/ Technology

Are Sony Xperia Z phones cracking by themselves?

Cracked smartphone

Phone screens cracking by themselves? Sounds spooky, but that’s what we’ve heard from some Sony Xperia Z customers. The question is whether Sony’s fixing phones for free under warranty.

Smartphones aren’t invincible, even with developments like the scratch-resistant ‘Gorilla Glass’. A drop from your pocket can result in a broken phone, and an unhappy owner. But what if the cracks weren’t caused by your clumsiness? What if they mysteriously appeared?

That’s what some Sony Xperia Z customers have been experiencing. This is a phone that’s meant to be tougher than your average smartphone, with the added benefit of being waterproof. And yet there are reports of hairline cracks appearing as if by magic, without any force being applied. One theory goes that these small cracks are due to the phone overheating, which is then making the phone unusable.

The cracks are beginning to show

In a lively thread on Sony’s forums, Monsoon comments about his Xperia Z:

‘I pulled my phone out my pocket at the weekend and there were two hairline cracks running diagonally down the screen rendering the top 2/3 of the screen useless.’

Scoops99 says they’ve had the same problem:

‘[I] had the phone in my pocket like I have done for the last four months and found the phone did not work, I cannot unlock the phone or enter the PIN. On further investigation, after removing the screen protector, I noticed two hairline cracks coming from the right-hand side of the screen. The phone has never been dropped or bashed.’

When these customers get in touch with Sony, some have been quoted more than £200 for a repair. One of Social Student’s writers said:

‘I was told that there was a £200 fixing fee as the phone was ‘BER’ (Beyond Economic Repair) and was not covered under the standard warranty. If I didn’t want to accept the repair bill, I would be charged £15 for them to send the damaged phone back to me!’

Replacements under warranty

However, some customers appear to be having some luck with Sony. Some forums and unofficial blogs claim that Sony will replace phones under warranty if there’s only a ‘single crack in the display’, and that there’s no evidence of abuse. However, this is not something we can confirm, as we’ve also read comments from customers who say they’ve had difficulty getting a replacement, like Bettyboo on Sony’s forum:

‘I had the same issue within a day of use, screen cracked by itself with a hairline crack and stopped responding. I sent to Sony UK, got a quote back for over £240 and they claimed it was down to physical damage not a manufacturing defect. […] I literally begged and told him it’s not accidental damage but a problem with their screens. He never admitted there was, but promised as a good will gesture they will on this one occasion replace it.’

So, do you own a Sony Xperia phone? Has a crack appeared as if from nowhere? How has your experience been with Sony’s customer service team?

We reached out to Sony for a comment – a spokesperson told us:

‘We are sorry to hear that some customers are reporting cracks in the screens of their Xperia Z smartphones.

‘We build all our devices to a high quality standard, and submit them to rigorous testing procedures. In the case of Xperia Z this has included evaluation against our Global Reliability specifications. Tests carried out include free-fall, bend, pressure, heat and other simulations to reflect the different uses of our products in the field.

‘Xperia Z’s frame is made from glass fibre polyamide, the same tough material that is used as a metal substitute in cars. The glass used is tempered, and has a shatter-proof coating, making it much stronger than regular glass. This along with its proven water and dust-resistance contributes significantly to the durability of Xperia Z.

‘However, damage can occur to any smartphone screen for a variety of reasons. These include, but are not limited to, a screen suffering a sharp knock, exceptional localised pressure, or simply from being dropped.

‘Assessment within our product returns process demonstrates that only a small proportion of reported cases cannot be obviously attributed to an identifiable cause such as those listed above. Our quality control monitors confirm that the return rate of Xperia Z smartphones due to a cracked screen are at a very low level and, we believe, well within norms for the high-tech consumer electronics industry.

‘In cases where no identifiable cause can be found, we have replaced the customer’s phone quickly and without charge.

‘When a customer has an issue with their Xperia smartphone we urge them to call our local customer service centres – the UK number to reach them is 03705 237237.

‘Our customer care and repair centre agents are required to handle all enquiries on a case-by-case basis and try to determine the most likely cause of damage. We will generally repair or replace the device if there are no obvious signs of customer damage.’

‘Once again, we’re sorry to hear that some consumers are unhappy with their devices, or the service they receive from Sony. If any customer has any concerns we urge them to call our customer service centre on 03705 237237 (8am – 8pm Mon – Fri, 9am – 5pm Sat). We commit to assess every complaint on a case by case basis to reach a fair resolution as swiftly as possible.’

Comments
Profile photo of Nafees
Member

Any other to way to still use the crack screen?? Maybe we can do something…put something conducted to electric such as alluminium foil in the back of lcd so the lcd maybe crack but it still connected to the power by the foil..can we do this method or not?

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

Sorry Nafees – the use of your screen to make changes to its input is usually capacitively done once the screen is broken you lose the connected total capacitance,s ability to influence it.

