Buyer BEWARE of Online Superstore

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JerryLA, Aug 20, 2002.

  1. JerryLA

    JerryLA Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm not sure if this is the correct place to post this thread but feel it very necessary to let others know of problems I've had recently with a purchase from an online electronics store.
    About 15 months ago I started doing research through this forum about building a home theater and what equipment was the best within my price structure. I decided I wanted to purchase a Pioneer Elite 510 Pro. After going to several showrooms and examining the set I decided that was the set I had to have. I live about 4 hours away from any major city and decided one of the online superstores was the best bet for me. I called LGD Superstore(Let's Go Digital) and spoke with a salesman. My only concern was whether I should purchase the "extended service policy" which covered yearly cleanings and any service I might need after the standard year warranty. The salesman gave me the number of the company who handled this service.. Mack Camera. I spoke with a very helpful person who gave me the name of the shop that would actually handle the service in my area. I confirmed that they would indeed come to "my location" to do service. They confirmed they would indeed handle any of my service issues except ISF calibration. This clenched my decison so I called LGD placed the order, including $499.00 for the extended warranty. The set arrived 4 days later with a price almost $1000.00 less than the current price of Denver stores. All is well! The set is beautiful and have had no problems. About one month ago I decided it was time for a cleaning and to use my extended service policy. I realized that in the confusion of purchasing several pieces of equipment and installing them I had no warrnaty infomation.... a major mistake on my part! I contacted LGD Superstore to retrieve the information needed to make the arrangements for service.
    First of all, they had no record of the sale, under my name, address, zip code, order number, credit card number or confirmation number from the bank issuing the credit card used for the purchase. After several days of me calling them they found the order and informed me I had to send in the "warranty registration card" thay they never sent to me. It seems according to LGD Superstore, I had only 30 days to register the warranty or it is invalid. I have spent so far about 10 hours on the phone with the warranty company and LGD with no results. I was informed a "supervisor" would have to review the case and find out why no warranty information was ever mailed to me but they were pretty sure nothing could be done about it. It has been over a week since this was supposed to happen and no results.
    I understand it was my error in not contacting them sooner.
    I realize that most extended warranties are not worth the paper they are written on but felt it to be insurance on a rather large investment.
    All of this to say... BUYER BEWARE of LGD SUPERSTORE!
    I don't really know what my options at this point are but wanted to share this little horror story with others who share a common interest in Home Theater and high end products and consider purchasing online. Hope you never have these problems!
    Thanks
    Jerry
     
  2. Lando P

    Lando P Agent

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    You mentioned that you purchased the warranty together with the tv. Isn't there any indication on the receipt for the tv about the extended warranty purchase? If so, then you have proof that you purchased the extended warranty from them. There's no need for any (warranty) registration card to prove them that you have extended warranty for the tv. Registration cards normally are for the manufacturers and most of them don't void warranties if you decided not to send them back. IMHO, they are used only as a marketing tool. Besides, the online superstore or the extended warranty company should have sent you a warranty policy and not a registration card.

    If you want to pursue this or at least give them a hard time, I would file a consumer complaint to their state's attorney general and to their Better Business Bureau as well.

    Good luck.
     
  3. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    Lando is right, the Store is stonewalling you because that usually works, peopel drop things when the goign gets difficult... after all its only a cleaning right? Kepp after them and in your next call inform them of your intent to contact the better business bureau and if need be a lawyer, any decent Lawyer should be able to get your costs back in addition to any settlement, and hell if you looked im sure there are some who would love to sink their teeth into an online superstore for free.

    I say nail their hides to the wall, and let them knwo its comming.

    I just thought of somethign else too alot of New stations emply ombutsmen (spelling?) These guys are paid to investigate consumer complains like this and can easily bring alot of heat to the company, nobody needs nationl news broadcasts telling how they cheat customers.
     
