The wonders of the telephone. The miracle of menus. In the last couple of hours I have collected a large number of telephone numbers for Sony in the Netherlands. But when I need support for my new Sony VAIO laptop, it all comes down to the special "VAIOlink" phone number.
However in order to be allowed access to this number, one has to type in a serial number. If you don't type in a serial number or you get it wrong, there's no option to actually get a human on the line. After trying five times the phone and getting unceremoniously kicked off the phone, I eventually wandered through all kinds of other menus on other Sony telephone numbers, which always seemed to come back to that one number which needed a serial number. Even if I said I was interested in purchasing a NEW Sony laptop, I still got through through to the same machine that wanted me to enter a serial number for a laptop I hadn't even bought yet! Catch-22!
So eventually I tried hitting buttons at random to get through the menus and finally got onto somebody from a completely different department of Sony (televisions) who told me a neat little trick. If your serial number doesn't work, then just type 12345678# 1234567#. And that works. At last I managed to get someone on the phone on that magic VAIOlink number who actually confirmed that my serial number is correct, even if the telephone system won't accept it. but this takes hours and it's interesting to note that Sony has abolished virtually all ways of getting in touch with the human being unless you know the secret code or, in this case, the hack.
But unless Sony wants its customers to be driven totally crazy before they manage to get anyone on the phone, I would recommend checking your phone system. If it was made by Sony, that is certainly not a recommendation.