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Fry's / Sony Laptop / Poor service!

1 United States

I sent this email to the Sony repairman Oct. 12, 2007: On July 12, 2007, I took my Sony into Fry's, Plano, TX, for repair, after having problems with it. Several people at Fry’s told me that if Sony agrees that the problems with my computer were caused by something other than just a fall, that they would have it repaired under my service contract. I told them that (most importantly) I want to make sure that it won’t continue to get hot, and spark on me. As I explained when I brought the computer in on July 12th, 2007, "On July 11th, 2007 it sparked several times and I heard a pop". That really scared me because I have a Sharp sweeper with a battery pack that recently caught on fire, while it was plugged in being charged. Even now, when you turn on the computer, you will see that it starts making this (very) loud humming noise, and gets hot very quickly, not the quite humming noise you usually hear from the fan. It sparked again on my husband before we took it in on July 12th, so I know that it will do it again, unless something that is causing it to get hot is repaired. I don’t know if it’s caused by the battery, or something else. Anyway, you can see by the notes you have that when the computer got real hot and sparks started coming from it, I leaped out of bed, and dropped it.
I had other problems with it, before this happened. When I first got the computer (spent $2219. for the computer and the service contract), the cd write didn’t work, and the computer kept freezing up, and at other times would just shut off. Then, approx. 3 months later (the first time I tried to save all my files and information in Quick Books) I discovered that I couldn’t save the files to a cd. I use the computer for our business, so I was afraid to send it in for repair at that time, thinking I would lose all my work (in Quick Books). This really concerned me. I need all the information to send to my CPA for tax purposes.

email to Kevin at Sony's National Customer Relations Dpt.: Kevin, a few months ago (as I told you on the phone today) I purchased a memory stick to save the information from Quick Books (so that I could have my laptop sent off for repair before the service contract expired), but had no way of checking to see if the memory stick actually had the information on it (due to not knowing what all works/doesn't work on the Sony). I could not borrow a laptop from someone with memory stick capability, because I would need to install Quick Books on their computer to do that. If I could have saved all the files/info. to a cd, this wouldn't have been a problem, but as I stated above, that didn't work either.

Anyway, the laptop did fall on a carpeted floor, from my lap, while in bed. Because it always ran so hot, I used a computer tray underneath it, with holes in it to help with ventilation. The laptop had never been dropped before this happened. I work at home, and do not carry it from place to place. I now know that the computer should not have gotten that hot (problem I had with it, starting from the day I bought it), but had no way of knowing at the time, because:

A month before I bought this Sony laptop, I had purchased a Compaq laptop. Right away, it started getting very hot (not just hot) and freezing up (usually while playing games), so I returned it right away. Fry's would not give me my money back, but instead they gave me a coupon to purchase something else from them. I ended up buying the Sony, and spending (I think) an extra $1000.00, but had the same problem with it (getting very hot and freezing up, or just shutting off). When I started having problems with the Sony laptop, I called Fry's and said "it's happening to me again". They said that it's normal for that to happen, with the new processors. I have used several laptops since then, and now know that this doesn't normally happen. Anyway, the bottom line is that not only did the computer have several problems from the beginning (mostly heat related), I was scared it was going to catch on fire in my lap, which in turn caused me to drop it.

Email to Kevin again on Oct. 16, 2007: I will never shop at Fry's again. I will take my problems with Fry's to the next level. I have already contacted BBB, and I am contacting the Federal Trade Commission, the State Consumer Office, and websites:,, and /link removed/ Remember when I was surprised to hear that the Sony repairman quoted a cost of $350, when Fry's told me it would cost $680? Well, I called Fry's today and spoke with Ray at the service dpt. and asked (again) how much it will cost. He said it would be $350.07. But that they wanted to charge me $99.99 also, for the diagnostics. He said that if I hadn't declined (to Sony) the repairs, Fry's wouldn't have charged that $99.99. I said that I never declined having it repaired, I wanted it repaired. That's why I was communicating (just last Friday) with Jonathan Doreau at the Sony Repair Center. I've even got a copy of an invoice from Sony to Fry's stating that Fry's instruction to them was to return the unit unrepaired (not my instructions). Today, I told Ray at Fry's that Neal at Sony told me that Sony will never contact me to ask if I want it repaired or sent back, because I'm not their customer, Fry's is there customer. Today Ray at Fry's told me that I would need to talk to the manager to have them take off the $99.99 diagnostic charge, but that if I leave a message, THE MANAGER WILL NEVER CALL ME BACK. I will have to come into the store and talk to him. I said that I can only come at night, but I've been sick and would prefer talk to him over the phone. He insisted I would need to come in, and he said there is always a manager there. So I went there tonight, and waited 2 1/2 hours (while the manager was in a meeting), and then the manager left, so I couldn't talk to him. Needless to say, I was upset. The service department said they weren't there during my conversation with Ray, so they are not responsible for giving me false information. they said I'd have to call him the next morning. I argued with them, so they brought in someone calling himself an assistant manager (a lot of false information so I'm not sure if it's true). He showed me an invoice for the $99.99 plus $488, total $588 to have the laptop repaired. I asked him why the price went up again, and that people there have been dishonest with me. He said "oh, everyone here is dishonest. I believe you are the only dishonest one here". And again, that he wasn't there during my discussion with Ray, so he is not responsible for false information. No one there is held accountable. Even when I get their names. Also I brought in my loaner laptop to them tonight, and they turned it on, and turned it right back off and taped the box up and marked $50 off it it and put it right back out for display. We watched them. They don't even check to see that everything works, or do any diagnostic tests before they put things right back out to sell. That is why we've had problems (initially) with 2 of the laptops we've bought from them.


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