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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone had any luck with the $130 or $140 flat-rate repair charge for Panasonic DVR repairs at the Elgin facility lately? I got a case number a few months ago and was told the flat rate was raised from $130 to $140, but only got around to sending my unit (DMR-EH75V) to the Elgin facility (which I was told to do when I got the case number) a couple weeks ago. They called me today and said the flat rate is now $275! That's one hell of a jump!


I don't know if I can justify that much of a hike. A manager is supposed to call me back to discuss it. I hope he does. I can't imagine how they can justify such a rate increase in a matter of months.


Has anyone else had any success keeping them to their $140 flat-rate? If so, did it require any "tricks" or specific mentions?


I've seen elsewhere on the forum things about a McAllen, TX, facility, but they didn't mention that when I got the case number or when they called me to tell me about the new flat rate today.


Alternatively, there's supposedly someone in my home town (Arlington, TX) who can fix these things for $179 flat. Anyone heard of or had any luck with this person?


Thanks!

Tyson
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tystyx /forum/post/19648212


Has anyone had any luck with the $130 or $140 flat-rate repair charge for Panasonic DVR repairs at the Elgin facility lately? I got a case number a few months ago and was told the flat rate was raised from $130 to $140, but only got around to sending my unit (DMR-EH75V) to the Elgin facility (which I was told to do when I got the case number) a couple weeks ago. They called me today and said the flat rate is now $275! That's one hell of a jump!


I don't know if I can justify that much of a hike. A manager is supposed to call me back to discuss it. I hope he does. I can't imagine how they can justify such a rate increase in a matter of months.


Has anyone else had any success keeping them to their $140 flat-rate? If so, did it require any "tricks" or specific mentions?


I've seen elsewhere on the forum things about a McAllen, TX, facility, but they didn't mention that when I got the case number or when they called me to tell me about the new flat rate today.


Alternatively, there's supposedly someone in my home town (Arlington, TX) who can fix these things for $179 flat. Anyone heard of or had any luck with this person?


Thanks!

Tyson

If you were given a "case number" you must have been speaking with Panasonic Customer Service. Don't waste your time and money dealing with the Panasonic Customer Service Wild Goose Chase.


As recently as 1 November 2010 another poster shipped a DMR-EH55 directly to the Elgin Illinois facility for repair. See this relevant post from yesterday:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0#post19641740


A year and a half ago I made some observations concerning the Arlington Texas ebay repair situation. See this post:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post16612477


In an earlier post in that thread I made this comment, "Some guy, any guy, on eBay is not the same as the corporate Panasonic Digital Service Center. You take your chances when dealing with a private party."
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much for such a quick reply and for your time DigaDo!!


I did ship my unit directly to Elgin, but I didn't include a payment. That might have been my undoing. I still haven't received a return call from a manager.


I will say, however, that after I posted this, I found all the to-do on here about the new Magnavox MDR515H/F7, and... well... I took the plunge and ordered one from WalMart. Even if they decided to honor the $140 flat-rate fee, I can't imagine why the Mag box wouldn't be a better bet in the long run anyway with the HD and DVD burner flexibility. Unless anyone shouts, "NO! STICK WITH THE PANA!" on here pretty quickly, I'm going to just be giddy about my new Magnavox piece of equipment and have the Elgin folks just ship back my Panasonic. ;^)


Thanks again for volunteering so much of your time on here. That goes for everyone else who's done the same. It is one of the best forum experiences I've had on the innerwebs!


