Between weak holiday sales and the pending arrival of new models, this an excellent time to haggle with your local electronics store over the price of a new TV. In a normal year, prices dip before the holidays and again before the Super Bowl. This year, with the recession clamping down on bank accounts, nobody’s buying. With new models arriving soon, retailers just want to clear out their showroom space, meaning you can walk in and save a few hundred dollars on that dream set you’ve always wanted.
Sears tried to scare Anthony into buying an unnecessary protection plan several days after he purchased a new plasma tv. The sales rep who called explained that Anthony’s new plasma would need to be recharged every five years, which isn’t true. According to Consumer Reports: “There is no such thing as recharging a plasma TV with new gas. It is sealed at the factory.”
Call it the welcome side of Christmas Creep; manufacturers are discounting LCD and plasma TVs ahead of the traditional year-end holiday sale cluster mess, but you won’t find the best deals in retail stores.
Best Buy, Circuit City, and Sears are all contesting the FCC’s recent fines against them for not properly following analog transition rules in their stores, reports Ars Technica. Last week, Best Buy submitted a 41-page response (PDF) that claimed among other things that the FCC has no authority to fine them.
Anthony paid Circuit City $1,271 for a new 40″ Samsung LN40A550, but what he received was a “scratched up, dinged to hell, beaten and abused FLOOR MODEL OPEN BOX” LN40A330. As a Circuit City employee, Anthony thought exchanging the TV or receiving a refund would be a cinch. Boy, was he wrong.
Dan bought an Aquos LC-32D40U 32″ LCD TV’ and one month out of warranty it developed a thin black line on the right side of the screen. Sharp didn’t want to talk to him. Best Buy wanted to charge him $100 just to come out and look at it. Something had to be done. Dan writes:
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.
They say there’s no new ideas in advertising, but after seeing the latest ripoff routine, where Sony Bravia totally jacked an independent artist team’s work for their new ad, we disagree. They do have one idea. It’s that it’s totally okay to blatantly steal other’s work, repackage it, and get away with it. But we’ve got to wonder, what are these firms thinking? If consumers discover the cut and paste job, isn’t that a pretty negative backwash on the client they’re supposed to be promoting? Or do they figure, hey, it’s just a few thousand internet geeks and artists, they don’t have any money anyways, who cares, let’s snort some more coke off the copying machine glass?
Walmart takes TVs people return and sells them as new, according to this unverified report we received.
J.C.’s TV started flashing black every so often, like a very slow and annoying strobe. His phone calls to his cable service provider, DirecTV, earned him several unfulfilled promises but no results.
God bless this no-nonsense column over at CNNMoney that explains with a minimum of cruft when exactly is the best time to buy everything—if everything is airline tickets, televisions, houses, cars, videogames, and toys. Here’s the bit about airline tickets that you can put in your pocket right now for it is as simple as the organism sure to infect you on your next flight:
For all the seeming complexity that goes into the price of airfare, the answer to when some of the cheapest tickets can be found is surprisingly simple: Wednesday.