5 On Your Side

Family frustrated by malfunctioning TV

When Patricia Cox bought a new television, she expected it to work for more than two weeks. When it didn't and the companies involved didn't respond, she called 5 On Your Side's Monica Laliberte.

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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!"



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