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Plasma gas charging fault

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by Elvis, Feb 27, 2004.

  1. Elvis

    Elvis
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    Can any of the forum experts help me out.

    I noticed a picture fault on my Hitachi 42pd3000 some time ago, a light grey blob on the screen when displaying a black or dark image in low ambient light.

    To cut a long story short it has finally gone off to the service agent who say that this problem is inherent in this screen (plasmas are new technology after all) and that it is caused by the plasma gas charging. As a result it would seem they are not going to do anything about it.

    This sounds like a bag of arse to me and I just wondered if there was anything anyone could suggest that I could use to counter their argument.

    All contributions gratefully received. :)
     
  2. SLIM

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  3. Elvis

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    Very useful thanks for the link. Problem is the service agent says there is no fault. It 'within specification'. So what can I do? I know it's a fault because other sets don't exhibit it, but without agreement from Hitachi or their agents I'm a bit buggered.

    On the plus side my sister in law is a producer on BBC watchdog.
     
  4. SLIM

    SLIM
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    ok this is what i would do give it a week are so and phone them back up and say that it is haperning more and more and that ure not happy and wont a replasment
     
  5. Elvis

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    They won't replace it until the service agent has seen it and said it is buggered. Which they won't.

    However, thanks to your link I have found a little line that says goods should:

    "be fit for the purpose. This means that you must be able to use them for the purposes that you would normally expect from this type of product."

    And I shall be arguing that a grey blob on the screen means that it is not fit for the purpose of viewing television programmes.
     
  6. mw3cdj

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    Hi,
    Just to let you know i have a similar problem with a 42pma400.
    I phoned the dealer i purchased the unit from on the 24th of this month to explain the fault to them, the then told me to phone Hitachi UK who gave me a contact for a local approved Hitachi engineer to come out to repair the fault. On the 27th of this month the engineer came out (2 of them) and after seeing the fault and saying the fault was with the screen (which i all ready knew) the got on the phone to someone, and then told me the plasma would have to back to Germany for inspection and this could take a few months to happen. Not happy with this (would anyone fancy sending they're plasma to Germany.Must be transported vertically etc.) i said goodbye to the engineers and got straight back on the phone to the dealers and explained the situation to then. They said they'd phone back, but the didn't. So i had to phone them again at 5.25pm this afternoon, guess what i was asked ?? Whats the fault , i don't seem to have any information about it!!!!! So after explaining the fault for about the 10th time they said they would have to email the distributor's to see if they could do something.Apparently they will phone me back Monday. I will give them until 4.30pm Monday and then I'll start naming and shaming. I did not spend almost 3k on a product that is not fit for the purpose. Sorry for the long post but all Ive done this week is to chase people up.
    Regards,
    Daran
     
  7. Elvis

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    Update:
    Currently Hitachi's TSO (Technical Support Officer?) is coming to see my screen at the service agent's next week. Apparently they have never heard of this type of problem before and want to see it before they pronounce on whether it is a fault or not. This is a bit odd because I know another forum member has had the same problem with his 42pd3000 and had it replaced in december after the same service agent was unable to fix it. So they have seen this fault before.

    My argument will be that if it's not a fault how come not all sets exhibit this 'feature'. If it is inherent, as Hitachi insist, then surely it would be more widespread (and it's not). If not then my set differs from all others. I consider that a fault.

    All this stuff about it being caused by the plasma gas charging sounds like guff to me, but I'm no tech-head. Should there be a constant low contrast grey blob on screen caused by the gas charging? Does the gas charge? is it visible? I don't know. It all sounds suspiciously like those tales of having to replenish the plasma gas one hears now and again from poorly-trained sales staff.

    I can't help wondering if Hitachi are trying to fob me off because they no longer make the set and can't replace it.
     
  8. michael6

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    It would appear that Hitachi's TSO is going to have a busy week. My screen is due for collection tomorrow by a service agent in the North West for inspection on Wednesday.

    I also have the special edition of the 42PD3000 which comes complete with the grey blob/clouding effect.

