Just wanted to share my experience with the flat rate repair at the Panasonic McAllen location recently.
1. On August 5, 2011 I sent my DMR-EH55 to the McAllen Exchange Center in Texas with a check for $260 asking for their flat rate repair option as discussed in this forum here: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1056657It cost me $30 to ship
and enclosed the following note:To Whom It May Concern:
I was directed to send my Panasonic DMR-EH55 (Serial #: XXXXXXXXXXXR) to your facility for repair, as it is 2006 model with no current replacement equivalent model. I would like to request your $260 flat-rate repair option (which includes diagnostic and shipping charge) and have enclosed a check for that amount.
I am having two issues:
1. Recently the hard drive stopped working. When unit is turned on it displays the following symptoms:
• Display flashes “Please Wait” several times before displaying “HDDERR”
• After few moments it opens disc drive door and displays “DRV NG” and “ST FAIL”
2. Prior to issue #1, several months ago, the DVD player stopped working. When unit was turned on whether there is a disc in it or not, chugging sounds would occur (as if it were trying to read a disc). It would chug\\grind 4-5 times displaying “READING” on the screen and then stop. I tried all kinds of discs (store bought movies, RW, -R, +R) and it would demonstrate the same symptoms and not recognize any discs for read or write.
I’ve tried to unplug and “reset” unit but it did not fix either problem.
I would like both of these issues repaired if possible. Also, if at all possible, if you are able to save ANY of the contents of the hard-drive, I would appreciate that very much. If this is not possible, I understand and please still proceed with repair. I can be contacted by e-mail address, physical address, or (work) phone number listed above for any questions.
I’m hoping you will be able to repair my unit. It is one of the best pieces of electronics I’ve every bought and have great experiences with Panasonic products overall.
2. They cashed my check on 08/19. On 08/31 I got a phone message from someone named "Marko" or maybe "Mas Kana" (It was very hard to understand his message.). He said something garbled that sounded like "unit has been assigned to your technician".
3. On 09/07 I got another phone message from "David". He said the unit was expected to ship in 48 hours.
4. On 09/22 I called them back (956-683-2930) and talked to a "Judy". I was told that I was supposed to pay $275 instead of the $260 I had sent. She asked where I had gotten the $260 flat rate price and I told her the representative from the 1-800 number on Panasonic's site. She said she would honor the $260 price and gave me a Work Order # and told me that my unit would be looked at by a technician.
5. Around 10/12-ish my DMR-EH55 was shipped back to me with a note saying UNREPAIRED. It didn't have any information on why it was unrepaired but said that I would get a refund of $215 ($260 - $45 "Labor\\Diagnostic fee"). There was a section titled "Customer Complaint" that listed "HARD DRIVE STOPPED WORKING : WHEN UNIT IS TURNED ON IT DISPLAYS THE FOLLOWING SYMPTOMS: DISPLAY FLASHES "PLEASE WAIT" SEVERAL TIMES BEFORE DISPLAING 'HDDERR'
I also got a voice message saying that they did not have the part to do the repair and that $215 would be be refunded to my credit card. (What card?!!! I paid with check!!). (I'm assuming the part they do not have is the hard drive since their invoice didn't mention my other complaint of the DVD burner not working.)
6. I called them back and got "Marko" and was told that they would be mailing out a check around 10/31-->11/15 timeframe. We'll SEE!So basically I spent $75 (shipping TO, and their diagnotic fee) + 2 months of time waiting to find out that my unit is unrepairably broken to them.
Just wanted to share my story. Thanks.