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The black hole of McAllen, TX
By -

MCALLEN, TEXAS -- I have (or should I say "had"?) a Panasonic DVD Recorder that worked pretty well for about 4 /12 years. When certain things weren't working right, I called Panasonic Customer Service and described the problem. Instead of just listening to me, this guy ** took me through all these steps, trying all kinds of different features and stuff. Finally, after over 30 minutes of that, ** finally agreed that it wasn't working right.

** said I can send it in for repair. There would be an up-front fee, which would be applied to the cost of fixing the unit if I decided to go ahead with it, but he didn't know how much that was. I explained to him as nicely as I could that I didn't really feel like taking the time pack the thing up and shipping it to them without knowing the terms and conditions of their Service Policy. He said he would have the Service Policy e-mailed to me but I'm not especially surprised that I never received it.

A few days later I went onto the Panasonic website and found where you can put in a model number and a zip code and it's supposed to tell you where you can get your product serviced. A page came up and said that I can send mine in for replacement with a fully refurbished unit and to call in for the price.

All things considered, this sounded like a much more promising proposition to me. If I was going to go to the trouble, I wanted to end up with something I could rely on for a while. Even if it cost more, it seemed like a refurbished unit might at least last a few years. If I just got mine fixed, something else might go wrong in just a few months, who knows? The website says it would be a comparable model, if not identical. It also said that they might choose to repair it instead.

I called the number on the website and gave Nick the model number of my unit and he said they would replace my unit for $140. According to ** (who is plainly uninformed), someone would call to arrange payment once they received it. I specifically asked ** to affirm that it would be replaced with a completely refurbished product and he specifically stated, in no uncertain terms, that it would. ** specifically said it would not be repaired; it was to be replaced for $140.

The Panasonic Exchange Center received my recorder on 8/5, according to UPS Tracking. On 8/12 I called in again, not having heard anything. ** says it's not going to be replaced, it's going to be repaired. I asked for a supervisor and an explanation as to why 1) the service policy wasn't initially explained to me back on 7/25 and 2) why they are now contradicting themselves about the replacement. This guy was of no help whatsoever.

On 8/20, I got a letter saying, "Panasonic will replace your unit with a factory reconditioned unit" and quotes a replacement cost of $80 plus $15 S&H. But this has a slightly ominous-looking sticker that says to call in before sending in payment. First try - I got put on hold by the automated voice mail, then got put on hold by some woman who says she has to go look stuff up. She comes back and starts talking and the phone goes dead.

Second try - same thing but now I'm talking to somebody who says she has to try to figure out why my unit got into the "replacement process" when it should have gone into the "repair process". After more time on hold she's now telling me that she's going to send it to somewhere else (very nearby, according to her) and they are going to call me and quote a "diagnostic charge". No, she doesn't know how much that will be. And No, she can't explain why ** had specifically said it would be replaced, before I took the trouble of sending it in.

When I asked about why the website specifically offers an exchange program for my model number, she indicated that that was going to be fixed. So, I'm back to where I started on 7/25, after they've wasted my time for a month. I still don't even know what this up-front "diagnostic fee" is. If I don't want them to send the recorder off to the repair facility, my only other option is that they can return the unit. We agreed that that is what they are going to do.

Then, I notice that the letter has my address misspelled. Looks like folks at the Post Office knew where to send it because we have been at the same address for many years. But I have limited faith that UPS will make the same connection when shipping my recorder back to me. So, I call in a couple more times - both times I get the usual "our representatives are helping other customer" messages and wait on hold. Then I get a message saying they can't take my call at all. It must be siesta time at McAllen.

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Lumix GH4
StarStarStarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 3/51

I the Panasonic Lumix GH4 camera for its 4K capability and lightweight for aerial photography. When placed on the drone I received no video from the camera HDMI port. I assumed the drone was bad. After trying a different camera system I discovered the camera was bad. I tested it on a HD television and again there was no picture. I bought an additional camera body which worked well.

I sent the original body into Panasonic for repair and was told there was damage to the camera HDMI port pins and they want an additional $200+ to repair. The port never worked out of the box. Neither did the AVI port nor the audio jack port. Bad product not damage from my handling. I have had no issues with the second body but you shouldn't have to buy two cameras to get one good working system. Shame on Panasonic.

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Beware of Shipping Charges
By -

If you order from PanasonicDirect on their website, be sure to watch the final status of your order to make sure they don't try to add on shipping charges later. It happened to me. I ordered a new telephone and headset for my home office; we've had good luck with Panasonic electronics before, and it was one of the few two-line cordless phones that is compatible with my AT&T voice mail account (it shows a blinking light on the charging base when I have a voice mail, which I like), and it wasn't terribly expensive...$79.95 + $24.95 for the headset.

