PS Consultants - ideas & solutions

Sony Vaio update.
November 2001

I expect that  my avid reader probably wants to know if the Sony FX209K experience (Sere Rants 164) is still keeping enthralled, and the good news is that it is. The only criticism I have is that it seems to cost about a grand more in the UK than the US, and that the lovely big LCD looks a bit like the London Planetarium when the screen saver blanks the display, and I haven’t selected the “Starfield Simulation”. I haven’t found the bit of the sales spiel that tells me what an acceptable number of dead LCD elements are, although I did find a note on the support site (eventually) that suggest up to 20 are acceptable on the model in question. (I can count 7 on mine).

And I have yet to struggle through the Sony web site to buy the extended warranty.  It seems to be have been changed substantially since I last looked, and is now not just a web site, but “an experience” (their words).

And is just as obtuse and hopeless an experience as ever. In fact, it was quite dysfunctional, and how Sony get away with this, is a complete mystery. On the corporate registration page, the site just “hung” for minutes at a time.

The Sony registration scheme is one of the sauciest things I have ever seen a manufacturer do – it’s basically suggesting “give up your personal data, or else we won’t play” . It’s worth reproducing this in full here because it is saying, in effect, unless you let us – and anyone we choose (“selected third parties”) – use your personal registration data, we will not let you register the purchase. This is outrageous

Agreement to use of Personal Data

1. The personal data provided via this website or other media ("Personal Data") may be used by Sony e-Solutions Europe B. V. and other Sony group companies worldwide (together, "Sony"), to advise of, offer and supply goods and services, for other marketing purposes, and for additional purposes described in the terms of sale and/or use relating to your transaction (if any).

2. This Personal Data will assist Sony in its efforts to further improve products and services. Without such data Sony may be unable to provide certain services. Sony may share Personal Data only with selected third parties to provide, promote or co-promote Sony or Sony related products or services.

3. On your request to Sony e-Solutions Europe B.V., your Personal Data stored with Sony will be provided, corrected, amended or deleted (as required by law). Sony's treatment of Personal Data will accord with the above conditions and any applicable laws.

 Children under the age of 14 must obtain parental or guardian consent before providing any personal data

(If you do not click the "I agree" button we will be unable to proceed with your transaction, registration, and/or provide support and/or other services)

Sony is doing its best with some expensive web design, but the result is Flash-enhanced frustration, not a sleek support experience. Clicking on the “helpdesk” button produced a “page not found” message.  I rather suspect that the individual responsible for the Sony Vaio “experience” links to a page upon which the inscription “brain not found” so appear..

As a matter if interest, readers occasionally drop me a line assuming that whenever I write a rant about someone like Sony, a fleet of mink-plated limousines arrives to whisk me off to a Big Smooze where I am plied with pink champagne and soothing massages As the PR flacks seek desperately to win back my approbation for the failings of their client.

Well, I have news for them – and  you – since I never get any PR reaction form Sony at all.  I think I could probably write a piece stating that Sony UK PR people interfered with sheep and goats and no one would bat an eye-lid. So to all Sony UK PR folks, BAAAAA!