Panasonic Outlet

So, first post here. Recently I decided to take the plunge on a couple of deals from the Panasonic Outlet (aka ServiceCare) store on ebay. The experience is a mixed bag so I thought I'd share for those who find this to make of it what they will.

I made two independent purchases a couple of weeks apart from each other. The first of which was for a 55EZ952. It was up for a very good price for an OLED TV, and although it's an older model now it still seemed well worth a shot, so I placed the order. The TV arrived a few days later and was carefully handled by the courier (BJS) when being brought into the house. They kindly helped me unpack it from the generic packaging to make sure the screen was not broken and all was well. However, this not being the original packaging did leave the TV not terribly well protected in transit. The panel (as owners will know) is somewhat flexible, but the generic packaging only supports the TV at each corner, leaving plenty of scope for some flexing in transit. I'll come back to this later. So, the courier leaves and I get everything ready to put the TV in its new home while the old 42px80 plasma sits on the floor watching its home be taken by another. I then find that the brackets for the pedestal are incorrect. I make a call and the staff are very helpful and friendly in organising the correct brackets being sent. They arrive a few days later and I get the TV setup, and this thing is stunning. Gorgeous picture. Anyway, now that it was on its stand I was able to take a good solid look at that panel and I notice it's bent back down one side at the point where the main housing joins. The panel is working fine and has minimal banding so I've no intent on sending it back, however who knows what the long term implications are. It is a layer of glass after all, that is now under tension. So I send a message about the issue just stating that I want it logged should it cause problems in the future. I never did get a response. I'll chase them about it a little more. Just so it's known.

Purchase two was a cheap TV for the bedroom, a 43FX550. This was delivered by DPD in an utterly decimated condition. I used to work in retail a long time ago and the only time I've seen a TV so destroyed was when we had to purposefully destroy a unit that was beyond economical repair. The panel was completely shattered to the point one side had even come out of the casing. Since this was not fit for anything other than parts it went right back in the box. At this point I noticed that part of the pedestal stand was missing. So, two in a row there with key bits missing. I called customer services again and the chap was again very polite, apologetic and did his best to source a replacement and I was told this would arrive in a couple of days being sent next working day. So the next day comes along and it gets to the evening I have no tracking information come through. So I call again to be told the unit they were going to send failed QC and that they didn't have a suitable replacement in stock. I'm glad they perform QC before goods get sent out, but I'm less pleased about not being informed until I call asking for tracking information. I work from home, but many don't and could easily have wasted a day off waiting for an exchange that never happens. Anyway, after all that I decide to just arrange a refund instead. This was due yesterday but has not yet happened. I have no doubt that I will receive my refund, they're not crooks but it hasn't happened when advised.

So there we go, overall a mixed bag. I got a stunning OLED for a good price but not without some hassle and had to return another cheaper tv because it was destroyed.

This isn't intended to be a damming report or negative review by any means, it is simply meant to provide a clear picture of my personal experience buying from the Panasonic Outlet official store on ebay for those that might want to know. Would I buy again? Maybe, if the deal was right. Yes I have encountered problems, but, sometimes things do go wrong and the staff did try hard to make things right. However, things went wrong multiple times, so I would have to consider that side too.

tl;dr: Bought two TVs, one works flawlessly but has bend to oled panel. I do not wish to return this but advised of damage and have not received response. The other delivered smashed, exchange failed due to replacement failing QC but I was not notified and only found out when chasing for tracking information. Both had missing parts for the pedestal stands. Staff were pleasant and helpful in trying to put things right. Would I buy again? Maybe, but only if the deal is worth the risk.

EDIT: I just received the refund. Only a day later than advised so not too bad but for some maybe that'd be a problem. Who knows.
 
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cranefly

Active Member
At least the main damage was done to the lesser of the two tvs. It all depends on what kind of bargain you got with the oled to know is it worth the possible future impact of the damage, but if all is working well for the next few weeks, chances are you will have no further trouble with the corner of the oled. So it will be a good bargain after all.
 
The OLED issue is pretty minor really, at least I hope it is. It is a definite bend but only of around 1 - 2 degrees about a small 0.5cm area rather than a curve. So if you imagine that 0.5cm area as a hinge, the top of the panel on one side bends back 1 - 2 degrees around that point. That does of course mean the panel is under more tension at that one small area than it would be if it were a gentle curve but all is so far working well with zero impact on picture quality so fingers crossed all will remain fine.
 

davejones2

Well-known Member
The OLED issue is pretty minor really, at least I hope it is. It is a definite bend but only of around 1 - 2 degrees about a small 0.5cm area rather than a curve. So if you imagine that 0.5cm area as a hinge, the top of the panel on one side bends back 1 - 2 degrees around that point. That does of course mean the panel is under more tension at that one small area than it would be if it were a gentle curve but all is so far working well with zero impact on picture quality so fingers crossed all will remain fine.

I've bought a few hifi items from there and they seemed pretty much brand new but repackaged.

I wouldn't personally buy a TV from there because I wouldn't buy any TV over £800-900 without a 5 year warranty and most importantly because an undefinable portion of their sets are going to be returns due to banding etc. Sounds like if you get lucky you can get a good deal.
 
I wouldn't personally buy a TV from there because I wouldn't buy any TV over £800-900 without a 5 year warranty and most importantly because an undefinable portion of their sets are going to be returns due to banding etc.

In general I totally agree, and actually the good price I mentioned happened to be in that range. Which is what made it worth the risk in this instance. This particular one has only very minimal banding, it's really faint even on the dreaded 5% gray so the panel is a good one it seems. There were some FZ series models available but those were all well over the 1k mark and so for refurb land and 1 year warranty vs 5, that was too much of a risk for me.

All that said though, even if there was more noticeable banding I'm not sure I'd be that put off by it. From what I've read, near enough all but the very worst cases are only visible in dark scenes viewed in a dark room, which is not (my) day to day viewing anyway.
 

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