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Poor battery maintenance and customer service
Posted by Blaoser on 07/18/2011
I have been a fan of the Philips Sonicare line of toothbrushes until recently. I upgraded to the FlexCare model based on its claim of being their best toothbrush yet and the fact that it came with a sanitizer. However, it didn’t come with any guidance on how to maintain the internal (read: not replaceable) battery. It died at just over 2 years after purchase (it has a 2 year warranty) and when I reached out to Philips to see if they would repair/replace it in good faith to keep a loyal customer, they refused.

The Chat Agent even cited the fact that it should last at least 5 years and attempted to point to some unhelpful documentation, insinuating that it provided guidance on how to maintain the battery. My annoying chat conversation with them, below.

So Buyers beware that this is Philips’ position, it is clear that it is not in their best interest to instruct their customers on how to extend the life of their product, and they act accordingly.

I'm very careful when it comes to batteries and generally like to know how the batteries of a given appliance or device like to be treated (for example, today's SmartPhones like to be full or topped off constantly and it's hard on the battery to get completely drained). Conversely, laptop batteries should be "conditioned" monthly - a complete drain down to dead, and then a full, uninterrupted recharge).

The top-of-the line Sonicare FlexCare came with no such guidance, despite costing close to $200 and having a non-replaceable battery (I hate that - such a waste).

Pearl: Hello, how are you today?
Me: Hi Pearl. Just fine, thanks yourself?
Pearl: Doing great, thanks for asking.
Me: Good to hear it.
Me: I had a question about my FlexCare toothbrush
Me: it is no longer turning on
Me: is there anything you can help me with on that?
Me: I've only had it for 2-3 years and I heard they should last 4-5 years
Pearl: I apologize for your recent experience and will do my best to help you with it.
Pearl: could provide me with model number, serial number and your unit's date of purchase? The HX model and serial numbers are located on the bottom or inside the well of the toothbrush handle.
Me: ok
Me: let's see
Me: Serial: 080221
Me: Model: HX6930
Me: and I don't have an exact date or purchase but I think it was the fall of 2009
Me: so not quite 2 years, if I'm counting correctly
Pearl: Thanks for the information.
Pearl: Do you have the purchase receipt for this unit?
Me: hmmm, probably not
Me: I might be able to contact Costco to see if they can pull it up if it is critical, but not sure if their records would be retained for that long.
Pearl: Does the light come on when the handle is on charging base?
Me: no it does not
Pearl: Have you tried a different wall outlet? Just to make sure that the outlet is working fine.
Me: Yes, I have. The sanitizer comes on as well so I know it is getting power.
Pearl: As per the serial number, the unit is not within warranty, the Sonicare toothbrushes are non-repairable, my best suggestion would be to purchase a new Sonicare toothbrush and I can offer you a coupon code for 15% off and free shipping on purchase of the unit through our Philips online store.
Me: What does the serial number tell you? Can you tell when it was purchased? If so, when?
Pearl: It shows as purchased in 2008, if you have the purchase receipt I would request you to fax it to our entitlement team to validate the warranty on this unit.
Me: I see. And how long is the warranty good for?
Pearl: The sonicare units come with a 2-year warranty period from the date of purchase.
Me: I see. I just checked the FAQ and it did say that the batteries cannot be replaced but that they should last for many years.
Me: I don't think 3 years is "many years" - that's very disappointing.
Pearl: That's correct, it lasts for at least 5 years.
Me: So why did this one stop working after 3?
Me: I remember trying to find out in the manual how to keep the battery in good condition and it did not give any tips.
Pearl: It is advisable to deplete the battery and then recharge it for 24 hours.
Me: How often?
Pearl: The fully charged handle lasts for 1 week.
Me: I see. is that stated anywhere in the manual?
Pearl: I'm checking it for you.
Me: thank you. because I always wondered and tried to look for it
Me: now it's dead.
Pearl: http://www.p4c. Philips.com/cgi-bin/dcbint/cpindex. pl?scy=US&mid=Link_FAQs&view=aa12_view_partial.html&session=20110713180056_220.227.54.226&list=aa12_list_partial.html&slg=AEN&ctn=HX6932/10&dct=FAQ&refnr=0082677&faqview=1
Me: I clicked the link. doesn't say anything you explained.
Me: did you want me to read anything in particular?
Pearl: "Our rechargeable toothbrushes last for a minimum of 2 weeks without charging and are therefore convenient for travel."
Me: I see that, too. it doesn't say anything about recommending that one depletes them and then charge for 24 hours.
Me: it just says that it's convenient to travel with
Me: I have to say that this is very upsetting. you could easily put these recommendations in your official documentation (manuals) so that your customers can actually get "many years" out of the life of a product that they paid a premium for. I paid nearly $200 for my Sonicare and what you're telling me is that one year after the warranty expires, I have to go buy another one.
Pearl: The HX6930 comes with the Lithium Ion battery so if you leave it on the charge it doesn't affect the battery, however, with our experience it is better to deplete the battery before recharging it.
Me: Can I buy only the handle or do I need to purchase an entirely new set?
Pearl: I'm sorry, you would need to purchase the entire unit as we don't sell individual handle.
Me: Of course you don't.
Pearl: What best I could do is offer you a free brush head after you purchase a Sonicare unit.
Me: I was really hoping that Phillips would show some good faith and say, yes, it may be out of warranty, but our product is not repairable nor replaceable by our own design, nor do we provide any valuable recommendations on conditioning the battery for lasting use. I was hoping that they would send me a new brush handle for no charge or at a significant discount. 15% or a free brush head is insulting.