Member
K11OXA says:
7 April 2016

I have a sony Xperia z5 4 months old kept in a leather case under 2 year contract with vodafone. Last week noticed a hairline crack 1cm down from the top of the phone going across whole screen. Not dropped or damaged. Sent the phone it to repair centre through vodafone store. Store manager included in his notes to the repair centre there was no visible evidence of damage by me. Called today by third party UTL advising the phone was cracked and out of warranty and will not be repaired unless i pay a repair fee. I have been signposted back to vodafone to challenge their decission and as ever am receiving ridiculously poor customer service from vodaphones technical department.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

K11OXA – I see vodaphone for the fourth year running is the worst offender for customer complaints ,according to OFCOM . Your Sony Xperia Z5 is another one on the long list of complaints of screen cracking , you are certainly not alone in the world in this models respect . I wish you luck in any battle you might have as I take it being 4 months old and told “out of warranty ” means = You broke it ! This is the standard speech from Sony probably delivered to Vodaphone by them . I think now Sony has shut its factory in China down or is in the process of doing so and set up in another far-east country , from what I recollect Thailand and as I have said many times on this Convo much as Sony TRY to make out their phones glass is made by CORNING –“Gorilla Glass ” (trademark ) Corning make no such statement but dont show Sony on their website of companies it sells its glass to . Not only that they have a disclaimer saying that any company NOT listed is not now allowed to say it uses their product . I now see Sony has taken off the offending advert.

Member
ellegonzalez says:
25 October 2016

I just hope their new Thailand factory is better than the Chinese one they closed down and they start buying Corning Glass . This “excuse ” “accidental damage ” is saving Sony a fortune worldwide .

Member
jan rigden says:
9 April 2016

yes, took my z3 out of my pocket today, never been dropped or scratched, always kept in a case, not working, looked closely and a single crack right across the screen about 2cm from the bottom, not happy as only 6 months old and unmarked otherwise.

Member
gaurav says:
3 May 2016

very true, today morning, i found my Z1 screen cracked too in the same way (Magically).Unfortunately, its out of warranty now. Most of the times screen is working but sometimes unusual clicks are happening throughout the crack . the screen is now unusable.

Member
kmh says:
5 May 2016

my Experia Z5 which I purchased on 18 March 2016 got a hairline crack on the screen on 30th April 2016 while my phone was in my jumper pocket I was unable use the phone after this, I took the phone into o2 where I purchased it from to be told it would cost me £200 or more as not covered by the warranty it fell into the accidental damage category ( was not my fault!!) I have emailed Sony as yet to receive a response think will be a long time coming!! Needless to say I’m not happy!!

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

kmh- I wish you luck you will need it but there are several UK companies that will repair it for £100 or so. I just hope their new Thailand factory is better than the Chinese one they closed down and they start buying Corning Glass . This “excuse ” “accidental damage ” is saving Sony a fortune worldwide .

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

For those that say – Wiki has Sony advertised as using Corning BUT visit the OFFICIAL Corning Gorilla Glass website and you will NOT find Sony listed even if you click on the extended info page , not only that Corning has a prominent disclaimer –if it aint here it is not supplied by Corning (abbreviated ) .

Member
Richard Bales says:
12 May 2016

Update on my issue going back to 2014 vodafone have now placed my account in the hands of a debt agency and are refusing to take me to court “so i will have to take them to court if thats my wish” so how can i fund a fight against this monster?

So many people logging the same issues and tv programs addressing the same complaint the supply of goods act and breach of contract all going against them and still its down to the little guy consumer to take out a summons against them? REALLY!!!!

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

Richard you are up against a world conglomerate that is massive and takes in many countries round the globe although US firms fought back in a take-over bid and won, its in most countries running their mobile services . It admitted that it is “wired in” to ours and overseas security services -willingly – and all your meta data is collected and surveillance is even more open than MS . What you need is a large group of like minded Vodaphone users who have been badly treated to start a class action against Vodaphone and going by the number of complaints -Vodaphone being the most complained about ,at least in the UK , you should get some help legally maybe even a lawyer/ QC to act on your behalf for maybe costs.

Member
steve says:
5 June 2016

I have a temp fix. Goto a store and buy and lead that goes from micro to standard usb then plug in a mouse. A little cursor will appear and You can then unlock the phone back it up or just use it this way. Hope that helps someone. To add it’s the heat that cracks the screen.

Member
Lorraine says:
13 June 2016

Mr CEO Kazuo Hirai, your company and your people do not care about me. I have been a dedicated Sony buyer for many years. I have loved, and raved about, your products for a very long time. NO MORE. see below. Do you care?
Mr Kazuo Hirai?
So, I got a SONY Z5 about two months ago or so as an upgrade. That one started going wrong after 2 weeks….returned to Sony….meant I had no phone for a day and then had to go to town to get an adapter for my old Z2 as new Z5 SIM was smaller…..did all this at my own time/expense. Got new phone day later. This new phone also started going wrong, but worst of all, first hot day, the screen spontaneously cracked. meant I had no access to phone at all, as didn’t react to swipe etc. Phone was now effectively locked. I had Sam’s 9th birthday photos on there. Have sent it back to Sony, who refuse point blank to replace it at their cost. I have been quoted £118 and they will not budge. Kept repeating himself again and again and again that engineer had found signs of impact. the engineers ARE WRONG!!!!!!! The phone was on passenger seat for 5 mins…worked when I put it down, cracked when I picked it up. I am now left with bill and/or hours of trying to talk to someone somewhere (and he was going to refuse to let me go to complaints department or pass my case on further!!) who will believe me. They are seriously missing the point here…not only was this NOT MY FAULT and I have been hugely inconvenienced from start to finish, but I have lost time AND my sons birthday photos….and they couldn’t give a damn. I WILL NOT BE QUIET. I WILL NOT EVER BUY A SONY PHONE AGAIN, AND I WILL DO EVERYTHING IN MY POWER TO TELL EVERYONE I MEET NOT TO BUY AN UNRELIABLE PHONE FROM A COMPANY THAT DONT GIVE A ….
there are too many things going on in the world for this to be that important, but seriously, this is very wrong.
my advice to all from now will always be, forget how amazing their camera is, if the phone continually breaks, and your precious photos are lost in space forever, what’s the point…DO NOT BUY A SONY!!

