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Screen Uniformity Issues and the Horrors of Service Techs

by jma108 / April 14, 2009 1:47 AM PDT

After reading this forum thoroughly and following the amount of help/care that HDTech puts into these posts, I decided to document my story in increments so I could share it. I'm extremely disappointed at the moment and fear things may not go well.

Transaction 4003376204
Model LN46B650T1FXZA
SN AUHR3CPS300309B
Build March 2009
Purchase March 23, 2009

April 7, 2009

Called 1-800-SAMSUNG. Spoke with Mark, very courteous, listened well, understood the issue, scheduled a service call, gave me contact information, assigned transaction number, told me to expect service on April 10, 2009.

April 9, 2009

SAMSUNG called me. Spoke with George, very courteous, requested to know TV issue to better communicate what would be needed to service technician. Listened well, understood the issue.

Called service technician. Spoke with Tim, very friendly, listened well, understood issue only partially. E-mailed technician. Supplied photos of TV issue to communicate a better understanding of what will be needed.

April 10, 2009

Called service technician. Spoke with Tim, friendly again, told me no service date was set in stone yet and would call with more information. Commented that photos suggested a need for a new panel. Samsung repair self-tracking page lists a service date of April 14, 2009.

April 14, 2009

Service Technician called me while at work to tell me he was "on his way." Spoke with Tim. Offered to come by this morning to pick up TV and take it back to his shop. I requested leaving it at home, he said no. I had to make several calls to make sure someone was home, as I expected a call at least 1 day in advance.

Service technician arrived. Examined TV after being on for 45 minutes; when told that it takes 1-1.5 hours for it to warm up and show the uniformity issues, he said he didn't have any time for that and insisted on taking the TV to his shop. I suggested turning up the backlight to see it more easily. He laughed and said that it voids your warranty and he "didn't know what he'd be able to do for me since I did that." Extremely unprofessional and condescending.


What should I do? I am expecting very little at this point, but am open for any suggestions.

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Continuing the Story
by jma108 / April 14, 2009 11:06 PM PDT

April 15, 2009

Service Technician called me. Spoke with Tim. Seemed impatient and unwilling to help. Wanted to let me know that, after 6 hours, he didn't see anything (despite photos) and said "this was a waste of time trying to find something that's not there." Also told me that if something WAS there, I'd just "have to live with it." Told me that he would MAYBE look at it again tomorrow.

Is this really happening? Did I really pay this much money for an unsatisfactory product (under warranty) only to be denied help in repairing it? This is amazing.

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Store or another tech?
by clicq / April 15, 2009 5:38 AM PDT

Could you not return it to the store you bought it from and get a replacement?

I think that in a case like this, Samsung should be able to assign you to another service center in your area. HD Tech probably has more to say on this issue, but like any repair service that's contracted out, the level of service varies widely :(.

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Thank You
by jma108 / April 15, 2009 5:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Store or another tech?

Thank you for your honest reply. While I would love to simply return the unit, it was purchased online from a reseller in Maryland (whereas I live in Illinois). Returning the TV would mean several hundred dollars in shipping/restocking fees. My mistake, I suppose.

I live in a very underpopulated area and fear that another service center might not be available. The man doing the servicing is in his upper 70's and seems quite stubborn. When I was told that he was unable to reproduce the uniformity issues, I offered to drive to the center PERSONALLY to show him. He, of course, declined.

I'm still at a loss for words, though. This level of "service" is simply astounding.

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You're not alone.
by iVersatile / April 15, 2009 5:59 AM PDT
In reply to: Thank You

I have gone through this same issue several times, you're not the only one. It took three techs for Samsung to finally offer an exchange for my set. The best advice i could give is keep calling Samsung and ask to be transferred over to ECR. My understanding, is that after three failed service attempts they will just offer to exchange your TV set for a brand new one.

I received my new one a few weeks ago and to my surprise, it has the very same issue, if not worse. I called them up about two weeks and they told me they would call me back within 3 to 5 days and i haven't heard back. I am actually stalling on calling them up again because i honestly do not feel like going through the whole run around all over again.

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Forgot to mention...
by iVersatile / April 15, 2009 6:02 AM PDT
In reply to: Thank You

The three service techs that were sent to my house to fix my screen uniformity issue did not have a clue on what i was talking about. Let's just say it was a very bad experience with all three service techs.

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Thank You Also
by jma108 / April 15, 2009 6:08 AM PDT
In reply to: Thank You

Hello there! Believe it or not, it was your story that inspired me to continuously document my own and share it here. I will, of course, heed your advice and keep Samsung up-to-date with my efforts.