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Posted by kristina on 2013-09-25:
I had the same experience and I am a dental professional!!
I am very disappointed in this company.
Posted by max m on 2013-11-07:
your experience is nearly identical to mine. After exactly two years of using it the batteries feel to hold a charge for more than 15 seconds. I am as well as you experience and charging and maintaining batteries of all types. For some reason they designed a suicide device how to make you buy a new device every two years after all the warranty ends. Their customer service reps gave me the same line and refused to help me any even with the discount on a new item. I guess they're making gobs of money on this product. Yet I'm going to try to purchase the basic one again and see if it was just a fluke or not but I have my doubts.
Posted by TruthBrush on 2013-11-24:
You can easily open these toothbrushes up and replace the battery yourself.
5 mins of simple research will show you how to do this.
Posted by TarheelCoastie on 2014-02-28:
Similar experience with a new Sonicare unit, dead right out the box.

Phillips customer service (overseas) was HORRIBLE! Always keep the chat transcripts as they often do NOT keep their word.

I took the dead unit to Bed Bath and Beyond and they gave me a full refund on the unit without a receipt.
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Extensive Failure During First Season of Use
Posted by Slimjim on 10/29/2007
This is probably early for many, but we (more like I) do so much to the house, that my work actually starts this weekend.

Has anyone out there who decorates for Christmas had any problems with these LED light, especially in outdoor applications? I’ve started converting to them last season as they are suppose to use lower energy costs, and last up to 5 times longer. I found many bulbs to have failed on indoor sets, and half the sets I used outdoors had entire half string sections go out by the time it was New Years. All were new last season. The ones outside also seem to have rust stains around the bulb sockets indicating corrosion on the contacts.

I didn't even get enough extra bulbs with the sets to cover the ones that burned out, and on the half string failures, replacing every out bulb on the section did nothing but waste my time.

I wrote to the company from their website on the boxes and they replied they are just an importer (even though the boxes say manufactured by) and to take them back to the store, which of course it was too late by the time last holiday season wrapped up. I think they were made in China and the Phillips name is just for marketing.

They have no shunts also so you can't use any mini light testers to either fix it of find the failure spots.

At $12 to $14 a box, these things will never save enough electricity over $2-$4 mini sets by the time they fail and need to be replaced. I just have to wonder if anyone else used these and had problems. It sure goes against the reliability they advertise. They are really being phased into the market now so they will have to be much more reliable as a whole. I’m going to just replace the bad sets and see how this year goes. I recommend to anyone buying these to first just get a few strings and see if you have better luck than I did.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-29:
No, I have not used these lights. This is good to know, however. It will certainly affect which lights I buy, to decorate with! Thanks!

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-29:
Slim, thanks for the excellent info. I still use the older type lights and will stick with them till they get the bugs out of the LED's. (VH Post)
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-29:
Same here Slim, we still use the older stuff. As always a review with the savvy consumers here at M3C in mind. (VH)
I can still remember those huge strings of Christmas lights that were wired in a way (parallel?) where one bad bulb would knock the whole string of lights out and you would have to check EVERY socket with a new bulb and pray that there was only one bulb out!
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-29:
Hey Slim one thing we grow in our reactors is LED's, good review and information.
Posted by Nohandle on 2007-10-29:
I think it's a good idea Slim to bring this to everyone's attention early. My local K-Mart has had Christmas trees and lights on display for a month, so I know some must be buying early. I haven't been doing any outside lighting during Christmas but surely many other members do. I'd be interested in responses from others. It will certainly be a good tip to pass on. Good review.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-29:
Lid's, would you please send me a free sample of one of your reactors so I can light up the west coast this Christmas? I want to win the best house contest and I'm sure that would do it.
Posted by Slimjim on 2007-10-29:
Lids, I knew you would know as much as anyone on these. Apparently these are not great examples of the LED technology out there, probably to keep them cheap relatively. Got any industrial sets you can send me?
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-29:
I use the oldschool lights outside.I did get some LED lights for the inside last year,and they worked good.