    I will wait and see what happens on Wednesday but I am now expecting the 'within specification' outcome even though the service agent has seen the fault. Incidentally, my service agent also informed me that I should not watch films which have black bars at the top and bottom as the screen would wear out quicker in the middle !!!.

    If the screen is not repaired (which I doubt) or replaced I will be pursing the 'not fit for the purpose it was purchased' course of action. I think a fault of this nature is unacceptable on a £3000.00 television.

    Elvis, keep me posted on how you get on.

    Michael
     
  9. Elvis

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    Michael6,

    It's useful to know of other people with the same problem. If we can compare notes we may be able to put a bit more of a squeeze onto hitachi.

    So far Hitachi insist no one else has this problem, well as we know that's not entirely true, you also have the same problem, as did forum member marshy.dave who had his set replaced in december. We also know it's not inherent in all sets, because I haven't seen it on any display models and Marshy.dave's replacement set came without this feature (and remember, he knows what to look for so he didn't just overlook it). So it's just some sets then, a minority. Sounds more like a fault than an inherent feature to me.

    Are you in the hands of the same service agent? In my case it's Yorkshire Multimedia Services and I'm not too impressed with their actions so far, all they have done is use the screen wipe and test modes to try and clear it (Now why didn't I think of that...oh yeah!... I did, and it didn't work...oh and I told them it didn't work...so er why are they bothering?).

    I have been speaking to the retailer, John Lewis in Cheadle, and they are not too helpful (despite the fact I reminded them that the reason I bought the set from them was their excellent customer service record) their attitude is that if Hitachi say it's ok then it's ok. At the end of the day responsibilty falls to JL not Hitachi to ensure the goods are merchantable under the sale of goods act, so that's the line I will pursue if Hitachi fail to deliver. The only other card yet to be played is the Credit Card company who are 'jointly and severally liable' and will be my next port of call if further pressure on John Lewis is required.

    All in all a less than satisfactory turn of events, let's just hope the Hitachi TSO accepts this problem is a fault and we can start to sort it all out.

    Feel free to PM me if you want details such as my name and location.
     
  10. Elvis

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    Update:

    Just heard from the service agent that the TSO has seen my set and pronounced it to be within specification. It is a 'black uniformity' issue. Every set is different and mine just happens to have more visible variation on the black screen than anyone elses. Of course without a copy (or understanding of) Hitachi's technical specification I can't verify that. So I'm left with getting my set back and taking things further with John Lewis, which is not going to be easy.

    :(
     
  11. SILVERBACK

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    sounds like a nightmare of a situation mate you have my sympathy,its an absolute disgrace that you pay so much for a tv that has a fault and you basically are getting binned off.this reminds me off the problem i had with a tosh 36zd26 massive discoloured stripes at each side of the side screen an a halo effect round everything white on a black background,when i called tosh they basically said it was a FEATURE of all 36 inch screens and was told it was ok :mad: needles to say i was less than impressed and that was only £1200 id be looking into buying an assault rifle at being screwed out of 3 grand lol.awfull customer service:nono: from hitachi maybe a threat of a lawyer might help ??
     
  12. Elvis

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    I've been looking at the small claims court details, but I don't know if I dare take on the might of Hitachi.
     
  13. SILVERBACK

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    for a plasma tv that is faulty and £3000 down and no help what so ever from hitachi id take on king kong.no way would i be willing to right off 3 grand because its a livable fault accoding to someone who doesnt have to live with it.
     
  14. PhillipStanton

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    You might want to have a look at this . Key thing is:
    Doesn't matter what the technical specification says.

    Bear in mind that your contract is with John Lewis, not Hitachi, and it is them who you would need to push. If you paid by credit card then you also have recourse to the credit card company.

    A TV programme, like Watch Dog, might also be worth consideration - especially if you can find a few other disgruntled punters. I bet Hitachi would run a mile rather than have something like this on BBC primetime.