My husband actually ordered it for me; he's better with shopping for the electronic gadgets than I am, and he was quite excited to get free shipping - something they called "UPS Next Day Regular," whatever that is. I've shipping with UPS many times, and I've never heard of it. But it was free, so I said good. I got the confirmation e-mail which showed the costs of both items, local sales tax, and zero for shipping. Saved a copy, which I always do.

Contrary to what the confirmation e-mail said would happen, I never got any further e-mails saying my order had been shipped, or anything else from PanasonicDirect. So, I checked the order on their website, mostly to see when to expect delivery, so I could be home to sign for it. As it happened, my order was delivered that day, which was much sooner than I had expected it to arrive (usually free shipping is by slow boat to China).

To my surprise, the total charge on the website included a charge of $25.75 for shipping, which then increased the sales tax amount by $1.25 - a total of $27 more than the amount that was confirmed in the e-mail I received. I went ballistic, printed the page from the website, printed off my confirmation e-mail, and gave them to my husband. I told him he'd better call them, because if they got me on the phone, I was just going to lose my temper. He did so, explained to the CSR he spoke to what had happened--that I had been overcharged $27.00 for shipping, which according to my order confirmation was supposed to be free.

She told him to fax both pages to her attention, and she would call back after she received them. He did so, and we were both thinking, "OK, we're getting somewhere!" She called back, and said there was nothing she could do about it, that my order had been shipped UPS 2nd Day Air, and that is what I was charged for. My husband said that was not what he had selected when he placed the order, that what he chose was free, and the order confirmation I received via e-mail proved it. He asked to speak to a supervisor, which he did.

The supervisor he spoke to told him this: "There was a glitch on the website; the shipping option you selected should have shown a charge of $25.75. It should not have shown a charge of zero, and there is nothing we can do about it." My husband told the supervisor, "Oh, yes there is; I have an order confirmation that quite clearly states in black and white the shipping charge is zero. I'm sorry if there was a glitch on your website, but that is not my problem. I paid for this order with a credit card, and I am not going to pay for these charges, and I will be disputing them through my credit card company. And you can forget ever getting my business again."

I am an extremely savvy consumer when it comes to my knowledge of consumer credit laws; I have availed myself of them many times throughout my life, and I have never lost a dispute yet. That is because I document everything, save my receipts (especially for major purchases), and keep an eye on deadlines. The laws were enacted to protect consumers, and that is exactly what they do. If the consumer can show that the merchant was in the wrong, the merchant will lose, and the credit card company has to support the consumer. It's as simple as that.

So after the charges posted to my credit card account, I went to the credit card's website, and started the dispute process online, this past Sunday. I had to fax my supporting documentation to their dispute resolution center, and had to type a brief description of what had happened, and what I had done to try to resolve it with the merchant (they like you to try to resolve it first, but it's not a requirement). All I had to do was fax the copy of my confirmation e-mail showing zero shipping cost and the copy of the charge from PanasonicDirect's website showing the higher shipping charge. Complete documentation is a necessity in these cases.

By Monday morning, I had a response from the credit card company telling me they had opened the dispute case, and would be getting back to me as it progressed. By Monday evening, I had an answer from the credit card company. They said, "We have posted a credit to your account for $27.00 for the amount of the charge you are disputing. We have also charged this amount back to the merchant. We now consider this case closed. We thank you for contacting us to resolve the issue with the merchant."

By Tuesday, the credit had posted to my account. What really surprised me was that they said, "We now consider this case closed." Typically, how these things go is the credit card company posts a provisional credit to the customer's account, and a chargeback to the merchant's account, in order to give the merchant time to respond to the dispute (they have 30 days; the consumer has 60 days from the date the bill was received on which the disputed charge appears).

The credit card company will typically wait for the merchant to respond, in case the customer's dispute is invalid. If it is, the charge comes back to the customer, and they have to respond, or pay up (another 30 days). If the merchant can't substantiate the charge, they eat it, and the customer prevails. And that's how I Win these things: I only dispute charges that I know FOR SURE are the fault of the merchant. If it's my fault, well then, it's my fault and I eat the charge.

So when the credit card company said, "We consider the case closed," I thought, "Wow, they looked at my documentation, decided, 'Yep, the customer was right, the order confirmation said zero for shipping, so the merchant couldn't just slap on a $27 charge for shipping, even if the customer did luck onto a computer glitch that she shouldn't have. We're not even going to give the merchant a chance to respond, we're just going to charge it back to them, and be done with it.'" So there!

