Originally Posted by Steve S
And it's a problem by no means restricted to Vizio, nor to parts as expensive as panels and backlights. I've seen lots of sets "doorstopped" because a circuit board or processing chip was no longer available.
I have a Magnavox Blu ray player that I bought on sale at Walmart. Made by Funai, which makes many of the junk brands you find in discount stores.
It developed problems after about 1 1/2 years of operation. I always put my receipts for components in an envelope and tape them to the bottom of the component, in case I need it for warranty work. I pulled out the receipt just to see what I had paid for the unit and noticed that I had also purchased a 2 year warranty from Walmart.
Contacted the warranty provider and sent the unit in. It was the laser mechanism, which was replaced within a week and returned to me. Has worked fine since.
If junk level products, purchased at discount outlets, in the $100 price range can have parts available for them, it is not unreasonable for a TV costing a couple of thousand dollars to have parts available.
Vizio has developed a great model of selling cheap sets made with other manufacturer's components and assembled by a vendor. This works well for throw away products, when the consumer is comparing their line to names they never heard of at the local discount store.
Vizio has moved upscale with both their pricing and their feature set. Their recent 65" 3D model initially sold for around $3 grand. At this price point, people view their purchse as an investment rather than a throw away item.
Vizio should spend a few of their profit dollars establishing a service/parts network for their products. Unfortunately, this might make them less price competitive in the marketplace, as they will have to not only produce the sets, but support them on after the warranty expires.
An alternative would be to develop some flexibility on the warranty coverage. Offering a customer a "discount" on a new set that exceeds the retail price of the set locally, is more of a slap in the face of the customer than a service.
Hopefully the management a Vizio will be as good at figuring out how to solve this issue as they have been at being customer focused during the warranty period. Replacing problem sets during warranty makes them seem like a class orgainzation. Stiffing you the day after the warranty expires, leaves a different taste in the mouth. One that will likely not result in another Vizio purchase.