Let down by Sony


It pains me to type this, it really does. Not because I'm sad for Sony, I am very sad that my 28th birthday present, a Sony NEX-C3 (pictured) has broken, again.

The camera was purchased from Yodobashi Camera in Shinjuku, at the end of August 2011, by Charlotte, for me. I couldn't believe my luck when I unwrapped it. It was my first ever "new camera". I'd only ever had used cameras before, and I was like a child at Christmas when I unwrapped my shiny, new, NEX-C3, just one day before our summer holiday trip to Okinawa.

I babied it like nothing else. Unfortunately, after about 6 months, the "up" direction on the circular button at the back, stopped functioning. As any NEX owner knows, this button toggles display settings, but also is the only way to get through the different menus... and to move the focus point. It's critical to camera functionality.


I took it back to Yodobashi, who sent it off to Sony for repair. It was well within the "1 year international warranty" date, stamped on the included card. I received the camera back on around the 26th April 2012, and resumed shooting. The above two photos are not from when I originally received the camera, but they are from the day I received the camera back from Yodobashi & Sony. I was that excited.

I was very impressed with the service from both Yodobashi, and Sony. The camera was back in my hands in under a week, with apparently a completely new rear (screen had a sticky cover on it, buttons all clicked nicely). It was as good as new...

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago... and the button's stopped working, again. The same button. Furthermore, the screen coating has deteriorated like no other screen I've seen. Sony either didn't fix it properly, or the camera has a tendency for this button to fail. Either way, I wasn't exactly thrilled, and took it to Yodobashi again. However, the warranty on the card is valid until August 2012, or thereabouts... and we just entered 2013. I've been told today, that the repair issued by Sony last year was apparently only valid for "3 months". Sony want ¥25,000 (JPY) to repair their repair. No. Way. That's a third of the original retail price, and around the price of an "as new" unit from a second hand shop.

Sounds more like a bodge-job, than a repair. How can original warranty be 12 months, yet warranty on a repair only be for 3 months? If this were the first time I’d experienced this problem with it, then I would be upset… but probably more pragmatic - it has been around 18 months now, and though I expect a camera costing several hundred pounds (or tens of thousands of yen) to last for a few years without fail, it would be out of warranty and that would be that. But to have an identical problem raise its ugly head, 6 months after a repair, and Sony refuse to take responsibility… is simply not acceptable. I am heartbroken. I love this camera. It is more to me than any other camera, because it is a very, very special present.

If I were in the UK, I would be on the phone to Sony and demanding a free repair, as EU regulations for electronics can often overrule the standard "1 year" warranty.

My issue is, that I am here, in Japan, Sony's home... not mine. My only option is to go and see them in their Ginza flagship store, and demand that my camera be repaired. It's just not acceptable. I want it back, working, so I can use it as intended.

Please fix my camera, Sony.