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

As I have said previously Sony is moving its Experia factory to Thailand . Its now been confirmed that it will open by the end of fiscal 2016 they intent to produce millions/year . Although a big name its not in the first two places in smartphones worldwide , regardless off the popularity of them and it could be as rumored in business websites it will sell the name off to third party manufacturers also it could turn out that some are made in India (if negotiations work out ) .In any case its a money saving exercise (isnt it always ) Sony isn’t the prestige name it once was . it is not much different in the US but there Sony smartphones are getting stick because they are not as waterproof as they advertised . Australians are getting cracked screens like Britain . And Corning still dont list Sony as fitting their glass.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

I have done a quick survey on Sony phones worldwide with cracked screen complaints and Samsung cracked screen complaints and Sony are miles worse than Samsung . The difference ? Samsung use Corning Gorilla Glass –Sony dont.

Member
dieseltaylor says:
14 June 2016

Your ad hoc invetigation is interesting but flawed as many surveys are by not taking into account the number of Sony phones versus the number of Samsungs in existence. In some ways it is immaterial as one rogue phone design is sufficient cause for justified complaints.

The number of people suffering problems versus the number sold in the English speaking markets is probably the truest measure. This may sound picky but when invetigating tagged tyres I found that Brazil , which speaks a form of Portugese, was the place where the information was. Of course searching the common sites was no use whatsoever as they use English.

To tie this back to phones. If I tell you I have produced 5m phones and only get a cracked glass complaint rate of 0.01% that would make it insignificant. If you knew that 4.9m were sold in tropical countries with small temperature variation and 100,000 in countries with temperature extremes where the vast majority of temperature stress induced cracks were appearing …..

Roughly 500 reported cracks on sales of 100,000 [0.5%] would very seem significant if the number reported
for other companies is very much lower. Companies that repair smart phones would be an interesting source of information and perhaps some inside information should be gleaned.

And the point of this is that consumers need to have data so that they can organise more effective actions against multinationals.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

It seems so obvious that when problem, such as cracked Sony screens, looks to be more than just isolated instances someone looks at the numbers to see if they are significantly worse than the norm. I have asked Which? to examine this earlier in this Convo on more than one occasion, and to check with their European sister organisations.

“The Which? mission is to make individuals as powerful as the organisations they have to deal with in their daily lives. We identify where consumers are experiencing problems, and through programmes of research, debate and consumer dialogue we develop effective, practical policy solutions.”

Are Which? doing this?

Profile photo of John Ward
Member

Is it possible for Which? to do this across such a wide field?

Has it set itself an impossible target given that it tries to grapple with so many major concerns with a limited pool of expertise and funding? There is a huge risk of becoming superficial across a broad front rather than perseverant and competent in a narrower spectrum. To some degree there is a conflict between the objectives of magazine publishing in reaching a wide audience and the need to drill down in a defined space to the exclusion of other interests.

And perhaps we have to ask ourselves whether Which? Conversation is a help or a hindrance to the overall mission. Cogitate and propound.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

diesel -I pointed out Sony werent in the first two places in World volume sales , Samsung IS so its not flawed in the sense you mean ,its actually understating it because of Samsung,s much larger volume. Of course I couldnt do a scientific survey I said –“quick survey ” I dont think I will be competing with Gallop or others as my OAP doesnt stretch to 10,s of millions of ££££ . What I was doing was putting a practical point forward what product is the public complaining about ?– what is the fault ?– who else in the world is complaining -? As you well know this government and BB can come out with -and have – ALL sorts of skewed data to suite their political/commercial aims . This country isnt massive , if a fair amount of the public take the time to post on Which complaints about Sony phones then it will be more than 0.5 of the population that have Sony phones that are really complaining as just a small number know to post here leaving many more suffering in silence (relatively ) .

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

It would be useful, John, to have a discussion – Convo – about what we expect of Which? I doubt that will be allowed.

You reiterate a good point that has been made before. Which? has monthly magazines to fill, come rain or shine, and that requires effort. However, members provide them with £100 million a year to fund this – not chickenfeed, is it?

I think it does try to do too much on its own, and does a lot of it inadequately. Topics keep cropping up where we should expect a consumer champion to be actively working for both members and the general population that are not properly researched nor followed through to a real conclusion.

And yet it has 40 sister organisations in Europe that it could surely cooperate with more extensively to spread the load and achieve much more.

I, personally, may be on my own here but I’d like to see consumers properly defended, even if that means losing some of the more frivolous content of the magazines. Do what they should be doing well, and don’t bite off more than they can chew. I support it to provide information on the more major consumer issues and products and to defend consumers primarily. not just to buy a glossy magazine.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

duncan, take a look at the Dutch consumer groups report and action on Sony phone faults and you will see we are far from alone. They can be found through the BEUC website (beuc.eu), along with the other European consumers associations.

Profile photo of Patrick Steen
Member

Hi John – Which? Conversation is very much a help to our overall mission. It not only raises new consumer problem areas, it helps us put pressure on companies. You’re right that we can’t investigate everything, but when the evidence is overwhelming we will do our very best to do what we can. Sometimes we don’t get the results we or you would like. You’re right we do need to focus, which can mean we can’t go into as much depth on every single issue. We also need to improve our systems on how we feed comments here into the rest of Which? – I’m working on that.

