Aquos LC-32D40U Develops Defect 1 Month Out Of Warranty

A friend of ours bought a Sharp Aquos LC-32D40U last year. Its warranty expired in August. Naturally, this month, it developed a strange liberation. There’s a thin black line on the right side of the screen. It sorta looks like it’s not completely hiding the letter boxes when you go to full screen format. When he called Sharp, they didn’t want to help him because his warranty was over. Best Buy, where he bought it, will charge $100 to come out and look and it.

Our friend asked, how Sharp could, “be ok with a product that craps out after a year, especially such an expensive one? How is that smart for them?”

Well, then they can sell you a new one right after their liability for your old one expires! In our friend’s case, he’s going to pay for the repair as long as it ends up being cheaper than the cost of a new one. Is his story as a reason to get extended warranty protection for higher-end electronics?

For instance, with laptops and computers, extended warranty protection for laptops is a good idea because they’re so expensive and critical. The day your computer’s warranty dies is the day to sell it and get a new one. Otherwise, extended warranties are usually bad. The cost of the repair usually equals the cost of the warranty. Plus, some credit cards, like AMEX, offer built-in extended warranty protection. Consumer Reports felt so strongly that extended warranties were a scam that they took out a full page ad in USA Today warning consumers against them.

RELATED:
American Express Extended Warranty Protection Buys You A New Laptop
Consumer Reports Warns Against Extended Warranties

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. DojiStar says:

    Flat screen tv’s. One of the very few things that Cunsumer reports recommends getting an extended warranty for.

    But I still think Sharp should step up on this one. You buy these items and expect to get years of use out of them not just one. You don’t expect them to develope problems just out of warranty.

  2. missdona says:

    I just bought a Sharp Aquos 46D64U and I bought the 3 year extended warranty from Sharp. sharp’s extended warranty starts the day after the Manufacturer warrnty ends. So, 1 year, Manufacturerer standard + 3 month Aquos Advantage (new program for 42″+ Aquos owners for registering online) + 3 years extended + 1 year from Amex = 5 years and 3 months of warranty.

    These items are too expensive and the technology is too new not to take the warranty.

  3. Ickypoopy says:

    Extended warranties are usually a rip-off. For one, they usually cost an insane amount compared to the cost of the product (often 20% or more of the cost of the product).

    Also, I have seen enough problems trying to use the extended warranties. My brother had an issue with a computer motherboard once. The original board was discontinued, so the store no longer had any in stock. They tried to replace his board with one that supported a different processor (At the time he had a P3 board, and they tried to replace it with something for AMD CPUs). He had to fight tooth and nail for a proper replacement.

    Screw the extended warranty.

  4. tedyc03 says:

    Was your friend wise enough to buy with a credit card? There might be an extended warranty program with that.

  5. stevemis says:

    Any chance he bought the TV with a credit card that doubles the manufacturer warranty? My American Express and a couple of different Visas have this program.

  6. Rubyredgirl says:

    Is there no law in the states that protects consumers against this? In canada there is a consumer protection law that states items must last a “reasonable” amount of time. So for example if you buy a fridge for 2000$, it only has 1 year warrenty, and dies after two years, the company still has to fix it (or you can sue in small claims) because paying 2000$ for a fridge and it breaking in two years is not reasonable.

  7. mantari says:

    I’m actually fine with this story. They have to draw the line _somewhere_. If the warranty is for X days, some things are going to fail at X+1 days, X+2 days, X+3 days… X+30 days… etc.

    No entitlement. That’s just tough luck. :(

  8. SaveMeJeebus says:

    I usually take the warranty for goods like this along with laptops. I’ll stick with the manufacturer offered extensions rather than the retailer’s “free replacement” warranties. I made the mistake of buying store warranty from Ultimate Electronics for a car stereo deck (it was a mistake going there period). I have a coworker that shelled out $600 for a 16G iPod Touch with the Best Buy warranty… why not just get AppleCare and cut out the middleman?

  9. missdona says:

    @SaveMeJeebus:

    Yep. This and laptops, and that’s about it.

  10. NoThru22 says:

    I think this is more of an example of a good time to stick to the better brands when making such big ticket purchases.

    Miss Donna, I’m not sure that’s how the American Express warranty works. Usually, it’ll add a year onto the end of the standard manufacturer’s warranty, up to two years, etc. I don’t think it’ll add on to the end of an extended warranty, but I could be wrong.

