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Toshiba 55SV670U Spontaneous Shutdown

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have owned a Toshiba 55SV670U for a little over a year during which it has spontaneously shut down, just as if it had been powered off, numerous times. It's not a power supply issue, as the set is supported by a dual conversion UPS and there have been no power grid issues. The set always starts up when prompted by the remote, though not always on the first try and there has been a change in the LED power indicator response of late. Whereas, previously, the LED indicator would flash 3 times, pause and then flash 3 times again before the set powers on nominally, it recently has skipped the 3+3 flashing. I don't know that that is significant to anything.

Toshiba has attempted to address the issue multiple times through the local Toshiba-authorized service facility in my town with no positive result. The set continues to display the same problem. Given that the malfunctions preexist the expiration of the standard one-year parts and labor warranty, and all previous repair attempts have failed to satisfactorily address the issue, Toshiba America has offered to fully refund the amount I paid for the set. Toshiba proposes to do so by having the set picked up by a third party shipper that will convey it to a refurbishing facility and then Toshiba has given me verbal assurances that they will issue me a refund within "4 to 6 weeks of (their) receipt of the television (at the refurbishing facility)." All that sounded great until I was informed by Mr. Chris Black in Toshiba America's "Corporate Escalations Office" that Toshiba refuses to provide me with any written documentation/confirmation of the offer. Given that there have been several other representations made to me previously that have later been retracted, I find little comfort in a strictly verbal agreement.

My concern is that Toshiba has consistently refused to provide me with written confirmation of their intention to provide me with a refund. We are in total agreement that a refund is the appropriate response to this dilemma, however they are adamant in their refusal to provide any written record so we can move forward to resolve this issue. However, lacking a written record that states what Toshiba will do, I am left with considerable insecurity as to whether they will, indeed, act as they represent themselves as intending to act. It also raises the question as to what happens in the event that something goes awry and the set is irrevocably lost due to someone's incompetence, poor record keeping or simply an unfortunate accident. If Toshiba is unable to verify their receipt of the set, then I have considerable doubt as to whether I can expect to be compensated.

The other option Toshiba has offered is repair. They will do a "one time repair," which means that, should the proposed repair attempt fail, I would have no further recourse against Toshiba to resolve the problem. This strikes me as totally unacceptable since multiple previous repair attempts have been unsuccessful, so I have no assurance that the next one will resolve the issue. I have offered to accept a repair in the event that Toshiba provides a 90-day warranty from the date that repair is accomplished, so as to be assured that the problem is, indeed, resolved. However I have been informed that Toshiba refuses to offer that as an option. Further, Toshiba refuses to provide written confirmation of any of the above - not so much as an email.

Toshiba's resistance to provide any form of written documentation suggests to me that they are concerned about setting a legal precedent - that here are others who are dealing with this or similar issues and that Toshiba's main concern is with regard to a written document might later be construed as proof of an admission of responsibility on their part. We appear to be at a total impasse and I am left with few options other than to file suite in small claims court, which I am fully prepared to do. Toshiba has been informed of my intent to do so if this is not resolved in a manner that provides me with satisfaction. Thus far, however, that has not been forthcoming.

If you have experienced the same malfunction with your Toshiba 55SV670U HDTV and/or other anomalies, and you have met with resistance on the part of Toshiba to address your concerns, please feel free to add your comments. Anyone with suggestions as to how one may address this with Toshiba beyond their regular customer service channels is also welcome to comment. Specifically, I would appreciate names of top Toshiba America executives, their physical office and mailing addresses, their desk phone numbers and Toshiba company email addresses with which to contact them directly.

It may also be that there are sufficient numbers of owners of the Toshiba Model 55SV670U HDTV out there experiencing similar or related problems that remain unaddressed by Toshiba America to warrant a class action suite, or there may already be one in progress. If so, this is an option that we may need to consider by banding together to seek a collective resolution. Please comment.
post #2 of 6
I had this happen but without frequency one month after the 1 yr warranty ran out.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks Sleets. This issue has continued at about the same frequency, however there are instances when I am unable to get the television to respond after it shuts down by itself. It usually responds again after it sets for several minutes. Inconvenient!

Thus far, Toshiba's response has been unacceptable. They've offered to replace the set with an inferior product lacking many of the features that induced me to make this purchase and they would only offer a refurb with a 90-day warranty. When I pointed out that this issues occurred over nearly 270 days after the purchase date and, therefore, I could not accept a replacement with less than a 1-year warranty, regardless of the model that I might find acceptable, they literally hung up on me.

I'm going to court. I've got my ducks in a row with an extensive contemporaneous record detailing the many set malfunctions and all my conversations with the various Toshiba representatives, as well as those with the Toshiba-authorized local service facility. I also have a complete service record supplied by the service provider. I was told by the owner/manager that he thought Toshiba was crazy not to settle with me and one of their employees stated that she thought Toshiba was simply hoping that I would give up and go away. That I won't do. I have their corporate information and the agent for service name and address, and I've gotten some legal advice as to how to proceed in small claims court. I'll keep you posted.

