GE/Thomson Complaint - They sold me a broken HDTV (5 years later)

Review by wedontwin on 2010-02-23
I had problems with their(GE's) hdTV. this is the letter I sent them.:

General Electric

i had my elderly mother live with me so she can live the rest of her life more comfortablely.

i wanted to buy a bigger TV for that purpose.

In November 2004 I went to Bestbuy with the intention of buying an hdTV.

my choice was motivated by price. I was looking at 2 of the cheapest models Bestbuy had, one: GE 52" HDTV around $1,000, the other: Sony (not sure of model) around $1500.

not liking the quality of the GE 52" HDTV, but was frighting of the big difference between the price of the two cheapest of them.

there were credit card offers in the store that day(3 years, no interest) and help going forward with purchasing a hdTV, so I applied for the credit card.

went back to home electronics still contiplating which one to buy...

it just so happened a customer was just returning the same brand and model of TV(GE 52" HDTV ) to the store. he told me "not to buy that TV because it had a weird hissing sound coming from it".

so when I asked the sales person about this customers issue, she reassured me that he had bought a floor model, that the hdTV he bought was on display, that there was no problems with the new ones. so feeling confident of her reassurance I chose to buy the GE 52" HDTV ....

i loved the new TV, but due to work I rarely watched it(maybe an hour a week).

i did buy it for my mother to watch, but she was content with her 25" TV in her bedroom.

my mother passed away in February 2005.

the TV wasn't being used at all...

when I did finally get back to watching the TV, in July 05, I noticed a high pitch whistle/hissing, barely noticeable at first, and I didn't know where it was coming from...

as time went on, it became louder. then reallizing it was coming from the back of the TV...

until, by September 2005, it started making a loud popping noise. that was the last time I bothered watching that TV.

bestbuy's customer service gave me a phone number to get it serviced. I called them and they told me it was going to cost me $130 just for them to come to my house plus what ever the repairs were... couldn't afford it, so the TV sat... IT WAS UNDER WARRANTY!!!

July, 2007(2 years of not watching the TV) I had my father over for the weekend and discided to turn it on. 3 hours go by without any problems. then the picture froze up and heavy black smoke came from the back.

i don't think the TV even had 100 hour of being on. why should this be my problem?

Bestbuy refused to take care of this problem

i was the first of everyone I know to have a hdTV, now I'm, still, the only one without one...

either the TV I bought is the same TV that customer brought back or there is a manufacturers defect.

i shouldn't have to deal with this... I made a purchase, that should be the end of it... I should be enjoying my TV... now I got a TV that just sits there in my living room collecting dust...

i bought all my home entertainment(TV's, dolby digital, video game, DVD/cd's) at Best Buy, but if I don't have confidence in their customer service or they don't care for me as a customer I'll never step foot in another Best Buy.

i would like to know what will GE do to fix this problem

Thank you very much,
letter was ammended and sent several different times over the years...
received no response...
in November 2009, 5 years with a brand new broken HDTV, i deciced, again to see what I can do. went to GE's website filled out there form and submitted it. I finally get a response from a representative and she was very nice but she's telling me that GE TVs are owned by Thomson since 1987 and couldn't help me but will forward my email to thomson... so for 3 months of corresponding with representative at GE, and her trying to get thomson to help me, with no reponse from Thomson, I desided to go to thomsons site myself. filled out their form including all the emails with GE, submitted it. 3 weeks go by and finally received a voice mail to call back with a ref#. I'm thinking "are they going to resolve this" "YAY". I called her back only to get a person that sounded like a robot(no emotion in her voice) no matter what I said to state my case she kept replying in a monotone voice with "unfortunately..." "...our policy..." "...we have no record of you contacting thomson..." "...i can direct you to the yellow pages and white pages to call a technician to service your TV...".
taking no responsabilities for my hdTV's defect...
so once again they sold me a broken HDTV and have no care to make this right.
it just disgusts me how customers are the bloodline of any business yet they turn there backs on them.
instead of resolving a problem they simply ignor them(and get away with it) and the customer can't do anything about it...
i guess I'm just stuck with this piece of garbage...
I'll never buy another product with the GE name on it again. from batteries to light bulbs to high end electronics or any other product that thomson has their hands on including RCA.
there is no excuse for how I'm being treated with this purchase.
for 5 years I've been watching TV on a 25" TV in my bedroom, not being able to enjoy 52" HDTV with my dolby digital surround sound in my living room, all because I chose the wrong manufacturer, unbelievable!!!
Comments:5 Replies - Latest reply on 2010-02-25
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-23:
I don't think you can expect much if you waited five years to do anything about it. I think I'd just pay someone to see if it is an easy repair.
Posted by Starlord on 2010-02-23:
Sorry, but it is out of warranty. It doesn't matter if there were 1,000 hours on it or fifty, the warranty is by time since purchase, not how much the TV is used. Unfortunately, you cannot do the same thing my mother did with a GE 19 inch portable. We bought a Vizio 42" HDTV at Costco for around $700 two years ago and are thrilled with it. BTW, RCA is through Thompson now. I had to deal with them for a bad home theater.
Posted by wedontwin on 2010-02-24:
i see neither of you even read the whole post... problem first started less than 8 months!!! alot happened in between!!! the letter to GE explains...
Posted by Pepper on 2010-02-24:
it might have started 8 months after you got the tv but it's been 5 years now

the tv sets are no longer under warranty so there's not much you can do.

also - yes you can still end up having to pay for work even if the unit is under warranty. some repairs are not covered by the warranty, and they might also charge to conduct a house-visit for the repairs.

but for the here and now, it doesn't matter if the unit was crap on day one - it's out of warranty *NOW* so you are not going to get anything out of them.

you called them once and turned down the repairs, therefore they have no verifiable proof that the unit was actually broken during the warranty period. all they have are your emails about not being able to watch the tv for three years, four years, five years ... all years that fall outside of the warranty period. as far as they can tell it broke outside of warranty and you are trying to scam them into a free or low-cost repair.

Posted by wedontwin on 2010-02-25:
i'm sorry, i didn't make that part clear. it was $130 just to come to my house PLUS the repairs(out of my pocket)!!!
my complaint is that the tv was not taking care of by the manufacturer from the begining!!! the fact that it's "5"years is just an anniverary of buying a broken tv.
i gave them $1000, they gave me a broken tv...

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