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-29:
Slim you would be 100% correct in assuming they were made in China. Philips set up a plant in China just like everybody else because they get cheep labor.

The Chinese are notorious for using substandard wafers for there substrate and there H2 (hydrogen) is not that great either, although they are now importing H2 from the US and Praxair opened a plant or two over there as well. I have worked on a few machines that are over there and it’s not pretty what they do to these machines.

How the LED’s pass inspection is beyond me but that’s what happens.
Posted by chris513 on 2007-10-31:
good post. VH
Posted by Dave44 on 2007-12-02:
I have compleetly converted to LED christmas lights. I have mostly Philips so.... I will let you know how things go. Last year I had multicolored christmas tree lights. They worked perfectally. I don't know if they are Philips or not.

Posted by buddyboy on 2007-12-16:
These new LED Christmas lights make me MAD. The LED technology is fantastic and is absolutely the way to go BUT I have purchased strings of them for outside use for the last two years now. They seem to work well through the season but when I get them out for next years use, after gentle handling, about a third of the lights don't work. Of course, you can't replace the bulbs.

After two years of this I have switched back to my old style lights. Now, as I am an environmentally conscious consumer, switching back to energy inefficient lights is beyond sad, and that's why it makes me mad. The manufacturers are ripping us off big time with these sub standard imitations of desirable technology. How come they seem to have got away with it thus far? Where is the outrage? Yes we need LED lights, but we need reliable products even more.
Posted by Dan17 on 2008-01-04:
Christmas LED's were a waste of money and time. 2/3's of ours died over 2 years. Made in China, by Forever Bright, distributed by Kellogg Plastics Ltd in Idaho, who does not respond to inquires regarding warranty claims.
Posted by JamesLED on 2008-01-05:
I switched to all Phillips LED lighting this year, about 2500 bulbs in all. After a couple months of use, I had to replace 4 bulbs so it's not a bad ratio really. I'd say I'm satisfied with the result so we'll wait until next year and see how it goes.
Posted by andwhite1 on 2008-12-04:
I too have had the rusted out problem in my 3rd year of use. This product is utter junk. Here is my review I have been putting in as many places as I can find in Google.

Go to this link to see a picture of what happens to these bulbs when the rust out.


Here is my review:

Unfortunately, I found this site 3 years too late. Here is my experience and review posted on Amazon. These lights are total ripoff!

In need of lights I started buying these lights 2 years ago. You either like the look or don’t. I do.

Lo and Behold, this year (the third year), over half of my light strings did not work. After some investigation…many of the bulb filaments and sockets were RUSTED out! This makes replacing the bulb impossible. And if one bulb goes out, all the bulbs after it go out. Some advance in technology huh?

Now that I have so much invested I have to go out and buy new strings. Now Target/Philips have me locked into a pretty good profit cycle now.

I have to assume Philips did this on purpose. How can a light be outdoor use in rain and snow and be engineered to not rust. How in this day and age can you make lights that all go out after one burnt out bulb. It’s ludicrous to think they didn’t do this on purpose.

To add insult to injury these bulbs cost 5 times what regular strings cost AND they tout the money saved in energy. What complete BS. I don’t save any money if I have to replace strings every year at 5 times the prices.

I wish I could give these lights zero stars and had the energy to put this negative review on every Philips light set. What a bunch of cr*p!!!

I bought one string set this year that had smooth globes. It looks like they engineered a fix by making the socket, light and globe one piece and wrapping tape around the bottom of the socket. Nice try. But get this. On these strings the bulbs are not replaceable. So if your 2.5 year old steps on one…oops…out to buy a new set. Nice try Philips. So lame…
Posted by Cin City Santa on 2008-12-11:
I like the look but half the strings I bought last year are no longer working. Terrible corrosion on the contacts and some of the contacts on the bulbs are rusted through entirely. Don't buy these!
Posted by gwtx2 on 2009-11-16:
I bought 7 sets of the Blue C6's in November 2008. This year (2009) they all continue to work. I check the base of several bulbs and noticed some rust, but not too bad. These lights were hung on an outdoor tree for about 6 weeks last year (and it rained). I'm needing 10 more sets but I think I will check the base of this year's model to see if they have made improvements to prevent this problem. You would think so.
Posted by gwtx2 on 2009-11-16:
I just looked at the box I bought in 2008 and could not find a stated warranty any where. I noticed that target's website states that these lights now carry a three year warranty. Maybe they fixed the issue??
Posted by Neptune31 on 2009-12-05:
How's it going, everyone?

You're not alone with this issue. From the countless posts I've read on various boards, it appears that the Philips LED strings have a design flaw (or is it planned obsolescence...); the leads for each bulb are made out of soft steel, or some other form of metal that is susceptible to rusting. So the indoor users, barring any storage hazards, aren't faced with the same risk as those of us using the strings, the indoor/OUTDOOR strings, outside. It also doesn't seem like Philips gives a rat's derriere from what I've read, and I have not yet received a response to my scathing message to customer service.

