Sony LCD TV (backlight repair $2,200)? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 62 Old 02-13-2010, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I purchased my Sony LCD TV (KDL-46S4100) on May 27, 2008 with only a 1-year warranty. And on May 3, 2009 I experienced after turning the TV it on for a second then, went off with pictures off but, with sound on (and the standby led was blinking twice continuously).

I called Sony support center, and was advised to unplug the unit from the surge protector for more than 2 minutes then plug the unit directly to the wall. I did what I was adviced and it worked miraculously, and no further advice or course of action was mentioned to me by the support center.

Now, after 8 months the same symptom occurs but, after doing reset and unplugging my TV continue to show the same symptom, without any luck of getting it on.

I called Sony Support Center, and I was told that it was beyond the warranty period so, I have to shoulder the repair fee. Thus, I contacted Sony's affiliate Platinum repair shop. And when the repair guy, saw the symptom and noticed that there motion present in the display without the light, he easily concluded that the backlight failed and I need to replace it.

The total cost estimate for the backlight panel replacement is $2,200. Now, I'm planning to call Sony Center and convinced them that the backlight issue I had was previously there (within the warranty issue), and was not properly solved during the 1st consultation.
(Furthermore, I have pictures and video of the initial symptom on May 3, 2008 that showed it was within the 1-year warranty)

Is there a possibility that I could get a warranty from Sony? I would appreciate very much your advice how to handle this issue.
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post #2 of 62 Old 02-13-2010, 06:26 PM
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its a tough one bro, you can try but nothing is for sure, heck for 2200 you can get a samsung b750 which will blow that sony you got to the deep ocean LOL
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post #3 of 62 Old 02-13-2010, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you lamonsasa for the advice. I was wondering if anyone have the same kind of issue like me, or have detailed knowledge about consumer protection/right.
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post #4 of 62 Old 02-13-2010, 07:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamonsasa View Post

its a tough one bro, you can try but nothing is for sure, heck for 2200 you can get a samsung b750 which will blow that sony you got to the deep ocean LOL

Of course the B750 would be better than a S-series Sony. Don't compare a lower-end range to a high-end range LCD. The Sony XBR9 is equally as good as the B750, if not better.

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Originally Posted by tokyo View Post

Thank you lamonsasa for the advice. I was wondering if anyone have the same kind of issue like me, or have detailed knowledge about consumer protection/right.

Since you have some proof to suggest that you had the problem during your warranty time... then you should do all you can to convince them to give you some sort of discount or fix.
Keep calling them several times
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post #5 of 62 Old 02-13-2010, 07:50 PM
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If all else fails you could do an EECB(Executive E-Mail Carpet Bomb) if they do not agree to conduct the repair. Sony has a relatively good track record with customer service though, so this shouldn't be necessary.
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post #6 of 62 Old 02-13-2010, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Kyjibo,
I also heart that Sony has good support, as long as I could talk to the right person or the upper management to make my issue heard. Or else I'll execute EECB that you mentioned.

bk.secret23,
Thanks for the advice, and I'll try calling them up several time until my issue got positive feedback. And I'm also wondering if there are government agency or non-profit organization that I could report to just in case I don't get a positive feedback.

Thank you again!
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post #7 of 62 Old 02-13-2010, 08:21 PM
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Why exactly does it cost such an outrageous amount to repair the back light?
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post #8 of 62 Old 02-13-2010, 08:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tokyo View Post

and i'm also wondering if there are government agency or non-profit organization that i could report to just in case i don't get a positive feedback.

Thank you again!

BBB (Better Business Bureau)
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post #9 of 62 Old 02-13-2010, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bk.secret23 View Post

Of course the B750 would be better than a S-series Sony. Don't compare a lower-end range to a high-end range LCD. The Sony XBR9 is equally as good as the B750, if not better.