On this case we invested not insignificant funds in carrying out testing of Sony Xperia phones. We bought new phones from three Xperia ranges and sent to specialist labs to carry out a number of tests, including bend tests, overheating tests, drop tests etc. The lab tests unfortunately didn’t find any inherent problems with those particular phones – this would have been key evidence for us to bring action against Sony.

We also got three commenters here to send us their cracked phones – these were tested in lab conditions again to see what the problem was. Although they found that the cracks weren’t due to impact, they weren’t not able to identify what had caused it.

When we carried out customer satisfaction surveys with Sony phones we also uncovered some reliability problems, which resulted in us removing Best Buy status from three Xperia phones.

We’ve challenged Sony on this, who told us (comment in the post) that it will replace/repair phones for free if they can find no evidence of customer damage. I do understand that many of the comments seem not to have had that experience though, which is unfortunate.

This whole case of cracking Sony Xperia phones has been in collaboration with other consumer organisations. We went on an evidence finding mission after talking about it with others, some of which have had more success with Sony in their countries. OCU in Spain has managed to convince Sony Spain to offer free repairs for cracked Xperia phones as has Consumentumbond in Holland. UFC-Que Choisir in France gave the Xperia Z phone a Don’t Buy – we’re following up to see if they’ve had any more success with Sony.

Let me look into what we can do now, especially when there are now reports of Xperia Z5’s suffering from a similar problem.

Profile photo of Patrick Taylor
Member

John – You have got to the nub of the problem. What is Which? about?

You are correct that there are practical limitations on what any organisation can achieve and also what it would be wise to avoid.

You do state something that is plain wrong ” a limited pool of expertise and funding?”
Which? is actually rich and has been burning money in commercial ventures during the last five years. The failed Indian Venture was £14.94m in total, the LTIP bonus to four staff £2.24m, currently Which? Financial Services has swallowed £18m.

There needs to be a conversation about the organisation losing its ethos and I have over the past week received over £400 from shareholder members to pay for a mailing to those 7000 Members that remain as shareholders of the Consumers Association. You have to appreciate that we can only contact 3000 for that money but it is important.

The association split into Which? and CA in 1987 to benefit from tax. SInce that time but very particularly under the chairmanship of Barwise control resides with the Which? Ltd Board made up of businessmen and the staff beneficiaries of the £2.24 bonus scheme.

Council conversely met less and less frequently and then 25% of its elected representation on Council.

The new Council has made some token moves so far to improve transparency but unfortunately nothing is concretely been advised to members. I do have far more faith in this current Council. An open letter signed by 28 members in December 2015 has just recently had a reply which provides no real substance other than the status quo is acceptable.

Reverting to what Which? can and cannot do. As a financially trained guy I am very keen on value for money. Compared to the other Consumer bodies is not impressive in a number of ways. Given its budget is easily twice that of Stiftung Warentest [test.de] which is very widely trusted for its testing in Germany you have to wonder why ours is so poor.

There is some serious duplication such as Citizens Advice and Consumers Association [Which?] both providing the same advice and letters on the same laws. In France they have active local solicitors that provide local support to members …..

Currently I am a member of Choice in Australia, and last year Consumer Reports in the US. I have paid for Stiftung Warentest reports, and browsed the websites of several European consumer bodies. If other members also were exposed to the value for money offering of other bodies, and the good ideas worth copying it would be useful. I think improvement is possible; and needed to improve the current offering.

As a member of 30 years I do think Which? is highly useful but it definitely strayed into marketing a Brand. It does need a discussion of members in the open not some reported result of a survey or a focus group.

I have posted several times in the little-known Member forum this posting being to synthsise net based sources and Which? content increasing usability and content at low cost.
member.community.which.co.uk/?plckForumPage=ForumDiscussion&plckDiscussionId=Cat%3a406e2499-f621-4a50-a343-def5d243b41fForum%3a4de3cb67-23d5-4b0d-b7e0-aefdb8fe816bDiscussion%3a1f7bbf86-e514-4fd9-9562-ac3740d22179

Profile photo of Patrick Taylor
Member

Well this illustrates where we should be. The information you give could, if CAWiki existed, benefit from the summary you have given here.

Imagine the ease readers would have to access Sony¬ smartphones¬ Experia z5 or just go straight to Z5 and read the information and be directed to the relevant details if needed

Unfortunately you provide no numbers from the EU associations and this would be so so useful.

The Which? review curiously does not mention the glass cracking
” Is there anything else I should know?
Sony claims that the phone is water and dust resistant – nevertheless any phone is fragile and should be handled with care.”

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

Thanks for that malcolm .

Profile photo of Patrick Steen
Member

Hi diesel, I’m keen to keep the discussion on Xperia phones as if there’s more evidence about Z5’s cracking, it would be good to hear it.

However, before we move on, I would like to say we have achieved more change and have taken more action on big consumer issues this year than many others. We flexed our special legal powers twice by submitting super-complaints, leading to major change in supermarket pricing and action from the regulator on delay compensation.

