06 March 2006
Nearly a month ago, my Sony DRU-710A DVD burner started throwing media errors for any DVD I put into it, so the drive is obviously having issues. It had been fine for over 6 months previously. I hadn't changed anything in its host computer, but I still went and tried it in the big computer to see the same behavior.
Sony tech support wouldn't entertain my complaints until I found a friend with a Windows 2000/XP computer and demonstrated the error there. They suggested trying approved media, which didn't work, but I was just hoping to make it work -- I thought maybe it had just started to slip out of tight spec, so better media might actually make a difference.
It took 3 weeks and 3 times in friends' computers conducting one small test after another to finally get them to admit that the drive may be broken. I'm not sure what I expected not having a Windows box to test, but it just felt terribly obstructed at every turn. I guess it's the cost of not paying the Microsoft tax (in license fee and disk space) on a computer I actually want to use.
Further more, they now want me to fax a copy of the receipt, which I don't have anymore, since I deleted the scan I had when the rebate check came in the mail. Even If I could find the receipt, when they see that the poorly-placed warranty seal sticker was ripped by my computer case during installation, they'll try to charge me for repair. I quit! It's not worth my time anymore!
I would have titled this article Sony Loses, as in a customer, but really, I don't buy much of anything to matter. I can't imagine they care. It's apparently not really all that important to impress me -- It's more econimical to defend againsnt and deflect the user.
Historically, I've kept a pretty compartmentalized view of Sony. As a long-time fan of Ericsson and Sony Ericsson phones, I've ignored the antics of their media division (rootkits and DRM), and I didn't think I had reason to avoid their computer hardware. Taking into account the difficulty of their storage tech support, the antics of their media division, and my dissatisfaction with trying to develop for my mobile phone, I may just need to stop buying Sony products completely. I hate not being able to use my devices as I want, whether it's with my OS of choice or deciding what code to trust on my phone.
Now I'll probably just rip the drive apart (since the warranty sticker's already broken) and see if I can clean it and make it work. If not, I'll just go buy a new NEC for $50 found on Pricewatch.