Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Not Happy, Sony

Sorry, everyone, this is a bit of a rant but I'm a cranky consumer and I have a blog. I recently bought my first ever laptop - a very cute little Sony Vaio VGN-C21 - to do all my work on. We're a big Sony household, and just about every second gadget Phil buys is from Sony so I had come to expect a pretty high standard from this company. But my laptop was a sad disappointment. It came with Windows Vista installed, and was as slow as a sloth on Stillnox, to the point where it became essentially unusable even for word processing. We're talking 10 second delays switching between documents, sometimes 15 minutes to load up from sleep mode, very slow responsiveness to any task and regular 'freezes' of several minutes while the computer 'thinks'.
It turns out that even though the minimum RAM requirement for Vista is 512MB (which I have), it can barely run on this and any computer with Vista as an operating system needs at least 1GB to be even half-way decent. Even the guy I spoke to at the Sony Helpline told me I needed 1GB of RAM for Vista.
So why the heck is Sony selling laptops that are underpowered to run the operating system they sell them with? Their product is essentially not fit for purpose - it can't even cope with Office programs - yet they are leaving this for their customers to discover the hard way, as I did after two months of frustration and anger.
I have since purchased another 512MB of RAM, at a cost of $199, which has made a drastic improvement to my computer speeds. But I am one very pissed off customer. How simple would it have been for Sony to just pre-install the extra memory in any laptops with only 512MB and which run Vista. That might have cost them just $50-$100 to do, they could add it on to the price and most customers wouldn't even notice. Instead, they've chosen to try and sneak this shortfall under the radar and hope that customers won't be bothered by a new laptop that runs slower than an old dinosaur desktop. WRONG!
I'm not the only person in the world to experience this frustration, and I'm sure that this is having an effect on the otherwise good reputation of Sony Vaio computers and Sony in general. I sent a very cranky email to Sony's customer complaints line last week spelling all this out and have I had a reply - no. So now I'm on the war path. Bad move, Sony.

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