Tyson
 

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Unless you use DVD-RAM or need something else that is Panny specific, the Maggy will be fine for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I guess the only thing I'll be missing is the dual-layer DVD recording capability? I can live without that I suppose. Heck, I'd get failed burns at least half the time I used DL discs when the DVD burner worked on the Pana anyway.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tystyx
...Has anyone else had any success keeping them to their $140 flat-rate? If so, did it require any "tricks" or specific mentions?
On Aug 30, I sent in my EH69 with a letter describing the problem and a $140 check. It is an international model, not a domestic one, so it took them a while to get the part after ordering it, but on Sept 20, my EH69 was returned to me in working order. The receipt said $130 for labor, $10 for shipping. I did NOT call or contact them first, I just boxed it up and sent it off.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tystyx
I guess the only thing I'll be missing is the dual-layer DVD recording capability? I can live without that I suppose. Heck, I'd get failed burns at least half the time I used DL discs when the DVD burner worked on the Pana anyway.
What brand of DLs are you using? I use Verb. +R DL (Singapore) like these . I also use these T-Y JVC DVD -R DL disks. I have never had a failed burn with either of these brands.
 

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Since switching to Verbatims(+R DL 2.4x) I have yet to have a failed burn, I've burned probably a spindle. You might be able to get successful burns with cheap SL R media but I wouldn't skimp on DL media.
 

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I sent the following to Panasonic by email:

"After YEARS of unreliable service, my EZ475V finally won't even recognize its own recording (done Sunday). I can't finalize it, but am reluctant to discard the recording. Not so the Catastrosonic EZ475VK. Long ago this thing proved itself incapable of consistently starting recordings from the timer. By the way, this was my 3rd one of these -the first 2 were decent enough to prove themselves as junk early enough for free replacement.The trouble with THIS Craposonic started about 120 days out. I no longer have the tension of what will happen or the dilemma of whether or not to replace it. Thanks"


I would have said much more, but there is a 600 character limit.
 

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drbrousters~ While your frustration is totally understandable, your e-mail basically tells Panasonic you're a dissatisfied customer who isn't going to buy another product from them anyway. And you're unhappy about a product from an orphaned, soon-to-be-discontinued product line (probably) that the company itself doesn't care about any more. Maybe you'll get a "sorry you hate our product" reply from a customer service rep. Maybe you'll get the stony silence of corporate indifference. It stinks that the old "we standy by what we sell" culture is dead and that goods we consumers still think of as substantial investments are considered disposable goods by their manufacturers, but there you have it.....
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by drbrousters /forum/post/19654008


I sent the following to Panasonic by email:

"After YEARS of unreliable service, my EZ475V finally won't even recognize its own recording (done Sunday). I can't finalize it, but am reluctant to discard the recording. Not so the Catastrosonic EZ475VK. Long ago this thing proved itself incapable of consistently starting recordings from the timer. By the way, this was my 3rd one of these -the first 2 were decent enough to prove themselves as junk early enough for free replacement.The trouble with THIS Craposonic started about 120 days out. I no longer have the tension of what will happen or the dilemma of whether or not to replace it. Thanks"


I would have said much more, but there is a 600 character limit.

I know you are angry, but I really don't expect what you said to make a bit of difference to Panasonic. I'm not sure how to get their attention on these matters, but I suspect using terms like catastrosonic and craposonic will not impress Panasonic in the least. As has been suggested here many times in the past, I would bet that Panasonic is fully aware of this machine's shortcomings. They previously has much better designed and more reliable products, but they abandoned that for a lower price point, and thay even missed that.


I fear that they just don't care.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Uh oh. I just got this Magnavox. It seems good. However, one of my favorite features of the Panasonic was the subscriptionless guide feature. I could easily find shows I wanted to record (including info on the shows) and set them to record. It was like Tivo but without the monthly rate. I looked over the Magy manual and couldn't find anything that looked similar.


Are there any good DVRs with DVD burners out there that include the free over-the-cable guide info? I'm really going to be bummed if I have to be without that. It made programming recordings on the Pana so easy!
 

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The last year of DVDRs with TVGOS was your EH-75v('06). If you're using cable then your only option for a guide would be a cable company DVR or Tivo. If you were using an antenna you could get a Channel Master DVR(~$300, which has digital TVGOS) record to the CM and off load that to your DVDR.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tystyx /forum/post/19662573


Are there any good DVRs with DVD burners out there that include the free over-the-cable guide info? I'm really going to be bummed if I have to be without that. It made programming recordings on the Pana so easy!

