BBC’s Watchdog investigates Xperia Z1 cracking screen issue; Sony responds

by XB on 30th May 2014

in Problems, Videos, Xperia Z and Xperia ZL, Xperia Z1


Xperia Z1 cracked screenThe BBC Watchdog programme has been running in the UK for close to thirty years. The consumer rights programme has had great success in reporting on the problems that consumers have faced with retailers, rogue traders and other companies in the UK. Earlier this week, Watchdog ran a short piece on the cracking screens of the Xperia Z1 and Xperia Z.

The Xperia Z1 and Xperia Z phones have been incredibly popular, Watchdog says that Sony has sold 10 million of these phones around the world. There are many people who claim to have a suffered cracked display without anyone touching it. We have covered this problem in the past. Watchdog says that it had received complaints from over a hundred people, who have suffered something similar.

The programme hears from a few people who have suffered from the problem, claiming that the phone suffered a crack when removing from a pocket or even if it was just idle on the desk. Sony insists to most people that this is not a design fault and that its standard warranty will not cover repairs. Therefore people are left in a quandary about where to turn, with most having to fork out around £250 to replace the display.

However, Sony released the following statement to Watchdog, highlighting for the first time that there is an issue:

In a small proportion of cases, screens have indeed cracked with no identifiable cause and in these instances the phone has been repaired for free.

For anyone who is affected in the UK, Sony has given a telephone number to call (08705 237 237) which is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm and on Saturday from 9am to 5pm. The programme which aired on Wednesday 28 May 2014 can still be watched on iPlayer, until next Wednesday. This only applies to UK residents, the Sony Xperia action starts at 18:52. For everyone else, check out the video below.

  • Guest

    Good job BBC Watchdog!

  • AsadMulla

    0870 number.

  • chirag daraji

    But Y only for UK..!!??

  • Ahmed Noori

    try the new nightcity theme from sony
    http://adf.ly/6999428/sethegreenthemesnightcityapk

  • Hate Anne Robinson!!

  • Dyaa Ibrahim

    good

  • Ahmed Noori

    you are good

  • XTZ

    I’m concerned about my Tablet Z now…

  • Well Spoken Waffle

    i remember a similar case of “random my z1 bent like a banana” epidemic that happened recently.

    http://talk.sonymobile.com/t5/Xperia-Z1-Z1s/Just-realized-my-month-old-z1-is-bent/td-p/440181

    please don’t put your phone in your back pocket and sit on it, then try to claim it happened “just from taking it out of your pocket” and say it’s sony/other manufacturers fault.

  • XperiaBlog

    Please don’t post any warez links in the comments. Thanks.

  • Danny

    I’m on T-Mobile USA. I bought an Xperia Z1s in the beginning of February. in mid-March, a month-and-a-half, it cracked, It was a very thin line, one line, across the screen. just happen, I didn’t know why, I’m sure I didn’t apply strong pressure nor did I drop the phone. I contacted Sony via phone and email and waited awhile until I was told what I could do, I also frequent forums to know my options. I sent it in early April and within 2 weeks was sent back to me at no cost for repairs. I was dreading that I would have to pay 250 USD for repairs. It was a pleasant surprise.

  • adfasdfasdf

    have to kinda agree, or expose it to very diferent range of temperatures very quickly

  • RealityCheck2013

    Mine is ok (UK) thank god :D + SONY and other companies should replace these for free to.

  • texterted

    Which one, the old one or the new rejuvenated one? :D

  • bazzidazzle

    I’m In Australia and i’ve had the same issue, sent it to Sony and they said it was my fault and i broke the screen some how. I’d like to know how i broke it when it was sitting in it’s dock all night and i woke the next morning to my alarm and couldn’t turn it off because the screen was cracked.

  • HardyHarHar

    Can you even put it in your back pocket? :D

  • Zeke

    Hmm.. I was wondering about the Z1 Compact too.
    Smaller screen and case, so maybe not the same flex.
    Anybody have a Z1 compact screen crack without explanation?

