RALEIGH, N.C. — Sometimes it’s tough to watch a television show when it's actually airing. That's the case for Neil Shepard, who works at night.
In December of 2005, he paid $365 for a Panasonic Digital Video Recorder, where a user uses the cable guide to select shows they want to record.
“I was touting this to everybody, everybody at work,” Shephard said. “(They would say,) ‘I'm looking for a DVR.’ I'd say, ‘Go get this Panasonic. It's great. It's fantastic.’”
But last March, the DVR began having problems.
“I'd lose a show here, lose a show there, and at first I was like, ‘Maybe I just didn't set it to record’ or something like that,” Shepard said.
When the lost shows became frequent, Shepard called Panasonic, who told him to call the cable company.
“I called the cable company, who said, ‘We've not had issues with our TV guide,’” he said.
So Shephard called Panasonic back, who instructed him on how to reset the DVR. That worked for about six weeks.
“All of a sudden, it started doing it again,” Shephard said. “I'll come home from work at like 10:30 p.m. or something, to see that the show that's supposed to start at 10 p.m. is not working.”
Another call to Panasonic brought another answer for the problem.
“The guy said, ‘Yeah, that's actually very helpful. So I'm going to call you back in about three to five days.’ I waited three weeks, called back, (the representative) said someone was supposed to talk to me, no one ever did,” Shepard said.
After more discussion back and forth, Panasonic finally told Shepard the DVR was out of its warranty.
“I was pretty angry,” he said.
So Shephard called 5 on Your Side. When a reporter contacted Panasonic, a spokesman called the problem "unusual," but offered Shepard a new recorder since he's been "inconvenienced this long."
The representative said it's not Panasonic's practice to say a customer is "out of luck" once a warranty period is over when the problem began while it was still under warranty.
While 5 On Your Side was at Shepard's home, a Panansonic representative called to let him know about the new DVR.
“Yeah, I'm excited,” Shephard said. “I got a replacement.”
Once Shepard gets the new unit, Panansonic said the company will work directly with the cable company to figure out the problem if it happens again.