The Perils of Straying From the Green Fields of Macintosh

Discussion in 'Community' started by VirtualInsanity, Feb 6, 2004.

  1. VirtualInsanity macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2003
    So here's the story. I waited all summer long for new powerbooks after saving enough to buy one, and I didnt want to but an old one with the knowledge of how soon the new ones were due. I have an imac at home, and we have used macs in our house since the performa 6200 days so I knew what I liked.

    Sadly, as everyone knows, no powerbooks came during the summer (break). I waited a week into university, but then I crumbled as you cant enter university without a computer and I had no idea when they could be. I bought a Sony VAIO GRX-700, as I thought Sony was well known for their quality products and good customer service. Nice computer on paper, and nice in person, although I found XP intolerable form the start, and little things that everyone who uses windows though was normal (crashes, slowdowns, bloated, overly complicated design, etc )frustrated me as I was used to the stable, beautiful, efficient world of mac os x. Naturally, mac powerbooks came out exactly one week later:mad: but i managed to get beyond that and continue with my life.

    Fast forward five months to now. I was impeccably careful with my computer, but while typing merrily on my VAIO, the T key pops off. Just the key, everything else is fine. I would fix i myself, but the spring under the key is made up of three tiny, complicated bits of metal and so thers nothing I can do. I restart (the computer froze whehn the key broke off) and guess what? The screen doest work. It flickers and the colours are wrong and there are these white spots. No worries though right? Its still under warranty!:D

    WRONG. It turns out that I bought a US model through a canadian online retailer ( warned!!) this is what happens... So I phone up Sony Canada (im in ontario canada) and tell them about my problem. They put me on hold for forty minutes. They come back and tell me they will send a box the next day to pick it up after I fax them the appropriate warranty documentation, theyll pay for everything... "we take care of our customers, Sir!"

    Three days later there is still no box. Meanwhile I have a useless computer to use for school/life. I call back and they tell me the process has been frozen by management. I ask why, but they put me on hold for more uncountable minutes. They come back and tell me they have assigned my case to a customer service representative. I explain politely that I need my computer for everything, an they explain happily that thats why this agent will call me in 24-48 hours.

    2 days later they call me, and tell me that they can't honour the warranty as it is a US model and therefore the Canadian service centers have neither the parts nor the knowlegde to fix it. I have to go through Sony US. Fine, thanks for nothing.

    I ask to be switched to the line that deals with Sony US technical support and they helpfully do so. Then a tech promises that a customer service rep will call me back form the US division in 24-48 hours. I thank them for their help.

    Two days later sony US calls. They cannot ship to an address in Canada. They suggest I contact Sony Canada. I tell them I did and they don't have the parts. They ask if I have an address in the US they could mail it to where I could pick it up. I explain (politely) that I do not as I am a Canadian and not an American, and as such I live in Canada, not the US. They tell me there is nothing they can do.

    So here I have a computer, five months old and yet utterly useless, and by some ridiculous loophole, it is not covered under warranty and I have to pay to fix it myself. I am a student, and its not going to be cheap. I have been harassing tiger direct twice daily telling them it was false advertising to suggest the computer was under warantee on their website, etc etc. but so far the person hasnt been able to find a solution. wishing I had waited for the powerbook:(
    Anybody have any suggestions?

    This is yet another example of why the mac is the better way, as we all knew all along.
  2. strider42 macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2002
    that sucks, but for the record, apple warranties aren't necessarily transferable across country lines either, so you can run into similar problems with apple.
  3. mgargan1 macrumors 65816


    Feb 22, 2003
    Reston, VA
    but the likelihood of a problem occurring with the powerbook would have been a lot less. Hey, at least he didn;t get a Dell...
  4. mj_1903 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    Applecare is international these days and I have had no issues with it and my 15" PowerBook.
  5. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    Don't give up. Threaten TigerDirect with a lawsuit if you have to. I have some bad experiances with them, and will NEVER shop there again. If you look on the BBB website, they have numerous complaints about them. Add yourself to that list (Canada must have something like it for consumers).

