Long time since I posted here! It would be longer still, but I feel the need to take to the blog as Sony’s website (and it’s flagship Vaio Pro 13 Ultrabook) have let me down to the point where there is nowhere else online to turn.
Two weeks ago I took delivery of said Sony Vaio Pro 13, a lovely-looking 13″ Ultrabook made of carbon fibre. It took Sony two weeks to get it to me, but hey… Straight away, I noticed that the wifi connection kept dropping out, despite being close to the router, no walls in-between etc. Plenty of other devices in the same room were connected at good speeds. A quick search led me to this thread: http://community.sony.com/t5/VAIO-Hardware-Networking/New-Sony-Vaio-Pro-Wifi-Issue/td-p/143557/page/94
To save you reading all that thread, the geniuses at Sony chose to put the wireless antenna in the body of the laptop rather than the lid. So not only does it not have the “aerial” properties you’d hope for, but it’s right next to the noisy electronics that interfere with the signal. I have persevered for a couple of weeks, upgrading to Intel’s latest 7260 drivers and all the other updates you inevitably get when starting up a new Windows machine. It is now capable of at least holding a signal, but only if you are no more than a few metres from the router. Last week at a meeting, it kept dropping out whilst I was trying to demonstrate something to a client, and that was the last straw. I began trying to undertake the returns process. It looked easy, with a Returns option in the main menu of Sony.co.uk’s My Account section. Except when you submit the form, you get this less than helpful error message: “An error occured including /b2c/z_onlineReturnStep4.inc.jsp: <br/> Error in JSP..”
So I moved on to Sony’s Contact Us page. It asks for your device’s serial number, which despite repeated checks and re-entry, weren’t recognised for my device. No worry, you can persevere without it. So I completed the contact form, including the error produced by the Returns system and my original complaint. Submitting the form, I am greeted by a “Sorry, we can’t find the page you’re looking for…” message. At this point, I’m getting a bit irritated.
I go to the Sony.co.uk forum, which at least uses the same login as the My Account section, thinking that I will post my experience on there to get a response. Except you need to choose a username – no problem, stick in the usual suspect for such things, and then: a 403 Forbidden error. Not even dressed up, just the stock Apache Tomcat error page for access forbidden.
So after trying three different ways of interacting with Sony online to make my issues with their faulty product known, I have run out of options, hence this blog post. I will be tweeting Sony UK in the hope someone picks this up. Meanwhile, I strongly discourage anyone from buying a Vaio Pro 13 as they are fundamentally flawed and no patch can fix an antenna in the wrong place.