Three UK saved me from Sony Xperia Z Hell

Ever since I purchased the Sony Xperia Z as part of my Three UK mobile contract, I haven’t been impressed with the device. In just 11 months it has dramatically slowed down, skips tracks when being used as a Walkman and suffers from various software bugs (e.g. touch screen stays active when talking on the phone = incredibly frustrating).

2 weeks ago the device stopped charging, which meant leaning on Sony’s manufacturing warranty.

According to Sony, the charging pin inside the socket of my mobile had snapped off which is clearly ‘caused by accidental damage’ and therefore not covered by warranty. The only problem is that this particular model of mobile has a clear and obvious history of this very defect. On Sony’s very own forum there is one thread containing 150 messages from customers reporting on a faulty / poorly designed charging socket. Just do a search on Google – this is a big problem.


Sony Xperia Z damage
A rounded charging socket, allowing the lead to be plugged in the wrong way around.

What’s happening?
Users of the Sony Xperia Z are breaking the charging pin on this model of mobile because the charging lead can be inserted the wrong way around. This can bend or damage the charging pins, that are not of quality design anyway. Normally mobiles are designed to only allow a charging lead to be plugged in one way, the Sony Xperia Z is poorly designed and therefore accidental damage is inevitable.

Sony is either ignorant of this defect or has chosen to ignore it, as last week Sony charged me for repairing my mobile. I believe the damage to my Sony Xperia Z is due to poor design, which has led to consumers accidentally damaging the device. I argued this point on the phone with Sony who said they will register my complaint, and that I should expect a response in the next 30 days.

Basically: unless I paid Sony for the repair, then I would have to potentially wait a month to get my mobile back. If I refused to pay Sony for the repair, then they would charge me around £14 to have my device posted back to me and be left with a unusable mobile.

As a consumer, as a customer of Sony, I was left with little choice. I paid for my phone to be repaired. I need the mobile for my job.

Throughout all of this my only saving grace was Three UK. Despite deciding to not take mobile insurance out on my contract with Three, they provided me with a backup phone (a simple Nokia C2) and have promised to reduce my bill by £6 a month to pay towards the cost of my Sony repair.

I am never going to buy a mobile from Sony again. The service I’ve received has been poor, their devices are cheaply made and they are clearly hiding that the Sony Xperia Z was a complete flop. This probably explains why the Sony Xperia Z1 was launched only 7 months later.

The benefits of being Quiet

I’m roughly halfway through reading The Sunday Times’ bestseller ‘Quiet’ written by Susan Cain. It’s a captivating read that examines the truths behind the two people that lurk behind every one of us; introverted and extroverted personality types.

As defined by Wikipedia

“The common modern perception is that introverts tend to be more reserved and less outspoken in groups. They often take pleasure in solitary activities such as reading, writing, using computers, hiking and fishing. The archetypal artist, writer, sculptor, engineer, composer and inventor are all highly introverted. An introvert is likely to enjoy time spent alone and find less reward in time spent with large groups of people, though he or she may enjoy interactions with close friends.”

“Extroverts tend to enjoy human interactions and to be enthusiastictalkativeassertive, and gregarious. Extroverts are energized and thrive off of being around other people. They take pleasure in activities that involve large social gatherings, such as parties, community activities, public demonstrations, and business or political groups. An extroverted person is likely to enjoy time spent with people and find less reward in time spent alone. They tend to be energized when around other people, and they are more prone to boredom when they are by themselves.”

There is no doubt that the modern business environment is an extrovert’s paradise as intense networking, public speaking and teamwork eventually reap higher salaries and bonuses. My experience of working at Microsoft (especially as it’s a fundamentally American company) showed me how often introverts entering the business environment are persuaded to adopt personality traits often associated with extroverted individuals; working as a team, lots of socialising and enjoying conflict. However, as Susan argues in her book, there are dozens of traits commonly associated with introverted individuals that are often overlooked. Such as being a good listener, deep thinking and not a risk taker.

Of course, I couldn’t help but reflect upon my own personality and if it’s a match for the PR and PA industry. When the book presented me with a shopping list of personality traits, there is no doubt that 80% of my personality is introverted. Those who know me will probably disagree with this statement. Highlighting that there is a blurred line between personality traits. I work in an industry that is known for public appearances, fierce debate and networking. I do all of these things, even as Susan Cain’s definition of introvert.