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Sony smart TV Update fails


#1

We have three Sony smart TVs About a month ago they began “playing up” - turning on and off continually and not responding to the remotes or even the reset buttons on the TV. 13 months old. Had an UPDATE just prior to the problems occurring. Called JB HiFi (“no worries, bring it back and we’ll sort it”) Yay! Unfortunately then found that we had bought them from Harvey Norman who we asked to deal with the issue but they refused (“you should have bought the extended warranty!”) No help at all, Harvey Norman!!! (now off our supplier list forever). Luckily JB had advised us to call Sony customer assist and insist on our consumer rights. We did and after telephone advice from them failed to fix the problems, Sony arranged for a local guy to fix. This consisted of rebooting and reinstalling the software - not a hardware problem at all- all to do with the UPDATE which had failed. Apparently a common problem that Sony actually caused.
Two lessons out of this - pick your retailer carefully and approach the manufacturer if their updates are faulty - oh, AND a 12 month warranty does not mean you’re on your own after 12 months!


About the Electronics & Technology category
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Hard disc drives connected to TV's
#2

Years ago - probably mid-90’s, back in the day of 5 tonne televisions - I had a Sony TV that died convincingly about 3 months out of warranty. Had been perfect up until then. Something in the tuner board. Sony did the same as you mentioned, got the local people to come out and fix it, no cost to us - this involved actual hardware, not just time and effort. I was impressed. I’ve bought Sony a couple of times since then and not had problems. Other than living on the same planet and being a customer a few times I have no connection with Sony - just a good experience :slight_smile:


#3

Also note that HN is not a company, it is a collection of franchises. Some are good and many are not as good. But a customer is dealing with a particular franchise, not dealing with a company called Harvey Norman.


#4

Glad to hear that the issue was resolved for you, @aaws. I think it’s worth noting that the HN store were acting illegally when they refused to deal with the problem. It’s a common ploy that they will claim only to deal with purchasers of extended warranty. A consumer would reasonably expect a TV to continue to operate for more than 13 months.

ACL contains your right to approach the retailer for resolution of an issue, and you would have been well within your rights to pursue the HN franchise with the help of your state or territory Fair Trading office. Of course, it will always be better if you can purchase from a retailer with a track record of not shirking their legal responsibilities !


#5

Funny thing is that this just happened to me… The TV did an automatic update & went fine for a month or so but it now won’t turn on. Sony sent out a repairer & he has replaced the motherboard & the power board but still getting the same problem. It now looks like the LED screen has gone & will need to be either repaired or replaced. I purchased my TV at the end of 2015 so it is out of warranty.
So far Sony have played nice & obviously there is some sort of problem with their software & motherboard compatibility.

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of this happening.

Hopefully Sony stay on board & fixes this even though it’s out of warranty…


#6

If it was a reasonably large purchase cost, the fact you purchased it in 2015 may not affect your right to repair, replacement or refund. Sony would be aware of this fact under ACL that their warranty period is only in addition to your rights under ACL.

From the ACCC site on Warranties:

"A warranty is a voluntary promise offered by the person or business who sold the product or service to you. Once you buy the product or service, the promise becomes a right that can be enforced under the ACL.

Warranties are separate from your automatic consumer guarantees. The consumer guarantees which apply regardless of any warranties suppliers sell or give to you, apply for a reasonable time depending on the nature of the goods or services. This means consumer guarantees may continue to apply after the time period for the warranty has expired."

From the ACCC site on “Consumer Guarantees”:

"Since 1 January 2011, the following consumer guarantees on products and services apply.

Products must be of acceptable quality, that is:

  • safe, lasting, with no faults
  • look acceptable
  • do all the things someone would normally expect them to do.

Acceptable quality takes into account what would normally be expected for the type of product and cost.

Products must also:

  • match descriptions made by the salesperson, on packaging and labels, and in promotions or advertising

  • match any demonstration model or sample you asked for

  • be fit for the purpose the business told you it would be fit for and for any purpose that you made known to the business before purchasing

  • come with full title and ownership

  • not carry any hidden debts or extra charges

  • come with undisturbed possession, so no one has a right to take the goods away or prevent you from using them

  • meet any extra promises made about performance, condition and quality, such as life time guarantees and money back offers

  • have spare parts and repair facilities available for a reasonable time after purchase unless you were told otherwise.

Services must:

  • be provided with acceptable care and skill or technical knowledge and taking all necessary steps to avoid loss and damage
  • be fit for the purpose or give the results that you and the business had agreed to
  • be delivered within a reasonable time when there is no agreed end date.

Consumer guarantees on products and services also apply to:

  • bundled products and services
  • gifts with proof of purchase
  • sale items
  • online products and services bought from Australian businesses
  • second-hand products from businesses, taking into account age and condition."

#7

Hi @aaws and @wombats-hollow, it would be great if you could post the Sony TV model numbers, as it will be interesting to see if the problem is restricted to one model or more.

Sony is one of the best selling TV brands in Australia, I am sure ohers would like to know which models are affected.


#8

It’s a 65" KDL-65W850C. With a sticker on the back saying built in 2015.

It cost me $2000 & I even bought the matching soundbar & sub woofer on top of that.


#9

They are Sony Bravia 50” W800C series (KDL50W800C) , costing $1095 (each). Both working OK now since the software reboot.

The larger one is the Sony Bravia KD65X8500D. Cost $3295. Only intermittent issues with this one as yet. Hoping it doesn’t develop the same level of problem as it is much more difficult to transport to the repair shop!


#10

I’ve had similar problems with my Samsung smart tv - individual remote buttons stopping working, some media sources not recognised, modem not being connected etc. Usually turning the tv off and on again fixes it (yes, really), but I have had to call Samsung’s help line to get them to reboot the tv remotely. They were very helpful.


