PSA: Sony sucks

I’ll put this under the fold, since it’s more for inquiring googlers than regular readers.

[Update: Picture added for extra pathos. Just look what Sony did to me.]



I made the serious recent mistake of buying Sony Stereo Headphones (Model MDR-V150). It was an impulse purchase; I made it just before leaving on a trip, since I really wanted to listen to my mp3 player on the trip. I’m embarrassed to say that I paid $27 (before tax) for the headphones, since I really don’t have that kind of money to be throwing around on headphones, and as “A” pointed out, it’s a stupid price to pay for headphones in any case, since you’re better off getting really cheap ones or actually shelling out for really decent ones.

Sony stereo headphones are complete pieces of shit. I would have noticed this if I had taken them out of the package, since I probably would have seen that the ear pieces are held in place by teeny-tiny pieces of plastic. Teeny-tiny and incredibly brittle little pieces of plastic. When that tiny, brittle little piece of plastic snaps, as happened to me on the very day I bought the headphones, the ear piece sticks out at a 90 degree angle from your head.

After a brief but intense conversation about my purchase with the owner of the store I bought it at, I called Sony. There’s a warranty, at least:

“For a period of 90 days from the date of purchase, Sony will repair or replace, at its option, at no charge through your Sony authorized dealer, Sony owned Service Center, or the Sony Audio/Accessory Exchange Department, the defective unit.”

After ten minutes speaking to a computer and then a rep, I got the good news: It was under warranty and would be replaced. Apparently a single location in Texas does the work of a “Sony authorized dealer, Sony owned Service Center, or the Sony Audio/Accessory Exchange Department,” but all I had to do was mail the headphones in and I’d get a replacement free of charge.

Great.

More waiting and talking, and then the rep mentioned casually that the technician would make an assessment of the damage. If the headphones were “physically damaged” I would be charged a small replacement fee. But how would I know if it was worth it for me to go through the trouble to ship the headphones to Texas unless I knew how much that would be? And anyway, as the rep eventually admitted, the judgement would surely be that the headphones were “physically damaged,” so in fact it was false to say that they were completely covered by the warranty. Much wrangling . . . Finally, she checked how much the replacement cost would be: $29 – the same as the after tax cost of the fucking product.

This, apparently, is what Sony means by a warranty.

Moral of this sad, sad story: Sony sucks, sucks, sucks. I’m an idiot for buying a Sony product, since the actual product was a piece of shit, the warranty process was idiotic, and the warranty itself completely dishonest.

Now, by the powers invested in me as the Scallywag-in-Chief of a site with a not-inconsiderable amount of Google-juice, I call upon all those concerned with Sony Headphones – execs at Sony, and potential buyers – to witness my fury. Be chastened, oh pitiful Sony execs, and be warned, oh potential Sony-product-buying chumps!