We’ve had multiple wins over the year across our campaigns, including a number of key mentions in the Queen’s Speech from easier switching in the Better Markets Bill, to automatic compensation for dodgy broadband. You can read all about those here: https://conversation.which.co.uk/home-energy/queens-speech-parliament-2016-broadband-mobiles/

We supported Barry Beavis on fighting his parking fine in order to try and protect consumers, and although the case was lost it was an example of us intervening in a legal case: https://conversation.which.co.uk/motoring/parking-charge-notice-parkingeye-barry-beavis-penalty/

Those are just some examples of the impact we’ve had this year. We can always do more and I’m excited about what we can continue to achieve together with your support.

On Xperia phones, I have shared the action we did take and I’m as frustrated as everyone here that we didn’t find what we needed to. I wanted us to find an inherent problem so that we could take action. We’ve been investigating what further we can do, including sharing knowledge with other consumer orgs.

On to numbers, I can tell you that in Spain, when we last spoke with OCU 200 consumers were able to get their phones fixed for free.

I will ask about whether we can mention the phone cracking problem in the reviews.

Profile photo of Patrick Taylor
Member

As an exercise in lateral thinking this is quite fun. Rather like those West Coast geek factories who when hiring ask you to give a method for calculating the number of piano tuners in San Francisco.

In some ways a development of operational research invented in WW2. This allowed a calculation of Tiger tank production numbers based on part numbers. And the contra- logic realisation where armour was required on planes.

Anyway. Question how many Z5’s suffer from cracked glass. Who knows?

Sony for one. Ask them? Infiltrate? speak to ex-staff?
Company[s] that makes replacement glass?
Company’s that sell repair kits
Company[s] that do repairs
On- line information derived from complaint numbers
YouTube videos with comments and number of people posting how to repair.

As an academic exercise it is interesting to consider the difficulties and costs of obtaining this information, and of course accuracy.

If an unnamed repair shop or two were providing monthly details of repairs [and repair enquiries] then one might have some pretty valid information at small cost. Whether it is ever something to get excited about or not it certainly would give a feel for what is going on.

Sony’s generous replacement policy in Spain may be obscuring the true incidence of the problem in the EU as they alone know the total dealt with.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

Or email all Which? members who have given email addresses and ask them if they’ve had one of these phones, and whether it has had a cracked glass or not.

Were there 600 000+ online subscribers? If, so, not a bad sample size even if only 5% respond.

Profile photo of John Ward
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Thank you Patrick. I am not really part of the Sony Xperia phones cracked screen debate but I did feel that Malcolm raised an interesting question about how Which? is performing against its stated mission. I have no discontentment about Which? but I think it is occasionally useful to consider where we are going, whether we are on the right path to get there, and whether we are carrying so much baggage there is a risk we won’t make it. Mission creep is a well-known phenomenon in expeditionary ventures. I am glad you see continuing and developing value in Which? Conversation. It’s product and service performance pressures that are stretching Which?’s capability and taking it to the limits of its expertise and capacity and everything now seems to have a global dimension. At the same time the public’s [and members’ and staff’s] expectations of Which? continue to rise and I think it is worth considering how far a privately-funded non-government organisation can be expected to go without losing sight of its fundamental purpose.

Profile photo of John Ward
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Diesel – I am sorry if I under-estimated Which?’s capacity but that is how I see it. From where I stand, Which? does have limited resources given its remit. Whatever its wealth, if its objectives are boundless and the expectations infinite then it’s income and talent are not going to be sufficient.

I am not particularly concerned about the commercial and extra-territorial matters you refer to. If I didn’t think Which? was running along more or less the right lines I would not renew my subscription. It will learn from its mistakes. I don’t follow the internal politics of Which? so I think your suggestion of discussing those matters in the Members’ Forum is a good idea.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

John, the members Forum would be the correct place to discuss matters about Which?’s policy and performance, rather than perhaps in “public”. However it is very very underused, not friendly to navigate (entries easily become lost and need searching for) and I doubt many members read it. Rarely do any contributions start a discussion. It could be so much better if the same sort of makeover were devoted to it as Patrick has to the Convos.

I still find it frustrating when we ask questions of Which? that we rarely get answers. Perhaps a sign of under-resourcing but if people who bother to make contributions to Convos and the Members Forum, dig out information, request relevant information, do not see an interest in providing answers then enthusiasm can wane.

I regret that my contributions from time to time are blunt and can be critical of Which?’s handling of consumer problems. I may have the wrong understanding of what Which? should be doing; if I am told that I will accept it. But if you do not say what you really think, and accept rational replies, I don’t see the purpose in conversing – except those frivolous conversations or diversions that can brighten up our day.

Gloomy weather, grass needs cutting, bindweed in the garden, didn’t sleep …………….. 🙁

Profile photo of duncan lucas
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malcolm I dont care how blunt you are even against me as long as I am allowed an equally blunt reply . If posts are put up condemning me I take it that if I reply in kind and my post is deleted then I expect the same to happen to the person condemning me,s post . If that does not happen then think -Germany mid-30,s and the name Goebbels springing to mind . I agree entirely with you in conversing in a straight forward manner to get your point across otherwise we are just “playing ” at being helpful to the public and are only here as a — You have to give a certain leeway to those that dont agree with us –BB- so that we (BB) dont appear autocratic. IE -we are “window dressing “

Profile photo of Patrick Steen
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I not only respect your views, I think you’re sharing some good ideas. And I also hope you know that I won’t hold back in responding to you honestly. This is one of the debates that I took on personally – I wanted us to unearth something in our labs and I was disappointed when we didn’t.

