Joshua has only had his Panasonic 3-D plasma TV for six months, so it’s still well within the initial one-year warranty. It’s developed a strange problem where one particular area of the screen glows bright green, flickers, and is hot to the touch. Once Panasonic was able to find someone on staff capable of viewing the YouTube video he sent in as evidence, they ultimately concluded that a hot flickering pixel is not covered by the warranty. Really? Somehow, he expected more after dropping $1,500 on a TV.
I just wanted to let you guys know how horrible Panasonic’s customer service is. I’m in the process of attempting to fix an issue that recently developed with my 6 month old TC-P55ST30 plasma television.
Basically, my plasma recently developed an “excited” green pixel that has decided it wants to be a spastic strobe light green color forever. It loves to turn off/on constantly and will fluctuate brightness with darker colors. It also tends to remain on with lighter colors (although it will occasionally dim/flicker as well). The area of the screen where the pixel is located is hotter than the rest of the screen. It’s noticeable to the touch anyways. I need to get an infrared or laser thermometer to confirm, but I had a buddy double check my findings by having him touch the screen – the area where the pixel is located is hotter than every other part of the screen.
I originally scheduled a service call with their “Concierge” department last Saturday. All was well (appointment was confirmed, got a call from the field tech) until I got a call Monday stating they were putting the call on hold until I submitted more evidence. I immediately dropped what I was doing, took a video of the issue, and sent it to Panasonic immediately per their request. I didn’t hear back from them until Friday because apparently they don’t know how to easily open a YouTube link (the ticket was being bounced through escalation hell until someone figured out how to view it). When they finally reviewed the video, they decided that they were NOT going to send a technician out to evaluate the issue because it’s not covered by the warranty. I was beyond frustrated at this point and I let them know it.
I “nicely” explained to them that this is an issue that had developed during the warranty period, was not simply a “lit or dead” pixel (it’s an “Excited Pixel” – it’s a makeshift term for this type of issue on a Plasma from what information I mustered up on the internet) which they “claim” to not cover (although the warranty I have does not state any pixel issue is excluded) , and the screen in that area is notably hotter to the touch in the area where the issue is occurring. I told them that I don’t know what the issue is exactly, I don’t know if it’s a symptom of a bigger problem (is the TV going to catch on fire or short out?), and the least they could do was send out a technician to VERIFY what I was trying to report to them and figure out how to proceed. After days of torment they finally managed to schedule an “evaluation” of the TV. I’m waiting on the finalization of that as I type this.
Honestly, I wouldn’t be upset if the pixel was green for a few days and simply died – 1 dead pixel isn’t a big deal to me. The fact that this issue developed 6 months after purchasing the TV is annoying, the fact that the “excited” pixel(s) are flashing/fluctuating like a green strobe light and WON’T STOP is frustrating, and the fact that Panasonic wants to drag their feet through the entire process is infuriating.
I’ve never seen a company so belligerent to honor their own warranty. I spent $1,500 on their product – the LEAST they could do is make sure it’s not defective for a year.
Here the exact warranty that applies to the TV in question. [PDF download.]
Do you see anything that mentions pixels being “excluded” from the warranty? Me either.
At only six months after purchase, Joshua should check with both the retailer where he bought the set (if it wasn’t directly from Panasonic) and the issuer of the credit or debit card that he may have used to purchase it. (If he’s very lucky, he purchased it using an AmEx card from Costco, both of which are companies known for helping out customers when manufacturers drag their feet on honoring warranties.