  • tri do

    sony is a pain the rear to deal with when come to warranty or support! my back was curved and went to sony to enquire and they said i have to pay to get it fix which got it for under 30 days. got fed up went back to where i got it from the guy replaced for me on spot. First and last device from sony. If only other manufacture do what sony does to cramp good spec into a compact device. End of the day it is a phone not a walkie talkie. If people wants a big screen, get a tablet or laptop for god sake. it is ridiculous how phone is getting way too big to even put in the front pocket!

  • Jumbo

    It’s called psychic powers mate. You sub-conscious mind probably disliked the phone and had the murderess intent to destroy your phone.

  • P9

    nahhh, no problem at all~~~

  • Anders

    just get 2 sony xperia Z2 1 crack after 3 days, and the other can not get any signal.. so they are send back to sony… my Z crack very easy .. but the best of this 3 phone is the Z1 .. i use it again when waiting to get my 2- Z2 back

  • XTZ

    Hahaha :D

  • Salem Dee

    I’ve post a thread about the situation on xda, please anyone affected shares your story
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2759628

    IT ALSO HAPPEN TO THE Z2 USERS!!

  • Salem Dee
  • job

    Yes i have z1c and its excellent. I dropped it many times on the floor. Most of the time i wake up not finding where the source of the alarm is because its in the floor. Aside from the few nicks on the frame everything is perfect. I just hate how the plastic back easily scratches

  • Makiz

    Samsung is behind this :p

  • Matheus

    hi, i´m also have a Z1s ,with the same problem. i´m getting trouble to find the display, do you know with the lcd from Z1 are compatible with z1s? thanks

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  • Ahmed Noori

    -_- why !!
    Let people have what they want freely ^_^

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  • Sanjan

    Bought A different handset from sony xperia pro. The phone was deemed unrepairable becuase i had tampered with the internal workings of the phone??? utter nonsense bought a samsung instead! DO NOT BUY SONY THEY ARE RUDE AND NOT HELPFUL!

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  • Abdul Ghani

    i would have added this camera software problem in bbc watch dogs really sony lost their touch since the launch of xperia z all z series phones should have been known as the best camera phones but they are the worst because of the software

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  • hyper0926

    Sony seriously need to spend more time
    On quality control

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  • fried_egg

    Can’t stand watchdog because they present everything in a numpty way

  • Paul

    I’m also in Australia, my screen just mysteriously cracked … Sony said my fault. The touch sensitivity was going haywire the day before it cracked making me beleive it was a manufacture fault. Not happy.

  • bazzidazzle

    How did you find the Sony mobile customer service? What were they like?

  • AmirShovalie

    my xperia z1
    drop from my hand

  • Now I’m curious.
    Did you attach a link to an app that would supposedly get rid of broken screens?

    Hmm… reminds me of an iPhone app that was supposed to make the phone waterproof ;)

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  • Roy Nana

    Peter Sissons seems to prefer the new one…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFMVUs0rrqA

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  • cuttsy

    Yes mate, mine did, small hair line crack, getting nowhere fast

  • Nick Curry

    Can’t comment on places outside the US, but the Sony customer service here is about like this:

    “Hello, this is Sony.”
    “Hi, I’m Nick and–”
    “Well that’s your problem.”
    “…um, ok, I need to make a warranty clai–”
    “Impossible. Our products are perfect every time.”
    “Right, I really enjoy the Smartwatch 2, but–”
    “Oh, Smartwatch? Let me transfer you 12 times.”

