Ugh...some unpleasent experiences with Pansonic and the store where I bought the bulb from.
If anyone in Vancouver is thinking about purchasing anything from CGM electronics at 1285 Marine Drive, I highly recommend you avoid that place like the plague. I've never experienced crap service like this. I purchased the bulb there 5 months ago. They refused to give me a new one. I had to pay another $468 for a bulb. I asked the 'manager' if he thought that 1800 hours on a bulb was normal. He says "yes."
When I told him that Panasonic told me the bulb replacment warranty was one year, he said "No, it isn't.", even though I was told that by Jennifer Fee (Panasonic Canada), just that morning. Not only did this guy not care about contacting Panasonic to confirm, he asked me for the phone numbers!!! They are a Pan dealer and he asks the customer for a number? He then suggested I talk to the store where I bought the TV (London drugs). I said, "What have they got to do with the bulb? I bought the bulb from you. It's your bulb that blew up." I finally got fed up and said, "Okay, I'm buying the bulb, and I'll try to get Panasonic to give me a refund. If they send me another one, can I bring this one back?" He says, "I don't want it back."
"But I will be giving you one that is brand new, that hasn't been used. You don't give refunds on new items?"
"How do I know that you haven't used it? I also have this bulb, I don't need more."
Unfricking believable. And I was stupid enough to give them another $468.
I had gone through an inordinate amount of time and effort to contact Panasonic and find out what was going on with the warranty, above and beyond what a customer should have to do, and his whole attitude was "This is your problem. You deal with it. Buy my bulb, and leave." And anytime I tried to tell him what Panasonic told me on the phone, his favorite line was 'I don't want to argue with you." Basically threw the reciept at me and walked to the back of the store. I asked for the manager. He tells me he's co owner of the store. I guess that gives you license to be a total prick.
Next, I contact Panasonic to find out who deals with their dealerships and handling customer complaints about service. After talking to various depts, and getting about 3 wrong numbers to dead lines, I talked to someone again in customer service named Barbara and she tells me that there is no longer any customer service outlet in Vancouver, B.C, meaning no way to complain about crap service from their dealerships. She also tells me that the BULB WARRANTY IS 3 MONTHS! And that whoever told me it was one year warranty for bulb replacement, is wrong. I also mentioned that the original warranty on the TV is now 18 months in the US. She says, "That's not the warranty in Canada." If this bulb was $100 for 5 months use, okay, I could live with it, but $500 for five months is insane. I can expect this bulb to blow in early August, and then I'm going to drive this TV off a cliff and buy something else.
Is this for real? Can anyone confirm this? I find it hard to believe that a $500 bulb has a 3 month warranty. I've gone through 2 bulbs in 21 months. This set is a dud. I paid $5000 for it in 2004. And what's worse, is that the picture stays nice and bright for a couple weeks, then goes back to dull, and I have to start cranking the brightness/picture up.
I'm so sick of their service, and their dealerships, I'm quite sure I'll never buy a Panasonic product again.