mic or external mic.

I am at the end of my tether. Months of to and fro with the camera to fix a very basic problem that they introduced.

Thank God I haven't sent back the replacement camera yet (and I won't be doing) otherwise I'd be in real trouble.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 02:11 PM   #2
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I feel your pain.
Unfortunately it seems that using Sony's repair service is a risky move.

I sent my EX1 to California to get a back focus problem examined and when it came back the internal lens elements were filthy. My local dealer said that I'd have to send the camera back to Cali, (2 more weeks of down time) to get cleaned since "the one who messed it up is the only one who can fix it" is the Sony policy.

I wonder if Sony Service is outsourcing repairs to the zoo's chimpanzee exhibit. The techs are either idiots or are not given enough time to do repairs correctly.

I ended up taking apart the lens myself and cleaning it. Total downtime: 1 hour.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 02:33 AM   #3
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Ian, give prime support a call and make an appointment to take the camera in person to the service center at Pencoed (South Wales). I realise it's a bit of a trek and you shouldn't have to do it, but they should fix it while you wait and then you can check it over before you leave.
Alister Chapman, Film-Maker/Stormchaser My XDCAM site and blog.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 06:15 AM   #4
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Mine came back from the same repair with the ch1 int/ext switch not working!
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Old May 5th, 2009, 06:33 AM   #5
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Just so you folks don't feel this is specific to the UK, my camera came back after firmware upgrade and battery drain fix, unable to play clips in camera or out HD-SDI. Fortunately I only live 30 minutes from the Park Ridge New Jersey repair facility. We drove back and they reinstalled the firmware on the spot while I waited.

I wonder what percentage of Sony repairs take 2 rounds (and what percentage of people simply accept flawed repairs). Obviously that number can't be done and of course we'll only get these exceptional cases here but one certainly can get the impression it's not uncommon. As Alister suggests, going back with you attached to the camera seems to be a good idea when possible.
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Old May 10th, 2009, 10:48 AM   #6
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They definitely can screw up a repair. They replaced my back panel on my EX1 to take care of the paint wear issue and managed to kill my audio system by jamming a couple of the slide switches into the circuit board by misaligning the reassembly. Mine's made a few trips back for service and I'm REALLY reluctant to send it again for the firmware update....both for the price of the update AND the fact that it gives them another shot at killing it.
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