/ Technology

Good on Sony for swift TV “recall”, but can it keep it up?

Following the revelation that some Bravia LCD TV models could be at risk of overheating, Sony is offering free engineer inspections and repairs for 1.6 million TVs. But will it be able to cope with the demand?

With the news that as many as 1.6 million Sony Bravia LCD TVs could overheat, UK owners are being urged to check their model numbers to see if they’re affected.

The alert was first raised after a series of incidents in Japan, where overheating TVs emitted smoke and internal parts even started to melt.

The affected “smoking” models are available worldwide, including in the UK, forcing Sony to respond to the issue on a global scale.

The Sony Bravia LCD TV models at risk

Sony has announced that the affected models are 40-inch Bravia LCD TVs from its 2007-2008 range. The full list of models at risk are below:

  • Sony Bravia KDL-40 D3400
  • Sony Bravia KDL-40 D3500
  • Sony Bravia KDL-40 D3660
  • Sony Bravia KDL-40 V3000
  • Sony Bravia KDL-40 W3000
  • Sony Bravia KDL-40 X3000
  • Sony Bravia KDL-40 X3500

If you own one of the TVs that is considered at risk, you should contact Sony’s product support team on 0844 846 6555. Alternatively, contact your local Sony Centre.

Sony offers free inspection and repair

Now for the good news – Sony is responding to this issue by offering a free engineer service to any customers who own one of the affected models. We spoke directly to Sony’s product support team, who told us that an engineer will visit your house for free, and if a fault is identified, a repair will be offered at no charge.

While this is a potentially dramatic product fault, Sony seems to be responding quickly and on a large scale. It’s no small offering to provide free inspection and repair to as many as 1.6 million customers. This should act as an example to other companies faced with a similar situation.

However, when an alert was raised earlier this year over Beko fridge-freezers developing a fault that could make them a dangerous fire-hazard, a flurry of commenters here on Which? Conversation complained that Beko’s customer service was so strained it was unable to offer immediate support to concerned customers phoning up.

A number of commenters told us that it had taken them days to get through to Beko’s support line, and even then they still had to wait over a week for an engineer to actually visit them.

With as many as 1.6 million Sony TVs potentially affected, I’m left wondering whether Sony’s customer support network may face similar strains.

Do you own one of the TV models affected? If so, have you tried to contact Sony’s customer support yet, and with any success?

Comments

So it looks like it might be struggling already, perhaps not with the customer support line, but its website which announced the models has already crashed: http://support.sony-europe.com

Just to prove this: Sony support server down

Jools says:
12 October 2011

Well I managed to get through on the phone within 10 minutes, and they will call me within 24hours to arrange an engineer’s visit, so far so good!

This is sounding all too familiar for me – it was just last week that I was jotting down my serial number (one of the affected TVs) to call Sony to explain an issue with the LCD. The TV is currently with a recommended Sony repair place as we sent it there before the announcement – we’ve already paid £100 for it to be seen and were told we’d have to pay more to get it repaired. I’m going to call Sony to see what they say – I’ll keep you posted on this 🙂

Since Sony’s support page has been having some trouble, and you may not know where to find your Bravia model number, here’s how:

From the settings menu’s inside the TV:

Press on the Menu button on your remote control

Navigate to the settings menu and then select setup menu

Select product information and press ok to identify your model.

To find it on the back of the set:

You can find the model label on the back of your TV set

Again, the models affected are KDL-40D3400, KDL-40D3500, KDL-40D3550, KDL-40D3660 KDL-40V3000, KDL-40W3000, KDL-40X3000, KDL-40X3500

I’m really surprised Sony has yet to extend its telephone line opening times. 9 – 5pm is pretty limiting for those in full-time work. My phone call took 20 minutes out of my morning – 10 minutes on hold, 10 minutes spelling out every letter of my name, address, and TV number. It’s not looking promising for me as my TV had already broken – they say it’s a result of screen failure rather than overheating but they have reassured me they’re checking for this too.

tenby says:
6 December 2011

my tv also already broken with a screen failure – cost £1,500 when new, and now costing £507 for a new screen, I don’t think so – my tv lasted 4years and 10months. My supplier and Sony refusing to do anything about it, Need to prove fault was there when it was purchased! how do I do that?

