this is what has been filed with the BBB:
I bought a Philips 42" flat screen model 42PFL7403D and an extended warranty with it. It was not indicated that it would be through a 3rd party provider (Service Net). The only name on the certificate of coverage is "Extended Service Plan" with an address that I've recently discovered is Service Net. I needed to look it up, as the phone # on the certificate was not working when I called, but a quick internet search provided a new # that works as well as the actual name of the warranty company (Service Net). All that might be an indicator to some as to how this was going to go.
Been having some concerns with some snapping and popping sounds the TV was making when it powers up and when it powers down. I called on Nov 17, 2011 and spoke with Edward. A local vendor was scheduled to come out on Nov 21, 2011. The vendor came and replaced a capacitor. There was also an issue with a green discoloration in the upper right quadrant of the screen. The vendor indicated it was most likely the panel. The next day, the vendor's office called to say that Service Net would not replace the panel, as it was too costly. If it got worse, they could look at replacing the set or buying out the contract.
On Nov 30, 2011 (nine days after the service call), the screen tripped out on and off for about 45 minutes. Sort of a solarization or posturization. This was on all input, but had no effect on the TV's menus. While it was doing it, I called Service Net again and spoke with James. While on the phone with James, I took several photos of what it was doing. He scheduled with the same vendor, marking it as to make it a part of the previous issue. I also indicated the set was making the same cracking and popping sounds during power up and power down. He scheduled the same vendor to come back out on Dec 6, 2011.
Two different techs arrived this time. They did not appear to listen to any of the input I offered about what was going on. As I showed them the power up/down sounds, they listened form several feet away, not anywhere near the set, and said it was normal. I told them it had only started recently. The screen was not displaying the problem while they were here. I showed one of them the images I took and he suggested it was solarization and that it might be the t-box or the panel. They removed the set from the pedestal, took off the back, plugged it back in and nothing else. No testing, no meters, not even any poking or prodding around in general. They said it would be up to Service Net as to whether wanted to pay for the part, but they didn't know what part it would be. They put the set back up on the pedestal, connected the cables wrongly and left.
I called Service Net back that same day (Dec 6, 2011) and spoke to Rochelle and to a supervisor named Fallon. I indicated a concern for the lack of thorough attention to the issues, and pretty much lodged a complaint about the vendor. Both these ladies were very nice and polite, in spite of the restrictive policies that were keeping them from offering a higher level of customer service that I could tell they were both capable of giving. In the end, the supervisor agreed that she could put in for a 2nd vendor to come out and double check the problem. That seemed perfectly reasonable, as the original vendor did nothing to test the equipment. Well, one said he saw the set display the problem, but it was only the set syncing up with the cable box - which further validated my concern of these guys not listening to input from the customer that 1) spends every day with the set, and 2) is paying for the extended warranty.
On Dec 7, I received a call from a Service Net dispatcher saying that they were waiting to hear back from the vendor before they could close out the case and proceed. The dispatcher seemed to be working in contrast to the agreement that was made with the supervisor from the day before. A call also came in from the vendor. No message was left. My business is with Service Net and I felt the complaint should've been addressed with the vendor and there was no reason for further contact.
On Dec 8, another call came in from the vendor, which was not answered. Within a matter of 2 minutes I received a call from Brian, a supervisor with Service Net. He said that the original vendor has told them it was definitely the panel and that the panel was not made any more and Service Net would be calling me back in a few days to discuss replacing the set or buying out the contract. I tried to review the matter with this supervisor, but he started out with and maintained a condescending tone throughout the call, at which I pointed out at one point, suggesting that he was contributing to making the conversation harder than it had to be, especially since he would continuously cut me off and not let me finish my questions or my comments. While trying to point out that the vendor could not possibly know what the problem is as they said it could be one of 2 things and that they did absolutely nothing to perform any tests other than to take off the back of the set and power it up again. He said it was the panel and it cost too much to replace. I challenged him, as he said it was not made and now he said it cost too much. Plus, how can a major brand of TV that is less than 3 years old not still make parts. It seems as if he did not like the observation and he upped the level of rude service, to which I pointed out. He offered me a phone # to speak with anyone else if I had anything else to discuss, but it was the same # I already had for them and the same # he called in on. I asked if he could transfer me to someone else and he refused.
It is my understanding that Service Net may try to replace the set with a comparable unit and that if one cannot be found they will buy out the contract by paying for the original cost of the unit, minus any repairs. The only thing that Service Net had paid for was when an IR sensor went out and was replaced on Dec 20, 2010 and the capacitor that was replaced Nov 21, 2011. Since the capacitor did not resolve the problem that was called it, it should not be applicable. The only real work that has been done was the IR sensor.
I feel that Service Net had summarily failed to honor the warranty coverage. I bought the extended warranty through the retailer and had no prior knowledge of it being farmed out to a 3rd party (Service Net) or that Service Net would have the final say in what repairs they would and would not perform. My suggestion for a successful and positive resolution would be a refund of the contract price of $114.36 and a replacement of the set that meets the minimum specifications of the current set (1080p, 120Hz, 4 HDMI inputs, etc..... all which can be provided and confirmed), and that the set be a confirmed and reputable brand and model that meets or exceeds the ratings and reviews of the current set, with a full manufacturer warranty. While I am certain that there should be absolutely no trouble finding a new 1080p, 120Hz LVD HDTV that can fill that criteria, the price of this model through the retailer was $1,399.00, which should also not be subject to penalties, fines or any such other deductions in consideration of the way this matter had been handled by Service Net representatives and/or vendors in addition to a refund of the contract price of $114.36.