Trials & Tribulations with 50" Vizio Plasma TV (1 Viewer)

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am7crew

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Apr 17, 2009
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So about 2 years ago I bought a 50" Vizio plasma from walmart for around 1400.00. Like a idiot I didnt get the extended warranty as Ive had good luck with stuff not crapping out on me (mistake #1). Anyways It worked great, standard def channels looked really really crisp and clear with charter, HD was great as well. Anyways about 13 months later (1 month out of manufacturer warranty) the TV out of nowhere wouldnt power on. I happened one morning I tried to turn it on and nothing. Called Vizio they said it was no longer under warranty and it would costs probally $1,000.00 to fix. I said forget it and put it in a extra room and bought a much smaller and inexpensive LCD TV (got the extended warranty this time).

Anyways after it sitting in that extra room for nearly a year I saw a HD repair company on craigslist and they only charged $50.00 to come out and look it over, I decided to go with it and they came out and informed me it was literally 2 $10.00 fuses that needed to be swaped out to fix the problem. I agreed and they did it for $100.00 for everything. TV has been working perfectly ever since, just goes to show sometimes getting a repair man to look things over can turn out good, otherwise I would still have a 50" paper weight in my extra room and just waiting for the time/strength to dispose of it.

Just thought I would share in case this happens to anyone else maybe they wont wait nearly a year like I did before thinking it might be worth paying someone to look at. And of course I now always get the extended warranty on anything I buy. :)
 
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Stargazer

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Sep 7, 2003
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Some repairmen might come out and tell you for $50 that it is junk when they didn't really check it over. It is a risk. That is why most just buy a new one when a tv flakes out. It is good to know that there are still cheap ways at getting a tv fixed. I wonder why those two fuses blew though. If a fuse blows dont that mean that there is something wrong causing it to blow?
 

am7crew

Thread Starter
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Apr 17, 2009
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from the research Ive done online Vizio uses very cheap fuses and this is a common problem with them. Either way Im just glad it worked out, it did take him forever to take out all the screws in the back to get to the guts.
 
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yorktown

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Nov 10, 2009
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Some repairmen might come out and tell you for $50 that it is junk when they didn't really check it over. It is a risk. That is why most just buy a new one when a tv flakes out. It is good to know that there are still cheap ways at getting a tv fixed. I wonder why those two fuses blew though. If a fuse blows dont that mean that there is something wrong causing it to blow?

Most don't just buy a new one when a 2 year old TV flakes out.

It makes a hell of a lot more sense to spend a little money to at least get a repairman to try and see what's wrong with it first.
 

jayn_j

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Sep 29, 2003
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Most don't just buy a new one when a 2 year old TV flakes out.

It makes a hell of a lot more sense to spend a little money to at least get a repairman to try and see what's wrong with it first.

Actually, there have been several threads on this subject. First, the value brands, such as Visio, do not maintain parts warehouses. Their warranty policy is to replace the set with a new one. Once the set is out of warranty, the customer is often out of luck.

Modern Televisions have a large percentage of parts as custom ICs That are not standard catalog items, so if not supplied by the manufacturer, the parts are simply not available. Adding to the problem is that circuit boards are all surface mount with ball grid array packages. Very few repair shops have the equipment or skills to make this sort of repair, so repairs are often simply board replacement.

Then there is the economics of repair. If you can find a repair shop willing to make a house call, it will generally cost $150 non-refundable just to look at it. If it can be repaired, the average cost i3 another $200.

So for that Visio, the odds are that it would cost $150 to get someone to examine it and tell the consumer that the set can't be repaired. The street price on a replacement set is around $800 and the customer most often actually tosses the set and moves on.
 

bhelms

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Feb 26, 2006
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I think common wisdom on extended warranties is that in the long run you lose money on them. They're high-profit add-ons at point of sale which is why you hear so much about them. But when a claim is entered the mitigation is essentially the same, repair or replace depending on age and brand. It doesn't change the inconvenience factor or the amount of time needed, which are not compensable anyway. The only difference is who (partially) pays in the end. If you end-up cashing-in on, say, one out of 10 ext. warranties, have you really saved any money?

Better protection comes from buying quality brands from reputable outlets, preferrably ones where you have placed significant business in the past, and ones that have service centers (rare anymore) or agreements in place. Some credit cards offer to double mfgr's warranties at no additional cost, so that is another avenue to explore next time you're inclined to buy the ext. warranty. Make sure you also do what is expected of the owner, like ascertaining the unit is adequately surge protected and gets sufficient ventillation, etc.

I speak with a fair amount of electronic knowledge, at least sufficient to get me past the "nuisance" type of problems the OP reported. What jayn_j describes is completely accurate however. When you get into repairs at that level, having at least enough information up front to be skeptical and understand what you're being told helps immensely in the decision process, repair or replace. But a quick assessment up front to determine if the problem is simple or more involved is certainly worthwhile, even for $100 - 150 bucks or so especially with a newer set that otherwise satisfies you. My bet is that quite a few problems fall into the "easy" category but never get that first look and that equipment is relegated to the scrap heap prematurely. If you don't have the knowledge to make such an assessment you might know someone who does who can assist as a "disinterested 3rd party". To me investing $100+ on a first look is a better gamble than the ext. warranty. You can reduce that cost by taking the unit to the shop yourself. (But there is an honesty factor to be considered in that case.)

I for one do not buy the extended warranties. To this point I have never been sorry about that (KoW!!). That's not to say I haven't had problems, just none that were complete "showstoppers"...
 
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jayn_j

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I for one do not buy the extended warranties. To this point I have never been sorry about that (KoW!!). That's not to say I haven't had problems, just none that were complete "showstoppers"...

I agree 100% with being able to do that quick assessment. Best bet is to find a friend who knows which end of the soldering iron to grab (the cold end :) ) and let him take a quick look. It would have found the blown fuse in this case. It probably would have uncovered whether the fuse was likely to blow again by checking for bad solder joins or internal shorts. It is not likely to uncover a component failure.

If the screen is cracked, throw the set away. Don't even argue. A replacement screen will cost more than a new set.

I stopped buying extended warranties way back when my wife was selling appliances at Sears in the '70s. They were the highest profit margin item in the store and Sears expected some insane percentage of units to go out with a service contract attached as that was where they made most of the money.

I've actually been burned a couple of times, but all in all, I am still way ahead. I am not fond of Best Buy's new policy of not accepting returns on defective merchandise unless you have their warranty. All that means is that I simply don't buy much from BB anymore.
 
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