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Thinking of buying a Panny, read this first!

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by nobbydog, Mar 17, 2004.

  1. nobbydog

    nobbydog
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    Anyone concerned with Customer Support after taking the plunge and parting with up to £3k should read my letter to Panasonic posted today. Self explanatory, a bit long, but proves that a big name does not necessarily mean good customer support. I'll let you know what happens. By the way, the fault is only the need for a replacement power pcb to stop it shutting down, a simple in-home repair.....

    "I would like to express my complete dissatisfaction with the ‘Customer Support’ service provided by Panasonic UK Ltd.

    Being loyal to particular brands such as Panasonic (digital camcorder, vcr, Sky box etc) I recently purchased a TH42PW6B 42” plasma display from Sevenoakes Sound and Vision, in Swindon, for £3,000. A fault developed with the screen on Friday 27th February, which I duly reported via email to your customer support department on Saturday 28th February. The following is a summary showing the incompetence of your department in dealing with my request.

    Saturday 28th February – sent email explaining the fault in detail to your Customer Support department.
    Monday 1st March – received an email from Matt Hickin requesting serial No. info etc which I provided by return email.
    Wednesday 3rd March – received an email from MH stating that the repair had been booked with the engineers and to await a call. NO CALL.
    Friday 5th March – Sent emaIl to MH for am update. NO REPLY.
    Tuesday 9th – called Customer Support for an update and had to explain the whole story about emails and promised engineers. MH was busy but would call me back later that day. NO CALL.
    Wednesday 10th March - called Customer Support for an update and had to explain the whole story about emails and promised engineers/phone calls AGAIN. Was told that MH was on another call, had been interrupted, and had promised the engineers would call Wednesday or Thursday. I was also told that the fault had only been logged with the engineers on Monday 8th, not Wednesday 3rd as stated by MH in his email on that day. NO CALL RECEIVED ON EITHER DAY.
    Friday 12th – called Customer Support for an update and had to explain the whole story about emails and promised engineers/phone calls AGAIN. I was told that a call would be made to the engineers again and to expect a call by the end of Monday 15th. I explained that I would be seriously annoyed if I had to call again on Monday if no call was received. NO CALL AGAIN.
    Friday 12th March – Sent email to MH for an update. NO REPLY.
    Monday 15th - called Customer Support for an update and had to explain the whole story about emails and promised engineers/phone calls AGAIN. MH engaged on another line AGAIN, Simon, who answered the call, spoke to the engineers while I waited on the line and stated that no call had EVER been put in to them AT ALL. I explained to Simon that the situation was totally unacceptable, he agreed and promised that the engineer would definitely call me on the Tuesday morning. NO CALL AGAIN.

    I will copy this letter via email to your Customer Care Dept.

    I will also be putting it on the AVFORUMS website for members (23,000) to look at as there are many people interested in the Panasonic brand and several discussions relating to after sales customer care being a factor in deciding which plasma to go for."......

    I then went on to request some sharpish action and that I was not prepared to keep ringing Customer Support with the same story.
     
  2. Member 6435

    Member 6435
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    Nobbydog

    Sorry to hear that you are experiencing problems with Panasonic. Have you spoken to Sevenoaks regarding this matter as Panasonic authorised dealers can often speed things up by phoning either their contacts in customer services or their Panasonic representative?

    Hope you get things sorted soon.

    Regards

    Alastair
     
  3. Timmy B

    Timmy B
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    I received a similar (if not worse) level of support from Panasonic. They really are terrible. I returned it and went for the Fujitsu - when you phone them, someone answers within seconds and you can be speaking to the head of tech within minutes.

    Wish my authorised dealer could of done this :smoke:
     
  4. nobbydog

    nobbydog
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    Alastair
    yes I put a call in to Seveoaks on the first Saturday and was told that they would call Panasonic on the Monday morning to log my fault. I asked them to let me know what happened but have never heard from them since. I suppose I could have chased them for action as well, but I really cannot be arsed to deal with another load of chasing up phone calls and promises etc which is why I've concentrated on dealing with Panasonic direct.
    Fat lot of good that has done so far. I guess it does'nt say much for Sevenoaks either.
    Not happy.
     
  5. gpa

    gpa
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    Hi i had a similar problem recently, my advice do not bother with panny or your suppling dealer, go directly to barry Mcann( can not remember exactly). They arranged for visit and repaired within two weeks.
     
  6. MAW

    MAW
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    I can't understand why the retailer doesn't take more action. How old was the screen? It may also be a problem with some company's business models (God help you with this one Alastair) but we swap them out with a demo screen if they have a problem, and take over all responsibility for getting it sorted. But then all my customers have paid more than internet prices, and all, or almost all, are within a few miles of the office, and we have specced their entire system, so know what we need to take, video boards and such, to get it all working. As Timmy says, it's a good thing for us to sell Fujitsu as it gets around the whole problem. The whole thing falls apart if we have to bargain too hard on price, or we accept a customer too far away.
     
