Panasonic Repairs? The ONLY place for warranty or out-of-warranty service! - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 494 Old 06-18-2009, 09:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

A few months ago I was in the Panasonic Service Center in Elk Grove. As mentioned in an earlier thread, I had a difficult time finding it because the big name on the front of the building was "Bigston Media Services". IIRC the Panny employee I spoke with said Bigston did repair work for several companies. Perhaps Bigston hired some of the Panny techs. If so, they may be able to repair the DVDRs.

Mike,

You've provided the missing piece in this puzzle. On the Bigston website Panasonic is mentioned under "Services." Reynosa, Mexico appears to be about ten miles from McAllen, Texas (according to Google Maps).

BusinessWeek has this Bigston profile:

Bigston Corporation provides product renewal and factory services, kitting, subassembly, reverse logistics, and other third party services for the electronics industry. The company's services include customer returns and exchanges, electronics manufacturing, recall and retrofit operations, order fulfillment, and outsourced customer services. Its solutions are used for a range of products, such as cameras, copiers, digital cameras, game stations, and video cassette recorders. The company, formerly known as Bigston Corporation U.S.A., was founded in 1972 and is based in Elk Grove, Illinois. It has a location in Reynosa, Mexico.

1590 Touhy Avenue

Elk Grove, IL 60007

United States

Founded in 1972

Phone:
847-439-3500

Fax:
847-439-0699

www.bigston.com

"A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME WILL SMELL AS SWEET. BUT IT DOES NOT FOLLOW THAT WHATEVER WE CHOOSE TO CALL A ROSE WILL POSSESS THE ROSE'S FRAGRANCE."

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post #32 of 494 Old 06-18-2009, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

It's amazing Elk Grove could do it as long as they did, it sure couldn't have been a money maker.

For sure. I fully didn't even expect it to last anywhere this long, so I was ready for the axe to fall at anytime. I never consciously even thought about it, because I knew it was just a matter of when.
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post #33 of 494 Old 06-19-2009, 10:00 AM
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While I agree, it's very sad to see it all go. I used to consider the flat rate repair a selling point for Panasonics. It was inevitable though. I'm sure that they couldn't systain the loss. (I am assuming that the $130 flat rate was a loss, unless THEY can get the parts MUCH cheaper than they charge for the parts!) I fully expected it to go sometime, but it's still sad that it happened. Sniff...

Luke

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post #34 of 494 Old 06-19-2009, 10:53 AM
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The $130 included return shipping charges back to the owner. When I stopped in the Elk Grove facility they said $30 went for shipping and $100 for the flat rate repair. If I dropped off & picked up the DVDR it would only be the $100 charge.
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post #35 of 494 Old 06-19-2009, 10:56 AM
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Yeah, that's another thing that I liked about it - it was in my neck of the woods, too, and I could have just gone there in person.
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post #36 of 494 Old 06-19-2009, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

The problem is the parts and cost of those parts. $400+ for a DVD drive It's amazing Elk Grove could do it as long as they did, it sure couldn't have been a money maker.

They could do it because you actually think they sell those drives at that cost to an authorized repair center.
The health insurance company's get huge breaks in cost for the places they have contracts with and I'm sure the repair centers get the same things on many parts or they never could have made any profit repairing them. I also think that is as much to scare do it yourselfers from ever attempting to repair a machine on their own.
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post #37 of 494 Old 06-19-2009, 05:16 PM
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DigaDo, I believe the the boards from the 35 and 46 series are NOT INTERCHANGABLE, with other HDD machines, the reason being that they are totally different on opposite sides,the long black connector that mounts to the main big board is different, I have the dmr-e10 dmr-e20 35 46 eh50 eh55 eh75 es15 es25 units, and I have spare boards so I checked them...just wanted you to know....

MickinCT
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post #38 of 494 Old 06-20-2009, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickinct View Post

DigaDo, I believe the the boards from the 35 and 46 series are NOT INTERCHANGABLE, with other HDD machines, the reason being that they are totally different on opposite sides,the long black connector that mounts to the main big board is different, I have the dmr-e10 dmr-e20 35 46 eh50 eh55 eh75 es15 es25 units, and I have spare boards so I checked them...just wanted you to know....

