ZT60 Open Box: Did I make the right decision?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by McCrutchy, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. McCrutchy

    McCrutchy Second Unit

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    Hi all,

    So, with the announcement that Panasonic will no longer be producing plasmas, I have been hankering after a 65" ZT60. I have been monitoring the prices, and today I saw that Best Buy is selling them for $3,199.98. On a lark, I decided to see if any of my local stores had them in stock. One store did, I called them, and the CSR said that they had an open box item and an item in "for service", but I decided to go over and double check. I also had a 10% off BB MasterCard coupon I was hoping to use

    It turned out that they only had one item in the store--the open box one. I did not get to see it (I actually didn't ask to see it, either), so I opted to order a new one, but unfortunately, I was blocked from using the 10% off coupon, because the TV was already on sale, and the coupon was only good for 10% off list price (which is lame, because most things in Best Buy are always on sale...but I digress).

    I inquired about the open box item, hoping to get something off of that. I was told that it did not have the manuals or glasses, but did have the remotes and cables. After some prodding, they were also willing to give me 10% off the $3199.98 price, and they threw in two pairs of Panasonic TY-ER3D4MU 3D glasses to compensate for the ones missing from the unit.

    Now, I have a disability, and it would be impossible for me to bring this bad boy home myself and set it up, so I inquired about delivery, and was told it could be delivered for free. Standard delivery at Best Buy apparently includes them bringing it into the home, setting it down, and ensuring it works, so this also takes a huge load off of me and my wallet. Finally, because they took everything off the price of the TV (so I "paid" for the glasses), I was able to get a cheaper Geek Squad 2 year protection plan, which ended up costing $349.99 instead of $419.99.

    Altogether it was:

    $2,719.12 for the TV with open box and glasses discounts
    $159.98 for the glasses
    $349.99 for the Geek Squad protection plan

    with tax it came to $3,450.03. I even bought it across the border in a state where the sales tax is 2% lower, and used my Best Buy MasterCard to get 24-month no interest financing.

    To put that in perspective, A new TV ($3,199.98) with the service plan ($419.99), delivery ($69.99) and tax ($258.30) is $3,948.26 on BestBuy.com right now.

    Now, obviously the big fear, because I didn't see the model, is that there is something cosmetically wrong with it. But I would hope that any flaws will be apparent enough that I can have the delivery people take it back. I also ended up with two pairs of the superior, rechargeable glasses, as opposed to the battery-operated ones that come with the TV, and I saved $70 on the Geek Squad protection, and I should hopefully still have the manufacturers warranty to boot.

    Still, I am feeling concerned. Is there a chance that Panasonic will disavow the warranty? Did I make the right decision, or should I have just shelled out for a completely new unit?

    Any opinions are appreciated. I would prefer not to have to finance the extra, almost $500, and give back the better glasses I was given, but if the consensus is that it is safer in the long run not to buy open box, I will defer to the community. :)
     
  2. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    That TV, as far as Panasonic is concerned(and like every manufacturer is concernef) is new.Floor sample, open-box is irrelevant to the manufacturer.
     
  3. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    So how is the ZT working out for you ?
     
  4. McCrutchy

    McCrutchy Second Unit

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    Hi Greg, I was actually going to update this thread soon, but since you asked...

    I had quite an adventure with this TV. I had ordered it on Monday, November 25th, and was expecting delivery on Wednesday, November 27th. I even received a robo-call with the two hour delivery window (2:00pm-4:00pm) the night before. Wednesday morning comes, and I get a call from a human at the warehouse, saying that they can't deliver the TV, because it has not left the store yet. It has to be rescheduled for Saturday November 30th.

    Saturday rolls around, and the exact same thing happens again.

    After I got the call from the warehouse, I called the store, where a manager confirmed that it was still in the store, and had just been picked up on a shuttle that morning to go to the warehouse for re-delivery. They couldn't even tell me the new delivery date--instead I had to call 1-888-BEST-BUY and wait on hold for 45 minutes to find out that they originally wanted to deliver it today (December 5th), which happened to be the one day this week that I couldn't take delivery of this TV. I rescheduled i for the 6th.

    By now, I was pretty frustrated. I made this thread on another forum, and many people were advising me against what I had done. I'm not very superstitious, but that, combined with the ominous delivery failures, seemed like a big sign that I should not get this unit.

    Last Monday I "returned" the open box unit to the store, bringing back the accessories and glasses. I ordered a unit from Panasonic, who had price-matched Best Buy to the tune of $3,197.98. I did not know of the Cyber Monday deal on Amazon, or that Best Buy had price-matched Amazon's Cyber Monday price to the tune of $2,899.98.

    Fate stepped in.

    That afternoon, I got a call from a manager at the Best Buy, who was naturally concerned that I had returned the open box TV. I explained to him my frustrations, and that I had simply purchased a new unit from Panasonic instead. The manager then offered to sell me a brand new unit for the price that I had paid for the open box one ($2,719.12, plus tax) if I gave them another chance. Naturally, not knowing about the CM prices, I jumped at the deal, and we were able to get everything squared away in no time--the manager was even able to free up the credit I used to buy the previous TV so that I could finance this new unit with the 24 month no-interest financing on the BB MasterCard. Naturally, I cancelled the Panasonic order before it could ship out.

    I went into the store on Tuesday to meet the manager, get my new receipt and sign for the order, and the new TV will be delivered on Saturday, with any luck.

    Now, do I find it coincidental that the manager was willing to give me what I thought was over $500 off the TV the one day of the year it would have actually only been $180? I'm leaning to "No", but...

    ...I still got a great deal ($2,909.46 all told, almost $550 cheaper than my open box order), and I don't think I could have gotten a better one. I binned the Geek Squad warranty, since I will incontestably have Panasonic's warranty, and I'm also pleased as punch regarding the financing, because it would have been borderline impossible for me to afford this TV paying upfront.

    Plus I used the savings to justify ordering a BDP-103D from Oppo to go with the new TV. That will be here tomorrow, so I won't have to worry about hooking it up, either, I can just get the delivery people to assist.
     
  5. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Sean,

    Congrats on the purchase of your ZT60. Looks like things worked out very well
    for you despite the initial frustrations.

    I didn't want to reply earlier and throw a damper on your expectations.

    I am actually in the process (in a holding period right now) of exchanging my ZT60
    for the Samsung F8500.

    Not certain it's the right move to make, but I found the ZT60 to be very dim even
    in a totally blackened environment. Blu-rays weren't too bad, but some broadcast
    TV shows that had night scenes came across with a total lack of detail along the
    sides of the picture once you move away from the focal point.

    Also, I found 3D to be a lot less dramatic because the light levels on the display
    would not brighten substantially when in that mode.

    I am not saying this is going to be the problem with your display. Have already
    spoken with a calibrator who said that he wouldn't be surprised if I got a problematic
    ZT60. He says there are some out there that just won't push the needed luminance
    levels.

    I can say that I have never seen such a level of blacks in a display. You will be amazed.

    Let us know how you like your display once you are set up and enjoying it.
     

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