How long could your household go without a television? It depends on how many people are there, what you watch, what time of year it is, how the weather is, and whether or not it’s Christmas break and your kids are home from school. That’s the case for Roman’s family, cord cutters who are cut off from television content. Last Black Friday, Roman got a Vizio 3D smart TV from Walmart. Just under a year later, the set doesn’t work. That’s okay, though: he bought the extended warranty. The repair service set up an appointment, then just didn’t show after Roman took a day off work and waited around for them. Why? They didn’t have the part he needed in stock.
So my saga started on 12/16/12 when my 42” Vizio 3DTV decided to stop working. We are a cable free home which is why I went with this particular model with apps, so I purchased this TV last Black Friday. It was around 20 days out of the factory warranty. Lucky for me (or so I thought) I had purchased the extended warranty through Walmart.
12/16/12 I decided to try Vizio first to see if they had any sort of grace period due to the holidays, but of course they don’t. Then I called the Walmart extended warranty number 877-968-6391. I explained what was going on with the TV and scheduled an appointment to have the repair service they use ITI to come out on Friday 12/21. I scheduled the day off of work as I have three kids and 5 days without TV makes for a crazy household. I was told a repair person would be at my house between 8-12am.
12/19/12 I receive a call from ITI to ask me about my TV. I explain the problem to them and they confirm the Friday appointment.
12/21/12 I waited on the repair person, but they never came. Around two hours after my time window I call the warranty company to see what happened. They informed me that parts were ordered by the repair center on 12/19, and that they were waiting on them and that is why no one showed up for my appointment. I asked why I wasn’t told about this so I didn’t wait all day for no reason. I was told simply I don’t know, but I would be contacted within 24 hours to resolve the issue.
12/22/12 After not receiving my call back I placed another call to the extended warranty number. They inform me that my issue has been forwarded to the management staff and that they don’t work on weekends. Then I am told I will receive a call back Monday 12/24. I doubted this since it was Christmas Eve, but was assured it would happen.
12/26/12 Never received my promised call back again, so I initiated another call. I was told that they contacted the service center and would be contacting me when they had more information. At 2:51 pm I receive the first follow up call that wasn’t initiated by me from ITI. They inform me that the parts are on backorder and that their vendor doesn’t have any idea when the parts will be available. I contact the extended warranty company again. They tell me that I have to wait for the repair company to get the parts in no matter how long it takes because they can’t replace the TV unless it is not repairable. I inform them that it could be weeks or months before the parts are off of back order. They then tell me that I’ll just have to wait. I ask to speak to a supervisor. The supervisor regurgitates the same information and assures me that I won’t have to wait months for resolution, but refuses to give me a time table as to what would we considered an unreasonable amount of time.
So I already missed the the Christmas Story marathon, and with new years right around the corner I’m afraid I’m going to miss the ball drop to…
Wait, how does a home without cable watch the Christmas Story marathon? It’s too bad that the warranty company doesn’t cover the cost of a TV rental in the interim.