    I'm not a lawyer, but do work with a lot of contracts. My understanding is that a condition can only be applied to a contract if it was made clear at the time of sale, or is included in documentation provided with the goods. In the latter case, if you don't agree with anything supplied with the goods then they can be returned for a full refund. This is why software is shrink-wrapped and can be returned for a refund if you don't agree with the license conditions. Its also why manufacturers put the key technical specs in the user guides (like dead pixel policy).

    The only exception to this is where there is a UK or European quality standard for something. (There is one for LCD screens for instance.)

    I believe that the bottom line is that unless reasonable efforts were made to explain a material part of the technical specfication to you, then it would be considered an Unfair Contract Term, as in:
    Hope some of this rambling helps.
     
  15. johndon

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    Never noticed until last night but it appears that my 42PD3000 exhibits the same problem.

    We were watching Finding Nemo last night and there is a part (where the fish have dived deep) where the screen goes completely black for a short time and, there in the middle of the screen, was a light grey blob.

    I've had the screen since July last year and it's the first time I've noticed although I'm not sure I've watched anything with a completely black screen for any period of time.

    John
     
  16. Elvis

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    Thanks for the info philipstanton, I 'm sure it will be useful when I speak to John Lewis. As for Watchdog, well I have a close relative who is a producer on the show so that might be a possibility. I had considered setting up an 'Ihatehitachi.com' website detailing my experience as a form of corporate blackmail, but perhaps that is going to far, after all in all other respects I'm quite happy with my TV.

    Perhaps this problem is more widespread than I thought if Johndon's experience is anything to go by, in which case a replacement probably won't help.
     
  17. michael6

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    Elvis

    Sorry to hear the news, what a load of B****ck's what is a 'black uniformity issue' ?, surely the black should be uniform on a £3000 TV. I am surprised that Hitachi are suggesting that it varies so much from set to set, do they not have quality control. I now know what awaits me on Wednesday.

    My service agents are a company named ETS based in Lancaster,
    their engineer has been out to see my TV and acknowledged the problem but didn't have a 'fix'. He then contacted Hitachi at which time I had to go through the pointless 'run it in test mode for eight hours' routine when this surprisingly didn't work I was told the Hitachi TSO wanted to inspect it.

    My TV is not being collected until tomorrow for what will be a complete waste of time, but if I don't let them inspect I can't really persue the matter.

    I also purchased from JL in Cheadle but I have had limited contact with them as yet. I can't really do anything until Wednesday.

    If Hitachi insist that this is normal for their plasma screens then it is not suitable for the purpose I bought it.

    I will keep you posted on events.

    Johndon

    On my set the fish dive down into a fog !

    It is a bit worrying that yet another member has now noticed this. I wonder how many others could have this problem but have not noticed yet. Maybe Hitachi know more than they are letting on.


    Michael
     
  18. SILVERBACK

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    just hope this doesnt turn into a "sony scrolling bars" thread again :rolleyes: im looking at getting a plasma myself but it deffo looks like panasonic now after this bombshell :(
     
  19. Elvis

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    update:

    Just spoken to JL, and they're sticking to the line that if Hitachi have said it isn't broke, then it isn't broke. I threw the sale of goods act at them and now have to wait for the manager to call back tomorrow. So I'm gearing up for a fight. The way I read it the law is on my side, but we'll have to see how things go tomorrow.

    It will be interesting to see if there is a differing response from Hitachi on any other sets with this fault. Let us know how you get on michael6.

    Gotta admit if I'd known what I know now I'd have probably gone for a panasonic too.
     
  20. Elvis

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    Some pestering got me a bit more info on the nature of the problem. Apparently in the realm of plasma technology you can have either black screens with a dark picture or grey screens with a bright picture, Hitachi have gone for the latter (er... don't panasonic have black screens with a bright picture?). Occasionally there is some variation in the consistency of this grey colour, hence the 'blobs' or 'clouds'. I have been assured that it won't be visible on a 'normal dynamic picture' but I guess that's only if I never watch a program with dark scenes.

    Perhaps Hitachi could issue me with a list of 'approved' programmes that meet the above criteria, so I'm no longer troubled by the deficiencies inherent in the £3K TV I bought from them.
     
