Sunday, June 26, 2005

My experience with my Panasonic CT-27HL14

This is the review I just posted over at Amazon for my crappy TV. Here's hoping it gets picked up by a few search engines.

To make a long story short, this TV died on me in less than a year. It turns out that something is wrong inside the picture tube, and it must be replaced. Looking here, this seems to be a common problem. The tube itself is under warranty, but the authorized repair shop is so far away, and the labor costs are so high, that repairing it is not cost-effective and it's a giant paperweight after only eleven months of ownership.

The only authorized repair place is fifty miles away, and there's is no way I can transport this on my own. After spending about $200 on a diagnostic and travel for the repair technician, I find out that the total repair cost to fix the TV will be $450, about the replacement cost.

Panasonic customer support is *horrible.* I spent weeks trying to get someone there to help me. Three times I was told that my issue had to be forwarded to a "field service technician," and that he would be contact me within 24 to 48 hours. No one ever did. Only two months later was I finally able to get someone to help me. Panasonic has an "unsatisfactory" rating at the Better Business Bureau.

So now I'm going to go buy a Sony. I'm sure it and I will be very happy together.

The frustrating part is that I strongly suspect Panasonic knows there is a flaw with this model. Of the ten reviews posted at Amazon, six of them describe almost this exact same problem. Now I realize that only people really happy or really unhappy are going to go to the trouble of reviewing something, but the fact that there are so many, nearly-identical problems reported is suspicious at best. And the first review tech I spoke to said that they've been seeing a lot of problems with Panasonic picture tubes.

UPDATE: Are you coming here because you've had a problem with this same TV model? Leave a comment, please.


Vogue said...

It's very sad that a company can be so irresponsible and it means nothing in this day and age. The prevailing attitude seems to be that it's "par for the course" and "shit happens". It makes me wonder if people had these sorts of problems in earlier times when stores were owned by only a few people at most. I also wonder when customer satisfaction became unimportant as a goal.

Mike said...

And Panasonic used to be such a good name.

davexnet said...

I've been using mine heavily for
4 years now, and it's still working.

The sound quality is poor, while the
picture is somewhat shadowy and
a little fuzzy.

It's moot now because of it's age,
but I would not have recommended this
TV at all - the PQ problems
are quite frustrating.

davexnet said...

This is a follow up post. My TV
is *still* going strong.
It's developed a very slight vertical
linearity problem (about 1/2 inch
on the far right) but it's hardly
noticeable - you can only see it when
something moves over the right border
- you'll notice a very slight "crush"

The picture color, brightness range,
focus and sharpness are still very good. Some of the picture problems
in the past were down to a poor signal from the cable box,
I'm convinced of it.