Now From Panasonic: The Disposable Plasma TV Set

Now From Panasonic: The Disposable Plasma TV Set

Kevin spent a lot of money on a plasma TV from Panasonic just a few short years ago. Like many consumers, he assumed that the company would support a product that cost four figures for more than a year. Sure, someone who can afford a home 3D system can probably afford to hire a repair technician to come out with the capacitor needed to make the set actually turn on, but should they have to? Kevin doesn’t think so. [More]

(Great Beyond)

Nintendo Scratches My 3DS And Loses Data During Repair, Shrugs

Initially, Shawn thought that Nintendo had done a really great job repairing his 3DS. The control pad was working nicely. Only something wasn’t right: the pouch was missing where the SD memory card should have been. There was also a scratch on the device that hadn’t been there before. Cards themselves are cheap: it’s the data that’s irreplaceable, and that’s already gone. So what’s Shawn so upset about? Mostly that no one at Nintendo will admit that anything went wrong. [More]

(J.G. Park)

Maytag Repair Bumbling Leaves Us Without Fridge For Five Weeks

Kristine’s family has managed for a month without a refrigerator. Sure, if you’re a single person who subsists on takeout, that’s not so hard. Try being a family with small children and eating out of an ice chest for more than a month…starting just after Thanksgiving [More]

(Marianne O’Leary)

DirecTV’s Technicians Are Great, Their Scheduling System Is Not So Great

Karen thinks that the technicians who come to service her DirecTV system are competent, professional, and just great. She has no complaints. Her problem is with the system that schedules them and gets them to her house. Well, the system is supposed to get them to her house. In practice, it just tells her that they’re supposed to come to her house, and she sort of crosses her fingers and hopes that they show up. [More]

(tsorningold)

The Samsung Repairman, Like The Great Pumpkin, Never Came On Halloween

On Halloween night, the Samsung repairman rises out of the potato field and delivers working televisions to all of the couch potatoes of the world. He chooses only the most sincere couch potatoes; those who wait patiently for his arrival and keep the faith that he truly will come. Reader Joe, the most sincere couch potato of all, waited all night for the Samsung repairman to arrive and fix his television’s faulty capacitor. But the Samsung repairman never came. [More]

Yes, Televisions Are Pretty Much Disposable Now

It seems like an ancient, lost world now, but there was once a time when people bought electronics or appliances, and when they broke down, they hired someone to repair the item and kept using it. This may not sound weird and obsolete to you or to me or to reader Donna. Toshiba, on the other hand, certainly thinks that it’s not worthwhile to repair the television that she paid $1,800 for in 2007. She doesn’t want anything for free, and is willing to pay for parts and repair. Only the needed part isn’t available from Toshiba, or from anyone. [More]

Michael Dell Replaces High-End Laptop Previously "Fixed" With Black Marker, Crumbs

Michael Dell Replaces High-End Laptop Previously "Fixed" With Black Marker, Crumbs

Jeremy’s 3D Alienware gaming laptop from Dell didn’t work right from its first bootup. It had blue screens of death and the video card needed swapping out. When he sent it in for repair, he got it back with crumbs in the keys, and a crack on the side someone tried to hide with black marker. When we posted his story on Consumerist, we gave him CEO Michael Dell’s email address to go tell his story. Now Jeremy writes that after he emailed Mr. Dell, the CEO intervened and made sure Jeremy got a brand-new laptop, along with a free memory and CPU upgrade. [More]

How To Beat HDTV "Customer Service"

How To Beat HDTV "Customer Service"

If your HDTV set is malfunctioning you follow the advice most HDTV manufacturers put on their website, you can actually end up screwing yourself. Surprise, surprise. Here’s what you should do instead. [More]

Reader Saves $400 Using YouTube To Fix Her Washer

Reader Saves $400 Using YouTube To Fix Her Washer

The fable goes that the nice white-haired appliance guys are a dying breed and they’re way better than their outsourced, van-driving, retail store counterparts. But sometimes the local guy is just as bad as the guy in the store wearing the official colored shirt. When her Kenmore model 417 front-loading washer went bust-o, Jane discovered she was able to save $400 in repair costs by learning how to fix it herself from Youtube videos. [More]

