Oh, Look: Another Sony Quality Problem

from the walkman-with-broken-legs dept

Despite all its business troubles, Sony’s products have managed to maintain a strong reputation. Despite sometimes carrying a premium price over other brands, many consumers felt that Sony made solid, reliable products, and they were content to pay for that quality. But a recent string of problematic products from the company makes you wonder if something is slipping at Sony: the PlayStation 3 was plagued by manufacturing delays, there was that little problem of all those Sony-made batteries getting recalled, and now it’s had to announce a recall of several digital camera models after a problem first reported a year ago was found to be more widespread than first thought. Alongside the company’s long-running rootkit fiasco, that’s a lot of bad PR for the company to deal with, and it seems unlikely for Sony to come out unscathed. The company really is struggling to turn itself around, and the last thing it needs at this point is for its brand to take a hit and consumers to see its products as unreliable. So a note to Howard Stringer: while sorting out the company’s content and technology mess is important, don’t let it come at the expense of product quality. Sony can’t afford to fail at either one at this point.

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Comments on “Oh, Look: Another Sony Quality Problem”

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kingdaniell says:

Re: Re: Re: sony all junk

I, also, have a KP-57WS500. My red CRT went out in about three years. Had it fixed now it is out again. Repairman said junk it, cost less to buy a new TV. He also said that this problem is a common one for WS500 Models. He told me
Sony knows about the problem and refuses to help the customer. That’s why he doesn’t work on them anymore.

Some people did start a CLASS ACTION against Sony for problems with a similar model. Both models have a split optical block configuration which causes 99% of the problems. You can find the settlement on Sony’s web site. I sent an email to one of the lawyers with my story. Maybe if enough of us send emails he will take some action. The lawyers got $1.6 million and the customers got their set repaired. The lawyer’s email address is jon@bhfloridalaw.com. I would initiate the suit buy I simple do not have the money to even sit down and talk to an attorney. My email address is kingdaniell@juno.com. Please, anyone with a defective WS500 get in touch.

Ananda (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: sony all junk

We also have the sony KP-57WS500….tonight….flashed blue…turned off…light flashes 8 times….it will turn back on….seems to be staying on less every time we turn it back on…I have been online researching and I cannot believe all the problems people are having with the same model!!!! I sure would not have gotten a sony if I knew this at the time. From my research…8 blinks seems to be a ” D board” whatever that means. I guess at this point my question is….do we pay to have it repaired or buy a new tv? I am very disappointed with sony and I will NEVER buy one again!!!! WHAT A BUNCH OF JUNK!!! A 3000 dollar tv should last longer….NOT 1000 DOLLARS A YEAR TO WATCH TV!!!! Double that with the price of cable!! GGGGRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!



Re: Sony Projection TV's

I agree with Monarch – I’m done with Sony forever!

I’ll bet Sony doesn’t sell their poor quality products in Japan – it would bring shame upon their name. TV’s lasting 2-4 years !!??? Known defects that they refuse to correct. But hey – they think they look good when they sponsor multi-million dollar golf tournaments. The money would be better spent “doing the right thing”!

Maybe this is their revenge against Americans for Hiroshima and Nagasaki – I think there might be something to this.

Google “Sony TV problems” – it’s shocking!

BananaFish says:

Re: Another Sony

What a retarted and poorly done video (although the guy in it and Lance look pretty compatable). That one goes right in the “who cares?” bin.

As for Sony… i was very anti-sony for quite some time, and only recently have gotten back into their brand with the purchase of a laptop about 5 years ago, professional DV camcorder, superior (to Adobe, IMHO) video editing software (used to be SonicFoundry….. bought out), and cameras. I’m now looking at a Sony TV. The only thing i’d never touch EVER is Sony speakers of any kind (car or home). Other than that, i don’t see how you can blame the company for trying to innovate. Sure they have lots of flash in the pan products, but they’re just fishing, and you’re all taking the bait. If you stick to Sony’s solid products, there’s no reason to complain. Cameras against Cannon, best vid-cameras, some great software… great looking TV’s too! Kind of does it for me.