Mickinct,

Your extensive experience with all these Panasonic models makes your observations a valuable contribution to these pages.

Thank you for bringing your experience forward to add clarity where I could only speculate. (My only HDD/DVD recorders are from Philips and Magnavox.)

For a view of the bottom side of a DMR-ES35V Digital PCB see the attached photo. The large connector is at the top center in the photo.
LL

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post #39 of 494 Old 06-20-2009, 04:34 PM
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One of my two Panny DMR-EH55S went on the fritz again last night. The recording part has to be replaced. It does not recognize any blank DVDs and thinks that there's a DVD still in the tray even though there isn't (the DVD icon appears on the front screen).

I was going to send it out to Elk Grove today but I checked at this forum. Looks like the Elk Grove Repair Center is closed. So where do I send it? Do I have to call the place at McAllen, TX to get info (like fees)?

I like the Panny's features. I hate its reliability. I've had to repair this Panny three times (including this one) since 2007. The other Panny DMR-EH55S I bought in 2008 lasted about 6 months before the DVD recorder mechanism went out. Meanwhile, I also have a Philips 3575H/37 recorder and I've burned a couple of hundred DVDs on it. Still working, without a problem, even though the Panny is superior in terms of features.
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post #40 of 494 Old 06-20-2009, 05:07 PM
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I'd say call Elk Grove and go from there. It will be interesting to see what the repair fee will be for a EH-55 and if they don't repair it what they'd swap it for
Please post back your findings
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post #41 of 494 Old 06-20-2009, 05:16 PM
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DOOMSTER, IF you want to send me a PM. IF you want me to fix the laser in your unit, I could for 75.oo plus ship. I'm well versed in fixing these, and other panasonic models hdd or not.

MickinCT
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post #42 of 494 Old 06-20-2009, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doomster View Post

One of my two Panny DMR-EH55S went on the fritz again last night. The recording part has to be replaced. It does not recognize any blank DVDs and thinks that there's a DVD still in the tray even though there isn't (the DVD icon appears on the front screen).

I was going to send it out to Elk Grove today but I checked at this forum. Looks like the Elk Grove Repair Center is closed. So where do I send it? Do I have to call the place at McAllen, TX to get info (like fees)?

I like the Panny's features. I hate its reliability. I've had to repair this Panny three times (including this one) since 2007. The other Panny DMR-EH55S I bought in 2008 lasted about 6 months before the DVD recorder mechanism went out. Meanwhile, I also have a Philips 3575H/37 recorder and I've burned a couple of hundred DVDs on it. Still working, without a problem, even though the Panny is superior in terms of features.

If you send it to Texas, we all will want to know how it turns out! Really! Also, I strongly suggest you make a copy of all the hard disk contents before you send it off, just in case. Unless, of course, you call them and they say it won't be an issue.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #43 of 494 Old 06-21-2009, 01:58 PM
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THE following is for those who want to know hours on their machine , laser power strenght. TO acess service mode do the following...WHEN power is off, press (VHS to DVD DUBBING). {OPEN CLOSE} and {STOP} keys simultaneously for 5 seconds.... then you will be in service mode, to check laser used time press 4 then 1 you will see time used in hours, to check laser power insert dvd ram disc in drive and press 4 then 4, on the sceen you will see power values. 0 means very good, 1 good, 2 bad, 3 very bad....then to check accumlated working time on machine, press 6 than 5. you will then see in SECONDS total time of machine used, when you want to get out of service mode just press power on remote or front panel,, PS, their is other modes to check will post codes if asked.....mickinct...........