    *holding*

    “Hello, this is Sony.”
    “Hi, I’m Nick and–”
    “Ugh, the Smartwatch guy? I forwarded you like an hour ago.”
    “Wait, how did I get back to the same department?”
    “I have no idea. We use Sony call forwarding, so it’s always perfect.”
    “…um.”
    “What did you do to our call forwarding system?”
    “What?”
    “YOU BROKE IT BY CALLING US!”
    “Look, the little door that seals the usb port broke, and–”
    “THANKS FOR CALLING SONY, SMARTJERK!”
    “That insult didn’t hurt much.”
    “Impossible, it’s from the Sony list of insu–YOU DID THIS!”
    *I hang up*

    *phone rings*
    “Hello?”
    “PAY US AGAIN FOR THE DEVICE YOU ALREADY BOUGHT!”

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  • Guest

    does this happen to z2?

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  • Anna Ogryczak

    I have the same problem- the screen cracked lying on the locker. Long story short: rang Sony, followed them instructions, posted phone to rapair company given me by Sony, expert said: “Screen/LCD broken. Fair cosmetic” (by the way my phone can’t be used because doesn’t react to touch). A couple of phonecalls and emails. Waist of time because the Expert said is my fault. Email from today said if I don’t want to pay for repair I need to pay £14.40 to get my (unfixed) phone back. Thinking about petition, going to independent expert and then to Small Claim Court. All of that because I bought great Sony. Shame on them

  • adam

    Sony, your are the weakest link, goodbye!

  • Gerry

    Hi, my screen cracked on my xperia Z phone when it was in my pocket & I sent it to Sony for repair to be told it’s not covered under warranty & would have to pay £185 plus £15 postage, what can I do to take the matter further ??

  • SB13X

    Would like to confirm that this also occurs on the Z2 as well as mentioned by Salem. Set the phone playing music on the table outside under the parasol and after a couple of tracks came in for a drink, when back outside I decided to change tracks and found this crack and the phone unresponsive and simulating touches with a mind of its own,

  • SB13X

    Would like to confirm that this also occurs on the Z2 as well as mentioned by Salem. Set the phone playing music on the table outside under the parasol and after a couple of tracks came in for a drink, when back outside I decided to change tracks and found this crack and the phone unresponsive and simulating touches with a mind of its own.

  • Ryan

    I got the Xperia Z on release and have used it every day and still the screen is fine. Just wondering how many of the people with the random cracking screens are putting the phones in tight fitting pockets, like on Jeans etc ??

  • Jack R

    I have just had this problem with my 2 month old sony xperia z1 compact (in uk) and o2 are refusing to repair it under the warranty due to it being physical damage and therefore not a design or manufacturing default, which it clearly is. Does anyone know how to pursue this further? Is it worth sending it to sony as from what everyone says they just blame the user and charge you to return the un-repaired phone

  • Kiat Siong Ng

    My 3 weeks old xperia z2 cracked by itself. When I put it in my pocket, it had no crack. When I took it out an hour later, there was a single hairline crack across the screen. Took it to where I bought the phone, the retailer refused to honor the warranty.

  • True Grit

    I would gather, in all the above cases, the shattering screens are not due to user abuse. It relates to SONY’s attempt at making a waterproof phone. In order to be waterproof, the phone must be airtight as well. Not giving the transistors air causes a build up within the circuit board of the phone. If you notice. all computers have vents and such, for natural air to circulate through. The same goes for televisions. Sony has not mastered the art of enclosed transistors, thus pressure build up from these enclosed transistors are cracking the screen. Proper ventilation is paramount.

    Also knowing this fault, and charging as much as they do for the phone, guarantees more value to Sony, in regard to the repair of the phone. You’re likely to fix a $700.00 phone rather than walk away from it.

    It is simple to not honor the warranty, while citing user abuse. It is criminal to do so knowing the phone’s faults.

    If Sony had decided to not make it waterproof, it would likely be the best android phone on the market right now.

  • chris

    just heard back from sony with reference my z1 – £123 to repair . . . when i didnt even brake it!!

