Update/Alert!: Something Every Pan. A-110/310 (or other bad model) Owner Should Know

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Cliffk, Feb 7, 2001.

  1. Cliffk

    Cliffk Agent

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 1998
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    As I've previously reported here, my A-110 which I bought in July 1998 began pixilating and locking up 45 minutes to an hour into just about every movie we tried to watch. I declared it dead last Saturday evening, reported the death on this fourm, and began looking for a replacement.
    During that search, I ran across a couple of 110/310 owners that were succesful in getting a new player from Panasonic. So before buying another player, I decided to give it a shot.
    My efforts met with very easy success. I packed up the A-110 tonight and am sending it back to Panasonic. Upon receipt, they will be sending me a brand spanking new DVD-RV65. I'm only out the shipping to return my A-110.
    ---------------
    Here is the procedure:
    1. Call 1-800-211-7262 and speak with a customer service rep. Tell him/her about your problem. Have model number, serial number, and date of purchase handy.
    2. They will tell you that someone will be getting back in touch with you within 24-48 hours. They will give you a case number. Be sure to note the number.
    3. Wait. (I got the call from the return department almost exactly 48 hours after my initial call). I suppose if you don't hear from them within that time frame you could call back the above number and inform them that the call is overdue.
    4. Tell the return rep. your problem. Reference the fact that there was a design/manufacturing defect with the laser/ optical pickup that apparently existed on an extraordinarily high number of 110/310 players. I mentioned internet news groups, forums, etc. The rep. I dealt with was very friendly. After finishing my speil, she said that because the unit was 2 1/2 years old she didn't have to do anything. She said a repair would be very costly, and if I went with a repair, I would have to pay for it. But she said she talked with her supervisor, and she got clearance to really help me out. She said she wanted to send me a new player - the RV65 (I asked about upgrading to the RV80 for an additional charge, but they do not manufacture it any longer).
    5. Return the 110/310 to the address provided.
    6. Wait for new player to arrive.
    ----------
    I found her approach, apparently dictated by Panasonic, to be quite interesting. It really appears Panasonic has decided to make quick offers of replacement to keep down the threat of more organized consumer action. I guess they figure that's cheaper than a full recall of all of the players. If those of us concerned enough to call are kept happy with new players, the chances of it going any further are slim. The first cust. serv. rep said that an entire department had been set up just to deal with the 110/310 problems.
    So, if you have a 110/310 player that has given you trouble, I would highly recommend attempting to get a replacement player. You certainly have nothing to lose.
    Hope this helps,
    Cliff
     
  2. MarkSung

    MarkSung Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2000
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mine should be arriving any time now. It's been close to 2 months since my initial post about this problem and call customer service to get a replacement.
    Mark
     
  3. Wolf Jenkins

    Wolf Jenkins Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 1998
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    0
    How many people have successfully done this?
    How long is the average wait?
    i've got an A310 that I'd be interested in doing a return on...
    Thanks!
     
  4. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 1998
    Messages:
    724
    Likes Received:
    0
    My entire replacement process was about 3-4 weeks after the initial call to customer service, dropping the unit off for a free inspection which took about a week then about 2 weeks to wait for my new rv-65 player.
    The RV-65 has been a great player. Not a single problem with it.
    Jeff
     
  5. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 1999
    Messages:
    4,948
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't suppose this applies to the 120...
     
  6. Ken Yeung

    Ken Yeung Auditioning

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 1999
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow Cliff
    thanks for the info...I am having the same exact problems that you had with your 110. I too was looking at a player to replace the dead 110. Mine I think was manufactured around the same time as yours. I will try to talk to panasonic tonight and will report back.
    Thanks
    -Ken
     
  7. JimP

    JimP Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2001
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    It almost makes me with my A110 was that buggy. I've only ever had one problem on it, and with just one move, Toy Story 2. I've had some trouble with pixellation on various movies, but not consistantly, and certainly no locking up.
    Still, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to call...
     
  8. Alex F.

    Alex F. Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 1999
    Messages:
    377
    Likes Received:
    0
    Cliff:
    This is terrific news. I telephoned the Panasonic number you supplied (it's the company's main number) and spoke to a lady in the service department. She told me that Panasonic started an exchange program about two months ago. I received a case number and was told to expect a return telephone call in the near future.
    Like you and many others, I ran into laser-assembly problems with my A310. (I've written multiple posts about it here.) It stopped working last summer after about 65 DVDs were played. Since the warranty expired (the units rarely fail while still under warranty), Panasonic's customer reps gave me a choice of either paying them over $200 for repairs or buying a new player. Some choice.
    Apparently, the combined pressure from the internet forums and at least two class-action lawsuits had an effect on the company's arrogant attitude.
    I'll post what Panasonic says after they call me.
    Thank you very much, Cliff!
     
  9. MarkSung

    MarkSung Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2000
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    My replacement was supposed to be delivered today, but I wasn't home. Oh well, I'll get it tomorrow.
    Great service from Panasonic, even if my player was over 2 years old.
    Mark
     
  10. Tom Johnson

    Tom Johnson Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 1998
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    0
    Actually it's not the company's main number. You are calling the Panasonic Customer Call Center in Chesapeake Virginia. Panasonic HQ is in NJ. The Call Center is the proper place to call, however.
    Tom
     
  11. David A. Frattaroli

    David A. Frattaroli Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 10, 1999
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    0
    Excellent post and great info. I know someone who will find this very helpful.
    ------------------
     
  12. Christian Sonntag

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 1999
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    So what are they replacing the A-310's with? Also an RV65? How does this unit compare in performance and features to the original A310? I've only had minor problems with mine, and I wouldn't want to turn it in for an inferior unit.
    Regards,
    Chris
    ------------------
    Christian A. Sonntag
    "The world owes you nothing. Take responsibility for your own actions!"
     