Since you have some proof to suggest that you had the problem during your warranty time... then you should do all you can to convince them to give you some sort of discount or fix.
Keep calling them several times

Why dont you read what i said before being rude? i said that he can buy a B750 for $2200 and have a picture 50 times better than the sony he has now.
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post #10 of 62 Old 02-13-2010, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
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The cost of the backlight panel is around $1,700 and the remaining I believe is for the delivery and the replacement fee.

I don't know exactly why they have to replace the panel, and not repair (replace failed parts) the backlight panel.

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Originally Posted by Marka1700 View Post

Why exactly does it cost such an outrageous amount to repair the back light?

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post #11 of 62 Old 02-13-2010, 08:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamonsasa View Post

Why dont you read what i said before being rude? i said that he can buy a B750 for $2200 and have a picture 50 times better than the sony he has now.

I apologize if I went to the wrong footnote because I never intended to be rude... please pardon my wording.

I guess your past previous posts still linger around my mind
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post #12 of 62 Old 02-13-2010, 08:48 PM
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I don't exactly understand whats what in a "back light panel' but I know a lot of manufactures where I live exclude bulbs, lamps and tubes from warranty cover. Hope it all works out for you though.
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post #13 of 62 Old 02-13-2010, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bk.secret23 View Post

I apologize if I went to the wrong footnote because I never intended to be rude... please pardon my wording.

I guess your past previous posts still linger around my mind

lol
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post #14 of 62 Old 02-13-2010, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Marka1700. I hope too that in the warranty it includes the "back light panel", because it's not a consumable part like bulbs and lamps.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Marka1700 View Post

I don't exactly understand whats what in a "back light panel' but I know a lot of manufactures where I live exclude bulbs, lamps and tubes from warranty cover. Hope it all works out for you though.

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post #15 of 62 Old 02-13-2010, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tokyo View Post

The cost of the backlight panel is around $1,700 and the remaining I believe is for the delivery and the replacement fee.

I don't know exactly why they have to replace the panel, and not repair (replace failed parts) the backlight panel.

I also fail to see what the LCD panel has to do with a failed backlight but I suspect that it's just poor wording on their part.
If it's only a failed backlight (the technician said that the image itself was still on the the LCD panel, right?) then I suspect that they could repair it for much less if they would actually care about it (especially if it would cost *their* money and not *yours*).

With this price tag I can only surmise that they are either going the easy way (simply replacing *all* parts remotedly connected to the failure including the lamps themselves) or simply trying to sell you a new TV by making the bill outrageously high so that a repair looks uneconomical.

At this point you basically have two choices:

a) Try to convice Sony that this is a follow-up to the service case while within the warranty period. They *should* have a database entry for that.
If they don't budge try to argue that the price seems way too high (avoid words like ridiculous or outragous) and that you will get a second opinion.
If they are still unreasonable try to get a higher up (or do the EECB mentioned earlier). Tell them that you expect a repair under good will and that they call you back within two days.
If they play deaf you can either go to your Sony Center and make a loud scene in front of the buying public or try (b)...

b) If the "negotiations" fail you'll indeed have to get a second opinion by calling a different repair company and telling them that you suspect that the either power or the inverter board is defective. That way they are more careful when they diagnose the set as you don't seem like an easy target for them...
See what they calculate (for a fixed price repair!) and keep us posted.

bye
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post #16 of 62 Old 02-14-2010, 07:05 AM
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???

Tell Sony to go screw themselves, take that $2200 and buy a TV that is better and bigger. Hell, you wouldn't even need to spend the whole $2200 for a better set....why even consider the repair?

I currently own a Sony KDL-40S2000 and an LG 47LH30, the repair cost is 3 times what I paid for my LG and the same price I paid for my almost 4 year old Sony.....don't bother repairing the TV.
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post #17 of 62 Old 02-14-2010, 07:46 AM
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Backlight is part of panel, $2,200 isn't unreasonable for a panel replacement. I would make absolutely sure it's not the ballast that is causing the problem if it's induvidually replaceable (sometimes it's also part of panel assy). A ballast replace should run less than $500.
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post #18 of 62 Old 02-14-2010, 08:31 AM
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tokyo, your TV started to go bad when it was less than a year old. So, you had one or more bad parts in the TV virtually from the start. I don't know that you can document your call of May 3, 2009, but I would be on the phone with Sony and get to the highest person you can.