We did survey owners of Xperia phones using Which? Connect and we unearthed reliability issues, which resulted in them losing their Best Buy status. I can see if we have any more specific results on that. On the Z5, which is new, I’ve opened a discussion with our tech researchers about this.

Member
DjLiLaLRSA says:
9 August 2017

There are more high end Samsungs, than high end Sony’s. Obviously.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

The Dutch also mentioned a fragile connection port but I don’t recall any mention of this from commenters on this Convo.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

malcolm I dont see that fault in many posts worldwide although complaints about the type of connectors abound . One of the American posts mentioned water getting in via the ear-piece socket , bad sealing etc.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

consumentenbond.ne
“Since the summer of 2013, the Consumer Association has more than 350 reports were received from consumers. The screen on their Sony Xperia Z burst spontaneously or the USB port damaged quickly. The Consumers paid attention to this in September 2013, after which Sony repair helped a number of consumers with a free repair of the defective Sony Xperia Z. But Sony sent a large part of the customers back to the seller, who then refused phone at no charge .

In addition, the Consumers’ Association still receives new complaints from consumers who belong to the seller get the repair is not covered under warranty.”

Member
RicK An Engineer says:
25 July 2016

Hi, I got a Sony Xeripa Z5 Compact…

A)
The phone runs hot if you watch videos and it gets so hot you can not put it in your pocket until you wait 5 mins ..

B)
I have a 64GB SDcard installed, (formatted on the Sony phone) .. now if i switch Off the phone, It fails on restart and gets trapped in a boot Loop… And again gets very Hot.. only solution is to physically eject the SDcard to re-boot the Phone.

C)
NOW cutting to the chase.. left phone on charge OVER NIGHT (with the supplied) Sony charger ov.. Guess what ? When unplugged the rear glass window/cover is all cracked ! .. Well cracked means it looks like its been dropped or twist on one corner and the crack/s all emanate from there. Absolutely gobsmacked as my phone has never been DROPPED/SAT ON OR TWISTED OUT OF SHAPE.. its spot less with no dinks or scares etc..

D)
EE have told me it’s not covered by warranty and that I am more than likely facing a repair bill !
I insisted they Escalate my issue and found same response THUS FAR..

E) so turn toward the internet and wham ! i am not alone in pitching the facts that the Sony Xperia has Cracked all on its Own…. what happens next will be reported back here as and When… but rest assured I am NOT PAYING FOR A REPAIR… so EE/SONY need step up and replace my Phone ASAP…
if fact I am wondering if a want a different make of phone as I have NEVER EVER had a broken screen in 25 years of cell phone usage…

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Rick- as you probably know yourself the overheating issue is a standard fault due to ,as you rightly say,charging and heavy use and its all down to design coupled with the fact it doesnt use high quality safety glass like Corning Gorilla Glass which is now out in version 5 and used by Samsung etc . A new factory has been opened in Thailand closing down their Chinese operation so I am looking to see if the latest phones still have the same problems. Sony is not the prestige factory it once was due to a downturn in sales of its products in other areas .

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Franco says:
1 August 2016

I thought I was the only one. I am an engineer and an EXPERT in car accidents (damage and injuries). This one is easy: these are THERMAL cracks. I was in Southern Utah taking photos on a hot day, and as usual BOTH MY xPERIA PHONE, 15 MONTHS OLD, and My Xperia Tablet, got hot. So I interchanged their use while the other one cooled in the AC of the car. At the end of the day, both were CRACKED. The phone almost invisible cracks. Neither Verizon nor Sony will own to it. Lawsuit on the making. Anyone would like to join me?

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Franco , if you look at my previous posts you will see this is a big issue with me . Your lawsuit should be against Sony as I think you will achieve better results than targeting Verizon . That is because there is worldwide uproar against those Sony products all pointing to – screens cracking with heat due to charging or just intense use which heats up the processor . They tried to say they use Corning gorilla glass but the Corning website dont list Sony and they have a disclaimer , as well as that they are made in China , not my personal favorite manufacturing country due to the policy of – Build to a price . They should by now have moved out of China and set up a new plant in Thailand because of the heavy criticism and should be manufacturing there but I would be interested if someone can supply info on the Thailand factory producing cracked glass as their advertisement for the new factory is that ALL parts will be made in the one place putting forward the view then that the China plant outsourced it component parts.

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W Bolam says:
12 August 2016

I have a Sony phone approx 15 months old and have come across the heat problem twice each time next day cracks appear first time phone 8 months old Sony did a FOC Repair now 8 months later same fault Sony want to charge me £90 to replace screen RIP OFF

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gary says:
1 August 2016

going for my 4th screen today nearly over it , what action can be taken though really ?

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Thats the whole problem Gary when you are faced with an electronic giant ( but going downhill ) denying all responsibility it shows the sheer arrogance of BB in the face of public outcry worldwide on a proven faulty product . Their attitude is -live with it , or as they say in the US -suck it up. It will take a US /UK lawsuit combined with massive publicity to make them take notice . Or like many VW owners are doing in the UK boycotting the company .

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This seems to have gone global , if you are quick and head to – cartoon website- dilbert.com you will see today,s (Monday,s) cartoon is on this very subject ( but without the company name )

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My z1 and now my z3 compact have both cracked screens. The cracks literally appeared by themselves on both models. Wont be buying sony again.

