Originally Posted by thos19
Your experience is heartening to me. Although I have a Squaretrade warranty through June 2020, I worried that a screen replacement (I have developed a faint pink bar horizontally through the middle of the screen, only visible during white backgrounds) would just bring me a screen that was doomed to have the same issue(s) as my current 850D. It sounds from what you've wrote that they may have alleviated some of the former issues with the 850d/8500 panel?
Since you mentioned that your set has developed a faint pink horizontal bar, I thought I'd share the recent claim experience I had with SquareTrade (hereinafter "ST") since my 65" JS8500 was likewise suffering from multiple pinkish horizontal bars/striations when viewing lighter backgrounds. I also had another equally annoying problem with the middle third of the panel becoming significantly darker over time than the leftmost and rightmost thirds, and upping the backlight did nothing to improve this defect. So I felt it was high time to take my ST extended warranty for a test drive and see where that would lead.
I initiated the claim process online, and after submitting the mandatory requested photos of the TV (no flash allowed, and head-on photos only), I was pleasantly surprised (shocked, actually) at the speed of the claim approval -- I received the approval via email some 50 minutes after submitting the photos. ST did not offer repair as an option, so if you are thinking that you might get a replacement JS8500 3D panel instead of a brand new replacement TV, that was not the case in my experience. ST did step up to the plate though by offering me the choice of a brand new 2018 model year 65" QN65Q8FNBFXZA FALD set or a brand new 2017 model year LG OLED65BZA -- I opted for the Sammy Q8FN since I didn't want to deal with potential OLED image retention, plus I needed a brighter TV for my multi-window viewing room (the Q8FN can achieve insanely-bright levels). I did have a longer drawn-out process than typical with ST, however, because I ended up exchanging the first Q8FN due to unacceptable uniformity (bad vertical banding when panning, color banding, and significant DSE). I had to go through the same photos submission process in order to receive the replacement unit, with one additional level of review required: the supplier/vendor had to review the photos and acknowledge the uniformity shortcomings too, not just a simple ST review as was the case initially. But even with that second-tier photo review, the process was very fast, I received confirmation the following day that a second TV would be ordered within one business day of the first TV being picked up, and that it could take up to 10 business days to receive pickup details from ST via the vendor (in other words, it could take up to 2 weeks for the defective TV to be picked up -- that's a pretty long time in my book to be sitting with a defective product, especially if you don't have a backup TV in the house). Once the TV was picked up, things moved faster since ST did not make me wait until the vendor received the first TV (which btw ended up taking 7 days) before the vendor shipped the second one -- rather, I only had to wait until the freight company's web page showed the first TV as having been "picked up," after which ST would instruct the vendor to ship the replacement TV within one business day (a time savings of 7 days in my case). ST used a supplier located in NY even though I'm in CA -- no choice about that since ST uses whichever vendor has inventory on hand to fulfill a particular order at any given time, regardless of distance to ultimate destination, and ST only contracts with a handful of vendors. One thing I am disappointed in with ST, though, is that with both sets they did not instruct the vendor to either double-box the retail box or strap the retail box vertically to a mini-pallet (as was the case with my JS8500 delivery back in 2015, even though that set only traveled a couple of hundred miles, not 3,000) despite my requests with ST and its vendor to do so. My experience with both Q8FN deliveries was that the factory-sealed retail Samsung boxes arrived with a hole or two punched in them, scrape marks on one side or another, and in the case of the second unit, one of the factory shipping straps was missing, so it's a miracle that both sets even powered up given the way the units must've been handled in transit (the same delivery driver went beyond the call of duty both times in helping me visually inspect both sets before driving off -- I told him I would refuse delivery if we could not at least open up the box and verify that the holes in the box were in a void area or directly over a piece of protective Styrofoam; I did not have the ability to fire up the TV before he left since ST didn't offer "white glove" delivery, it was simply delivery to "the first dry area of the home," which in my case was either the garage or the front door threshold (I opted for the garage)). I had read some scary stories online about the freight company I was assigned, but all personnel were helpful and friendly (single-person delivery both times, so I'm glad I was available to assist) and the online tracking was excellent. Most importantly, they didn't blow their promised delivery dates or keep me waiting hours past their ETAs. Still, I wish the boxes got here in better shape, but given that both TVs were loaded and off-loaded and loaded again at least half a dozen times during their 18-wheeler journeys, I wasn't expecting perfection, but I wasn't expecting punched holes or a missing shipping strap either (once the straps are severed, there is no way to secure the outer portion of the box to its base without new strapping, rope, etc. -- it essentially transforms into a cardboard outer sleeve, not a secure box, since Samsung did away with the little plastic squeeze locks found on earlier boxes, including the 2015 65" JS8500 box).
As for the second Q8FN, I received an earlier-run June 2018 build (the first Q8FN had a September 2018 build date), but it still was an AU Optronics-equipped AA01 panel version like the first unit, instead of a Samsung manufactured panel (I requested that the vendor check the label on the side of the box and ship a Samsung F version panel, but that request went ignored (as was the request to provide additional shipping protection for the second TV)). The June 2018 unit I have now has slightly better vertical banding, but not by much, and the Dirty Screen Effect is still there as well, so I'm just going to accept it for what it is and live with it -- no more ulcer-inducing 3,000 mile exchanges for me. The set is a nice improvement brightness-wise over the JS8500, and the FALD does away with the edge bleed I experienced with my JS8500 (blacks are REALLY BLACK on this thing too), with uniform brightness. But if I had the option from ST to do a panel swap in order to retain 3D capability I probably would have requested that since I had zero complaints with my JS8500 until the pink horizontal bands started appearing and the progressively darkening middle of the panel too.
So, was the ST warranty I purchased through Costco (the JS8500 was purchased via Amazon) worth it? As far as I'm concerned, very much so. Sure, it was a major hassle doing the swap to see if the second Q8FN would be better than that first one -- not to mention the delivery stress involved -- but ST and their vendor did ultimately agree to swap it out and let me give another one a shot (I had a 30-day-from-delivery window to do so), so kudos to them both. In essence, I shelled out $89.99 in July of 2015 for a ST warranty, and in return I received a second-from-the-top-of-the-line 2018 Q8FN three and a half years later which originally stickered for 3 Large. And I did try initially to have ST cash me out for the pre-tax amount I paid for my JS8500 since I explained that there are no other TVs currently produced that are "equivalent" given that none offer 3D functionality, but they would not budge one inch on that (they even reference something about the lack of 3D availability on their website) -- it was either choose a new TV from their offerings or live with my failing JS8500 since ST didn't offer repair as an option. On balance, I'd purchase another ST warranty in the future for such a major investment, at least based on this single claim experience, even though swapping the first replacement TV for a second unit was extra-stressful due to being thousands of miles away from ST's east coast vendor. Not all ST experiences are like mine though, so perhaps I just lucked out by filing my claim when I did and being offered a 2018 Q8FN to replace my 2015 JS8500 -- who knows what they would have offered me if I had filed my claim a month later.