Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 23 of 23

Thread: Something for Sony to read regarding customer service

  1. #1
    Senior Member ryc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Or-Y-Gun
    Posts
    548
    Post Thanks / Like

    Something for Sony to read regarding customer service

    Many of us have spent thousands of dollars switching from Nikon, Canon or other brand to the Sony Alpha series. I for one have the A900, 35mm 1.4G, 50mm 1.4, Zeiss 16-35mm 2.8, Zeiss 85mm 1.4 and the Zeiss 135mm 1.8. These are all wonderful products and are being pitched as professional products by Sony as well. That being the case, when so many individuals depend on their gear for income, Sony should also recognize that a professional level of customer support and service is needed. These products do not fall into the ordinary consumer electronics which can spend endless days in a repair facility. These are high end professional cameras and lenses that should be serviced promptly for a quick turnaround. Furthermore, I believe Sony should have a loaner program. This could involve the individual paying a premium for an upgraded service plan that provides loaners to those pros needing their gear to complete jobs.

    As photographers, I think we should mention this in Sony surveys or other forms of communication which Sony may read.

  2. #2
    Senior Member dhsimmonds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hampshire, UK
    Posts
    904
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    20

    Re: Something for Sony to read regarding customer service

    I must have missed something as Sony have never professed the a900 to be a pro camera, not in the UK at least. In fact they have gone out of the way in UK press announcements to state that it is aimed fairly and squarely at the serious amateur user.

    We all know that many pro's do use this wonderful camera, many post on this forum. Some have even had cause to test Sony's after sales service and so far I have not heard of any "hard luck" stories, in fact quite the contrary as it would seem that if the right procedure is adopted, a fast turn around may be expected. Every country will be different in this respect of course.

    Do you have another tell to tell, if so it might be useful for us all to know about it.
    Cheers, Dave
    www.simmondsphotography.com

  3. #3
    Senior Member ryc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Or-Y-Gun
    Posts
    548
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Something for Sony to read regarding customer service

    This is really just a suggestions or thoughts on how to make the product more desirable for the pros. I could call up NPS and they would send a loaner when I needed it. It would be nice to see Sony offered a similar type of service.

    Currently, I have sent the 135 in for service. They received it yesterday so the timer is running now.

    Instead of buying an extended warranty, I would have much preferred the option of buying an upgraded service plan. That would be a really useful service for many photographers so they can have loaners. Who knows, maybe one day they will implement such a program.

  4. #4
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bangkok
    Posts
    1,470
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Something for Sony to read regarding customer service

    Even though Sony does not advertize the A900 as a pro camera, the ZA and G lenses however are as expensive or more than equivalent pro Canikon lenses. A pro service is long due.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

  5. #5
    nautilus
    Guest

    Re: Something for Sony to read regarding customer service

    ...
    Last edited by nautilus; 3rd October 2009 at 16:07. Reason: delete because landed in wrong thread

  6. #6
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Something for Sony to read regarding customer service

    Hey be nice. LOL But seriously most Pros would have 2 or even three bodies anyway and in 35mm especially you could rent or more likely buy one in almost any camera store around if your really in the soup. Here in Phoenix I can rent Canon or Nikon in 20 minutes or Buy either one and Sony in the same amount of time and I have two shops to do that. Obviously if you reside in a much rural area your going to have to deal with this even more so and have backups. Be it a two day turn or a week or two we are shooting hopefully on a daily basis anyway. In MF this is different because of the smaller market and also because of the price so buying a premium service maybe much more valuable. Obviously this may not apply to all working Pro's but generally speaking we have some sort of backup going on at all times.

    Now setting up a premium service that you buy into may not be such a bad idea but leave it as a option so those that don't need it do not have to engage in it at a cost. Or simply have a rush service available at a cost. Most likely those types of programs are usually more suited to 35mm because of the market availability of 35mm
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  7. #7
    nautilus
    Guest

    Re: Something for Sony to read regarding customer service

    ....
    Last edited by nautilus; 3rd October 2009 at 16:07. Reason: deleted because landed in wrong thread

  8. #8
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bangkok
    Posts
    1,470
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Something for Sony to read regarding customer service

    Well, I have to say that Sony staff at showrooms would do anything to please the clients. I had my 16-35 exchanged even though they only had one other copy that was already reserved by another client.

