I've been a dedicated Sony customer for years. Video cameras for the work I do, digital voice recorder, stills digital camera and notebook computers. But, in Malcolm Gladwell's terms, I've finally reached the tipping point on appalling Sony backup and service and my next notebook computer will not be a Sony - even if they offered to give it to me.
When Incredible Connection were still handling the Sony notebook range, I had to get their management (who were great) involved to finally extract a docking station from Sony. Gavin Ho at Sony was the contact person at that time.
I believe (according to one Incredible Connection salesperson) that they no longer stock Sony notebooks because of the absence of professional support and back up on the service front. Sony made the fatal mistake of outsourcing their repairs and support to Rectron. I'm so ticked off with Rectron's consistent and appalling service failures that I refer to them among friends, as 'Rectum'. They've become a poor, standard joke among my IT fraternity.
I had to contact their MD, Mark Lu, last year to resolve a cooling-fan vibration which the techies at Rectron said was not malfunctioning. The fact that my notebook computer made a noise like a coffee-mill on my desk but (Murphy's) not on the desk at Rectron, was the sticking point.
They finally opened it up in front of me and acknowledged that the fan was out of kilter. This was after I'd paid for a new hard-drive (their original mal-diagnosis of the problem) and gone through the horrendous schlep of re-loading software and the weeks of reconfiguring that come with that little exercise.
This time, I simply wanted to go to another 1GB of RAM. Phone call after phone call, two visits when I was told they had stock, but didn't. Today I made what is definitely my final contact ever with Rectron or Sony. Only to be told that my ten phone calls and two visits were in vain and that I had to have the job done by a re-seller - not by them, which I was assured by their Sony techie, Mario, would be the case.
Rectron's frankly like a headless chicken. When you know that you can't get professional support on a product, you have only one choice. Ride off into the sunset. IBM (Lenovo) Thinkpad X Series, here I come in a few months time. Sony have beautiful products, but when it comes to marketing, distributing and backing them up in South Africa, they haven't a clue. If you want to retain your sanity, don't buy a Sony notebook computer and land up dealing with Rectron. Bye bye Sony.