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Author Topic: Sony Customer Support in U.S.: How Bad Is It?  (Read 3707 times)

klaus

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Sony Customer Support in U.S.: How Bad Is It?
« on: October 19, 2015, 04:00:31 pm »

A vital accessory to my Sony phone malfunctioned last summer. I sent the unit in, and after hours on hold to the appropriate Sony call center, Sony sent me the wrong replacement four weeks later. Considering the time and energy invested, I have stopped further efforts to ever receive a correct replacement from Sony.

Sony does not accept written correspondences from its customers in need of service, but insists on all communication be handled through one of its call centers (Sony closed all brick & mortar stores in the U.S.) Again: no other means of contacting the company or pressing one’s case exists than by calling an incompetent, badly managed off-shore telephone center bottleneck, staffed by people who barely speak English.

I have heard rumors through the years that Sony’s support for its condenser mic customers also is deficient.
My own frustrating experience (though with a different product line) prompted me to inquire about Sony’s current level of support for its studio microphones in the U.S.

I a told, customers who own Sony's flagship condenser mics (C800G, C800, C38B) are asked to ship their defective mic to Sony in Teaneck, New Jersey, but, as no service facility or parts support for Sony's condenser mics exists in the U.S., I am told, defective mics in need of service are shipped back to Japan. 

To get the company’s direct response how U.S. service for their expensive line of studio mics is handled, I sent this email to the official service center for Sony broadcast and professional audio products in Teaneck, N.J. two weeks ago:

To:
"teaneckservice@amsony.com"

Hello,
I am hosting a microphone forum (http://repforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php?board=27.0).
I would like to report to forum users about the level of support for Sony condenser microphones, specifically the current C800 and C38B line of products in the U.S:
As an example, a customer has a noise issue. Do you troubleshoot and repair these products in the U.S, or do you send them to Japan for servicing? Do you stock all parts for these microphones in the U.S.?

Thank you, and best regards,
Klaus Heyne


Response:
Sorry, we were unable to deliver your message to the following address.
<teaneckservice@amsony.com>:
Mail server for "amsony.com" unreachable for too long


I called Sony in Los Angeles again, and verified that the email address they gave me for Sony Studio Microphone service was correct. I sent an identical email last week and received the same failure notice for the Sony's mail box.

The experience mirrors my own frustrating dealings with Sony: despite the high quality of these products, there seems to be no easy access to Sony customer care when service is needed.

I am incredulous that Sony would sell $11,000 C800G and similar high-priced studio condenser microphones without backing up the product with a straight-forward approach to servicing it.

Please share your personal experience with service for current or older Sony microphones, to correct or confirm my impression.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com

David Satz

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Re: Any Sony Customer Support in U.S.?
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2015, 11:03:09 pm »

Klaus, the email addresses that I see listed for Sony professional product support all end with "am.sony.com" rather than "amsony.com". You might want to correct the address and try sending your message again.

--best regards
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aremos

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Re: Any Sony Customer Support in U.S.?
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2015, 11:19:50 pm »

Klaus,
Whenever I need parts (tubes, copper foil, etc.) for my C800G's I get through right away via telephone. I remember it was first at Teaneck, NJ & then Tampa, FL. I'll look up the number & get back to you.

I've also corresponded with the service center in Texas (last time 2013):
Barry Hawkins
PROSERVICES.CISC@am.sony.com

Sony Pro Solutions of America
www.sony.com/servicesplus

Hope this helps,
Ariel
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klaus

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Re: Any Sony Customer Support in U.S.?
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2015, 01:36:00 am »

Thanks, Gentlemen!
I re-sent the original inquiry, this time with the crucial dot, and cc'd PROSERVICES.CISC@am.sony.com.
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Klaus Heyne
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klaus

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Re: Sony Customer Support in U.S.?
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2015, 10:25:11 pm »

...but two weeks later it seems it did not really matter whether I used the right or wrong email address: no answer.
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Klaus Heyne
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Brian Cleary

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Re: Sony Customer Support in U.S.: How Bad Is It?
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2015, 08:31:43 pm »

incredible. its the same reason i stopped shopping at Aldi, no customer service. it is the sign of a poorly focused company I think Klaus, to be avoided where possible.
Brian
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klaus

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Re: Sony Customer Support in U.S.: How Bad Is It?
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2015, 11:32:45 pm »

...six weeks later-still no answer.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com

Jim Williams

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Re: Sony Customer Support in U.S.: How Bad Is It?
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2015, 11:58:16 am »

Try and get a $12,000 digital reverb repaired by Sony. They have checked out of pro audio. No parts, no support, no ex EE's to contact, nothing.

The same thing has happened with other formerly large players in pro audio. Lexicon is another example of a company that will not service their flagship products.

This is why I sold off my 224XL and Sony products. Like the Gambler says:

"You got to know when to hold 'um, know when to fold 'um".
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Dominick Costanzo

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Re: Sony Customer Support in U.S.: How Bad Is It?
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2015, 04:31:28 pm »

Try contacting Rich Keys in NJ
201-833-5310
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Dominick Costanzo

klaukholm

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Re: Sony Customer Support in U.S.: How Bad Is It?
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2016, 06:14:43 pm »

I just had a less than stellar experience with Sony here.
I ordered two pairs of ear-pads for my MDR7509 - €100 in parts.
This is from EET which sell spares on Sonys behalf. It took forever to arrive and when I opened the package I had two left ear-pads and no right ear-pads. I contacted them and promptly got the response "we have video of all four being packed, do you want to see this video?"
I answered yes, please well knowing they could not possibly have said video.
A month later, still no video. They are unwilling to send me two right ear-pads and they will not take the two I have in return despite the 30 day right to return online purchases according to law here.

A pro company that does not reliably supply spare-parts is not really pro in my mind.
Next time, I will buy the cheap Chinese pads off Ebay.
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Kjetil Laukholm
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Malmö Symphony Orchestra

klaus

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Re: Sony Customer Support in U.S.: How Bad Is It?
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2016, 09:10:08 pm »

What is so maddening about Sony is the discrepancy between the comparatively high quality of its products and the ineptness of its service.
I frankly am at a loss how to explain this phenomenon.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com

Jim Williams

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Re: Sony Customer Support in U.S.: How Bad Is It?
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2016, 10:53:01 am »

Sony has checked out of pro audio. Those that own Sony gear should understand that they are on their own if they want to use their products.
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klaus

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Re: Sony Customer Support in U.S.: How Bad Is It?
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2016, 12:40:03 pm »

Can you cite proof? Don't they still sell and market pro-audio gear like studio condenser mics and headphones in the U.S.?
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Klaus Heyne
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Jim Williams

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Re: Sony Customer Support in U.S.: How Bad Is It?
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2016, 01:05:56 pm »

The evidence is experienced whenever someone tries to repair a discontinued flagship product like their $12,000 digital reverberators.

Some companies stand behind their products, some do not. That should tell you all you need to know.
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klaus

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Re: Sony Customer Support in U.S.: How Bad Is It?
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2016, 02:36:47 pm »

To clarify, with my question for "proof" I meant: do you know for a fact that Sony has officially discontinued selling and servicing pro-audio products in the U.S.?

It is bad enough having to send a product across oceans to get parts or service (Microtech Gefell, Schoeps microphones). It would be unacceptable for me to consider buying a new or used Sony microphone if there was a total blackout of product support by the company.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks®
www.GermanMasterworks.com
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