Extended Warranty Claim Advice? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 01-09-2013, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Extended Warranty Claim Advice?

OK, here’s the situation. I have a DLP TV that’s several years old and 2 of its 3 fans started making noise a couple of months ago and grew progressively worst. So, a couple of weeks ago, one of the fans stopped working and the TV displayed a warning message. The TV has a 5 year extended in-home warranty. So, I called the warranty company and let them listen to the noise over the phone. They said someone from the claims department would call me in 1 to 2 days to arrange a repair person to come out.

After 10 days passed without hearing from anyone, I took the back cover off of the TV and discovered two bad fans which I repaired by cleaning and greasing them. So, now the TV works great and is really quiet. Then, wouldn’t you know it a local repair shop called on behalf of the warranty company. So, I explained to the repairman over the phone what I had done since I hadn’t heard back from the warranty company as they promised. The repair guy said he wouldn’t mention it to the warranty company and wanted to replace all 3 fans and do some other maintenance to the set (firmware updates, etc.). So, I said OK.

Well, another week passes by, then the repair guy calls and says the parts are in and he’ll be out in 5 days to do the repair. So, I asked if I can keep the old fans and he said no. He said he has to keep them for 90 days in case the warranty company wants to inspect them. Then he says the warranty company could deny the claim if they decide to inspect the parts and decide that I tampered with the fans.

So, what do you think I should do? Should I let them come out and do the work? Do you think the warranty company will inspect the old fans or even care that I decided to grease (two of) them after not hearing back from the warranty company as promised? Also, isn’t the warranty company still responsible for the repair since the fans were always under the warranty? It’s not like I would grease the fans for the fun of it.

Thanks for reading and for any advice.

*********************************Update***********************************************************
(Resolved, hopefully)

I thought some more about the repair guy’s attitude. First reassuring me to get the warranty repair and that lubricating the fans wasn’t a problem. Then after the parts came in, telling me he had to keep the old fans for 90 days in case the warranty company wanted to inspect them and that I would have to pay if the warranty company had a problem with me lubricating the fans.

So, I called the warranty company and told them that after waiting 10 days to hear from the claims dept, I lubricated the fans so my family could watch the TV. The company said they had to check with their technical dept to see if that was ok. I reminded them that my warranty says any damage RESULTING from unauthorized repairs wasn’t covered, but not that you couldn’t do any repairs or maintenance. In other words, if you do a repair and it causes damage, the warranty wouldn’t cover the resulting damage. We talked again a few minutes later and they told me that their technical dept said that lubricating the fans wasn’t a problem and that everything was fine. They then apologized for taking so long to get started with the repair process in the first place.

One last odd thing. I called to update the repair guy and to confirm the service call and planned repairs (including a firmware update he wants to do). I thought that was the end. But a few minutes after I talked with the repair guy, the warranty company called back and said the repair guy had just called them. He told them he thought I was planning on doing the firmware update myself! So, they were calling to ask me not to do anything before he arrived. I informed them that in addition to having several degrees (including a PhD), I build computers as a hobby. So, I’m not stupid. I only lubricated the fans so we wouldn’t have to go for 3 or more weeks without the use of the TV. They apologized and said they thought the repair guy was just worried about getting paid and everything was fine. So, at this point, I’m glad I talked with the warranty company and I’m still not so sure about this repair guy. At least I’m not planning on spending the next 90 days worrying about him sabotaging my claim over the fans since it’s noted in my account that my lubricating the fans was ok.

Thanks for the advice folks.
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post #2 of 4 Old 01-09-2013, 04:51 PM
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You voided the warranty when you worked on the TV. The service guy just wants to get money by replacing the fans. He'll get paid by the warranty company and if they decide to check on the fans you'll be forced to reimburse the warranty company.

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post #3 of 4 Old 01-09-2013, 05:04 PM
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You didn't do anything wrong, let the repair guy replace them and take the old ones (make sure he takes the old ones and not the new fans).

It is very unlikely the warranty co. will want the fans, but if they do then he has to send them in - they won't inspect them it just isn't worth it.
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post #4 of 4 Old 01-09-2013, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for responding. Now you see my dilemma. I’m making the same arguments in my head that the two of you just expressed.

I've heard of others lubricating noisy TV fans with limited success (i.e., the noise seems to eventually return). So, I would love to have the fans replaced while the TV is still under the extended warranty. I've never filed a claim with this warranty company and there's less than a year of coverage left. But, I hate risking getting stuck with a non-covered bill for something that I could do for $40 and 25 minutes of work. If I hadn’t lubricated the fans, I would have had to go for over three weeks without the use of the TV since it still won’t be repaired until next week.
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