  7. akarit1

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    Hear Hear!!!!

    I would personally never never never ever-Buy from Sevenoaks,fortunately I have'nt ever done so but the horror stories I've heard!!!!!
    On a more personal note though I have been in to their stores enquiring about the not so high class expensive gear and they look at me as if I should go back to the soup kitchen.

    I mean were not all on £80,000.00 a year jobs.All they did was to try and sell me the most expensive gear and told me to save up for it.

    The bloody cheek!!!!!

    Well that was enough to put me off for good-I dont even sniff the place anymore!!

    AVOID THEM AT ALL COST!!!
    (pardon the pun).
     
  8. keefers

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    Yup!

    I bought a Minidisc Hi-Fi separate from Birmingham Sevenoaks a coupla years ago. After about 3 months the loading mechanism gave in & I found on the 'net that this was a common problem. Took it back, they were rude and accused me of breaking it! They grudgingly took it in for repair. Over 4 months later after a dozen calls (me to them!) they gave me it back (fixed but scratched).

    Less than a week later the same problem reoccurred. :mad: Took it back in - again poor service (they questioned me as tho I didn't know how to ease a MD into it!). They took it in.

    I'll cut to the chase - it took them another 4 months to fix it & I had to chase them weekly - they didn't call me once.

    So I get it back - 3 weeks later *exactly* the same prob. I took it back in, they look at the 1 year warranty & say it's expired a week ago - I pointed out they'd had it for more than twice as long as me during the past year but they basically said "Tough".

    I just chucked the thing in the bin and bought from avland.co.uk instead (great service). So I had about 4 months of use out of it in a year.

    I'm getting angry just thinking about it again.

    keef :mad:
     
  9. MAW

    MAW
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    Keefers, I should edit that BF the mods do, xxxxx are utter crap is against the rules. It is factually incorrect, they are not brown and steaming and on the pavement....
     
  10. emad

    emad
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    Many of us on the net would by from an e-tailer to save some cash knowing that we'll not get the same level of support we'd normally get from a high street AV specialist.

    Also many of us buy some brands "like Sony & Panasonic" assuming strong customer support behind their big names.

    The stories I read here proves that there are exceptions to every rule, So I buy from the net and save cash and before every purchase decision I call the company's customer service & Help line BEFORE flashing the plastic.

    I found Pioneer's support - generally - much better than other brands, which was a factor in making my purchase decision - plasma, Amp and soon DVD.
     
  11. MAW

    MAW
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    You'll hear the odd story about Barron McCann, Pioneer's service agents too, but generally you are right, they're among the best of a bad lot.
     
  12. lynx

    lynx
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    I'd like to remind posters to be mindful before hitting the 'post' button.
     
  13. V5-APS

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    Have to agree with emad here....i also called Pioneer CS. they answered almost immediately and were very helpful, pre-purchase!!
     
  14. FaxFan2002

    FaxFan2002
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    Can't give you a shining light, I was without my unit PW5 for almost 3 months (dealing with Panny CS). I did eventually escilate it to a senior member and got it sorted quite quickly then. On the plus side they replaced the PW5 with a new PW6.
     
  15. nobbydog

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    Well, 'The Dog' seems to be hitting some raw nerves here, and mine are pretty raw I can tell you!
    MAW - the screen is 4 months old so well within its warranty. I also paid more than the internet prices at the time (£3k when it could be had for £200 less) and deliberately went to my nearest high street 'specialist' so that I could talk face to face and hopefully not fall foul of a dodgy internet company who could not be contacted in the event of a problem. They sold me the whole system (see below) so I guess I should be hassling them more to sort it, I think I'll give them a ring today and see what sort of response I get!?! Watch this space.
    As far as my letter to Panasonic is concerned I also copied it to the MD at Matsu****a in Cardiff to deliberatley put the cat amongst the pigeons. I am NOT ringing Panasonic Customer Support again for a few days as I want to see if my stroppy letter hits the spot - I suppose it could be a long wait, but if I do have to ring again it ain't gonna be pretty!

    Faxfan2002 - are you able to give me the name of the person who sorted it for you, not sure if thats in the rules, or if you can pm me?
     
  16. apollosys

    apollosys
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    NobbyDog,

    Take the product back to the shop on the busiest day of their trading week, kick up a fuss and demand your money back
    Not to the point of a raving lunatic but, calm and collected like.
    Stress that you have no intention of leaving the shop until you have been fully refunded.
    You have to hold you nerve and be willing to spend the whole day in the shop.

