|Sony Recalls/Firmware/Warranty Alerts|
by Steve Linke
Sony TV's come
with a rather generic warranty card that covers multiple models. Most
of these cards describe a one-year warranty on parts and labor with the
exception of the "color picture tube," which has a two-year part
warranty. Unfortunately, the latter two-year warranty most likely
applies only to CRT picture tube TVs, not the optical blocks of rear
projection LCD TVs. This tends to create confusion for rear
projection owners. Note, though, that SXRD rear-projection models may
have longer warranties, such as two years. Another possibility worth
noting is that if the TV was purchased with a gold or platinum (or
credit card, it is possible that the credit card's extended warranty
program may double the warranty to two years, and a claim could be
filed through such a program.
Older models (e.g., 2003-2004) where warranty and any coverage extensions have expired: Contact Sony and press hard for some sort of compensation, such as partial coverage of repair or credit toward another TV (if you still want a Sony). It seems unlikely that Sony will re-institute any sort of coverage for these "old" TVs, even though they are not that old relative to the life of CRT-based TVs, and they were much more expensive.
Models on which coverage extension is still in effect: Contact Sony and insist on a cost-free repair. Sony may also offer a discount on a new TV in lieu of the repair (if you still want a Sony).
Newer models on which the standard warranty has expired, but no coverage extension has yet been issued: Contact Sony to register your issue (given enough reported problems, Sony may eventually release a coverage extension). You can take the chance that a coverage extension will be issued in the future and conduct a repair now, but this could be an expensive risk. Alternatively, you could press them hard for some sort of compensation, such as partial coverage of repair or credit toward another TV (if you still want a Sony).
Self-repair: If you do not get a cost-free repair, it is possible to do a self-repair by replacing the optical block with a new or rebuilt version. It is also interesting to note that, even if you
accept a discount on a new TV, Sony likely will not collect your old
TV, so the self-repair of your old TV may still be an option. Self-repairs
should probably be reserved for experienced technicians, so attempting
them yourself is done at your own risk. It
could result in damage to your TV, and, although unlikely, injury to
Dealing with Sony
Sony phone support is the logical first step: 1-800-222-7669. They will
most likely request that you have your problem diagnosed by a Sony
Authorized Service Center.
2. Local technicians typically charge between about $50 and $100 for an
in-home diagnostic visit. It may be useful to suggest emailing digital
photos of your problem to them to get a quick preliminary diagnosis.
If you are not satisfied with Sony's initial offer, the next step is
probably to write an appeal to the Sony Executive Review Committee by
Attn: Executive Review Committee
12451 Gateway Blvd
Fort Myers, FL 33913
them with your model and serial numbers, a copy of your receipt, your
case number from phone support, your contact information, and a
description of your problem. 4. Some have also written an appeal (or copied their Executive Review Committee appeal) to Sony's Chief Executive Officer:
Sir Howard Stringer
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
550 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10022
5. If you do not receive satisfaction from Sony using the above strategies, another option is to contact the Better Business Bureau and file a complaint against Sony.
6. Another option is to file a small claims lawsuit against Sony or to try contacting one of the various law firms
that have filed class action lawsuits against Sony in the past for