This is a long one...
Whilst looking for a phone number to get in touch with Cornerstone regarding another HITACHI LCD rear projection TV issue, i came across report #355639. I could not believe what I was reading (well I could actually).
We Purchased a Hitachi 55VS69A LCD rear projection at Teppermans - they were at the old location in London at the time. We were told by the sales guy that the warranty was all inclusive - he stressed that bulbs were $200 so the warranty was worth it just for them. I don't like extended warranties as a practice but this convinced me of worth.
Having had good experience with Hitachi in the past, I thought this to be a long life unit but bulbs are the only real issue. I was wrong - after about a year the light block failed and we ended up watching a giant blue creature grow slowly across our screen. When we called Cornerstone we were told that if the bulb had failed, it was not covered. STRIKE 1. I was clearly told they were. We read the fine print and - NOT COVERED! Lesson learned. We filed the call. Upon inspection they determined the light block had failed - more research suggested this was an issue with this TV design - very disappointing given the $2K+ spent and past TV life experience.
The next call to Cornerstone yielded discussion of repair limits to the max value of the purchase. The light block was said to be a $1500 part. They offered $1000 in store value for a new TV. We rebutted with - the TV is nearly new and you want me to spend what would amount to another grand or so to buy a new TV for similar capability?!? They moved to $1300 but would not commit - I countered with $1500 - they never got back to us. We called again - several times to get a response. The new number was $1100. I told them not enough and the typical "have to clear it with my supervisor anyway" statement was made. We said fix it. The part was ordered through the parts wing of another group whose name evades me. this yields more runaround. Aafter a month we called the parts place - BACKORDERED or so we were told.
A call to Cornerstone left us with the market at Marrakesh approach again. The new offer was $1000 then $1100. I countered - he said he would check and call back by COB the next day at my request. Needless to say, we had to call them back. No offer was firm to buy out the warranty. We said fix it. Part was ordered (again??). Finally, (3+) THREE plus MONTHS after the failure, we called again to find out what was the latest status. Unclear - but part was not in yet. The cash offer was not rescinded but again unclear as it was another "talk to my supervisor deal) At that point I told them I was calling Teppermans and the next call might be from my lawyer.
After listening to the canned "We are here to help and customer service is our middle name" response for 2 minutes someone came on the phone. "We don't get involved" was the response. I then explained all prior details. "Not much we can do" was the response with some rambling about pro-rated value. At that point I lost my temper explaining that 18 months was ridiculous for a TV and that the salesman had duped me on the whole warranty/bulb issue. At that point I said the next call would be from my lawyer. She asked for the phone info and we ended the call. Within a few days we received a call to state that the part had miraculously showed up and to schedule the repair. It was done - about 4 months after the issue. At this point I would have taken the cash, if anyone would confirm an offer - however the whole issue fell more to principle.
Needless to say, I am not a fan of Cornerstone (ever) or Tepperman's (any more). I was a customer of Pattons prior to Tepperman's and had been happy. This was not a good experience that I came close to writing a lengthy editorial on. Alas time passes and anger subsides, however this story is told to anyone who will listen.
Now - of course - the original BULB has popped. I ordered a replacement, it worked for 10 minutes and now it doesn't work. Cornerstone says if it is not properly installed there is a $75 service charge to fix. Could I dislike an organization more...