Travelers like to visit Thailand for cheap foods, medical procedures, and prostitutes. However, people often overlook repair services. In Thailand, you can almost always repair any gadget for a very reasonable price. This especially applies to Sony cameras that are made in Thailand. In this post, I’ll explain the process so that you can repair and reuse your gadgets too.
First, I must say that I’m not a fan of Sony. Sony is notorious for its past unethical behaviors. Consequently, I am very skeptical of every Sony products. But I bought a Sony camera (A6000) anyway because I couldn’t resist its speed, image quality, and a Black Friday’s price tag.
If you want to just read about the repair process, skip to “Repair in Thailand”
Story of My Sony A6000
Long story short, I took this Sony A6000 to shoot at Montana de Oro in Los Osos, California. A big sea wave unexpectedly splashed over me and my camera while I was taking pictures. The water felt so refreshing until I realize how wet my camera was.
With my best effort, I tried drying the camera as much as I could. Los Osos is a small town, so I didn’t know where to find desiccant packs to absorb moisture. Alternatively, I bought many roasted seaweed snacks to get the desiccant packs that way. I know I should have used rice to dry the camera. But I’m Asian and only see it as food.
In the end, the damage isn’t as bad as I thought. The only thing that didn’t work is the setting dial that controls exposure adjustment at the top right corner of the camera. If I am a noob who shoots in automatic mode, I wouldn’t care.
Repair in the US
With little hope, I sent the camera to Sony’s authorized repair center in the US. At that time, this place was Precision Camera in Connecticut. During the process, the repair center never contacts me. After a week or so, they sent the camera back unrepaired. Included with the box is a note saying that the warranty does not cover my repair since the camera was damaged by water. The note also said that the cost to repair would be too high. They didn’t ask me if I want to repair it at all at my expense.
Repair in Thailand
As I moved to Thailand, I also bought this camera in case I find a service center. Fortunately, I happened to be near a Sony service center while exploring Bangkok. You can easily get there with Airport Link by traveling to Makkasan Airport Link Station. Alternatively, you can also use MRT by traveling to Phetchaburi MRT Station. Then, you have to walk a bit from either station to the Sony service center. Consider taking a taxi for this.
When I arrived at the service center, I didn’t have the broken camera with me. They told me to drop off my camera at a Sony store in a shopping mall near my place. Sony stores are pretty much in most major malls in Bangkok. Just search them to make sure they are official.
When I drop off for repair, Sony charged me 100 baht (about 3 USD) for the inspection fee. If I choose not to repair, I will not get this fee back. But if I choose to repair, this fee will deduct from the final repair cost.
After about three days, I received a call from the repair center. It was a woman’s voice. She sounded very feminine and calm. I thought the voice was pre-recorded until she asked me if it’s okay to repair the camera for about 1800 baht. Without hesitation, I said go ahead. She informed me that the process would be about a week or two for the parts to arrive.
A few days later, I got a call from the same woman again. This time she said the technician found additional parts needing replacements. The repair would cost 2800 baht. I think that’s a bit high but went ahead with it away.
Finally, after a few more days, I got a text saying that my camera is ready for pickup. I was very surprised since the whole process took only seven days. I went ahead to pick up the camera where I dropped it off. The camera works as expected. The technicians replaced several parts of the camera. Each item has its cost listed on the receipt. They even gave me the damaged parts back. Even better, the repair comes with 90 days warranty.
With the help of Sony in Bangkok, I repaired my A6000 in seven days for 2530 baht. The tax at 7% came out to be 177 because the Thai government needs money to buy more Chinese submarines. I didn’t expect this level of service excellence from Sony. In the US, a repair would take much longer and cost a whole lot more. I also wouldn’t get to hear that sweet woman’s voice over the phone.
If you have broken gadgets, you have another reason to visit Thailand.
P.S. If you want to learn how I edited the picture from Montana de Oro, watch this tutorial.