Are you using expanded digital cable with a cable box? You'll need the box anyway for decrypting channels (no DVD recorder has that capability, either.) Then you could set the cable box reminder feature on its grid and then set the timer on the Maggy to coincide (maybe give the Maggy a minute head start.) Then edit out any excess on the hard drive. It's clunky but it would work.


Otherwise, if you just have boxless basic, no, you're SOL. Back to setting it like a VCR.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the info. I'll have to give this a lot of thought. That guide weighs pretty heavy on the scale of pros vs. cons. Yes, I'm using boxless basic cable. I have a separate HDTV tuner with QAM for the digital stuff, and I'm not super concerned with recording any of that. I mostly enjoyed running through a week or two of History Channel programming and the like in the Guide, and selecting shows to record in the EH75V. Man... tough choice! Either go with a MUCH higher capacity and much more upgradeable DVR without VCR, Guide, and DL capabilities (not sure I'll really miss the VCR part though), or get my 75V fixed and hope the DVD burner doesn't crap out again. Tough call! I wonder why people have decided not to incorporate the Guide in the last few years? Seems like a no-brainer! (I'm also curious as to why that's not on the Wish List for the Magnavox/Philips/Funai features!)



Church AV Guy, what address did you send your unit to? I might try that tactic as a last resort for my EH75V. I want to make sure I send it to the same place you did.




Thanks!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tystyx
Thanks for the info. I'll have to give this a lot of thought. That guide weighs pretty heavy on the scale of pros vs. cons. Yes, I'm using boxless basic cable. I have a separate HDTV tuner with QAM for the digital stuff, and I'm not super concerned with recording any of that. I mostly enjoyed running through a week or two of History Channel programming and the like in the Guide, and selecting shows to record in the EH75V. Man... tough choice! Either go with a MUCH higher capacity and much more upgradeable DVR without VCR, Guide, and DL capabilities (not sure I'll really miss the VCR part though), or get my 75V fixed and hope the DVD burner doesn't crap out again. Tough call! I wonder why people have decided not to incorporate the Guide in the last few years? Seems like a no-brainer! (I'm also curious as to why that's not on the Wish List for the Magnavox/Philips/Funai features!)



Church AV Guy, what address did you send your unit to? I might try that tactic as a last resort for my EH75V. I want to make sure I send it to the same place you did.




Thanks!
I sent my EH69 to the following address:


This is the contact information for the Service Center in Elgin Illinois:


Panasonic Digital Service Center

410 B Airport Rd.

Elgin, IL 60123


1-847-468-5543


As I said, I didn't call first, nor did I get a return authorization or anything. I just put the recorder in a box, put a letter of explanation of the problem, a check for $140 (which was not cashed until the unit shipped back to me), put the whole thing in a second box (as suggested by UPS) and sent it off. It took about a seek getting there, and a week getting back from there, and three weeks in service. All but two days of that were waiting on a part, the specific internation model optical pickup. The day the optical pickup showed up at Elgin, my unit was repaired and shipped back to me.


You can't beat that. If it's gone, I will sure miss it. Of course, I have owned 12 Panasonic DVD recorders with HDDs. Two of them required repairs at one time or another. One was after a long time of use, the other was almost brand new (International model purchased without warranty). In both cases the repairs were "perfect" and all that I could have expected. Very positive experiences.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well, looks like the Magy decided to make my decision easier. For some reason, electronic lemons seem to gravitate to me. Right after I lamented the missing Guide on this forum, I went to turn the new Magy on, and it wouldn't turn on. Neither the remote nor the console power button would work. I had to leave it unplugged overnight to get it to turn back on. I have no doubt that this is a quality unit, but I seem to have received a glitchy one. So I returned it to Wally World today.


