Extended Product Warranties & Future Shop

Yesterday I wrote about our experiences with the now 3 year old Hitachi Ultravision TV.

I described how Hitachi will tend to provide free of charge a replacement light engine for the generally acknowledged defective part but will not pay for the labour costs to repair the unit with the replacement part.

Here is where our extended product warranty comes in.

When we purchased the unit over 3 years ago from Future Shop, the sales associate gave us the details and cost of their extended warranty.

In the past few years we have tended to not purchase extended retailer warranties. After seeing various TV news magazine shows and other reports stating that they are typically pure profit for the retailer.

However, 3 years ago it seemed like the television market place was undergoing a technology revolution; plasma, Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), Rear Projection LCD, and so on.

It was all new to us. We had not purchased a new television since we bough a small portable one for our bedroom early in our married lives when we lived in London; that was over 2 decades ago.

So, because it seemed to us that the technology involved with televisions was new, and because the cost of the Hitachi Ultravision, while very competitive with other brands, was a lot of money, and because the manufacturer warranty was for only 1 year, we decided to spend the extra money and purchase the 4 year extended warranty. This meant that our TV was covered for a full 5 years, parts and labour.

entertainment area Extended Product Warranties & Future Shop

When the issue with the light engine on our unit came about, I could not remember if we had or had not purchased the extended warranty 3 years in the past; and if we had, how many additional years coverage we had purchased.

So I looked for the paper work.

What are the odds that 3+ years later and after moving houses, that I would be able to quickly locate the receipt and paperwork for the extended warranty? Right, not likely.

So I called up the Future Shop store where we originally purchased the unit and was ready for a long drawn out battle because I did not have the purchase receipt.

I was wrong; totally wrong.

When I talked to the Future Shop associate on the phone she simply asked me for some information that would help her locate our original purchase. The computer system she used did indicate that we had purchased the extended warranty and that it expired in April 2010.

She also was able to confirm that the extended warranty we purchased did cover both parts and labour. Sweet.

I have to admit I was very surprised. How many retailers do you know that would not require the receipt? Wow!

So, the Future Shop associate gave me the Warranty Registration number as well as the name and phone number of the local TV repair shop who would be charged with repairing the unit.

hitachi ultravision in family room Extended Product Warranties & Future Shop

All’s well that end’s well. Our TV was repaired free of charge.

Thank you Future Shop for investing in back office computer systems and computer professionals that helped to make us a happy customer.

Will we purchase extended warranties on all electronics purchases from now on? No. But we will on new technology as we did in this case.

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Comments

  1. Laura says:

    Thanks so much for your article – now we know what is wrong with our TV. We have a Mitsubishi 62″ purchased in Dec. of 2006 from Fry’s Electronics, and have just started experiencing both issues your wrote about (blue haze & green borders on both sides of screen). We have also noticed a subtle change in the picture quality. Luckily we bought a 5 yr extended warranty (includes loaner TV), so we will call next week to have it repaired. We got a new lamp & loaner TV (LCD) from them when our lamp went out at 16 months, and they were easy to deal with. Best Buy also has an excellent extended warranty program; they just replaced a video camera for us when it couldn’t be repaired.

  2. Dan says:

    Hi Laura,

    Thanks for the comment. 62 inches … nice! :)

    With new technology comes new issues and problems.

    I’m glad our experiences helped.

    Dan

  3. Richard says:

    I DID NOT BUY THE EXTENDED COVERAGE AND
    HITACHI REPAIRED/REPLACED THE LIGHT ENGINE TWICE FOR FREE, NOW IT IS DOING IT AGAIN AND OF COARSE HITACHI IS SAYING NO MORE. WELL TO ME THIS IS A KNOWN ISSUE THAT STARTS EVERY 15 TO 18
    MONTHS AFTER REPLACEMENT. HITACHI HAS HAD TIME TO CORRECT THIS ISSUE AND THEY DID NOT. ONLY REPLACE WITH THE SAME KNOWN PROBLEM AND GUESS WHAT. WHEN YOUR WARRANTY RUNS OUT WHO DO YOU THINK IS GOING TO PAY FOR THAT REPAIR, THE OWNER OF THE BOAT ANCHOR. YOU CANNOT EVEN GIVE THESE 50V500 AWAY, EVERYBODY KNOWS ABOUT THE PROBLEM THEY HAVE. IF THERE IS A HITACHI EXECUTIVE READING THIS, YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED TO EVEN PUT THIS OUT ON THE MARKET AND THEN KEEP SELLING THE KNOWN DEFECTED TELEVISION. grahamr@rush-enterprises.com

  4. Dan says:

    Hi Richard,

    You are now the second person who has left a comment on our site to this effect, i.e. Hitachi no longer providing a free replacement part for a known defect.

    It reminds me of the known defect we had in our inground sprinkler system. The manufacturer felt only the need for a time limited period for people to put in claims for their defective product. Yep, one of the folks who didn’t know about the defect until the valve went was yours truly, past the time limitation.

    Dan

  5. Chris says:

    Hello,

    I purchased a Hitachi 50vs69a model just shy of 3 years ago. It also has the same defect. After the bulb burnt out I replaced it and found that the screen has blue spots and glows brighter in the middle. The bulb was close to 200 dollars and I dont want to know how much a light engine is. It is a shame I am still paying for this tv and it is nothing but a big piece of plastic s**t.

    I bought a PS3 at the same time. The 40Gig model when it came out. Appartenly Sony used cheap blue-rays in that model to reduse price. It wont read disk anymore. They want 200 dollars to fix there problem.

    Sad, I cant play games on my broken tv .

  6. yvonne says:

    Glad I came across this article, very helpful. We didnt buy our Hitachi rear projection tv, but rather it was given to us from Hitachi after directing the commercial for it. Actually we got 3 tvs out of the deal. After 4 years ours went out completely. The lamp and lamp engine will cost about $500 installed. Fingers crossed the tv will work properly until we invest in something other than Hitachi. Noticed our model isn’t even on the market anymore. Figures.

  7. Dan says:

    Hi Yvonne,

    I tend to purchase extended warranties on any technology products which I costs a lot of money and that know I will use a lot …. I mean A LOT. :)

    That certainly is an interesting business you are / were in, shooting commercials.

    Dan

  8. Richard says:

    We had the Hitachi 50″ Ultravision lcd projection with an extended warranty. However, the light engine was too expensive to replace (in Aug 2010). The catch is when they will not repair due to the cost, the “replace” part of the warranty comes in. That’s when they offer you very little ($400 in my case) to replace the tv-which buys pretty much nothing. As an attorney, I was able to pursue the company through the arbitration process and settle for $1000, which was fair. If I had to hire an attorney, I probably would have taken the $400.

    • Dan says:

      Hi Richard,
      Thank you for your comment and for sharing your experience. I still have our Hitachi 50″ Ultravision LCD Rear Projection television and have not had any issues with the light engine after its replacement a couple of years ago. However, very good for others to know who encounter this product defect situation.

      Dan

  9. Jamie says:

    My tv is the same tv but 60 inch it has blue green tent how much does it cost to get fixed or should I buy a new one?

    • Dan says:

      Hi Jamie,
      Thanks for your question.

      My suggestion is that you purchase a new TV. The prices have come down significantly for any flat screen that in my opinion it makes the cost of the part and installation not worth the expense or effort. And I would think the picture quality would also be improved; at least that was my experience.

      Dan

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