Instead Of Fixing His Computer, Sony Sends Him 7 Other Customers' Broken Ones

Instead Of Fixing His Computer, Sony Sends Him 7 Other Customers' Broken Ones

A man was waiting for Sony to send him a box and a shipping label so he could send his laptop off for repair. Instead, he got sent broken computers from seven other Sony customers. [More]

How Our AT&T U-Verse Outage Lasted 5 Days Longer Than It Should Have

How Our AT&T U-Verse Outage Lasted 5 Days Longer Than It Should Have

Ron has his AT&T U-Verse cable TV, Internet access, and phone lines working now, but only after spending most of the past week fighting with AT&T. He could have had access back on Saturday, the very first day of the outage, but an AT&T rep told him that sending a tech out to him on a Saturday was impossible. It’s not. They shipped a replacement for his malfunctioning gateway out via UPS. It got lost. Ron is frustrated, because he likes U-Verse. When it works. [More]

Alienware Laptop "Fixed" With Black Marker, Food Crumbs

Alienware Laptop "Fixed" With Black Marker, Food Crumbs

Jeremy’s 3D Alienware gaming laptop from Dell hasn’t worked right from its first bootup. It had blue screens of death and the video card needed swapping out. Then when he sent it in for repairs, he got it back with food crumbs between the keys. The side panel was also cracked, and someone had tried to hide the crack by coloring it in with black marker. [More]

Irene Knocked My Neighbor's Tree On My Deck, But He's Run
Away From His Foreclosure

Irene Knocked My Neighbor's Tree On My Deck, But He's Run Away From His Foreclosure

Irene blew a listing tree onto Brian’s property from his neighbor’s yard, smashing both his deck and fence. A seeming wrinkle is that his neighbor has long ago skipped town, leaving behind his foreclosed house with its drowsy trees untended. Brian wants to know how he can track the guy down, private eye style, and get reimbursed for the tree removal. [More]

Dyson Fixed My 5-Year-Old Vacuum For Free Without Receipt

Dyson Fixed My 5-Year-Old Vacuum For Free Without Receipt

As anyone who ever looked at the price tag on a Dyson knows, the vacuum cleaner company charges a premium for its devices. But for Consumerist reader Matt, his recent customer service experience with Dyson has him believing the high sticker price was worth the investment. [More]

Figure Out Which Model This Maytag Oven Is

Figure Out Which Model This Maytag Oven Is

Timothy, as he describes it, is in a pickle. His Maytag oven started flashing “F5″ and turning itself off whenever he turned it on. When the Maytag guy came over, he couldn’t figure out which model number it was and so he couldn’t repair it. “He asked for $130 for this useful piece of service, which I refused,” writes Timothy. Can you, dear Consumerist reader, identify which model this Maytag oven is? UPDATE: 13 minutes later, one reader thinks she has the answer. [More]

Man Gets Freezer Burned On Defective Maytag Fridge

Man Gets Freezer Burned On Defective Maytag Fridge

Frank has had to use up five days of timeoff because of his leaky new Maytag fridge that they just can’t seem to ever repair correctly. Like when he told them to bring out the UV light since the last tech had installed a dye so you could find leaks. The rep said oh yeah, we’ll make a note of that. Then the guy shows up with only a mulitimeter and says, hm, we’re going to have to send another guy out here with more tools. No kidding! [More]

Man Uses Consumerist Tips To Gets Xbox Repaired For Free

Man Uses Consumerist Tips To Gets Xbox Repaired For Free

Reader Ben was sad. His Xbox was doing the ol’ Red Ring of Death. He thought that was quits for his trusted gaming companion but then he started doing some research on Consumerist. Perusing our archives, he realized from some of our old posts that included in the price of the repair to the machine he had done not too long ago was a one-year warranty extension. Huzzah! Here’s what he did next: [More]

Toshiba Won't Repair Faulty Hard Drive Because You Sharpied "Faulty" On It

Toshiba Won't Repair Faulty Hard Drive Because You Sharpied "Faulty" On It

Chris was fixing his neighbor’s Toshiba laptop when he discovered that the hard drive was defective. Just like how he does at his job where he is a professional computer technician, he wrote “FAULTY X” on it to indicate it shouldn’t be used again. When he sent the computer, which was still under its 1-year warranty period, in to Toshiba, he was dismayed by the reply he got back. They refused to replace the hard drive because “the label was written/torn” and “Toshiba does not cover the cost for this type of damage.” Now they $417.58 for the repair. [More]