I must admit up front, I'm not sure what I expect out of this post. Sympathy, support, skepticism, information, or just getting shedding some light on this issue, I'm not sure. I must also apologize, this is probably going to be a bit long.Before the Plasma
This ongoing saga started back just over a month ago when my wife and I decided to buy a new TV and that TV would be a Samsung UN55D8000 (I know this is a plasma forum, I'm getting there). It had been 8 years since my last TV and I wanted to get something nice. Within 20 minutes of plugging it in, it developed a black line that stretched across 3/4 of the screen. It went back and we received an identical replacement. Right out of the box I noticed that along the entire left and bottom sides, there was a 1/4 line that was about 20% brighter than the rest of the screen, as if the diffusion or polarizing material in the lcd panel was cut too small. While not an outright failure like the lines across the screen, it was a problem and not one I was willing to live with for $3k.The PN59D8000
At this point, my seller suggests I might be happier with a Plasma screen. I had nothing to loose per-se, so I agreed and we were shipped a PN59D8000, the plasma sister to our defective TV's.
The screen was beautiful out of the box. The first thing I noticed was that the netflix app wasn't working. We called Netflix who offered no help, and Samsung who opened a ticket and promised to call us back (but never did). An online rep at the cnet forums offered some instructions for resetting the tv that worked, so we left it at that.
As it was my 3rd TV, I hadn't bothered to set up the qwerty remote right away, but when I did I realized it failed to pair. I tried the 3d glasses as well and they refused to pair. So another called to Samsung to fix our bluetooth issues.
To their credit Samsung actually followed through and arranged to have a Tech come out the next week (one week to the day after the TV arrived).
The authorized techs came out and laid the TV down, opened up the back and replaced the bluetooth receiver board. They put it all back together and all was well. The bluetooth worked and we watched several movies that weekend including Megamind in 3D.The Crack
Monday morning (one week since the repair, two since the TV arrived) we watched TV and got ready for the day. My wife left to take my son to school and I left for work. Everything was great.
After taking my son to work and going to the YMCA, my wife came home (about 2 hours later) and tried to turn the TV on. It did not turn on. Thinking the remote was screwed up (it's a harmony, so sometimes stuff happens) she went to turn on the TV manually. Nothing happened.
It was then that she noticed a small crack underneath the glass front. With the black filter in place it was barely visible, but she knew something was wrong. I told her to take a pic and call Samsung. I left work early to come home and check it out.
Samsung immediately said that since it was a crack, it was "physical damage" and not covered. We asked how it was damage when no one was in the house to damage it. They basically implied were lying and it was not covered
Okay, so we got pretty ticked off at this point. We started looking around for help and information. I called up our seller to see if he would be willing to take back a 3rd TV. To their credit he didn't say no outright, but also didn't offer to take it back and suggested we pursue it with Samsung further.
In our research it turns out this a not uncommon problem, *especially* with Samsung. We found dozens of cases in the past year or two of this exact thing happening and even found a thread at cnet
with over 300 posts from the past year up to today, with the same story repeated over and over again. Screen cracks for no reason, Samsung blames the buyer and refuses to honor the warranty.
So back to Samsung, we call again and this time they ask for pictures. I am an amature photographer so I do my best to oblige. Our first thought was to demonstrate the fact that the crack was no-where near the edge (at least 8" from the center to any edge) - to show that if it was something we caused in mis-handling the tv, it would show up on on the edge and spread out. And to also demonstrate that the front glass was completely untouched, not even a fingerprint.
So we get sent back for re-evaluation. We call back later and it was denied again, we push back again stressing that we weren't even home at the time and besides it should be physically impossible to damage the interior without so much as a mark on the exterior. My wife used the analogy, it would be like a baseball hitting a double pane window, breaking the inside one without touching the outside one. We figured we had physics on our side.
We eventually get bumped up to the Executive Support Center, where we continue to get the same line. We make the same arguments back and keep pushing.What Now
So that's were we are at. Samsung so far even refuses to send a tech to verify what we are telling them. As far as i'm concerned they don't even have firsthand evidence to make their accusations on, only our pictures, which show the crack as well as showing the completely unmarred outer glass.
As far as Samsung is concerned a spider web style crack demonstrates an impact, which of course it can, but i can also just as easily demonstrate a pressure point such as a screw that was put on too tight, or too much thermal expansion and contraction against an internal component.
Our best guess is that the screen was inadvertently stresses when it was being worked on by the techs the week prior. Any minor stress fracture would then weaken with the thermal expansion of normal use to eventually fail catastrophically.
The fact is, we don't know how this crack appeared, other than it was not us
that did it. We are also bolstered by the fact that no other plasma manufactures seems to have so many reports of this very problem than Samsung. Whether Samsung truly has a design defect, a problem with manufacturing, or a mandate to deny warranty claims - thereby encouraging more people to complain, I don't know.
At this point, I don't know what our options are. The most likely next steps are complaints to the BBB, the FTC, and possibly most effective, the New Jersey Attorney Generals Office. From what I've read the BBB almost literally just passes along whatever memo Samsung sends them and closes the case. I don't know what the FTC can do other than log the case. But apparently people have had some luck petitioning the Attorney General, in fact apparently if you do so, you are automatically added to some class action suite the office has open against Samsung. I don't know the details though.
We're prepared for an all out battle of wills here. As far as I'm concerned they have a faulty product and are calling us liars in order to get out of honoring their warranty. I am also currently out almost $3k, not a small sum of money, and I have no TV and an a whole bunch of home theater devices that I cannot use. I can't watch my Netflix discs, which is burning money, I can't play my xbox, ps3, wii, etc.
I know these are petty problems to have, but I paid honest money to Samsung and I expect a reliable product in return. I cannot tell anyone to avoid buying from Samsung, but do encourage people to read my story and put themselves in my shoes for a moment and think about how they would react in this situation.
Even if I do eventually get a working TV out of this in the end, I would have strong reservations about purchasing from Samsung in the future.