Sanyo’s Tech Support Will Read Your TV Manual To You Until You Hang Up

Renato bought a 50″ Sanyo LCD TV at Walmart with the understanding that he’d be able to use a DVI adapter and the audio port instead of the HDMI port that his computer doesn’t have. This would have been true had the TV’s audio port been working. He called Sanyo’s tech support for help, only to discover that their tech support staff knew less than he did about how audio and video ports work. They were, however, pretty good at reading the manual.

To be fair, some technical problems arise because customers haven’t read the manual. That wasn’t the case for Renato.

I bought a Sanyo 50″ LCD TV and I tried to use it but soon after plugging it, I found out that the TV has problems.

I bought the TV to use it as a monitor for my desktop PC, however my PC does not have an HDMI port and only uses DVI ports. I read the manual and it said that it did support DVI if I used an adapter connected to the HDMI port 1 which has the 3.5mm audio port in case somebody only has DVI ports. It said to use HDMI port 1 along with the audio port when I connected the DVI adapter for the sound to work. I did, and the sound doesn’t come through.

I researched the problem online and there are no steps to address this, so I decided to call Sanyo’s Technical Support. First time I called, after 15 minutes waiting to get a representative, the guy answers and says “Alo Alo, I can’t hear you? Please call back” and hanged up. I thought, well… it could be a legit excuse that he couldn’t hear me. So I called a second time (another 15 minutes), and got a different rep, this time the guy could hear me, but he was unwilling to help and obviously didn’t know a single thing about the HDMI and DVI cables, much less the 3.5mm audio cable. He was reading the manual to me, and every 30 seconds would tell me to wait so he could read again. I said sure, since I needed help.

I explained my problem and told him that since I don’t have an HDMI cable, I wanted to use a DVI adapter along with the audio cable in order to pass sound from my PC to the TV, and I explained that after troubleshooting I was completely sure the audio port didn’t work at all. He said that I could not use a DVI cable with the adapter, at the point that I read to him the section marked with NOTE from the TV manual where it says I could use a DVI cable with an audio cable. He continued to say no and told me that I don’t understand what a DVI or an HDMI cable do, and that I needed to buy an HDMI port for my computer in order to use the TV.

As a person that works for the Information Technology Services at [my college], I told him that I understand perfectly what a DVI, an HDMI and a audio cable do and can’t do. He then continued reading and after a minute of silence he says that I needed an HDMI along with an audio cable and not a DVI along with the audio cable. At this point I got frustrated because he obviuosly didn’t know what he was talking about. I asked him why would I need an audio cable with the HDMI if I had HDMI capacity? The HDMI itself can use sound, and since I don’t have an HDMI port, that was the reason I need to use a DVI adapter with the audio cable.

He continued to tell me that I was wrong, and then said that since I didn’t have a problem with the TV, that if I would mind that he placed me back on the queue because he had other customers waiting to receive help. I said of course not. I need my problem fixed or I am sending the TV back. I don’t need a TV that doesn’t work properly and the audio port of this TV doesn’t work. He then said okay, and hanged up the phone call.

I called a third time (another 15 minutes waiting to get a rep), and the third agent did know what the HDMI, DVI and the audio cable do. He did try to help me and went with the troubleshooting process with me in order to come to the conclusion, that yes, I have a TV that has a bad (not working) audio port under the HDMI port 1 section. He then told me to take it back to Walmart where I bought it.

My complaint is that the Technical Support for Sanyo is very bad and I couldn’t get any help. The only help “I received” was when the last guy said yes, you should take it back because you are right. The TV’s audio port is not working properly.

Well, the best advice Renato got came from the last technical support representative, who told him to bring the TV back to Walmart. It’s obviously defective. It sounds like Sanyo needs some new departments within their tech support: “Reading your manual to you” could be a new premium service offered to particularly dense customers.

If your problem with Sanyo isn’t solved as easily, try calling up their headquarters and asking for the CEO. Be polite, concise, and firm, in the hopes of getting transferred to executive customer service.