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Bought a 42" plasma TV from Best Buy in fall 2005---didn't opt for the extended warrenty as it was just over $400!!!! And found out today when called them to see about repair that they STILL charge a 190 bucks JUST TO COME OUT!!!! They fix onsight but charge a $90 service fee and a $100 diagnostic fee. Plus labor and parts. Which I assumed I'd pay of course. I don't mind paying to fix my TV but my gosh I'd never thought it'd cost more than a master electrician or what a doctor would charge. LOL! The TV has always made a buzz sound and even does it with mute on. We just didn't take it in as it didn't bother DH but it always bugged me.
Going to call around and get better rates.
You know I just bought a Samsung DVD/recorder from Target and it was having a loud whirling sound when playing DVD's. Just took that back for exchange to. DH says new one is quiet.
Edited to say problem was diagnosed by a great DGer, seems it is a good brand, we just had a faulty part.
tis the nature of the beast. DH has a company that designs & installs residential electronics. we have to unbox & assemble the systems in our office to make sure 1). the equipment is not DOA, 2). does what the manufacturer claims it does, 3). is actually compatable with other equipment in the system & other brands, 4). we have all the correct cables & connectors to hook everything together, 5). start initial programing on the controls which can take days on large jobs. Then we get to disassemble, pack everything back into their boxes, transport it to the client's house(this is usually done as the client is moving into their new home), unpack & reassemble the system, pray that nothing broke in the process, have everything working for the client's first night in their new home because they paid big $$$$$ for their system and they want & NEED to be able to relax & enjoy it. If any of you have every built or remodeled a house you know what I mean. Now comes the final tweaking and programming changes that gives the client everything we promised. Keeping in mind that the components are manufactured all over the world, shipped to the Far East where they are assembled into various equipment, which is shipped to USA on a slow boat, then sits in the ship yard, gets put on a truck &/or train to the store, etc.etc. It's a wonder it works at all.
ROFLOL!!!!!! Oh my gosh you summed it up well! Makes me feel better since you've reminded of all the "red tape" so to speak involved in getting us Americans our "must have" goods. =) I'll have to call around for quotes on Monday. I'll post update when I have one.
Yes, this is one of the reasons why despite many assurances that extended warranties are a waste of money, my DH and I still buy them on certain appliances and electronics.
Samsung's a second-tier electronics brand, not bad but definitely not top-tier. Still, ALL mfgs suffer from a 20-25% failure rate on electronics - dismaying, no? Moral is, make sure you find out how much it costs for repairs and labor before deciding whether the extended warranty is worth it or not.
We actually just bought a new LCD TV from a local store, a chain that is having a hard time competing against Best Buy. We picked them specifically because their service and warranty were much, much better than BB - we questioned both stores about their policies. Can't guarantee they'll be around in 15 years but definitely for another 3, which is how long the extended warranty lasts, LOL.
We have a simple TV/DVD setup, but the installers were experienced - they can do pretty elaborate home theatre setups. In fact, the installer WAS the salesman from the store! Needless to say, he could pretty much answer any question buyers could throw at him.
It's really the same for appliances nowadays as it is for electronics - you need to weigh whether the cost savings of going with big stores with indifferent customer service is worth the trouble, if you have the option (and not everyone does, I realize) of going with a local store which might charge a little more, but offers customers the service and 'hand holding' to compensate.
I've bought stuff from BB, but for big purchases, I'm more inclined now to go to the local places where I can get definitive answers to my questions, instead of asking three people and getting three different answers, as happened the last time I was at BB researching a stove!
Actually I wasn't a bit concerned about not having the extended warrenty. They cover squat anyways. We've found this to be the case on appliances and home warrenties alike. When we shop big items at Sams Club they ask me, "Would you like the extended warrenty coverage?" and when we always say no I've had a couple of them say, "Yeah, waste of money anyways." LOL! So true.
Update: actually found out a friend of ours used to work in this business and he said the large screen HD and plasmas all have this buzz frequency to them. So I guess we're the test cases until they work out these kinks in years to come. That's what you get for wanting the latest and greatest.
It's not to bad but given the cost of the TV it was annoying.
