My Sony/Sears nightmare has begun - 36" Sony Wega with bad Uneven Brightness

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Matt_Stevens, Jul 25, 2001.

  1. Matt_Stevens

    Matt_Stevens Supporting Actor

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    At this point, we all know about the SONY WEGA line and how they have a certain UNEVEN BRIGHTNESS problem, where the left side of the picture is darker than the middle and the right side is much lighter than the middle (kind of a 3 tear lighting structure).
    This became quite noticeable on my set (36" KV line with manual 16x9) once I got component inputs for DVD and calibrated using Video Essentials. The color was terrific and detail was high, but now the picture’s uneven brightness went from mildly annoying, to downright unacceptable.
    I called Sony and they went back and forth with me for a while and finally had me go into the service menu and drop the SBRT setting to 6. The problem was 90% gone. However, I quickly realized that this just darkened the entire screen. DVDs and cable looked very dark and some scenes were impossible to view in daylight. So I recalibrated with VE and presto, right back where I started.
    Meanwhile, another problem has reared its ugly head, but more on that later.
    Since then the 90 day warranty expired, but I bought a 3 yr with SEARS and they finally sent someone to me today, after numerous cancels (where they simply don’t show up and do not call to tell you they won’t show).
    They sent me a tech with very bad BO, who explained he couldn’t help me, once he saw I was “one of the brightness complainers.” To make a long story short, this friendly fellow said that the well documented “Coil replacement” is a joke and won’t work and tried to change my SBRT. I explained that was done already and only masks the problem. He then got angry and said, “All these TV’s are this way. It is a design flaw and you can’t do anything about it.” I explained how I have seen some sets with the replaced coil and it did make a huge difference. Well, he told me that they were only fooling themselves and I was too. He even lied to me, saying that coil is not for this set!
    I then tried to show him another problem with my set that was happening when connected to my HTPC and Panasonic VCR. Explanation is here:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/uub/...ML/007681.html
    Once again, the guy got rude and said it wasn’t the TV, but the DVD drive. When I tried to show him the problem on the VCR, he walked into the kitchen and picked up the phone to call his boss. He said his boss told him that they could do nothing because the set is not broken and therefore he must leave. I asked him to allow me to hook up the HTPC and the VCR to my bedroom TV to show him they were not the problem. That the Wega was the problem.
    This jackass actually grabbed his stuff and left!
    Needless to say, I called SEARS and reamed some assholes. I talked to the guy’s boss, who said the guy never called him at all and most likely just called another tech instead because he wanted to leave. I have been told a “Head technician” will come over tomorrow to look at the set, but that they might not be able to do anything about the uneven brightness, because according to their documentation on the set I have, there is no coil fix.
    So, I must say, I am angry that Sony BS’d me with the SBRT setting for so long and that it took MONTHS for Sears to get out to my house, only to have some psycho Russian with BO scream at me. So angry, that I want a new TV if BOTH of the sets problems cannot be fixed. I paid 2 grand for the set & warranty, plus $175 for the damn stand! When you pay that much for something, you expect them to perform.
    Has anyone ever had experience getting a new TV from Sears or another such retailer past 90 days when there is a 3 yr warranty in effect? I would not be interested in another Wega because the brightness problem will not go away by a simple replacement with the same model. Apparently, my model is highly susceptible to this.
    I am so frustrated right now. I love my TV, but these problems make enjoying it a nightmare. A complete impossibility.
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    [Edited last by Matt_Stevens on July 25, 2001 at 07:27 PM]
     
  2. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    I would read both Sony and Sears the riot act.
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  3. Rich Allen

    Rich Allen Second Unit

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    I wouldn't trust Sears service to correctly change batteries in a remote control. I had a Sony VCR that spent more time in the shop than in my living room. The head of service continually lied to me about it getting fixed so I finally had to get a regional manager and the local news involved to get it replaced.
     
  4. Matt_Stevens

    Matt_Stevens Supporting Actor

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    The tech guy just left. He looked at the two problems and listened to everything I had to say. He agreed the problems were 100% legit and very annoying. He also said that the strange color/image shifting cannot be fixed and that he thinks I need a new TV.
    So he called his boss and they are making the arrangements to credit me what I paid for the set, so that I can either buy a new Sony or another TV.
    My problem is, I do not ever want to see this uneven brightness problem again, so the Sony Wega line is out. But no other Tube TV on the market has the option to manually squeeze the picture (anamorphic). The Tau has automatic squeeze, but it has conflicts with some Toshiba DVD players (I own a Toshiba) resulting in NO SQUEEZE, and worse, no manual squeeze function, leaving my anamorphic SVHS tapes useless to me.
    Another problem is my apartment. I cannot fit anything over say a 43" RPTV through my doorway/stairwell.
    This sucks.
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  5. Scott Wong

    Scott Wong Second Unit

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    Matt:
    I have Sony WEGA KV36FV15 I also purchased from Sears. I got mine in November 1998 so I don't have the un-even brightness problems evidently associated with some of the newer sets. I did, however, purchase the three year extended warranty. With part of the warranty, I guess you're allowed one free annual "cleaning" or check up. I attempted to have this taken care of with Sears last year. I called them up and explained there was nothing wrong with my set, I just wanted to take advantage of the the annual check up. I was skeptical about even doing that. I calibrated my set with Avia and I strongly believe in "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". I just thought it'd look good for the record, if it showed I had it checked out once during the warranty period by an "authorized technician".
    I posted something similar in this section of the forum at the time regarding my mishap with Sears, but unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be in the search archives any longer??? But anyway, I guess to make an already long story shorter... I called,set up and cancelled appointments with Sears *five* times during the same week!! i.e., set up an appointment before I'd have to leave for work. No one called. No one came over. I'd have to cancel. I'd go through the same damn process over the course of an entire week for five fucking days! I was so pissed. No one ever called. No one ever came by to check out the set. I finally got a hold of the district manager in my area and gave him a verbal lashing. I got absolutely nothing out of it despite the serious inconvenience it caused me as well as the constant phone calls.
    My situation is a bit different than yours as far as your set actually being defective. I'd be all over those guys. Sears customer service just absolutely sucks. I've not stepped foot into one of their retail stores since that incident last year.
    Good luck... and I hope you get that straightened out with them. You paid extra for that warranty. If they can't come through... then they owe you.
    Scott.
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  6. Matt_Stevens

    Matt_Stevens Supporting Actor

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    I am so tired of the problems they are giving me, I don't want to even write about it! [​IMG] Their sales people treated my like the plague today. No commission = no help, I guess. Thankfully, the GM will be in tomorrow and has promised to personally take cae of my situation.
    We'll see. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
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