As some of you may (or may not) know, I recently purchased a Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1, their top-of-the-line phone running Windows Mobile version 6.1 Professional. This phone is sold with two versions the X1a for sale within North America and the X1i for sale within the rest of the world. As it is much cheaper to purchase an X1i within the United States if bought through a third party on eBay (for example), there is nearly a $500 price difference. I decided to buy the X1i for that reason as I wan’t ready to spend $1000 on a cellphone (I spent less on my laptop) and therefore bought the X1i from eBay for $600 (about) United States Dollars. This purchase was completed nearly two months ago.
For unimportant reasons, the X1 spent most of those two months in it’s box unopened. I only got around to opening the box of the X1 three weeks ago. In the beginning it seemed like a flawless handset but within the first 24 hours problems began to appear. First the volume down button stopped working. Then multiple buttons on the slide-out keyboard began to malfunction until finally at least 8 of them stopped responding at all. After a call with a Sony Ericsson XPERIA Support Technician, I was told that I should hard-reset the phone. An action that totally wipes all data from the device and see if that would bring the keys functionality back. However it didn’t. All it did was manage to irritate me more because now I had no data on the device (I had backups that were recent but would have to be restored) and the keys still didn’t work. The Sony Ericsson representative was shocked that this hadn’t fixed my problem.
The standard protocol for the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 (being Sony Ericsson’s Top of The Line Business Phone) is that any problems with the device, a new one will be shipped out and should be received within 48 hours. As the Sony Ericsson representative was quick to inform me, that only applies if you have a support card. And the sad part is, the seller on eBay informs me that he wasn’t sent any support cards from Sony Ericsson. After refusing to send me out a temporary replacement, another hour is spent on the phone while the representative sets up an RMA. To add insult to this injury, he then informs me that the repair/replace process can take anywhere from 7-14 days after the device is received. Additionally, he tells me that I will need to pay to ship the item to their repair center.
All this because I don’t have a support card?
Doesn’t sound very fair, does it? Had I had a support card, the representative was quick to inform me, they would have immediately sent out a new phone and covered shipping both ways. I don’t see why I should be treated any differently than a customer with a support card. I paid the same ammount of money as anyone who bought the phone with a support card. I have a full warranty as well! Why should I be treated any differently because I don’t have a slip of paper that states SUPPORT CARD on it?
So I paid my shipping charges, and sent my XPERIA X1 on it’s way to Sony Ericsson’s Product Repair Center. About 5 days after I shipped it to them, I got a phone call from another one of their representatives who wished to give me a status update. First, he tells me that my XPERIA X1 is not repairable. He then offers me a choice to accept a brand new XPERIA X1a or get my broken XPERIA X1i back. After comparing the two, I decided I would accept the XPERIA X1a. The representative then informed me that I should receive my new XPERIA X1a by next Wednesday (today). He also informed me that he would be
unable to give [me] a support card, as we [Sony Ericsson Support] don’t carry them in stock.
Effectively, that means that if there are any more problems with the new device, I will have to pay shipping and then wait a long time again. For someone who has spent almost $600 buying one of these new, that doesn’t seem fair at all. It’s also not something I expect from Sony Ericsson, a company whose support department has been exceptional in all my dealings with them before. Seems that they too, are no longer able to provide the exceptional support that they have provided in the past.
Yesterday, I decided to check with Sony Ericsson, to see if they could provide me with a tracking number so that I could verify when my new X1a would be arriving. The representative I spoke with said that,
There is no change in the account status. As far as I can tell, your X1a hasn’t even been shipped yet.
Obviously this sounds a little fishy, as I had been told it would be shipped last friday, four business days ago. The representative then told me, it would be best if I waited till tomorrow (today) and then called back for a status update. As it’s allready 5:30 PM on Wednesday (past UPS delivary time), I think I will go ahead and call them now and see what they have to say.
Overall, I am quite disappointed with the XPERIA X1 so far and even more disappointed with the level of support I have received from Sony Ericsson. They used to be one of the best companies in the industry, however at this point, I’m not sure if I will be buying another device from them. I’m that badly shaken up and dissapointed.
I’ll try to update this with more information as soon as I have it.