Panasonic warranty changed on AX100: Voided when used more than 4hrs 3x per week - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Last month we had some family visiting from Australia. Was nice to spend time with them. I don't get to see them very often. Nice people, particularly a cousin who shares the same passion for home theaters and av.

Back in Australia he had upgraded his AE900 to an AX100 a few months prior to his visit. Like many here after about the first month's use his started to show some sort of non uniform discoloration often reported here. He first noticed it on the test screen and said it was sometimes slightly noticeable in bright scenes. He mentioned when he was here that he wasn't too concerned about it but might get it checked out by Panasonic Aus if it bothered him enough.

A few weeks after they got back to Aus, I got an email from him saying that the problem had become much worse with an aparent red vertical bar, again similar to what's been reported here. I suggested he have it looked at by service.

I just heard from him again a few days ago and he's pissed. From what he was told the optic block is damaged and needs to be replaced, but Panasonic told him that the warranty won't cover it despite that it's only 3 months old with 260hrs on the bulb. They referred him to the warranty terms and conditions which clearly state that the warranty would be voided if used more than 4hrs at a time 3 times per week. That's a total of no more than 12hrs a week or 48hrs a month!

He did some digging and found that the original warranty which did have a similar clause except it stated ;

(c)Optical Block parts if the product is used continuously for more than 8 hours on a regular basis and if maintenance is not carried out or warnings noted, as described in the users manual.

No mention about 4hrs, 3 times a week, so he called them back only to be told that the warranty has since been modified to the terms which say;

(c)Optical block parts if the product is used continuously in excess of 4 hours, more than 3 times per week.


Naturally I don't know first hand if this will be a company wide warranty change or if it's just limited to Aus for now. It's disturbing to see how Panasonic is handling this issue, which in my humble opinion I consider to be a significant thermal damage QC design flaw.

Both the before and current warranty terms and conditions attached for comparison (see Sec 4c) to verify the accuracy for yourself.

Joe

 

BEFORE - Panasonic AX100 Warranty.pdf 49.7880859375k . file

 

NOW - Panasonic AX100 Warranty.pdf 32.775390625k . file
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post #2 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 12:04 PM
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4hrs at a time 3x's a week, but there are 7 days in a week so if he used it for 3.9 hours the remaining 4 days that would be a total of 110.4 hours a month, times 3 months is over 330 hours....
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post #3 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 12:04 PM
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The way I read it -- you could use it 3.99 hours 7 days per week, and not void the warrenty the way it reads now.
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post #4 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 12:22 PM
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I can't get the new warranty to open.

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post #5 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 01:09 PM
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I just read the warranty here: http://catalog2.panasonic.com/webapp...U&displayTab=R (Click the java applet "Warranty" cannot be linked directly)

and can find nothing of the sort of what is implied above for the AX100U. what did I miss?

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post #6 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdbasile View Post

The way I read it -- you could use it 3.99 hours 7 days per week, and not void the warrenty the way it reads now.

I'm not a lawyer but I think your optimistic interpretation of it being ok at 3.99hrs 7 days a week isn't what the wording of the warranty states. Beside the fact that they refused his warranty repair on that basis. It clearly says not more than 4hrs 3 times a week of usage.

Otherwise I think they would have simply stated it as not more than 57hrs per week (3.99hrs x 7 days) or X amount of hrs per month. But instead they went to the trouble of specifying the nbr of hrs per usage (4hrs) nbr of times per week (3).

The fact is that they modified the warrantied hourly usage in the first place. Why have a limit on the nbr of 'per session' or 'weekly hours' used at all ? If it doesn't suffer from thermal issues then why change from the initial 8 hrs of regular usage down to 4hrs 3 times per week.

Completely and only in my opinion, this indirectly says that we know that we didn't design the AX100 to handle heat properly and it's damaging the optic bloc, it's costing us too much money to repair so we're not going to warranty it if you use the projector everyday like we marketed to you it in the first place.

