So about 4 months ago I purchased a Magnavox TV from my local Fred Meyer. I also own a Samsung that has never given me any trouble. Oh yeah, this article is a total first world problems article. Anyway, after about 3 months the TV started not turning on all of the time, especially if it was unplugged for a while. It was not an issue related to warm up because this would happen after the TV had been plugged back in for days. I tried basic troubleshooting but the problems only got worse. It started randomly changing channels and muting itself as well. So I finally called Magnavox. Who sent a tech out. Who was here for about 20 minutes. Ran their proprietary software test tools, and could not reproduce the problem so left without putting in the parts they they had sent him to put it. It wasn’t his fault. You see, they have to reproduce the problem to put parts in, according to Magnavox because the real reason Magnavox sends a tech out is to cover their ass. Now, they knew that it was an intermittent problem before sending the tech out and many other Magnavox TVs have been having power supply problems. Still, those of us that work or have worked in the industry know that their testing tools are there to protect the company, and not to actually fix your problem. Meaning, they are not very good and are not designed to be good. Plus the problem is intermittent so it would take real time to torubleshiit. Plus, TVs now have big computers in them, so why not just run a log in the TV. I’ll tell you why, because they don’t want to fix the TV. They want to run out the warranty periods and pretend that they tried to fix them. I had to call 4 times. Once for each problem (the random muting and the random channel changing) and twice for the power issue. The technician has told me that if I get videos of the problems they might accept that and finally replace the TV, but that is taking up a huge amount of my time.
Here is the way they should have handled it. They should have shipped me a new TV with a return label. They could then have inspected the old TV and sold it as refurbished through Newegg or another retailer that sells refurbished products. There was no risk to them in providing good customer service in this way and basically no money lost if they had. Anyway, I’ll post the videos as I get them. The funny thing is, this could all be a firmware issue, but they are very careful not to admit to anything. Yet we wonder why the consumer confidence index is so low. Perhaps companies shouldn’t release products before they’re really ready to go. Anyway, don’t make the same mistake I did. Don’t buy a Magnavox. Spend the extra few bucks on a Samsung. I’ll recant this article if they actually provide me with good service, but so far that hasn’t been the case. This has been going on for several weeks now. They even accused me of lying, in a very nice corporate way, about the power issue on the first call. If I was lying I’d be asking for my money back, not a replacement TV.
Update: Even after providing them with video evidence and reporting 2 additional problems, indicating most likely a cascade failure, they are still not honoring their warranty. They ware waiting for the report from the technician that they know they didn’t authorize to replace any parts. It’s basically their way to pretend that they’re being professional and investigating it properly, when they really just don’t want to replace my broken TV which again, is 4 months old. Guess their warranty is total bullshit. Their customer service certainly is. At least they’re very courteous when they basically tell you they’re not going to do anything about it.
Update: 4 days later they are still using the excuse that they are waiting for the now 2 week old technician’s report. Who again, they didn’t authorize to do anything. They’re just going to keep using this excuse until I go away, or so they hope. Please, do yourself a favor and don’t buy a Magnavox. The $150 I “saved” over a similar Samsung is not worth this bullshit. A week ago a technician told me they’d be replacing the TV, but they’ve decided to simply “forget” about it.
Update: After ignoring me for a while they finally responded by telling me to call the main support line again. Now I’m enjoying wait times of, well it’s still going, while I’m writing this it’s currently 45 minutes 33 seconds on hold. What they are probably going to do is pretend that they’re starting from scratch, or simply not answer the phone now that they know my number. Then they can act like they tried to provide service but I simply never called, was not willing to be helped using their methods, or some other awful corporately planned, calculated BS. Again, I provided them with a video showing the error. It is intermittent, so they are probably just hoping to catch me when it does work, so they can say it’s fine and it’s a case of user error. Those who know me, and my extensive experience with electronics, know that can’t be the case, but the general public will probably believe them.
Update: After being told I would be contacted by a supervisor I received two erroneous e-mails from their support today. The second telling me that my case has been closed and asking me to take a survey. Since neither they, or Fred Meyer, have provided me a solution yet I am not sure what they are doing.
Last Update: Ok, I think this is the last one. Magnavox was not sure why I got a survey, but is still “looking for the best solution for my TV.” I’ve been keeping my local Fred Meyer up to date on what has been going on. Since I’m a good customer, tried to do the right thing at first, etc. they finally allowed me to get store credit on the old Magnavox and I paid a bit more and got a Samsung Series 6. My plan was to take this post and You Tube videos down if Magnavox ever made good on their warranty. Since they didn’t I guess I’ll just leave everything up. It cracks me up when people wonder why the Consumer Confidence Index is down when many companies behave like Magnavox on a regular basis.
Update: Ok, I thought the last one was the last one but Magnavox finally responded to my Better Business Bureau complaint. They never had a supervisor or higher up call me, and their response was in broken English. They intentionally got the order of events wrong, and said the TV was fine. Even though I provided the video and reported several other issues, they pretty much ignored it. For the love of God, don’t but a Magnavox! There are many, better TVs for around the same price. Again, my hat is off to Fred Meyer for doing the right thing in the end. I know they are considering not carrying Magnavox in the future. I hope they follow through with it. It’s not worth losing a good customer to carry a brand that is supported like this.
So in the end. Magnavox’s final response can be paraphrased like this. “Up yours, we don’t ever make mistakes, enjoy your TV, if you can. Oh, and you’re not high enough up on our social totem pole to even get the time of day from one of our supervisors in the US.” This last point is important because they lied in their response to the BBB and my complaint to them. Saying that they did not violate the warranty and were “working towards a solution,” and of course getting the order of events wrong in their response too. Well that simply wasn’t true. They never called me to setup any kind of even 2nd evaluation and did not ever provide it to me as an option or any other option. They just told the BBB that they did because that’s how they do things. In the end I had a broken TV, jumped through their hoops, provided a video, and they simply stopped responding and said it was fine. Meaning they did violate their warranty. Still, thank God for Fred Meyer’s excellent customer service. I’m glad I’m not stuck with a broken TV, especailly a 4 month old one, and especially a Magnavox.
Sorry, one more update. This process has been so ridiculious it was trough to keep track of everything. They seem to have forged a contact in my name. I know it was them since only they, I and the BBB have the case number. On a day I did not contact them I received an e-mail thanking me for my recent contact. Seven minutes later I received an e-mail closing the case and asking me to take a survey to tell them how they did. I of course gave them all zeroes since they didn’t provide me with a solution. Still, the lied to the BBB, me and countless other customers so this hardly surprised me. Ok, now I think that’s everything.