5 On Your Side

Online TV Purchase Causes Big Problem For Vance Co. Man

Posted October 24, 2006

— When a Vance County man's big HDTV turned into a big problem, he called 5 on Your Side for help.

In May, Gil Siva paid $535 for a Philips HDTV that he purchased online. He said he assumed he was buying a new set, but was not so sure when he received it.

The Styrofoam packing was broken and taped back together, and the sides of the television were scratched and worse, Silva said. And when he plugged it in, he said, it did not work.

"It made a horrible noise -- horrible noise, and it vibrated so badly that you could physically feel the vibrations," he said.

So, Silva called Philips. He said a customer service representative told him he bought a used TV from the company's Web site that sells refurbished products. He sent documents to the company showing that he bought a new TV and told them that was what he wanted, he said.

"First of all, they said, 'Oh, we don't have another one of this model,'" Silva said. "I said, 'Oh, OK. Well, then give me my money back, and you take your television back that doesn't work.'"

He said he was told that his only option was to have the TV repaired.

"I said: 'No, repairing it's not an option. If you want to repair it, you can go on and repair it, because then, when you get it back, maybe you can sell it to someone else in that condition and say what condition it's in," Silva said.

So, Philips contracted with a local company to repair it. It replaced the scratched case, but could not fix the bigger problem. When Silva said he still could not get a refund, he called 5 on Your Side.

Philips spokeswoman Katrina Blauvelt told WRAL that the TV is new but that it was "damaged in transit." She claims Philips offered Silva a new TV or his money back months ago, but he chose to have it repaired.

"If they had offered me a new TV or my money back, I would have taken either one," Silva said.

No question, he took the refund this time.

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