Originally Posted by Terrabit
Long story short, my VT20 developed a thin black line across the screen, took it in for service and according to BB it can't be replaced, so they are giving me a replacement.
The TV is only last year's model so yes it can be repaired. But they're trying to cheap-out on you since replacing the TV at their wholesale cost is cheaper than repairing yours. I presume you bought the TV more than one year ago which is why you're utilizing the BB Extended Warranty right?
Did you happen to buy the TV using a good Visa/Amex/MC card that automatically adds one year to the factory warranty? If you did buy it with such a CC that has this extra year warranty extension feature, leave BB completely out of it and contact your credit card provider instead. During this second year the authorized Panasonic repair center fixes the TV, and the CC company just pays the bill instead of Panasonic corporate. If the TV is unrepairable they usually reimburse you the whole purchase price of the TV. But parts are still available so the TV should surely be repairable, even if they have to install a new plasma panel and some new video boards.
If you did not
buy it with a good credit card, and the TV is only a month or two out of warranty i'd contact Panasonic directly and ask them if they'll cover the repair of the TV under customer goodwill, since your top-of-the-line flagship TV surely should last more that 13-15 months before blowing up. Historically they've been very good about repairing defective TVs a month or three after the warranty expired. Try this before contacting your credit card company.Using BB's warrany should be your very last resort
because they'll try to screw you over somehow, try to force you to accept a lesser model, and once they replace your TV then that EW is now null and void and is cancelled. If you can get Panasonic or your credit card company to repair the TV, your BB EW will still remain in effect till it's normal expiration date unless the TV dies again in the future and they do end up having to replace it or cash you out. And i believe that if Panasonic or your CC company deems the TV as unrepairable and replaces it, it's still covered by your BB EW since BB isn't the one who suffered the loss or cost of replacement, and it's replacement has nothing to do with them. Replacement under the factory warranty doesn't give BB a free pass and doesn't negate the expensive extended warranty you bought. They have to cover the replacement TV just as they would have on the original.
I really have not been following the latest TV releases the past year so I kind of stumped. Looking around the BB site I saw they have a Panny ST30 and GT30 plus a host of other Sammys and LG's. I thoroughly enjoyed my Panny VT20 until it developed that line but I'm willing to try something else if worth it.
The only TVs that will be most comparable to your VT20 is the VT30 and GT30, and the Samsung PND8000 or D7000. The Sammys will have more accurate color but inferior black levels, and the Pannys will have the same or better black levels but slightly inferior color accuracy. The LGs are a distant 3rd.
Also, if anyone has gone through the BB replacement process and know how it works exactly would be of great help, the "geek" that called me was kind of vague on the subject.
Yes - read the fine print and secondary policies on your BB EW. They'll probably try to get you to accept a GT30 or even an ST30 as a replacement, so if you'd rather get a 55VT30 you can insist that the only reason you bought the VT25 in the first place is because it has the 24p Direct In with 96Hz feature which the G series does not have and that this is a requirement on your replacement Panasonic. Maybe you can use this as a bargaining tool if they completely refuse.
BB is going to try to do whatever benefits them the most and hope you go for it, so stand your ground as much as possible.