Thursday, May 14, 2009

Stop FAQing about

Back in February I succumbed to the hype and bought an MP3 player: for the sake of argument, we'll call it a Pony Talkman. It's a nice little thing (much like me, really) - slim, elegant, charming, musically adept if a little quirky, and with a splendid little shuffle monkey that chucks random tracks at me like a hail of ripe bananas.

This weekend, however, things started to go a bit awry. The shuffle monkey was as fit as ever, but suddenly I couldn't select and play a specific album, artist or genre. Indeed, any attempt to do so caused the music box summarily to turn itself off. Frustrated and a bit annoyed (remember, this toy is barely 3 months old), I turn to the leaflet marked "Troubleshooting".

Hmmm! This seems to be written for the Very Hard of Thinking:

Symptom: There is no sound
Cause/Remedy: The volume is set to zero - turn the volume up.

Finally I find mention of a reset button. So I press it. Several times. Nothing happens. At least, nothing to fix my problem.

So I turn to Pony's so called "support Web site". There I find a "Troubleshooting" FAQ. This is basically the same as the aforementioned leaflet. Grrrrrr!

After a bit of ferreting about, I find a way to submit an email support query. Then I wait.

Two days later, I get this reply:

Thank you for your recent e-mail received on 10/05/2009 08.26 PM.

I am sorry to learn of the problems that you are experiencing with your Sony WALKMAN Pony TALKMAN.

Unfortunately, beyond normal FAQ's and troubleshooting found on our website, it is not possible for Sony Pony to offer diagnosis via e-mail and with this in mind, we would suggest that your product is forwarded to Sony Pony Central Service who repair this category of product. For full instructions on how to do this, please go to

Go to the Support section
Select Repair Service
Select the Relevant Article

For products that are repaired at Sony Pony Central Service, you will be asked to fill out the on-line Repair Registration form.

This area on the website provides instructions on how to send your product in for repair and gives fixed cost repair prices where relevant.

I trust that this information is of some help. In the event of any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Yours sincerely
Blah Blah Blah




The depths of wrongness in this email are so profound, I don't know where to start! Why the devil do they have an email enquiry function if they're not going to do anything with the damned query when they get it? And "fixed cost repair prices" - it's less than 3 month old, dammit: I'll be damned if I'm going to pay for it to be fixed, not to mention postage to get it back to their Central "Service". Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

As I fulminate, Best Beloved remarks, "I had a prob a bit like that with my i-pod - think I had to press a combination of buttons together to fix it". Nothing ventured, nothing gained - so I press the "Back" and "Option" buttons together and hold them for a couple of seconds. Job done! Full functionality is restored. I am happy.

And Pony can FAQ off.

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