Sony HC39E - Screen problem

pacman849

Standard Member
Hi,

My Sony HC39E has a problem with the flip-out screen. At the end of the warranty the backlight on the screen went out and made it very difficult to see. Dixon's MasterCare purportedly fixed the problem by reconnecting something inside. The camcorder seemed okay at first, but now (4 months later), not only has the backlight failed again, the entire screen intermittently fails to power-up at all. The camcorder works fine to record through the viewfinder, but since the flip-out is a touch-screen, it is now impossible to change settings on the device, or rewind etc. whilst in use. MasterCare have now disowned the device citing it being outside warranty and over the allowed 3 months since repair, and have told me it will cost £105 just for them to take a look, let alone fix anything.

I love the Sony HC39E, but without the screen it is almost impossible to use.

Can anyone offer any useful advice on how to get this resolved? Has anyone else had this problem, and what did they do?

Thanks.
 

felix2

Novice Member
Hi,

How long did the fault appear after the end of the 1-year warranty, how long an extended warranty had you bought from Dixons, and how old is the camcorder now? Depending on that, you may still have statutory rights for the retailer to get it fixed (or to pay towards it). If so, try contacting your local Trading Standards / Consumer Protection office, or Consumer Direct on 08454 040506. Or possibly try going straight to Sony??
 

pacman849

Standard Member
Hi,

I bought the Camcorder back in March 2005, and it was repaired in March 2006 (just at the end of the warranty). Since MasterCare's repair warranty ran out in June 2006, they say there is nothing that can be done without an initial charge of £105, then whatever the time and material costs are to fix the fault; the guy on the phone suggested that the cost of repair might end up higher than the cost of a new camcorder :(

Any idea if Sony might look at it outside the first year? And how might the trading standards thing work?

Thanks for your help with this.
 

felix2

Novice Member
Hi,

When you buy something new, it legally has to be "of satisfactory quality", "fit for purpose", and "as described" - see Consumer Direct's website here. Satisfactory quality includes being suitably durable, i.e. it has to last reasonably well. Any manufacturer's and/or retailer's warranty is always in addition to your statutory (legal) rights anyway. So even if those warranties have expired, you still have your legal rights. So, the law might say for example that to be reasonably "durable" any camcorder should last say 3 years, meaning that if it went wrong after 18 months, the retailer might still be liable to give you say a 50% refund or 50% towards repairs. To check exactly what your rights/expectations should be you'd need to speak to Trading Standards or Consumer Direct though. (That also explains why Extended Warranties are never worth buying.)

But beyond that, if it's a recurring problem that first appeared within the 1-year warranty, and Dixons didn't manage to repair it properly (even if it lasted for their paltry 3 months!), then I'm pretty certain they really do have a duty still to sort it out. Again check with Trading Standards to be sure of the details.

Also, your contract is with the retailer (Dixons), and not the manufacturer (Sony), so it is Dixons who are responsible, Sony don't actually have to do anything. I just mentioned it as a last resort, as you might find it easier to get some joy out of Sony than you would Dixons!

I bought my Sony Digital 8 camcorder in July 2002, and by the end of the year, the internal battery and power supply were starting to fail intermittently. By Easter '03 I decided it was a fault so took it back to the retailers, who couldn't find anything wrong with it. Over the next few months, I kept trying it and took it back again 3 or 4 more times, until they eventually found the problem. They then sent it back to Sony, who said it was such a weird fault they couldn't repair it! So in December '03, the retailer gave me a new replacement camcorder - hooray for Hughes! Even though it was then 18 months since I'd bought it, the fault was first reported within the 1-year warranty but hadn't been resolved, so they still had to fix it. Even if the problem hadn't appeared until the 1st year was up, the retailer would still have had a duty (albeit possibly a reduced liability) to sort it out.

Hope that helps, good luck!
 

pacman849

Standard Member
Thanks for the advice Felix,

I had been dealing with MasterCare, so I will check with Trading Standards and then go back to Dixons themselves. Sounds like I should be able to get some resolution to this.

