If you need a further reason not to buy a Panasonic plasma television besides the fact that the company has announced it is getting out of the plasma business, please read the following:
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On December 3, 2012, the Geek Squad installed a 50-inch Panasonic VIERA HD 3D plasma TV (TC-P50ST50), purchased from Amazon, in my living room. After less than six weeks, the screen displayed a burn-in image of the Fox Business Network information bar across the bottom. (I had watched “Imus in the Morning” on FBN Monday through Friday from 6 am-9 am, but at no other time.)
I contacted Panasonic customer service and was advised that a local service provider (XP Electronics in Nashua, N.H.) would need to examine the set. Two days later, an highly professional XP tech examined the set, confirming in a report to Panasonic that “the unit has permanent ‘burn in’ damage to PDP panel assembly. Fox News Channel logo (sic) and ticker burnt in at bottom of screen. This issue is not covered thru mfg. warranty. Please note: issue is not image retention. Plasma panel would need to be replaced!”
Over the next six weeks, I spoke with a parade of Panasonic customer service reps and supervisors: Nigel, Lorenzo, Omar, Allison, Orlando and Trisha (they are not “permitted” to give last names, probably so they can’t be re-contacted or held accountable.) At every step in the process I was given inaccurate, conflicting and misleading information regarding the status of my complaint, apologies about the actions of the previous, and a promise to rectify that and be in touch with me within 72 hours. In not a single instance did I receive a return call within a week; in every case, I had to re-initiate contact.
Ultimately, I was informed that burn-in is specifically excluded from Panasonic’s warranty and that the company would do nothing to resolve the issue. (Note that Panasonic’s Canadian warranty does not exclude burn-in. My guess is the Canadian regulators would not permit it.)
My final contact was with Arlene in the company’s customer relations department at Panasonic USA headquarters in Secaucus, N.J. She acknowledged the total lack of competent handling of my complaint, but reiterated the company’s stand that the problem was not covered by warranty and would not be repaired or replaced.
While she refused to go on record agreeing with the following statement (though offering nothing to rebut it), I can only draw this conclusion: Panasonic believes it is normal and acceptable for its plasma televisions to experience burn-in within six weeks on a new TV that has been used strictly in accordance with all the recommendations and information provided in the product’s user guide.
With policies like that, one can’t help but wonder if it’s not a good thing that Panasonic is exiting the plasma TV business. In the meantime, save yourself a big headache and look to other brands.
Amount Paid (US$): 1000