If this was a car company who's radiator wasn't cooling the engine sufficiently that it caused damage to the engine block and the manufacturer changed their warranty to void it if you drive more than 4hrs a day 3 times per week, I would think they'd find themselves hammered with major lawsuits.
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post #7 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilson-Flyer View Post

I just read the warranty here: http://catalog2.panasonic.com/webapp...U&displayTab=R (Click the java applet "Warranty" cannot be linked directly)

and can find nothing of the sort of what is implied above for the AX100U. what did I miss?

You missed where I said this was Panasonic Australia.

The US warranty (you linked to) says under 'normal usage', but doesn't specify say what normal usage is. Recently a couple of posters here in the US were told the same thing by Panasonic warranty service that it shouldn't be used more than 4hrs at a time. Which seems to be inline with this latest warranty condition in Aus.
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post #8 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 04:11 PM
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The next question is:

WHY create such a Lumen Monster, if it's only to be used 4 hrs at a time?
4 hrs, is basically 2 movies, which IMO are BEST seen in a darkened room......
I would have thought the Lumens were targeting Ambient light usage as well, AKA everyday, whatever viewing......

Something stinks really bad here, and it looks to me like what has been stated above already....

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post #9 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 04:21 PM
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that's ********! Is this even legal? How can they change the warranty after the sale?????
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post #10 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 04:23 PM
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Is there a possibility of them having access to a more detailed "hour meter" in a service menu that not only records total bulb hours, but also how many times it has been turned on and for how long it remained on?

Fernando
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post #11 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 04:24 PM
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Looking at the US warranty from the Panasonic website all I could find was a reference to "1 year or 2000 hours" for the LCD and "90 days or 50 hours" for the bulb.

This isn't very reassuring to me and really makes me hesitant to consider buying this projector - and certainly not from any source that doesn't have a liberal return policy since you can assume Panasonic won't be there in the event of problems.

I agree, it's crazy to put that kind of use restriction on an electronic media device. Absurd.
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post #12 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 04:35 PM
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Even if this isn't Panasonic USA's warranty, Panasonic Australia's lack of confidence in their own projector definitely takes the AX100U out of the running for me.
-- jaydillyo

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post #13 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 04:57 PM
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Even more reason to get it from Costco.

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post #14 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thaxx View Post

Even more reason to get it from Costco.

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post #15 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 05:27 PM
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how do they prove a projector has been used for more than 4 hours at a time? Im from AUS and have sligth discolouration issues but have not once used it over 4 hours.

BTW - the pana ax100 warranty is two years in Australia.
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post #16 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 05:37 PM
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Ugh..that WOULD'VE taken it out of the runnig for me...but i already purchased in november...
damn i hope i dont end up with his problem. Its my first decent screen (all my previous have been 21" flat CRTs)... and im using it quite a lot
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post #17 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 05:45 PM
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Here's a link to the panny au site with the warranty referenced above:

http://panasonic.com.au/products/det...?objectID=3634
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post #18 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdbasile View Post

The way I read it -- you could use it 3.99 hours 7 days per week, and not void the warrenty the way it reads now.


That's exactly what I read too.

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post #19 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 06:29 PM
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(c) Optical block parts if the product is used continuously in excess of 4 hours, more than 3 times per week.

sounds to me you can go over 4 hours but not more than three times per week.
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post #20 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 06:35 PM
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Well, go ahead and get your lawyer's number handy.....because the only way they can enforce this is to use the 12hr/week calculation.
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post #21 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bqmeister View Post

That's exactly what I read too.

Here is section 4(c):
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panasonic View Post

The warranty does not cover:

Optical block parts if the product is used continuously in excess of 4 hours, more than 3 times per week.

