Complaint / review text:
I purchased a 42" flat screen Panasonic Plasma television Model #TH-42PX75U at a Brooklyn NY PC Richard and Son store on 11/23/07 at a cost of $696.97 (excluding tax.) The warranty included was 1 yr parts and labor.
On June 19,2010, while watching this television, it suddenly shut off for no apparent reason. After determining that it was definitely a television problem and not a cable problem, I called Panasonic at the number listed on the "Plasma Concierge" card they mailed me shortly after I registered the television purchase. The number listed is 1 800 973-4390. I explained the problem and was asked if the red light was flashing on the television. It was blinking and I was asked to count the number of blinks. I counted 12 blinks and informed the Panasonic rep I was speaking to of this.
As the television was now past the 1 year warranty provided by Panasonic, the rep said she would give me the name of a local repair company. I called the company but had a bad experience with that company which I reported back to Panasonic. (They wanted to take my television after paying them $165 with no estimate of the costs to repair and stating that it would take up to 3 weeks to return my TV).
I refused and asked for my money back. I then called Panasonic back and they gave me a second company to call Advisory TV at 212 243-0786. Once again I was told that a technician would be sent out and I would have to pay $145 plus tax for him to evaluate the problem. I was told I would receive an estimate for the repair and I could decide to repair or not but that the $145 plus tax would not be refunded if I chose not to repair. I said I understood and the technician came to my home. He opened up the back of the television and said that the "A Board" was defective and would need to be replaced.
This was causing the television to shut off as the A Board shuts it down when it sees something wrong going on. I asked how much this would cost. He made a call and gave me an estimate detailing the costs as follows: $225 Labor, $217 for the part, $4 for "other, " $10.00 S/H and the $157.87 evaluation charge for a whopping total of $654.34! The labor charge is the worse part as it probably takes them 10 minutes tops to change the part.
Needless to say, I was shocked beyond words to get such an estimate to fix a 2 and 1/2 year old television. I paid for the evaluation as required but declined to have the repair done. I called Panasonic to discuss this estimate. I told the rep that I felt that Panasonic had given me a television with an "A PC Board" that became defective after only 2 and 1/2 years of use and I asked that they assist with paying for the repair. I was told to fax in a copy of my receipt and the estimate given by Advisory TV.
I received a call back from Reynard today who told me that Panasonic was willing to pay $225 of the repair, leaving me to pay the balance of $429.34 ($157.87 of which I had already paid). I told Reynard that I did not think it was fair to expect that I, as a consumer, be stuck with paying $429.34 for a 2 1/2 year old television because of a defective PC Board (A Board). I informed him that I had an RCA television prior to this television for 20 years and never once needed to call a technician for repair. I do not think it unreasonable to expect that this expensive television should at least function well longer than 21/2 years without a problem!
I also told him I thought this was a rip-off as Panasonic knew exactly what the problem was when they asked me how many times the red light blinked. Why did I have to have an "evaluation" done which I had to pay for before the television was even repaired? I am now out $157.87 and I still have a broken television.
Consumer Affairs, I need your help here. This is a rip-off! I thought Panasonic was a reputable manufacturer but I have found out this is not so. I am certain I am not the only consumer this has happened to. Why would they ask me how many times the red light blinked? They know what it meant and still made me do an evaluation at a cost $157.87. I want everyone to know what a ripoff this is. I am very disappointed with Panasonic's response to this matter.