I like the look of LED Christmas lights, especially outside. I don't think I'll ever abandon the C-9s along the front porch roof line, but shrubs, etc. are another story. Now the question is: Who makes LED strings like they CARE about their customers? The hunt is on, but Philips is not likely to see another cent of my money.
Posted by Slimjim on 2009-12-07:
I think the problem is the LEDs that are priced affordable are the crap. I'm using another value priced brand this year so we'll see. I have a feeling though, to get weather proof LEDs, the price would be something no one would want to spend. You'll certainly never make it back in electricity savings. Heck, these cheap ones die so fast though, they save consumers squat too.
Posted by goduke on 2009-12-07:
I've been using the Home Depot brand outside LED's that come on the 200 light roll. Hooked 'em up last year, they burned about 8 hours a night for about 8 weeks without fail. Have had them up for about 2 weeks this year without any lights failing yet. Sounds like Phillips has some wiring issues they need to work out in their strings. Thanks for the great heads up!
Posted by greenconsumer on 2009-12-31:
I have had mixed results with LED bulbs. I've had some good luck and some very bad luck.

I purchased 12 bulbs from LEDLight.com and 11 have failed. That's 11 out of 12 failed, 92% failure rate.

LEDLight.com refuses to replace them. They still sell these known defective products on their website.
Posted by Slimjim on 2010-11-22:
Going into the fourth season since I wrote this and have come to this conclusion, just about any LED Christmas light sets out there on the shelves made in China are flat out junk. The technology to manufacturer reliable LED lights exposed to the elements costs a lot more than people will spend on holiday lighting, and the sets on the market are disposable crap.
If you don't mind changing light sets just about every year or two or are using them inside, then LEDs make a nice choice over traditional light strings. Otherwise, you will NEVER see a dime in savings using LED strings outside when you compare what electricity they potentially save vs the added costs of the sets plus their short life span. In fact, they can be quite a waste. I pulled out 4 sets of icicles from last year and only one string completely worked for this season. Oh, and forget trying to find out which ones are bad. You can try following the rust trails from all the light contacts corroding, but every light's contact points in the string have already rusted from last year.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2010-11-22:
Just be careful on that Little Giant Ladder...If you need any help moving it, I'm sure I can find Pirate to give you a hand!
*Running and hiding behind Sheriff*
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-11-22:
Going on the 6th year for my lights. Last year, 1 5 yr. old string was found to be partially out, which when connected with the other strings caused them all to go out. Replaced the 1 string and all was good, but it is the newer LED, so don't have much faith of longevity.
Posted by Slimjim on 2010-11-22:
Debtor, as you know that ladder is heavy (and in storage). If I wanted help moving it, I wouldn't call on someone who rides up on a girl's bike wearing Daisy Duke shorts.
Posted by sanman1991 on 2011-11-25:
"Absolutely Ridiculous", I have won the award from the city for numerous years now for nicest display of lights. I started converting to led 2 years ago, almost all the strands that i bought (350-450) are dead. Rusted to Sh.t now how do i get my money back? They say to blow dry all bulbs after it rains! how stupid is that, like that won't take up a ton of electricity itself! Why can't they use stainless, galvanized or some type of metal that won't rust? They charge enough for them.
Posted by GerKing on 2011-11-26:
I bought some last year, the clear lense on the miniature string is cloudy, the red larger strings still too soon to tell. They do cost a fortune!
Posted by GerKing on 2011-11-26:
I only bought the LEDs because the fuse kept burning out on the newer icicle strings last year. I guess that happens when there are too many strings hooked together. Funny though, the old icicles w/ just as many strings just stayed lit and bright for years and years like eight or nine to be exact.
Posted by sanman1991 on 2011-11-26:
I just wrap the fuse in foil!
Posted by MJC on 2012-03-13:
Bought some strands at Target for outdoor accent lighting thru the rainy gloom until spring. A few of the bulbs have already failed - the lead separated from the diode due to corrosion. Keep your receipt and UPC for warranty - you're going need it as these are defective made in china cr*p! I have already contacted Seasonal Specialities, LLC with a claim.
Posted by JK on 2012-05-31:
I've tried indoor and outdoor versions of the LED lights. I don't have a single strand that has worked after one season. After spending way too much money I've given up and I'm switching back to the older style.
Posted by Angie on 2012-11-15:
Slim. We have had these problems since 2007 but we are the dummies that keep buying more which clearly, is not saving us any money and stressin out. I want to return them all but they dont even make the dome lights that you are refering to that rust. They dont even sell them any more so I am assuming, even if they did replace them, they would not be the same. To bad I didn ot see this in 2007 when you posted it. Might have caused less problems:)
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Unsanitary, Flawed Product
Posted by Sita Mae on 08/03/2009
This is the most unsanitary electric toothbrush I've ever used. Red gelatinous moldy stuff grew in the compartments. Very difficult to clean.

