Sony KDL-40Z4100 display fail, ServiceNet buyout offer not good

TVs & Video Components

TVs & Video Components
Talk about TVs, Blu-ray players, and home theater systems
TVs

Sony KDL-40Z4100 display fail, ServiceNet buyout offer not good

This question is answered

Hello Everyone,

I hope this is the right forum for this type of question.  The short story: I bought a Sony KDL-40Z4100 40" LCD TV from Crutchfield in 2009 (order no, 17463982).  The TV cost $1700.00.  The purchase included a ServiceNet 5-year warranty that cost $190.00.  The covered amount was in the range $1500-$1999.

There was a problem with the display recently.  Crutchfield support referred me to ServiceNet.  I went through the process of arranging an in-house e-val of the set.  ServiceNet then responded with a buyout offer.

I have two buyout options: replacement unit or check.  There are problems with that offer that I don't know how to approach at this point:

1. The replacement unit is a "UN40D500".  As near as I can tell, this is a Samsung 40" LED, though the closest part numbers are really UN40D5003 and UN40D5005.  They both retail for around $700.00, less than half what I paid for the Sony. 

I asked ServiceNet about this and they responded that the lower price was because "the technology has changed".  I suppose it did in one sense: the Samsung is an LED set whereas the Sony was LCD.  LED sets are newer technology and typically cost more than LCD sets with the same features.  So why is the buyout for a unit that's less than half price?

In addition the closest Samsung units lack at least one feature of the Sony: Ethernet connectivity.  That's not a small difference in features. A replacement unit should have all the features the Sony had.

2. The check option would be for $700.00 and I would use the money to buy the replacement unit myself.  Once again, that's less than half what I paid for the Sony.

3. Both of those options coming in at around $700.00 are nowhere near the warranty amount, $1500-$1999

On the technical side, is a Samsung UN40D500, whatever that is (UN40D5003 or UN40D5005) really a feature-for-feature replacement for a Sony KDL-40Z4100?  I already know it's not in terms of Ethernet capability. Are there any other features the Samsung is lacking?

On the customer service side, what's up with this half-price buyout offer of a check or a set that;s lacking in features?  Is this kind of offer typical of Service Net?

I told ServiceNet I was going offline for a while to check on the replacement unit.

Thanks for your time, and my apologies if this is the wrong forum for a post like this one

Ron Niquette

Verified Answer
  • Okay - you took a bit of what I said out of context.

    • You don't necessarily HAVE to settle for the one option that ServiceNet offerred you.  I would have no problem personally with calling them and saying "This replacement TV that you said I could get lacks a lot of features I want and use and have on my current TV".  The Samsung LN40D630 does what I want and is comparable and I want THAT!!!"  (Don't mention that it is $650 at Crutchfield on sale from $900.)   You probably can't get them to give you a $1500 TV, but you can probably get them to go up a bit on price.  I wouldn't really discuss price with them if they are doing the replacement.
    • Call Crutchfield, explain what is going on with the Sony TV and the sales offer and explain that you are interested in the Samsung above, but it is out-of-stock, but you want to be sure that you can still get the sale price when it comes back in stock.  You can use the example that I liked from an "The Original Mattress Factory" ad:  "A woman goes into the butcher shop and the sign says hamburger meat is $4.00/lb.  She tells the butcher that the butcher down the block has it for $2.00/lb.  "Why don't you buy it there?", asks the butcher.  "Well, he's out of it" replies the woman.  "Oh, well when I'm out of it, I sell it for $0.50/lb !!!" laughs the butcher."  I'm not accusing Crutchfield of dropping the price when it is not available, but hopefully they'll see the logic.
    • As you unfortunately found out - TV prices are always on a downhill slide, so it's more likely that today's $650 TV will be next year's $500 TV rather than next years $800 TV.  Money and patience are assets for you here.
    • I just went to Crutchfield's TV section and looked at 40-inch TV's and selected a couple that I thought matched well to what you had.  We can't discuss competitor pricing, but you might find other TV's at Crutchfield that are comparable or you can certainly find that TV elsewhere - or a different model elsewhere.  If you take the money, you can get whatever you want within the budget.
    • I'm not a fan of it either, but outlet store doesn't always mean someone else's problem.  Sometimes someone gets the product and discovers it doesn't have some obscure feature they wanted or doesn't match their decor, or doesn't quite fit in the cabinet, etc.

    Hope This Helps!!!

    Anyone else have suggestions?



    [edited by: TigerHeli at 10:25 AM (GMT -5) on Thu, Mar 15 2012] typo

    2002 Ford Focus JVC KD-A815 Sony CDX-GT410u Sony XT-100HD HD Tuner Stock speakers, no amp, no subs

All Replies
  • http://www.crutchfield.com/g_146350/All-LCD-Plasma-TVs.html?tp=161&nvpair=FFScreen_Size|[rank3]40%22+to+49%22

    http://www.crutchfield.com/S-l53iq7RbOZc/p_15840Z410B/Sony-KDL-40Z4100.html

    Okay - I don't work for Crutchfield, so I'm just giving you general outsider comments and my take on this.

    Your option are going to depend on the wording of the service contract - whether it says refund of purchase price if it can't be fixed or comparable value and how comparable value is defined.

    The replacement unit that they specify should be an actual model number.