Basically, that's gibberish. Taken literally you could leave the projector on for the entire week and not be in violation (that would be in excess only once that week). Taken literally you could use the projector 24 hours twice a week and up to 3.99 hours the other five days in the week and not be in violation. Also, what constitutes "continuously?" Again literally you could watch it 12 hours daily for the entire week as long as you took a break and didn't watch it 3x in excess of 4 hours each viewing the next week (thus use wouldn't literally be "continuous").

It's senseless language and is obviously intended to give Panasonic an "out" if (and when) they choose not to fix projectors optical blocks even under the normal warranty period.
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post #22 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 06:40 PM
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The very fact that they feel compelled to include such an exclusion implies accepted responsibility for a known defect that was not implied at the time of purchase to the consumer (not on the BOX). Wonder why you don't see this in the States? It would be meaningless here. It might actually subject them to extended liability. I'm not sure the Aussie warranty couldn't be used here in the US as a general acknowledgement of product vunerability.

Bottom line. Hate it for the Aussies. Don't know how their legal system works. IMO, Pany screwed themselves here in the US by even publicizing such a warranty overseas.

This might be a blessing in disguise in case any of us ever needs it. Always two ways to see everything.

I agree with the above. Something smells and it ain't the fish.

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post #23 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 06:44 PM
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The headaches Panasonic faces with this projector might make them say good bye to LCD technology! Hope they join JVC and Sony with LCOS/SXRD stuff since they seem to love the smoothscreen anyway!
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post #24 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 06:46 PM
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This is better then Sanyo's tactics how?
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post #25 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 06:55 PM
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I bought an AX100 and a Mits HD1000U at the same time with the intention of returning one. I thought the HD1000U had about equally inpressive PQ, was about as bright, should be far more reliable (I've had a ton of major issues with my old LCD), and the HD1000 was only half the price. The AX100 went back as it seemed like a no-brainer. I'm very happy with my decision based on all the negitive press I've been reading since.
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post #26 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
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If Panasonic Aus changed their warranty down to these ridiculous 4hrs 3x per week, they obviously know there's a problem with it and a costly one to repair at that. I seem to remember hearing that an optic block on these can run north of $700 with labor, but I'm not sure maybe it's more.

I guess the biggest concern for US AX100 owners is even if Panasonic US doesn't follow suit in changing it's warranty conditions and continues to repair them for the remainder of the warranty term, what happens when your short 12 months are up? Or further, even if you already had the block replaced under warranty once before? By the sounds of it, it's just going to happen again. The heat issue isn't going to be resolved by replacing the optic block. It's just repairing the damage, not the cause.

So at some point you're almost sure to either have to spend major money to replace the optic block or enjoy your new very expensive paper weight. This should be completely unacceptable to consumers.
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post #27 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 07:12 PM
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Yeah, it seems like you have to approach it as a disposable projector.
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post #28 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 07:17 PM
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If the menu is the same as the older Panny AE500, you can get into a deeper menu if you know how.
It contained the number of times the projector was started. As in my old pj, I had 1300 hours and it had 266 starts. That's almost 4.9 hours avg. per start. I would be out of warranty.

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post #29 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 07:26 PM
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Yes this news if true isn't very encouraging to those of us who have purchased this PJ and still have very low hours with no issues as of yet. I did some extensive comparisons on heat levels at the various optional settings after following the other ax100 thread and still contend that those of us with the option of running this PJ in a cooller mode with a little more fan noise is better than smoking the optical block if Panny is taking this position. I hope they somehow feel enough "heat" on their end to give us some piece of mind but I kind of doubt that will happen considering what I've read so far. It's a shame because this PJ looks awesome so far for me. I hope it continues!
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post #30 of 182 Old 02-08-2007, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thaxx View Post

If the menu is the same as the older Panny AE500, you can get into a deeper menu if you know how.
It contained the number of times the projector was started. As in my old pj, I had 1300 hours and it had 266 starts. That's almost 4.9 hours avg. per start. I would be out of warranty.

Sounds like it's time for some TSOP and JTag research. LMFAO

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