Mathew Lowry

The following text was just submitted to Sony Belgium. I post it here not because I think it will get me improved customer service, but to show the difference between the vision and the reality of “.eu-driven businesses” in Europe’s single market.

The original post follows the updates.


[Update 1: so I finally heard from the right (i.e., Belgian) customer support team, and have filled out my forms, scanned all sorts of things and sent them off. The point of this post remains valid: a company which asks you to register to a .eu site should at least be able to organise its various national customer support teams.
Update 2: Apparently they now want numbers from the ‘tickets de caisse’ which don’t appear there, or something. Looks like a systemic approach to getting out of the commitment they made when I purchased the set. I emailed them scans of everything, and a link to this post, but the email bounced. Typical. Moral of story: never buy Sony.
Screenshot Update 3: Now it’s getting fun. I was asked by Sony to review my customer experience! 😉 But when I submitted my opinion, I was told my text was ‘inappropriate’ and so was not published. ;-(

You be the judge (click the screenshot, right, to enlarge). My question is what was inappropriate? Stating that “I will NEVER buy Sony again”? The use of the word ‘dongle’? Or for claiming that this blog is ‘much read’?
sony-facebookUpdate 4 (December 2015): we decided to try Netflix out, so I resuscitated my dossier chez Sony. Our conversation on Facebook, I think, sums it all up (screenshot, right).

[/Updates off]


Original post

The following text was just submitted to Sony Belgium. I post it here not because I think it will get me improved customer service, but to show the difference between the vision and the reality of “.eu-driven businesses” in Europe’s single market:

Dear Sony Belgium,

When I bought my new TV, I asked the salesman at Carrefour whether it connected directly to the internet.

He told me no, but that if I registered the TV on MySony, I would be able to request Sony to send me the ‘dongle’ free of charge via the post.

Well, I then registered to (as it said on the card included with the TV), and I saw no possibility to make such a request.

I then submitted an enquiry via the site. The result was pathetic:

1) I received an email from Sony France telling me that I had made a mistake, and I should contact Sony Belgium.

2) I told them I used their site, and had registered as a Belgian resident, so I didn’t understand why I was being contacted by Sony France! I invited them to forward my request to Sony Belgium for me, rather than passing the buck like a useless bureaucrat.

3) I then got an ameil from Sony Belgium, giving me a telephone number.

4) I called it. I found myself talking to … Sony France!

5) They were terribly sorry but they:
– couldn’t help me
– couldn’t pass me to Belgium
– couldn’t even give me the Belgian support telephone number “because our system is down”

6) So I replied to them by email, telling them this terrible, sad story.

7) To which I got another email, asking me to START THE WHOLE THING AGAIN ON THIS SITE!

This is ridiculous. I’ve seen better organised riots.

Mathew Lowry

Author :


  1. Talking about Sony, this makes think of another story of mine…

    A few years ago, while I was living in Germany, I bought a PS3 and registered online as a German user in order to download content and play online.

    Then I moved to Belgium and it started to get complicated… 1st thing: I tried to update my personal data: impossible! Nevermind I thought! I tried to purchase downloadable content with my Belgian credit card. We’re in Europe for God’s sake! Again fail! Sony tells me I can’t buy with a Belgian card on a German console… Once you buy a PS3 in a country A, you’re considered to spend the rest of your life in this country!

    What to do then? Sony just tells on their forums to sign up with a new account. This is not a big deal of course, but at the same time they’re promoting online gaming, trophies, etc which you obviously all lose if you use a new account.

    Not to mention that some PS3 related VOD services are available in specific EU countries. And I’m still wondering why they block access to those contents based on IP addresses vs the country where you registered your console.

    Sony Europe, so they said…

  2. Sad to see a brand like Sony doing such a crap job … but they’re not alone in that!

    Internet-based companies, of course, adopted the EU single market into their businesses as a matter of course – the single market could have been made for online business (and vice versa). But so many companies still seem to have difficulties getting out of the ‘one country, one company’ mindset, and seem to have adopted the .eu domain only for defensive (anti-cybersquatting) reasons.

    It’s a shame, because it means that consumers and citizens who do move about the EU, and expect to be able to take our products and services with us, are getting shortchanged.

  3. Belgium and Sweden are prbbaoly the two nations in Europe worst affected by PC and the multi-cult.Great Britain also looks less and less great for each day passing.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

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