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Old May 25th, 2006, 05:51 AM   #1
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Sony gave me the big BALONEY!!!!

Normally I buy anything I need from dvinfo sponsors, but I recently bought a NEW,SEALED IN THE BOX, Sony FX1 from a local guy who sells a lot of stuff on Ebay.The price was $400 cheaper than retail,and he let me open the box and test the camera in his house. It worked fine,had all the new paprework,and I bought it and took it home.
We did a two camera shoot and I hooked up one of my Firestore FS4's to the Sony.The FS4 crashed after 1/2 hour. I thought the problem was in the FS4, but then I tried to capture the tape by firewire and it wouldn't work. The problem was in the FX1.
Short story long....I called Sony and they gave me an event number and told me to send it to their service center,Precision Camera, in Conn.After calling Preision for two weeks, they finally advised me that it would cost $511 to fix,because my bill of sale wasn't from an "authorized Soney dealer". And after talking/pleading with several Sony phone agents, from the sony robot to "level2 customer support",I was told
1-That they couldn't cover the repair
2-That the camera had NO warranty for future problems, and, even better...
3-That I couldn't even BUY an extended warranty from Sony for possible future problems.
I advised Sony that there is NOTHING on their warranty form that mentions an "authorized Spny dealer". It only requires a "bill of sale or receipt".
As I open up a new tube of preparation H, I vow to-
1-Never buy anything more expensive than a roll of gaffers tape from anyone except B+H, and
2- NEVER spend another cent, as long as I live, with Sony-the company that gives the big, dry baloney, but no vaseline.
Bruce S. Yarock
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Old May 25th, 2006, 07:53 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce S. Yarock
That the camera had NO warranty for future problems, and, even better... [...] NEVER spend another cent, as long as I live, with Sony-the company that gives the big, dry baloney, but no vaseline.
I'm really sorry to hear you had to go through that experience, however, that's not fair to say. Sony USA provides the warranty service for Sony products that are imported into the United States through Sony USA. Many dealers sell what is called "Grey Market" goods. What this means is that they have been imported directly from the country of origin. It's not really Sony USA's camera, it's the camera from the importer. It's the importer who is responsible for the warranty. Reputable sellers like B+H are up front about this, and often offer a choice, USA Warranty or Their Own. And as an importer, they handle the warranty repairs themselves. B+H is exemplary in this respect. The party that deserves being shunned is the dealer that sold you the camera and did not explain to you what grey market is nor offered an extended warranty or some kind of warranty to back up the camera they sold you.

Asking Sony USA to cover the warranty repair of a grey market camera is like expecting them to cover a product that's not really theirs. When you pay more for products that are distributed through the local importer's network, you're paying for the cost of running the distribution and service organization. Often when you work with a dealer that charges you more than the grey marketeer you're also paying for a higher level of service, and not just through the distributor/importer. For example, our local Sony dealer here in Boston, Rule Broadcast Systems, offers a loaner for the first two years up to 30 days if any Sony camera you buy from them has to go into service. Now that's an example of service. I can get a Sony camera cheaper from other dealers, but Rule's service makes it worth going through them and the Sony USA distributor.

There is an excellent article on Wikipedia on the topic of grey market.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 08:06 AM   #3
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It's "not fair to say" because it didn't happen to you. How do you know that it was a "grey market" model? You don't. And if Sony wanted to get off that big, swollen multinational behind, and help a consumer, they could simply check their data base for the serial number. With the serial number, they could find out where the camera was sold, and who the distributor/ supplier was.If they did that, and told me that the camera was really destined for the Palestinian market, for example, at least that would constitute a minimal effort. They didn't even have the decency to check that far.And over the years I've spent thousands of dollars on Sony items...tv's, camcorders, microphones, etc.,etc.
As I said, NEVER AGAIN will I purchase a Sony product!
Bruce S. Yarock
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Old May 25th, 2006, 08:12 AM   #4
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"I'm really sorry to hear you had to go through that experience"

David,
After writing my response to your post, I realized that I missed your first sentence.Thanks for your empathy. I still,however, feel the same way about the Japanese giant.
Bruce yarock
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Old May 25th, 2006, 08:20 AM   #5
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Very sorry you're going through this, Bruce, but your experience would not have been any different had you bought a grey market Canon, Panasonic or JVC camcorder. In other words, I think your frustration is somewhat misplaced. Sony hasn't handled your situation any differently than any other manufacturer would have. The trouble you've run into is "the price one pays" by trying to save money making a purchase through an unauthorized dealer going through Ebay. This is exactly why I strongly recommend against that practice, and making major purchases instead only through the normal distribution channels of authorized dealers approved by the various manufacturer's U.S. offices (such as our DV Info Net sponsors, for instance).

The bright side in your case is that you're only down by $111 ($400 - $511). It could have been a lot worse than that, but thankfully it isn't.

Point here being, Sony hasn't reacted to you any differently than any other camcorder manufacturer would have, and that's a key thing to understand. Fortunately a $111 defecit isn't that big of a deal relative to the total value of the camera!

