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Westingouse: Victory


It only took seven months, a report to the BBB, 30 phone calls, a half dozen emails, and threats of reporting Westinghouse to the FTC and CA Attorney General, but they finally sent me back my monitor. It's the one on the right there (with the very slightly crappier picture quality).

I must say, 3840x1200 resolution is pretty much a dream come true. I can have Firefox and Vim/Emacs open and nice and big, and still have room for lots of terminals, and maybe even a file manager or two. Multiple that by eight virtual desktops.

As near I can tell, it appears to e a new unit, not refurbished. If it is refurbished, it's refurbished well enough that I can't tell one way or the other, which is fine. However I'm still expecting this one to die too. My first monitor died in such a way that it wouldn't power on at all. This one is running very very hot, which scares me. I give it 3 months tops.

It makes me sad every time another person posts to my blog that Westinghouse is giving them the same horrible treatment. But hang in there. Lessons learned:

  • Don't buy a crappy brand just because it's cheap. I saved $75 or $100 on this monitor compared to a better brand, but it cost me over seven months of anguish (and $25 in shipping fees to send it back to the factory, and I had to buy a replacement!) Cheap things are cheap for a reason: The company isn't paying anyone to support their customers, or it's cutting corners in the quality of the merchandise, or something similar. Is it worth the gamble?
  • Don't buy anything expensive online unless you have a very clear method of getting it replaced if it breaks. Manufacturer standard warranties are evil. Is the time savings of shopping online rather than going to the local big box electronics store really worth it, if you have to pack up and mail your stuff to Zimbabwe for seven months?
  • UPS sucks. Hey UPS, how about if you don't drop off $500 pieces of electronics on a random person's front porch without a signature next time? I hope whoever ended up with my first monitor is enjoying it. (Actually I hope they die in a fire.)
  • Westinghouse sucks. Suffice it to say I won't buy this brand of anything ever again. And neither will my family or friends, who've heard me complain about this for seven months. And neither will many people reading my blog, I hope. Note to companies: Take care of your customers. A new monitor costs you a few dollars, but treating your customers like garbage costs you FAR MORE in the long run.

(Read the whole crappy story of Westinghouse's dishonesty and horrible customer service: The beginning, Update 1, Update 2, Update 3, Update 4, Update 5, Update 6, Update 7, Update 8, Update 9, VICTORY, aftermath.)

October 04, 2008 @ 8:51 AM PDT
Cateogory: Hardware


Bleys Maynard
Quoth Bleys Maynard on October 04, 2008 @ 9:25 AM PDT

UPS will never change. I ordered $500 worth of crap from TigerDirect, and UPS delivered it on a day when there were 3 people home. No doorbell was rung (It is EXTREMELY loud downstairs, where I was.) I just went outside for a smoke and found it by the back doorstep where we put our garbage and cat shit, on an extremely cloudy day. It started pouring down rain less than 30 minutes later.

Quoth numerodix on October 04, 2008 @ 6:59 PM PDT

So UPS does this too. I'm extremely annoyed at how here in Holland if you're not home (or very recently, even if you are home) they'll just gladly give your package to anyone who lives on your street.

Quoth Jared on October 10, 2008 @ 11:16 AM PDT

I just alked to them about my TV (They will have had it 3 monthes as of next Wednesday) Told them to just send me a check. They said if I want a refund then to go to the people I purchased it from asked how I was suppoes to return the TV to the place of purchase if they won't give it back to me? They did not have an answer. The worst part is it was only some dead pixels that I could have lived with if it happened outside of warrenty.

a guy
Quoth a guy on October 23, 2008 @ 3:00 PM PDT

Heads up for everyone ever trying to deal with a Westinghouse RMA.