My suspicion is that Toshiba has a lot of sets of this particular model out there that are malfunctioning and they don't want to admit that they have s serious design problem for which they are likely liable. We'll see how they respond once they're served with my lawsuit. The local service agent said that I have a strong case, given that, not only did the problem start before the end of the warranty period, but Toshiba took full responsibility by providing service on several occasions after the warranty expired, thus they own it.
post #4 of 6
what firmware version do you have? I've owned the 670U since it the market & have never had any shutdown issues
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
All repairs have been done under the direct supervision of Toshiba engineers by the local authorized Toshiba repair service. I have not participated directly in the many attempts to address the shutdown problem. From what I've been told, every component of the television has been replaced (twice for the main circuit board). At one point, to rule out other devices, including control devices and unrelated Bluetooth, WiFi & other wireless devices, the IR control on the set was disabled. This did not prevent the set from shutting down. Further, the set receives power from a double conversion UPS, which Toshiba suggested might be responsible (even though it was feeding a pure sign wave, constant 120v, 60Hrz, uninterrupted (it is a UPS, after all) signal that is much cleaner than standard line voltage, so the set was disconnected from the UPS and placed on standard household power. None of the above was successful in preventing further shutdowns. By my estimate, the set has spontaneously shutdown at least 80 times and might well have done so over 100 times over the last year. The only thing not replaced on the set is the LCD panel itself. I have an entirely new set with the exception of the panel, which Toshiba apparently is loath to replace. They may no longer have that part available for all I know. They gave up. The local repair service has given up.

All this has led to a convoluted set of negotiations with Toshiba customer service representatives at a high level far beyond those one encounters upon calling their customer service number. Their offers were unacceptable to me. They first tried to limit Toshiba's responsibility because the one-year warrantee period ran out, even though the problem pre-existed the expiration of the standard warrantee. After that, they tried to limit responsibility by a unilateral statement to the effect that the warrantee would be limited to 90 days after the date of transmission (by email). Then they invalidated that by allowing another repair attempt beyond the date their so-called 90-day extension would have expired. That led to a difficult period of negotiation to replace the set with a comparable set. What I was offered was not comparable and it was refurbished. They only offered a 90-day warrantee. Since the original set did not begin to exhibit the problems described earlier, I didn't find that acceptable. The high-level customer service representative literally hung up on me at that point. This didn't surprise be because an early set of negotiations in which the Toshiba representative offered me a refund of the purchase price I paid, but refused to send me anything in writing to confirm the agreement (to which I initially agreed), hung up on me also upon wishing me "a nice day."

Things got even crazier when I was contacted by Toshiba's Legal Liaison shortly after I filed suite in small claims court to recover the cost of the purchase price. He agreed that the entire affair had been handled poorly. When I expressed my total confusion at how a major company could have treated a customer so poorly, he commented that things had been in a "state of confusion" at Toshiba. That was already made evident to me by their behavior over what was by then a 15-month experience with various levels of their customer service.

Moving forward, the legal liaison and I agreed that Toshiba would refund the full purchase price plus my costs to file the court action. He indicated that he would be sending me a form to confirm the agreement, which I was to sign and return. Within 20 minutes of sending the form by email attachment, he sent another email message rescinding the agreement.

To date, I have a default judgment against Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. for the full purchase price and court costs. In other words, they didn't even bother to send someone to represent Toshiba in court. This all makes no sense from my perspective. If they intend to pay, it seems it would have been in Toshiba's interests to simply follow through on the agreement. Now that I have the judgment, Toshiba may pay without further issues, though their performance makes that possibility seem rather remote. If they don't pay within 30 days, I'll have to enforce the judgment, which leads me to the following:

If anyone knows of Toshiba assets in the San Francisco Bay Area or nearby, such as bank accounts, real estate or other tangible/physical assets (not leased property, such as office space not directly owned by Toshiba), I'd greatly appreciate knowing about it. I will be initiating a process through the office of the sheriff in the county the Toshiba assets are located to attach them until payment is made in full.

Now, if anyone can make sense out of Toshiba's behavior, I'd be interested in knowing what is rational about it. This hardly sounds like the way a major electronics corporation would handle customer relations, but I may be naive. Please enlighten me. One thing that has come out of this is that I'll never purchase another Toshiba product as long as I live and I wouldn't suggest anyone else risk a similar nightmare to the one Ive been living through. I've owned other Toshiba products in the past, including a laptop that traveled internationally with me, but no more. I am the principle of a company that purchases computer and other electronics routinely. I can assure Toshiba that they will not see any money flowing into their coffers from my company either.

So, let me know if you can help.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
As mentioned, I received a default judgement against Toshiba which became final after 30 days from notification. Not only did they not appear to defend against my small claims action, they threatened to petition the court to have the judgement set aside (on what grounds, I haven't a clue) and then did nothing, so it stood on its own merit.

When no check appeared in the mail (why are we not surprised...), I informed Toshiba's legal liaison that I would take further action to compel their CFO to come to my county to provide testimony in court regarding the location of Toshiba assets if I did not receive payment for the full amount of the judgement (equal to the price of the set plus court costs). In a matter of less than 30 days I had Toshiba's check for the full amount in hand.

In the final analysis, it appears to me that most of Toshiba's so-called customer service was simply bluster. After it became apparent that no additional service attempts were likely to correct the malfunction, most of their effort was simply a delay tactic with the hope that I would tire of the process and let it go. They weren't counting on my tenacity and appear to have been caught off-guard when I filed suit. Even then, their legal liaison tried to induce me to cooperate by sending them the set in exchange for settling the judgement, as if he had any leverage at that point in the process.

The set continues to shut down periodically, though it always comes right back on as soon as I hit the "ON" button on the remote. So, I've elected to just wait and see. It costs me nothing to do that and the set is free of charge to me at this point - - well, less the frustration of dealing with Toshiba for nearly 2 years. It's only a distraction for now and, should it become more persistent, I'll simply replace the set - probably with a larger screen and with newer technology....and probably at a lower price than I paid for the Toshiba. Oh, and just to answer the question forming in your mind.....no, I probably won't purchase another Toshiba...or anything with that brand name, be it computers.....or whatever. I wouldn't recommend anyone else subject themselves to the risk of even the remotest possibility that they would have to go to the lengths I did just to get what should be intuitively obvious to any reputable manufacturer - - if a product isn't performing as any reasonable person would expect, the customer probably deserves a full refund! Good luck with that business plan, Toshiba!
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