I've been using Sonicare since 1994. This was a new model intended to replace the one I'd been using for quite a while, until the rechargeable battery died. Never had a problem with mold and bacteria on that electric toothbrush. So, this new one was disappointing and disgusting.

The Optiva Corporation created this product. Philips Corporation purchased that company in 2000. Herein lies the problem.

I called Phlips to complain about the problems with the model. I was told that one needs to remove the brush head after every use and let it air dry. Then, wash the complete unit every week with mild soap.

In my opinion, this is entirely too much maintenance for a toothbrush--especially since the maintenance is intended to address a design flaw which makes mold and other ugly things grow in the product. Even with the maintenance, I would not trust that I could keep it clean.

A company representative told me that the design flaws have been addressed in newer models, but she refused to offer me a replacement or even a discount to purchase a new and improved model, or any remuneration to address my displeasure with this product.

Philips Sonicare could have made things right and kept a loyal customer. They didn't bother.

So, I will not purchase a Philips Sonicare tooth brush again and I would advise others not to as well.
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Posted by BokiBean on 2009-08-03:
My sis uses these. I will warn her. Thanks for the well written review.
Posted by Erin9 on 2009-09-14:
Wow, someone seriously took 15 minutes out of their day to complain about a toothbrush. I own an Elite 9500 and for the record, it takes me about 5 minutes of maintenance a week. The customer service line is the warranty line. A warranty means that if for any reason under the two years a product is defective, it will be replaced.
Not cleaning your toothbrush as recommended in the manual is not a defect, but rather carelessness. It constitutes misuse and neglect which is not covered under the warranty. It may seem like a pain to reach in with a toothpick with mild soap and water once a week, but seriously, suck it up. I know they offer rebates towards the purchase of a new one and you could have asked for one.
Posted by old fart on 2009-09-14:
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-09-14:
People complaining about complaints on a complaint website about a complaint that is over a month old. I don't think you can get anymore trivial than that.
Posted by Erin9 on 2009-10-07:
People taking their time out of their day to judge people who complain on a complaint website about a complaint that is over a month old is pretty sad.
Posted by Photown on 2009-11-06:
The Sonic Seal fixes this issue. http://thesonicseal.com/
Posted by Robert on 2012-11-23:
Update to the cleaning complaint. I havae used mine for three years, mostly in an environment with pretty dirty water. After each use I rinse it thoroughly, shake out and wipe off the water, and stand the brush head in its little stand and the handle in the charger. Maybe once a month I use an old toothbrush to clean around where the head attaches to the handle and the magnets. That is it -- maybe one minute and a half.
But if you just stand it all assembled on the charger each time, you have toothpaste dripping down inside and building up -- need I say more?
Posted by charlie on 2013-06-27:
My Sonicare, despite my rinsing it and drying it after every use, developed a serious, uncorrectable case of mildew on the body itself and at the base. I never let it drip dry standing upright. Cleaning with a 25% bleach mixture did little good. The mildew is not on the surface of the toothbrush but is growing under whatever clear compound they coated the toothbrush with. It is, unsightly and unsanitary. Sonicare will do nothing about this - they claim that it is not a warranty issue - ok - but I don't believe that either a design or manufacturing defect should be considered anything else but a warranty issue. I will never use a Phillips product again - not just a Sonicare - any Phillips product. They refuse to stand behind their products. My reference # on my call to Sonicare is 50-1329041463. If Sonicare wants to talk, they have the info to use to do so.
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Phillips Sonicare's deceptive warranty policies
Posted by Gustavo glenmorangie on 10/21/2009
I owned an old Sonicare for many years. It was a great product. But that was before Phillips bought the company.

After five years, I purchased a new one, now branded "Phillips Sonicare". It failed in a year. They replaced it. The replacement has now failed a few months later. They refuse to replace it again.

What's interesting is that I had inadvertently called the professional customer service line (for dentists and the like) a few minutes before that call. There I was told the replacement model they sent me had a known history of failures and they would replace it with an improved version. We started to get the replacement information and he found out I was a retail customer. He said he couldn't do it and gave me a different number where, he said, they would take care of it. A that line (retail customer service) they told me that there was no problem with the unit and they would not replace it. This despite the fact that it was only nine months old and had a documented history of failures. When I told them what I had been told by the other guy, the response was that he was wrong, that no one at Phillips would ever say that.

Clearly, there is one company line for dentists who shill these things and get freebies for their staffs, and another company line for consumers who actually buy them.

