Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Atlanta, GA USA
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I am looking forward to getting my new 60" Panasonic GT series plasma but I have to say that the people at Panasonic Direct were not helpful and I ended up going to another vendor. Basically, Panasonic Direct has an employee purchase plan with my employer. The price on the plasma was much cheaper than I could get anywhere else so I decided to go with them. When I ordered, their online order system said to expect delivery in 7-10 days.
The very next day I was browsing the site again and the delivery wait for the same set went to 1-3 days so I thought wow I guess I'll be getting it early. A week later and still no email or phone call re delivery so I called their customer service department who told me the order hasn't yet shipped but they couldn't explain the discrepancy between what the web was saying i.e. that I really should have received the unit by now. Another two days passes by and I call again and again they tell me it hasn't shipped. By this time its clear that some of their CSRs are more intelligent than others and I call again the next day. The next day the CSR tells me that it hasn't yet shipped and at first says they're not scheduled to get another shipment until the 16th which was another 13 days; a few minutes later in the same conversation she corrects herself and says they're getting additional sets in 6 days.
I wait another two days and call again and they tell me the unit shipped three days prior. i then notice on my charges posted to my credit card account online that they made several charges again my account (I also purchased the Ultimate Starter AV kit, a 3D dvd player, and two additional pairs of glasses) but still it was odd that there were different charges posted and it seems like even considering the tax they were charging me that something must be wrong and it appeared I was overcharged. SO....I asked the CSR how much I paid for the set before taxes. Well they charged me $200 more for the set than what my printout from the website clearly showed. Then I asked about the DVD player and they charged me $12 more than what the printout said. I had cancelled the shipment of the Ultimate AV Starter kit when I actually found it cheaper on Amazon. Then to my utter amazement they told me that they would need some kind of confirmation number from my email confirmation in order to resolve the thing. Mind you I HAD the order number. What I didn't have was the email confirmation which my employer's anti-spam software police apparently blocked. I was pretty incredulous that they couldn't simply logon to the employer purchase plan for their "platinum partners" and see for themselves what I should have been charged for the set. I also had the order number but that was apparently useless to them. Instead they wanted me to send THEM something that they sent ME that in an email that I unfortunately couldn't get to because it got killed on its way to my business inbox. Then they told me to just go ahead with the order and delivery and they would straighten it out and credit my account later. I don't know about you but I was absolutely stunned by all this. I cancelled the entire order. They said then that all charges would be credited back to my account but I would have to refuse delivery of the television.
Mind you I still hadn't even gotten a telephone call saying the set had been shipped from their warehouse in IL to where I live (Atlanta). I asked whether or not they could contact their expediter (and save themselves some money) and just tell them to bring the unit back. They said they couldn't do that - that I would have to refuse shipment. Just a warning - you apparently can absolutely expect these people to overcharge you. You will also get totally clueless customer service - their CSRs apparently have no real information about ship dates, inventory etc. I was stunned. I wonder how many people have ordered say, just a DVD player and not even noticed the price difference and then Panasonic pockets the difference. It could be that this was all just a fluke but the fact that they were marginally overcharging me on everything was pretty stunning to me. I was clearly logged onto their employee purchase "platinum partner" plan. Surely all those prices are the same for all employers. Yet they couldn't verify that price not could they verify that that's the way the set was purchased. I would have to wait no telling how long to get all this sorted out with no doubt much effort on my part. Unbelievable.