It could be difficult to find someone who could give specialist advice AND prove that a fault existed at the time of manufacture. Even if you are successful you may be offered a small refund ,taking account of the fact that you have used the TV for nearly five years. If you push for a repair you could be told that parts are no longer available.

I wish you luck but think you will be unlucky.

michelle says:
13 October 2011

I own a Bravia Model KDL-40U3000 have just spoken to sony and am awaiting an engineer to call me back as my model isnt on the recall list but has had an offensive burning smell My local Sony Centre told me it was only Japan having these problems. .

Vicky says:
13 October 2011

I got through and an engineer will be contacting me in the next 2-4 hours as i have one of those models!

I got onto Sony’s UK website this morning. with no problem. There is a link to enable you find your local service centre. I phoned my nearest one; they knew about the inspection alert, confirmed my TV was among those affected and booked an engineer to visit me on Monday morning. So far excellent service.

Adrian Bovey says:
13 October 2011

Re: Beko fridge freezers. I got through first time to customer services and had an engineer from British Gas here within 48 hours to replace suspect parts. Absolutely no complaint actually commendation for the speediness of response. Whatsmore I even had followup from Beko to make sure that the repair/rectification had been completed swiftly. Great fan of Beko as with all Turkish products in cooling related items.

RobinT says:
14 October 2011

I have been complaining about a nasty dark line across the panel for ages but they wanted huge money to replace it. I wonder if they will cover it?

RobinT says:
14 October 2011

Yes they are going to send an engineer but they were quite specific that this was not a recall, just an inspection.

Hi Robin, yes this is not strictly a recall, as they are not recalling all TVs. Instead they are offering free inspections and repairs for this particular models.

RobinT says:
14 October 2011

I wonder if they will just replace the inverter that is overheating or will replace the damaged screen as well. i doubt it!

Caroline Loveland says:
14 October 2011

Called my local Sony dealer (not the place i purchased the TV) and they are happy to come out. They are coming next week so no problem at all.
Full marks to Davis and Easton in Faversham.

Derek says:
14 October 2011

I got on to Sony’s website yesterday with no problem and followed the link to find my nearest service centre. I booked a visit for this morning and my TV was checked out and failed, the engineeer confirmed the component was overheating ( my TV is a KDL-40X3500).
Service engineer will contact me to arrange repair once replacement part obtained.

Jools says:
14 October 2011

Update from an earlier post. They did indeed ring, and arranged for an engineer to arrive Friday. He has just been and inspected the TV, no problem at all and everything is working fine. He showed me the area and where the melting has occurred in the defective parts through overheating, clearly there was no issue with mine which is 3 years old. I can’t complain about the service, or the response, all good for me.
Joolsx

Bill says:
14 October 2011

Contacted my local Sony Centre, wanted to come out the next day, but coming in a few days as not convenient to me. Very good service. Thank you.

RobinT says:
14 October 2011

I still think a burnt screen is bad after 2 years and they should replace it.

Derek says:
14 October 2011

Update on my earlier post this morning

Service centre has just phoned back to arrange to repair my TV next Wednesday, confirmed no charge and replacement TV offered whilst mine is away.

So well done to Sony so far in sorting this out and excellent service from their service centre Video Techs in Sutton

Phil says:
15 October 2011

Contacted my local Sony Service Centre as opposed to contacting the number published. Excellent service. Promised an appointment within 48 hours.

Bad TV great Picture says:
16 October 2011

They have the same thing happing with the 50″and 60″ We have 2000 into it Now!