  • Dan Elvy

    My Z2 self-cracked along the back too. Sony’s after-care even after the issue has been highlighted is poor. They’ve had my phone 6 weeks and they never fulfil promises of call backs or even repairing the handset under warranty as promised on one call. Disgusted

  • dapper

    i had exactly the same issue…sat in the phone shop watching the crack spread up the screen!!!

  • Andrew Andy J James

    Exactly the same for me and I’m so annoyed because I don’t have a mobile to use, what have you done then?

  • Kobi

    Had the same broken screen issue (on the shelf and when i came back the screen was broken) what can i do ???

  • Tavoandshanna

    So, which route did you use?……I sent my phone to the Laredo TX Sony center…what did they say?

    Thank you in advance

  • Danny

    I also send it to Laredo Texas Sony Center. and they ship it back to me repaired at no cost.

  • hatingsonyrightnow

    screen just cracked for the second time!!!!!!!!!!! last time i paid to get it repaired because i was deperate to get my phone back, this time im going to fight to the bitter end as once again it wasnt my fault, the phone was just sitting on the table, went to cook lunch, phones started to ring went to pick it up and it wouldnt answer closer inspection i found a crack along the screen, and another one slowly cracking from the middle to join the other crack ( i actually see the crack getting worse!!!!!) arrrrrrrrrrrgh

  • poring

    Oh fuck, you should recall all your z series before you get a law suit. My z1 compact screen crack by itself, and since I lost my sales invoice service center is not willing to repair it. Now I’m thinking to bring the issue to proper authorities. Prepare, I’ll get back on you suckers.

  • Waqas Ashraf

    worst customer service ever, i had a Service Request: 1-15001254 raised about 2 months ago they have had my phone for a month. No updates nothing initially when i kept chasing they said it will not be covered under warranty on request they could not telly why? and could not give a proper reason. They are not trying to hide behind different stupid reasons.

    If it does not get sorted in a week. i will not be buying Sony ever. I loved the phone but this service is horrific.

  • paul

    my experia z1 decided to join the ” crack debate” this morning. .started to play up early in the week,,,not responding to every touch….and now the area above the crack is dead.phone is only a few weeks old. Three (the phone company ) don’t wanrt to know… is it worth approaching sony????

  • mohi

    just happened to my z1 today,i was just using viber and cracked on me and got stuck now

  • Fatih

    why the video is private? we want to see

  • Michael

    Xperia z ultra was always running very hot. Used the phone 5 minutes prior and next time I took it out of my pocket one big crack and digitizer not working. I always keep it in my front pocket. I would always find the thing bent but figured they had tested it and shouldn’t be a problem. Well….. I got a problem now.

  • Kevin

    I am about to by Z1 Compact today and I just review this…………..Thanks GOD……and you all I am not going to buy SONY Mobile anymore…..I was sony lover earlier……

  • Jerry

    Maybe you should all get together and file a class action lawsuit against Sony. Or go to small claims court with Sony over this. I mean, if they design a poor product that breaks in your pocket or from regular usage and have deceptive warranties that are detrimental to the consumer, they deserve to be punished. It is essentially a scam, and false advertising to claim that these phones are solid, working devices, that are waterproof, and dust-proof, when they actually break for no reason due to design flaws, or poor quality materials. If you live in Canada, you should definitely just spend 25 dollars and file a small claims suit against Sony. It would be times faster than having to call up Xperia support and waiting for months to receive your phone.

  • Zino Wagner

    LOOL I thought I was the only one with this shit phone xD

  • Sathis kumar V

    Hi,

    Can someone tell me what is the price for replacing the Cracked Display in US?

    TIA

  • Becky

    My son is really careful with his phone, it’s had a leather case back and front and a screen protector since day 1 and the glass hasn’t cracked but the LCD under it has! If it completely goes then will never get another phone from this company! Not to worry will just get an iphone more reliable! Another customer lost!

