- Owners of the now-discontinued Sony Dash could be eligible for $11.25 or $35 compensation.
- Sony has rendered the devices useless without warning by pushing a firmware update.
- The court that reviewed the case didn’t take any sides, but the parties still reached an agreement.
Consumers who have purchased the now-discontinued ‘Sony Dash Personal Internet Viewer’ may be eligible for reimbursement of up to $35, as the class-action lawsuit that is targeting Sony Electronics Inc. has reached a settlement agreement. The case is filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, so it concerns devices bought in the United States on or before July 12, 2017, and is only applicable to buyers who were residents of the United States at the time.
The reason for the legal action is that Sony has “bricked” the Dash devices by terminating their functionality via a forced firmware update sent in July 2017, the date when it reached the end of its official support. The Sony Dash was introduced in September 2011, priced at $199, enabling users to browse websites, enjoy streaming services, listen to online radio, run apps, set alarms, use it as a digital photo frame, and more.
Sony’s bricking update caught owners by surprise, as there was no warning or indication about what applying the update would entail. Also, as the lawsuit points out, if the consumers knew that their Sony Dash would be rendered useless within a few years, they wouldn’t have bought the device in the first place. They claim that Sony misrepresented the Dash both in its press releases and in the product packaging itself.
The court that reviewed the case hasn’t taken any sides, but the two parties decided to agree to a settlement. Thus, all buyers of the Sony Dash are, under certain conditions, eligible for compensation. If you registered your Dash through the Sony Essentials website or you are at least able to provide proof of purchase, you will receive a payment of $11.25. If your Dash was turned on and connected to Sony’s servers as of July 12, 2017, the award goes up to $35. To claim your award, fill out this form and send it to the Grisafi legal team before June 1, 2021.
The final approval hearing is scheduled for July 19, 2021, but it is unlikely to see any major changes until then. Maybe the $35 isn’t a satisfactory amount, as it’s only about 18% of the product’s retail price, but it is something. Also, this is a good example to teach all vendors of consumer tech products how not to handle their product support.