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I’m still sad about my Z3 compact. I waited and waited for it to come out, paid full price for it (handset only), then the first night I charged it the back cracked by itself, presumably from overheating. Sony just said I must’ve dropped it, which I clearly hadn’t done and refused to fix it for free. So, I’ve had a very expensive coaster for 2 years. Probably not worth anything now but what a waste of money and a rubbish experience! They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this!

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I also bought a Sony Z3, had it only 2 months, never ever broken any of my phones, but with this one it was simply sitting on a desk came back a few hours later and hair lines all over the shop, could not believe it. I contacted everyone Sony, Telstra, they all kept saying I must have dropped it, which I bloody well did not! I believe that Sony are a pack of crooks. Just to top it off normally when a phone has screen damage it still works but not this piece of ****. I don`t believe there is enough being posted about this, WARNING DONT BUY SONY PHONES THEY ARE ****, will never go near the **** again I hope they go broke in the same manner I was conned for $845.

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This happend to me yesterday. Picked up my phone from my desk and all of a sudden there was a long clean crack from the top right corner to a bit above the bottom left corner…. I always keep my phone in a flip case for the best protection.

Sony doesnt want to repair it under warranty because the claim that the phone might have been dropped…. But the flip case doesnt show damage and also there isnt a burst in the screen, just 1 long crack…

I think that because of high temprature (30 degrees here) the alluminium casing has deformed/expanded in such a way that there came too much pressure on the screen and it cracked. Phone is only 10 months old…

I for sure will never buy from Sony again, their support is terrible

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*i forgot to add, my phone is Xperia Z3

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Steve leach says:
22 September 2016

I have a Sony z3 and have found the same problem as it cracked in my pocket whilst walking.
As it had not been dropped , crushed etc. I send it to Sony only to get the answer was its not covered under warranty as its not a manufacturing fault. When I asked what they define manufacturing faults are they said they could not give that information out to. So it was a waste of £20 to send to Sony so they could just say its not covered under warranty. It was in the official sony case at the time so I would also not recommend those either 🙂
I have used Sony for years but I think its time to look for a new brand.

My personal theory is that if the screen is on for a while it can get hot and can become brittle and shatter as I also had audio playing don’t know if this added to mix but certainly could have.

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Your theory is right Steve , heavy/continuous use plus hot atmosphere does crack the screen as does charging in certain circumstances (overheating ) . They are known faults in a large number of the complaints worldwide .

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My Ultra got really hot so I whipped it out of my pocket and put it on my kitchen work surface. The surface was cold and I watched dumbfounded as the phone screen cracked before my eyes and the whole phone warped into a curve.
I had to pay +£400 for repair as no liability would be accepted under the warranty. I was accused of damaging the phone, despite the repair company replacing both the screen and the part that had overheated.
I just moved provider as they were no help, it was easier than complaining further. Besides, Sony just ignore you or fob you off with standard responses.
I love the phone, it has the best interface I have come across, but the build quality always seemed suspect to me, it was creaky and the charger port seal kept falling out.

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mariakatosvich says:
25 October 2016

They should by now have moved out of China and set up a new plant in Thailand because of the heavy criticism and should be manufacturing there but I would be interested if someone can supply info on the Thailand factory producing cracked glass as their advertisement for the new factory is that ALL parts will be made in the one place putting forward the view then that the China plant outsourced it component parts.

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I have unfortunately experienced the same issue. I kept my phone in a hard case but found after a few months that 2 diagonal cracks had appeared at the back. I raise a case with Sony who said I should send the phone back for inspection but that I would be charged if the the repair center deemed the warranty was void. I decided not to take the risk of incurring a potentially necessary £20 cost as the phone worked perfectly well. 5 months later the back camera stopped working after an android update. I tried to reset to factory settings and use the Sony diagnosis tool but it did not fix the issue. I decided that sending it back to the repair center was worth it. It turns out that it is an electrical issue but that the screen being cracked has voided the warranty and I must therefore paid for the repair. A picture of the crack and the general condition of the handset is apparently all it takes to work out whether your warranty is void or not so I fail to comprehend why this is not requested by default by customer service when logging a repair request. I feel more than a bit cheated that I now have to pay £20 for the phone to be sent back. Paying for the repair is utterly pointless as I have been advised that the work is in no way guaranteed: if it passes its test at the repair centre and you do not report the fault not being fixed within a couple of days of receiving it, then any further issues will invariably be due to 3rd party apps affecting the phone, regardless of whether the fault is there when you reset the phone to factory settings.
I was a big fan of Sony phones before this debacle. I will not longer use their handset or recommend them.

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Bhatti Rajpoot says:
8 December 2016

Can’t we bring a lawsuit against these b*****s, i had the same issue with my phone (cracks appearing on the screen) around March 2014 and they charged me above $300 for repair.

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Jamie says:
17 December 2016

I have a had a z1 compact a year. No issues. Great phone. Spontaneously screen smash recently. Next day l bought a used z3. Mint condition. Two days later: picked it up off a desk. Big cracking on my screen. Heart sank. What now? I’m so angry. So frustrating. I’m in lreland. No idea if l will get any comeback from Sony. Anyone had dealings with Sony Ireland?

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Jamie I would be very much surprised if the Sony policy in Eire is any different to the UK or the rest of the world .It depends where the actual glass was made and whether ,say the US , are being supplied with higher quality glass. Sony moved their factory out of China and now are in Thailand , the factory should be in operation now but it will take a while to see if their source of glass changes . I would like it to be Corning “Gorilla Glass ” but I dont see any indication of that yet. After re-checking the US has exactly the same problems.

