I am writing regarding Visions extended warranty policies, which I found out today are extremely unfair toward their customers.
Let me explain the situation:
I purchased a 42" Philips plasma TV (model 42FD9954) Feb.17, 2005 from the Visions store at 3915 - 51 St SW Calgary for $2465 plus a $599.99 extended warranty. On January 2nd 2009 it completely stopped working and I contacted Visions regarding coverage under the $600 extended warrantly I had purchased at time of sale. Visions had me contact SMElectronics (SME) to get the TV repaired, and their tech showed up, checked out the TV and left to prepare an estimate. A week later SME called to arrange to pick up the TV for service. And then on January 19th SME told me that they had informed Visions of the repair estimate, and Visions were to call me regarding how to proceed. No one called, so on Saturday Jan. 24 I contacted the SW Calgary Visions store where I purchased the TV. The manager (Dave xxxxx) told me he would contact head office and get back to me, hopefully on Monday the 26th. On Wednesday the 28th I called the SW store again, and Dave informed me Visions would give me a 42" LG plasma TV (model 42PG20) in exchange for my defective Philips unit, and I could come in to pick it up and could upgrade if I so chose.
So today (Thursday January 28th) I went to the SW store to see what the LG 42PG20 plasma TV looked like. On January 27, the Visions website showed the 42PG20 priced for "Final Clearance" at $1099 and your local Calgary flyer showed the 50" Panasonic plasma TH50PX80 priced for "Final Clearance" at $1288. I wanted to upgrade to the Panasonic 50" TV, and thought the difference in price I would have to pay would be 1288 - 1099 = $189 plus tax on this amount. Mr. Sharp informed me that no, my replacement 42PG20 TV cost to Visions was around $700, and to upgrade to the Panasonic would cost me $1288 -700 or around $588 plus tax. This seemed completely ludicrous - since no doubt Visions cost for the Panasonic was considerably less than their stated "Final Clearance" price of $1288, similar to their "cost" for the LG TV.
Any upgrade would have taken the Visions "cost" for the LG TV against their "retail" for any other TV they had on sale. So the consumer is essentially limited to accepting the replacement unit specified by Visions, with no recourse other than paying a substantial profit margin to Visions on any desired upgrade. Plus you may end up without a product you need for up to a month waiting for them to make a decision.
In our case, we had built our original Philips plasma TV into a bookshelf framed enclosure and the LG replacement offered explicitly states it cannot be clamped into position because the bezel vibrates as part of the speaker sound design - so it cannot be placed into our bookshelves in a similar fashion. It is NOT a suitable replacement, as I informed the salesperson I talked to when I entered the store and told them I was there for a warranty replacement. And to upgrade to another model incurs a substantial cost penalty, given Visons policy of "cost versus retail" for upgrades. As Consumer Reports Magazine notes, any extended warranty program is a waste of money - whether you end up using the extra insurance for repairs or not. I would have been better off junking my broken tv and using my warranty money to get a new tv of my choice, at the store of my choice.
We are extremely disappointed with Visions, their staff in responding to this extended warranty replacement issue, and recommend that consumers NEVER pay the extra cost of an extended warranty - particularly at Visions Electronics. To top it off, the Visions staff informed me they had no 42PG20 in stock and instead gave me a 42" LG LCD TV instead, again with the same vibrating bezel problem.