  11. Geekybiker says:

    extended warranties are generally a rip off. The company selling them has presumably worked out the odds and know that they’ll make more than they pay out in the end.

    About the only time I would consider one is a newly released product with no history. Especially complex ones with moving parts like new game consoles. First couple months of production are always more problem prone.

  12. Coconut says:

    Hitachi is no different during my warranty period they adjusted my TV twice and shortly after the warranty period I called again and the Blue gun needed to be replaced at 800.00 dollars. They offered no help at all. While some believe extended warranties are not worth it, I totally disagree. after paying 3000.00 for a TV and after a year it does not work properly the extra 20% would have been worth the cost.

  13. babaki says:

    @missdona: bro, your math doesnt add up. just cuz amex gives you a 1 year warranty on purchases doesnt mean its concurrent. the 1 year manufacturer warranty and 1 year amex warranty run together. you dont add them up for 2 years. @mantari: i agree. the warranty was for a year, your product broke after that time period. these happen from time to time. not ever company is out to get you. If you can afford to buy a $2000 tv, it doesn’t hurt to spend the extra 150-200 for the extended warranty, just for piece of mind.

  14. crappedcrusader says:

    If you purchase a TV from Costco (like my Vizio) and it craps out, they’ll take it back more often than not (especially if it has a problem, some people were just trying to “trade-up” perfectly good tvs so they revised their policies) and give you an equivalently priced TV.

    Also, AmEx offers warranties on products, I believe, so if you bought it on that its worth a shot.

  15. RottNDude says:

    Totally off topic, but what is with the new enormous headline font in these articles? It takes up 1/3 of my display.

  16. GiselleBeardchen says:

    Bought HP laptop for son several years ago–paid $200 for Circuit City’s extended warranty. All ports quit working 1 month after MFR warranty ran out. Circuit City denied warranty claim on basis that wireless card had been “forced” into a port. Sent to independant repair shop- diagnosis–bad motherboard–too expensive to fix. Went back to CC–tough cookies. Interestingly they did refund what I paid for warranty, but wouldn’t fix computer. Have spent approx $5000 on electronics since but not a f&ck*ng dime with Circuit City & never will!

  17. forever_knight says:

    this is a stupid story. so let’s get this straight: when a warranty expires, the company should replace it at their expense? it’s all about risk. this person took a risk and it didn’t pay off. it could have lasted 15 years, but it lasted 395 days. it happens.

    get this garbarage off of consumerist. it drags down the legitimate complaints.

  18. yg17 says:

    @Geekybiker: I’m not going to advocate the warranties, I usually don’t buy them myself, but that’s how businesses work. To make more money. You act like they’re evil for it. But it’s just like insurance. If 20 people pay $50 for an extended warranty on an $800 TV, and out of those, only 1 TV breaks and needs replacing, then they’re still ahead 200 bucks. That’s exactly how it’s supposed to work. It’s like car insurance. A bunch of people are paying for it, and then when one person wrecks their car, the money everyone’s paid is there to fix the car.

  19. juri squared says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with the extended warranty on laptops thing. I wear my laptops into the ground and have needed the warranty every time.

  20. missdona says:

    @babaki:

    It’s not “bro” it’s “miss,” it’s right there in my name.

    It does add up, I confirmed with AMEX that their warranty does not kick in until any manufacturer warranty and warranty extentions expire.

  21. Chicago7 says:

    Who has a TV that only has a 1 year warranty, though?

    That should have been a tipoff right there.

  22. missdona says:

    @babaki:

    @NoThru22:

    You’re right, most store-bought warranties run concurrent. These don’t.

    “The 3 Year SHARP Protection Plan extends the product warranty by three years from the expiration date of the full manufacturer’s warranty. At the end of your manufacturer’s warranty term for your particular item, the extended warranty period will automatically begin. For more information on this plan, please review the terms and conditions.”

    [www.sharpusa.com]

    I called to get the precise terms of the AMEX warranty before I made the purchase. It kicks in after the manu. warranty and any purchased extended warranty.

  23. babaki says:

    good luck bro

  24. missdona says:

    Amex’s warranty

    When your covered product’s manufacturer’s warranty expires, the Buyer’s Assurance Plan takes effect. The
    Buyer’s Assurance Plan cannot pay more than the actual amount charged to your Card for the item or $10,000; whichever is less (not to exceed $50,000 per Cardmember account per policy year for all Occurrences combined).