SimplyGimp says:


Sony screwed up big time thinking they know what’s best for the consumer. No, we don’t want a $600 dollar console that’s supposed to compete with computers for 10 YEARS. No, we don’t want rootkits when we buy your music.

But you think they’ve learned or even noticed? My experience while playing a Sony video game was bad enough YEARS ago that I won’t chose a Sony product as my first choice. They’ve done nothing but treat the American customer like Cattle. But then again, the American consumers don’t exactly tell them to stop do we?

All you can do is laugh at the gimps that bought an overpriced console with lack of games and hope their shit breaks while it’s still impossible to get a replacement unit. I still laugh at the defective units on YouTube 🙂

Anonymous Coward says:

A lot of anti-sony flame-boys out there. To bad none of you have ever done any real research into Sony products.

When looking at the quality of Sony products overall, it’s hard to complain. They make a great many products that really are ahead of the competitors. The customer service and warranties are great and over-all customer satisfaction with their products is quite high. Yes, some products are exceptions to this but that is how it works in business.

When evaluating a company look at the overall picture, not just the few problems that were already blown out of proportion by the “news.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I wouldn’t say Sony’s busness practices have been blow out of proportion. Their root-kit alone kills any desire I have of contributing to their evil empire.

I’ve looked at Sony and the ‘overall picture’ is bleak. If a company is immoral enough to do what Sony has been doing recently it raises a lot of questions about how they’ll treat the rest of their business in the future.

So, excuse me when I laugh at all those who purchase Sony electronics because of their past reputation and then get their asses handed to them when Sony decides it’s time to revamp those services to resemble the rest of their shitty business practices.

Kingdaniell says:

Re: Sony Bologna

One might think that you either own stock in Sony or are an employee. I too was a Sony fan. I had a Sony “big” screen TV for over 15 yrs without a single problem. I purchased a Sony WS500 model at a premium price. Less than 3 yrs later the red CRT went out. I had the tv repaired for about $300.00. 14 months later the red goes out again. I called Sony CS and got the run around. Finally, I talked to their #1 service tech in the state and he told me to junk the tv and buy a new one it would cost less. He also said that Sony knows about the problem and refuses to help the customers. This is a latent, inherent problem with all Sony models that have the split optical block configuration. He also told me he no longer repairs Sony tvs. Do a search for Sony class action suits then tell me you have the same opinion.

BillDivX says:

I stopped buying sony a long time ago...

The newest Sony product I own is a Ps2, and I didn’t buy it, it was a Birthday present, and only because it was half price, after the price had already come down. Before that, it was a stereo in the late 80’s, which started eating CD’s after 5 years.

Not to mention, my PS2 has constant problems, from the drive bay sticking, the drive not reading, and the console overheating, to their controller. I never cared for that controller anyway, I don’t see why everyone was so excited about it. I find the sticks to be way too loose and imprecise. Can’t aim in GTA worth crap. Aiming a first person weapon on the Xbox is far better.

Mob_Logic says:

Re: Re: I stopped buying sony a long time ago...

I got 2 PS2’s. one is the slim the other is the second Original style PS2. The slim has to be on a laptop cooling pad to keep from catching on fire or melt anymore of my games. An hour in that thing is too hot to toutch. The “Fat” PS2 has been taken in for warranty four times. I started fixing it myself and done a better job than Sony ever did. Still the “Fat” Ps2 is junk. Disk read Error. I sent it in 4 times for Disk read error and they couldn’t fix it. Sony sucks. Big profit for owners, Low budget products. I dont feel like paying $600 for a console from a company that was good in the ’80’s. Sony will linger in the shadows with Disco after the new year. Just wait for mass problems with the PS3.

Andrew says:

After buying a nice $300 top of the line DVD player from them, and 1 year later not being able to play 80% of the new DVD movies because of changes in copy protection, I was quite unhappy. funny thing is the first brand of movie DVD that it wouldn’t play came direct FROM sony.

Second strike, a $900 sony GPS system. Purchased it. I needed new updated maps. Sony said they would have updates every 6 months. 90 days later sony discontinued the product line. Never lasted long enough for a single update.