    On the other hand, I heard from others that the repair service sucks. Luckily I didn't have to use it yet, but it seems the same guys who repair play stations do cameras and lenses as well. At Canon, a simple sensor cleaning costs 300 bahts (9 US$) and for 5D/1D owners it is done in 30 minutes while you wait. I have done that several times. At Sony they charge 2000 bahts (60 US$) and you have to wait 7-10 days, and the cleaning is probably done by someone I wouldn't even trust to touch my sensor.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

  9. #9
    nautilus
    Guest

    Re: Something for Sony to read regarding customer service

    I think that Sony separates consumer products strongly from business products.
    Their B2B business organization offers service programs from phone services up to field services.

    On these websites you can get some impressions:

    https://servicesplus.us.sony.biz/model-group-5721.aspx

    http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/micro-xdcamexsite/

    https://servicesplus.us.sony.biz/sony-repair.aspx

    http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/service...slanding.shtml

    Sony offers these services for their more expensive up to very expensive video equipment (and other b2b products as well of course), whereas their 'cheaper' video cameras below $2000 doesn't seem to be supported with such quality services and belong to the consumer products division.

    The Alpha products belong to the consumer products division as well. I don't know Sony's criteria for offering professional services.
    Probably it's the products prices. They would kill their service organitzation if they would open it for products that are sold to millions of customers.
    Furthermore I think that theses services are expensive, and they probably charge it with a percentage of the serviced product's value per year in their internal calculation. For example, they could offer a field service for a 100k camera for 10% per year (10k$). That would make $200 for a 2k$ Alpha camera. The cost of one professional telephone consultancy call, maybe.

    The next question they probably have to answer is if they have a sufficient number of professional photographers as their customer base that makes it profitable to develop a new professional service for the needs of small business photographers that are not willing to pay and are not used to pay high service fees per year. I predict that they can't make a lot of profit if any profit at all with such services. At least there is a higher business risk that Sony probably will not take in this economic crisis we currently have.
    Later, when Sony has more professional photo cameras and lenses in the market and a solid professional customer base they will start to think automatically how they could make more money with this customer group and will offer paid after sales services for them.

  10. #10
    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,433
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    381

    Re: Something for Sony to read regarding customer service

    Quote Originally Posted by nautilus View Post

    The next question they probably have to answer is if they have a sufficient number of professional photographers as their customer base that makes it profitable to develop a new professional service for the needs of small business photographers that are not willing to pay and are not used to pay high service fees per year. I predict that they can't make a lot of profit if any profit at all with such services. At least there is a higher business risk that Sony probably will not take in this economic crisis we currently have.
    Later, when Sony has more professional photo cameras and lenses in the market and a solid professional customer base they will start to think automatically how they could make more money with this customer group and will offer paid after sales services for them.
    Well, this is taking the short view, and intrinsically a vicious circle.

    As in other industries, you don't attract professionals -or at least in large numbers- without comitting to proper service and/or make a strong statement of reliability.

    For an example related to photography, Eizo monitors built their lion's share in professional editing by providing a longer term warranty period and thanks to their swift, no-questions-asked replacement policy.

    Immediate profitability should not be an issue for a company like Sony since it's also a powerful marketing tool: the more professionals you get then the more you expand your base in semi-pro and enthusiasts territory, down the pyramid to the general public (eventually with lesser quality products or service).

    By refusing to endorse a "pro" label even for their most expensive equipment, they send the very opposite statement.

    As a matter of fact, i know several photographers who did not take the Sony way just because of that. And those who did quite often kept a Canon or Nikon kit on the side.

    NPS is not the best service in the world, but it's decent and available for free as soon as you get a couple of registered pro bodies + lenses. Granted it's not a profitable business unit per se, but definitely an asset looking at the big picture.

  11. #11
    nei1
    Guest

    Re: Something for Sony to read regarding customer service

    Surely you cant expect the same level of service from a product costing half as much as another similar product.

  12. #12
    Light
    Guest

    Re: Something for Sony to read regarding customer service

    Hi Everyone
    I am a professional Wedding and Social photographer.
    I own around 10000 GBP worth of canon 1dmk3s plus L lens. I was considering changing systems to Sony Alpha A900 (despite shortcomings)
    However living in Ireland I cannot even locate a supplier within 100 miles who are selling the A900 or any lens. I contacted Sony who informed me that the A900 is not available in Ireland.
    As regards professional backup there seems to be NO backup in the UK.
    Perhaps someone here can convince me to the contrary.

    Regards

    Light

  13. #13
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bangkok
    Posts
    1,470
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Something for Sony to read regarding customer service

    I agree with Corlan about this. It's the chicken or egg kind of issue. If Sony doesn't offer pro service, the pros won't buy, if pros don't buy, Sony won't offer pro service.