    If you purchase an additional service contract or extended warranty with a product which is otherwise eligible under the Buyer’s Assurance Plan, and the combined coverage provided by both the original manufacturer’s warranty and the purchased service contract does not exceed five years, then the product is eligible for coverage under the Buyer’s Assurance Plan.

    Because the Aquos Advantage (3 months) extends it beyond 5 years, my Amex warranty will only cover 9 months.

    Terms found here:
    [www124.americanexpress.com]

  25. qwickone says:

    The Implied Warranty of Merchantability will warranty you up to 4 years. Look it up. You might need to threaten legal action to get it, but you’re definitely covered under that.

  26. Celeste says:

    Our Panasonic 42″ plasma developed display issues almost exactly one year to the day after the warranty had expired. My husband did a little research and we were pretty sure we knew what part had gone bad, so we called Panasonic customer service to make arrangements for a fix. I guess this is where Sharp and Panasonic were different, though: we called Panasonic, they noted that we were over a year out of warranty so made sure we knew the repair was out of pocket, and within 24 hours we had an authorized repair shop out to pick up the TV. Not only did the shop not dick us around, but when it was done, they returned our TV on a Saturday so we didn’t miss any more football.

    We knew we were taking a risk that we’d have to pay out pocket for repairs if we didn’t buy an extended warranty. We lost the gamble, but I figure if I had purchased it, the TV would have ended up working just fine through the entire period. And Panasonic’s prompt service and professionalism makes it a lot more likely the next TV we buy will be their brand as well.

  27. The Reviewer says:

    This is what started me on my Sony boycott, my wega crapped out 1 month out of warranty. It cost over 700 dollars to fix. Since then I thought about all the Sony crap that has broken or the fucked up things sony has done to people, and never looked back.

  28. douglips says:

    Like acronyms, model numbers are useless without being explained at least once in any story. I had to Google to find out that we were talking about an LCD TV.

    Please consider writing something like ‘A Sharp Aquos LC-32D40U 32″ LCD TV’ at least once so we know what the story is about (and what product to avoid.)

  29. royal72 says:

    “Our friend asked, how Sharp could, be ok with a product that craps out after a year, especially such an expensive one? How is that smart for them?”

    because they make more money that way.

  30. XTC46 says:

    I think Sharp is in the right. They have to set a limit somewhere. The warranty is 1 year, if they bend for 1 year and 1 month, then the next guy will want 1 year and 3 months and so on.

    Should have bought that warranty :)

  31. Brian B says:

    If the problem is bad enough that you can’t live with it, pack up the TV and ship it to Sharp’s USA headquarters.

    Recently, I had a Harman/Kardon DVD player die on me at just under 2 years old (1 year warranty). I shipped it back to them with a letter explaining that I owned several of their products and was greatly disappointed in the DVD player. I don’t typically think of their electronics as disposable.

    The day after the player was received at their New York office, I got an e-mail informing me that a new, upgraded player was on its way to my door… no cost to me.

    It never hurts to ask… as long as you’ve got a legitimate complaint. I tend to think that a one-year life span on a high-end TV is worth complaining about.

  32. mac-phisto says:

    i used to swear that sony imbedded a failchip into their products to make them quit working a day after the warranty expired. call me crazy, but i had about a dozen busted walkmans to prove my case.

    maybe that just wasn’t possible in 1992, but since microcontrollers are like the size of a pencil tip these days, it certainly makes one wonder…

  33. JiminyChristmas says:

    @royal72: How you figure? It’s one of those fool me once, won’t get fooled again situations.

    All Sharp has managed to do is sell this person one cheap, low-quality tv. If this tv is too expensive to repair the customer is likely to: 1)Buy a higher-quality unit next time, 2)and make sure it’s anything but a Sharp.

  34. shawnj says:

    There seems to be a lot of misinformation in the comments section lately.

    “Flat screen tv’s. One of the very few things that Cunsumer reports recommends getting an extended warranty for.”

    I’m not sure which consumer reports you are reading, but CR only recommends people consider extended warranties on Apple laptops and rear-projection TVs.

    Several individuals have stated that the consumer should have purchased a “name brand” TV without realizing that Sharp currently produces some of the best LCD TVs.

    There is just too much preaching to the choir going on.

