• Report: #5923
Complaint Review:

Thomson Consumer Electrics

  • Submitted: Fri, July 27, 2001
  • Updated: Mon, August 11, 2008

  • Reported By:Tempe Arizona
Thomson Consumer Electrics
PO Box 6127 Indidanapolis, Indiana U.S.A.


*Consumer Comment: Wrongly catagorized

*Consumer Comment: Thomson isn't related to General Electric Company

*Consumer Comment: GE - a foreign company?

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: How your box calls in over the year in question.

*Consumer Comment: GE and RCA are junk brands of a French defense contractor

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April 21, 2001 Regarding misrepresented sales charge on my account for a DIRECT TV RCA television receiver that did NOT need to be replaced. On April 15, 2001 I went to purchase a Direct TV movie. My television screen read, for ordering information call ext. 732. I phoned and they were closed for the holiday.

On April 16, 2001, I telephoned and was walked through trouble shooting steps. I ran a system check and the screen read, check phone line. I disconnected the received and plugged in a phone - the phone line was in working order. They, Direct TV (800-531-5000 / 800-347-3288). advised I call RCA (manufacturer of the receiver).

April 16, 2001 I telephoned RCA (800-679-4776) and again they walked me through the same trouble shooting steps. Then advised there was a problem with the receiver and it needed to be replaced at a cost of $ 90.05. Believing the professionals I trusted their findings. They required prepayment of $90.05 to send a rebuilt replacement receiver. When I purchased my receiver in August 2000 it was my understanding this was a brand new receiver. They said they would take my receiver - repair it and send it to the next person.

I picked up my replacement receiver and telephoned Direct TV (800-531-5000) to remarry the access card to my receiver. Prior to hanging up with Direct TV I performed a system check and it read the phone line was busy. The customer service person advised this was because we were on the line.

I went to a Direct TV channel to purchase a movie and still the screen read, for ordering information call ext. 732. She advised my access card was full, the receiver hasn't called into the mainframe in a year. She asked if I had a computer and modem and if they were on the same phone line. The answer was yes. She said the receiver has not connected in a year - looping - therefore the access card hasn't been emptied. They were going to perform a callback and clear the card. They did and the message was removed from the screen and the ability to purchase movies was reactivated. THEREFORE, I did not need to purchase a replacement receiver at $90.05 from RCA!

I telephoned RCA 800-679-4776 and advised them of this misrepresentation of sales and charges. Their FIRST question to any troubleshooting call should be the obvious - do you have a computer? Do you have a modem? Are they on the same phone line or do they have their own phone line? THEY NEVER ASKED ME THESE QUESTIONS. When I presented RCA with this fact - she said too bad. They didn't know I had a computer and modem. And they would not refund my money.

What are the statistics of computers in homes?
What are the statistics of computers ON-LINE in homes?


I am requesting your assistance in a refund of this inappropriate and misrepresented charge on my account.

1) They require prepayment and

2) The customer service response was too bad - we didn't know you had a computer! ----- BECAUSE THEY; DIDN'T ASK!!!!!!!!! It is not up to the consumer to know the ins and outs of how their system works.

It is up to the professionals to ask the questions to get the appropriate answers - prior to reaching into the consumers pockets! cc: THOMSON DTVS REVIEW BOARD INH 800 P.O. Box 7122 Indianapolis, IN 46206

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/27/2001 12:00 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/thomson-consumer-electrics/indidanapolis-indiana/thomson-consumer-electronics-rip-off-5923. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Wrongly catagorized

AUTHOR: Colorado Tech - (U.S.A.)

G.E. does not have anything to do with thompson eletronics.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Thomson isn't related to General Electric Company

AUTHOR: Joel - (U.S.A.)

General Electric Company used to make good-quality consumer electronics and provide good customer service. But one time, I think in the late 80s or early 90s, then GE CEO Jack Welch sold the consumer electonics division and the right to use the General Electric name to Thomson. Even though Thomson uses the GE name and logo, there is actually no connection between Thomson and GE. At some later point, Thomson bought the RCA name. Welch should have realized that it was stupid to sell the rights to use GE's name and logo, because if the company he sold it to didn't live up to GE's standards, people would blame GE, which is what did actually happen, as you are reading here.
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#3 Consumer Comment

GE - a foreign company?

AUTHOR: Megan - (U.S.A.)

Joseph, are you positive that GE is a foreign company? There is a GE factory about 15 miles away from me in Indiana. (The last time I checked, Indiana is in the United States . . .) You might want to check these things before you post something for the whole world to see--especially the people who know you are incorrect. At least the French can spell. It looks as though you should learn some things: national;;ity, nowadays', outsorcing . . .
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

How your box calls in over the year in question.

AUTHOR: Dave - (U.S.A.)

I am an ex-employee of TCE. I was once the manager in charge of DSS field service, and I worked closely with the product exchange group.

The problem you experienced was not uncommon. DirecTV generally sends out a "phone home" signal to the box on a monthly basis, in the data stream (the signal recieved from the satellite). If the box fails to call in, this signal repeats itself several times over the course of the month. If the box doesn't call in, DirecTV sets up the "732" code as a "credit hold" on impulse pay per views. In your case the box did need to be repaired, or it would have called in during at least one of the many "phone home" signals it received during the year of failed communication.

The fact that they were able to clear your card on demand means that the new box was working properly. Clearing the card involves manually telling the box to call in and dump the information.

This is a reasonably simple repair involving replacement of modem parts within the unit. These parts are susceptable to damage as a result of power surges in the phone line (lightening).

Any utitilty regulatory board will tell you that the phone lines have significantly less surge suppression built in than does the power system.

RCA has long been a proponant of component level troubleshooting. I am an old technician myself, and we prided ourselves on replacing a $1.00 resistor rather than replacing a $100.00 circuit board. Unfortunately the technology used in the DSS receiver is proprietary. DirecTV required that the "secrets" in this technology be preserved, so they would not allow RCA to publish the necessary information to allow the corner repairman to work on it. DirecTV did this so that they could limit the piracy issues which so plagued the big dish world. I want to assure you that the DSS exchange program is not a money maker for Thomson. If you have a complaint, it should be with DirecTV for excessive regulation over their partners. I hope this helps put things in perspective for you.

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#5 Consumer Comment

GE and RCA are junk brands of a French defense contractor

AUTHOR: Joseph - ()

Thomson bought these brands and they are the worst junk in all electronic name brands. Just read Consumer Reports to see what bad reliability they have, not to mention low quality. I was in K-mart, or Target one day and there was for sale a no brand name junk AM-FM-Cassette portable and next to it identical junk RCA item apparently made by the same junk manufacturer, but the RCA was more expensive, but just as bad. Believe me, the nowadays' French brands RCA and GE are junk and should be such labeled. JunkCA and JunkE. Thomson's apparently outsorcing the manufacturing, using the GE and RCA names to sell whatever junk they can to make profit and cheat the American people out of their hard made money. Go to Europe and see that the French women are ugly compare to other national;;ity. And the French stink just as the famous brand names they made infamous.
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