01-11-2013 07:48 PM - last edited on 01-11-2013 08:00 PM by LizR
01-09-2013 12:29 PM
I purchased a TV from Best Buy in Ottawa in December 2009 (Samsung UN55B600 55" LED/LCD – paid over $2,100.00 for just the TV), I finally caved in and spent over $400.00 on a 4-year extended warranty plan. The pushy salesperson (funny, Best Buy TV ads say the exact opposite about their sales staff) said that it was worry-free, in-house warranty: “If we can’t fix it in 5 weeks, you get a new TV, sir!”.
Recently, I noticed a disturbing trend: I get "spotlighting" on my TV whenever there are dark scenes. And when it's dark out (low ambient lighting), the problem is multiplied.
When the technician finally came out, he did nothing: he asked me to show him the problem, and I did. I even covered up the windows some dark sheets and blankets, and the problem revealed itself even more. I told him that at night, it gets even worse. His ONLY diagnostic tool that he had was his blackberry phone that he used to take pictures. He didn't even load up a test pattern - or test colours to see create a baseline image for comparison.
He told me to send him pictures of the problem because his camera phone doesn't take good pictures (note: just who are these "technicians" that show up with no tools?). I assumed the tools would have been a test picture with a screen-mounted sensor that is used for calibration. He had nothing with him.
His advice: take pictures that evening, and send them to his yahoo e-mail (very professional...) because his boss would reject any recommendation to repair this TV, and that the pictures would help me in convincing him to actually allow my TV to be repaired - you have no idea how this made me feel as a business man that has customers that have extended warranty plans with him.
I took the pictures that evening, and then I duplicated each one so that they had the image, and then the same image with arrows pointing to the problem areas. I sent them the next morning at 7:00 AM - he told me that if he didn't receive the pictures within 48 hours, the case would be closed. I have not received any undeliverable messages since then, so I must conclude that he received the e-mails.
Note: there was a snow storm coming in that afternoon, and he was very interested in getting back to the office – seamed more interested in that than doing any actual work.
This was last week: I called this morning to find out what the status was. After being on hold for a few minutes, I got to speak to a person from Geeksquad. After a few more minutes, I the person tells me the technician’s notes says there was no problem with the television! I then asked to speak to a manager (I was hoping SOMEONE from Bestbuy), and after 15 -20 minutes of being on hold, I ended up with someone from Assurant Solutions, the underwriters of this extended warranty plan. After being on the phone for a total of 55 minutes, we now have another technician that will be sent here to look at the problem.
After I called Best Buy to complain, and they made another appointment with another company. After not hearing from them for 3 days (they claim Best Buy never sent them an e-mail - maybe it's true and Best Buy is doing this on purpose), I called Best Buy again to see what is going on. They transferred the call to another local repair company. After talking with the woman, we agreed that to make things happen faster, I sent them the pictures I took (like the one linked above). Later on I got this e-mail: "
1) this is getting worse, and your subcontractor is basically calling me a liar! It was imperceptible when I purchased the TV in 2009, and it just got very bad lately.
2) I would NEVER have paid $2600.00 plus 13% taxes for a TV that looked like that. To claim that I would purchase a TV that looked as bad as this is ludicrous!
01-11-2013 08:23 PM
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01-12-2013 07:50 AM - last edited on 01-12-2013 08:32 AM by Sylvain
somehting happened where the contents of the e-mail are missing:
I will review this images bit more but “light Leakage “ effect is not considered defect in “edge led” back light technology.
I do understand you as customer but we see this every day under manufacture warranty and manufactures are not taking any action for this. This is normal as per them. We can still come to your house and see it but I will make report to Extended warranty that it is not a defect. All policies under warranty are just transferred to extended warranty.
This effect was there from day one that you have this tv and do not get worst. It is part of back light design.
So in effect, he is calling me a liar! I explained in great detail that this has been getting very bad lately. This problem was imperceptible in the beginning: I would have returned the set if this was the case. It manifested itself a little bit over the years, but in the past 6 months, it has gotten a LOT worse. The area of effect hast tripled, and if this continues, I will no longer be able to see anything during dark scenes. Isn't this what these sets were supposed to be good at (creating the colour black)?
What you may not know is that this TV was professionally calibrated, and had drop-jaw pictures when I bought it. It no longer looks anywhere near as good.
Coincidentally, the owner of the company called this morning, and is still claiming that I am lying. He never used those words, but he said that "you changed your story 3 times" when referring to this TV having the problem from the day I bought it. I told him that the problem was imperceptible - he took that as me admitting that I saw the problem from Day One. So now I have to explain to a technician what the word "imperceptible" means? If I can't see it, but it's there (according to some technical bulletin he supposedly has from Samsung), was it actually there? So if someone says it wasn't there, then says it was imperceptible, then says it wasn't there: are they changing their story?
He just called back again asking me to look for some version code of my TV. This is incredulous: he is denying me a service to repair my TV, calling me a liar, then he wants me to look at my TV so I can give him a version code, just so he can send a report back to Best Buy denying my claim. I told him to ask the other company that came over for that information since he is not willing to perform any kind of service.
So what is the deal here? Are we dealing with a rip-off? Is it OK for a retailer to say "we have this bulletin from the manufacturer that says this is a problem that they are not going to fix, and therefor we won't fix it either"? Is it OK to imply that a customer is lying? Where does the burden of proof lie? I asked for the bulletin, and he denied it saying this was only given to "authorized service centres". But when I called the manufacturer (Samsung Canada), they said there was nothing inherently wrong with this technology nor this specific model. So the manufacturer says there is nothing wrong, their own website has nothing on this matter, no technical bulletin from the manufacturer is provided as evidence of this, but it's OK to not honour the warranty.
A note about the extended warranty and how it is sold: the sales people are VERY pushy: I was asked 6 times before accepting. And every time the main points they stress are:
1) worry-free for the 4 years of coverage
2) in-house repairs
3) if they can't fix it in 6 weeks, they will replace it. <--- this point was THE MOST stressed by the sale staff.
So, I hope you forgive me for my tone here, but when I am called a liar (by deduction), and then denied what I believe is a service that I paid for (and handsomely, at that), then this is how I react.
what would you do???
01-12-2013 06:05 PM
this is a common problem with all samsung led tvs even the newest top of the line models 7100 and 8000 models have this issue so its not a defect with the tv its the way samsung makes the tvs and has nothing to do with the warrenty service from best buy
01-13-2013 09:28 AM
I'm going to assume you cut out a zero. I've been using Samsung's product archives to try to find a UN55B600, and I haven't had any success. Three digit models from them also tend to be CCFL backlit - since you've said your unit is edge-lit LED, I'm assuming it's the UN55B6000.
I'm not a technician, so I won't speak to what's going to be repairable or not, but I do know that as TVs break in, their picture tends to change. Major sites like cnet will do reviews several months after their initial one in an attempt to discuss what's happened to the picture quality over time. Since I've already mentioned cnet, I think it's worth stating that their reviews for the 6000 series mention that there are picture uniformity issues due to the backlighting - specifically, they mention that it gets particularly bad on dark scenes (although they don't mention anything about the lighting levels in the room). While I hate to say it about a high-end TV, I'm guessing that this 'problem' isn't a defect, but rather a result of the TV image changing due to three years of use.
Quoted directly from cnet's review of the UN55B6000: "In dark areas and letterbox bars, the 6000's corners and the right side appeared brighter than the rest of the screen... In gray fields,... we noticed more brightness variations across the screen, including a darker area across the top and subtle brighter splotches elsewhere."