A few weeks ago my 7Hi contracted the ubiquitous CCD failure disease. Given the age of the camera I was hesitant to request "free" service from Sony to correct the problem. However I forged ahead using the Sony Service web site for the entire transaction.
Long story short, total turnaround time-including shipping-was less than 2 weeks and Sony picked up the shipping both directions. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear they peeled the SN sticker off my old 7Hi and fixed it to a brand new camera because I don't think it looked this good when brand new. The EVF image is sharper than ever before and tele macro shots are crystal clear. All at no charge.
I'm not particularly interested in the "who knew what and when" issues of the CCD failures. However, this level of customer service is almost unheard of in today's "sell it and forget it" approach to marketing.
Many thanks to the folks at Sony.