Heres my sad story in chronological order. My Ae100 from the very beginning (April 2002) had the flicker problem and some light colour staining in the top left and bottom right corners. After about a month or two the flicker went for the most part. The colour staining also went or I stopped noticing it (one or the other). Everything was great up until Xmas when I noticed the flicker was occurring again with more regulartiy and the colour stainning had returned with a vengance. All along the bottom and up the left and right sides. I also noticed dust blobs. After hearing horror stories( now I have one! ) about 6 month long Panny repair times I tried to convince myself that only if it got any worse would I send it for repair. Thus I was wary of opening up to sort out the dust because it would invalidate my warranty which I might still need. Anyway 4 weeks ago with a month left of my warranty, I decided enough was enough as the staining and flicker was still getting worse. I was hoping not to involve the dealer I bought the projector from as I would never deal with them again after it took 3-4 months to get my Panny in the first place. Even if it was Panasonics fault putting priority on UK orders for the then brand new and in huge demand AE100, The dealer never answered my emails and I felt fobbed off anytime I rang them enquiring when I would get my PJ that I had already paid a substantial deposit for. So.....I rang Panasonic direct on the Irish Helpline number. It was an automatic answering service routed to the UK Panasonic Helpline. A UK Panasonic customer care rep answered. I explained that I was in Ireland, who I got my PJ from and what was wrong with it. When he heard I was in Ireland he put me on hold a minute while he talked to his supervisor I presume. He came back on the line and told me that seeing as I was from Ireland and they had no Service Centres here, that it would be un-economical for them (his words) to send a courier to collect it, repair it and courier it back. What I would have to do was bring the Pj back to the dealer I bought it from. They would confirm it was broken, Panasonic would credit them for a brand new unit and my dealer would order me a new one. When I heard this I asked him to clarify that he meant a brand new boxes PJ. He said yes. My brain went into overdrive and I said to him that seeing as they were 'crediting for a new unit', did I necessarily have to get an AE100, could I order an AE300 instead and pay the differance. He said it was between me and the dealer but he couldn't see a problem with it. I left it at that forgetting to get the reps name or the log number of the call. So the next day I got onto my dealer and explained the problems with the PJ and what I had been told by the Panasonic Cust. Care Rep. They said yeah they wouldn't have a problem with it and could I bring the PJ in to them. They are only about 5 or 6 miles away so I drove there 2 days latter with the PJ. I brought along photographs of the problems with the PJ. I showed the photos to their repair guy and he said yes the optics were screwed and Panasonic would probably have to replace most of the guts of the projector and that it was a disgrace that the optics could get that bad after only 3000 hrs and almost a years use. I explained to him again what I had been told by Panasonic. He replied that if Panasonic honoured the credit arrangement, that I wasn't necessarily tied to getting a Panasonic. I could get a Hitachi etc that they had in stock. I told him that if the 'credit' thing panned out that I would prefer an Ae300 because it was the new best PJ for the price and hopefully Panasonic had learned from their mistakes on the AE100. He said fine and we left it at that. He said he would get back to me with word of the repair/replacement/Ae300 upgrade. I rang the dealer a week later to find out if there was any word. The receptionist told me that they had emailed Panasonic and were waiting on a response. I rang back about 3 days later and was told by the same receptionist that Panasonic had told them to send it over to the UK. She didn't know at this stage whether it was being credited for or repaired. She said they were going to send it to Panasonic UK the next day and they would get back to me with word when they got any. The PJ now apparently being finally sent to Panasonic after sitting on the dealers desk for a week and a half. I sent an email to the dealer about a week later and got no reply and then sent another a few days later and again no reply. I've had a busy fortnight redecorating and refurnishing my home-cinema room to the tune of 3000 and finally got around to enquiring again about what the hell was going on with my PJ. This being 4 weeks since I left it in to my dealer and 2 and a half weeks since they supposedly sent it to Panasonic. So.....I rang the Panasonic Helpline on Monday to find out the story with the repair/replacement/Ae300 upgrade. They said they had no record of receiving my projector and maybe it was delayed with the courier from my dealer and that I should ring back in 2 or 3 days to see if it had arrived. I rang back tday to be told that they still had no record of recieving my PJ. I got off the phone to them and rang Meritec straight away. Guess what?? My dealer still hadn't sent it 4 weeks later!! It was still sitting on their desk!! I was told that they were had still been waiting on word on how to proceed from Panasonic about sending it for repair and that they were going to send it over on Friday.They said that it was covered under warranty but the bulb wasn't, and that Pansonic had informed them that the suggestion by the first Pansonic customer care rep that I spoke to was greatly mistaken and that there would be no replacement/credit/upgrade, just repair. Needless to say I gave my dealer a piece of my mind just barely holding back from using expletives. The girl was appologetic and said she would get back onto Panasonic about a loan unit for me and if worse came to worse they would supply a loan unit themselves. I just got an email from her: Dear Keith I have spoken to Shane Ransom ub Panasonic re. getting a replacement projector while your own is in for repair. They tell me that if the projector is sent back to them through Meritec then they cannot provide a replacement unit during repair. However if you call Panasonic customer services yourself they will collect the unit directly from you and will also provide a replacment unit while they have your own in for repair. Shane also tells me that this will be alot quicker then if the unit is sent back through us. Our contact is Shane Ransom in the service department of Panasonic - his e-mail address is email@example.com and his phone number is 00441344853501 this will get you through to the service department. If you wish to go ahead and arrange sending the unit back yourself we will drop your unit back to you as soon as possible. If you have any further queries please call Criostoir on 2121612 Apologies for any delay in dealing with this matter Regards **** ******* Administration ******* Presentation Products http://www.*******.ie/ ****@*******.ie 00353(0)1 2781828 So now what do I do?? Get The dealer to continue to deal with it and demand a crappy Hitachi loan unit from them or get the PJ back from the Dealer and deal with Panasonic direct which is what I wanted to do in the first place but was told by Panasonic that I couldn't!! Your thoughts please, especially from those who have had to deal with cr*p from dealers, customer care etc or those that work in the Customer care industry about how I should proceed and if I have any rights, comeback, due a goodwill gesture etc because of the delays/incompetance etc PS. Sorry about the longest post in the history of AVforums BTW. PPS. Kramer, don't even dare say I told you so!!!