All About TV Warranty Service
By: Jack Burden
Reading the language on a TV warranty can be a lot like trying to read a complex legal settlement, and in many ways it is. The warranty lingo is written to protect the company not the consumer, but most companies try to present good customer service and will work with you during the warranty period. Whether you have an LCD TV warranty or Plasma TV warranty, understanding it is extremely important. One undercover fact that goes unpublished (except here) is the great expense associated with Television repairs that are out of warranty. Costs to take the TV in to a service center, and purchase new parts and labor for a television that is out of warranty can be exorbitant, due to the fact that there is usually only one service center per area and no limitations on what the service center can charge. This can lead to gouging if the customer does not have television extended warranty protection.
What Is Covered Under A TV Warranty?
Most warranties will cover parts and service. Most will require documentation of the problem and the service will have to be authorized. These services will only cover manufacturing defects.
What is Not Covered Under a TV Warranty?
The warranties do not cover damages resulting from misuse, natural disasters, or accidents. For these causes it may be best to find a store bought protection plan or extended warranty. For Plasma TVs, the warranties do not cover burn in.
Should I Consider a TV Extended Warranty?
One important note here is that the consumer does not have to purchase the extended warranty from the store or dealer from which they are purchasing the TV. All stores and dealers utilize the same type of extended warranty providers. Therefore, the consumer will usually find the best prices on extended television warranties from 3rd party warranty resellers. Prices can be as much as 60% less. For those products where is it offered, a TV extended warranty should be considered. Many of the TV's are using new technological improvements that have not been time tested. As with any new products there is a learning curve with the manufacturing process. The TV extended warranty could save you time and money in the long run.
What should I Have Prepared If I Need TV Warranty Service?
Even if you have registered your product you will still need the following information readily available with any warranty and service call:
- Proof of purchase showing the date purchased (the receipt or bill of sale)
- Model and serial number of the TV
- A description of the problem
- Your name, address, and phone number.
Also if you have your TV mounted, you will need to take it down. None of the companies will dismount the TV. Most technicians performing the in home service will also verify your receipt, so you will need to have it out for them. If you are shipping the product, ship in the original packaging or something of equal protection. In fact it may be beneficial to hold on to the original packaging until the end of the warranty period.
Warranty Information By Brand
Below is information on the warranty for different companies. Whether you are looking for a Sony TV warranty or other brands TV warranty, you will find useful information below.
Panasonic Plasma and LCD TV Warranty Information
The general warranty covers 12 months on LCD TVs and some larger ones can be covered from 18-24 months from the date of purchase for parts and labor.
Panasonic offers a concierge service as part of their support services for their plasma TVs and LCD TV's. Their helpline is 1-800-973-4390. I called the helpline and was told I could ask any question and get help. They offer in home service as long as you are deemed close to a service center. However, they did not give a specific distance that would be deemed too far. They will handle any warranty issues from there. It was easy to get in touch with someone quickly. The website does allow you to search for available services centers, but you still need to call them to get authorization. I found them to be very helpful and courteous.
Pioneer Plasma TV Warranty Information
To be eligible for warranty coverage, you do need to buy the TV from an authorized dealer. The warranty covers parts and labor for one year from the date of purchase. One thing to note is that the Pioneer TV warranty does not cover TV's used in a commercial setting such as a restaurant. The service number for elite plasma is 1-800-421-1625 and 1-800-421-1404 for all other products. The service will be performed in your home if you are an acceptable distance from the service center, and that information will be judged by Pioneer. They did not give a certain specification.
Sharp LCD TV Warranty Information
The Sharp Service number is 1-800-237-4277. The warranty is 12 months parts and labor. When you call the service number they will create a case file and give you the information you need. If you have a screen larger than 27 inches, you qualify for in home service. If your TV is 42 inches or larger you do qualify for the Advantage program, which extends the warranty by three months. The program also allows you to receive a loaner TV if needed while yours is being serviced. When I called, the representative was very helpful and extremely nice. I did have to wait about five minutes, but compared to waits with computer companies, this wait wasn't bad.
Some customers have complained about the lack of customer service with the service centers. Complaints ranged from long wait times on hold to poor service from the service centers. One blogger also complained that the service center in Boston was not centrally located and was not open consistently. All in most of complaints mentioned waiting 2-3 weeks for the service to be completed.
Sony LCD TV Warranty Information
The basic warranty covers one year parts and labor. If the TV is 30 inches or larger, you do qualify for in home service. To get the service, call 1-800-222-7669. They will walk you through troubleshooting steps to determine if service is needed. Once that is determined they will provide you with information on contacting the service center. Only an authorized service center can perform the warranty service. When I called I did have to go through several automated menus, but the wait was short and the representative courteous and knowledgeable.