MickinCT
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post #44 of 494 Old 06-21-2009, 02:02 PM
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Thanks, that can prove to be very useful, especially if your looking at a used machine and you want to know how good it might still be.
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post #45 of 494 Old 06-21-2009, 02:40 PM
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Thanks for the tips Mike Do you know if this would work on a ES-30v? It also has the VHS to DVD DUBBING button.
Also do you know of a equivalent mode for something like the EH-50 or EH-55? They don't have the VHS to DVD DUBBING button.
After you last post I did some searching and it looks like you have quite a collection of older Panasonics as well as maybe some Toshiba HDD models and aren't afraid to service any of them down to the component level
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post #46 of 494 Old 06-21-2009, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

Thanks for the tips Mike Do you know if this would work on a ES-30v? It also has the VHS to DVD DUBBING button.
Also do you know of a equivalent mode for something like the EH-50 or EH-55? They don't have the VHS to DVD DUBBING button.
After you last post I did some searching and it looks like you have quite a collection of older Panasonics as well as maybe some Toshiba HDD models and aren't afraid to service any of them down to the component level

Some time ago I noticed that there is some variation as to how one enters Service Mode.

There is one procedure (Press [VHS to DVD DUBBING], [REC] and [OPEN/CLOSE] keys simultaneously for five seconds when power is off) for some recorders with VHS sections (DMR-ES35/45/46, DMR-EZ47/475).

There is another procedure for use with the DMR-EH75 HDD/VHS/DVE recorder. While the power is off, press [STOP], [VHS to DVD DUBBING] and [OPEN / CLOSE] simultaneously for five seconds (OPERATION SELECT should be set to DVD)."

There is another procedure (Press [REC], [CH UP] and [OPEN/CLOSE] keys simultaneously for five seconds when power is off) for recorders without VHS sections (DMR-EH55, DMR-ES15, DMR-EZ17).

There is a another procedure (When power is OFF, press [FF] and [EJECT] keys simultaneously for 3 seconds to enter Service Mode. In Service Mode, press [FF] and [EJECT] keys simultaneously to add Service Number) for some other models with VHS sections (DMR-ES30V).

For more information see the Service Manual for your model(s).

Once one is in Service Mode the procedures seem to be the same for all models, according to those service manuals I have.

"A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME WILL SMELL AS SWEET. BUT IT DOES NOT FOLLOW THAT WHATEVER WE CHOOSE TO CALL A ROSE WILL POSSESS THE ROSE'S FRAGRANCE."

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post #47 of 494 Old 06-21-2009, 06:44 PM
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Thanks Digado My computer that I have my service manuals on is temporarily down Monitor problems which I hope to have corrected in the near future.
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post #48 of 494 Old 06-21-2009, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

The problem is the parts and cost of those parts. $400+ for a DVD drive It's amazing Elk Grove could do it as long as they did, it sure couldn't have been a money maker.

The usurious replacement burner price is is pushed by virtually every recorder mfr to discourage out-of-waranty repairs: DVD recorder sales are so completely dismal they'd much rather you give up and buy their latest model thats crap compared to your vintage unit. Other than Panasonic's "blink and you missed it" flat-fee program, none of the mfrs will repair a DVD/HDD recorder for less than it would cost to buy an entire new one, assuming you still could. If its true Panasonic has completely dropped the flat-fee program and is now playing the dubious exchange for similar "repair" shell game, all bets are off and Panasonic is now on a level playing field with every other vintage brand in terms of future viability. Clearly this would be the time to buy that import EH-67 or Canadian Pioneer 460 or Magnavox H2160A you've been stalling over: get your backup unit while you still can, its better than the "repairs" now on offer.

I know of one person here on AVS who actually paid the insane repair price for an old Pioneer: factory repair charged $410 total to replace the burner on his 2004 DVR-520. Others have reported similar costs for other brands, and Sony recently had the gall to walk away completely from all models older than two years: their American repair centers simply refuse to stock or order parts for ANY of the Sony DVD/HDD recorders. They won't accept them for repair at any price. Depending on your exact make and model, info is available on how to repair some recorders yourself at very reasonable cost. Most Panasonics, some Toshibas, and Pioneers made prior to 2006 are amenable in some form to burner swaps, hard drive replacement and power supply repairs: bookmark the various threads here. Unfortunately not everyone can handle such repairs, and sourcing some parts can be time consuming and tricky.
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post #49 of 494 Old 06-21-2009, 09:28 PM
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Had a woman friend who has a E-85H dvd recorder. I posted on a local Korean Forum about the $130 flat rate repair service being over. She has a extended warranty for her model. She called Panny about having it serviced. She was told she would have to send it to MC ALLEN TX address for repair and not Elk Grove.
Also shipping cost from HI to TX is at her cost. They told her they would repair her recorder since it is a model with a hard drive. Will let you know more when she sends it in and gets it back.