It was only $27, but it's the principle of the thing, and it was also the arrogance of the customer service people. What they SHOULD have said was, "Why yes of course, you are absolutely right, zero means zero. We'll credit that amount to you right away, and we apologize for any inconvenience you were caused by having to call us."

But no, they got snotty and said, "It was a glitch, and you shouldn't have gotten free shipping, and too bad, we're not going to fix it." Oh yeah? We'll just see about that. They not only lost $27 because of their attitude, they lost my business AND I'll let everyone I know what jerks they are, and maybe they'll lose more business than mine.

That is also why I always make major purchases with a credit card. You pay by cash or check, and you are at the mercy of the merchant as to whether you will get a refund. You get a credit card company involved, and those consumer credit laws kick in, and you've got some leverage with unscrupulous merchants. It pays to know your rights; read the back of your billing statements. They are all disclosed there. Thanks for letting me share my three cents' worth!

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Obsolete After 5 Months-Customer "Service" Ha!
By -

I must take some blame because my father always said that a product is only as good as the company that will stand behind it. Had I read the reviews which scores of dissatisfied customers have posted online about their problems with Panasonic's Customer Service Department, I would never have purchased anything from this manufacturer.

We have a blu-ray subscription with Netflix and about two weeks ago none of the discs played-we get a message that the disc is incompatible with the unit. All discs appear to be in good shape-we clean them anyway-properly and also use a cleaner for our machine. Same result. Try the discs on our friend's machine (not-Panasonic) and they play perfectly.

First call is to Netflix which tells us that the newer discs they send out have been encoded with a security feature and our unit needs a firmware upgrade. They suggest we call Panasonic. On Friday, 1/21, we call Panasonic and they instruct us to go on their website and download firmware which they say will correct this problem. We do so. But our discs still do not play. Call Panasonic and the service representative tells us that their product is superior to our friend's player because his is allowing defective discs to play while theirs in more selective! Now I know I've gone through the looking glass and beyond.

After an interminable wait to speak with a supervisor, the representative gets back on and says that she was told that we need upgraded firmware beyond which is currently being offered on their website but that it will be sent to us to upgrade our player in 7-10 business days. I ask for expedited service such as Fedex etc because of the trouble we've been through and the misinformation. Wednesday's mail comes and goes without anything from Panasonic. My wife calls and after restating the whole history finally gets to speak to a supervisor who tells us that by buying a SD card our problem would be solved. Paid $12 and it did not work.

Call back the next day and after being talked down to as though we were dolts are told that the supervisor who advised us to purchase SD card is on a break but would call us back shortly. After 1 1/2 hours with no callback, we call Panasonic and go through the trials and tribulations of speaking to a supervisor who barely responds to our questions, offers no help whatsoever and repeatedly asks are we in the same room as the player and TV. We have learned our lesson-will donate this player to a school, check out customer service ratings of two companies we had in mind and purchase a player which its company supports with able and courteous service.

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35
By -

I have had my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 for four months. I have been very disappointed in the indoor shots that contain the color red. The reds all come out looking pink. After using the camera for four months and discussing the problem with several professional photographers regarding the problem, I noticed that the reds look pink through the viewfinder. Very strange problem.

I called Panasonic Customer Service and after being on hold for forty-five minutes I was connected with someone who barely spoke English. When asked if she was familiar with my particular camera she said she was not but would be as soon as she looked at the manual. That was not very comforting, to say the least. She soon said the problem could not be handled on the phone and was a defect in the camera, so to return the camera which would be replaced with a refurbished camera. It would either be the same model or one that had "similar" features.

I said I did not want either a refurbished camera with someone else's problems nor did I want one with "similar" features. I wanted my money back or a "new" camera. I asked to speak with a supervisor. Of course, there were no supervisors available. I was told that one will call me back sometime next week. The representative I spoke with said she was familiar with Panasonic's policy and that there was no hope of getting my money back or a new camera. It will definitely be either refurbished or a "similar" model.

After reading this site and heard from people who have sent their cameras back to Panasonic only to be told the defect was their fault and would require a costly repair at the customer's cost, I hesitate to send it back. Why do the research and pick the "perfect" camera when it will be replaced with a "similar" model??? I, like so many people who have written reviews on this site, will NEVER buy a Panasonic product again.