I'm not sure what your friend is referring to, since many of our friends and family have upgraded to larger plasma and LCD TVs - ours is only a 40" LCD Sony(!) - and NONE of them have any buzzing sound. Several have the 56" and 60" Panasonic plasmas and they work perfectly, no buzzing at all, and have done so for over a year now.
Extended warranty coverage for us has been very useful on DVD players - one player/recorder has now been switched out 3x for defective components. We have the F&P top-loader dryer, and have had 6 calls in less than 2 years. We have not had to pay for anything, thank goodness, due to the extended warranty. We knew this was new technology, BTW, which is why we went with the EW and are glad we did.
I wouldn't get it on everything - but on certain items, it can be worth it. Labor charges out here are very expensive, and when both DH and I work, hauling a large electronic component in for shipping or repair is just not practical.
For example, we buy upgraded PCs regularly, but never use "name" mfgs. We use a local store that custom-builds to our specs. It costs more, but whenever anything goes wrong - which has been very seldom - I take it in and they fix it immediately, almost always for free, even when the equipment is several years old. It's pretty much the equivalent of an extended warranty. Most of my family buys their PCs from Dell or HP, or parts from eBay and the number of "dead" components is surprisingly high. They hate the hassle but are seduced by the lower prices.
It's a personal decision, but for us in such a case it's worth paying a little more for the extra protection and service. Particularly on my PC since it's the server for the whole home network!
Again, you have to do what you think is best for your overall finances. It's a shame you haven't been able to get any satisfaction on the Samsung because no matter how much or little you make, these great new electronics really are a "hit" in the pocketbook, no matter how much the price has come down in the last few years.
We've been pretty lucky almost 0 problems with electronics or appliances. And have never needed anything repaired beyond the standard 1 year warrenty. I don't mind paying a show-up to fix fee (they come to our place so no hauling) but it was $190 just to show which seemed awful high considering no part of that applies to your TV should they be able to fix it. It's just this one TV so far but I have another one that's perfect, this one was DH's pick and he's fine watching it anyhow.
I should mention I have great hearing...I can hear his cell vibrate in another room and I tell him, "phone's ringing" and he asks me where it is because he doesn't hear it. Must be "mothers intuition" or something because I can hear the baby getting fussy in another room to. HA!
Tir - do not know. However I can relate a recent horror. I have been an electronic technician for better than thirty years now. Long ago I stopped working on televisions, Hey you can buy a new 19"color for under a hundred so what is the use in trying to spend hours figuring it out and then more hours finding the parts, and then replacing them. With the advent of computer/robot built boards we have made replacement/repair uneconomical and created the world of "throw-away" electronics.
That being said (sorry if long winded) when a friend asked me to look at his 37" flat screen I figured if it was simple with that size set it may be worth it. It was, a 15 $ part (horizontal deflection transistor) and the set was fixed.
Next the same friend called me about a 47" Samsung projection set, the set is fixed, but I am never looking at another one of any brand, size, make or model.
I will stick to industrial and computer eletronics from now on. If you place a value on your time and cannot repair the item for less than you can replace it then you are going to loose in the long run..
I know, isn't that the mentality of our consumer based society these days?! Any small repairs we've hired out the tech always says the same thing----I'll replace this whole gigantuan part just because this one itty bitty part in it went bad---it'd cost the same but take WAY more time just to get this itty bitty part out. Landfill here I come!
The problem is that with the advent of robot / surface mount electronics the actual repair of the assembly with time and parts will cost more than replacing the assembly. Before this manufacturing progress each component had to be "stuffed" into the circuit board board by hand and then soldered to the connections. It would take hours or days to build each circuit board - and now it is done by a robot in a matter of moments. After the robot the board runs through a "wave" solder tank and makes all the electrical connections at the same time.
A board that used to cost a lot to build is now done much cheaper. This means much more profit to the company producing it. This also means that unless the technician is working on his or her own equipment that the time required (and the expensive surface mount equipment required for replacement) make it cost prohibitave.
I am afraid that I am in fact a dinosaur. Soon there will be no "component level" troubleshooting, only "board level".