I "currently" work for the call center for Westinghouse. It is not our fault the service center will not ship you a tv, or even tell us why. Our database only lists information that has been typed in by other tech support reps, and occasionally things like a logged reciept, tracking number, or RMA number. And yes, it is true that we cannot transfer you to a manager, they do in fact have to call you back. Also, we literally do not have access to any contact information for the corporate office or the RMA center in any way, and even if we did, we are expressly forbidden from given it out. You'd have a much easier time searching for the contact on Google. We also have no way to change any of the Warranty policies, or give you free shipping labels for RMA. Those don't even come from a "manager" at the call center, that all is done through corporate.

Basically, 95% of all of the RMA issues arise from the fact that a)the Westinghouse corporate warranty policy does not allow us any deviation on our level and b)the RMA center is the slowest, shittiest facility I have ever dealt with. Last I heard, there were litterally 5 people working there. Also, the fact is, there are far more returned RMA tvs than there are available to ship back to customers, and that is causing most of the shipping problems. But please don't call us at the customer service and expect us to be able get you a tv faster. We are in NY and ME, and the service center is in TX, we cannot "walk downstairs" like some people would like to think.

If you do want to buy a Westinghouse tv for some reason, please PLEASE purchase it at Best Buy. We have an exclusive deal with Best Buy that if your tv breaks during the warranty period, you can call us to get a return authorization and bring it back to the store directly and get an exchange/store credit, even 11 months 3 weeks and 6 days after you bought the tv. Other than that, DO NOT buy one online, and I'm sorry to say it but, even at Woot, E-Cost, or any other online discount store. ESPECIALLY if it is a refurbished television.

And also, please, everyone, read the warranty policy on ANY expensive item you purchase, especially TVs. You'd be surprised what isn't covered under most electronics companies warranties. Almost every major TV manufacturer requires you to ship a defective tv back to them at your cost.

For all I know I can get fired for posted this online, but to be honest at this point, I could give a shit. Sorry everyone who has had to deal with a Westinghouse RMA, but please remember that if you have to call the tech support line, it really is not our fault, and there is almost nothing we can do.

Quoth Jared on October 27, 2008 @ 10:12 AM PDT

I have worked in call centers my self, both in house and out sourced. You are right its not the call center fault westinghouse failed to ship my replacemnt. It is the call center fault that when tey became awhere of the issue they failed to do anything about it. You might not be able to "walk downstairs" but that thing on your desk that rings all the time is called a phone, it can make calls too. There is also something called the internet, you can use it to send something like mail only it travels much faster. I would suggest your Ops mangers need to be made aware of how to use these tools.

Telling a customer "what do you expect me to do, I am in a call center in Maine" is not the right answer, ever.

I will never buy a TV online again. I will never buy a Westinghouse TV again but I will also Never knowing deal with a company that out sources it call center to L-3 Microdyne again either. Yes, the system is broken, but no one at your end has tried to fix it either. Your co workers and supervisor proved that all L-3 Microdyne cares about is answer the call so they can be payed by Westinghouse.

Quoth Jared on October 27, 2008 @ 10:15 AM PDT

Forgot to add the number that "a guy" mention is 562-236-9800. It is Westinghouse is corprate swtichboard in California. I first called that number on October 13 and should have a tracking number tomorrow. Still not the fastest but better then calling the regualer customer service line.

Quoth Brian on October 27, 2008 @ 11:06 AM PDT

a guy: Thanks for the info. It's pretty much how I imagined. I posted a response here.

Jared: even once I got in touch with someone with some authority at corporate, I still had to threaten and beg for WEEKS to actually get them to keep their word. I suggest calling / emailing them back nonstop until you actually get the tracking number in your hands. Good luck.

Quoth Jared on October 27, 2008 @ 12:55 PM PDT

Brian: I have been calling. On the plus side the did say they wre giong to send a bigger TV to make up for my diffculties.

Quoth Jared on November 03, 2008 @ 8:27 AM PST

Wow, they are truely skilled at coming up with exuses for not having shipped the TV.

Quoth Jared on November 04, 2008 @ 8:08 AM PST

Well they provided me a tracking Number today so it might be a Victory for me aswell althought possible a Pyrrhic victory.

