Panasonic Complaint - Panasonic Warranty Claim Blues
I own a Panasonic PT-L500U LCD projector, which recently had the lamp burn out after 3000 hours of use. So far, so good: it's a very nice projector. I purchased a replacement lamp for $350, which promptly burned out after only 30 hours of service. I contacted the vendor, who claimed the lamp has a 90 day warranty, who directed me to call Panasonic at 800-524-1448. This number has a recorded message to call '888-411-1996' for LCD projector service, which I then called. I waited in the phone queue for over two hours before I was disconnected. I tried calling back the following day, where I waited for another hour before being disconnected. After this, I went to their web-site to see if I could get support there. I wadded through their clumsy flash interface, where I finally came to a clunky web form to request support.
See: http://www2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/vContactUs?storeId=15001&langId=-1 Extra Credit: See how long it takes you to locate this thing on your own.
The form did not list my model number and only allowed 600 characters to state the problem, which was insufficient. After submission, it took 5 days to get a reply. While waiting, I made three more attempts to get someone on the phone, which all failed. The following was their e-mail reply:
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Thank you for your inquiry. Although we would like to assist you, the product you have inquired about is not supported from this facility.
To obtain operational assistance, please contact the support line for the product by calling (800) 524-1448.
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This number is the same one which originally directed me to call the grossly understaffed support number. It took them five days to tell me to go back to square-one. How much effort would it have been to forward my request to someone in the warranty department, or *gasp* called me back? Imagine the horror!
Is this how they cut costs on warranty claims or merely another example of an incompetent outsourced support department?