Is there a separate place for service complaints? If so, I'll repost there.
PANASONIC CUSTOMER SERVICE AND SERVICE IS, IN A WORD, AWFUL. OR NON-EXISTENT.
I bought a Panny VT30 65" back in early Dec 2011. During the late summer of 2012 we started to notice an intermittent "buzzing", coming from the back of the set. It started to get more regular. (Google "panasonic vt30 65 buzzing", you'll get over 49,000 immediate hits.) I initially called them in late August of 2012, which is about 3-4 months before the warranty expires. The first CSR asked me to isolate the display, make sure the volume was off/ turned as low as it could go, the usual stuff that I had already did. Asked me to try that and call back if it still "buzzed".
It continued to buzz, so I called back shortly there after. (If I knew it was going to be this big of an ordeal, from the start I would have written down dates, times, names of who I talked to, etc.) This time he wanted me to do a "hard reset" on the display. (after all the time I spent getting it dialed in ......) and to "call back if the problem persists".
It persisted, I called back, this time the CSR had me do something else, I can't remember exactly, maybe it was nothing, but he said that since this was the 3rd call, that if it persisted, he would get a tech out to look at it. Maybe they needed me to have had to call in 4 times or something, I really don't know what the deal was. I just want it fixed, so I played along, as I knew it wasn't fixed and would buzz again.
So I call back, expecting to get set up with a service appointment, but now, because we are now past the 1 year anniversary, I'm told that the 'case" will have to go to some department that I can't remember the name of to be 'decided". I am promised a call back within 24-48 hours.
A week later, no call.
If you are wondering why we are now in December, I work pretty much 12 hour overnight shifts M-Th, the only day I have time to call them is on Fridays. Plus, because of my schedule, I hardly ever get to watch TV to witness it. Plus, the "buzzing" is intermittent, so it may be a week or two after the last call in before I have more to report. That is if it is on the top of the list of my wife to tell me when we do see each other. Add in holidays, in-law visits, appointments for my wife who is expecting, life, basically, and time flies.
But they do send me an email, basically asking me to do everything we already did.
Her is the guts of it:
In many cases, a low level buzzing or humming coming from the TV is
normal. Standing how many feet away from the TV can you hear this buzzing
sound? Can this buzzing be heard over the volume set to around the
Press [MUTE] on the TV remote or turn the TV speakers off in the TV¿s
menu. Can the buzzing noise still be heard? If so, continue.
Here are some suggestions:
1. Power off the TV and all connected devices.
2. Power up all connected devices and leave the TV turned off and note
whether or not the buzzing noise is heard. If the buzzing noise can still
be heard, the problem is not with the TV and we recommend that you contact
the manufacturer of the buzzing device.
3. If no buzzing was heard when the externally connected devices were
powered up, verify the following:
A. Is the TV at a location which exceeds its rated altitude/elevation? If
so, that may be the cause of the buzzing.
Max Operating Altitude (Elevation): 2,600m (8,500 ft)
B. Inspect the TV panel for cracks.
If there are no cracks in the panel and the TV is located at the proper
altitude and you are still hearing the buzzing noise, please contact the
Panasonic Customer Call Center at 1 (800) 211 7262. Our hours of
operation are Monday through Friday 9 A.M. to 9 P.M. and Saturday - Sunday
10 A.M. to 7 P.M. Eastern Standard Time.
Thank you for choosing Panasonic!
I reply to their email and call them back as well. This time I asked to speak to a supervisor, because that usually gets better results. The CSR's were just giving me a run around I felt, and delaying me. This is on Jan 18th, 2013. I spoke with supervisor "Shamara", who promised to look into it and call me back within 24-48 hours.
A week later, no call.
So I call back on Jan 25th 2013. The CSR was sure she could help me, so I let her try. She conferred with a supervisor I assume a few times, (put me on hold) they wanted me to fwd my email receipts to them showing purchase and delivery dates. I have no idea why, this was previously established. I can only think that maybe they were looking to see if I bought an aftermarket warranty at the same time, and they would try to talk me into going through that channel? Well, I didn't. It is on them.
Once again they promise to call back within 24-48 hours.
Once again a week goes by and no call.
So I call back, and ask to speak to a supervisor once again. I get handed over to Kevin. All Kevin can say is "you're past your warranty period". I reply with "but the problem started months before it expired, Panasonic has just stalled and been non responsive, made numerous promises to address the problem and then broke those promises, IOW, they lied. Multiple times. I recap all I have been through, ending with "last week they wanted receipts, and promised to call me back" he says they never received them. Then he says, "what you're going to have to do is fax me the receipt, with the service estimate/diagnosis..." I ask him "you guys are sending someone out for that estimate, right?" He says, "No, you'll need to take it to a ...." I stop him right there, and say "EXCUSE ME,? YOU WANT ME TO TAKE A 65'PLASMA TO A LOCAL SHOP, NOT AN IN HOME VISIT, ON MY DIME???" DO YOU ACTUALLY BELIEVE WHAT YOU ARE SAYING? DO YOU HEAR YOURSELF?" He says, "yes, I ..." I then ask him to quit talking, because he is being ridiculous,and to connect me with *his* supervisor. I am placed on hold, and then he comes back on, and says that they will look into it, but he needs the receipt. I suggest that I can send him a copy of the receipt if he is at a email addy he can monitor. He gives it to me, I send it, he acknowledges receipt and promises that I will get a call withion 24-48 hours.
Where have I heard that before.
I am going to put a brief recap of this ordeal on Panasonic's facebook page, with a link to this post so any possible customers out there want to read about it in detail. It may influence their buying decision
Had I known how Panasonic was in this regard I am sure I would have went with a Samsung or other option. Which is sad, because I love the set, (without the buzzing) The buzzing tells me that something is not right, and that it will eventually cause a bigger, catastrophic failure, in whatever system the suspect part/circuit board finally fails due to vibration.
I'll keep you all posted. If anybody has any helpful ideas, please share.