  35. krisgpindel says:

    The reason that manufacturers only provide a one year warranty because there are so many variables that the consumer’s product can become exposed to that to cover a product any longer would simply be a bad business move. Aside from electromagnetic interference, dust, heat, humidity, and worst of all, the varying power of a household. When manufacturers rate the life span of their products they do so from clean-room testing. This type environment is much different from the one in our homes or workplaces. It’s obvious that if the individual did not purchase a service plan from BestBuy that they would charge him to ship it. Why would they incur their own cost to help someone who did not want a service they offered? The same goes for Sharp, their one year warranty is plastered all over their boxes, manuals, etc. Flat panels tv’s don’t have the same reputation as the CRT’s we’re all used to.

  36. somecop says:

    How is a product that failed after the warranty expired newsworthy?

  37. gruffydd says:

    The markup on extended warranties is usually 50-70%. If you’re going to buy one, bargain for it- Don’t pay full price. And/or use AmEx.

  38. vitonfluorcarbon says:

    I just upgraded to HDTV. I had waited for HD for a long time (cause it was always around th corner) and finally broke down and bought a very high quality Panasonic picture tube Standard Picture TV in 1999. The HDTV I bought is a 37″ Vizio 720p/1080i. It’s cheap (at less than $800) but I figure a) the picture is plenty good, the contrast ratio and brightness more than acceptable b) it does cost soooo much that I won’t feel too bad if I have to replace it in 5 years and c) I’ll be more inclined to upgrade to something else in a shorter period of time knowing I don’t have a small fortune invested in the TV. I also know that if it fails, I can buy a replacement without too much guilt. I did not buy an extended warranty.

    I don’t buy extended warranty on anything. I’m typing this on a new Dell 1501 laptop that I got for less than $500 this summer. It does what I want, and if it lasts for 3 years, I’ll just buy another low end laptop. My last Dell lasted for 4 years and it’s still running.

    Bottom line is that I’m not laying a fortune out, so I’m not so worried about failures. Generally, electronics will fail in the first few months if there is a manufacturing defect. After that, they are generally reliable. I’m willing to take that chance on failure, and I’ve saved enough in not buying warranties to pay for the replacement Laptop or TV if one does fail prematurely. Piece of mind is over-rated in my opinion, but it’s only my opinion. If piece of mind lets you sleep better at night, then more power to you!

    Writing this e-mail probably will cause my TV and laptop to die on the same day next year when they are out of warranty!

  39. parnote says:

    I know this feeling all too well. I have a Sony 46″ Wide Screen HDTV. It is a rear-projection LCD model. It came with a 12 month manufacturer warranty. At 14 months, the optical block went out and had to be replaced. The repair was $1300. Having spent about $2500 for the TV, I wasn’t ready to set it out by the curb after only 14 months. Yet I also didn’t want to spend more on the repair than the cost of a new and comparable HDTV would have cost. The $1300 repair was up to just under that point (yes, the costs of comparable sets had come down in the 14 months since I had purchased my set). I went ahead and agreed to the repair, since either way, I was out a similar amount of money either way. As hard as the salesman pushed, I did not (nor do I usually) purchase the extended warranty, since previous journeys down that path have proved to be a huge waste of money that added HUGE dollars in profit to the retailer. Admittedly, this time I was kicking myself for NOT purchasing the extended warranty, as that would have cost significantly less than the cost of this repair.

  40. IndyJaws says:

    @Chicago7: Standard warranty on the vast majority of television sets is 90 days labor/1 year parts. How is a 1 year warranty a tipoff of a poor set?

  41. Chicago7 says:

    @IndyJaws:

    I guess I just buy better stuff than most people =:o

    Most TVs I’ve seen have 3 year warranties, especially the top tier priced TVs. This isn’t K-Mart – this is a $2000 item.

  42. nrfx01 says:

    @DojiStar: Interestingly CR only recomends the extended warranty on rear projection televisons. Explicitly NOT on flat screens in the last tv issue..

  43. hilllbillle says:

    my wifes sharp laptop didn’t even make the year warranty. they had no intention of fixing it from the beginning. instead of checking the serial ## to find it was part of the lot they sold on ubid… we were told to get a receipt($$ to ubid), then, after sending them the defective unit they immediately claimed “liquid spill” over a bad light in the monitor?!! offered to install a new motherboard for approx$1,700 in a $600 computer. tried to get us to pay $50 to get back a laptop with a very dim screen…informed us that sharp doesn’t sell laptops in USA anymore…so they have no interest in preserving their “image”. does anyone have contact info on anyone in authority at sharp electronics?