I believe I finally got a good one on the fifth refurb unit.
Original refurb purchased direct from Espon.com in April had pink hues on the top right corner out of the box. I sent it back. Serial number X334691747L
Post 142 - https://www.avsforum.com/forum/199-f...l#post57917498
1st refurb RMA replacement had six dust blobs fresh out of the box on power up. I didn't even hook it up after I turned it on, I sent it back. Serial number - X334710215L
Post 154 - https://www.avsforum.com/forum/199-f...l#post57956298
2nd refurb RMA replacement had one giant dust blob that showed up within 10 hours of use. I sent it back. Serial number X334770088L
Post 259 - https://www.avsforum.com/forum/199-f...l#post58059276
3rd refurb RMA replacement had pink hue on the right side of the screen immediately out of box. I sent it back. Serial number X334680597L
Post - 301 - https://www.avsforum.com/forum/199-f...l#post58086802
4th refurb RMA replacement (5th unit overall): no identifiable major issues
This fifth unit was personally autographed for quality control by one of their reps, as was relayed would happen by the last customer service specialist I spoke with. This is the first one that came with this signed verification paper. He assured me they’d check the next model they sent me thoroughly again before they sent it out the door and make sure it had no problems since I’d had such a bad experience so far. He hinted if I wasn’t happy with this one I should just request a refund and move on. I told him if it was a functioning unit with no glaring issues, I’d be satisfied, as that's what was promised. It looks like Epson finally delivered.
This 5th refurb conversation was two weeks ago, he said I should expect the unit the following week, but the unit arrived two weeks later. I’m not sure what the long delay was, I have my suspicions, but I’ll leave that unsaid since it’s just conjure on my part. Anyway this last unit seems solid.
- No dust blobs
- No color uniformity issues
- No pink discolorations
Here are some pictures of the fifth unit:
My experience was sour with Epson over this consumer purchasing process. Greater than 2 months to get a proper functioning unit, and the hassle in the interim of juggling 4 returns, remounting projectors, and dozens of calls into customer service, because I was initially told by multiple customer service reps that they had none in stock and the requirement to catch a replacement unit fell on me, since they had none available, so I should call back daily until I caught one in stock. I was told by three different customer service agents that they didn't have a way to hold a unit in their system for RMA replacement. I challenged multiple calls that it seemed absolutely ridiculous to have a customer try to catch the refurbished units in stock (when they sell out in minutes) to get an RMA replacement for a defective unit. They offered a refund if I didn't want to continue trying to get an RMA, but that if I wanted a replacement that's the way it was and they simply didn't have a way to hold a projector. This was relayed by multiple different customer service reps on multiple calls. By the fourth replacement I learned that to be untrue (or may be because it was no longer dealing with the Epson store people, and now dealing with the warranty support people???) at any rate my 4th replacement was held for me and handled internally. I didn't have to keep calling back to try to secure one when they were in stock.
As to the final solution, of having a quality check done and signed and accountable by a representative --- given their clear problem in this area, Epson should do a quality control sign off sheet on EVERY unit that leaves their facility. It’d be worth the extra attention to detail to retain customer satisfaction.
They could sell the less desirable B stock refurbs individually at lesser prices — listing their exact flaws on their page. Other A/V companies do this, and if you expect flaw X going in and pay properly discounted price for it they could completely circumvent all this customer frustration. For instance, maybe a unit with a pink discoloration in the top corner would sell for $1000 instead of $1200, and the customer would be fine with the flaw knowing it was there and they received a discounted price because of it. As it is, they promise a perfectly working refurb projector, and you play refurb roulette until you get there.
Personally speaking, I don’t think I will ever buy another Epson projector — based on this experience and my very similar hassles with my previous Epson 8350 a few years back. My buddy
warned me going in to this purchase (based on his experience with the Epson 5040UB he bought last year) that I might have to juggle refurbs a half dozen times to get a good one, but stick with it and they’d finally get me one. He went through several himself, and so could foretell the expectation. I thought surely he just had bad luck, and they've fixed this since our shared 8350 QC issues??? He was proven right to give the warning. At this point in my life I’d probably rather just pay extra and get a brand that doesn’t put their customers through the wringer. Yes the price is good, but price is only one component in a product decision.
Anyway, it’s important to state publicly, after all my previous posts, that Epson did get me what they promised in the end = a functional 5040UB refurb unit, as best I can tell, as good as a new one. So in the end, with enough customer tenacity to keep hounding the issue you can get there. I just wish it didn't so much headache to get there.
Take this saga for what you will, and you can make your own educated buying decision.