#11

The problem with Hardly Normals is they have kids pushing their extended warranty… and they have absolutely no idea about consumer rights and reasonable expectations of how long a product should last. They think when the warranty is up then your rights are also up.
Also, generally the warranties for the larger units cover service in situ as you could do more damage trying to transport it back to the retailer.


#12

We had the same issues with our Samsung constantly needing retuned, turning itself off and not responding. And like yours they remotely checked and rebooted the TV. I kept a record of how many times they had to do this, and in the end they sent out a service guy. The TV was just out of warranty but at the time they were being crucified in the media for batteries blowing up etc so they were keen to improve their image.


#13

The BBG

Also note that HN is not a company, it is a collection of franchises. Some are good and many are not as good. But a customer is dealing with a particular franchise, not dealing with a company called Harvey Norman.

Maybe so but HN the company is the FRANCHISOR and is ultimately responsible for any Franchisee.

pH


#14

We had an issue with an LG TV (out of warranty) that kept turning itself on - very annoying at 3 am. We called the accredited service agent - no problem - it needs a new motherboard (mobo). 4 weeks later the mobo arrived and was fitted - but unfortunately it was a mobo for South Africa and the only way it could be reset to Australia was using a USB stick from LG. But the employee that had that USB stick was away on holiday. 4 weeks later and after many phone calls the SB stick arrived and the TV was reset to Australia. Two days later it started turning itself on automatically!!! This had cost us $450 in service fees!
After much research we found that the “automatic switching on” was caused by a setting in the “Telstra TV” unit attached to the TV. We reset that and the TV has been fine since!

We argued with the service agent that the original mainboard/motherboard was not faulty and should not have been replaced and we asked for our money back from the service agent (sole one in our town). Not even NSW Fair trading could help us to achieve that.
No more LG TV’s for us.
pH


#15

That is not necessarily the case unless you go to court, and perhaps even if you do. I have not seen a copy of their franchise agreement, but judging from some years of internet gripes about them they appear to try to absolve all responsibility at head office. From the HN web site,

If you wish to view the refund, return or repair policies of any Harvey Norman store, please contact or visit the relevant Harvey Norman store for details. As Harvey Norman stores are operated by independent franchisees, these policies may vary between Harvey Norman stores.

Refunds will be processed by the relevant Harvey Norman franchise and will normally be processed within 3 days.

edit: If you recall, as I just did, a number of HN Franchises were prosecuted for misrepresenting consumer rights, that reinforces HN is at some arms length from responsibility for their franchisees. If one was dealing with a company called HN that was responsible, HN itself would have been prosecuted or included as a defendant, or initiated the prosecutions for violation of an agreement to operate according to law. Some of the unknowns are included in this item.

From my personal observations it appears the franchise agreement entitles the franchisees to essentially hire the HN look and feel and join in the marketing campaigns, and get bulk prices for goods. HN corporate takes dollars off the top in their fees and seems to ‘voluntarily’ step in sometimes - possibly to pre-empt non-voluntary measures.

I would welcome clarification from HN but suspect the franchise T&C may be considered commercial-in-confidence.


#16

An update on mine. Seems like (somehow) after the update it killed the screen… How the hell does this happen??? Now I have to wait over 2 weeks for a replacement screen,
The only upside I see is that I’ll have a new motherboard, power board & screen.

But my question now is do I get a warranty on the repaired items?


#17

This is a tricky question and could be yes/no.

Many companies offer a limited warranty specifically on repairs…I have seen that these are usually around 6-12 months. This may be provided by the repairing company and/or the manufacturer (Sony) who agreed to the repair under warranty.

Such warranties are usually limited and allow for further replacement/repair should any defect occur as a result of the repair/replacement. I haven’t checked if Sony does but it may be worth asking the question when the TV is repaired. I would expect that for a 65 inch screen smart TV, that was about $1600-1700 when new, a specific warranty on the repair would be reasonable.

Now for the no… the repair or new screen does not trigger a restart of the warranty offered by the manufacturer or under the Australian Consumer Law (for example, treating the TV as new again). The repaired TV would still be covered by Australian Consumer Law irrespective of whether the TV is outside the nominated manufacturer’s warranty…which I suspect why Sony is replacing the screen outside their own nominated warranty period. One would expect a smart TV from a reputable company to last many years without fault. The same it could be argued applies to the TV when repaired by Sony under ‘warranty’, that being many years from the date the TV was originally purchased.


#18

Thank you for this thorough answer. It really helps


#19

Yep, spot on with that and the same applies to any other business franchise such as JB HiFi or the Good Guys for that matter. It’s usually the level of customer service provided by the franchise owner and having purchased many things from various HN outlets the experience has been different in every single one. The one thing I can vouch for is that having moved from Sydney to Armidale NSW 7 years ago, our experience with the local HN has been nothing short of exceptional and Scott and his staff have always been of great service. As for Sony, I’ve had many reliable Sony products over the years but the one time my digital camera charger and battery failed 4 years ago, well within warranty, it took 4 months, 2 problem reports to Sony and finally Fair Trading to resolve.


#20

Re JB HiFi you might find this interesting.

My understanding of the Good Guys model is that it is not a franchise, but a joint venture where the Muir family had a stake in each shop, and thus some control and responsibility. From the Wikipedia entry, 'Until 2016, Good Guys stores mainly operated as joint venture partnerships between individual store proprietors and the Muir family, although at the time of corporatisation about 40% of the group was corporately owned. The JV model had proven successful and operated such that store proprietors owned half the store operation and operated it as their own business. "