    Hope it works out.
     
  17. nobbydog

    nobbydog
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    Well, I've just spoken to Sevenoaks (nothing from Panasonic as yet - yawn) and I've been told to contact Panasonic on the Customer Support number!!!! Aparrantley I must deal with the manufacturer direct! However, they will try the rep and call me later (I DOUBT).
    Anyone know the truth about customers rights, faulty goods, returns etc in a few short sentences??
     
  18. Tee Tee

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    Well this is probably no comfort to you nobbydog, but I had the same problem with my Panny and it was fixed by Barron McCann within a week!

    I bought from AV-Sales and Liam (while he was still there) sorted out the service call to Panasonic.

    The problem here seems to be the variability of the service - some have had excellent results while others have suffered quite badly. It depends too much on the individual you deal with.
     
  19. jmack

    jmack
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    i have had great service from toshiba and nexnix. my plasma is away at the moment and they have left me a loan set. which is not even in the warranty. my plasma is about 18 months old. took toshiba about a week to find a loan set and they sent someone to collect mine.


    hope you get your problem sorted . one of the main reasons i went for the tosh was a extra year warranty.
     
  20. Elvis

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    Nobbydog,

    After my recent adventures with Hitachi and John Lewis I know all about customer rights.:lesson:

    If the goods are faulty you are entitled to a lasting repair, refund or replacement. If they dispute this you can threaten to take them to small claims court. Write telling them what they must do and how long you are giving them to do it. If they don't comply you can issue proceedings. Any fault showing up in the first six months after purchase is deemed to be as a result of poor manufacture, after that period you have to prove it hasn't been caused by damage. Obviously you are well within the 6 month period.

    You can only pursue the retailer in this fashion, not the manufacturer, but if you tell Sevenoaks you are considering this course of action then it should put a firecracker up their arse and maybe they will be more pro-active. The liability is theirs not Panasonics, even if it is panasonic who are repairing it, don't let sevenoaks fob you off or play you off against panasonic.
     
  21. nobbydog

    nobbydog
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    Elvis

    Thanks for the info. Does this mean that, as the goods are faulty, I could take the refund option now, and is this quote taken from a legal document that I can take a look at?
    In other words, if I could quote the clause in the Sale of Goods Act, or whatever it may be called, I might well take the money back option and go with the same panel but a different retailer.
    Cheers
     
  22. Elvis

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    here is a link to my 'bible' Sale of Goods act

    You will not necessarily get a full refund, that is only possible if you reject the goods 'within a reasonable period of time' quite what that 'reasonable period' is will be determined by the nature of the goods, but you're probably outside that period now. However, if the retailer does not comply with the act in regard to lasting repair or replacement of the faulty set then a court can instruct them to give you a refund if no other course of action remains.

    If you want to go down this route I fully recommend speaking to your local Trading Standards for expert advice, my local office was very helpful, and once I told JL that they were behind my case they pretty much caved in, thus securing a full refund without the need for legal action.
     
  23. YS-YS

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    I'm surprised you bought a panasonic from a sevenoaks they usually recomend the Fujitsu or Pioneer as the servicing is much better and the quality of the displays are usually better.
     
  24. MAW

    MAW
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    You can't argue with that, but fact remains they sold him one. Usually they only sell Fujitsu alis screens for loads of money.
     
  25. ColinII

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    My series 5 has a flicker - no surprise there.

    Anyway, I spoke to Panasonic 2 months ago to ask them to service it and fix the flicker. They said Barron McCann would contact me within a week to arrange pickup.

    They have not done so.

    Seems ridiculous - I spect £3,500 on my plasma - and they treat me like this.

    Will never buy panasonic ever ever again. Don't suppose they care as they have had £3,500 from me.
     
  26. Jasonjo

    Jasonjo
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    ditto
     
  27. nobbydog

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    Well,
    2.30pm Spoke to Panasonic - its a return to Panasonic fix, not an in home fix after all! It took nearly 3 weeks to come to that conclusion.......but wait.....
    5.00pm Spoke to Panasonic - its an in home fix again. The parts are out of stock, could be next week earliest.

    I guess anything could happen tommorrow, except getting the bloody thing repaired.:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
     
  28. gpa

    gpa
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    Nobbydog,

    what is the problem with the panny!!!!
     
  29. nobbydog

    nobbydog
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    The panel keeps shutting down ie. going to flashing red led. Only way back is to switch off and switch on again. Even with the power settings turned down or off (input level -32, peak limit on, all the power save options on) it still only lasts 15 mins or so. With the full settings up for best pq it shuts down in seconds. The power pcb it would seem.
     
  30. YS-YS

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    anything?
     

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