5 On Your Side

Woman gets runaround with LCD TV company

Posted July 10, 2008
Updated July 14, 2008

— Flat screen televisions are all the rage. They have great picture quality and fit in a much smaller space. However, that only matters if the TV works.

When a Raleigh woman couldn't get her flat screen TV fixed, she called WRAL's 5 on Your Side for help.

“Great for now. I'm not sure how long it will last, but I have something for my money,” Vickey Baer said.

Baer is skeptical because this is her second LCD TV from the same company, in less than two years. She bought the first TV, a $600 iLo model from Wal-Mart in late 2006.

“We loved it. We thought it was great,” Baer said.

Then in January, the TV began having problems.

“We started smelling this electrical smell like the house was on fire. Like there was some kind of electrical problem in the house. We were all running round trying to find what was going on. What the problem was. ...And we finally figured out the TV was sizzling,” Baer said.

She called Akai, the manufacturer, who agreed to take care of it even though it was out of warranty.

“At first it sounded like they were just gonna replace the TV and send it back. It was gonna be simple. Well, it turned into not being simple,” Baer said.

Baer returned the television and was told it would take six to eight weeks. She said later, she was told, they would fix her TV and return it. However, weeks turned into months with no TV.

Baer said she called Akai repeatedly, but couldn't get an answer about what was taking so long.

“I said, 'I need some more help. This is not working. This has been so many months and I need somebody else to help me because I'm not, I wasn't getting anywhere,'” she said.

So Baer called 5 on Your Side and we called Akai. Eight days later, Baer had a new LCD TV.

“I couldn't believe it. When they showed up with Federal Express, I said, 'my long, lost TV.' I was just so happy to get anything,” Baer added.

The most frustrating part, Baer said, was just trying to reach the company. She said the paperwork that came with the TV didn't even include a customer service phone number. She had to call Wal-Mart to get it.

Once Baer sent back the TV, she had to talk to a different person every time she called. Five on Your Side had a similar experience getting this complaint resolved.


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  • pinball Jul 15, 2008

    Akai IS, well WAS an great name brand. The Akai we have today is not the killer manufacturer of electronics we had just 20-30 years ago. They were bought out about 5 years ago and are simply rebranding other people's products. A lot of the video products were rebranded Samsung.

  • GWALLY Jul 15, 2008

    It's called customer service (and it ain't free)......it DOES NOT come in the box from wally world.....or any other big box store or on line for that matter. It also does not come with 3rd party "extended" warranties. Like most others here seem to know....you get what you pay for!!

    It's a very good thing that this lady "smelled" something hot or burning.....could have burned the house down....!!!! Were would Wal Mart have been then......yep you guessed it!!!

  • The Fox Jul 11, 2008

    & Hitachi

  • ty will belabor a point Jul 11, 2008

    This woman is lucky she got a TV. She bought an inferior brand of television from WalMart and got a new one after the warranty expired. I feel bad for the mfg in this case...

  • denverbob234 Jul 11, 2008

    what did she expect. She bought a cheap TV, you get what you pay for. Want quality, buy a real TV, not the entry level one. JVC, Sony, Magnavox, Toshiba, Do any of these names sound familiar. Who is ILO or Akai??

  • LambeauSouth Jul 11, 2008

    The first one started to go a liitle after one year, bought late '06 started to go in January I assume '08. P.S. by the way extended warrenties are a crock, check fine print as they technically do not extend any warrenty, they more than likely run parrallel to the manufactures with maybe an extra month or two. If you want to through your money away I can sell you the same thing.... Hi Tech man you seem to have missed a major player in your list Visio... Great product... great consumer ratings for picture quality and service... my 42 works just fine thank you

  • hometechnc Jul 11, 2008

    I'm very sorry for this family's troubles ......but,

    "You Get What You Pay For" People! Stay away from these "Off-Brands" in the Big-Box Discount Stores!!!

    Samsung ....Sony....Pioneer and Sharp .....these are the brands to stick with. You'll pay a little more, but save bunches in the long-term!

    Want something bigger than 42" ....go with Samsung's LED light-engine DLP series. It's a lot of very, high-quality TV for the money!

  • owlady Jul 11, 2008

    You never know what you are buying these days in regards to electronics of any kind. My parents bought a Samsung TV from C.C. in Raleigh, it lasted 30 days. Luckily they did buy extended warranty which may have helped when they went back to the store to see the same salesman and demanded a new one.
    It was delivered the next week and the broken one picked up. Sometimes you luck out and sometimes you have to call 5 on your Side!

  • eoyount Jul 11, 2008

    "flat screen television's"????

  • murdock Jul 11, 2008

    It does not matter about the name brand. We bought a Magnavox and it did not work correctly from the time we turned it on. We called India for their company's customer service. We had the TV taken to their approved repair shop. We were told the TV would need a part but no one could tell us when we would get the part. We even contacted 5 on your side and got no response, but Channel 11's Diane Wilson made some calls and we got a new TV.