I don't feel as though I'm asking for much. I spent a lot of money on this item and feel a satisfactory product free from obtrusive uniformity issues is very reasonable. Given that I am aware of the inherent nature of these issues in LCDs, I feel as though my own is rather annoying, in that it detracts regularly from my viewing experiences (on all inputs I might add).

Thank you for your support and suggestions, as well for as sharing your own experiences.

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Thank You
by Samsung_HD_Tech Samsung staff / April 15, 2009 6:34 AM PDT
In reply to: Thank You

jma108,

The best thing that can be done for screen uniformity issues is to escalate the issue with Samsung at 800-SAMSUNG. In the end, if Samsung tells him to fix something, replace the panel or swap electronics, that's what he has to do. I don't know the areas of our authorized service technicians, so I don't know who else is available, if any. But it's worth asking.

I apologize for his demeanor. That said, in rural areas, we do contract local authorized representatives to do the work.

That said, I agree that adjusting a setting in the user menu is not something that deserves a condescending response, and it does NOT void the warranty. It IS par for the course, sometimes, for them to take the unit to their shop to do the actual work.

I do have to save escalations for extreme cases, so in the meantime, I would try calling back and seeing if you can escalate your issues with the service center at 800-SAMSUNG.

Keep me posted.

--HDTech

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Thank You
by jma108 / April 15, 2009 6:57 AM PDT
In reply to: Thank You

Thank you for your timely response, HDTech. I appreciate the care and understanding you demonstrate in each of your responses.

I do intend to keep everyone abreast of my proceedings, and will follow your advice in escalating the issue. Is this something I simply call 1-800-SAMSUNG and request along with the accompanying transaction number?

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Continuing the Story
by jma108 / April 16, 2009 7:07 AM PDT
In reply to: Thank You

I have had such good experiences with Samsung Customer Support (and now Executive) that I wish with all my might that they were the individuals handling the servicing of televisions. They have been exceptionally friendly and helpful.

April 15, 2009 (Evening)

Called 1-800-SAMSUNG. Spoke with Matt. He was extremely helpful and listened very well. He offered information regarding multiple service centers near me. Was kind enough to forward my concerns to ECR on my behalf. He assigned me a new transaction number (3000215429) and instructed me to give ECR a call between the hours of 8-6 cst on the following day.

April 16, 2009

Called 1-800-SAMSUNG. Was able to be transferred to ECR for a follow-up regarding my concerns. Spoke with Kristin. She was above and beyond my expectations. She called the service technician (though unable to reach him), left a message instructing him to update the status of my repair. Gave me a more-direct 800 number to reach her personally, as she felt my requests were very reasonable. She offered to take care of service center exchanges if that's what I wanted to do. Instructed me to call tomorrow evening to check on what information my service center has updated.

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thanks
by ingridjensen / April 16, 2009 7:47 AM PDT
In reply to: Continuing the Story

thanks very much for this...all very informational.

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Uniformity?
by H Falcon / April 16, 2009 4:24 PM PDT
In reply to: Continuing the Story

This post has been somewhat uplifting of my hopes. I have to phone customer support myself and have been dreading it. (Still do) but I am hoping to have some nice people like you have had on the phone when I do. (Having a someone who seems more friendly can really go a long way when having to deal with these matters. Which is also why I am thankful for HD-Tech to come in here and help.) But reading all this can I ask what is Uniform Issues? I'm wondering if it is what I am experiencing because i never know how to full explain my issues to the techs. It is like a blur/ghosting... would this be screen uniformity? Mine though seems opposite... when I first turn the unit on it's very noticeable. As the unit has been on for longer periods it gets to a point where you can still see it and sometimes it's more noticeable but it usually seems worse when the TV is first turned on.

Anyways thanks again for this post. Just reading that we aren't alone with these issues can make one feel less... lost.

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Please See Here
by jma108 / April 16, 2009 11:36 PM PDT
In reply to: Uniformity?
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Spoke with ECR today
by Daygn / April 17, 2009 4:01 AM PDT
In reply to: Continuing the Story

This morning after I got home from work I decided to call Samsung about my panel issues. I really wanted to rip who ever I spoke to a new one but kept my cool.

After speaking with John(who was a pleasure to speak to by the way)and telling him my history with my 850's, I asked him to transfer me to ECR where I spoke to Shawn. He was also vary helpful and informative. I got my repair transaction #(4003412228) the techs company name and phone number.

Now for the bad! It sounds like they are just going to try to fix the PQ/blurriness/haziness by replacing the parts that were not replaced when the panel was and hope that fixes the panel issue. It will be like a getting a third 850 series TV to see if that one might work right.

