Our TV Broke Down

BestBuyOur fancy fifty-five inch LED TV quit working one day before the one-year manufacturer’s warranty expired. That’s as measured from the date of purchase, not the date of delivery and installation. Let’s talk about how Best Buy and Samsung is working with me to take care of this. (No video today, I’m too bedraggled.)

Cathy, my wife, bless her organized heart, had all the paperwork on our purchase out within ten minutes. I called the number on the receipt and after a few menu selections I was talking with a real live helpful human. After leading me to believe that our extended warranty would provide a replacement she noticed that the set was still under manufacturer’s warranty and because of this it was Samsung’s problem, not theirs. The fun part? First I have to schedule the Geek Squad to come and take the TV off the wallmount, then schedule Samsung’s fixit guy to come out, then after the TV is fixed I get to schedule the Geek Squad to come out and remount the TV. (Imagine calendar month pages flipping in the background.)

GeekSquad

I was on the phone for thirty seven minutes with Best Buy. It took that long for them to discover that they could put this on Samsung and, to their credit, to make damned sure no one was going to charge me a penny for anything.

Today’s date is April 19, 2013. The Geek Squad is scheduled to arrive April 24 for the dismount. The nice lady told me they would arrive between noon and 4 PM and the job would take one hour and two minutes. I sarcastically asked her if she could be more specific on how long it would take and we shared a laugh. The lady gave me a number for calling Samsung. I didn’t take it out on her, but why on earth do I have to do the legwork?

SamsungTV

That’s our LED TV model above, except it is wall-mounted. We don’t ever use the features listed on the screen, nor do we ever use the 3D glasses. Still, the picture is nothing short of spectacular and the lack of a bezel along the perimeter is a huge plus.

So next I call the Samsung Rep. Again, a few simple menu selections and then I’m talking directly with a human with absolutely no initial hold time. Two for two there. Since Best Buy had all my particulars and gave me a service number, the Samsung lady had instant access to everything including my description of the problem. Then came the hard part, giving her the serial number from the back of the TV set. Ummm, it’s wall mounted, no can see. Bottom line, Cathy had to use a mirror and a flashlight to read the sideways label backward. Bottom line, the serial number did not come up in their computer. Long story short I have to e-mail a copy of the receipt along with a few simple details. She wanted me to FAX the info and I had to bite my tongue to avoid saying, “Do I look like Fred Flintstone?” The FAX is ancient tech.

Flintstone-TV

Unfortunately, Samsung doesn’t have a repair center or any of their own service people in our area but they do have a someone they use as a fixit guy. So now I have to call a third number to set things up with Mr. Fixit. Three for three. A couple menu items and I’m talking to Mr. Fixit himself. Whatever happened to sitting there with a handset pasted to your face for forty-five minutes before losing the connection? This aspect of the experience was amazing.

I talked to the fixer for eleven minutes. Bottom line, he is going to have to replace one of two circuit boards so he is going to order both to play it safe even though he is pretty sure he knows which one. He can send the other one back. It will take “three or four days” for the boards to arrive. That’s fine, it is going to take the Geek Squad five calendar days to get the thing off the wall and that has to come first.

That was seventy-one minutes of total phone time for me. A lot of time and frustration and pretending to be patient. These kinds of things burn me out.

For the time being I have my extra phone playing streamed commercial radio using an iPhone app called “ooTunes” which I have already recommended to my friend Emiliano in the comment section of my Radium Demo. So the background music is Detroit-based classic rock for the moment. The variety is nice, the Tivo is recording our shows in the meantime, and I have the skills to get any new TV show I want minutes after it is broadcast in stunning HD from . . . questionable sources. It’s all good, but Judge Judy and HGTV is going to have to take a break.

LoveOrListGotta run, “Whammer Jammer” by J. Geils is playing in the living room and I haven’t heard it in years. We used to play the shit out of that one back in the bar band days.

2 thoughts on “Our TV Broke Down

  1. I remember when I was younger and they had places like Tip Top TV…
    Now it seems as if you buy a TV and when it breaks you just buy another…
    I guess NOT when it is a few thousand and still under warranty.
    What a pain in the A$$!
    So sorry for you!
    Hopefully it is not your only TV in the house! Smile.
    How does a TV just stop working all safely mounted up on a wall?
    I can’t believe it spared ya and did it before the warranty ran out!

    • What is interesting is if the TV broke after the Samsung warranty expired then the extended warranty would have provided us with a new TV as a replacement. Usually I don’t buy extended warranties, except for more expensive items and then I flip a coin.

      We have one other TV and it is in my office. I can watch all the shows I want right on my computer. The question might be, “Jim, you are so advanced and forward looking, why do you have a TV at all?” This is something we share, not each watching our own shows in private, and often we are each on our own love seat with the TV on while we are immersed in our iPads. Replacing the TV background noise with radio for a few days (a couple weeks?) is not that big of a deal.

      Right now I am watching “The Client List” on my computer, transferred from the Tivo over WiFi to my computer. There are shows that Cathy doesn’t like or can’t watch, specifically suspenseful horror like the new shows “Bates Motel” and “Hannibal”, so I am watching those in my office while the main set is down.

      It is unusual that electronics fail after the initial “burn-in period”. Rechargeable batteries will wear out, physical buttons will wear out, but not electronics that don’t physically move. That is why Apple Computer is moving away from hard drives completely in favor of SSDs (solid state drives (really fast memory)) instead.

      So we’re making lemonade with the radio, streaming through our very-good-sounding sound bar. We take a lot of things in stride that don’t really matter.

      I am getting two or three blog article ideas out of this.

      1. The rationale behind what to spend a lot of money on.

      2. How to pick out a TV, particularly the specific size.

      3. What shows do I like and watch.

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