Strike 3. Sony Clie. granted I loved the palm. They killed it off. I’m bitter about that.

Starky says:

Bad publicity

My friend is shopping for a new HD TV, but refused to get anything made by Sony because he doesn’t know how reliable they are anymore, thanks to all the bad publicity Sony’s had recently. I pointed out that the bad batteries and cameras aren’t made by the same devision as the TV’s, but he still doesn’t trust them.

I feel bad for Sony here. They made great products, but people tend to associate the flaws of one part of the company to the rest of it.

Me says:

Done Already

It was right after the root kit fiasco that I decided to never buy Sony products again. Whenever shopping with friends/family I always tell them not to buy Sony products. With all of the f ups Sony has had since the rootkits, I’m feeling more and more confident in my decision. Besides, who wants to support a company that has a history of constantly pushing proprietary formats. Sony has been dead to me for a while and I enjoy laughing at their failures.

misanthropic humanist says:


Yes, Sony make good quality products. And I expect all companies go through periods of bad quality management. I expect with some restructuring and review they can pull themselves out of this.

However – I’m with the other posters. I’ve said it before and I will make no appology for saying again.


Nobody seems to understand the profound implications of the “rootkit fiasco”. What Sony did, either by design or negligent subcontracting is a *criminal* offence in most European countries and in the USA.

Until they have been brought to book in a recognised court of criminal law, prosecuted, forced to pay proper compensation for their actions and those responsible serve real jail time for their crimes I will not stop harping on about it and making sure everybody I know understands what Sony represent. I will certainly not buy their untrustworthy products, regardless of their quality.

And, I will not stop drawing attention to the fact that firstforinternet, a British company were the subcontractors responsible for writing this malicious code. In the UK they are culpable under the Computer Misuse Act and the programmers must face prison terms for their deeds.

Until the double standard is addressed and Sony are treated the same way any other cracker should be treated no court of law in the world can convict a teenage cracker for defacing a website or an executive for industrial espionage and remain morally consistent.

We must continue to campaign for Sony to be properly prosecuted for their actions if the law is to maintain respect.

anonymous coward says:

I used to have my sony DV videocam and my Sony digital camera plugged into my Sony Vaio desktop using proprietary Sony software to edit and share content while listening to my Sony mini-disc player.

Fast forward five years. I still have a desktop, a laptop, a video camera, a music player, and a still camera, but not a single one of them is from Sony and I no longer need proprietary software for them all to easily share content.

All the Sony replacements were a.) cheaper b.) use standard storage c.) use standard formats d.) easier to operate and inter-connect out of the box e.) have never broken.

Why would anyone continue to pay a premium for a Sony product? Even at the same price, I would choose a competitor.

mob_logic says:


I got the PS1 the first day it came out. It didn’t work. Had to wait 6 months for my replacement. Got a PS2 the first day I could. Didn’t work. Waited a year to buy another one. PS3 dont want it. Costs too much and just the fact they put only a few out before x-mas, I dont want to get robbed or shot for something that I TRUST to not work.

Rick says:

I bought a Sony Trinitron monitor years back. It had a 90 day warranty. Guess what happened on day 91? POOF, CRT dies.

DO a few google searches on Sony Online Entertainment. What they did to the Star Wars MMORPG franchise they had is blasphemy to the force. They lost over 75% of their SWG customer base by doing exactly what their customers didn’t want.

Judging by the recent and current track record, the PS3 is doomed. Blu-Ray will die off with it.

Scott says:

Wouldn't touch anything with the sony brand

You pay for the name. They might as well put soundsign as their brand name. Thats the quality you pay for.
Probaly some grad fresh out of tech school desigining their products.
I also haven’t purchased anything with the sony name stamped on it in over 2 and a half years.
BOTCOT sony.
The name is not worth enough respect to use it with a capitol S..

harrison (user link) says:

Sony lost me a long time ago.

The last thing Sony did right was the Walkman and I’m talking cassette not CD. The last time I remember Sony being a great product was in the mid to late 80s. Throughtout the 90s and on Sony has never disappointed me by not disappointing me. They rarely don’t stink (sorry for all the double negatives). And on top of that their memory, tapes, etc. are always proprietary. Sony is lame. This only reconfirms that I will NEVER buy another Sony product if I don’t have to.

