Flat panel TV disaster


Miscellaneous Friday entry….

If you ain’t flat, you’re not all that

panasonic-plasma-professional.jpgNowadays, you’re nobody if you don’t own either an LCD or Plasma flat-panel TV.

I personally recommend the Panasonic line of “professional” plasma models, since the you can customize the configuration to your needs (like why pay for speakers if you’re using a surround system?) This on top of the top-notch screen quality and reliability. One of the few authorized places to get the pro-line models online is VisualApex.com. Everyone I recommend sticks with them for good. Check it out.

Ok, on to our story. Hoboken411 reader Nicholas recently bought a Philips 32″ LCD panel from Walmart. Lo behold, the unit was a dud, and the speakers were defective. He wants all of you know of an “authorized repair center” in Manhattan that you need to avoid! See his blog here, or read the rest of his story after the jump. If you go to his blog, make sure you “digg” his story to help him get some action from Philips.

Philips Corporation Refuses To Help

philips-problems.jpgBack in late July 2007, I purchased a brand new Philips 32″ LCD television from Walmart of Union, NJ. I got a great deal and was happy with my purchase. I thought I had made the right decision and purchased from a reputable manufacturer. After the first week of usage, I noticed the sound cut out, so I reset the cable, which is provided by cablevision and the television. Sure enough, it worked and the sound was working again. I thought it was a small glitch that wouldn’t happen again. Shortly after, the television began cutting sound daily. Sometimes it would take hours, sometimes it would take minutes. After the problem began to get serious, which was a few weeks ago, I contacted Philips with hope that this would be resolved.

Continue reading his frustrating experience after the jump.

(Empire debacle continued…)

I did not have the physical receipt to this Philips television, but I did have the credit card bill and serial information which was located on the back of the tv. Philips referred me to the closest Authorized Service Center, which was located in Manhattan, NY. The service center, EMPIRE TV seemed to be the answer. I made the call and scheduled an appointment for later in the week. The manager (according to internet research), Lisa Nassry, answered the phone and took my information. She was incredibly difficult to understand, but I managed. Honestly, I should have found another location after that conversation, but I figured that since they were authorized, that there would be no issue. Later in the week, when I made my way to the service center, I called to make them aware that I was on my way. Again, Lisa Nassry answered the phone. I told her that I would be there shortly and she said that she would be running out of the office and to leave it with the front desk. I told her that I would wait at the location for her to arrive. When I arrived at Empire TV, I wasn’t greeted by an employee of the company, instead, I was greeted by a doorman to a NYC building who said that I was to leave the TV with him. I told the man that I did not feel comfortable leaving the TV with him and would wait until Lisa returned where I would deliver my TV. When she finally returned to the building, we made our way towards her office where typical paperwork was filled out. I filled out all of the information necessary and left her with the TV after being told to expect the problem solved within 2 days.

bad-business.jpgDays went by and I had not received a call about the fixed TV. I took it upon myself to reach out to them and find out the status. I was told, by Lisa, that parts were on back-order and would take some time to receive. I said alright and hung up.

I called back a few days later, which was a Wednesday and asked for another follow-up. Lisa said the TV would be done by Friday and I could get it then. Later that day, around 3pm, unknowingly, my girlfriend called Empire and asked for an update on the TV. She called me right after and told me that the TV was ready and I could pick it up. I was surprised, since I had just been told that the TV wouldn’t be ready until Friday. I left work early and made my way into the city to pickup my TV.

