I bought a SONY Wireless HT-RT5 soundbar system in May at CostCo. Because the bar is quite tall, it comes with a IR Blaster, as bar blocks the TV signal receiver - the IR Blaster relays the signal back to the TV, allowing me then to do basic things like turn the TV on and off, or switch the Input option.
Everything worked out fine since May. All of a sudden, as of a couple days ago, the IR Blaster stopped working. I spent 90 minutes on the phone with SONY Customer Service yesterday, as the soundbar is still under warranty, and was passed to three different people in the process. The first two, technical service reps, basically both asked me to repeat the same processes twice, to check that the IR blaster was indeed malfunctioning.
When the second person finally concluded it had, they then let me know the replacement part is no longer available to be replaced - even though the soundbar was bought new, in box, in May of this year!
I was then passed to another customer service rep, who went on to offer me the following option: I could purchase the part through a third-party vendor myself (like someone on Amazon), email SONY the receipt, and they'd refund me for the purchase in 4-6 weeks!
First, I have never seen a company offer this kind of warranty policy - "buy from someone else, and we'll refund you later." I also asked the rep if instead SONY could go ahead and order it from Amazon, and have it sent to me, to which I was told "No, we can't do that."
I'm also wary of ordering a $60+shipping replacement part from Amazon, to then have SONY say that, for some technicality, it won't honor the refund, and I'm now down $60+ on a product that's under warranty!
I also don't see where in their warranty policy it says that, when fixing a product malfunctioning, they'll ask the purchaser to buy the replacement part and then refund them. Reading the warranty that came with the product, it only states that the product will either be fixed by SONY at no cost or that the whole system will be replaced for a similar one, fully functioning, at no cost.
I was never offered either one of those options by anyone I talked to yesterday. Instead, it seemed SONY was trying to find the easiest way out of it, putting all the work and onus on me.
Not what I expected from a company like SONY at all. :-(
I'll also be contacting CostCo about it. While I know they're not responsible for any of this, I'd like to know their advice for it, as I know CostCo is not a big fan of manufacturers screwing their customers on big-ticket items. :-(
I do have a case open with SONY. If any customer service rep is actually reading this, I can provide you the case through a Private Message.