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Beware Sony HDR-SR12

domineaux's picture
Last seen: 9 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 08/15/2008 - 6:47pm

I just got off the phone with SONY support, 1+ hour of holding and talking to them. My HDR SR12 has less than 4 hours of time on it. I bought it 8/25/2008 for $1,025.00 from Beach Camera.

In May 2009 the camera quit working and gave me a HDD Format error E:31:00. At that time SONY support gave me fixit directions and I wiped HDD with all videos. I was not advised to return camera for problems.

This weekend I did some video and stills. When I tried to copy off the HDD to my computer I got the same error E:31:00. I called SONY there is no fix, except to wipe the drive and re-format. I indicated this was not fixing the problem. Then I was imformed to send it in for repair.

Funny part is, my invoice date is 1 year ago today. They didn't charge me for parts, but the charged me 149.00 for labor. This is wrong, after all this is the second time within 1 year I called about same problem. I don't mind telling you I complained. I was transferred to customer service, where I gave them my credit card number. Then I was given an RMA address to Laredo Texas for repair.

Now guys don't think I'm a troublemaker. I just think this was very unfair, and worst still from what I've read around on the web the HDD has been causing problems for SONY. Yet, I get to pay for fixing the camera.

Regradless, I am thinking to EBAY this camera when it is returned to me. SONY said they would thoroughly assess all the parts in the camera as well,replace the HDD and return it to me "Good as New". The support guy actually said,"it will be as good as what I bought new". I suspect by now most of the problems SONY had are pretty well fixed by now, and the camera will probably be fine. Since there is no serial number on the camera I suspect they will just replace it.

I really want to make this point. I don't think HDD with current technology is a best go for anyone that really needs their pictures. I'm going to go to a tape or card for storage on next camcorder. In other words, I'm not going to lose another picture to the HDD demons.

CAVEAT EMPTOR (buyer beware) definitely applies to SONY camcorder purchases.


zoobie's picture
Last seen: 6 years 1 month ago
Joined: 03/18/2008 - 8:40am

I'd consider $149 a bargain considering this is high-tech equipment. Sony used to charge $500 flat rate. I believe the warranty is only 90 days for new cams. What I do is get an extended 4 year warranty for another $117 when I buy. That way, I can goof around for years and years and still have it under warranty.

Cameras depreciate to about 50% in 18 months. I'd keep the cam and maybe try a MAC warranty...or somesuch.

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domineaux's picture
Last seen: 9 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 08/15/2008 - 6:47pm

The warranty period was for 1 year, and you must have missed my paragraph about the fact that I went through support in May 2009 with the same problem. I lost all my videos and stills in May. This most recent episode again cost me all the videos and stills. Sony said they would recover the most recent ones for me. I got the camera back yesterday, with no photos or videos extracted from the HDD.

The didn't even state specifically what they had done, except they mentioned the HDD unit in their repair order.

After reading around on the internet I feel like I'm lucky to even get my camera back after sending it to Laredo Texas. No one in that border town but cheap immigrant labor.

Where do you acquire a 4 year warranty?

Sony did say after the repair they would warranty it for 90 days.

Don't mind telling you I hated to experience this with Sony. A little over a year ago I bought an XBR 46" LCD TV, over $3,500. I hate to think how long that is going to last. Three years ago I gave away an old 1969 model solid state Quasar 40" analog TV that was still working after all those years. Inherited it from grandma when she died.

I bought a blue-ray player at the same time, and it is a nuisance. It takes it forever to load, and there are so many things you can't do with it. I went to Goodwill and found an old Samsung VHS/DVD recorder/player so I could make continuous loop player. Seems you have to have the repeat function, which isn't available Blue-ray.


Mark Speer's picture
Last seen: 11 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/13/2009 - 4:45am

Usually Sony is pretty honorable, especially if the warranty period was just expiring within a day or two. My advice is to work your way up the food chain and speak with a supervisor. There's no reason they should be so defiant other then the customer service person doesn't know enough to go "off script"...


mhennings's picture
Last seen: 4 years 4 months ago
Joined: 12/06/2009 - 10:34pm

Cameras depreciate to 50% in 18 months?! How do you figure? Wouldn't hours of use be more important and what conditions they are used in than the time from when they are purchased?