When I arrived, I was happy to see my TV all fixed. I decided it wold be smart to look over the TV and made sure there were no damages. After a quick glance, I noticed there was a slight scratch on top of the TV bezel. I pointed it out ot Lisa, who responded by saying, “oh, that’s small, you can cover it up.” I told her, it’s still a scratch, but I won’t make a big deal of it. After that find, I looked at the screen. A scratch! I saw a deep scratch in the middle of the screen. I told her, there’s a scratch in my TV screen. She acted surprised and didn’t know what I was talking about. She asked where, and I pointed it out. As I pointed it out, I noticed 2 other scratches in the screen along with a dent in the screen bezel! I couldn’t believe it. Lisa denied it and then said that her employee, noticed there was a scratch immediately after I dropped the TV off. I told her not to go down that route and that they damaged the TV. I told her, I don’t want you to replace the TV, just fix what’s been damaged and we’ll let it go. She continued to deny this. I took photos and notes of what had been damaged and left, leaving the TV there so that they couldn’t accuse me of the damage. I called Philips and opened a ticket on this situation. Philips was understanding and after a long call, plus waiting, I was told that “it wasn’t Philips’ problem and that I needed to take it up with the AUTHORIZED SERVICE CENTER.” I said alright, after getting the names of the people whom I had spoken to and hung up.

I spoke to Empire TV the next day and they continued to deny the damage and denied fixing the TV. I was passed around to people named Lisa and George who claimed that this company was a large corporation and had to go to the BOSS who was supposedly located in Connecticut. I asked for that number and contact and was denied. I was treated very poorly and they acted like it was a big joke.

I called Philips again and spoke to a man named Matt who said that Philips would handle this problem and not to worry. He recommended that I get the TV in my possession so that further damage would not occur. I took his advice and picked up my TV. Lisa tried to get me to sign a new contract, but I insisted that she pull out the original one, that showed no previous damage to the TV. I signed it, writing that there was damage not fixed and left. I called Philips again and was told that someone would be contacting me in 2 business days, which would fall on a Monday. By Wednesday, I had heard nothing from Philips and decided to call them for an update. I was told that I would be called within 24 hours by Consumer Relations. At approximately 4:00pm on Thursday, March 13th, I was contacted by a woman named Charlotte, who would not give me her last name. She worked for Consumer Relations for Philips and said that it was not her problem. I explained the situation to her again and she still said that Philips would do nothing to help me.

So, I’m writing this in hopes that someone out there can help. I’m sure situations like this occur daily and never get noticed. I have photos, names, contracts and nothing is helping. Hopefully, by spreading the word, someone will care.

Please help me get this out there by DIGGING this story.

To contact Empire TV:
Empire TV
Phone: 1.212.431.5338
Fax: 1.212.625.0139
Email: info@empiretvnyc.com
Location: 200 Hudson St. (at Canal)
New York, NY 10013

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4 Comments on "Flat panel TV disaster"

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ok, i didn’t take the time to read the entire article, but i got that he bought it in july 2007 and the sound cut out. i bought a samsung tv and the sound cut out, but the video kept working. some research on sites like avsforum showed me that this was actually common with the model box cablevision uses and my TV. it was a compatibility issue. well, i didn’t like that explanation so i kept going. Samsung came out and replaced the motherboard, which fixed it. Then i thought…why should i have a tv that was not working right from the moment i took it out of the box. Best Buy agreed and exchanged it for me. i was within the return period. bottom line is, when you’re buying something like an LCD or Plasma TV, it’s a big expense. i’d recommend purchasing them at a time when you know you’ll really be able to test it out, watch a lot of TV, watch a DVD, flip through all the channels, etc etc. you really need to work that thing in the period of time that it’s still returnable to the store. i’m surprised phillips didn’t help more. i don’t know what the manufacturer’s warrant is, but the Samsung was 12 months parts, 12 months labor. All things to consider when buying such high tech devices. I also purchased the service plan at best buy, which will probably end up being a waste of money. but $250 insurance… Read more »

Try calling your credit card company about it. I’m not sure the details, but American Express has some good warranty/damage replacement things that come with the card.


Never, never, never, never, never take your electronics into NYC to be repaired. Most of those places are complete scams run by scumbags whom you can barely understand. I know this first hand after my Super VHS deck was screwed up by some dipshit repair guy. Just how the video head was physically chipped, I’ll never know but Haji assured me that it was a problem with the RF Modulation, or some other technical nonsense he thought would shut me up. Yeah right, last week you were driving a cab. Asshole.

Find out where to take it out in the burbs instead, rent a car if you have to, but don’t leave it with some random suspicious people.


You should send your story to consumerist.com. They have a pretty good record on getting national attention for problems like this.