Sonolta wrote:Sigma may admit fault when there is fault (like free rechipping of *some* older lenses in the past), while Sony, at times, prefers to ignore the faults and pretend they are not there.
Maybe the class action you referred to has produced this trait in Sony, but it certainly is there. They will stick out to the last to avoid making any accidental admission of problems which might be used against them. It is the main reason they do not want to have anything to do with what remains of the Minolta Club and the magazine - the content, much of it written by users, is not Sony approved. It's also why you will never find a Sony sponsored forum like this. Anything they do will be sanitized, checked, edited, censored and then checked again by their legal dept.
Sigma - at least in the UK and Europe - is a much more human company. They employ Lawrence Matson, a man as opinionated as you are, and a 'free agent' - not a corporate employee - to be one of their exhibition stand staff and to take a big role in building a group of Sigma users to beta-test equipment and provide photos. He's a US citizen based in Switzerland (as a translator, I think). They come over almost like a family company. Their UK CEO rolls up his sleeves and answers questions from amateurs at shows - in fact, unless you know him, you would have no idea he is the top man. They work very hard, very fast, and enjoy having a beer when it's finished.
I think one difference is that the Sigma distributor company staff can make decisions - they can just say 'yes' - and you can reach them personally. The Sony helpline operators who are the only people you can get to as a consumer, in the UK, don't even know much about the product and certainly could never say 'yes, send it in, we will look at it' unless that instruction has been given to them.
It is doubly important to buy Sony from a good dealer, not from a box-shifter. The Sony Centres and ACE dealers (UK) can reach a technical sales rep from the Alpha division directly. They can bypass the helplines and customer support centres, and get to the man they place the orders with. This is the difference - buy a Sigma from any non-grey import source in the UK, and you can speak with Sigma direct. The phone number on their adverts gets you through straight to the office, one transfer away from the top management or an expert staff member. Buy a Sony product without the benefit of a dealer, and will not be able to find a phone number, an email address, or a name to contact.
The old - original - Minolta UK in 1981 was much more like Sigma. A small team of real people. Even the camera division of Konica Minolta was not so very different. Sony is something else, and their headquarters in Europe says it all. It has its own lake