Well done Howard Stringer! But…
I wanted to write to you and express how pleased I am with you at the helm of Sony for doing a swell job of taking care of your customers. I am part of the Sony family and to prove it, I proudly own a Sony TV Trinitron, two Sony digital cameras, two Viao desktop PCs, two LCD PC monitors, Sony Video Camcorder, Sony AV receiver, Sony CD player, Sony radio. Yes! I own a lot of Sony products and more. I want to talk about my latest purchase, I bought a Sony TV, top of the line model too, model SXRD-50XBR1, Yes Sir! I bought this Marvel in May, 2006. I gladly paid $3,500 which was peanuts considering what I was going to get in return for a brand name i.e. solid quality, bleeding edge video technology and great customer service. This Marvel was meant to last me forever or till I got tired of it. Hello? This is a SONY product, right! You know, this thing retains its value very well. By my calculation (this overachiever has 7 years life to it) the current value should be (1-39/84)*3,500 = $1875. No kidding, I had researched and chosen well!
Last week something eerie happened, when I turned Marvel on, right in the middle of watching a football game, I heard a pop and screen went blank, eeks! I googled and quickly figured out that three red blinks meant that the lamp had gone limp. Wasting no time, I ordered a lamp replacement from an online Sony authorized dealer with a no-return-policy for $200. Sweet! (Sidebar: I was now made aware that Marvel has a lamp that pops off every few months or so? My TCO went up by $200 to $3,700 and counting!). Replacing the lamp was a breeze, Thanks to Sony plug and play technology. Whew! I turn Marvel on so that I could go back to watching my favorite football game. Then I notice that both teams are wearing green uniforms!! No brainer, I call Sony (not NFL) to get this taken care of. The tech guy is super efficient and quickly eliminates all other possibilities and narrows it down to one offending component (not the lamp, remember, I just replaced it) i.e. optical block - “The OB”. Next, I talk to the Customer Relations guy, who has a Darth-Vader like electronic voice, gives me two options (Wow! see what I meant by being part of Sony’s family):
1. Replace the OB block with a lifetime warranty. Sorry my fault, I didn’t hear them right the first time. The warranty is good for only 90 days.
2. Replace with free TV. Sorry my fault again, I didn’t get it right. I will need to pay Sony an additional $1400 for getting a replacement TV.
Howard, I am on the same wavelength as you are, the choice that I have to make is clear as daylight.
I said, No to Option 1. Obviously you said no and discontinued making DLP TVs. I get it, there is no wisdom investing in old faulty DLP technology.
I said, Yes to Option 2. Wow! What a great deal! Now, my TCO on the Sony TV is ($3500+$200+$1400 = $5,100). Yeah!! I get a Sony closeout LCD TV and I get to keep my old DLP TV that I can use it outdoors for target practice.
I applaud you for taking care of your loyal customers like me and I always feel proud to be part of the SONY Family. Remember I have my house filled with Sony products.
Howard, as a Sony family member, I do feel the need to caution you against the forces that are beyond your control lurking around the bend. For instance, take a look at the Samsung or LG guys who have learnt to make TVs better than ours with superior technology and other differentials like great customer service and cheaper prices. Holidays are coming up soon which means they will have more price drops. I strongly suggest that you wear your thinking cap now and act quickly and do something right before it is too late.