  13. TomK

    TomK Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 1999
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well I just called and it didn't go well for me. The CSR that I talked to said that he was unaware of any such program and wanted me to bring it into a service center. I asked to have a supervisor call me back.
    Have you guys actually had your machines into a service center to be looked at?
    Tom
     
  14. MarkSung

    MarkSung Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2000
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, mine was sent to a service center and the estimate was $150, so I told the supervisor this and she said she'll give me a replacement.
    I'm pretty sure that even if there was nothing wrong with your A110/A310, they'll even estimate the fees to be around $150. So no matter what you can get a new DVD player.
    Mark
     
  15. Marc Gelefsky

    Marc Gelefsky Auditioning

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2000
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have an A-310 that has the common problems, Called the Panasonic number and was offered... nothing... anyone else have luck?
    Time to get a Sony I guess!
    Marc
     
  16. Cliffk

    Cliffk Agent

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 1998
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Come on guys, don't give up. You've got to push harder.
    I absolutely did not take my player to a service center first. I outlined every step I took, start to finish. Of course, I'm on step 6 now, having shipped my player back yesterday.
    Remember, the person you call at step 1 will not be the one to make the offer for the replacement player. All you want from that person is a case number, a referral to the correct department, and a promised call from such department within 24-48 hours.
    If the representative at step 1 says to take into a service center or something less than that stated above, I would do the following:
    Plan A:
    Tell the representative, "No. This player has already cost me enough time with the problems it has had. It is a waste of my time and your company service center's time to inspect the player when it has a known optical laser problem. I demand that you open a case for me, assign me a case number, and refer my case to the 'Customer Care Department' set up specifically to handle the numerous A-110/310 problems. If you are not familiar with that department, its phone number is 1-888-293-8918. Agents in that department all have 7000 series extensions. Anything less than setting up a case for me and referring it to that department is totally unacceptable. If you are unable to do that, then please put another representative on the phone who can or let me speak to your supervisor immediately."
    Plan B:
    If Plan A doesn't work, keep calling back and talk with different representatives until you get one that has a clue. Remember, every time you call, you should end up with a different representative. You should keep trying until you get the all important case number and assurances of a referral & promised call back.
    Plan C:
    As a last resort, call the number at step 1 and try to talk with Dana (female). That's who I talked with at my step 1. But most customer support lines make it impossible to seek out a specific rep., so this may not work.
    Now, if the person at Step 4 says take it to a service center, then that's an entirely different animal. I would be less demanding, but would reference the fact that so many others have not had to take that step. I would take more of a pleading tone. Reference your time without a player, problems already, etc. See if you can get that person to agree. I really don't know if anyone at Step 4 would require the trip to the service center since they know what the problem is.
    In case any of you were wondering and have not taken a gander at my profile, yes, I am an attorney. Please don't think too much less of me.
    Happy DVD player hunting, and go easy on those unsuspecting Panasonic reps!
    -Cliff
     
  17. TomK

    TomK Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 1999
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    0
    I did get a case number and I am waiting for a "supervisor" to call me back. After the response from the CSR wasn't what I wanted to hear I asked to talk to a supervisor and they said that they would have to call me back. We'll see what happens before I call back and start over.
    Tom
     
  18. TomK

    TomK Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 1999
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well I did get a call from a Panasonic supervisor today and they are going to replace the unit. I think that this is good customer relations and I told the rep so. The only problem . . . a possibility of 6 weeks without a DVD player . . . it's going to be tough.
    Tom
     
  19. Cliffk

    Cliffk Agent

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 1998
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great news Tomk! I know the wait will be tough.
    The wait, however, is going to be a little easier on me. Some of you may have followed my post regarding the multi-media room we are constructing at my school. I am the "expert" on the audio/video side. We have a computer/network contractor, but they don't really know the a/v side. Anyway, I went ahead and put in our order for a Toshiba SD-9200, W-804 (SVHS VCR), DST-3000 (HDTV decoder/sat. recvr.), and dish. I thought they wouldn't ship the order for another 3-4 weeks due to unavailability of the DST-3000. Well a big shipment of the DST-3000's came in, and the entire order arrived at my school yesterday. Darn! ;-)
    The room construction/wiring won't be complete for another 4-6 weeks. We don't really have secure storage at the school for that kind of equipment. Plus, I need to get familiar with it so I'll be able to advise the installers how to connect it, set it up, etc. And, One Call's policy requires that they be notified of defective merchandise within 15 days. So, for all of the preceding outstanding reasons, I've got all the stuff here at the house for testing, evaluation, safe-storage, etc. The Tosh. SD-9200 should do nicely as an interim DVD player.
    One point of clarification regarding terminology for the benefit of others so that there is no confusion: the person who calls you back in step 4 is not a supervisor. They are a representative in the "Customer Care Department." The reps. in Customer Care have supervisors over them just as the reps you talk to in step 1 have supervisors. They are reached at different phone numbers, and I assume are in a different geographic location. I feel like I'm almost ready to do Panasonic's corporate organizational chart!
    -Cliff
     
  20. Jim Garbern

    Jim Garbern Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 1999
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Cliffk,
    Thanks very much for the head's up on this. I appear to also have successfully gotten my A110 replaced. I just put it in the mail to the Panasonic CCD, so I'll know in a few weeks, but don't have any reason to doubt your experience. I was even directed to their web page to see what features the replacement DVD-RV65 has. My faith in Panasonic is restored.
    Only thing is that in the meantime, I've gotten a progressive scan DVD player and HD set to go along with it. Woe is me [​IMG]
    Jim
     

Share This Page