I have another woman friend who is still waiting to get back her E-95H from Elk Grove. She is the one who get it back after they had it for over a month and when she turned it on it came up with a U99 error. So she had to send it back and it has been over another month now.
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post #50 of 494 Old 06-22-2009, 08:18 AM
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Panasonic stopped making the last of these models over 2 yrs ago. Eventually they will run out of spare parts. That time may be nigh.

- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #51 of 494 Old 06-24-2009, 03:30 PM
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http://club.cdfreaks.com/f106/panaso...ml#post2297649
Possibly some good news about the flat rate repair. According to the link the user was quoted $140 flat rate for HDD Pannys(he has a EH-75v) out of McAllen TX, non HDD Pannys are exchanged but no price was given for that service.
It took him a hour and half to get this information so it sounds like it's still a rather hidden service
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post #52 of 494 Old 06-25-2009, 09:54 AM
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Wow! This is indeed good news. The price going up that little is good news too, especially when they could have made it much more than that. I hope the resolution of this proves to be accurate, and the guy gets his EH75 back, working.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #53 of 494 Old 06-30-2009, 02:30 PM
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First, I would like to thank DigaDo and all you folks who have posted on here about the $130 flat rate repair. I felt obliged to tell my story and give you all an update.

After reading all the posts on here and other threads, I sent my unit in on Friday, June 12 from my local UPS store. UPS showed that they recieved it on Tuesday, June 16, at Elk Grove, IL.

Since I had followed a previous posters progress, and saw that it took about ten days to hear anything from Panasonic, I waited patiently until at least ten days went by. I was about to call them today, (14 days), but decided to check here first. When I looked here I said to myself...Oh shoot...

Well, I called 888-439-2676, and talked with a pleasant and helpful young lady after only a couple rings. (4:55 PM EDT) She asked if I had a work order #. I told her I did not. She looked it up by my phone # and told me that it was currently with the technician. She said that the tech may have to order parts and that it would probably be 1 more week. She also gave me my work order # so I would have it.

BTW, I just followed the directions here without an RMA#. I packed it up in it's original box and enclosed a letter that stated I would like them to repair it under their $130 Flat Rate Service.

I felt I owed it to you all to give you an update. Thanks for all your help!

P.S. I will post an update when I get any more info.
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post #54 of 494 Old 06-30-2009, 04:31 PM
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Well looks like you squeaked under the wire maybe as they are doing everything in Texas now as you no doubt have read for 10 bucks more for HD equipped units.
I hope it all goes well and you get it back working like new. It might be nice to find out if they are officially done forever fixing them for the flat rate there.
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post #55 of 494 Old 07-01-2009, 10:53 AM
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Hi I an sort of new here. I found out about the Elk Grove shop from here. I had a EH55 and the dvd burner went out. I had purchased a NSI 5 year extended warranty. They told me to take it to a place in Carol Stream, Il. The shop called me and said they don't repair them anymore. I got another place from NSI in Alsip, IL. After three weeks I was told they would not fix it because it cost too much. The estimate was $553. I then called Elk Grove and took it in on 6-1-09.I picked it up on 6-22. They replaced the same part for $100. Now I live very near Elk Grove so it was no shipping.
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post #56 of 494 Old 07-01-2009, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoopdog View Post

Hi I an sort of new here. I found out about the Elk Grove shop from here. I had a EH55 and the dvd burner went out. I had purchased a NSI 5 year extended warranty. They told me to take it to a place in Carol Stream, Il. The shop called me and said they don't repair them anymore. I got another place from NSI in Alsip, IL. After three weeks I was told they would not fix it because it cost too much. The estimate was $553. I then called Elk Grove and took it in on 6-1-09.I picked it up on 6-22. They replaced the same part for $100. Now I live very near Elk Grove so it was no shipping.