    I think it is not that important for Sony at the time being to offer a CPS kind of service. Most people won't need it. But at least it should offer a decent maintenance/repair service at comparable prices to Canon and Nikon. A fast service that is done by specialized camera technicians and that doesn't cost a fortune. Canon provides that in Thailand, Sony doesn't. I'm sure it's the case in most other countries.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

  14. #14
    Senior Member Eoin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Dublin / Ireland
    Posts
    410
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Something for Sony to read regarding customer service

    Light, you don't say where you're living in Ireland?. But from memory Conns Cameras in Dublin stock the a900 and a few others in Dublin.

    But stocking is not the real issue, cost relative to other EU zones and service which possibly will require it to be sent to the UK anyway are more important IMO. I'm tired being ripped off by "local" suppliers with prices 30-40% more than can be found in other brick & mortar outlets inside Europe who do mail order to Ireland. Even allowing for the VAT difference.

    As for shortcomings, as an ex Canon 1 series (not FF) user, the a900 is very capable. The Zeiss lenses are also excellent on an optical level but lack the environmental build quality of the Canons. That's not to say I wouldn't feel comfortable using them in any but the harshest conditions.

    As I've said before, I'm not a professional photographer earning my bread & butter with this system, if I were, it would depend on the subject / environment I would be operating in that would decide the system. The Canon 1 series are better suited for sports with the AF system and lenses than the Sony. They (Canon) are also more rugged and tough than the Sony will ever be and more suited to the inclement weather photo journalist often find themselves in.. But for social events, I would not think you'd be at any disadvantage using the Sony other than the lack of choice of fast primes like the 24 or 35 L's.

    The two Zeiss zooms 16-35 & 24-70 are more than a match for the Canon offerings. The 135 1.8 is just sublime and almost worth getting into Sony for it.

    But as you say, if I had 10,000 worth of Canon kit, I'd possibly stay with Canon as the loss of selling 2nd hand & buying new would outweigh the small gain.

    Greetings from Dublin.
    A7II, FE 35, 55 C/Y 18, 28, 85, 100, 28-85

  15. #15
    Senior Member dhsimmonds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hampshire, UK
    Posts
    904
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    20

    Re: Something for Sony to read regarding customer service

    The facts are that Sony whilst having some excellent AF G lenses and a few superb AF Zeiss optics, just cannot yet claim to have a complete pro lens line-up such as N & C.

    This may be a deliberate policy as they are a major supplier to Nikon and therefore may have an agreement not to compete at pro level.

    If the Sony G and Zeiss selection of lenses meet a pro's area of business then of course they can obviously be used professionally as can any other camera including Leica's. IMHO the environmental thing is a non issue as many pro users have already proved and I have found in practical use.

    The only real issue remaining then is lack of a pro service which again would be a strong signal to Nikon and others that they are ready to compete at that level. But Sony are not ready yet.

    Leica are finding themselves in a similar position with their recently announced S2 DSLR which is aimed fairly and squarely at pro users. This is a first for Leica and it will be interesting to see how they cope with pro's service needs.
    Cheers, Dave
    www.simmondsphotography.com

  16. #16
    nautilus
    Guest

    Re: Something for Sony to read regarding customer service

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    I agree with Corlan about this. It's the chicken or egg kind of issue. If Sony doesn't offer pro service, the pros won't buy, if pros don't buy, Sony won't offer pro service.
    ...
    In other business areas exists something that we call risk management.
    No company would buy important technical equipment without sufficient service.

    Professional photographers often avoid seeing risks and let themselves beeing blinded by autofocus Zeiss lenses, the cheapest high resolution FF camera or similar things.
    I see more and more forum users (not necessarily limited to people in this forum) claiming to use Sony cameras and being professional photographers at the same time.
    If that's true there is no real 'chicken or egg' problem.

    Professional photographers are professional artists as well. Artists 'run' different. Professional artists could behave professional by avoiding risk management in favour of buying the equipment that supports them best in producing their art. Be it technical best or providing best emotional feeling to them while using the Leica or Sony with Zeiss lenses.

    I think that it's not exactly correct to assume that it's for all or most professional photographers a bad choice to buy a product that lacks NPS like product support.

    Not to forget that there exists an easy and effective method of risk management that is often practiced by amateurs. Buy a second body (Alpha 850) to your Alpha 900 and one or two zooms covering the range of your primes. It's highly improbable that everything fails at the same time.

