An Open Letter to William Wang, CEO of Vizio TV
|Dear Mr. Wang,|
In June of 2008, my wife purchased a 32" Vizio Plasma television for me for Father's Day. Needless to say, I was very happy, having wanted to make the switch to HD and finally being able to do so. Our current television was over ten years old, so I was looking forward to a long relationship with this television and Vizio.
Around December of 2009, I noticed some odd behavior from the television. It would flash on, and then off, and then on again. As though it were like a car having trouble turning over to start in cold weather. The problem was annoying in the beginning, and worsened over the last few weeks. Until tonight, when it refused to turn on at all.
Once the holidays were over, I called technical support, to find out just what I could do to either fix the television myself, or what you could do to stand behind your product. The customer service agent, who was very polite, informed me that since my warranty had been expired, and that my wife hadn't purchased an extended warranty upon purchase, that it would cost me anywhere from $200 - $300 to repair what was determined, to be something involved with the power supply.
Since my wife paid only around $650 for the television, I was shocked that the repair bill would be anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 of what we paid for it. I understand that electronics and their components aren't cheap, but still - given the way that prices on LCD's and Plasma televisions have dropped over the past 18 months, I could just as easily purchase a new television for just a little more than the cost to repair my old new one.
That being said, I'm very disappointed in your product, and your warranty policies. I look at televisions like other major appliances - something that will last a long time, and when it breaks down, it will be from old age. If your product can't withstand average use for 18 months, I don't believe that I can trust it to last for the time that most other appliances should, and given the financial investment involved, I'm sure you can understand my disappointment.
At this point, due to financial reasons, I am going to have to go back to my now 11 year old television and use that, until I can afford to purchase a new LCD TV, which, given my understandable disappointment with Vizio, will be another brand.
Thank you for your time.
Approximately 24 hours ago, a link to my blog was posted on The Consumerist. I had sent this to Ben Popken when I posted it, but had actually forgotten that I'd done so. Several anonymous commenters have lambasted me, claiming that I did this purely expecting something for nothing from Vizio -- which couldn't be further from the truth, but what can you do, the Internet is full of trolls who have nothing better to do than assume the worst.
However, I did just get off the phone with a Sabrina Van Gilder, who works in the Customer Service Department at Vizio. This entire situation has taken an unexpected turn, which I will keep you abreast of in the days to come.