Hitachi Plasma TV Warranty and LCD TV Warranty Information
The service number for Hitachi is 1-800-448-2244. Their basic warranty is one year parts and labor. However, certain models do have other stipulations. For instance, the screen on most models carries only a thirty day warranty. For LCD projection TV's the lamps only have a 90 day warranty if manufactured before 2004 and a 12 month warranty for those manufactured after 2004. If you have a Director's Series TV, the warranty covers two years and does have in home service.
If an issue arises, call the number and a case file will be opened for you. Some issues they may try to troubleshoot while others may be immediately referred to a service center. (Note that Sears is an authorized service center for them). Once the issue is determined Hitachi will refer you to a service center. Some service center may offer a pick up service so you don't have to ship it. When I called, my call was answered immediately. I found the customer service to be outstanding. The representative was thorough and used experience to answer my questions. At no time did I feel she was giving me a standard answer. In fact, Hitachi will keep a record of all technical support files so if you have a reoccurring or a issue that keeps getting larger all the information is there.
Olevia TV Warranty Information
The service department can be reached at 1-866-965-3842. The warranty only covers the original purchase and is on year parts and labor. In order to qualify for warranty service, you do have to register within 30 days of the purchase. Some models have in home service (which may not be available in all areas). The 2T (except 226T) series offers in home service for all models 32 inches and larger, while the 7 series offers in home service for 42 inches and above. All other TV's will have to be shipped at the customer's expense.
When the in home service is performed, the company will ship the part to you and arrange for a technician to come to you. I was told usually they will replace the unit. With an Advantage Replacement, you can have TV loaned to you during the service period, and it does require a credit card hold. The whole process usually takes about three weeks. However, the closer to California you are, the less time it will take.
Olevia does offer a TV extended warranty for 1 or 3 years. The size of the screen will determine the cost. If it is purchased in the first six months of ownership, the cost will be cheaper since after six months the cost increases by 20%.
The call can be confusing because you will have to choose from a wide array of menu choices. But once you get through them, you will have to hold for a few minutes. But, the customer service was helpful and knowledgeable. He drew from personal experience, and I feel he was not answering my questions via a script. When you place a service call, tech support will try to trouble shoot the problem before creating a service request.
Vizio TV Warranty Information
You can contact Vizio support at 1-877-698-4946. They offer a limited" one year parts and labor warranty as long as the product was purchased new from an authorized Vizio reseller. The repair and replacement of your TV will be at the sole discretion of Vizio. Any shipping cost will be at the customer's expense. According to their warranty information, they offer in home service for TVs 30 inches and above for problems that can be repaired on site. The determination for performing on-site repair is dependent upon the manufacturing defect and is at Vizio's sole option and discretion." Repairs may be made with new or recertified (i.e. used) parts. The Vizio TVs are serviced through a third party, unless they must be shipped back to the Vizio service center in Irvine, CA. From our past experience and reports, most manufacturer defects with TVs must be serviced in a service center and cannot be repaired on site. Thus, the customer will be responsible for safe transit of the TV to Vizio's service center in California ad back. Advice? Don't throw the box away.
To receive service you will need to call the number and speak to technical support. They will determine how the product should be serviced. Some issues you may need to take pictures of the problem to be emailed to engineers. For sets 30 inches and larger they do offer in home service. However, if the technician deems the problem not to be repairable onsite, you will have to ship the unit to be repaired. This is at the sole discretion of the technician.Vizio does offer a TV extended warranty at varying cost, depending on the size and it can be extended up to five years from the purchase date. However, this may be better purchased through a 3rd party extended warranty company at a deep discount.
When calling, you may have to wait, but the representatives are courteous, although they do sound as if they are reading prompts or a script at times. The total amount of time for service is approximately three weeks.
Following is some more information from Vizio's web site when considering their warranty policy:
VIZIO reserves the right to assess all warranty claims and to determine if defects or damages are covered by this limited warranty. In case of a claim that is not covered by this warranty, you will be contacted to determine whether VIZIO should repair the damage for a fee or whether the product should be returned to you as received by the service technician or service center."
Westinghouse LCD TV Warranty Information
The warranty for Westinghouse TVs is one year parts and labor, and the service center number is 1-800-287-5555. When you call they will troubleshoot the problem, and if that does not work, they will set up a service request. They do not offer in home service. The TV must be shipped or taken to a service center.
When I called, I did have to hold for about five minutes, but the representative was knowledgeable and nice. The service can take about a month, and where you send it will be determined by where you bought it. Sometimes they will request you send it back to the store, other times the service center. When I asked about the service center, there were only three in Georgia. All were near Atlanta. So, if most states are the same, you should plan on shipping it at your own expense and having a long wait time to receive the repaired TV.
Samsung LCD, Plasma, and DLP TV Warranty Information
Samsung offers online tracking of your service request and repair information, and they can be reached at 1-800-726-7864. The service request can even be The warranty period is one year parts and labor. Once the TV has been serviced, the parts are then under warranty for the following 90 days. You will need to call and receive an authorization for a service center. With LCD TV's in home service is provided for 30 inches and above while Plasma and DLP have in home service for 26 inches and larger.