The Donkey says:

Reminds me of Alpine in the 80's

I remember back in the 80’s when Alpine car stereos were the hot thing. I never owned one, and rarely got to see one in action. It seemed that every time I jumped into someone’s car that was featuring Alpine, all I got was the, “this thing sounds awesome but it is broken right now” routine.

My experiences with Sony products remind me of those Alpine days. I don’t know how that they have maintained a reputation as good as they have. I think that they have offered lower quality at a higher price for many years. Unfortunately, I keep getting Sony gift certificates through work so I get suckered into trying products over and over, with no luck. The latest thing to die was a receiver that lasted maybe two weeks over the one year warrantly.

I will be re-gifting any Sony gift certificates from now on.

Amber says:

Sony projection TV- blue screen

We paid almost 3K for a KP57WS500 HD projection Sony TV. Afer just 4 years, the screen went totally bright blue and cuts off. Turns out it is a bad blue crt lamp…which costs $500 to repair! We are very dissappointed. The repairman said this is a very common problem in this model once it is about 5 years old. This TV has cost us too much $$. If you bought a Sony 15 years ago, it is probably still working. Sony produces a bunch of junk now.

Deia says:

Re: Sony projection TV- blue screen

I have the same exact T.V that I bought 5 years ago paid a little over $3600, same thing, T.V. just turns blue, I am concerned that if I fix this problem, there will be a nother close behind. The repairman, quoted me $750 plus I had topay him $100 just to come look at it. Funny, the repairman said the same thing, that it is a very common problem with these Sony T.V’s. Is there nothing that anyone has found that can be done, can we all file a complaint together to Sony or would this be pointless? This seems like very bad buisness.

Tim says:

Re: Sony projection TV- blue screen

We just had the same problem happen on our KP57WS500 and trying to figure out our options. All we get is a blue screen. Did you get the lamp replaced and did it resolve the problem? Did the tech run diagnostics? We did and the stand by/timer diagnostic light flashes 8 times indicating a D Board issue.

Thanks for any help or light you can shed on this.

Tim says:

Re: Sony projection TV- blue screen

We just had the same problem happen on our KP57WS500 and trying to figure out our options. All we get is a blue screen. Did you get the lamp replaced and did it resolve the problem? Did the tech run diagnostics? We did and the stand by/timer diagnostic light flashes 8 times indicating a D Board issue.

Thanks for any help or light you can shed on this.

Mick says:

Maybe there are a few good products...

according to many posters here who have had few problems, and I’m glad for them, I really am. For those who say “can’t bash a company for one bad product”, I’m sure as you kept reading, you noticed that this isn’t a “just one product” problem.

When I speak, I speak for my entire family: parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, even friends… (Think about it – that’s a lot of Sony products over a range of products lines), and all of them have confessed that no matter what the product (TV, Computer, Walkman…) with the exception of Sony Music as a production company for artists (can’t screw up a CD too bad, can ya?), it has broken down/gone wrong/stopped working and usually just after the warranty expires. It’s usually a build quality issue (ie: not a consumer-at-fault thing) or part that will be expensive to replace.

Customer Service? Plenty of websites and blogs speak of the third ring of hell that is Sony CS, so I won’t get into it here.

Personal example: 1 1/2 years ago I had my eye out for a Digital Still Camera. I went to a “specialist” place in town and asked for their recommendation. They praised the Sony product line. I told them: “I’m not sure about this. My entire family has learned expensive lessons with regards to Sony and their lack of reliability.” He assured me that in the case of the Digital Still Cameras, that’s not the case. He agreed with me on several points, and continued to assure me that I shouldn’t have any problems with the Sony. In fact, the internal workings of most DS Cameras are provided by Sony. (sobering thought)

So my girlfriend got one model, and I got the slightly upgraded model.

