Hell hath no fury like a photographer/videographer scorned… by customer service. An alleged Sony Customer Service horror story has surfaced online this weekend that has the photo community up in arms—some defending, and others attacking the electronics company.
Photographer Amir Zakeri posted the video above to YouTube this week in which he shares his personal customer service horror story, warns people to stay away from Sony products, and accuses Sony of “scamming him” and “screwing him over.” For anybody with experience dealing with bad customer service (regardless of brand) his story will sound all-too-familiar.
Zakeri alleges that, less than a year after purchasing a brand new Sony a7S II, the camera all but stopped working. Every time he pressed the record button, the camera would freeze, and so he sent it off to Sony’s customer service contractor expecting they would fix what Sony themselves assumed over the phone was a manufacturer defect.
That’s when things, according to Zakeri, get ugly.
First, the 3rd party repair center said the camera showed signs of water damage (something Zakeri claims is impossible) and sent the camera back. Then, after sending the camera in again for second evaluation, the story changed.
This time, it was corrosion damage. When asking for proof, he was sent a photo of the bottom of his camera, where the small surface screws show corrosion Zakeri claims is due to the sea salt in the air in Hawaii where he lives and works. That “damage” was enough to void the warranty. Zakeri is out $3,000.
The entire ordeal lasted 2 months, at the end of which Zakeri received the broken camera back with a “final decision” that Sony would not do anything to fix it because it has corrosion damage.
Reaction to the video has been split. Some, like Zakeri, are outraged, claiming that they too have experience with Sony’s lack-luster customer service.
“Sony has the worst customer service ever. It’s a pain,” writes user colacastell on Reddit. “I love their products, but what often keeps me from buying there, is the fact that I have zero trust in customer service and warranty.”
Others have been more critical, pointing out that it could, in fact, be Zakeri’s fault—a consequence of living and working in a corrosive environment.
“I don’t condone [the 3rd party repair center’s] short sale, but it’s pretty obvious that it’s not Sony’s fault for creating a faulty camera,” writes user duncanfoxphoto. “Using a electronic device that’s specifically not weather sealed in a salt-spray environment is asking for trouble.”
As far as we know, the dispute has not been resolved yet, but we’ve reached out to Sony for comment and will update this post as soon as we hear back.
UPDATE: We’ve heard back from Sony. Here is their response. Sounds like Amir has a replacement camera in his future:
We are aware of this video and the customer is in process of being contacted today for a replacement camera (he may have been already), as it’s important to us that all customers are treated appropriately and fairly when it comes to service issues with our cameras.