Big can learn from small
So there I was, taking my new Sony Vaio laptop out of my flash new laptop briefcase bag thing then there it was. This is my third Sony Vaio laptop because until now I was a bit of a Sony fan having just about every gadget in the house made by Sony. A single small black screw sitting in the bottom of the case. Imagine my horror when a closer inspection revealed that this screw had come loose and fallen out the base of my laptop. Imagine my further horror when this said same inspection also revealed that 2 further screws were also missing presumed lost at large!
So I do what any considerate consumer would do, I phoned the company I bought my laptop from to be told they don’t provide support and that I must phone Sony direct. Now I do have my questions over this, because my contract is with Laptops Direct as they are the ones I paid. So I may be wrong but I believe they are legally bound to have to deal with my complaint but none-the-less I phone Sony anyway and so the saga continues.
I speak to nice friendly gentleman on the phone. Not wanting to be without my laptop and being a helpful chap that I am, I say just send me 3 screws and I’ll fix it myself (I wanted to have 1 spare just in case). The guy understands my concern and tells me the screws will be sent out within a week. Problem solved, or is it?
Two weeks later I get a phone call from a lady telling me that to process the support call I need to send them a photo of my laptop.. Do what?!?! I try to explain that there is only 5 screws in the base and 3 are missing, I then went on to describe which ones. “Sorry Sir, if you don’t send any pictures we cannot send any screws.” At this point I’m starting to wonder what these screws are made from, solid gold or diamon crusted perhaps? So anyway, I take a picture of the bottom of my laptop, circle the screws missing and email them the photo.
A week later I get a phone call from another gentleman saying they will not send me any screws because there isn’t meant to be any screws where I have circled. Now at this point I have to admit that I was getting a little stressed as 1 of the screws actually holds the hard drive in place so I argue my case, and he says he’ll have a word with his boss. I then send a fax to their customer services questioning their customer service methods to which I hasten to had I have had no reply.
Another week later I get a call from the guy saying they have decided to send out 3 new screws to me admitting that perhaps there are supposed to be screws that hold the laptop together and the hard drive in place!
What can Sony learn from this, they can learn from small business owners, they can learn that what really matters is that if they had just posted me out these 3 screws which were clearly missing I would have been very happy and the cost to them would have been less than £1. If I received a call from an unhappy customer concerned over something which would cost me circa. £1 to fix hell I’ll just fix it there and then, and so will just about any small business owner. That is what large corporates like Sony can learn from small business owners like you and I.
As it happens I actually received 5 bags of these screws over the period of 3 weeks, so if anyone owns a Sony Vaio and the poor build quality (as my Google research has shown me) is affecting you drop me a line. I’ll send you some replacements a damn sight quicker than you’ll get them from Sony. I’d also be interested in knowing the legal position with regards Laptops Direct redirecting me to Sony rather than dealing with my complaint themselves after I purchased the laptop from them in the first place.