I also spoke to Shawn about a possible replacement for the 850 for a different set and all he could tell me was it would not be smaller then the one I have but couldn't tell me if it would possibly be a 750 or 650 which would be a major downgrade and just plain wrong.

Has any one received a downgrade or been offered a downgrade as a replacement??? Or should I not worry and and expect the excellence I have received with all five of my other Samsung display products(not counting the 850's)???

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I Believe
by jma108 / April 17, 2009 4:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Spoke with ECR today

I do believe that information would benefit you more if it were in its own, separate, thread on the Samsung forums. You would surely gather more help in an appropriately-titled message.

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ok then
by Daygn / April 17, 2009 7:30 AM PDT
In reply to: I Believe

Wasnt trying to boost your thread or anything. Scence we all have an 850 and could all get replacements thought it might be important info for us all!!!

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Spoke with ECR today
by Samsung_HD_Tech Samsung staff / April 17, 2009 6:27 PM PDT
In reply to: Spoke with ECR today

Daygn,

To the best of my knowledge, nobody has been downgraded to a lower series of panels in these circumstances.

If that's something that comes up, please let me know.

--HDTech

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Continuing the Story
by jma108 / April 19, 2009 10:52 AM PDT
In reply to: Spoke with ECR today

April 17, 2009 (Morning)

Service Technician called me. Told me that he spoke to Samsung Tech Support and they "jointly" decided that everything was normal. He then told me that if I didn't come to get my TV on Saturday (April 18), it would take several weeks for him to return it. Crazy, I know.

April 17, 2009 (Afternoon)

Called ECR. I attempted to reach the same Agent I had originally dealt with, but Debbie told me such a transfer was not possible. No problem. I spoke with Debbie at length, explaining the situation. She seemed moderately helpful, listened well, and offered to provide an alternative determination based on photos supplied by me.

April 18, 2009

I made the drive (in the rain) to the service technician's place of business. I didn't want to, but felt it best given the circumstances (plus additional photos would probably be helpful to Samsung). I spoke with Tim IN PERSON, confident that he wouldn't be as rude/arrogant in response to my issues when face-to-face.

Upon arrival, I could easily identify the issue and gladly explained to him my non-satisfaction with the screen's uniformity. He looked me in the eye, laughed at me, and said those lights were just reflections from his numerous plasma TVs. The audacity... Despite the TV being angled AWAY from his plasmas, I thought it best to grab my TV and go. So I did.

April 19, 2009

Took several photos of my issue on multiple inputs under various picture modes. I e-mailed them to Samsung and await a response.

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Continuing the Story
by jma108 / April 22, 2009 2:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Continuing the Story

April 22, 2009

Samsung ECR gave me a call. Spoke with a man who's name I can't pronounce. He seemed redundant and ill-equipped to handle the situation. He told me I have no warranty because I purchased from an 'authorized' store on ebay. He told me any TV you buy online is NOT covered by Samsung's warranty. I asked specifically about Amazon. He said no warranty. I asked if the service tech should not have even come out in the first place. He said the tech should not have come.

Game over I suppose. I'll be in contact with the store I purchased from to see what info I can gather. How incredibly disappointing. Hopefully I can pawn this thing off soon and buy another brand.

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Disappointing
by iVersatile / April 22, 2009 3:19 AM PDT
In reply to: Continuing the Story

I know how disappointed you must feel, believe me, i have been through the same. Personally, i would keep on bugging them and have them sent out another tech.

Did you register your TV on the official Samsung website? It will give you an additional three months just for registering your TV on there.

I bought my TV from Amazon and it is in fact covered by the manufacturers warranty, i have no idea why the person you spoke to told you other wise.

I also considered moving on to another brand but i realized that Samsungs have the best overall picture quality and that some prices are hard to beat on certain sets, the only issues i have is the Flashlighting which i just can't ignore. I would rather have clouds than the Flashlight effect.

I haven't gotten a call from Samsung either, and my ticket number has been open for over three weeks already.

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Just So Disappointing
by jma108 / April 22, 2009 4:23 AM PDT
In reply to: Disappointing

The guy just wouldn't seem to listen. The store is an EBay store, I bought it, but I have the original invoice. But still, he said no warranty. It doesn't matter, he said.

No help at all. I may give ECR another call shortly, since I've managed to curb my frustration.

Thanks for your words though, it's nice to know I'm not the only one in the boat.

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Moving On
by jma108 / April 22, 2009 6:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Disappointing

April 22, 2009 (Afternoon)

I took iVersatile's advice and kept up the assault. I called ECR again and got a different Agent. Thank the Heavens. She listened very well, understood what was going on, and informed me that I do, in fact, have warranty on my television.

They requested I FAX my original invoice. I will do that tomorrow and hope for the best!

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