Let me guess, your DMR-EH55S needed a hard drive replacement or replacement of the RAM/Digital Module (the DVD Drive and Digital PCB). These parts are very expensive for local repair shops to purchase--and of course, the cost is passed on to the customer.

Your experience is one more confirmation that it is best to avoid the local repair shop in favor of the flat-rate repair at the Service Center in Elgin Illinois.

Perhaps your extended service contract will reimburse your $100 outlay.

8/20/2010 Update: DVD recorder repair has been consolidated at the Elgin Illinois facility.

"A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME WILL SMELL AS SWEET. BUT IT DOES NOT FOLLOW THAT WHATEVER WE CHOOSE TO CALL A ROSE WILL POSSESS THE ROSE'S FRAGRANCE."

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post #57 of 494 Old 07-01-2009, 04:24 PM
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I recently did my own repairs on my EH75v. I bought a used hard disk for less than $50 from a PC supplier (exact same model number as the original one) put it in in 15 minutes and downloaded firmware from Panasonics site. The parts list on panasonics site had the cost at approx $225!!!
The hard disk replacement was 5 screws for the bracket and 4 screws for the disk assembly. Not hard at all. The only thing I would worry about was if it was winter and static shock damage was a bigger possibility.
I've been using for the last few days and it looks like it is working perfectly!
There really are a few repairs most people could do themselves.
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post #58 of 494 Old 07-02-2009, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DigaDo View Post

Let me guess, your DMR-EH55S needed a hard drive replacement or replacement of the RAM/Digital Module (the DVD Drive and Digital PCB). These parts are very expensive for local repair shops to purchase--and of course, the cost is passed on to the customer.

I mention before that a woman friend of mine who owns a E-85H. Got it back from Panasonic (Elk Grove) under the $130 flat rate service a few months ago. When she got it back everytime she turned it on she would get a U99 error. I told her to contact Pansonic and tell them it is screwed up even more when she sent it to them the first time. So they paid for her to send it back to them and she just got it back last week. They replaced all the same parts you mention above. And everything seems to working now. Not sure what they did the first time.

Another woman friend I mention about in this thread. Her E-85H started acting up again about 100-110 days since she got it back from Elk Grove. So she had to call the McAllen Texas ph. #. They agreed to fix it again under the
90 day warranty and also they paid for it to be shipped to them in McAllen Texas. She just sent off her recorder last week. I am not sure what these woman are going to once they need to get them fixed again 6-12 months down the road.



I
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post #59 of 494 Old 07-10-2009, 02:29 PM
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http://club.cdfreaks.com/f106/panaso...ml#post2305818
Or for those who would rather just read here, and I quote:

"A quick update.
I sent my unit to the McAllen Service Center on 6/26, it arrived on 7/2. I was originally told by the rep I spoke to when I received the RMA NOT to include any payment as there would be tax(?). So I wanted to make sure there was no hold-up with me not paying up front. After 35 min. on hold, I spoke to a rep who said the package was received on 7/7. He was not equipped to take my payment, but he said the amount due was $127.19. He transferred me for payment, and that rep said that deck was actually SHIPPED on 7/7 to a repair facility, and had not arrived. She also could not take payment, but gave me the phone number and details to the repair facility, in **Elgin IL** I called there and gave the rep payment info and she confirmed the unit had not yet arrived (according to UPS, it was actually shipped out on 7/9). I asked, electrons forbid, if anything else went wrong with the unit, if I needed to send it to McAllen TX first, or could I send it straight to the Elgin repair facility to avoid the 2 week delay. She confirmed that I could send it directly to them and even said that I did not need to call the 800# to get an RMA #. Oh, and she said the OOW flat repair was still $130 + tax.

So, if you need a recorder w/ a HDD repaired, just send it straight to the repair center and save yourself some worry.
The address I was given:

Panasonic Service Center
410 B Airport Rd.
Elgin, IL 60123"
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post #60 of 494 Old 07-11-2009, 12:45 AM
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When I stopped in the Elk Grove, IL service center a couple months ago to check it out, I was told that the Elgin, IL service center handled repairs for plasma TVs & some other items. I wonder if some of the Elk Grove personnel have been transferred to the Elgin location. The two towns are only about 20 miles from each other.
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