A couple of weeks before Christmas I bought a Sony Xperia Tablet Z – at £360 it was a lot less than it had been earlier in the year and is generally rated as one of the best 10 inch tablets available. And it is cracking too – expect a review too.

On Christmas Day I accidentally stood on it, cracking the screen. I wasn’t happy. I looked up third party repair costs online and they were similar to the cost of the tablet in the 1st place. Surely that wasn’t right? I contacted Sony and sent it away to them. They cover the postage so it costs nothing but, if you decide not to go ahead with the repair they will charge you a £36 fee.

Last week I received a later confirming what they’d found (surprise, surprise, the screen was cracked) and today I received the actual estimate. Note this is an estimate, not a quote and so could change (upwards rather than downwards). £281. You read that correctly. The bulk of this was £190 for, basically, an entire front cover. The rest were the various bits of foil and glue which are needed to be replaced to bind the new front to the existing back.

This is the price for having something so thin – everything is crammed in and glued to within an inch of its life so its hard to replace a component.

The thing is, when was the last time you had something repaired and it came back as good as it was before it broke? Normally something squeaks that didn’t before or there’s a scratch where components have been eased apart. So for that £281 (and it could be more) I’d probably end up with something less than a new tablet (don’t forget it was only a couple of weeks old) after spending £641 on it. For that money I want a new tablet. And how long will it take to get back? It’s already been with Sony for weeks and they’re difficult to pin down a repair time with – a new tablet will be with me in days.

So, speaking to Sony I found that if I allow them to keep the tablet (which they’ll dispose of in the correct environmental manner) they’ll wave the £36 refusal fee. I’m then free to buy a new tablet – Amazon currently sell them at £330. Ok, it’s £50 more but I have a new tablet, not something that doesn’t even feel my own any more. But, hey, I’ve got an extra charger out of it 😉

The other option would have been to have sprung the £36, had the tablet returned and sold it on eBay. However, bearing in mind it’s not exactly easily to scavenge for parts, who’d want it? (one has sold on eBay with a broken screen but it only made £60. Minus PayPal and eBay fees, it’s not very much!).

So I’ve now spent £700 on a tablet 🙁 It had better be worth it.