Customer sues Sony for questionable warranty violation

August 28, 2017 | 10:00
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Sony Electronics Vietnam Co., Ltd. (Sony) was sued by Bui Trong Kham, a resident of the northern province of Hai Duong, for allegedly not failing to fulfill their warranty obligations for a faulty television set.
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Bui Trong Kham sued Sony for almost $24,000 (Illustration photo)

Customer submits hefty claim

According to Kham, on October 2, 2014, he bought a Sony KDL 42 W700 television from an agency of Sony in Pham Ngu Lao street, Hai Duong province. The warranty period was 24 months after the TV was bought.

On July 10, 2015, the TV broke down and he promptly called the Sony warranty centre in Hai Duong and the centre’s employees came out and fixed the problem. However, on September 21, 2015, his TV broke down once again. The centre’s employees came, took some pictures of the TV and said that the information and pictures would be forwarded to the warranty centre.

Two days later, on September 23, 2015, the Sony warranty centre called Kham and refused to fix the TV, saying that Kham allowed liquid damage to the TV. Sony’s warranty staff informed Kham that it would cost VND7.345 million ($323) to fix his TV at home and VND6.9 million ($303.6) to fix it at the Sony warranty centre.

Kham declined Sony’s offer and in the afternoon of September 23, 2015, he personally visited the centre expecting to arrange a better solution, but Sony was unwilling to change its decision.

Afterwards, in December 2015, Kham once again visited the centre, this with his lawyer, asking for a free repair of his TV but was declined.

Saying that his contractual rights were violated, in 2016, Kham sued Sony and asked for a temporarily estimated compensation of VND172 million ($7,568). His petition was sent to the District 1 People’s Court, Ho Chi Minh City, where Sony’s headquarters are located.

The lawsuit was considered a requirement of compensation that had not been specified in the contract between the parties, in accordance with Article 30(1d) and the Article 41 of the Civil Procedure Code 2015. The District 1 People’s Court transferred the lawsuit’s petition and other related materials and evidence to the Cam Giang People’s Court in Cam Giang district, Hai Duong province, where Kham lives.

According to the additional petition submitted on June 21, 2017, Kham said that the lawsuit and Sony’s behaviour during the last 21 months caused him mental stress and trauma. Thus, he claimed an additional compensation of VND210 million ($9,240). In total, Kham’s claim against Sony stands at VND542.3 million ($23,861), including the cost of the TV, the preparation of the necessary documents, litigation fees, and the compensation for mental stress.

Where does the fault lie?

Kham sued Sony based on Article 8 of the Law on Protection of Consumers’ Rights as he accused Sony of violating its warranty policy.

During the mediation process, Sony denied violating its warranty policy. Right after being notified by Kham, the company dispatched employees to check the device for warranty.

In September 2015, the second time Kham’s TV was broken again, company employees found the inside of the TV rusty and made appropriate records which Kham also confirmed in the service paper. According to Article 7(2) of the warranty policy, Sony can refuse warranty for liquid damage.

Sony added that it had offered Kham a free warranty at its warranty centre for his TV this time and no more time later. However, Kham declined the offer, which Sony considered as a refusal to get a warranty for his TV.

Sony maintains that it does not lie to customers. Its deal with Kham was featured in the papers and there had not been any private deals between the two parties. Thus, Sony protested Kham’s compensation claim.

As the sides cannot reach a mutual agreement, the instance trial will take place on August 30, 2017.

By By Do Men

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