I have seen more than a few people who were given the opportunity to exchange their defective Sony with a new TV, usually with some cash along with your old TV.

I would try to make a deal with Sony that they give you a replacement for your old TV plus $500 from you.

One reason to do this is that you don't know if the same thing will happen if you get the Sony fixed. Sometimes you have a part upstream from what is actually failing that causes the backlight to fail. Maybe the ballast, maybe something else.

I would agrue that you know for a fact that Sony has given others the choice of a new TV plus $500 from you and you want the same consideration.

Also, I don't know how you could determine if it is just the ballast without spending more money that could go towards a new TV.
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post #19 of 62 Old 02-14-2010, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Benny42,

Thank you for your advice regarding using sound reasoning during the negotiation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benny42 View Post

At this point you basically have two choices:
a) Try to convice Sony that this is a follow-up to the service case while within the warranty period. They *should* have a database entry for that.
If they don't budge try to argue that the price seems way too high (avoid words like ridiculous or outragous) and that you will get a second opinion.
If they are still unreasonable try to get a higher up (or do the EECB mentioned earlier). Tell them that you expect a repair under good will and that they call you back within two days.

I haven't think about going to the Sony Center, and maybe that is an option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benny42 View Post

If they play deaf you can either go to your Sony Center and make a loud scene in front of the buying public or try (b)...

Yeah, I guess that will be the last resort when negotiation failed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benny42 View Post

b) If the "negotiations" fail you'll indeed have to get a second opinion by calling a different repair company and telling them that you suspect that the either power or the inverter board is defective. That way they are more careful when they diagnose the set as you don't seem like an easy target for them...
See what they calculate (for a fixed price repair!) and keep us posted.

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post #20 of 62 Old 02-14-2010, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Spyboy,

Yes, I believe that talking to a support guy in the phone won't give any positive result so, I'm plannning to request talking to his/her superior. I'll be calling Sony Support tomorrow (Monday).

Quote:
Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

tokyo, your TV started to go bad when it was less than a year old. So, you had one or more bad parts in the TV virtually from the start. I don't know that you can document your call of May 3, 2009, but I would be on the phone with Sony and get to the highest person you can.

This is a very useful information for negotiating with Sony Support. But, I wonder if they ask me about the detail regarding the people I heard of that received those negotiations (replacement TV with $500 payment in return). And if they continue to comment that they have those kinds of negotiations.

Thank you again, and I'll keep this post updated about the result of my negotiation tomorrow.

Furthermore, previously I worked in Japan and I could directly call Japan service center to report the issue as my last option (I could read/write/speak Japanese).


Quote:
Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

I have seen more than a few people who were given the opportunity to exchange their defective Sony with a new TV, usually with some cash along with your old TV.

I would try to make a deal with Sony that they give you a replacement for your old TV plus $500 from you.

One reason to do this is that you don't know if the same thing will happen if you get the Sony fixed. Sometimes you have a part upstream from what is actually failing that causes the backlight to fail. Maybe the ballast, maybe something else.

I would agrue that you know for a fact that Sony has given others the choice of a new TV plus $500 from you and you want the same consideration.

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post #21 of 62 Old 02-14-2010, 05:58 PM
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Been there done that. No help from Sony but got a complete refund from MasterCard for my TV. Call your credit card company & use the free product protection policy. Life is good now.
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post #22 of 62 Old 02-14-2010, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I used cash during the purchase.

Is Sony not considerate to reasonable issues like this, and to their faithful customers (almost all my electronic gadgets are Sony, and owned a Sony CRT TV that lasted more than 15 yrs).

Thanks for sharing your experience with Sony. By the ways, did you able to talk to higher level in-charge personnel during your complaint?

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Been there done that. No help from Sony but got a complete refund from MasterCard for my TV. Call your credit card company & use the free product protection policy. Life is good now.

