Had the day off for some medical appointments in the morning, so I used the afternoon to take the Sammy off the wall and see what's cookin'. The only chance I've had without the kid's being home to get in the way.
So I got it face down on the carpet and removed the back panel and RF shield, and what do you think I saw? The "Authorized Samsung Tech" had replaced the two 16v 1000uf caps that "looked" bad, and there, right next to them were the two 25v 1000uf caps that he DIDN'T replace because they DIDN'T "look" bad, which of course were now all puffed up with all the magic smoke gone from them!
I called around and found a local shop that had some quality replacements and went ahead and did the fix myself. Not like I had anything else to do, I mean, who doesn't have lots of free time on there hands in December? Fortunately every thing worked out, the set fired up just fine and I had it back together before my wife got home with the kids.
But you know, every tech I talked to today said the same things. Samsungs are their top service calls. Whenever they have a "cap job" they always replace ALL FOUR of the caps, regardless of how they appear because they know they are going to fail! Why didn't Samsung do that? Do they give the "Authorized Samsung Techs" a wink and a nod, knowing there will be future customer paid business with the other caps? It really makes you wonder what their logic was when they decided to handle this matter in such a shady way. The caps don't cost them squat! It's sending someone out that costs them! Why would you even take the chance? it's only going to turn into a bigger headache and more dissatisfied customers! A few years ago you might have gotten away with it, back when it was mostly people with money to burn that had big flat screens, and they were more likely to write it off when things went south after the warranty expired. But now you see them in homes of every demographic. Believe me, I know. My job takes me inside homes in every type of neighborhood. Alot of these people bought them when "Uncle George" sent them their tax incentives, and those who weren't so lucky had to scrimp and save to put that "Big Ticket Altar to the Consumer Gods" on the wall. They will not take it so lightly when a couple thousand dollars just evaporates before their eyes! Not in this economic climate!
So do yourself a favor. If you get the "Free one time service", make sure you demand that they replace ALL FOUR 1000uf CAPS! Print this out and let them read it if they balk. Oh, and ask your local INDEPENDANT repair shop what their number one repair brand is, and the brand they repair the least, just on the outside chance you have to buy a new one.
I will put money on which brand it won't be!