  4. JerryLA

    JerryLA Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the reply guys. I plan on dedicating the next 20 years if necessary to inform anyone who will listen to this problem. I have contacted the New York State Better Business Bureau as a start. Yes, I have a sales invoice showing I paid an additional $499.99 for extended 3 year service. I am planning to launch an attack daily on the service company and the store. Eventually they will get tired of hearing from me. If need be I will spend more than the investement for the service contract to prove I WILL NOT GO QUIETLY!
     
  5. Ron Boster

    Ron Boster Screenwriter

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    You put this on a credit card....now is the time to challenge the charges (the $500 for the extended warranty). Next, I would call Pioneer directly to inform them of your problems with the retailer (assuming they are authorized dealer, if not, all bets are off-except getting your $500 back from the CC company). If they are authorized, inform Pioneer of the problem and see if they will step in to help (this borders on the fringe of what Prioneer's role should be). If they won't help, ask Pioneer if they offer an in-house extended warranty.

    Good luck and keep us informed there maybe other things you can do.

    Ron Boster
     
  6. John Chevalier

    John Chevalier Stunt Coordinator

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    I would definatly dispute the charge on your credit card for the warrenty. That is the only good thing that credit cards are good for. You credit card will investigate and will contact the seller and most likely the seller will start to work with you or they will lose the money. It's that simple.
     
  7. Michael St. Clair

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    I don't think Pioneer authorizes online sales of ANY Elite TVs. This set likely has no factory warranty at all. Of course a factory warranty is separate from an extended warranty, but I sure wouldn't want to be without a factory warranty.
     
  8. Andre F

    Andre F Screenwriter

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    I would call the credit card company as well and dispute the warranty cost. Thanks for the heads up...
     
  9. JerryLA

    JerryLA Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the advice guys. I filed a formal complaint today against LGD Superstore with the Better Business Bureau in New York City and Mack Camera Extended Service in Jersey. After doing so I contacted Mack Camera and left another message with the woman handling this case. After a couple of hours and no reply I called again and spoke with her. I told her the "supervisor" at LGD had not returned my last 3 calls and asked what was the status of this claim. She guarnateed me she would call LGD and get to the bottom of this and let me know within 24 hours.
    I am contacting the credit card company and Pioneer and every other forum I can think of.

    Will keep you posted!
    Jerry
     
  10. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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  11. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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  12. Ron Boster

    Ron Boster Screenwriter

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    I think what the other member said is true about Pioneer restricting the sales of their Elite sets on the internet. You can usually confirm this on their web site or consumer hotline. I think you'll find you don't have a Pioneer warranty and that's why they pushed their extended warranty.
    Here's the link to the list of authorized internet dealers. Your dealer doesn't appear to be authorized:
    http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/Pi...0~6040,00.html
     
  13. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

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    Mr. St. Clair and Mr. Boster are correct. There are NO online dealers that are authorized to sell Pioneer Elite. Zero, zippy, nada.
     
  14. JakeR

    JakeR Stunt Coordinator

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    I wish you luck in your pursuit of justice, but have to express that you really should've known better. Buying a piece of equipment like that online is simply asking for trouble.

    I worked in the electronics department of Sears for years, and would always laugh when someone would tell me that they could get XX television set for $300 cheaper "online." Happy trails, buddy.

    You get what you pay for. I have no problems buying DVDs, books, and even small electronics (like an SVHS VCR) online, since the loss would be minimal.

    Why anyone would actually purchase an extended warranty from a 3rd party not even having a local presence is beyond me. If they go belly up, or simply decide not to return your phone calls, you're screwed.

    I'm not trying to "point and laugh" with this post, and I honestly hope you resolve this, but I also hope your experience sends a message to others thinking about taking a similar risk.
     
  15. Ron Boster

    Ron Boster Screenwriter

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    Jake does have a good point. I bought a RPTV from a local Mpls retailer (not a national chain store) while living there. I moved to Kansas City. The RPTV went down. The extended warranty company went belly up. I called the Mpls retailer and explained what happened. They found a local service center in KC and had them send the bill directly to them....that is why when I bought my next RPTV, I went local. Did I pay a couple of hundred bucks more...yes. But, I knew that I would receive service after the sale. On an item that large and expensive, I think it's a good investment to buy local.