Just this past summer, approx. 16 months later, my camera’s “still Image correction” device starts rattling around every time I turn the camera on…constantly. I have to shut it off then on, sometimes it fixes itself, sometimes it doesn’t. Now my ability to pull out my camera and take a great shot of the moment is lost – the whole point of me getting one in the first place.

A search on the net finds that;
1- I’m not the only one with the problem
2- Sony is aware of the problem (just shy of admitting it’s a fault in production/quality)
3- Sony Customer Service is not willing to offer any help
4- It’s (you guessed it) an expensive fix

What gets me is that *I* should have known better. Now add me to the list of family members who learned an expensive lesson. I’m going back to that shop, BTW, and sharing this with them.

Panasonic? No issues on any of their products.

I should note that my girlfriend’s Sony has shown no problems. (Lucky little Minx…)

They almost had me though. Great shots, great look, but (caveat) only while it WAS WORKING!


Rant off. I’m done. Thanks for reading.

Brian Israelson says:

Sony the Sony Wega TV

In Dec 2005 I finnally saved enough money to buy a big screen only 3,000 dollars, in less than a year it quit working turned out to be a Thermo fuse. That’s ok it was under warranty right, only a year later thermo fuse again thats 200 bucks parts and sevice, Its 2008 another thermo fuse and told my bulb is about to burn out cause the picture is getting dark thats another 300-400 dollars. Sony says sorry the TV’s waranty is out even though they know these problems should be recall items. My TV is now 3 years old spent nearly 4,000 bucks and the technition told plan spending this much every year or 2 to maintain the tv. Thanks SONY you lost a loyal customer forever now I’ll be on a quest to tell all my friends,family and everyone on the internet to never to buy a sony product. Thanks for letting me vent.

Thomas Wren says:

Sony FD Trinitron WEGA

I just got off the phone with Sony concern my Trinitron 32″ WEGA that failed (Main Power Supply Board) after only 2 1/2 years. Cost of repair would be $250 for board, labor $200, total $450. I asked Sony to pay for this repair in that the TV was only 2 1/2 years old. They refused because it was out of warranty, said it was my responsibility to protect my investment in the TV (extended warranty, etc.). They see nothing wrong with their TV failing so soon! I bought this TV because of Sony’s perceived quality record.

I have other TV’s ranging in age from 26 years down to 8 years – never had a problem with any of these!

My bottom line is that if you’re in the market for a new TV, in my humble opinion, you should look at other brands such as Samsung and Phillips (I own both) that are a lot more reliable. I will never buy any Sony product again!!

Tom Wren

John says:

Sony Quality is Garbage

I have a 34″ CRT HDTV (model KD-34XS955, about $2000 new in 2004) that croaked after 3.5 years. It is not worth it to me to fix it so I am having a go at it myself. I didn’t even bother calling Sony as I’m just done with them as a company. I had a Sony progressive scan DVD player: died after about one year. It would have cost me more to get it repaired than to buy a brand new one that had more features.

To put this BS in perspective I had a 13″ Sony Trinitron that I bought when I was young and gave to charity 19 years later because it lacked remote control and the screen was just too small to be useful. I currently have a Mitsubishi 27″ tube TV that I use in my bedroom that is 14 years old.

Sony sucks, their quality sucks, and they don’t stand behind their products or their customers. I will NEVER BUY SONY AGAIN.

The HDTV fiasco

Done with Sony says:

Another Broken Sony

I am done with Sony for awhile. The last two Sony products that I purchased (a DVD player in then and a Blu-Ray player) both broke at about 12 months. Unfortunately the DVD player broke just after 12 months and wasn’t covered under maintenance. The Blu-Ray player was covered but their service centers are not run very efficiently and the experience wasn’t very pleasant.

John says:

Sony projection 57 inch TV model kp57ws500

the screen was turning green then turning off for the last year. since I’m unemployed I can’t go out and spend 3 G’s on another.

now its gone for good I think ist now Blue with a red hase and will not kick on.

is it some projection bulb or is it trash? someone advise?

bulbs are $300.00 I’m hearing.