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Posted by GenuineNerd on 2009-10-21:
Next time, buy an Arm & Hammer Crest Sonic Spinbrush. It costs under $10 on sale, runs off 2 AA batteries, and has the same sonic action as the expensive Sonicare products. The brush refills are inexpensive as well. So far, I am happy with mine.
Posted by Ytropious on 2009-10-21:
I agree, I use the cheap vibrating brushes you get in a pack of 2 for like 7 dollars. I used a Sonicare in the past, and I enjoy it, but the disposable ones are pretty good too.
Posted by madconsumer on 2009-10-21:
try the new crest sonic care one, under 20 quid, and works as good as the 100 quid one!
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Repair Depot - customer service
Posted by Jbee on 12/05/2005
WASHINGTON -- After having a lengthy conversation with a Philips repair technician in an attempt to fix the DVD player part of the Home Theater System which had a registered warranty (the disk tray wouldn't close), he agreed to open a service request to have the thing repaired. I followed all the instructions to the letter. Spent a good chunk of money to send the thing in (it's not easy finding a box to hold a DVD player with the tray stuck in the open position, and packing it so the tray doesn't break off). Dutifully wrote my letter accompanying it with our addresses(physical and mailing) along with our phone number and email addy (which were also confirmed when the service request was opened) and included the reference number I was assigned. That was October 11. By tracking the shipment I could see that it was delivered on October 14. I was told 14-15 business days for the repair to be completed. So I waited.

Now the next part is my fault - I misplaced my reference number. Sent a lengthy email to consumer services after 3 weeks explaining the problem, gave all the detailed information I could possibly give them asking if they could track down the reference number for me. A week later I got an email response..."we need the reference number in order to update you on the status of your repair" Uhhh......ok.
Tore the house apart and whew! found it!!! Tried to track the service request via the website with the number they gave me....nothing exists in their records with that number. Sent another email via the website on 11/26. Two days later the response: "as per our records the unit you sent in...has not yet been received or acknowledged at our depot." Please contact customer service during the hours of... So I did.
Now in order to find my unit the Rep needed my Philips ref number AND my postal tracking number. Oh look, there it is. Received 10/17, repaired 11/3 and then who knows.

The CS Rep said possibly it was a mailing address/physical address conflict because they can't deliver to PO Boxes. OK, understandable but WHY DIDN'T ANYONE CALL, EMAIL, WRITE MY MAILING ADDRESS to inquire as to what they should do with my now repaired DVD Player? Well, the customer service reps that can help with that aspect of the problem apparantly only work until 5 pm EST and I should call back the next day. (Remember that I provided my physical address in the letter I enclosed with the repair.)

Tried to navigate through the Philips website to see where to address complaints to...not possible. Asked the customer service rep for a physical mailing address to write a letter to and was directed to the website. If the information is on that website it's hidden to my computer.

As of today, 11/29/05, 26 days after the repair was completed, the customer service department can only tell me my unit will be sent back to me "hopefully this week".

After this experience Philips is at the bottom of my list to buy anything from.
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Total Junk and NO customer service
Posted by PrncssGeek on 12/09/2005
Back in March of this year I purchased a Philips Home Theater system. In July it decided that it no longer needed to work. After many calls Philips offshore "Customer NO service", I got a rma number. I had to ship the unit at MY expense and wait for a replacement. After they had it for a month, I got a call advising me that they no longer make the dvd/vcr combo home theater system and if I sent them my reciept they would send me my money back or they would prorate it and send me the balance. I decided this was not acceptable and "settled" for a replacement unit that did not have a vcr built in. The new unit finally arrived in October. Most of the features on the new unit are wonderful. However, after playing a grand total of 3 dvds, it refused to read anymore dvds. So again, I called Customer NO service. This time I was told to take it to a local shop for repairs. After two weeks in the shop the unit was returned to me with a "new" laser. Much to my surprise, 3 dvds later, it again stopped working. We called Customer No service again and was told to take it back to the shop. We actually unplugged the unit, let it set for 20 minutes and it started working again. Less than a week later, it was right back to not reading dvds, so I was again on the phone and told to take it back to the shop.