I'll wait for my Pana to return and then decide if it's worth risking giving it another trip to Elgin (which may not work now, since I just received a letter in the mail from the McAllen shop wanting to know what to do with my box, including my serial number and a $260 repair option) or have the Arlington guy replace my optical drive assembly for $230 ($195 assembly + $45 labor, now that I've talked to him). The good thing about the Arlington guy is that I also JUST SO HAPPEN to live in Arlington myself (about five miles from his place - how's that for coincidence?), so I know where to find him if he puts sand in my DVR! hehe


Heck, I might not even need the DVD option anymore. Maybe I can live without it. We'll see.


Thanks again everyone. All your time and input has been very helpful!!!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy /forum/post/19665044


I sent my EH69 to the following address:


This is the contact information for the Service Center in Elgin Illinois:


Panasonic Digital Service Center

410 B Airport Rd.

Elgin, IL 60123


1-847-468-5543


As I said, I didn't call first, nor did I get a return authorization or anything. I just put the recorder in a box, put a letter of explanation of the problem, a check for $140 (which was not cashed until the unit shipped back to me), put the whole thing in a second box (as suggested by UPS) and sent it off. It took about a seek getting there, and a week getting back from there, and three weeks in service. All but two days of that were waiting on a part, the specific internation model optical pickup. The day the optical pickup showed up at Elgin, my unit was repaired and shipped back to me.


You can't beat that. If it's gone, I will sure miss it. Of course, I have owned 12 Panasonic DVD recorders with HDDs. Two of them required repairs at one time or another. One was after a long time of use, the other was almost brand new (International model purchased without warranty). In both cases the repairs were "perfect" and all that I could have expected. Very positive experiences.

I shipped mine off to Panasonic repair place in TX, same repair optical pickup after only maybe 150 hours of recording. was repaired free under warrenty I only paid shipping to them.


? do you use a DVD cleaner disc.? if yes how often? and which brand or type is recommended?


? doe's recording wear out the DVD quicker than just playing?


? did my optical pickup fail prematurally because it did'nt have the firmware upgrade? firmware was installed during repair.


?how long can expect the DVD recorder to continue to work?


I'm relucktant to even play on this Panasonic and just get a secondary unit just to playback.


Thanks
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevethebrain /forum/post/19725349


I shipped mine off to Panasonic repair place in TX, same repair optical pickup after only maybe 150 hours of recording. was repaired free under warrenty I only paid shipping to them.


? do you use a DVD cleaner disc.? if yes how often? and which brand or type is recommended?


? doe's recording wear out the DVD quicker than just playing?


? did my optical pickup fail prematurally because it did'nt have the firmware upgrade? firmware was installed during repair.


?how long can expect the DVD recorder to continue to work?


I'm relucktant to even play on this Panasonic and just get a secondary unit just to playback.


Thanks

1) I have never used a commercially available cleaner. I just never had the need.


2) YES! recording is harder on the laser than merely playing. Does it wear out the drive faster? Probably not as the drive is designed for recording.


3) Firmware? I suppose it's possible. What model do you own, and manufacture date?


4) I have some machines that are five years old and have been used extensively. The failures of something like a laser pickup are usually instantaneous and catastrophic, so my saying that they are still working perfectly and show no sign of problems mean almost nothing. I can't say what the expected life expectancy is because it depends on the laser on-time, what type of disks you use, etc.


5) You are being prudent in your decision to use a secondary unit for playback only, and the recorder for recording only. This has been the recommendation of many people here for a long time (get a separate unit for playback). Most recorders are only passable as players anyway.


Again, what model and manufacture date is your machine?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevethebrain /forum/post/19725349


...? do you use a DVD cleaner disc.? if yes how often? and which brand or type is recommended?

The DVD laser cleaner discs supposedly clean the laser lens.


By far the most frequent servicing issue with Panasonic DVD recorder DVD Drives is a soiled rubber hub atop the spindle (turntable). DVD laser cleaning discs do not address this problem.


This post addresses cleaning the laser lens, rubber hub and spindle area:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...8#post14479898
 
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