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Reese says:
27 December 2016

It looks like i’m a late comer to the party. i used my Z5 this morning and all was well, Placed it on the side to charge, came back an hour or so later and was unable to swipe unlock the phone due to a hair line crack in the screen diagonally from the bottom RH corner with no apparent reason.

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sunnylioooooon says:
31 January 2017

okay then tell me why my iphone that ive had for 6 years hasnt got a single scratch (and i have thrown it around, dropped it etc) but the xperia z2 just one day cracked all at the back making it unusable??? it overheated possibly but i barely used it- shame. now i have to repair it and it was not my fault.

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Simples- they designed faulty phones but wont admit it . Its well known, even admitted that overheating can crack the glass which imo is inferior to others who use Gorilla Glass by Corning . Take your time checking out where to repair it charges vary greatly . Now for those under the allusion that they use Gorilla Glass , Corning has/had a disclaimer on that and it shows on their website all the companies that use their glass and guess which one is NOT shown ? quote (from Sony )- the company uses “durable tempered glass” that is the EQUIVALENT to Gorilla Glass , even Sony,s own forum posters are not “happy bunnies ” and guess what I got ? the real manufacturers of their glass and it isnt Corning. Add to that they closed down their Chinese factory and opened a new one in Thailand, where Quote- all parts of the phones will be made in house ” .

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I have again and again quoted Corning as saying Sony isnt one of the companies using its glass even though I have come across a Sony website saying it does ,so for those that don’t believe me I will now post Corning,s own official list of companies that have their glass in them –and try and find the name Sony ? It is : http://www.corning.com/gorillaglass/worldwide/en/full-products-list

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Dave Templeman says:
27 February 2017

I have a Z5 premium and also have a cracked screen , straight crack from top to bottom , making the screen un-usable, sent to Sony and have been told I have dropped it etc, replied saying no damage to other areas of the phone and the screen has cracked and not shattered, still arguing with Sony now, been waiting almost a month for escalations team to get in touch with me??? Really loved my Z5 but wont be buying another Sony phone again.

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Andrew Palmer says:
24 March 2017

Last week the screen on my Z3 cracked for the 4th time! To be fair, this time I did drop it, but only from waist height and onto carpet. But, having already paid for 3 replacement screens when I had never dropped it, this was the final straw, I have just bought a Samsung Galaxy S7. Goodbye Sony, I will never buy ANY Sony product again.

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Byron says:
1 May 2017

I have a small company. We bought 10 various models of the z series handsets in one go. Big mistake!
We shoot a load of video clips, as a result we find that within THREE MONTHS 6 out of the 10 handsets screens simply cracked on trying to view 4k video clips made with the handsets. One handsets screen cracked WHILE FILMING! The reason being…. PROCESSORS OVERHEATING.
Sony IS AWARE of this all and even tried to “make it all go away” by releasing at least one patch but I have read that more than one patch was released (patch = software update however, here is the cracker. After getting nowhere with Sony in relation to warrantee repairs, I sent them all in for screen repairs (1/4 price of the Sony quote) using official Sony screen’s (that I supplied) to ensure quality control. Anyhow…. £75ea later they were returned. All the latest updates installed, yet again we have had screens cracking, one (a z3+ dual sim) unit cracked on day 1 of return! It’s now 13 months later, since purchase, and despite ALL handsets being used in original Sony cases, we only have 4 units without processor heat cracked screens. 80 emails and hours of telephone calls to n from Sony later, being a big company, despite having acknowledged the issue online, via WHICH? and via the BBC
“watchdog” channel all they have done is supply you the 0300 telephone number that leads you to absolutely NO REPAIR WHATSOEVER, DESPITE HAVING ADMITTED THAT THE VERY HIGH HEAT CREATED BY THE PROCESSOR OVERHEATING ARE TO BLAME. Especially when trying to create or simply view a 4K video. For some reason this in our finding has been the blame. Heat can bend the small frame of the all glass handset, and with a result, cracks the glass front or back, or even both sides! A bad batch? Who knows, but Sony is no longer our chosen suppliers of hi quality devices! SAMSUNG ALL THE WAY!

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Byron there is a bit of controversy about what glass Sony actually uses and whether it is actually Corning Gorilla Glass on the front . It seems it could be “Dragontrail ” glass on the front . Sony seems a bit “elusive ” in its comments on the glass on its phones but ion its official website forum a “Sony Official Support Staff Member states -” there is NO risk that the glass would crack from heat coming from the phone ” -Sony Xperia Z3 . Your actual experience and the admitted overheating problem doesnt make its website forum look too good. Sony , as I posted a long time ago , moved out of China and built a brand new factory in Thailand a year or so ago -d stating all our parts will be made -in house and assembled in one place , whether that was just advertising remains to be seen . Samsung make no bones about it – it uses Corning Gorilla Glass in its advertising . I was aware of the overheating problem and commented on it a good while ago , many posters backing up your statement about it cracking while under heavy use but also in other situations to such an extent that Sony was fielding off angry consumers all round the world. I have their new factory address somewhere on a SSD as well as the complaints .

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JIM BEE MAN says:
22 June 2017

i HAVE HAD 4 SCREENS IN JUST OVER 2 MNTHS , JUST CRACKING I WOULD NOT MIND IF I THREW IT ETC , BUT THEY JUST CRACK IN POCKET OR ARM OF CHAIR IN BETWEEN TEXTING REALLY FED UP