I'm sure folks will continue to have the white spot problem, so here's my encounter with Vizio support.
My TV started developing white spots several months ago, but it's more of a casual set for us, so I didn't think much of it. Lately, they seem to be multiplying and a visit to AVS tells me that it could potentially get worse. I purchased the TV in 12/2013, so I'm well outside the standard warranty range.
I contacted support, provided my model, serial, date of purchase and proof of purchase. With no questions asked, I received the following response, which seemed like it was probably copied/pasted from somewhere. As several have noted, Vizio is aware of this issue and will honor it out-of-warranty:
You qualify for a replacement unit. This will be an on site swap in approximately 7-10 business days. We will ship the TV to a local facility in your area. Once they receive the unit, you will be contacted by them to set up a delivery date and time. This will typically be Monday through Friday 9am - 5pm. If the TV is wall mounted less than 5 feet from the floor, we can have them remove the TV from the wall mount for you. We will need to indicate in the order that it is wall mounted or the delivery agent will not remove it from the wall mount. The local delivery company will bring the unit into your home. They'll unbox it and power it up, but they will not set up or reconnect any cables or accessories. When you receive the replacement unit, please make sure the Delivery Agents power the TV on and you fully inspect the unit for damages or defects. If the unit is damaged or defective you need to refuse delivery and contact VIZIO immediately. If you accept a damaged or defective unit this may void your warranty and may prevent us from shipping another unit to you. When you receive your replacement there will be a recertified sticker on the box. This is a product that has left our warehouse new, but was returned for whatever reason. This unit goes through a strict Re-Certification process, and is held as a replacement unit for instances like this. It is like-new in all aspects; however we cannot sell it as new any longer. The replacement comes with either a 90 day warranty or the remaining balance of the manufacturer's warranty, whichever is longer. You are eligible to purchase an extended warranty for this replacement unit before that warranty expires. The model that you will get is the E701i-A3-3 which is the newer revised version of the model you have all the specs are the same.
Apparently I have an A3-1. Based on the responses from here, it doesn't seem to matter which revision of the A3 you receive, they all tend to develop the problem down the road. I do not have much hope for the A3-3 replacement. If the past tells us anything, it's that the set may be fine for many months, but will eventually have the same problem.
When I pointed this out to the customer service rep, I was told repeatedly that the new set wouldn't have this problem or they wouldn't send it out. Again, I had to reinforce that this is not something that happens the second you turn the TV on.
I asked that they replace it with a different, equal model. I noted the E70-C3, but would be fine with a B too. I just want something I don't have to constantly worry about. I was told that the A3-3 is the replacement and there's nothing they can do.
I continued pressing the issue, mentioning the multiple examples all over the Internet, etc. She would not move, so I asked that it be noted on my account that I gave Vizio the opportunity to rectify the issue now, because it likely wasn't a question of IF but WHEN I would have a problem with the replacement. I do not intend to buy the extended warranty coverage to fix a known manufacturing defect (she said I would not be covered for the spots after 90 days on the replacement). I realize that they can't cover these TVs forever, but when there's a very real, known issue -- so much that they extended the warranty for it -- that indicates something far more than a chance problem.
Anyway, after asking her to make notes and basically insuring she was going to be held accountable if I have to contact support again, she did finally agree to submit a request for a different model. That said, she also made it clear that it was only a request and there was no guarantee that it would be approved. I'm not holding out much hope. She very well could have said that to shut me up, as I haven't gotten any kind of notification that the "request" was even made.
As of right now, the A3-3 is still on the way. Does anyone know if you can purchase the Squaretrade warranty on the replacements they send? If I'm going to give someone money for a warranty, it's going to be the company that will do more than send me defective set after defective set.
If the problem wasn't inherently the TV model itself, I would have been very pleased with Vizio's support. They offered to replace it quickly. As it stands, however, I'm not happy with their solution on this particular issue thus far.
I'll post in a few days after I know the fate of the "request" and my replacement -- whatever it may be -- has shipped.