  • biben

    This problem also exist on Z3 Compact. This happened during the night when phone was not used, not charging. Phone is only one month old. I contacted Sony Sweden and they asked my if there is any marks on the side of the phone. There is not. Must be some tension that makes this. I will send it to Sony for warrant repair.
    I let you know how it goes.
    /biben

  • Guest

    Image

  • funklord

    Or use it, at all. Don’t unwrap the package it came in!

  • Marion Findlay

    I have just had a reply from xperia technicians saying that the repair does not come under their warranty and asking for £306 for repair, nearly the same cost as a new phone. Like many others here a hairline crack developed on the screen and it began to flash and above the crack became unresponsive. I am disgusted with them and have sent a complaint back to them. I certainly wont be asking them to REPAIR? it for the cost of a new phone and certainly will not be purchasing another Sony mobile again.

  • Chris

    My screen has now cracked twice/. Both times looks like my insurance company will be footing the bill. Not cool Sony

  • D

    My Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet Screen Cracked Automaically

    After going through lots of positive reviews about how thin and light
    the Sony Z2 Tablet is, I finally decided it to go for it. I bought the
    4G model which can also be used for making call, sms, Whatsapp just like
    a mobile phone. Bought it last may with 2 years warranty from Brighton
    Sony Center. Cost me £499

    After 6 months of use, one morning
    opened the official Sony case to look at the tablet as usual, but the
    touch screen would not work. I was shocked to see Sony Z2 Tablet screen
    had cracked. I thought this only happened to Sony Xperia Z phones and
    not tablet. I guess I was wrong. Took it to Brighton Sony Center, they
    said I would have to send it Sony via post, and they can not do anything
    about it.

    I phoned Sony customer services. The guy on the phone
    said this never happens to tablet. I said, it does, I did google search
    and found out Z2 Tablets also crack. So I sent it Sony repair Center as
    instructed. They sent me a bill of £130+ saying that my warranty would
    not cover the cost because it is physical damage. I argued that its a
    manufacture fault, the screen cracked out of nowhere. They told me I
    should speak directly with Sony, they are just a repair Center.

    I
    called Sony again, the guy on the phone said, according to their
    engineer, there was no manufacture fault. I called back to the repair
    center, told them it happens to Sony Xperia devices, how can they deny
    this. They told me to speak to Sony again. I called back Sony again, I
    said there is no way I would accept the fact that it is not
    manufacturers fault. They said they would forward this issue to their
    Escalating Team.

    The Escalating team phoned me the next day. I
    had to explain everything all over again. They said they would look in
    to this matter and call me back. 2 days later they call me back saying
    the same old thing, Warranty does not cover physical damage, only covers
    manufactures fault. So I either have to pay £130 to repair it, or £38
    to get it back unrepaired.

    Now I’m thinking is it worth getting
    it back for £36. What am I suppose to do with a cracked tablet? And why
    should I repair it when its not even my fault? Not just that, there are
    no guarantees that the screen would not crack again.

    This is the worst purchase I have eve made. £499 plus spent almost another £200 on official accessories, what a waste.

  • Casey

    Where are your references? I would like to check some of the information in this post but cannot find where you got your information from!!!!! Am i supposed to just believe what you have written?
    You even posted a quote without saying who the quote was from…..

  • aronzo

    sony xperia z screen problem screen problem,screen test ripples on the screen when the screen is a slight pressure, no …
    finalb546@gmail.com

  • Jesca

    so what did you do about it….my phone has a crack and it has completely lost sensitivity……weird indeed!…..did it regain its sensitivity??

  • Pete
  • Pete
  • HarryMonmouth

    If the screens are liable to crack for no reason whatsoever then the strength is obviously not up to scratch so even if it was your action that caused it to break the only reason it did break was that it was not fit for purpose.