Instead I called the Corp phone number and was put through to "Peggy Martin" who is supposed to be the assistant to the CTO. She passed my info on to someone else. The person who called Veronica Pratt, claimed to be "the assistant to the President". While she was very pleasant to talk to, she was not very intelligent when it came to dvd players and home theater systems. I explained to her that I would be happy if Philips would just send me a stand alone dvd player to hook up to the theater system as a component. She spoke with her "experts" who told her that a stand alone player would not work with the system. I then explained to her that they were indeed wrong, because I currently had a stand alone dvd player (made by GE and missing the front door, but still working) to the unit and it worked just fine. Today she called me back and advised me that they could not send me a stand alone player because that would be like giving me something for free. Mind you, the dvd player on the current theater system does not work, I was just asking them to replace wasn't working. They have offered me a replacement unit again. This time, its an even cheaper model than the one I originally purchased. So I am back to the corp office and Peggy Martin in hopes of getting some kind of satisfaction.
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Service and product
Posted by Warianm on 12/28/2003
CHESTER, VIRGINIA -- In 1998, my mother purchased a Philips TV from a reputable dealer in her home town along with a 2 year extended warranty. I have no idea the initial cost of said warranty, but the TV was $250.00. She had to call the service dept due to a cable outage and we could not get the TV to accept the cable channels solved by phone. The next time the cable went out and tried to restore. The tv would not accept. One week later, technician came and took the TV. Two weeks later, I call to see how much longer. I was told sometime next week. Two weeks later, I call and am told they had not looked at the TV. I then call Philips to get repairman on the ball. Two weeks later, I am told the TV has to be replaced. This all started in Oct. 2003 now it is after Christmas 2003 and no TV. I called the repair company and the TV is sitting waiting for someone to get off their butt and decide it is time to deliver. I was promised by Philips to have the contract extended, but what good is that if the contract is no good. Buy an Emerson they will last you 15 years with no extended warranty.
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Phillips 27
Posted by Mtemp10250 on 03/03/2001
Customer Service Manager,

I have had my TV in the repair shop since February 19, 2001 with a failed picture tube, even though it was less that two years old. The TV that yours replace lasted almost 20 years with only 2 visits to the repair shop, and neither were the picture tube.
The irony is that two days after it failed, I received a solicitation from your company asking if I would like to extend my tube warranty! If it fails again (I will not extend the warranty), rather that spend another $150 on labor, I will just by another brand, hopefully more dependable.
You can be sure, when I decide to by a new HDTV and a CD burner (very soon), it will NOT be a Phillips!
I can hardly wait for my anual survey from Consumer Report to arrive, so I can give your product the review it deserves.

To help keep me as a potential future customer, I would like the following:

Would have liked a loaner, but too late now.

At the very least I would like a response from your company regarding this incident.

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The WORST customer service EVER
Posted by I HATE PHILIPS! on 04/02/2008
Philips Electronics: Why NOT to purchase:

Well hello all of you tech savvy individuals out to purchase the latest innovations from companies such as RCA, Philips, Olevia…etc. I just thought I’d make the purchasing research that much easier by providing some information regarding my personal experience with the Philips Magnavox Corporation.

I’d purchased a 42” Philips Plasma television in late February 2008 and was absolutely ecstatic about it! I brought it home, plugged it in and was ready to watch some High Definition basketball. Little to my surprise I found blue splotches up in the left corner that would appear and reappear throughout this experience. Well, at this point, I should’ve just returned it and been done with it but I really like it and it was a great deal so I thought I’d give customer service a call. They assured me it would be no problem to get that fixed under warranty and they gave us the information we needed to set up an appointment to have it picked up. So we called and it was picked up by the local service center. So far, this sounds like an average TV buying experience; it gets better so just hold on.

Well the TV repair shop decided it was in need of a part, that so happened to be on back order. We were unhappy with this response but these things happen so we waited and waited and waited some more. Finally it was D-day, we called and were assured the part was on its way. They said it might take up to 10 business days to ship so we were patient and we continued to wait. Finally after about 13 business days I decided to call Philips. To my surprise, the part was never shipped and had actually not even come off of back order yet. At this point, I’m beginning to become a bit angry. So, since Philips just has the highest respect on how their customer service is handled they actually assign you a customer care associate and I was told mine would be calling me in 2-3 business days and we’d get it all taken care of.

So, again, I waited. It had been 3 days, no call. I decided to call them back again and apparently I still had not been assigned a customer care associate. They apologized for my inconvenience and then assured me that my case had been escalated and that a customer care associate would be calling me the very next day. Well, this process went on for about 10 days. The best part about this is that everybody I had talked to in the Customer Service department (not to be confused with the Customer Care department) had told me I had to wait for my Customer Care associate to call me back. Finally, somebody informed me that the customer care department was just too busy to assign me to someone and that I would hear from them just as soon as this was possible. Still no call yet I had finally persuaded someone to give me more information without my customer care associate. They told me that my part was still on backorder for 5 more days! Well, I had no customer care associate and no part. I am NOT happy. This is where the story continues to get MUCH better...

Finally, it was the day! The part was off of backorder and it had been shipped! So, the repair shop received the part and indeed assured me I’d have my TV back in a matter of 2 days, I was very happy to hear this considering all the bad news I’d heard before. It was almost like Christmas morning when I went to pick it up! We brought it home, hooked up our new surround sound to it and rented an action flick. We began to watch and then noticed yet again our little blue splotch was STILL ON THE TV! It had not been fixed. Well, I’m unhappy, angry and completely dissatisfied with my experience. I had pledged to NEVER buy another Philips again. I figured that I would call, talk to my customer care representative (that was finally assigned 2 days after my part had shipped) and that they would apologize and reassure me they would just send me a new one and make everything right. This was a very WRONG assumption!

