Issues, Customer Support, and a Refund
(Disclaimer: I have lost my terminology knowledge, so please forgive me if I use the wrong terms, or fail to properly identify issues with a common term.)
So I purchased my M65 almost two years ago. I loved it.
I loved it all the way up until a couple months ago, when it suddenly started having issues.
First, I noticed some vertical lines appear. They were very hard to notice during regular watching, but they stood out when the picture was panning side to side. Then they got worse, and were noticeable whenever there was a large patch of solid color on the screen. A solid white screen. A person's face. A football field. Then I started noticing similar horizontal lines forming.
Next, bright colors seemed to create a bit of a halo around them. If there was, say, a bright white 6" sphere in the middle of a black screen, the screen seemed to dimly light up in about a 15" sphere. The middle 6" would have kind of a sharp line where it ended, but then it would look cloudy around that sphere. Imagine looking at the moon on a clear night versus looking at the moon through a thin cloud.
About the same time as this, there seemed to be little beams of light shining on the screen every foot or so around the bezel.
Lastly, the shadows started to kind of... echo? So there would be a shadow across something and then a few inches away from it, there would be a fainter exact duplicate of that shadow.
All of these issues started within about a two week period, and seemed to get worse every day.
So I called Costco. They had issues finding my purchase. Somehow, even though I bought it under my membership, and it showed up for me under my membership, it was not linked to my membership in their system. So it took a while for them to track it down by order number and get it linked to my account. I purchased it 20 months ago, and Costco (for those that don't know) doubles the manufacturers warranty to two years. So I was just under the wire. Then she had me go through the "Scripted stuff we have to make you do before we can escalate it to Vizio." This included a variety of settings and input tests, along with eventually resetting everything to factory default. Then she escalated me to Vizio.
Vizio verified some settings, and then had me photograph the issue and upload the photos to him. He said it looked like the panel was failing. This started a series of good news/bad news events.
Good News: I'm covered by warranty.
Bad News: They can't fix it.
Good News: They can replace my 2013 model with the 2014 model.
Bad News: I would lose the 3D ability that I paid extra for.
Good News: I wouldn't be without a TV, as the would deliver and set up the new one before taking away the old one.
Bad News: The "new" one would actually be refurbished and I would only get the rest of my existing warranty on it (about 3.5 months).
I wasn't wild about losing the 3D, as I did pay more for it, and it would just be wasted money at this point. I also wasn't wild about the fact that my TV lasted less than 2 years, and I would be exchanging it for something with less than 4 months warranty left.
Good News: They will give me a full refund.
Bad News: They can't cut the check for the refund until my TV has been picked up and taken back to their warehouse, and the serial number verified. This is a 2-week process. Then add me getting the check, ordering a replacement, and waiting for the replacement to arrive, we are looking at about 3 weeks without a TV.
Good News: They know this process is antiquated, and are working to improve it in the near future.
Bad News: Not near enough in the future to help me out any.
He recommended a P-Series, as it is supposed to be highly sought after by gamers, as it supposedly has some of the best latency on the market.
Good News: The refund would cover an upgrade to the P-Series TV.
Bad News: They couldn't just do that in the background themselves and ship me a P-Series... I have to wait on the check, and then order a P-Series.
He did actually try to argue for that with his supervisor, but was turned down.
Good News: I would be getting 4K!
Bad News: Still losing 3D.
I decided that while we liked the 3D option, and owned several 3D movies, we didn't use it that often anymore, so this was a fair trade-off. The 4K resolution should be a little more "future proof" than the 3D, which is still kind of a "gimmick."
The shipping company took over a week to pick up my TV. Now it has been another week. I am looking at probably 3-5 more business days before a check, and then probably another week to get a new TV delivered. I am going through withdrawals after week 1.
So in traditional Vizio Good News/Bad News:
Good News: Costco and Vizio were both very easy to work with, and while I am doing without a TV for 2-4 weeks, I will be getting a brand new one, with another 2 years of warranty... So for my original cost, I will be at least 4 years of TV coverage. I would be happy to continue business with them.
Bad News: I hope a 20-month lifespan isn't the norm on Vizio TVs. I really expect to get more like 5-years out of a $2K purchase.