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How to deal with "subpar" service from CC on extended warranty?

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#1 of 5 Matt DeVillier

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Posted February 07 2004 - 10:49 AM

Hey folks,

here's the situation. I bought a 38" RCA F38310 tv set from Circuit City about a year ago (Dec. 2002 timeframe) with the 3-year extended warranty (because I knew of the potential issues with the tuner module).

On Dec 17, 2003 it stopped working. I called up the service #, described the problem, and mentioned that it could potentially be the known issue with the tuner. They set up an appointment for a week later (12/24/03), the earliest available according to them. I wasn't too pleased with this, but since it's the holidays and everyone's busy, I let it slide.

When the tech came out, he examined the set, and determined that the problem was not with the tuner (it was a later revision which had the defect fixed), but with the high voltage regulator. He said he would have to order some parts, which should take less than a week to come in.

On Jan 7, 2004 (2 weeks later) the tech comes back with the part kit. He is unable to install it however because the kit didn't include all the parts he needed, so he tells me he needs to order some more parts, will be another week or so. The parts he needed ended up being two resistors.

A little over a week goes by and no contact, so I call up the service # to find out the status of the part order. They redirect me to the local service center handling my service request. I called the local service center, and they only had a record of the first part order. They tell me that the tech isn't there, so they need to talk to him and find out the status. He's out for the day, but they promise to find out the status and call me the next day.

Two more days pass, and no word, so I draft a complaint letter detailing the situation and send it via certified mail and email (via their website). I receive a nice form letter via email apologizing for the inconvenience and promising to pass the situation on to an operations manager. A day later or so later (1/20/04 - Tuesday) I receive another email, stating that the parts are in, and that the tech will be contacting me shortly to set up an appointment. End of the week comes, and still no word. So I call up the local service center, and again am told that the part is in and the tech will contact me shortly to set up an appointment (see a pattern forming?).

Starting to get annoyed, I send them another email. I receive a reply stating that my issue is being passed on to the "escalated department for National Service" and I'll receive another email with more info soon. The tech finally contacts me and returns on 1/27/04. Armed with all the parts he needs, he replaces the defective components. The set still doesn't work (powers on, screen flashes, powers itself off), and something in the tube area is creating an arc.

The tech decides he can't do anything else and will have to ship the chassis up to the regional service center, so he takes it with him.

Two days ago I again call the main service # to try and get an update, and am passed on to corporate hq. They don't have any record of the 2nd part order, 3rd visit, or the tech taking the chassis. It's after business hours, so I am told they will contact the local service center tomorrow to verify my reported sequence of events, and promise to call me. Yesterday I received a call from corporate hq (~1:30pm). The csr wanted to verify the sequence of events, then told me she needed to call the local service center to check some things, and would call me back within an hour. I never received a return call.

Tired of being jerked around on the phone, today (2/7/04) I went into the local CC and talked to the manager there. Up until this point I hadn't bothered to because I bought the set from a different store, and didn't think they could do anything. The manager at the local store looked up my issue on the computer, which still wasn't showing the full details. I explained that at this point I felt I had been more than patient, and would like a replacement. She took down all my info, and promised to talk to corporate monday morning and call me by noon.

So I think at this point I've been more than patient with them. I've been without a set for almost 8 weeks, had to cancel my superbowl party, and am stuck paying for 2 months of TV service that I haven't been able to use (and DirecTV refuses to credit me for).

My guess is that they will offer me a replacement set on monday. Problem is that this set isn't made anymore, and there's really nothing comparable available (size, or built-in HDTV and DirecTV tuner), especially in the price range of what I paid for the set. What do you guys think I can reasonably ask for? Assuming I'm unable to get any satifaction Monday, I'm not sure what I can do next - surely someone here can help

in severe TV withdrawl =(

#2 of 5 Patrick Sun

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Posted February 07 2004 - 01:26 PM

The most likely thing you'll get (if no comparable set is in stock) is your money back if they can't repair it, but the prorated cost of the warranty might be transferable to another TV set if you choose to buy a replacement TV from CC. That's a big "if", though.
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#3 of 5 Matt DeVillier

Matt DeVillier

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Posted February 07 2004 - 03:48 PM

that's the thing Pat, there's no comparable set on the market, and they haven't made this one in at least a year. If they just refund the purchase price of the set, I won't even be able to afford a 34" set, let alone a set and tuner.

#4 of 5 Jesse Skeen

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Posted February 08 2004 - 01:03 PM

Several years ago I had a TV that had a small problem and was only made worse by Circus City's so-called technicians- to make a long story short, they made it much worse than it was before, then refused to fix it any more because it was "within manufacturers' specs". I bought a new and better set somewhere else after that and haven't bought anything at Circus City since then, and tell that story to any other place that tries to get me to buy an extended warranty and that usually shuts them up.
I was going to get that 38-inch RCA but decided not to because of all the bad things I found out about it- why hasn't anyone made a GOOD TV in that size though??? I'm sticking with my 4x3 until they make a 16x9 picture tube that's at least 38" (and won't break.)
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#5 of 5 Matt DeVillier

Matt DeVillier

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Posted February 11 2004 - 01:44 AM

2/11 AM update

Well the local store manager was supposed to call around noon on Monday but didn't, so around 4pm I called them. I was told that someone from the service center was going to calling me, but that it might be up to 24 hours because they had to contact the tech first. I told the manager a was "a bit" disappointed, since I was lead to believe that she was going to talk to corporate HQ and some sort of resolution would be reached, rather than her simply getting me a status update (which I didn't need her to do for me). I was promised a phone call from the service department by CoB tuesday, which of course didn't come. To her credit, the store manager did call Tues around 4pm to make sure that the service center had contacted me, which I informed her had not happened. She said she would call them herself right then and get back to me (which has not happened yet)