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post #23 of 62 Old 02-15-2010, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your advice. I just called Sony Support Center and as expected the 1st level of support didn't help much (I understand his situation). So, I politely ask to be transferred to the next level of support because that was authorized technician and you guys advised me. I was given a reference ID just in case the transfer was accidentally cut.

I waited for 10 minutes until the next level of support got the transfer, and I explained everything as mentioned in this post. She asked me fax the receipt and diagnostic result. I already fax the necessary documents and I'll be waiting for her call regarding the result.

I hope everything will turn out positive. (Well, just in case it's a negative turn out....I was wondering what's the next smart move)

....btw, spyboy...thank you very much for your advise it really given me new perspective and option.
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post #24 of 62 Old 02-15-2010, 01:23 PM
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If the twice-blink standby light confirms you had a backlit problem back then, then I say u got a pretty good shot, otherwise who knows.

$2G to replace a backlit? WTF. They must be replacing the whole panel. I dunno, u may want to speak to a third party repair shop and see whether this can be done cheaper. *If* u decide to keep the TV that is.

U paid CASH? I don't even want to know what u do on your spare time
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post #25 of 62 Old 02-15-2010, 03:23 PM
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$2200 is a stupid price. You have at least one broken CCFL tube in your backlight. Once the "open" is sensed by the inverter (ballast to those who don't know better), the backlight shuts down. A tube is about $5 cost but good luck finding one that fits.

Now, if you want to play around a bit, take the back off the set. The inverter is the long PCB on the side of the display. One of the pins on the inverter is the Enable line going back to the controller board. You can download the spec to the LCD (not the TV, but the actual display) and find the exact pin. Usually, if you Ground the pin, it will stay OFF and never tell the controller board to cut off electricity. The backlight will stay on, but you probably will see the dark band caused by the dead CCFL.
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post #26 of 62 Old 02-15-2010, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBobb View Post

$2G to replace a backlit? WTF. They must be replacing the whole panel. I dunno, u may want to speak to a third party repair shop and see whether this can be done cheaper. *If* u decide to keep the TV that is.

A Sony 52 inch LCD panel runs about 8G. Yes that is correct. 8G on a 2G TV.
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post #27 of 62 Old 02-15-2010, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tokyo View Post

I used cash during the purchase.

Is Sony not considerate to reasonable issues like this, and to their faithful customers (almost all my electronic gadgets are Sony, and owned a Sony CRT TV that lasted more than 15 yrs).

Thanks for sharing your experience with Sony. By the ways, did you able to talk to higher level in-charge personnel during your complaint?

Did not go any further than the first level. I just claimed it on the credit card & took the cash refund.
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post #28 of 62 Old 02-15-2010, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
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That's the advantage of using credit card in big purchases. I should have use my card!

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Did not go any further than the first level. I just claimed it on the credit card & took the cash refund.

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post #29 of 62 Old 02-15-2010, 03:56 PM
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$8G for a 52" display. I think not.

Look, you have a broken light bulb in the back of the set. You can buy the entire LCD for about $800 from OEM LCD distributors. Get the make of LCD inside the set. You might even find a "dead" one, that has an operating backlight. Look on eBay or Google the model number of the LCD (not the TV) and follow the leads.
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post #30 of 62 Old 02-15-2010, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
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DBLASS,
Thank you for the detailed explanation of broken CCFL tube. I was wondering if it's broken is there a way that it will turn on (when I power the TV on), then turn off after a few seconds. Because that is what I'm experiencing right now, I turn on the TV, then it will turn on normally (video & audio) for a few seconds then, video cuts off and standby led blinks twice.

Quote:
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$8G for a 52" display. I think not.

Look, you have a broken light bulb in the back of the set. You can buy the entire LCD for about $800 from OEM LCD distributors. Get the make of LCD inside the set. You might even find a "dead" one, that has an operating backlight. Look on eBay or Google the model number of the LCD (not the TV) and follow the leads.

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