A bit over a week ago my PRS505 screen went bad. Never dropped or abused – the screen just stopped working. I sent it back to Sony for warranty repairs. There was no visible damage – no dents, scratches or cracks. My reader was well loved and treated gently during it’s short life. Today I received the following:

Quote: Sony Repair Center

We have completed the repair estimate for your unit based on the information you provided us. The estimated charge for your repair will be $267.49. This charge includes labor, parts, tax if applicable, and shipping back to you.

I called the Sony Service Center and was told that my display was cracked. Not the outside, but one of the inner layers. I was told that I must have broken it. I asked for a supervisor and was sent to another Customer Service Center and spoke to another agent (not a supervisor). This agent told me that even though there was no visible damage that it was still not covered under warranty. In my description of the problem I had stated that the screen was scrambled. The agent told me that this always indicated a cracked screen. I told her that I would have to be very stupid to pay almost $300 for my month old reader to be repaired when it originally cost me $300. She offered to send it back unrepaired. I kept insisting that I wanted it fixed under warranty or replaced. The agent wouldn’t budge. I asked to speak to a supervisor. They promised a call within 48 hours.

Update (1/2/08)

The supervisor never called and my reader was returned without being repaired. I was VERY discouraged and angry. I decided to not give up and seek out positive solutions (at least as a first step). I came across an email for Valerie Motis who is the Director of IT Products and the Sony Reader. I also had a bunch of other corporate email targets, but decided against carpet bombing. I told her my tale of woe. I remained positive and even mentioned how much I would like to share with all of my MobileRead friends that Sony was going to do the right thing. Within 3 hours I got a call with a new work order number and a promise that my Reader will be exchanged. I am still a bit dazed by the almost immediate response and very favorable resolution. There are people at Sony who care. My two previous experiences with Sony Repair Services (digital cameras) were positive and this one bad experience was perhaps not aligned with corporate policy. I’m so grateful for this help – I’ve missed my 505 horribly.

Go Sony!

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