  17. #17
    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles, California, USA
    Posts
    1,965
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: Something for Sony to read regarding customer service

    Quote Originally Posted by nautilus View Post
    Not to forget that there exists an easy and effective method of risk management that is often practiced by amateurs. Buy a second body (Alpha 850) to your Alpha 900 and one or two zooms covering the range of your primes. It's highly improbable that everything fails at the same time.
    Yeah, for under $2K U.S., the A850 is a no-brainer backup for any pro, as I assume any pro were talking about would have at LEAST 2 camera bodies. As far as equipment rental goes, I think people get a bit hung up on it. I know that, in the worst possible case scenario, if both of my Sony camera bodies go down, and the local rental shops don't happen to carry Sony equipment, I could always just rent a competing brand's kit. Heck, that could even be the day to splurge and go MFDB. Don't get me wrong, I look forward to more Sony availability and better pro services, but I could surely survive renting a Canon kit for a bit...which is very unlikely if one shoots two or more Sony bodies.

  18. #18
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bangkok
    Posts
    1,470
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Something for Sony to read regarding customer service

    I think I have been misunderstood in my previous posts. I am an amateur and could not care less about NPS/CPS kind of service. The problem is, Sony lacks a decent service for DSLR, even at the amateur level. I see a lot of good will at Sony for all DSLR owners, as if the employees have received strict instructions to be super helpful and friendly, especially with A900 owners, but they seem to lack the specialized technicians and they do charge much much higher than Canon for maintenance/repairs, at least where I live.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

  19. #19
    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,433
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    381

    Re: Something for Sony to read regarding customer service

    Nautilus- really, sorry but cannot see how a back-up body (mandatory for all pros on site no matter what) equates into the (non) exitence of a professional service.
    -no one serious would ever expect any kind of service to be a substitute for an instant back-up.

    Or for that matter, how it'd impact in any way the fact that the lack of pro support conveys a negative message regarding the confidence and trust placed in the product by the brand itself.

    Risk management? First it's a big word for the day-to-day reality of most photographers... if relevant, this notion would bear more significance when a problem occurs (not to prevent the problem at all costs). And that's exactly where a pro support is useful -and needed.

    Well, good news. Sony probably took all this into account, they officially announced yesterday the launch of their new Premium Service to A900 / A850 owners, primarly intended for Pros but probably available to all.

    The main features:
    - cost roughly €100/year for a one to three year subscription)
    - pro cleaning service + check-up once a year.
    - priority repair service.
    - similar equipment loan for the duration of repair service
    - tracking available at all stages (shippping, repair...)

    At least that's what i could gather from the DSLR Sony representative for Europe.


    That's very good news, not only for Sony owners -a more comprehensive, competitive offer from more industry players will greatly increase service quality for all end customers

  20. #20
    Senior Member dhsimmonds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hampshire, UK
    Posts
    904
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    20

    Re: Something for Sony to read regarding customer service

    Hi Corlan F.

    How or where can we link into signing up for this service?

    All my Sony (a900) equipment is registered with them in the UK and whilst I get regular sales blurb from them about anything made/sold by Sony, I have never received any news from them about this service.
    Cheers, Dave
    www.simmondsphotography.com

  21. #21
    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,433
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    381

    Re: Something for Sony to read regarding customer service

    Hi Dave,

    it was a side annoucement to the Paris Photo Fair, from Sony. Guess it'll take some extra time for the service to be fully available -they said "later in October".

    Just searched for more information, found only these couple of links, just so you know i did not make this up
    http://www.zone-numerique.com/news_5...aphes_pros.htm
    http://www.alpha-numerique.fr/index....eriel&Itemid=5

    Sorry they're in French -which makes sense since the release was made in Paris...

  22. #22
    Senior Member dhsimmonds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hampshire, UK
    Posts
    904
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    20

    Re: Something for Sony to read regarding customer service

    Hi Corlan F.

    I never thought that you were making it up....this forum just isn't like that which is why I like to hang about around here.

    My French is just up to translating this and I think that it is terrific news and will start to ease pro users minds a bit.

    When the a950 is announced with simultaneous dual card writing capability I can think of a few wedding shooters who will be mighty relieved!

    Thanks a lot for posting this news.
    Cheers, Dave
    www.simmondsphotography.com

  23. #23
    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,433
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    381

    Re: Something for Sony to read regarding customer service

    Dave - just kidding of course, and yes this forum is a nice place to hang around with so many valuable information to share.

    Re the Sony announcement, it's indeed great news. Even for non-Sony owners (like myself) the product perception is modified and improved. The loaner part makes a whole difference since you don't fear anymore getting stuck with a long and/or repeated repairs... could still happen, but won't impact you as much as before.

    Plus the reasonnable price tag along with the modular time length option (you don't have to pay for 3 years if you don't want to) is nice.

    Sounds real good.

    (hopefully though, the service will be implemented worlwide soon...)

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •