I Paid $2000 For A Stupid TV That Lasted Two Years

I feel a certain kinship with Alan. Two years ago, both of us purchased HDTVs made by Vizio. Both of us bristled at the idea of buying an extended warranty for an electronic device that really shouldn’t be disposable. Both sets are out of warranty, but mine still works (for now) and Alan’s has black horizontal streaks running across the screen. A warranty’s a warranty, but he wonders: did he really just pay $1,000 per year for the privilege of owning a TV?

I purchased a 55inch Vizio TV two years ago. The TV has developed dozens of dark transverse lines across the screen. Vizio refuses to do anything about it.

At almost $2,000 that means television has cost me $1,000 a year. No I didn’t get an extended warranty. And why should I have to pay more to make sure their product works as advertised? The television has never been abused is on a surge protector. In an adult home with no children. There is no reason for it to malfunction other than poor construction.

The help department has been anything but helpful. The tech department has no solutions. Now I have a 55inch piece of garbage.

Folks don’t buy a Vizio unless you want a piece of junk that the company won’t fix or support. Multiple emails and pictures get nothing but robo responses about turning off the TV and and repowering. Of course I’ve done that. These lines have nothing to do with that. They look like water tracks except they are on the inside of the screen.

Bad company, bad service actually no service. Buy at your own peril. And for those of you who say get an extended warranty. Why? Shouldn’t a product that expensive work for longer than 2 years without protection money?


Edit Your Comment

  1. Cat says:

    Warranty is 12 months, I blame the OP. Perhaps if it was bought with a credit card that doubled the warranty…

    Also, there is this: Disposable TVs: Vizio Tells Owners Their Sets Are Un-repairable –

    • Youngfrankenstein says:

      But blame him for what? You have to admit this is crummy all around. I really doubt that any of us buying a $2000 TV would just shrug 2 years later when it breaks.

      • JJFIII says:

        When a company tells you UPFRONT, we will only stand behind this product for 12 months, and you CHOOSE to take that risk and not buy the extended warranty, who is to blame? Certainly not Vizio, who said in black and white, we warrant this for 1 year. His argument could hold some merit if it were 12 months and one day old, but he is twice as long as they promised it was contracted to last.
        My car has a 36k mile warranty on it. Would you expect Honda to repair my car after 72,000 miles? I wouldn’t.

        • Cleo256 says:

          I would expect Honda to let me pay for a repair to my car after 2 years. If the TV can be repaired, then this guy has no case. If no one will repair it, then it’s totally right and proper to trash the manufacturer all over the Internet.

          • Jawaka says:

            What if it was 2 years old with 72,000 miles?

            Out of warranty means out of warranty.

      • jimbo831 says:

        I blame him for expecting to get a warranty repair after his warranty is expired. It’s not like this was a week after, it was a whole year after.

        Also, let’s not pile on Vizio because of this. Electronics fail, and this one example doesn’t mean VIzio is unreliable. The author’s Vizio still works fine. I have one that is 4+ years old that still works fine. I bet I can find people who had a TV made from Sony, LG, Samsung, or any other company break at some point. Doesn’t mean the company makes crap. I buy my TVs from Costco, I get a 2 year no questions asked warranty with every one for free.

    • vastrightwing says:

      I won’t blame the OP, but this is why I refuse to pay more than $1,000 for a TV. I just won’t do it. I bought an outdated Plasma 720 50″ for $750 and when that sucker breaks, I’ll throw it away. I don’t believe in extended warranties because every time I’ve tried to make a claim, I get denied. So warranties are useless for me.

      My advice? Buy an outdated bargain priced TV that you won’t feel ripped off when you have to replace it 1 month after the warranty expires.

      • Lt. Coke says:

        This. Everything is made cheap these days, from the low-end models to the most expensive products. There is absolutely no incentive for many products to buy the most expensive version – it won’t last any longer, and any extra features it may have can be had for less. Brand loyalty means nothing anymore (not that it was worth much in the past.) Stay lower-mid-range everything, and it will work out better in the mid-run.

        In the long run, invest in cardboard houses, the market for those bastards is going to be tough the way things are going.

    • Jawaka says:

      I agree. Just another case of consumerism entitlement.

      Should it have lasted more than 2 years? Sure but shit happens. That’s why retailers sell those extended warranties that everyone says is such a waste of time and money.

  2. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Suggestion for future large purchases: Find a credit card that automatically extends a warranty. Appliances have a tendency to fail just after a warranty expires for a reason: they’re often designed to.

    My card grants my 1 extra year, plus the option to purchase more years at a very nominal cost. Usually at least half the cost of an in-store warranty, and in-store warranties often say 5 years but the coverage includes years that are already covered by the manufacturer.

    • George4478 says:

      I typically use my Amex for electronics purchases for this reason. A few months ago my Bluray player broke. I contacted Amex and gave them the purchase information and the case number of my technical support call to the manufacturer (in case they needed to confirm the player was toasted)

      Amex refunded my money in 2 days and I had my replacement player a couple days later.

      Break-to-warranty-replacement took less than a week. I was amazed.

      • tundey says:

        I can attest to that. I once had a laptop die on me. I called AMEX and they refunded the purchase price relatively quickly. Now I do anything to ensure my electronics (and pretty much everything else) is bought on my AMEX.

  3. Beave says:

    I’ve had very good luck with Vizio, but my set was still under warranty. You always have the option of getting it fixed and seeing if they’ll help foot some of the bill, but that’s risky in today’s era of throw-away electronics.

    • Papa Midnight says:

      I have no problem with Vizio myself. I bought a refurbished 42″ VU42LFHDTV (1080p set with an 8ms response time) off of NewEgg (http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E16889262014) back in 2006 for $850 to replace a dead 27″ CRT set. Yes, it was purchased with a credit card. It has been on a surge protector (not a plain power strip, a surge protector) since day one of ownership. It still works fine to this day (it has maybe 2-3 bright pixels, but they’re not noticeable most of the time and not grouped together so it doesn’t bother me).

  4. yellowdog says:

    I too had a lousy Vizio experience, albeit with a smaller sized TV. After about a year, the colors started oversaturating and washing out, and no amount of adjustment would fix it. Eventually we donated it to Goodwill and took a write-off.

    Vizio is cut-rate junk, as far as I’m concerned. I’m always puzzled that they rank so highly with Consumer Reports. We’ve had Samsung TVs of all sizes for many years with zero problems, and we’ll never own anything different.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      That’s kind of fraud, if you gave Goodwill a TV that they likely could not re-sell because of the issues you describes, probably dumped it, and then you get a tax write-off for giving away a useless item.

      • deathbecomesme says:

        Believe me they put it for sale or auction! I did community service there and hardly anything was junked. And in cases were electronics were non working they were sent off to “recover” its parts. In other words it was parted out and sold.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          Fair enough, I thought about that too after I wrote this. So, at least, I hope he claimed the value of the parts rather than the value of a fully-working TV on his taxes. That OP’s $2000 TV, for example, probably was worth a few hundred in parts maximum to a repair shop.

    • Cat says:

      “I’m always puzzled that they rank so highly with Consumer Reports.”

      Because they don’t test them in the real world for 2 years.

    • DemosCat says:

      After having my Samsung go on the blink — almost literally, it would cycle itself on and off — the problem turned out to be a couple of bad capacitors on the power supply board. Since it was out of warranty, I did my own repair with a solder kit and new capacitors. The Samsung has been working like a champ ever since.

      I would encourage any owner of an HDTV that’s out of warranty to at least try removing the back of the TV and checking the capacitors. If a capacitor has gone bad, you can replace it. There are plenty of step-by-step instructions on youtube covering capacitor replacement, including how to spot a bad capacitor.

      Now obviously not everything will be due to a bad capacitor, but it’s worth a shot. Other Samsung owners had streaking pictures, and that too was due to bad capacitors. If it can happen to Samsung I’m sure the same can happen to any other brand.

    • Chmeeee says:

      One experience is an anecdote, not data. I had a $1500 Samsung DLP that shit the bed after 3 years, does that mean Samsung is an awful brand and should be poorly rated?

    • dadelus says:

      I have to laugh, cause I’ve told this story here before…

      A buddy of mine laughed at me and another coworker a few years ago. Why? Because we both bought Vizio TVs a few weeks apart from each other. He said pretty much what you did. We should have bought a quality TV like a Samsung.

      Fast forward to a few months ago. He bought his beloved Samsung TV for about $1500. Had it for a month and it quit working. Samsung can’t/won’t fix it and since he bought the outgoing model the store won’t let him trade it in for the new model that has the same features because it’s $200 more than he paid. He got tired of fighting them and just gave the TV back for a refund and now uses the old TV that he planned on replacing with the Samsung.

      Meanwhile both Vizio tvs that are a couple of years old continue to work without issue. *fingers crossed*.

      • rdm says:

        Samsung can’t OR won’t fix the TV? It’s a few months old? I’d take them to small claims. Certainly it had at least a 12 month warranty, correct?

      • xyzzyman says:

        So it was within the 30 day return period, and they gave him his money back as it was a clearance product… That’s quite reasonable.

  5. donjumpsuit says:

    I feel bad for blaming the OP here, but just like cars and appliances, TV’s are a capital expense and should be treated as such. Probably one reason Consumer Reports is alive, is to give advice on these purchases pre-internet. These days, Cnet.com or HDTV guru can’t point you in the right direction. Vizio is known for putting low cost above all other attributes, something that isn’t really desirable when considering an big, main room TV. Maybe a smaller Costco bought kids room TV but I would stay away from them for something more substantial.

    If you want some quick advice, ditch the LCD for a plasma. They got a bad rap early in the game but are more bang for the buck, and have better attributes all around. Especially Panasonic plasma’s which have outstanding quality and are priced quite competitive.

    • donjumpsuit says:

      can point you, not can’t. LOL

    • Captain Spock says:

      I got my 42″ Panasonic 1080p Plasma for 560. They make some pretty decent sets, and no worries about dead pixels (and you don’t have to swap out the plasma like the old style sets)

    • ajaxd says:

      I have a 6 year old Panasonic plasma (50”, 720P). I secretly wish for it to die because I want an upgrade but it doesn’t look like it will give up any time soon. Picture quality is quite good for a 720P set.

    • EarlNowak says:

      Samsung Plasmas are excellent in my experience. I got one with a 2 year warranty specifically because I figured it was better built than similar models with a 1 year warranty (or else Samsung wouldn’t have bothered). My credit card adds another year.. if it lasts 3 years at the $500 I paid for it, I’ll be a happy camper.

    • JJFIII says:

      From a price stand point I agree on plasma, BUT you can not make a blanket statement that plasma is better for all. Your viewing habits, and the room it will be in, will determine the best set for your situation. My main TV watching room is a LED LCD and my bedroom is a plasma

    • ZukeZuke says:

      Except for the highly reflective screens and much higher energy usage…

      • Chmeeee says:

        Energy usage is actually similar to slightly higher under normal usage. The wattage rating on a plasma would only actually be seen in real life if you had an all white screen with the brightness setting maxed out.

      • shepd says:

        Lucky for me energy only costs 10c/kWh here and I don’t point the TV at a window or lamp (because I’m not an idiot and setup the room properly).

        At 10c/kWh, I estimate the TV adds $3 a month to the energy bill, and that’s watching it 4 hours a day. The savings between it and a similar LCD were about $400, so in about 15 to 20 years, I would have done better buying an LCD.

        I think I can afford that level of opulence. :)

  6. Neilmurp says:

    Extended warranties seem to be a ghetto failsafe for companies nowadays. Instead of making a product more robust/durable/etc and charging a little extra, they can half-ass something and simply give the consumer an option on wether or not they want to roll the dice.

    Not everyone pays the extra amount and you invest less into your product – a win/win for the company and a lose/maybe-break-even or just lose for the consumer.

    • Marlin says:

      You could build using the “best” items and still some would fail.

      The fault here is the owner who thinks the price should void the 12month warranty and extend it out to whenever.

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      But isn’t that actually more consumer friendly? Give the customer the lowest price and give them the option to “upgrade” to ensure that if it fails, they are not on the hook for replacement.

      • jesusofcool says:

        No, it’s not more consumer friendly. The issue here is that companies are selling disposable products at an absurdly high mark-up, then trying to mark them up even further with warranties. Not only is this bad for the consumer, it’s bad for the planet. It amazes me how much stuff we as a society are forced to throw out because it fails to work after a short period time (often times, it’s lifespan) and there is no option to repair it. I think major electronics companies should all offer some sort of certified repair, whether it’s an authorized person or dealer in state or the company itself, no different than cars or computers. Better for the consumer and environment.

  7. deathbecomesme says:

    “And for those of you who say get an extended warranty. Why? Shouldn’t a product that expensive work for longer than 2 years without protection money?”

    Yes it should. But you took the gamble and lost. Next time you’ll know better won’t you?

    • Neilmurp says:

      The point is that nowadays the consumer is thrown into a situation where they have to take that gamble instead of paying a little extra upfront for a product made to last.

      • deathbecomesme says:

        I have a Sony XBR LCD and I currently have a two year old Toshiba mid price range LED. The Sony has worked flawlessly and continues to do so. The Toshiba is yet to be seen how long it lasts. But I am perfectly happy paying almost $3k for the Sony because the picture quality was second to none in the showroom where I got it and the fact that it has lasted this long. I find that when you skimp in price when it comes to TVs you usually get what you pay for.

        • longfeltwant says:

          That’s interesting. In my experience, cheap electronics are the exact same quality as expensive electronics (which is to say, always low quality), so I always go cheap (for equivalent products). And I specifically avoid Sony not only for ethical reasons but because I had a string of bad luck with their gear. [This is nothing but another perspective.]

          • DrLumen says:

            You could replace the Vizio with Sony and pretty much have my story except the set broke 1 week after the warranty expired. You can guess the response from Sony. Never again.

            Yes, there are many times that the cheapo knockoff brand and the name brand are made in the same factory – maybe some slightly different parts. Buying a cheap cheapo is tempting fate a bit too much for me though.

      • longfeltwant says:

        Srsly. The point is I don’t want to buy a protection plan, I want to buy a sturdier device. Yeah, sure, you can manufacture low-quality things, then sell insurance to people for when the things break; or, heck, you could just build higher-quality things. The hassle of trying to return a dead device under warranty isn’t worth it.

        If it really is impossible to build a fifty-year television these days, then so be it. But if they could do it fifty years ago (and they did), then I bet today they just aren’t trying. Double the size of those solder points; upgrade from regular screws to no-backout screws; add screws to keep fittings together; use twisted wires instead of ribbon wires; add a redundant power supply circuit; use thicker button contacts!

        • StarKillerX says:

          And suddenly that $2000 tv the OP bought would have cost $4000 and they wouldn’t have bought it, and would have bought a $2000 set from a different company instead.

          • longfeltwant says:

            Really? The markup would be two thousand dollars to add in some extra screws and solder? I’m not a manufacturing professional (are you?) but my guess is more like eight dollars, maybe as high as twenty dollars.

        • sirwired says:

          If you want a sturdier device, then don’t buy a lowest-bidder Vizio.

  8. chucklesjh says:

    I had a 42″ Vizio about 6 years ago, I think it was a plasma. After a little over two months it started flashing black for maybe a half-second a couple of times in an hour. I attempted to call Vizio and was greeted by no hold music, just a message that they were too busy and to call back later (no queue, wtf?). I dug up my Walmart receipt and noticed that I was on day 89 of the 90 day return policy. I packaged that damn thing back up (always keep important boxes), and returned it that same day.

    • Hi_Hello says:

      hhahahah nice

    • Papa Midnight says:

      This is something I always tell people, but they don’t seem to get it. I always keep the boxes of big-ticket items for a reasonable duration just in case something happens.

  9. consumed says:

    If I was gonna plop down $2000 on something with a brand name like Vizio I’d be doggone sure to buy at MINIMUM a 3 year extended warranty.

    a 3-year warranty is $190 through Squaretrade…

  10. SteveZim1017 says:

    insurance/warranties are always a scam until you need it.

    • Costner says:

      Even then they are pretty much a scam. You have to jump through hoops to find a authorized service center, and then there are loopholes and exceptions and fine print that result in many situations being uncovered.

      Plus, if you were to purchase extended warranties on everything you bought, you surely would pay far more than if you never purchased a warranty and just paid to have the broken item fixed. Imagine paying for warranties on 20 purchases over a three year period…. if one of those items breaks you still would have spent many times as much on warranties as what the repair would cost, plus in the case of electronics you are still stuck with something that is several years old. For a TV, chances are you could buy a new TV for the same price as a repair, and you would benefit from newer technology.

      I’d tell the OP to check to see what the repair will cost, and then see how expensive a new set from Samsung or LG costs. If the difference is within 30% or so, I’d pop for the new set with a full year (at least) of warranty. Charge it to a credit card that doubles it, and he would be covered for two years.

      • repeater says:

        I went through this with an acoustic guitar I bought at Guitar Center (yea, I know, but they made me an amazing deal that beat the online price) a few years ago.

        The sales person knocked the price down below what they bought the item for in order to basically throw in a free extended warranty (on top of me already getting it for a thousand dollars less than expected). So even though I loathe extended warranties, I figured why not help the sales person hit their quota since they got me such a great deal.

        Worst idea ever.

        The electronics inside failed within a week due to a small defect. The company that manufactured the guitar (Cordoba) has an EXCELLENT lifetime warranty and said they could get it shipped down, fixed, and back to me in a few weeks.

        However, they weren’t allowed to touch the guitar for two years due to the Guitar Center warranty being in place. Guitar Center themselves weren’t allowed to swap it out or even look at it due to their OWN warranty being in place.

        So instead of getting it fixed, I spent those two years on the phone with Guitar Center’s outsourced warranty company going through a Brazil-like level of bureaucracy. Only to have the paperwork go missing or the company just dodge my calls whenever the process was 99% complete, making me have to start the whole process over. Basically they did everything possible to not honor it.

        It has now been two years, and since the electronics never worked in the first place I’ve just completely forgotten that the guitar is capable of that feature.

        The last time I had to run in to Guitar Center to grab something and the sales guy wasn’t taking no for answer on an extended warranty, I told him this story. He said “oh yea the company we outsourced those to was a total scam, but that’s why we outsource to a new company now!”

        No thanks.

      • Jawaka says:


        Every extended warranty that I’ve ever purchased had the terms and conditions listed on a pamphlet made available at the point of sale.

        I buy warranties on some things but not others. I purchase them on every office chain that I buy from Staples. The warranty is like $7 and through it I get a free replacement chair every two years. Best deal in the store IMO.

        I won’t on the other hand purchase a warranty on a computer since I can fix them myself.

        I did buy a warranty on my Samsung plasma tv because I’m not a television repairman and didn’t feel like dealing with the exact same thing that happened to the OP.

  11. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    I have 2 Vizios, both of which were purchased at Costco (extra 1 year warranty) on AmEx cards (more warranty protection).

    My larger one had an issue with large sections of the screen turning red. It was a known issue. Their service was less than stellar.

    First they have to ship a part to some local contract repair company. Then you have to wait for that company to decide to call you and set up an appointment. Then the guy came out and told me he knew the part wouldn’t fix the problem but he had to install it anyway. He did and it didn’t. Then he has to report to them it didn’t work and they have to decide what to do.

    Fast forward another 2 weeks, after being tired of waiting I called again and they said that they had approved a replacement, but no one had called to notify me. They were waiting, I guess, for me to call them back and ask what was going on. Then another shipping deal and another appointment with a contract delivery company.

    Total time was about 8 weeks from when the first person I had talked to on the phone knew about the issue and knew the TV had to be replaced.

  12. msbask says:

    I bought a refurbished 37″ Vizio LCD from onsale.com just over 6 years ago. Never had a single problem with it. Go figure.

    • xyzzyman says:

      Refurbished goods, even if just returned because the original purchaser didn’t want the product, usually have gone through more of a quality check than when manufactured.

  13. wagnerism says:

    That scenario is one of several reasons why I bought my HDTVs at Costco.

    Costco extends the warranty and has reputable customer service.

    That reputable customer service will probably cost Costco a lot more if they have to handle troublesome product. It wouldn’t surprise me if they evaluated their products on more aspects than just “profit margin” before selling them.

    I could have bought them online (not at Costco) for cheaper, but a single problem requiring in-home service or free return shipping quickly negates those savings.

    Maybe paying a little bit more in purchasing versus buying on the cheap with an extended warranty even out? I have often heard that the cheapest bastard ends up paying the most.

    • Laura Northrup says:

      I really wish I had Costco around here. Although I suppose if I were dropping four figures on a TV, I would drive to the one two hours away and buy it there.

      • jefeloco says:

        It’s worth it just to deal with Costco’s service people rather than the manufacturer’s. My buddy had a similar experience to the one a few posts up, but Costco intervened when Vizio was giving their local repair guys a hard time and just outright replaced his TV with the newest equivalent model.

    • rdm says:

      …and Costco carries a lot of Vizios. Wild.

      • framitz says:

        Says a lot for the Quality of Vizio, as Costco only purchased the better products with the best price.

  14. Torchwood says:

    Vizio is the type of television that goes under the category of unfixable. If it breaks, too bad. If I recall correctly, they don’t even fix Vizio televisions under warranty, only replace them.

    Of course, Samsung owners will cite the bad capacitor issue that hit those TVs made a few years ago.

    • failurate says:

      I have the carcass of a Samsung LED DLP TV in my basement, capacitor related death. I am going to haul it out to the curb this week (it has been dead for 2 years or so now). I got 2.5 years out of a $1,400 TV. Very disappointing.
      If you were sitting in the right spot (had to be pretty much right in front and at the right height), the picture was hands down the best at that time.
      Replaced it with a Panasonic plasma, half the price, much better picture, plus some internet apps.

      • portwineboy says:

        You can fix capacitors yourself with a little soldering skill. Might be worth a google.

  15. SexCpotatoes says:

    Way back in the day, my buddy spent around $4k for a Sharp Aquos 37″ tv. One of the newer 1st LCDs that didn’t even have the power supply or inputs in the case of the TV, it had cabling to a seperate BOX. Still works today.

    A year or two later, I bought a no-name brand iLo from Walmart, open box return, for $1k. 42″. It started having trouble & died after 2-2.5 years. I got a new tv, and waited for about a year, and got the iLo fixed.

    The extended warranty which would’ve only covered the discount brand TV for 1 year was $300, almost 1/3 of the purchase price. Cost to repair: $300 or a little less, counting tax (had to replace a whole lot of capacitors 12-15 iirc). The extended warranty would’ve been expired, and I would’ve been out that money. Now I have 2 working flatscreen LCD TVs.

    The repair shop I took it to told me that the TVs (especially the one I brought to fix) don’t have enough ventilation and that I should wire up a bunch of computer fans at the top of the (iLo) TV to increase airflow and it would last longer.

    I’ve seen articles posted to the web that the cheap TVs now aren’t even trying to let you repair them, more often than not, the entire circuit board is coated in glue, which causes them to overheat and die. So you have to buy a new TV.

    My new TV that I bought when the iLo died? Sony refurbished. The entire rear of the tv except the input panel is pretty much vented with open slots. Has lasted 2 years this summer. Which is why I’m looking for a brand name TV for my mom to finally get a flat screen. $2k for a 55″ tv was quite a cheap price 2 years ago, and you always take a chance on big ticket items, fridges, washers, dryers. Makes you wish that Hyunda/Kia with their 10 year powertrain warranty made these types of (durable [or not]) goods.

    • elangomatt says:

      My parents bought a Sharp Aquos 37″ TV too back when LCDs were still fairly new, but not quite as new as when your friend bought his. It is still working mostly ok right now, but my parents replaced it since there was some defects on the screen towards the edge between where the 4:3 image displays and the full screen. My sister now uses it as her main TV and is happy enough with it. Come to think of it, I think I am the only one between my brother, sister, and I that have actually bought a TV in the last decade. My brother is using a gifted 27″ TV (seems so small) and my sister is using the hand-me-down 37″ LCD from my parents.

    • GrandizerGo says:

      That last analogy is horrendous. I wish you had not used it…
      I grew up when Hyundai and Kia first came to the US, they were both very cheap in price cars and I know of 2 people that had Hyundias brand new off the lot fail to work less then 1 month later.
      In my neighborhood, they were the fastest cheapest way to get a set of wheels.
      Kias were better but not by much. It took them about 3-4 years to get cars that lasted the length of your warranty and people actually felt they were getting their monies worth.

      With TV’s the problem is that you do NOT get 4-5 years on a model. Every new model has new components on the motherboard, new features that are built in and so on. So they almost NEVER get a chance to build the reliability into them is they were to keep the same model for 3-4 years.

  16. Traveller says:

    I would love to know from someone technical in the LCD display business what causes this problem. I had it happen on my Samsung in the first year, which fortunately was covered under warranty because they had to replace the whole screen.

    To top it off the repair center had to keep sending back the replacement parts because the box kept coming in damaged.

    Word the wise, about a month before you warranty runs out, look real close at the picture. Mine started slowly with the lines, but it really degrades the picture when they start getting bigger.

  17. PunditGuy says:

    So, how much to repair it? Because when something breaks outside of warranty, you can always pay for a repair yourself.

    • Traveller says:

      This repair requires replacing the whole display. I forget the technical term, but basically the display itself is one huge part. The only thing you are not replacing is the circuit card, the plastic case, and the remote.

      It will likely run more than the cost of a new TV due to the cost of the part and the technician to diagnose and do the repair.

      — I had this repair done under warranty and it sounded from the guys it would have cost more than getting the same set new(they do go down in price over time).

  18. longfeltwant says:

    That’s a shame. My Vizio TV (twenty-six inch, modest) has been a flawless workhorse for, what, maybe four or five years now. That, plus it survived a thirteen-thousand-mile road trip in the back of a Jeep, then was built into a cabinet where it spends most of its time in an unnatural face-down position


    Electronics purchases are, unfortunately, a lottery. This morning I returned a dead motherboard to NewEgg. You never can tell, it seems to be the nature of electronics.

  19. VicMatson says:

    They keep on making these things cheaper and cheaper in order to compete by making them cheep, so they sell more, and make more on service contracts!

    Next time you buy include the cost of the service in with the cost of the TV.

  20. LuzioFantazmic says:

    2 years seems to be the average amount of time those TV’s seem to last.

    I’ve had a Philips, loaded with samsung parts, die out of warranty after 2 years. The main circuit board. Had it fixed for $395, and it dies again 4 months later, out of warranty on the part that I just paid $395 to have put in.

    Bought a Panasonic when the philips died. Due to my bad Philips experience, I got the 3 year extended warranty. 2 years after buying it, it died. The CM Board. Had it fixed with the warranty. So far so good on the repair.

    If I remember correctly, the Consumers Union says do no buy the extended warranty on most products. They do recommend getting one on Large screen TV’s though.

    It is incredibly frustrating to buy a big ticket item that breaks after a short period of time. Like the OP said, you pay a lot, you expect it to last longer than 2 years.

  21. barryct says:

    Take it as a lesson to get rid of the damn tv. I’ve not had one in 20 years (since I was an undergrad). I use my computer screen to watch tv and films and I don’t have to dedicate an entire room to the thing. Life is better without a tv.

    • Captain Spock says:

      My lady does not enjoy sitting in my tiny little office watching TV, she would rather sit on the comfy couch with the cat.

    • Mark702 says:

      So if my oven broke, just don’t cook anymore? If my car breaks down, that’s a lesson to start using a bike? If your arm breaks, is that a lesson to quit recreational fun time? Your comment lacks logic.

    • JJFIII says:

      Life is better without TV? No, not so much., If it works for you, keep on plugging away, but I really hate the self righteous assholes who think they are better because they dont own a TV. Get over yourself.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        People who don’t own TVs brag almost as much as those who don’t eat meat.

    • barryct says:

      Wow. Such hatred from what is only a suggestion.

  22. evilpete says:

    Gee you almost paid as much for your TV as you did for cable tv

  23. crispyduck13 says:

    That really does suck, and if the repair is going to cost more than a new TV well that’s even worse.

    In this situation, where the brand name’s reputation for quality is in question, it couldn’t hurt to write a letter to a high-level executive in the company. It won’t cost him anything but a stamp and maybe an hour of his time, and who knows, maybe the person he reaches will realize that having this guy super pissed that their product only lasted 2 years will light a fire and get something done.

  24. yossi says:

    I guess he did. People spend $1200 a year for the privilage of poking their facebook friends from the restroom on their “smart phone”

  25. Here to ruin your groove says:

    Not trying to piss on the OP, but why would you spend $2000 for a no-name low-tier brand TV? I have a Vizio back when 720p plasma was still the big thing, and it’s still running strong. I paid $600 5+ years ago. If I were looking at spending $2000 (which is a load of cash to spend on a TV) I would have looked at Samsung or Sharp Aquos and used my Amex for additional warranty.

    • Here to ruin your groove says:

      I had to look at Amazon because I was a little shocked that a brand like Vizio offers a $2000 TV. Surprisingly they do and even have one at $3000. Though right there as well are big name brands like Sharp and Samsung at the same or less.

      I see this like paying $25,000 for a Kia. You have plenty of great options out there for the price, but you chose to drop serious money on a bottom of the barrel brand car.

      • Pagan wants a +1 button says:

        I have a Kia. It’s a 2003, well over 100k on it, never been in the shop, never needed anything except routine maintenance, all of the extras still work, and we beat the shit out of the poor little thing.

        Define “bottom of the barrel” for me?

  26. CurrentGeekSquadEmployee says:

    I might be reading this wrong, but…

    Customer buys TV. TV works fine under warranty with no problems. TV fails after warranty period. Manufacturer’s fault because customer chose not to protect their investment.


    • coffee100 says:

      > Customer buys TV. TV works fine under warranty with no problems. TV fails after warranty period. Manufacturer’s fault because…

      …their product is a cheap, shitty, shoddy, sloppy, half-assed piece of crap manufactured as far from well-trained and well-paid employees, labor standards and a modern workplace as possible.

      Interesting how American brands (that’s all they are any more, logos with an 800 number) and their hidden Chinese factories always shout “cheap!” but never want to talk about quality.

      • homehome says:

        so according to you all products that break down within 2 years are cheap? LOL, really ppl

      • Professor59 says:

        There are no TVs made in America at this time. The last one was Zenith, until it was sold to a Korean company in 1995. Saying Americans make crappy TVs is ridiculous.

        But hey, that’s OK. It’s the internet, so say anything you want.

  27. zandar says:

    When we bought our TV a couple of years ago, there seemed to be a lot of people claiming their Vizio TVs fell apart shortly after warranty expiration, so I already felt I should be steering clear of their products.When I checked them out in the store, yeah, Vizio TVs were cheaper, but the quality was not as good, either. I paid only a marginal amount more for a TV that was of higher quality anyway. Seemed like a no-brainer to avoid this brand.

  28. bhr says:

    The sad fact of the matter is that every, EVERY electronic product (and pretty much any product with moving parts) has a failure rate. Obviously the manufacturer would like to keep it close to zero, but it is a built in risk with any purchase.

    If you choose not to buy an extended warranty (or buy a product with a longer built in one) you are saying that you feel that the potential replacement cost is an acceptable risk vs. the failure rate.

    I feel bad for the OP, no one expects an expensive purchase to go south but if you can’t get it replaced via homeowners insurance, a credit card warranty or extended warranty than sadly I don’t know why you would expect the manufacturer to replace it.

    If this was a common issue with the model/brand then I would have no problem blaming construction and demanding Vizio replace/repair it for you, but as it appears to be an isolated case he is sadly out of luck.

    I won’t comment on his tone.

    • coffee100 says:

      > I don’t know why you would expect the manufacturer to replace it.

      Oh I don’t know. Used to be American manufacturers would rather not have their nameplate on a piece of crap in a landfill.

  29. failurate says:

    I can’t say much about their hardware, but Vizio’s internet TV software is miles ahead of LG’s and Panasonic’s.
    Not certain, but it appears to have been developed by Yahoo!.

  30. oldwiz65 says:

    Vizio TVs are simply poor quality. Find something more reliable from a dependable company.

  31. Branden says:

    QUOTE: “Now I have a 55inch piece of garbage.”

    No, Alan, you’ve always had a piece of garbage, you bought a Visio.

  32. Clutchcargo says:

    How long did you expect a $2000 TV to last? Some people actually expect Chinese products to last.

    • redskull says:

      “Some people actually expect Chinese products to last.”

      You mean like the Great Wall?

    • longfeltwant says:

      Two thousand dollars? Hmmm, I’ll say forty years. How about you?

      So far my $600 Vizio has lasted five years, so I have seven years to go at that price-per-time rate.

    • castlecraver says:

      You must be fairly young. Do you have any older relatives, grandparents, etc? Ask them how long they’d expect a $2000 TV to last. (Or say, the TV they could have bought in 1970 for about $400). Their answer will, most likely, be in the double-digits of years.

  33. ungeheier says:

    It’s a VIZIO!!! What did you expect!?!?!?

    Vizio != Sony
    Vizio != Samsung
    Vizio != Any major band name TV manufacturer

    Vizio = Knock off brand TV.

    Im surprised you can find a Vizio TV that costs more than $700.

    • balderdashed says:

      You’re simply wrong about Vizio — though your observation might have been accurate at one time. And, by the way, they make a very nice 65 inch 3D set (Vizio XVT3D650SV) that you can pick up online for about $3,000.

    • longfeltwant says:

      …but Sony==crap, Samsung==crap, so are you saying Vizio is not crap? I guess I have to agree. My Vizio has been perfect since the Bush administration.

  34. mister_roboto says:

    My parents back in the day bought a giant Zenith TV, that weighed about 350 lbs. It was a piece of furniture and lasted 20+ years.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      We had a big old console TV also. If the knob fell off you could change channels with a pair of pliers. We had it for years and years. I hate that things are so cheaply made and short-lived now, especially since they cost so much.

  35. balderdashed says:

    I can empathize with anyone who buys a TV that lasts only two years, but to generalize from one bad experience is rather silly, and “bad company, bad service… buy at your own peril” sounds like someone is having a temper tantrum, rather than making a rational case. The fact is, Vizio TVs are rated above Samsung and a number of other brands based on frequency of repair records, though the differences are too small to be meaningful. I happen to own three Samsung TV’s and two Vizios. I’ve had dealings with the tech support departments of both companies, and I’d rate the knowledge and helpfulness of Vizio’s support as better than Samsung’s — but again, that’s just one person’s experience. A one-year warranty is only that. If you buy your Vizio (or Samsung, Sony, etc.) at Costco, the warranty is extended to two years for free. Or you can extend the warranty to five years for $99 — on a $2,000 TV, that’s 5 per cent of the purchase price. Whether extended warranties are worth the money overall is certainly debatable. But if one is concerned about long-term reliability, it’s a better strategy than rolling the dice and throwing a fit later, or trashing a company irrationally.

  36. rcojr says:

    My dad opened an electronics shop in 1952, kept it open until 1985 when he saw that a new retailer (Costco) was selling TVs for less than what he paid wholesale. He fortunately sold the shop in 1985, to someone who struggled with it until 1998, when it closed. TVs are just made not to repair, but to replace. Some go out during the warranty period, some go out in under 5 years, some last beyond that, it is just sometimes the luck of the draw.
    The irony of this story is that the picture used in the story is from his shop on 48th and Yakima Ave, here in Tacoma, where the shop closed in 1998, but the sign still is there

  37. az123 says:

    This is why I like buying TVs from Costco, 2 year warranty on any of them… though I have to wonder how on earth you paid $2K for a Vizio 55 inch two years ago, I purchased a Sony 55 inch about that same time and only paid $1400 for it, albeit it was on sale from the $1700 normal price…

  38. savdavid says:

    That is the way customer service is today, get used to it or do something about it besides posting on blogs.

  39. gaya2081 says:

    Husband worked at circuit city. Called me when a Christmas return came back sans box. It was a nice 32″ LCD TV at about 1/2 of retail value (open box). I drove over and bought it and paid for warrently. About 2 months before warranty expired TV started having problems (randomly flashing the channel into box on the screen). Called warranty people, they sent a guy out and he ordered a part. Put in the part, didn’t fix issue. They ‘lemoned’ it and cut us a check for the retail cost of the TV.

    Husband now works at Best Buy (please don’t judge he hates it, but is going back to school). We just bought a house and we now have room for a bigger TV (the older TV is now ~3-4 years old and works just fine except the random flashing channel box in the upper right corner). Whatever TV we end up getting once we save up the money will have an extended in home warranty.

  40. LanMan04 says:

    No I didn’t get an extended warranty. And why should I have to pay more to make sure their product works as advertised?
    Buy a TV with a longer warranty next time. Sorry OP, you lose.

  41. ancientone567 says:

    I blame the OP because only an IDIOT would buy anything Vizio. Why don’t you try a reputable brand like say SAMSUNG or Sony. You are a fool plain and simple and so is your friend. When I went to go buy a 55″ led I did not even think of other brands. I went with the one that I trust that the cheaply made knock offs. You get what you pay for. Next time don’t be so cheap and do a little research before you buy.

  42. phobos512 says:

    I also bought a 55″ Vizio (VF552XVT), but I bought mine a little over a year ago and I bought a 4 year extended warranty. It works fine. And the whole deal was only $1700. The forward march of technology. I also have a 32″ Olevia I got on Black Friday 2007 at K-mart, still going strong as the bedroom TV.

  43. merc78 says:

    Vizio is a disaster and how consumer reports can continue to give them good raitngs is without merit. I had my Vizio 32 inch and it lasted less than two years.
    I would also strongly recommend staying away from this company, their products are obviously inferior to some of the better names.
    Unfortunately over the last five years or so I have seen Consumer Reports, which I have been receiving for over 35 years making more and more poor reports and recommendations.

  44. do-it-myself says:

    It seems like TVs and computers are luck of the draw these days when both used to last indefinitely. I think the age old question has been answered.

    I miss my Montgomery Ward TV and the family console…they were older than me and worked for decades. One even survived a soaking from a Hurricane. TVs today break the moment you take them out of the box.

    My first LCD was purchased a year and a half ago. It’s a 40″ Dynex 1080i (Best Buy…I know, I guess I’ll be stoned to death now) that I paid $400 for. If it lasts at LEAST two years and it breaks, I’ll just get another one. Why bother getting that latest and greatest when it will be “old” in only a few months? Getting the slightly older model brings in so many more discounts and would still be a step up from what you currently have (I had a CRT previously).

  45. Scott says:

    Unfortunately, between cheap materials and planned obsolescence, a manufacture’s warranty has become an expiration date.

    Fortunately, the Internet has provided us with the ability to conduct exhaustive pre-purchase research, and given us a platform to warn others about crappy products & garbage-peddling corporations.

    I had a Samsung 52″ LCD that went tits up not long after the warranty expired, and an Onkyo receiver that did the same. It pissed me off, but I had no recourse other than replace them. However, I did not (and will not) buy another Samsung TV, nor another Onkyo receiver, and when I see a manufacture’s warranty that exceeds industry standards, I’m more likely to put it on my short list.

  46. kcvaliant says:

    Wow, from reading the OPs post he is either lying or got ripped off buying a tv from one of yhose scammy mom n pops electronic stores. 2k in 2010 for a 55″??

    Any brand has a chance to break, saying it is just vizio is dumb. But spending 2k on a 1200.00 tv is what is puzzling me. Did you buy other stuff and just combining the price?
    And a surge just stops the blackout outs or big surges. Little ones get through like a brownout or the washer and dryer or AC kicking on. You want an apc for those.

    Sometimes things happen, get over it, and if you read consumerist you should of known to shop around and use your cc for extra warranty.

  47. kcvaliant says:

    Wow, from reading the OPs post he is either lying or got ripped off buying a tv from one of yhose scammy mom n pops electronic stores. 2k in 2010 for a 55″??

    Any brand has a chance to break, saying it is just vizio is dumb. But spending 2k on a 1200.00 tv is what is puzzling me. Did you buy other stuff and just combining the price?
    And a surge just stops the blackout outs or big surges. Little ones get through like a brownout or the washer and dryer or AC kicking on. You want an apc for those.

    Sometimes things happen, get over it, and if you read consumerist you should of known to shop around and use your cc for extra warranty.

  48. Alan_Schezar says:

    Extended warranties are terrible because they’ll always find a way to say that your repair doesn’t qualify for reimbursement under the warranty. For example, they’ll say that they examined the TV and it broke because of overuse, not because of any manufacturing defect. Then, you’ll find out that the repair costs about the same as a new TV, so a repair is not worth it.

    This happened to me when I bought my first plasma. Fortunately, I bought it from Costco, who agreed to allow me to return it. Go Costco!

  49. sparc says:

    off brand tv purchasing… might as well have bought a Westinghouse, RCA, Insignia or a million other reject brands

  50. dobgold says:

    I don’t understand the rationale of saying not to buy anything Vizio because they are a cheap off-brand. When any of the Japanese, Korean and now Chinese manufacturers, of electronics, cars or appliances first started marketing here, they got the same reactions from consumers. The “new” brands have to sell cheaply to get a foothold in the marketplace.
    You always hear complaints about bad products and services but not always hear the good experiences.

  51. Kestris says:

    My Brother in law and Sister in law have a Vizio. We had a severe thunderstorm a year or so ago that fried their surge protector and one of the HDMI channels on their TV. Did they replace the surge protector? Of course not.

    Cue another severe thunderstorm a few months back and their other HDMI channel was fried. Now they get green and pnik rolling lines across the screen on all HDTV channels.

    The TV is only 3-4 years old and it’s junk as far as HDMI goes.

    By contrast, we have a Panasonic. Same storms, no issues with either the surge protector or the TV. Never buying a Vizio.

    • elangomatt says:

      Do you have your cable box and coax cable going through the surge suppressor whereas maybe your brother and sister and law have the coax or cable box unprotected? The fact it is only the HDMI tells me it is something to do with the device that is using that port that is at least part of the problem.

    • framitz says:

      Lightning is unpredictable. The damage I’ve seen in consumer electronics is amazing.

      Most memorable was an RCA TV that was DEAD. When I went to check it out I found all the solder on the power supply board was GONE, vaporized. The board rattled like a maraca.

      I replace1 the board and 1 antenna balon (very minor part) and the TV was good as ever.

  52. Extended-Warranty says:

    First off, the OP is full of crap that this TV cost $2000.

    Secondly, cool story that you don’t want to purchase protection.

  53. syxx says:

    “works as advertised” = 1 year limited warranty. If you buy a 2000 dollar tv just get the freaking service plan for 5 years and don’t worry about it

  54. rdclark says:

    Worth mentioning, this being a Consumer Reports affiliate, that the CR Frequency of Repair record of Vizio as a brand is on a par with other major brands (such as Samsung, LG, JVC, Toshiba, for example) and better than some. One reason, perhaps, for hearing of more failures from them is that they sell more TVs than any other brand in the US.

  55. Professor59 says:

    I can’t believe anyone who has an internet connection would ever buy a Vizio TV. They undercut prices on other brands to make the sales, then are MIA when then the TV inevitably breaks.