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Horrible Phones, DO NOT BUY PANASONIC
By -

WALKER, LOUISIANA -- I will be buying new phones today. They will NOT be Panasonic. I purchased a Panasonic Expandable Portable Phone System KX-TG5632 approx. 18 months ago. It has never worked properly. The base will start to ring, the handsets are DEAD.

In order to answer the phone, (and these are instructions from Panasonic) I have to hit the exit button on the handset. Remove the battery cover. Remove the battery. Replace the battery and cover. Start hitting the talk button. At first it will say "move closer to base unit" even if you are right in front of it. If you continue pressing the talk button, you can usually answer the call, IF they haven't hung up by now. This is insane. I paid over $120 dollars for this lousy phone.

I have called Panasonic Customer Service repeatedly. This last time, they told me to buy another phone. They offered to give me 15% off a phone if I buy it from them. Hmmm 15% off of RETAIL price for a phone that has NEVER worked properly??? NOT!! I think I'll just go buy one at Walmart for a lot less and chances are it will work better than a very expensive Panasonic.

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Panasonic Customer Service Is the WORST
By -

I own a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 digital camera. Within 6 months of purchase, I had to send the camera for repair as the plastic lock on the memory card came off in the memory card slot and I couldn't take pictures. After initially speaking with a very nice person from customer support who told me to send my camera to their authorized service center @ 1590 Touhy Ave, Elks Grove, IL. I sent my camera via USPS insured and delivery confirmation, and a note inside with the camera with my name, address and phone number and a description of the problem.

I called the Service center 1 week after mailing camera to verify that they had received it and when I could expect it to be repaired and returned. I was told by a polite woman that my camera was still under warranty and would be repaired and returned within the week. For the next 2 months, I would call the repair center every week and left messages inquiring about my camera and asking if someone would please call me that were never returned.

Three phone calls to the main Customer Service number listed on the Panasonic site sent me in circles talking with customer service reps who 1) hung up on me, 2) told me it wasn't their department, 3) when they offered to investigate, put me on hold only to return to tell me that the Authorized center I sent my camera to is not under their jurisdiction and that I have to call the center directly and leave more messages. My camera was eventually returned to me, repaired, but I WILL NEVER BUY PANASONIC AGAIN.

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Panasonic Customer Service: DISHONEST & UNETHICAL
By -

Panasonic Customer Service are the most DISHONEST & UNETHICAL BUMS I have ever dealt with. They gave me consumerproducts09@us. Panasonic.com and when I followed up, they LIED and said they had no such address. Now I see there are multiple listings online of people using it. And I know it was a real address as the emails did not bounce back. Take a look at the poor guy bilked for 1 grand on Youtube, recording his anger with the piece of garbage they sold him. They are SO DUMB they have no idea of bad PR, strictly in it for the fast buck. Stick with Samsung and Sony, Panasonic are TOTAL LIARS.

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Panasonic Customer Service is the WORST
By -

We have been a loyal Panasonic cordless phone users for years. We were having a problem with our cordless. So we called Panasonic for assistance. I was on the phone for 45 minutes when I finally hung up. They were total idiots. The representative put you on hold at least 15 times. After she realized that it was the phone with the problem I was on the phone while she or typed her report at least 30 minutes before I was finally transferred to the supervisor who then started the whole thing over again on why I called.

Keep in mind I was already going to buy another phone and just needed to pay. She proceeded to tell me that it might possibly be our phone line. Which we had already established it was not. I was so frustrated of being on line for 45 min and be asked to recap why I called in I hung up and told them where they stick their phone. I will never ever ever buy another Panasonic product again!!!

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Poor Customer Service
By -

Customer service here stinks. I purchased a new camcorder directly. It initially indicated that it would ship within 3 days (ordered the day after Thanksgiving). I called a week later - when their website still indicated that it would ship in 3 days and customer service indicated that they did not know if it would ship in time for Christmas.

I got it in time for Christmas after all but the USB cable in the box did not fit the camcorder - very obviously the end was not compatible with the camcorder. I have spent over an hour with various customer service reps. I also sent photo images to customer service via e-mail. They referred me back to the phone support where I got no help. Finally an agent gave me another e-mail to send my complaint to. He indicated that they would "probably" send me another USB cable free of charge - as if that is doing me a favor. I like the camcorder. Just hope you don't need customer service!

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Panasonic Rating:
Star Star Empty star Empty star Empty star
2.0 out of 5, based on 2 ratings and
38 reviews & complaints.
Contact Information:
Panasonic
One Panasonic Way
Secaucus, NJ 07094
210-348-7000 (ph)
201-348-7209 (fax)
www.panasonic.com
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