We’ve written about the disposable TV phenomenon before. Outfits like Vizio, Polaroid, and other OEM rebranders simply don’t repair TVs, but replace them with refurbished models. Shipping TVs back and forth from a factory starts becoming cost prohibitive after a while, so apparently they have started using local repairmen on the larger models. Good thing too, because I don’t think anyone wants to be trucking their 4K 85-incher to the post office
However, a reader at The Consumerist, who bought a new Westinghouse Digital TV a mere three weeks ago using an employee discount at Target, has been unable to reach anyone at Westinghouse after the set blew, no matter how hard they try:
Calling Westinghouse yielded a traditional call menu and options. Once I selected customer service I waited on hold for about 30 minutes and was dumped to voicemail. I tried again the next day, same result. Over and over for days, I kept being on hold, never speaking to anyone. In this time period, I also tried their online support form, Twitter, and Facebook. No responses.
During my social media attempts I noticed something interesting — page after page of complaints against the company for not handling refunds properly, ignoring calls, not responding to emails and voicemails. Oh, and that’s when the Facebook page is live, sometimes (for days? weeks?) the page will be taken down for unknown/unexplained reasons. Currently, it is “gone”.
Despite all of this, Westinghouse still takes plenty of time to have their media department slather Twitter and Facebook with marketing for people to buy their products, never responding to inquires of what the point of buying a product is that fails in a few weeks and cannot be repaired.
I personally always tell those who ask, “If it’s not a brand that was making well-received TVs ten years ago, I’d stay away from them.” Westinghouse Digital has only been around about three years, since the actual Westinghouse brand folded back in 1999. You may ask “Why is this company showing $100,000 TVs at CES if they can’t keep the phone lines staffed?” Well, the answer to that is that they most likely were acting as a local rep for Chinese partners, whose names we’ll probably never know. Westinghouse Digital doesn’t actually make these TVs.
We’ll see how much longer the brand manages to stick around, whether it transitions to a more commercial company (the place most 4K displays are going for the foreseeable future), or if it folds up shop as the decreasing margins on TVs make them unprofitable. Either way, no one picking up the phone a month after Christmas is a bad, bad sign in my book. We’ll see how this plays out, but the old adage stays true: You get what you pay for.
Via: [The Consumerist]