Diane says:

Samsung sucks

We have a Samsung TV that quit working after just two years. Samsung will not honor it’s supposed commitment to quality. Their customer service is horrendous. They have no viable tech support. They keep telling us to buy parts we don’t need or to get an “authorized” Samsung TV repairman to fix the problem. They won’t tell us what the problem is or what would cause the problem. We just know that we have a 61″ black paperweight. I will NEVER buy another Samsung product as long as I live. They say on their web site “imagine what Samsung can do for you.” What they did was screw us bigtime!

John L says:

Sony Reader Locks Up

I bought the first generation Sony Reader when it first came out and it has never worked correctly for long. I did send it back for service when it was still under warranty and the fix lasted for about a month. It went back to its old tricks of locking up. After that I just threw it in a drawer. I just got it out to see if the new software version would make it work correctly but no dice. Sony support has never seemed to care. There was a time I would pay extra for the Sony name but no more. They don’t care about quality anymore.

Mary Jo F. says:

Sony BIg Screen TV Recall

We bought a big screen TV that has developed a green haze. We found out that the problem was acknoledged by Sony and a class action suit was launched. BUT until now we weren’t aware of all this, we never recieved a letter from Sony telling us that we needed to have out problem taken care of in a certain time frame. We rarely used the TV since we bought it and in terms of “TV mileage” it is just off the lot. Yet they will not allow us to have our problem fixed as they fixed others and can only offer a discount on a new TV. They don’t stand by their product,they admit it was faulty, but refuse to take responsibility for the repairs. Car makers write letters and anounce problems on TV, they admit to the mistake and make amends by repairing it with no time frame. When this problem surfaced I began to look up if others have had problems with Sony and am finding multiple complaints. They said that the problem was discussed on their website and instructions were given on how to get repairs. Does this mean that every Sony product I buy, I have to check their website daily to see if it has been recalled? They said that they notified their authorized repair dealers. SO were they the ones that were supposed to let the person that actually bought the product about the issue and the availability of repairs? Or was I supposed to call them every day to see if they got any news from Sony about problems with my product. YOU KNOW I won’t be buying or recommending Sony products. The repair that it needs costs $1000 or more, almost as much as the TV itself!! so much for quality control, and longevity of a well made product!!!!

Connie Smith says:

Sony Bravia TV

Less than 2 years old and very expensive, my Sony Bravia TV developed an LED panel problem, as apparently have many, many others. I found out only after paying a premium price for what I thought was a quality product. Much discussion with Sony later, I’m scrapping it for a Samsung. I’lll never buy Sony again, not worth it! They really let down on quality of TV, what a disappointment.

saxonmagic (profile) says:

Sony Quality

I had a vibration issue with a Sony DSC T300 and found on internet that other similar cybreshot has same problem and that Sony issued a bulletin extending warrantee to 2012. I assumed it would apply to my Cybre shot but was told by Sony that “Sony is not aware of any issues with your model of Sony camera” Yet on their own web site, there are numerous product reviews on the T300 that state the camera vibrates. http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&partNumber=DSCT300/B#reviews
I brought this to their attention but in their responses, they continue to state that they are not aware of the vibration problem. Sounds like Toyota.

merkur (profile) says:

Another Sony

I’m pretty upset with Sony right now. No, I’m really upset! And it’s about camera equipment. My wife is simi pro, and we have piles of camera stuff going back to the late 80’s till last year. 99% of what she used has been Nikon. Last year she decided to give Sony a chance. She has been pleased with the technology. A couple weeks ago she was shooting a huge wedding. she got over 2000 shots, and we were at the end of the reception. She went to set a pic up at one of the tables when a guy backed into her camera, and it fell over. I saw it happen, and went to pick it up. it didn’t fall any harder than any of the 100’s that have happened over the years with other equipment. I was amazed to see that the lens had broken completely off the mounting ring that was still attached to the camera and rolled off. Not a mark or bump,or even a smudge on the camera or the lense! I told Sony what happened, and they said it wouldn’t be covered under warranty, and directed us to their repair people who gave us a 250 dollar estimate. We paid to have it shipped, and today they told me the repair would be $774.79 plus return shipping. I looked on Sony’s web site, and a new one is $799.99. This is how Sony cares for a new customer.

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