Mitsubishi LCD TV and DLP TV Warranty Information
The warranty is for one year parts and labor with 30 days on the screen. No in home service is provided for LCD TV. To receive warranty service, call 1-800-332-2119.
To receive service you will need to call the dealer first. Once you contact the dealer, to determine if they can resolve the issue or locate a service center, you will have to call back to have the service completed. Be wary of being on hold for an extended period and moving through multiple menus.
LG TV Warranty Information
The service number is 1-800-243-0000. They do allow you to email in a service request through their website. The warranty is one year parts and labor for an LCD TV. The Plasma TV warranty is for two years. They do offer in home service for 30 inches and larger.
When I called, my call was answered quickly. The representative answered my questions thoroughly. When you place a service call, they will try to troubleshoot the problem. If you have to use a service center they seem to numerous. In my area there were 5 within a thirty minute drive. They will look to see if an LG Factory Center can help you first
Philips LCD TV Warranty Information
To reach Philips warranty services call 1-888-744-5477. These TV's only have a 90 day warranty for the original purchaser or whoever received it as a gift from the original purchaser. If it is repaired, refurbished, or exchanged, the TV is covered by another 90 day warranty. If the TV is being used in a restaurant or commercial establishment, the warranty does not valid.
Many customers have reported having problems online with getting items serviced with Philips. Most of the complaints report poor customer service and difficult representatives. Even the service companies have complained about the service from Philips. They mention that Philips is slow to send parts and also have difficulty dealing with them.
Runco Plasma TV Warranty Information
The warranty covers the TV for three years for parts and labor from the date of delivery, but it excludes the glass panel, which is covered for one year. The customer service number to reach them is 510-324-7777.
They offer in home service if the location is within a reasonable distance from the service center. However, this distance was not given. If the item must be shipped, the cost is the owner's responsibility.
Toshiba LCD and DLP TV Warranty Information
The service number is 1-800-631-3811. The warranty covers parts and labor for one year. Toshiba offers in home service or the TV can be taken to a service center. If the TV is used commercially, the warranty period is only for 90 days. Toshiba's website does allow you to search for a service center. An extended warranty is available at the time of purchase.
When you call with a problem, they will set you up with an authorized service center. You will have to call the service center yourself and make arrangements. In home service is provided for TVs that are 30 inches and larger.
When I called there were a couple of menus to follow, and I was on hold for quite a while. Then, my connection dropped, and I had to call back and wait again. When the representative answered, I found her to be nice and knowledgeable. However, it feels as though she was reading prompts or a script.
JVC LCD and DILA TV Warranty Information
JVC offers a one year parts and labor warranty for one year to the original purchaser. In home service is provided for 27 inches and larger. All others must be brought into a service center. To reach them, call 1-800-353-5722. Their website does allow you to search for a service center. However, when I search for my area (Atlanta) I received no data. An extended warranty is offered through third parties but not through JVC.
When I called, I found nothing but automated menus. However, I did find two services centers in my area, both about a 45 minute to an hour drive away from me. Once I found the correct menu, I was on hold for about a half hour and constantly updated with my que position. The representative was responsive and courteous.
To receive service, you must call the service number. If troubleshooting fails to rectify the problem, you will be given the name and number of a service center. You are responsible for scheduling the service visit with the center. The in home service does have a 30 mile radios. If you are out of the radios, you will have to pay to ship the TV to the nearest service center.
Many consumers have complained about the lamps failing on the HDILA TVs, with some failing multiple times after being replaced, and according to one repairman, there have been may sets with this same problem.
Zenith TV Warranty Information
To reach Zenith, call 1-877-993-6484. Their website does allow you to search for a service center, and there seems to be a good number within each state. The warranty is one year for parts and service. The warranty is handled through LG and follows the same procedures as the LG TV mentioned earlier in the article.
RCA TV Warranty Information
RCA offers a one year parts and labor warranty. They can be reached at 1-800-433-8974. Once you call, you will have a representative troubleshoot the problem before providing you with a service center. If you live close to the service center they will arrange for a pick up. However, what is close was not specified. If not, then you must take the TV to the service center or have it shipped at your own expense.
There have been many complaints about the customer service with RCA. Many customers felt that it took an unnecessarily long time to get parts to the service center with many parts being constantly back ordered.
Sanyo LCD TV Warranty Information
To reach Sanyo, call 1-800-877-5032. They offer a warranty that is one year parts and labor. Repairs must be performed by an authorized service center. They do not offer in home service, and the owner must take or ship the TV to the service center at their own expense.
Once you call, the representative will locate a service center for you. However, someone will have to authorize the service for you. They will call you back. This process can take a few days.
One customer found that the service center was not centrally located. The phone call took close to an hour, and the customer found out it was due to a large staff reduction after 3:3o.
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