Get a bright, crisp picture with this plasma TV featuring Samsung's DNIe image enhancement technology. The PC connection lets you hook up your computer for use as a monitor. Activate split screen or picture-in-picture with your computer connected and you'll can watch TV and work on your computer at the same time.
ED-ready: Capable of displaying enhanced-definition (480p) signals from an optional digital source. Displays high-definition digital content at reduced resolution. Conventional analog TV reception is provided via a built-in NTSC tuner.
Samsung's DNIe (Digital Natural Image Engine) provides detail and contrast enhancers, plus motion and color optimization for a bright, crisp picture.
Progressive scanning maximizes the picture quality of progressive-scan DVD players,
set-top boxes and digital video recorders.
By the way the buzzing sound you experienced indicates a "leaking" electrolytic capacitor in the power supply circuit. Electrolytic capacitors only have a shelf life of 5 to 8 years so if it was sitting on a shelf for a while before the unit was built it may have dried out and gone bad before even before the unit was assembled.
In the old days these caps would last a lot longer, but they were built better. As time goes on we tend to favor less quality in the favor of more profit. Sad but true.
I have not worked on nor researched plasma - still avoiding working on consumer electronics when possible because the profit margin is much less than industrial electronics.
Having said that, I have checked the power consumption rates for LCD monitors and have found that while a conventional cathode ray 19" monitor will consume around 60 watts of power a 19" LCD monitor will only consume 40 watts. I still have not repaired an LCD monitor, However I have had to repair some laptop monitors (usually nothing more than bad connections due the wiring between the main board and the monitor).
As the price decreases, and the reliability increases (as normally occurs when newer technology becomes older) it seems foolish to not go that route if for the power savings alone.
By the way I have 3 television sets in the house, none larger than 19" and all cathode ray. As they fail they will be replaced with LCD.
None of the mfg seen to want to advertise their power consumption on their models. Do not understand this as it is far better than consumption on a standard set. I would look at the back label of the unit carefully (as much as the front of the set I am viewing).
There are probably some differences in manufacturing standards and practices, and also a single mistake during the engineering process could make a single component a "high failure" item. For example the Samsung 47" projector set I worked on commonly had convergence module failures while the 36" LCD set (I can't remember the brand) often had the vertical driver transistor fail.
I do not work on enough consumer products of this type to actually offer an opinion that I could be confident in. But if I were considering a model, I would google it and see if any blogs about problems come back on the search.
I have just found this thread and I would like to say that I have had a samsung television in the past and had no problems with it.
My present one (which really is the bedroom set) is about to be replaced with a 32" version and I may well get another Samsung. Their mobiles are good, I have heard. My present one is a Sony-Ericsson and the previous one a Motorola, so it is all hearsay.
I know zilch about electronics really. As long as the product works I am happy to recommend it to others.
What I can't seem to get right is installing a webcam to my computer - tried two in as many weeks.
A co-worker had this issue with his TV, brought in the power supply board to work, and we were able to find the bad lytic just by looking. The top of the cap was puffed up a bit. We had to order a part, because the body size we had in our lab wouldn't fit on the board, but it was a really quick fix.
I bought one for $279 when I bought a $700 laptop. My laptop just went down, for the 4th time.
I brought it into the Geek Squad at Best Buy, and they told me that they thought the problem was with the motherboard. They said that usually those situations end up with the consumer getting a new laptop (free of charge).
On the past 3 occasions when my laptop went down, 2 of them resulted in new hard drives, and the 3rd resulted in a replacement laptop (brand new, free of charge), after my wife dropped it and cracked the display.
Who says extended warranties are a waste of money? This one has been a pot of gold for me - saved me hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. It's worth it's weight in gold!!!
I agree, in the computer it is a must have. We're harder on our laptop though than our TV's...moving them around, using daily, taking them on the road, etc. And we did invest in our laptop warrenty, also through Best Buy. Best Buy said they would replace or repair it. They'll even replace it if it's your fault. Most warrenties on electronics are not as good as that.
However, we've had our Toshiba laptop for 2 years and no issues. I'm curious to know what brand of laptop you've bought?