Moved to Taking Care of Business from the FX1 / Z1 forum. This isn't a camera topic so much as it is a business topic.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 08:30 AM   #6
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Chris,
Thanks for the reply. Actually, the cost was $611, icncluding packing, shipping and insurance. In addition, there' no warramty on any future problems! So i have to either cros my fingers, or spend MORE money on an aftermarket warranty. And of course there's the issue of not being able to use it for several weeks.
The other thing that you guys are missing is that you don't know whether or not it's grey market. Sony wouldn't even go that far to check. The guy I bought it from has never actually sold an expensive cam before. He buys close out lots of electronics from liquidation auctions. that camera probably came from some US dealer who had financial trouble. As I said, Sony could easily check their data base, and state where it came from.
And most important of all is this question. Did Sony make any less profit on this camera? No...they made more because they can refuse to service a defective item.
Bruce Yarock
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Old May 25th, 2006, 08:36 AM   #7
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I say you put it back on ebay, take your money, and buy a JVC. At least one person from JVC is on this board regularly. I don't see anybody representing the other big 3 chatting with us working slobs.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 09:49 AM   #8
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Keith,
What do you think someone would pay for a non warranty FX1 that's had to go back to the service center for a firewire problem? I'll have $3300 in it including the best Sony battery.A new warrantied model from B+H is (I think) $3300 with the battery.
Bruce S. Yarock
P.S.- I'm going to the Canon XLH1 presentation today...wish I could afford one.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 09:49 AM   #9
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Just an example of how what *is* can be vastly different from what should be. Although we all have to live with it, frankly I think it's corporate double talk in action designed to screw the consumer when Sony or some other manufacturer says "Sony USA is a separate company from Sony Canada from Sony Japan, etc). Bull! Sony is Sony is Sony. When I but a Sony product, I'm not buying a Sony Canada product, I'm buying a Sony product and it's Sony Corporate that should be responsible for any costs for warrantee coeverage etc. I send the camera to Sony Canada and they send the bill to Sony Corporate in Tokyo who charges it against the factory manager's annual bonus (grin) and as long as it was manufactured in a Sony factory or sold under the Sony name it shouldn't matter what happend between the plant QC line and me. At least that's the way it SHOULD work even though as we all know it doesn't.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 10:03 AM   #10
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Steve,
Thank you.
Bruce S. Yarock
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Old May 25th, 2006, 10:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce S. Yarock
\Did Sony make any less profit on this camera? No...they made more because they can refuse to service a defective item.
Bruce Yarock
Actually, Sony (the manufacturer) makes different amounts of money depending on how you purchase the camera, because grey market importers buy cameras in markets where they can buy it cheaper than from the local county's distributor. In effect, they are doing arbitrage, taking advantage of different market conditions and currency fluctuations.

This is by no means to say that manufacturers should not own up to their reponsibility to service their products and offer warranties. Too bad Sony does not listen and participate on these boards the way Panasonic and JVC representatives do. They might learn a thing or two about how to deal with their customers.

One warranty that I think is exemplary that more vendors should copy is Apple's AppleCare. It's a three year extended warranty with direct support and service from the vendor and it's transferable, so it does not matter of Bill buys a computer and later sells it on eBay to Sandy, as Bill can transfer the AppleCare to Sandy so she has warranty coverage for the remaining time. No fuss, no muss, and it does not matter thant it changed hands in the middle of the warranty period. I wish more manufacturers would follow this model.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 11:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tames
This is by no means to say that manufacturers should not own up to their reponsibility to service their products and offer warranties. Too bad Sony does not listen and participate on these boards the way Panasonic and JVC representatives do. They might learn a thing or two about how to deal with their customers.
Actually, I think Sony doesn't really care what a few professional or prosumer people on a board like this think about their consumer side cameras. They are in the business of mass marketing a decent product, at a low price point. That means on the FX1 side, for instance, they have to limit their liability under warrantees. They are up front about it, and we get what we pay for. Would you pay $4,500 for the the FX1 and a three year all cost covered warranty ? Maybe, and maybe you would buy the Z1 instead. And if you buy your camera from a lot of dealers, they offer extended warranties.

Second, Sony's authorized dealers pay premium prices for that designation. If Sony offered the same warranty "reliability" in non-authorized dealer transactions, where is the authorized dealer network going to go ? They all start going grey market too.

So Bruce, you but your money on Red, and it came up Black. It happens, and you lost on this one.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 11:17 AM   #13
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You're right, I'm thinking more pro than consumer, but in today's world the consumers are also very multinational. If I buy a Nikon camera in New York and am in Kuala Lampur when something goes wrong, it shouldn't matter if I'm on assignment for National Geographic or on vacation at Club Med, or even a resident who bought it on vacation in New York, I should be able to get that camera repaired at any place that displays the Nikon logo. I'm buying from Nikon, period, and how they arrange their tax shelters from one country to the next shouldn't enter into that picture.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 01:47 PM   #14
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"So Bruce, you but your money on Red, and it came up Black. It happens, and you lost on this one.
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more like 00.

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Old May 25th, 2006, 03:30 PM   #15
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I'd take 100.00 bucks and consult an attorney.
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