    If you have to, complain to Sony corporate. And if you can get your money back (or a working computer, sell it on eBay), buy yourself a PowerBook (or iBook) and some AppleCare. If something bad happens, you know you're covered.
  6. strider42 macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2002
    thats good to know. i've read of some bad stories of people who moved overseas and then couldn't get apple to service their computers when problems arose. Those were admittedly a couple of years ago I believe.
  7. JesseJames macrumors 6502a

    Mar 28, 2003
    How'd I get here? How can I leave?
  8. VirtualInsanity thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2003
    strider42:i realize this is the case with applecare but had I bought a powerbook I would have done so through the applestore downtown, its a fully authorized dealerso you can buy applecare and have it serviced there. The problem lies in the fact that tigerdirect sold a us model to a canadian consumer when they were not supposed to.

    solvs: I have written a letter to the vp of sales for sony, along with the invoice and the warranty card with the part that says my computer is supported in the country where it was bought. I certainly wont back down after paying 3000 for a faulty machine, and I harass them daily with polite but assertive calls. Canada also has the BBB, and they will be notified, although admittedly i think its more tigerdirect's fault than sony's.

    New update:
    I called tigerdirect again and spoke to the manager who was slightly more helpful than the others. I have notified them that as a canadian consumer, i had the right to know the details of the warranty and if such a loophole existed, and that had I known I would not have purchaed the computer. I told them that by not placing a warning about this potential problem they were in violation of law as they were guilty of false advertising, and were bordering on fraud. Canadians have the right to know everything about an expensive purchase, and the details should be explicit. I told him that I will not take responsibility for a computer that was sold to me under false pretenses and that they are responsible for honouring their agreement or they will certianly face difficulties. I also politely notified him that their lax and uninterested attitudes in helping their customers resulted in me reporting the case to the BBB. I dont want to sound cocky or anything, but he DID sound like he realized I was serious and not just threatening, and he called his US counterpart to see what can be done. I will continue to harass tigerdirect until they come up with a valid, viable, and legal excuse for ripping me off...which they wont. Ill keep you guys posted.

    oh and also, of course i didnt get a dell as one of you mentioned. I wanted to get something as close to power book as possible. And.. (this is really pathetic) i even put the taskbar at the top so it looks like the apple desktop (sort of) and downloaded a thing called stardock, which is like the dock but much more poorly implemented, although it looks the same. I miss mac osx.
  9. Dippo macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2003
    Charlotte, NC
    The quality of Sony products have seem to gone downhill in the past couple of years. The Sony desktop I had died 4 times, thankfully I had a BestBuy extended warranty and got a brand new HP after the 4th time.

    The warranty thing is a whole different matter. I still buy computers from "brick and motor" businesses so at least I know where to go if it screws up. (Computer parts are another thing though, I only buy those online after checking
  10. SiliconAddict macrumors 603


    Jun 19, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Re: The Perils of Straying From the Green Fields of Macintosh

    You only find things intolerable and frustrating because you don't know it. Do you think people who go from an automatic to a stick shift aren't somewhat frustrated as well? At least initially?
    Rule of thumb for any Windows system purchased from an OEM. (Doesn't matter who: Dell, IBM, Sony, Gateway, HP, etc/) Log into the OS and register it with the OEM for warrantee purposes and then format the sucker. OEM's put so much crap into the OS that it makes it unstable and bloated. And a clean install of the OS also allows you to use the latest and greatest drivers and not have to worry about obsolete drivers that you may have. Unfortunately I've heard many a horror story and many a praise from Sony. If nothing else they are one of the more proprietary OEMs out there, AFAIK only HP(Compaq) is worse. As someone mentioned Sony's quality has been slipping dramatically in the last few year. Actually quality on PC laptop hardware has been slipping pretty dramatically the last few years. I attribute it to the Dell effect. Cut prices at any cost which means cutting corners on quality. I think the ONLY company left on the PC side of things, other then the lesser known companies like Alienware, that makes solid hardware is IBM. Their laptops rock.
    I'm sorry to hear you are having problems but if you didn't want to dick with learning Windows and its interface you shouldn't have purchased a PC in the first place.
  11. janey macrumors 603


    Dec 20, 2002
    sunny los angeles
    Re: The Perils of Straying From the Green Fields of Macintosh

    hrmm i dont see what is so difficult about popping a key back on. Apple's laptop keyboards are just as bad and helll they come off too, sometimes broken...
    But nevertheless, you deserve to get that computer fixed. dont give up till it is fixed. then get on ebay and get yourself another good computer.

    Note how I didnt tell you to get a PowerBook. I'm just warning ya, AppleCare is pretty bad sometimes. XP isnt that horrid...I dont know what you people have against Microsoft OSs and x86 stuff...

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