    Really, look at any consumer website. The phrase “Vizio pop” is almost a meme because so many customers hear it just as their purchase becomes forever worthless. Go ahead, Google it.

  56. Bionic Data Drop says:

    I have had a Vizio for long time and haven’t had a single issue. Every brand makes TV’s that don’t quite live a typical TV life expectancy.

  57. njack says:

    First mistake was buying a Vizio

  58. Mozz says:

    Having worked for a major electronics manufactuer i can say this, some companies temperature cycle their components. That means heating then cooling, then heating then cooling, this is repaeted over and over. What this does is weed out the bad components and gives you an idea of how good your product is. You can estimate how long your product will last. I’m pretty sure Phillips has this down to a science. You can cut corners and basically make them fail in a given time frame. You can also skip this step, and cut your quality control department too if you wish. Saves money. Me, personally from years of working on electronics, i like Sony or Panasonic products. My current tv is a LG 720p plasma, not a tv but a actual 42″ monitor, made for commercial useage, was on clearance for $499 5 years ago,marked down from over $2000 ,no tuner or speakers but i use with a cable box and external speakers anyway.

  59. framitz says:

    Read the warranty… expired? SOL.

  60. mikebw says:

    You knew when you bought it that the warranty was only 1 year, so why not fix it yourself? Based on what you are describing I would guess you need to replace the T-Con board (timing control) Check out ShopJimmy.com for replacement parts for your model. When my 46″ Samsung was 2+ years old it started having issues with displaying anything on the screen (menus included). LCD, backlight and sound were fine so that pretty much just leaves the T-Con board which was like $60. Easy enough to replace if you’ve ever worked on a computer before. Saved myself hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

  61. Azagthoth says:

    Just wandered in to say that my two Vizio televisions (37″ and 47″) are both 4 years old and still no problems at all.

    See how anecdotes can work both ways?

  62. ned4spd8874 says:

    I’ve had similar issues with my Vizio. I bought my 47-inch about 5 years ago for about $1700 from Costco. Within a year the first one blinked out on me. I called Vizio and they thankfully replaced it no problem. Then about a year later that one died. Again, luckily, Vizio also replaced that one.

    Then about a year ago now the third one died. By that time, it was out of warranty so I didn’t even bother calling Vizio. But, again luckily, I purchased the TV just before Costco changed their own warranty terms on electronic items.

    So I was able to take the broken down TV into Costco 4 years later and get a brand new replacement without issues. I didn’t get the full $1700 credit towards the new TV; mainly because the 47″s are cheaper now. But none-the-less, I got a brand new 47″ LED/LCD 3DTV!

    Granted it’s still a Vizio and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this one lasts! It’s a shame that the old tube TV’s can run circles around these cheap LCD’s as far as quality is concerned. I have 13″, 27″ and 32″ tube TVs kicking around that I got decades ago that still work just fine!

    It too bad Costco changed their “warranty” otherwise I’d be buying a lot more big ticket items from them!

  63. gman863 says:

    If the OP wants to make lemonade out of a lemon, here are a few tips:

    * Search the exact model # of the TV on eBay. Some models have a fatal flaw in the main board (bad capacitors, etc.) that can be easily repaired by someone with advanced soldering skills. There are eBay sellers who specialize in selling repaired boards – often with a discount if you send your dead board back as a core exchange.

    * Finreputable TVleTV repair shop in your area and get an estimate (an Angie’s List subscription is well worth the price for this or any other repair provider search). They may be able to do the board repair locally.

  64. Press1forDialTone says:

    Vizio is the brand pushed hardest by WalMart.
    That should tell you something right off the bat.
    Consumer Reports is useless here because they
    do not do longitudinal testing on home appliances,
    so a Vizio that looks great is really crap in disguise
    over time.

    Try Samsung. They actually make LCD and LED panels in
    their own factories and have actual service centers with real
    people. Sort of like Zenith (in the old days) who actually made
    their own picture tubes and they made the best sets on the
    market (not to be confused with the new crap Zenith which is
    Chinese junk with the Zenith logo on it, the old Zenith went kaput
    because people didn’t want to pay for reliability and excellent
    parts in teh build) I have a 20-year old Zenith set with a picture and sound as
    perfect as the day I bought it and it wasn’t cheap and it was made
    in Illinois. It actually got an even better look when showing an HDTV
    source because Zenith sets scanned twice the number of NTSC
    scan lines for a crisper picture.

    • mbz32190 says:

      Actually, Zenith got bought by a not-so-well-known Korean company, or one that was only known for making poor to average products…Lucky Goldstar, in the mid 1990’s. Guess what Lucky Goldstar is…? “LG”, a company who greatly improved their image and products.. Zenith TV’s after the mid 90’s have all been LG clones for the mostpart, especially after the tube TV’s were phased out. You can only seem to find some oddball Zenith-branded plasma TV’s at Sears and Kmart stores, but those too are just relabeled LG models.

      • xyzzyman says:

        My Zenith 42″ plasma is a rebadged LG. Same model # even, just they put a Z at the end… Just like Samsung, Sony, Sharp and Panasonics I can also order parts for it if a control board or power board burns out.

  65. GamerJunkdotNet says:

    Bleh, haven’t been a fan of my Vizio. I don’t know if it is my DVR service or the TV that is having the issue as the DVR in my bedroom doesn’t have an issue with my 5 year old Sony TV.

  66. Trickydix says:

    I had a Phillips 60 inch rear projection TV for 6 year before it gave out, I guess I got off lucky, it seems that all these new TV’s have issues, or could it be that they are designed this way so you have to buy another one within 2 years, sort of like a cars and CPU’s.

  67. BrienBear Thinks Stupidity Defies Logic says:

    I’ve had my Vizio REFURB unit for over 2 years now and it’s still going strong. So good I bought another one (bigger, better model, etc) and that ones been just about a year. I’ve had 1 issue and I called customer support and they actually sent a tech to my house to fix the circuit board.

    Ask for a supervisor and push the issue. If worse comes to worse, email bomb them.

  68. poehitman says:

    Yeah, when Circuit City was still around, I bought a Mitsubishi 57″ DLP tv and paid something like $300 for an extended warranty on it. Only to find out later that it only includes ONE lamp replacement. My lamp has failed twice. I still buy an extended warranty, but I’ll take the one that gives 3 years for $28.33 from Wallyworld for the 32″ LED-LCD tv I just bought.