  21. michael6

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    Elvis

    Thanks for that update.

    I will also be calling JL on Wednesday once Hitachi confrm that my
    screen is also 'within spec'.

    John Lewis have good reputation on the forums which is now going to be put to the test.

    There seems to be a hell of a lot of bulls**t coming out now.

    If Hitachi have gone for a bright screen with the notorious grey blobs why are they not consistant with every screen?. Should it not then decrease as you turn the brightness down?

    I don't recall to many Panasonic owners complaining of a dark or dull picture, a lot of other things maybe but not this.

    I wonder which route Pioneer have gone down, perhaps a bit of
    both.

    With a black ( or do I mean grey ) screen displayed with no image my screen is jet black at the sides with a very definite edge to it and then cloudy in the centre, this does not change no matter how much I adjust the brightness or contrast.

    Keep me posted

    Michael
     
  22. Deron

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    Well the panny pa-20 has now dropped below the 3k threshold so it may be worth ranting that Panasonic have a less troublesome model for a similar price.

    Hitachi would hate a rival being promoted in their face.

    I actually ordered my screen (pa20) on Friday and to be honest I was up for the Hitachi, but some last minute negativity from Hitachi owners, steered me clear.

    Hopefully av-sales can source me a screen and I'm just awaiting a phonecall from them.
     
  23. Pollywoggle

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    Mine is the same Elvis, I have areas on the right side of the screen where black is er.. a little greyer! Its only noticable when watching an all black screen with the lights off and to be honest I don't really notice it much. I just put it down to the technology and did not bother complaining because I was sure they would not be willing to address it. No-one else has noticed it except me so I know its no big deal. The image I am getting is so good in every other way I have not bothered getting worked up about it. Yours may be worse than mine obviously and if you are not happy then try and get it sorted!
     
  24. mw3cdj

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    Hi all,
    Update.....The dealer i purchased my pma400e from phoned me this morning to say that they would collect my plasma and deliver me a loan unit . They would then inspect my monitor .I cant see me having any joy , I'll probably get the same response as Elvis :(
    Daran.
    P.S my gray cloud covers approx 1/2 of the center of the screen
     
  25. brethy

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    Hi Mrs Brethy here, I've been reading your posts with great interest as we have just purchased a 42PD5000. Please could anyone tell me if the grey areas developed over time or did you notice them straight away, ie was the screen ok at the beginning?. Just a bit concerned in case this can affect other screens as well :eek: . BTW good luck in your fight against Hitachi I totally agree if you send £2500 - £3000 on a tv you expect perfection.
     
  26. mw3cdj

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    Exactly the same as my 400e.
    I'll try and take a photo .If it works , will post it.
    Daran.
     
  27. Elvis

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    The fault or 'feature' with my screen was visible from day one, although it is only visible when viewing a dark screen in a dark room. I'm guessing you either have it or you don't, it probably won't develop. If you have a set delivered and it has this 'feature' then just send it back for a refund. Under distance selling regulations you have 30 days to do this.

    I tried to photograph the effect, but because it's only visible in the dark the picture didn't come out too well, I'll post it this evening though.
     
  28. brethy

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    Thanks Elvis we've not noticed anything so far so hopefully it will be ok, I hope you manage to get yours sorted out eventually.

    Mrs Brethy
     
  29. michael6

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    Mrs Brethy

    I first noticed the problem about a month after I purchased the screen and it does not appear to have deterioated further.

    I therefore suspect it was there from new.

    To check the panel the room needs to be as dark as possible and the screen set to display a solid (or it should be) black image. I did this by either using an AV input that was not in use or by pausing a DVD at an appropriate point.

    If your screen is uniformly black you should be ok.

    Michael
     
  30. Elvis

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    The mistake I made was waiting to see if it would go away... It didn't. If I'd sent it straight back to JL and got a refund I could have either purchased another one or bought a different make of screen. It never occured to me that they might dispute the 'fault' if it didn't clear up.
     

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