5 On Your Side

Family frustrated by malfunctioning TV

Posted October 1, 2012

After 15 days of pixillation and blank screens on their new television, the Cox family decided enough was enough. That was last year.

“I never know if it's going to start up or not," Patricia Cox said. "Captions might work, might not work. The connections might work, might not work. Sometimes I get no picture at all, get the sound no picture."

She bought it at Wal-Mart last spring for $280. She paid extra for an extended warranty.

Cox and her husband have serious hearing problems, so they need closed captioning, which they say hasn't worked right since day one.

"The whole screen would go green and we would not get the captions,” she said. “We wouldn't get the picture, we wouldn't get anything and this happened right from the very beginning when we bought it. I mean it was a problem from the get go."

She says two brand-new DVD players also wouldn't work with the TV. So, 16 days after buying it, they took it back. But the Wal-Mart employee told her she missed the return period by one day.

"So I contacted the manufacturer, and they said, ‘I don't understand why Wal-Mart just won't take it back because we'll replace it. There's no problem.’ And so I contacted Wal-Mart, and they said well you know, you can refer to the extended warranty plan that you bought."

That warranty offers in-home repairs, but only for larger TVs.

The manufacturer wanted her to ship the TV to them and wait up to two months for a repair. Because of her limited mobility, Cox says that would be tough.

"I know it sounds desperate, but it kind of is in a way when you're confined to your home - that’s your window to the outside world,” she said.

A window that at random times, didn't open.

"With many, many calls over many, many months and getting absolutely nowhere, that's when I called WRAL,” Cox said.

5 On Your Side contacted Wal-Mart, which agreed to send Cox a full refund for the television. And she can keep her TV.

“Wow! That's astounding,” Cox said. “I can't believe it. I mean that's way more than I expected, actually. Wow, you guys are awesome!"
 

4 Comments

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  • piene2 Oct 4, 10:05 a.m.

    "She says two brand-new DVD players also wouldn't work with the TV."

    "I really wonder if a new TV will work any better? What she is describing can be explained by a lack of signal. DTV does exactly that (blanks out) if signals are not high enough. People who used to bet by with rabbit ears on their analog TV might have to do more in the antenna department with DTV.
    ohmygosh"

    Than how come the DVD players do not work?

    Actually the remedy is simple. If I have a problem with a purchase I make one call or visit to customer service. For the most part those minimum wage Peons are of no help. After that I call the national corporate headquarters and go as far up the management chain as I can and my problem is solved.

  • I_know_right Oct 3, 1:25 p.m.

    Walmart does the same thing with their computer purchases. After 14 days they will not help at all! It is ridiculous!

  • 27615 Oct 2, 3:31 p.m.

    by a cheap t.v. from Wal-Mart and you should expect that it's cheap and might break

  • ohmygosh Oct 2, 11:50 a.m.

    I really wonder if a new TV will work any better?
    What she is describing can be explained by a lack of signal.
    DTV does exactly that (blanks out) if signals are not high enough.
    People who used to bet by with rabbit ears on their analog TV might have to do more in the antenna department with DTV.