Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Sony Vaio Delivery

So here's the story - for those who asked on my laptop.

I am a demanding customer. I like good design. I am stuck on the PC platform until Intel and Apple really makes it happen in a way that is Micro$oft-agnostic and doesn't hassle my clients who are mostly corporate M$ shops. I have one client who has kitted all his staff out with old-style macs, but then they aren't allowed voicemail either, and no-one can read my files.

Here's a history of all the laptops I ever owned.
  • In the early nineties I bought an Elonex or something like it; the screen was tiny and black and white (or green, really) and I played a lot of patience.
  • Then I had a sony laptop, can't remember what. It was OK.
  • Then I ran my own business, and had a beautiful Vaio 505FX with a perfect metal case. But it let me down, and when I called Sony, all they could say is, to be really reliable, you need two. So I bought another one. Sucker for a sales pitch, me.
  • Then I got made redundant from the Industry Standard, and I didn't have a job, but they gave me my IBM Thinkpad A20p. It's a workhorse piece of kit, but served me well in my early freelance-no-job days
  • I bought a Sony Vaio TR1MP nearly a couple of years ago. I think I've been unluckly with the number of trips it's had to the Brussels healthfarm, although everything's technically as good as new, now.
So, I was this far from ordering a Toshiba Portege, and had gone through the entire spec with the Gadget Detective (aka my friend who knows everything there is to know about technology purchasing, and then some), and he said to me "Toshiba is mediocre design, mediocre service. Sony is good design, average service, you've just been unlucky. And you really want a Vaio, don't you?"

Because Sony Vaio's are for PC people who want a Mac, but can't handle the platform inertia. Design, without the advantages.

So I called Sony Business, and they had a bundle in stock, and everything was cool, and I was about to order it, and then Amy told me that I couldn't get it for an unspecified time, as they were (a) moving warehouses, and (b) didn't know how much stock they had.

But I'd made a purchase decision. A little thing like no stock wasn't going to get in my way. And I have this great database, called the internet, where I can find out anything. But when I googled for "head of product marketing at sony vaio" in a vicious, circular way, I got myself. So I called up the guy I knew from last time, but he's been promoted, so I found the new guy (it's always a guy) and explained that I was practically a lifetime customer, had a little word with him about lifetime customer value, and he said he could sort it.

Ten minutes later, Amy calls me back, slightly bemused. "We can express ship the item to you Tuesday. You know people in high places."

Which I don't. But I know how to shmooze and do the customer-service-manouevre, and I know how to get what I want (mostly).

So, new latop allegedly winging its way to Kilburn.

I will keep you informed.

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