Quoth Jared on February 10, 2009 @ 9:25 AM PST

Since last posting here I have gone throught a bit. First they sent me the same 32 inch tv I had instead of the 40 inch they said they where going upgrade me to for my troubles. They next sent me a 24 inch computer monitor. So after that they said they would upgrade me again to a 42. Well today they sent me the wrong thing for the third time, they sent a 47 inch. I think I will live with it this time :-).

crowell in Chicago
Quoth crowell in Chicago on April 02, 2009 @ 12:31 AM PDT

Thank you for the behind the scenes look at Westinghouse TV. I just sent my first letter to Sant? Fe Springs. So far the microdyne reps have been great. I can tell they have sympathy and concern but they are completely powerless.

Thanks Microdyne and Shame on you Westinghouse

Quoth hlblair on April 30, 2009 @ 11:58 AM PDT

Wow, I wish I would've read these complaints before I purchased my Westinghouse TV! The day we bought it we hung it up and never moved it and it actually lasted 11 months! The first person I spoke with was very helpful and reassured me that once I sent it to them it would only take 7 days to fix and return. I spent $50 to send it back and they've had it since March 10th. Jared is right that they are very good at making excuses as to why they don't have a clue where my t.v. is. I also wish they would just make up some kind of story instead of telling me to call back in "3 to 5 days". I've already told the customer service people that I know it's not their fault but when they send the next "status request" up to corporate that they send along a message that I've contacted the National Association of Consumer Advocates and will contact a lawyer if I don't get my T.V. within the next 2 weeks. They still won't care, I know. Thanks for letting me add to the frustration. I am only a little more positive knowing you all got something back finally.

Paul Swanson
Quoth Paul Swanson on May 27, 2009 @ 3:34 AM PDT

Westinghouse LCD 19w6 bought through at a terrific price for a christmas present in 2008. Opened the box on Christmas Eve to set it up for my visiting brother only to find out that the TV was broken-had something rattling around inside.

Sent the TV back to Westinghouse at my expense and more than a month later received a replacement TV. Well, guess what? - They sent me back the original broken TV!

I send that one back and they ship me a new one which to my horror does not power up at all. I complain and they authorize an in home TV repair.

The in home repair guys are not able to fix my TV so I call Westinghouse and they authorize another RMA. I complained that I expected them to pick up the shipping cost this time!

They promised me a shipping has been yet another month of waiting for the label and nothing has been sent to my email address.

This whole process has brought me nothing but grief and embarrassment for not having a Christmas present for my brother.

Today I called the corporate phone number and didn't get to speak to a live representative-instead I was able to leave a message on their automated answering system.

I must say that if reading this discourages you from ever purchasing a westinghouse product I will be somewhat comforted and empowered to continue my battle against this CORPORATE MONSTER!

PWS-Coon Rapids, MN

Rick M.
Quoth Rick M. on June 04, 2009 @ 6:50 AM PDT

As for UPS, I see you complain about low quality and cheapness. Well the person that ships either UPS or FEDEX (Westinghouse or Microdyne)determines if the package must be signed for or left without signature.

To have it signed for is an additional delivery cost. So it looks like Westinghouse tried to cut corners at every step as it was sent "Signture Release on File" rather than the more expensive "Signature Release Required" delivery option. Just cause it is being delivered UPS or FEDEX does not mean it needs to be signed for defacto.

Quoth Kat on June 09, 2009 @ 4:00 AM PDT

After having my 37" LCD for 9 months, mine also just went poof out of the blue. No picture. I said no problem, I'm still under warranty. After having to search the web for the correct CS # (800-701-0680), I discovered that it seems they are no longer answering their phones. After endless recordings about the next rep will assist you in the order in which the call was received, blah blah blah, I was connected to their "general mailbox" and instructed to leave a message.

THEN I started researching this issue on the web, and after reading all of your horror stories, as well as similar stories on other sites (check this out, I said F it. I do not need that kind of drama in my life. I have called my TV guy, and he is going to fix it. He offers a REAL 1 year warranty on the set.

Buyer beware. There is no customer service. Period. We have all been screwed.