It is good to hear that you managed to get some resolution to your similar issue...although I am not sure you can compare the quality of aftersales care of Hughes and Dixons!! ;)

Will report back how I get on.

Thanks.
 

felix2

Novice Member
No worries!

Yes, obviously your original contract was with Dixons rather than Mastercare, but seeing as they're different companies in the same group I don't suppose it really makes a huge difference...

pacman849 said:
...although I am not sure you can compare the quality of aftersales care of Hughes and Dixons!! ;)
Hughes will be pleased to see that!!! :smashin: (But then could anyone compare with the aftersales quality of Dixons...?)
 

pacman849

Standard Member
Well, took the Camcorder back into Dixons and sure enough they tried on the 'warranty only lasts 3 months' line. Having pointed out that this was supposedly a quality product and that it should be usable for more than 18 months, and also that the fault had been reported before, the guy did admit that they hadn't had any faults with them before and indeed they should work for a lot longer.

They have now sent it away 'to be checked' and will let me know what the cost of repair will be, before any more decisions are made.

BTW: worth noting, they ask you to sign the Service Docket to send off the device for repair...but, check the wording, since it sais:-

If the service is chargeable I agree to pay for the cost of the Service and any parts fitted. :rolleyes:

I pointed out to them, that I would not be paying, since this was a recurrance of an earlier fault. So I crossed this bit out before signing the Service Docket.

Anyhow, they said the assessment could take 3-4 weeks...so I am not holding my breath.

Report back soon.
 

felix2

Novice Member
pacman849 said:
...they ask you to sign the Service Docket to send off the device for repair...but, check the wording, since it sais:- If the service is chargeable I agree to pay for the cost of the Service and any parts fitted. I pointed out to them, that I would not be paying, since this was a recurrance of an earlier fault.

So I crossed this bit out before signing the Service Docket.
Good move!

I hope they manage to sort it out properly for you this time (and without charging you!), - and I hope you weren't planning on doing any filming for the next couple of weeks!
 

pacman849

Standard Member
Hi guys,

Well, MasterCare sent my camcorder back to Currys and said they were not prepared to do anything with it for less than £120 plus parts and labour. :mad:

Currys suggested I ring up Sony and ask them if they could do anything as a good will gesture, since the camcorder is barely 16 months old! This I thought would be a sensible move, since Sony are a reputable company and have pride in the quality of their products and services. Well, how wrong could I be :mad: ....

Sony said that there was nothing they could do, despite the fact that the fault was reported within warranty, and despite the "repair" having not fixed anything....they want to charge me £180 to get it fixed!! I pushed the point that the warranty repair did not fix anything and even read out the engineers fix remarks highlighting that he had only refitted a cable, and that nothing had been done to fix anything broken. I summised with the guy on the phone that I thought there was, and always had been, a fault with the flex that joins the flipout screen to the camcorder body, and that refitting it had done nothing more than delay the inevitable. Still no joy :mad:

So, I pointed out that my faith in Sony had been lost, and despite owning a TV, DVD, DSC and Camcorder by Sony, they would all be replaced in time by any other manufacture than Sony.

At the moment, Currys are attempting to get the camcorder fixed as a branch repair, so at least these guys are trying.... as for Sony, this will be the last Sony product I buy. :thumbsdow
 

felix2

Novice Member
I can understand why you're not impressed with Sony...

But it does come back again to your contract actually being with the retailer, rather than with the manufacturer. Have you contacted Trading Standards or Consumer Direct yet? 'Cos I'm sure that in your situation you shouldn't have to pay anything to get a working camcorder (or certainly not that much anyway). If that is the case, they would be able to advise you on what to say to Dixons/Currys to persuade them to sort it out properly.
 

The latest video from AVForums

The Best Movies and TV Shows Coming to Netflix in November 2020: Tom's Thumbs.
Top Bottom