  • jane

    SONY…. KNOWS THIS IS A PIECE OF GARBAGE… IF EVERYONE STOPPED THEIR MONTHLY CONTRACTS BECAUSE SONY BROKE THE CONTRACTS WHEN THEY REFUSED TO FIX YOUR PHS…. UNDER WARRANTY.. THEY WOULD SOON WAKE UP AND DO SOMETHING…THIS IS TERRIBLE…. DONT EXPOSE YOUR PH TO WEATHER TEMPS.. HOW WOULD YOU EVER USE THE THING… I AGREE WITH FUNKLORD JUST DONT EVER UNWRAP OR TAKE IT OUT OF THE PKG… THOSE ARE NOT CHEAP PHONES.. AND SONY USED TO HAVE A GOOD NAME BUT EVEN THOUGH I DONT HAVE A SONY I WONT BUY A SONY AND I WILL KEEP PASSING THE WORD AROUND NOT TO OWN ONE.. MY FRIEND SENT HER PHONE IN TO BE REPAIRED OR REPLACED THE TECH SAID IT WOULD COST HER LOTS OF MONEY…I TOLD HER HE SURELY MUST HAVE BEEN POCKETING SOME OR ALL OF THE MONIES BECAUSE HER PH IS TWO WEEKS OLD … IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN TOTALLY REPLACED… STAND UP AND FIGHT SONY… I AGREE CELL PHS WERE NOT MADE FOR BACK POCKETS… BUT I KNOW MY FRIEND AND SHE ISNT ABUSIVE… AND ITS THIS PHS FAULT MANY HAVE SPOKEN UP HAVING SAME PROBLEM… I WILL SPREAD THE WORD… STAND UP FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS…

  • Deepa Shah

    Nowadays, Lenovo is the most trending mobile phones that have

    boosted the high grade features in the reasonable price. The trend is more
    successful with the launch of new exciting phones that has unbeatable features
    in the most reasonable rates. The smart phones need smart protection for a long
    time and the best way to protect its screen is the tempered glass.

    ……………………………………..

    tempered glass screen protector

  • Edward W

    I have the same issue, but need the statement. In error I bought a certified pre owned from T-Mobile, so the only warranty I have is with T-Mobile.

    Please publish the whole statement from Sony or send me a copy.

    However, Sony released the following statement to Watchdog, highlighting for the first time that there is an issue:

    “In a small proportion of cases, screens have indeed cracked with no identifiable cause and in these instances the phone has been repaired for free.”

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  • Sean McClellan

    The first time, the phone was charging. It was half way through upgrading the android OS when it asked for me to charge it, as it was below 50%. The hairline crack, of the kind others have reported, appeared during this process, rendering the phone unusable.

    The fact it was stuck on an upgrade and asking for a charge proves it was not damaged by me. Yet their repairs department still claimed it was not a design fault. I had to argue on the phone for hours, send emails and a letter before they agreed to pay.

    I8 months later – now – it has happened again. This time instead of £185, they want to charge me £225. I have so far spent over 3 hours arguing with their support people. The crack is identical, although this time it did not happen whilst charging, so presume the flaw relates to temperature. The phone gets extremely hot, particularly when using GPS.

    If there is legal action, or anything else to make these complaints heard, then I would like to take part, as I have good evidence from at least one of the times this has happened that it occurred whilst the phone was sat charging. Contact me on 37sean@gmail.com.

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  • Sean

    Another z3 to add to the list. Technician has examined the phone. One single hairline crack. Not a faulty product, accidental damage apparently. Phone was sat on a table at the time.

    How does someone put one single hairline crack in a screen anyway?!!!? Look below and you’ll see what dropping this useless product does to it.

  • Clive Emmerich

    My Z5 compact just cracked by itself while charging. I have had the phone for just over 2 months and it was on the bedside table charging – no dropping, or bending, etc involved. Now I have to repair it at a cost (even with screen insurance). Sorry Sony this is unacceptable.

  • Gonçalo Gomes

    Perhaps a bad batch. It’s easy to assume a range of phones made in serial would have been packaged in serial, as that’s the basis of ‘factory line assembly’ and a (few) bad batches were delivered to UK – just a guess.

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