Well first of all, my customer care person was actually sick and had lost her voice so she could not help me. I asked if there was someone else who could help me considering the circumstances and finally someone told me my next steps. I would first, have to contact a different repair shop and then I would have to make a new appointment to get the TV fixed. This new repair shop is 22 miles away from where I live. I had explained to the man on the phone that it would take me a minimum of 40 minutes to drive there and he said well that’s the closest one besides the repair shop I had already used. So I continued to talk to him and let him know the process I’d already been through and I asked why I should have to wait longer for my TV to be fixed when it wasn’t my fault that the repair shop they contracted didn’t do their job.

All I got was well it’s the warranty, we have to try and fix it first and then if it’s not fixed after 90 BUSINESS DAYS, yes that’s right 90 business days, that then they would possibly offer me a new TV to replace my broken one. So, I have decided to return the TV and to NEVER, EVER let myself or anybody I know purchase a Philips EVER, EVER again!
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Posted by I HATE PHILIPS! on 2008-04-02:
I'm actually the person who wrote this review, just wanted to give you all a little bit of hope. I actually sent an e-mail to the company about my experience and not 2 hours later did the VP of Customer Service contact me. They researched my situation and right then and there on the phone told me they were sending me a new one and were very sorry about what had previously happened. My new TV is on the way and I'm quite satisfied with my resolution with the company.
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No replacement parts available for Philips televisions
Posted by Amc on 08/26/2007
To: Mr. Reiner Jens, President
Philips Corporate Headquarters,
North America

I purchased a Philips 55" Projection TV ($1,500.00)in December 2004. My television was damaged by a power outage in my community June, 2007.

Numerous television repairman have told me that it is impossible to find replacement parts for my television (Model #55PW9383/17F; Signal board #3135 035 20592; Serial # YA1CO421CO4716).

I have telephone Philips Service and have written many emails to no avail. I have been totally ignored and told to write a letter. So I have been writing letter after email after letter. No response from anyone.

Most television servicemen refuse to work on Philips television products. I was advised that the Philips/Magnavox Corporation is having upper management problems and have closed most of their parts distribution centers -- and that Philips Magnavox going out of business.

I have been told that Philips televisions are too expensive to repair and to purchase a new TV. $1,500.00 is a lot of money for a retiree.

Magnavox/Philips used to be a "top-notch" company for televisions. What happened Mr. Reinier Jens, President? What ever happened to "customer satisfaction?"

If you are not going to respond to my query I will make it my personal mission to tell everyone I know "never purchase a Philips Magnavox" product.

This is my3cents.


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Posted by DigitalCommando on 2007-08-26:
Your post should serve as a warning to everyone that owns an expensive TV, to go out and buy a good quality surge protector, NOW/TODAY! A repair tech telling you there's no parts available, is their way of not wanting to deal with your problem. I went to partstore.com and pulled up a list of 498 parts for your exact model. The cost of replacing all the parts damaged by a lightening strike could be near, or equal to a new TV after you factor in their markup and labor. I would suggest that you contact some of the schools in your area and speak to electronics course instructors and ask them if they would consider taking your TV as a class project for hands-on training. You may have to provide the parts which can be obtained online at far less prices than a TV repair person would charge. Good luck, and may the TV gods bring good fortune upon you!
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-26:
Parts are obtainable but as DC says it would cost more than the set is worth. Get a decent surge/spike protector for your next set. You might also try filing a claim with your homeowners insurance.
Posted by Justusryan on 2007-08-26:
People always get cheap with new technology, yet are suprised when it breaks?
Posted by amc on 2007-08-27:
DC -- I did have a power strip. I know you are right about the TV tech probably not wanting to deal with the TV.

Thank you all for your comments.

Justusryan -- I didn't think $1500 for a TV is cheap, but I could have purchased a better power strip/surge protector. Perhaps you are wealthier than I.
Posted by amc on 2007-08-27:
Digital Commando:
I went to the partstore.com and found only 2 parts and a remote for my model TV. Where did you find 498 parts????
Posted by DigitalCommando on 2007-09-16:
amc, my first visit to this site did reveal a large list of parts. It may have been an error which was corrected. Today's search only revealed 1 part. After modifying your part # to 55PW9383 It showed 5 parts, none of which are going to solve your problem. I spent 30 minutes searching around with the modified part # and was only able to find resistors, transistors, capacitors, etc. for your tv but no main board chassis. Sorry, but it does look like your tv is no longer supported. Have you tried filing a claim with the power company?
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