    I'm not a TV expert, but that TV looks pretty close to what you had - LED technology, which is better, 1080p, 120Hz refresh.  If you look at the links above, there are other TV's in similar price ranges.  It lacks Ethernet connection, but that never really caught on - WiFi is generally being used now, but the link above includes several Samsung's with Ethernet or wireless streaming for $650 from Crutchfield, so you could get those instead and save $50 if that feature is really important to you.

    You could argue that you bought a Sony originally and you expect a Sony and the smallest Sony that Crutchfield carries is a 46-inch for $1400, and you should be able to get that, but I don't know that that argument will hold up very well.

    On the price - that's somewhat the nature of electronics.  I've bought computers for $2000 (10 Mhz 8088 PC) that you couldn't run anything on today and could get free at a flea market or yard sale and the $449 yellow tag baseline computer is 1000's of times faster and more storage.  TV's are quite as bad, but the concepts apply.

    As far as features between the Sony and the Samsung - really the technology has changed too much to make that an easy comparison - such as the BRAVIA video, etc.  The Samsung UN40D500x does seem to have less inputs than the Sony, but the Samsung LN40D630 seems comparable.

    Personally, I'd probably go with that unless there is some feature of the Sony that it lacks that you need - for example -

    BRAVIA Sync™ simplifies remote operation for compatible Sony components (HDMI-CEC)

    or the Picture-in-Picture feature.

    If those were important features for you, you can use that in your arguments with ServiceNet.

    I'm not taking ServiceNet's side here, but some of this goes on with any insurance company/warranty.  If I total my Ford Focus, they're going to give me $2000 (if I'm lucky) and it's up to me to explain that the car had $5000 in rims and custom paint and the body was flawless and I can't buy anything comparable for less than $15K and go from there (just an example).

    Hope This Helps!!!

    Anyone else have suggestions?

    2002 Ford Focus JVC KD-A815 Sony CDX-GT410u Sony XT-100HD HD Tuner Stock speakers, no amp, no subs

  • Thanks TigerHeli,

    Thanks for all the excellent info.   I really appreciate knowing about those comparison models because that's the kind of info I'll need to decide what to do next.   All things considered, I'd rather not go with a Sony this time around.  The KDL-40Z4100 will be the second Sony Bravia that's had a display failure.  The first was my old 32" for which I did not have the warranty.  That one was my "hard lesson". 

    Thus the various Samsung models you've listed look like great candidates, especially if I elect to go with a check payment instead of a replacement unit.  Looks like I may have to do that if I want to get the input connections I need. Besides Ethernet I'd like at least 3 or 4 HDMI inputs and 2 component inputs.

    Re Ethernet: I have a Wireless-G LAN so I'd rather go with Ethernet than Wi-Fi at the moment - it would just be easier to hook everything up and go.    There's already a switch/wireless bridge combo where I want to put the thing.  Also, I don't think the model suggested by Service Net even has Wi-Fi, let alone Ethernet.

    Thanks once again for those comparison models.  I'll be shopping around for those in the next few days to see what I can do on this "budget".

     

  • Hi TigerHeli,

    Now that I've had a chance to check things out here at Crutchfield, it looks as though availability is going to be an issue.  Crutchfield is either out of stock of the main contenders, or low stock (translation: outlet store only, someone else's problem return).

  • Okay - you took a bit of what I said out of context.

    • You don't necessarily HAVE to settle for the one option that ServiceNet offerred you.  I would have no problem personally with calling them and saying "This replacement TV that you said I could get lacks a lot of features I want and use and have on my current TV".  The Samsung LN40D630 does what I want and is comparable and I want THAT!!!"  (Don't mention that it is $650 at Crutchfield on sale from $900.)   You probably can't get them to give you a $1500 TV, but you can probably get them to go up a bit on price.  I wouldn't really discuss price with them if they are doing the replacement.
    • Call Crutchfield, explain what is going on with the Sony TV and the sales offer and explain that you are interested in the Samsung above, but it is out-of-stock, but you want to be sure that you can still get the sale price when it comes back in stock.  You can use the example that I liked from an "The Original Mattress Factory" ad:  "A woman goes into the butcher shop and the sign says hamburger meat is $4.00/lb.  She tells the butcher that the butcher down the block has it for $2.00/lb.  "Why don't you buy it there?", asks the butcher.  "Well, he's out of it" replies the woman.  "Oh, well when I'm out of it, I sell it for $0.50/lb !!!" laughs the butcher."  I'm not accusing Crutchfield of dropping the price when it is not available, but hopefully they'll see the logic.
    • As you unfortunately found out - TV prices are always on a downhill slide, so it's more likely that today's $650 TV will be next year's $500 TV rather than next years $800 TV.  Money and patience are assets for you here.
    • I just went to Crutchfield's TV section and looked at 40-inch TV's and selected a couple that I thought matched well to what you had.  We can't discuss competitor pricing, but you might find other TV's at Crutchfield that are comparable or you can certainly find that TV elsewhere - or a different model elsewhere.  If you take the money, you can get whatever you want within the budget.
    • I'm not a fan of it either, but outlet store doesn't always mean someone else's problem.  Sometimes someone gets the product and discovers it doesn't have some obscure feature they wanted or doesn't match their decor, or doesn't quite fit in the cabinet, etc.

    Hope This Helps!!!

    Anyone else have suggestions?



    [edited by: TigerHeli at 10:25 AM (GMT -5) on Thu, Mar 15 2012] typo

    2002 Ford Focus JVC KD-A815 Sony CDX-GT410u Sony XT-100HD HD Tuner Stock speakers, no amp, no subs