    I still think this retailer needs to feel some pain over this issue. Good Luck

    Ron
     
  16. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    JakeR, they DO have a local presence through the local electronics store as Jerry pointed out.




    What risk? HE DID NOTHING WRONG! This could just as easily have happened with a local store, since the matter is NOT about shipping the item or anything like that, it's a matter of a lost certificate (that shouldn't even matter anyway). Jerry is in NO WAY at fault here. I can't believe you're using this as an opportunity to push for local retailers, even though it has nothing to do with that.

    /Mike
     
  17. Ron Boster

    Ron Boster Screenwriter

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    Mike:

    I can't speak for the other member, but what I think he meant was the risk of buying from an unauthorized dealer. I could be wrong. I do agree with you that as it relates to the extended warranty issue, Jerry is a victim. But, as it relates to buying from someone (unless they claim in writng otherwise)who is not authorized to sell the manufacture's products then the buyer is taking on the burden of risk that the item won't be covered under the warranty. In the case of Elite products, it states in the Pioneer website that they are not sold on the internet.

    Bottomline is buyer beware when purchasing from non-authorized retailers.

    Ron

    PS: Jerry, don't take any of my comments as a critic of your decisions. I in no way know all the details.
     
  18. JerryLA

    JerryLA Stunt Coordinator

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    No offense taken Ron. Let me point out a few details along with today's update. I live in the mountains about 4 hours away from Denver. I went to the local "high end" dealer to try and buy this set. He told me to go to Denver, there was not enough markup involved for him to handle these sets. Next, I went to Denver to Listen Up Audio.... excellent reputation and selection. In fact, I purchased my DVD player and powere amp from them. They had a list price of $1,079 dollars more than I found it online plus another $300.00 for delivery. My complaint is not with the set, delivery, price or anything of that nature. Yes, I took a chance. Yes, I had them sucked up while waiting for delivery. All of those things just fell in place. In fact I came on this forum and posted what a wonderful experience it had been. Unfortunately they got to me on the warranty. I didn't see it coming. I did my research, the site was listed with Yahoo, BBB Online, and Gomez with wonderful ratings. The warranty company has been around since 1938 with excellent ratings. Over the last few days I have discovered that LGD's rating has fallen in categories of customer service. As for the issue of Pioneer not covering the warranty period. I called them today and they have no problem in honoring the 2 year warranty that comes with any Elite as long as the serial number has not been tampered with.

    All of this to say, I have learned a valuable lesson. Keep track and stay on top of every minute detail. I slipped and let the warranty issue slide until I needed it. My mistake.

    UPDATE:
    I spoke with someone else today at LGD and while I was on the line they connected with the service company. According to them within 10 days I will have my extended warranty in writing covering the set as a new one. Of course until it is in my hand this is all talk. But I have made some progress.
    Thanks for the support from everyone, I will keep you posted.
    Jerry
     
  19. Ron Boster

    Ron Boster Screenwriter

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    Jerry: Glad to hear Pioneer will stand behind the product. I wonder if the retailer will get in hot water for selling Elites on the internet. It bull that one has to jump through hoops after you have paid for the warranty to confirm the warranty....hell, you purchased the damn thing, that's confirmation enough.....sounds like a bogus loop hole. Also, sounds like something that should be the responsibility of the retailer to file such paperwork, once you have purchased the warranty.

    Best of Luck
    Ron
     
  20. JerryLA

    JerryLA Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree, that was basically what cinched getting this taken care of. They had no way of proving that I didn't mail the warranty registration in and that is was just lost in the mail. I've never heard of such lame crap before. I don't really believe in extended warranties but thought with this investement, living where I do, it might be worth the extra expense. I guess time will tell. I'm betting I will have to have some service and they are betting I don't. I actually hope they win the bet. Hopefully by the time they explain to the BBB in New York and Jersey, and explain to Pioneer what happened, they will change their policy or go out of business.
    Later
    Jerry
     

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