How Sony simply failed at expectation management

It’s the start of 2016 and I’m looking for a new TV.

I know which size I want and it’s a three horse race between Panasonic, LG and Sony.
They all offer more or less the same feature set and they all promise the same amazing viewing experience.
And they’re all quality manufacturers (which BTW is why Samsung is not in my short list).

Although I couldn’t immediately identify the right one to buy, I tended towards the Sony because of the better picture quality and the better sound. Those are the basic disciplines that a TV should be good at. To help shed some light, I went off in search of consumer opinions, as they’re euphemistically known.

A critical detail is that all 3 advertise the ability the easily save a TV show on an external hard drive, connected by USB. Probably a feature that’s par for the course these days.

The thing is though, it’s possible out-of-the-box on LG and Panasonic but will only be possible on the Sony some time in the future when that particular feature is implemented in the firmware.
Sony’s approach is to update the firmware whenever they’ve made an improvement.
And that’s exactly their problem… zero communication and, what feels like, zero commitment to their customers who, let’s not forget, have already paid for the goods and feel cheated.

Nobody knows when the next update will be available and nobody knows which feature is being added or which problem is going to be addressed. Sony says look at their website but the URL doesn’t say anything useful.

The specific feature of USB recording as been dated for release and postponed to the next release at least 5 times since the middle of 2015. Since Sony are unable to manage customer expectations, all of those customers have their own expectations. They have very little hope that this small yet important feature (which Sony still advertise as a feature on their TV although it is still not available) will ever be released.

As a consequence of the growing irritation & frustration & disappointment, there’s a huge amount of scathing “1 star out of 5” attacks by customers. Yes! they all mention how great the picture and sound are, yet all feel “cheated” by Sony.

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